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

  • My @dukeinnovation capstone students at @adwerxre learning about #sales, #bizdev, and #closing from one of the best: @cleithe #entrepreneur #hustle #innovation #fieldtrip
  • Kirsten Hamstra, global head of social media @sassoftware, talking about corporate #socialmarketing strategies with my @dukeinnovation class: "A lot of brands think social only belongs in the marketing department, but the companies that are really benefiting from social are the ones that understand how it can help across an organization -- #HR, #recruiting, #R&D, #sales... everything."
  • A mini-reunion of the dorm formerly-known-as-Aycock, 2001. Who wins the award for least-receded hairline? #bluedevils #tildeathdouspartin
  • A little @dukeuniversity alumni love from @natedevil and @raleighsparty's wedding. #truelove #tildeathdouspartin #mawwage
  • Pretty much how I feel after a 7 meeting day. #entrepreneurship #hustling #sales #closing #wheatenterrier #furbaby #exhausted
  • Suggested caption: "I took Dr. Dinin's #learningtofail class and all I got was this stupid power strip." Watch My Story to see what other worthless things my students bartered for during today's failure challenge #entrepreneurship #tradingup #paperclips  #powerstrips
  • Teaching my little girl to #dreambig 🐻😆
  • For some reason, a discussion about the risks of using #socialmedia for professional development while hanging out with @fhi_duke's PhD Lab students seemed like a delightfully ironic time to snap a #selfie. #socialmediamarketing #immature
  • In today's #learningtofail class, we answered the age old question: What happens when 24 @dukeuniversity students go Trick-Or-Treating around campus for one hour on the day before #halloween? See My Story for the answer. Spoiler alert: it ends with almost 5,000 pieces of #candy 🍭 #entrepreneur #trickortreat #sugarhigh
  • When life gives you lemons, throw them away, go buy a 48oz tomahawk ribeye, and grill it up! #steak #sousvide #cholesterol #moo
  • #pumpkincarving with the @dukeinnovation education team. #entrepreneur #teambuilding #halloween #sharpthings
  • Hosted my first dorm dinner tonight. Ate some #chicken and talked #entrepreneurship with the kids from Brownstone. Tried to convince them to stop worrying about which major is going to get them a job and start taking classes they enjoy. After all, as the kids like to say... #yolo 🤣

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