About

Hi, I’m Aaron! I teach in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship program at Duke University and I co-founded RocketBolt.

If we were living in the early 1900s, I’d be called a “Renaissance Man.” If this were the late 1900s I’d be called either “well rounded” or “unfocused” depending on whether I was applying to college or applying for a job, respectively. These days, however, people like to call me an entrepreneur. Here’s why…

I’m a Duke English major (class of 2005) who earned a PhD at the University of Maryland, College Park, where I specialized in digital humanities. I’ve written articles on Homer, Shakespeare, Eliot, Dickinson, and Whitman. I also published my first book, The Krzyzewskiville Tales, when I was 20.

At some point during my academic English endeavors I decided I should learn to code. I started hacking PHP, then learned Python, and now I mostly work in Javascript/Node. I’ve gotten pretty good at this “engineering” stuff, too. I’ve been named named a Microsoft Fellow, and I’ve developed apps that — in the time it takes you to finish reading this bio — will have processed requests from tens of thousands of active users.

A few years into my coding career I caught the entrepreneurial bug and decided I was going to build a successful tech company. Hasn’t worked out so well yet, but I’ve learned a lot along the way. I’ve graduated from three of the world’s top tech accelerators — DreamIt Ventures, The Startup Factory, and 500 Startups — which is basically like telling you I’ve repeated the second grade three times. And my current company is doing well, so maybe I’ve finally learned something useful.

So that’s me. It’s your turn to tell me about you. Let’s connect on either Twitter or Instagram: @AaronDinin. I always enjoy swapping war stories with fellow web travelers — mostly about higher ed and startups, but occasionally the revolutionary kind as well.

Instagram

  • Giving a 3 hour lecture to a wonderful group of Chinese students from Yangtze University visiting @dukeuniversity. We’ll be taking about #marketing #sales #startups #entrepreneurship  #innovation #socialmediamarketing and lots of other stuff that’ll probably put them to sleep. 😴.
.
P.S. It’s really hot in this room and we’re all sweating.
  • ‪“In a business, you can hire to solve almost any problem, but nobody can replace discovering the problem and finding the path toward solving it. That’s what an entrepreneur does.” ‬- Sam Fox, a brilliant young #entrepreneur and @dukeuniversity alum who came back to talk with my @dukeinnovation capstone class about his journey into healthcare innovation.
.
.
.
#entrepreneur #startup #innovation #healthtech #healthcare #guestspeaker
  • Some #boomerang shots from the first day of classes including the first failure challenge of the year: a one hour game of tic tac toe with students, faculty, and staff from across @dukeuniversity. Because why not? 🤷‍♂️
.
A special thanks to my new partner in #failure, @star.gould, for jumping in as my #learningtofail co-teacher. It’s going to be a fun semester.
.
.
.
.
.
#startup #startups #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #innovation #highereducation #highered
  • Torturing my @dukeinnovation #socialmediamarketing students because it’s the #firstdayofschool at @dukeuniversity 😈🤑🤐
.
.
.
.
.
#innovation #entrepreneur #marketing #mystudentshateme
  • Snuck into the back of today’s @dukefuqua Program for Entrepreneurs kickoff event. Maybe if I attend enough classes I can convince someone to give me a free #MBA 😁
.
.
.
#p4e #entrepreneur #startup #entrepreneurlife #freeMBA
  • I’m hosting today’s @dukeinnovation “Lunch & Learn.” I’m talking with my colleagues about #socialmedia and trying to convince them to take it seriously, so I made them take a group photo for me to post.
.
In related news, doing this kind of thing is why I’ll probably never get #tenure
.
#entrepreneur #startups #lunchandlearn #mycolleagueshateme
  • Today, I lead the first meeting of a @dukeinnovation faculty committee about creating a methodology for teaching #entrepreneurship that can apply to any type of #venture.
.
Mind you, by “lead the meeting” I mostly just mean I was lucky to be in the same room with an amazing group of #scholars and #entrepreneurs who didn’t need any help from me to have a fascinating debate about how to accomplish a nearly impossible task.
.
But at least I got to take a picture from the head of the table 😁
.
#mycolleaguesarebrilliant #innovation #entrepreneur #wholetmein
  • Brought my daughter with me to watch my @dukeinnovation students graduate. She got to see dozens of examples of the kind of person I hope she becomes: brilliant, kind, thoughtful, articulate, talented, caring, confident, and really good at producing high quality work despite a propensity for procrastination 😁
.
Thanks, #duke2018 #graduates for making me love going to school every day. I hope your journeys beyond @dukeuniversity take you into jobs as amazing and rewarding as mine.
.
#graduation #innovation #entrepreneurship #classof2018 #bluedevils
  • Drinks at the @thelakewooddurham with the @dukeuniversity Junior Faculty Association to celebrate the end of another great semester.
  • Congrats to all my @dukeinnovation seniors who gave their final Capstone presentations yesterday.
.
No more #homework. Now it’s time for the #realworld.
.
#duke2018
.
.
.
#innovation #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship
  • Threw an LMOC (Last Monday of Classes) party in my #learningtofail class.
.
The students had to convince their friends to bring food, and they earned points based on how many calories they got delivered to class.
.
Lots of cookies and candies. But the winner was the student who convinced his friend to deliver 30 pounds of flour. 🤣
.
#innovation #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #startup #ldoc #partytime
  • Asked my #learningtofail students to sell a @jollyrancher for $100 today. For the first time ever, everyone #failed.
.
In related news, I heard a report from a campus tour guide that dozens of prospective students and their families were continuously being solicited to buy absurdly expensive candy during their campus visits.
.
What a strange coincidence. Must have been someone else selling candy today, too...😒
.
#innovation #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #sweettooth #collegevisits

Follow Me!