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.

Instagram Stories: Day #3 – Student Pitches

Today was another “pitch day” in my Learning to Fail class. To add a bit of context, the class incorporates a semester-long pitch competition where students compete against each other to identify the biggest entrepreneurial opportunity on campus. The competition is organized as a bracket, and this was our second round. We went from eight […]

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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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  • Excited and proud to congratulate Dr. Alessandra Dinin on a successful (and fantastic!) dissertation defense. @alessandrajayne 👩‍🎓#PhDone
  • The incredible @mynameisjessamyn came to speak with my @dukeinnovation social marketing class. She left us with this awesome selfie and the following words of advice: "At the end of the day, authenticity is the only thing you have that's valuable on social media." She even wore @dukeuniversity blue 😁#entrepreneurship #socialmediamarketing #truth #awesomeselfie
  • The Top 8 in my @dukeinnovation Learning To Fail pitch competition. Check out my Story to see who made the Final Four! #entrepreneurship #innovation #pitchingislife
  • Conned #entrepreneur and #investor Bill Spruill of Global Data Consortium to speak in my @dukeinnovation capstone course. His #1 piece of advice: "Figure out what you're really good at as quickly as possible and then focus on that." #startup #hustle
  • One of my favorite days of the semester: pitch day for #learningtofail. The assignment is to identify the biggest problem on college campuses, but I think I prefer this student's way of framing the assignment #entrepreneurship #angrystudents
  • Even Santa Clause needs a little help finding good parking on a college campus. #parkingfail
  • Today's @dukeinnovation #failure challenge: how far can you toss an egg without it breaking? #learningtofail #entrepreneurship #egglympics
  • Had my @dukeinnovation students sell lemonade again today, but this time they could only walk around with empty bottles. They sold $434 worth of... well... air (versus $334 of actual lemonade last week). The lesson: people don't buy products; they buy stories. #entrepreneurship #learningtofail #lemonade #hustle
  • A stranger cutting off a lock of her hair for one of the attendees of my @dukeinnovation #learningtofail workshop #entrepreneurship #rejectiontherapy #haircut
  • Lemonade challenge results: $334. Not bad for a $20 investment and one hour of work. #learningtofail #maybenot #entrepreneurship
  • My @dukeinnovation students selling lemonade around campus to generate resource capital for their #learningtofail class #entrepreneurship #startups #innovation #fundraising #laborday
  • A new @dukefootball fan in the making... #letsgoduke

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