David B. Lerner

Dave Lerner, 3x Entrepreneur, Angel Investor, Host of Venture Studio
Entrepreneur, Angel Investor, Director of Columbia University Venture Lab, Blogger, Community Organizer, Golfer-in-Exile.

How to Make Contacts- The Right Way

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This is part of my ongoing Series on Entrepreneurial Culture

I get emails from entrepreneurs all the time, asking me, “How do I access the New York City tech scene so I can do x, y, or z?" (Usually x, y or z is a specific need like “find tech talent” or “network successfully.”)

Notice the transactional nature of the language. What they're essentially saying is, “How can you get me quick access there so I can get what I need?”

This kind of request is almost as clichéd as “Can you help me find a technical co-founder?” which I wrote about recently. This is probably more annoying, though, because the person asking doesn’t have a clue about “giving” and “sharing”—it’s all about their own needs.

Recently, a guy who works as a consultant with a very prominent firm wanted me to strategize with him on how he could “access the community” so he could get a job at a startup. He was already trying to line up some paid consulting gigs at startups, I assume so he could impress them with his “big brain.” I asked him, “Why don’t you help some startups, but do it for free?” He looked at me like I had three heads and I resisted the urge to physically throw him out of my office....

Continue reading here for the original post on AmexOPEN Forum


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