I teach at Duke & started RocketBolt

Earned a PhD in English while teaching myself to code and build companies. I enjoy sharing my entrepreneurial and academic misadventures.

5 Tips On How To Ask For An Introduction

Having survived as a founder in the tech startup world for a decade, I’ve met lots of fellow “industry folk.” Being a dutiful founder, I’ve connected with most of them on LinkedIn. As a result, while I’m by no means a tech industry goliath, on LinkedIn I show up as a second degree connection to […]

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Quora: What Makes A Professor’s Lecture Boring?

I write lots of Quora answers. Sometimes, when I particularly enjoy on a question/answer combo, I’ll share it here, too. If you like it, be sure to check out my other Quora answers. Upvotes welcome! Quora Question: What makes a professor’s lecture boring? That’s an easy question to answer: Lack of saber toothed tigers. While you probably don’t […]

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How Young Entrepreneurs Can Find World Changing Ideas

As someone who teaches in an entrepreneurship program, I spend lots of time talking with my students about how to come up with ideas for products and companies. Personally, when assessing the potential of a company, I don’t prioritize ideas or products. I believe the most important indicator of success is a company’s approach to […]

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The Two-Letter Word That Will Kill Your Startup

As a young entrepreneur, I remember calculating the market opportunity for multiple startup ideas using some formulation of the following “back-of-the-envelope” math: The market has X-many-millions of people. So, if I only capture Y-tiny-percent of that market, I’m going to have Z-ridiculous-amount of money. Luckily, I advanced beyond that kind of flawed thinking fairly quickly. […]

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  • Let's go (to sleep), Duke!
  • The @dukeinnovation #EdTeam giving our newest member a proper @monutsdonuts welcome #entrepreneurship #innovation #highered #donuts
  • The dangers of being a dog in a house with a 2-year-old princess. #wheatenterrier #wheatenterrorized
  • First #daddydaughter shoe shopping trip came much earlier into my fatherhood tenure than I'd anticipated. Thanks for helping us find some good ones, @nordstrom. They were #mommyapproved when we got them home. 👍
  • Day 3 of being a #stayathomedaddy in the mornings, and I'm running out of different restaurants and different ways to order eggs. But hey... I finally got to try a Bob Evans restaurant, so that's a #win, right? Maybe it's time to get back to #startuplife
  • Playing #stayathomedad is fun. Seriously rethinking my #startup career choice. Pulled pork hash browns on a Thursday morning from @bullstreetdurham... yum! 😁
  • Dude setup a snack cart right next to the #americantobaccotrail to monetize on all the tired, hungry runners and bikers. That's some solid #entrepreneurship. I need him in one of my classes! #hustlehard #startups #opportunityknocks
  • Walked into the @dukeinnovation Bullpen and was excited to find @kdhoch. I hear #dukeinsiliconvalley was fantastic, but I'm glad to have him back in #durham. Though, after five weeks on the Left Coast, I was kind of hoping he'd have frosted tips. #ohwell #entrepreneurlife
  • 4th of July celebratory steak dance #happy4th #steak #babycarnivore
  • Catching a summer lecture by my favorite @dukeuniversity undergrad professor, Dr. George Gopen. 12 years later, he's still showing 400-person auditoriums how the #grammar rules they learned in grade school hurt their #professionalwriting. Lesson #1: "Context controls meaning." #rhetoric #memorylane
  • Ended the morning with the right amount of fingers and toes. My yard ended the morning with one less tree. #yardwork #homeownership #imissrenting
  • Puppy birthday ice cream! Happy 7th birthday to my favorite ball of fur. #furbaby #puppy #doggyicecream

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