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.


  • 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
  • The white board at the end of today's @dukeinnovation #learningtofail challenge and 200+ games of tic tac toe with strangers. #entrepreneurship #innovation #firstdayofschool
  • 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. 👍

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