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

  • #theresnoplacelikehome #goduke
  • Happy first day of #socialmarketing class @dukeuniversity. Let’s see how many of my students hate me by the end of the semester #FDOC #entrepreneur #innovation
  • #learningtofail is back. Today’s challenge for my new batch of @dukeinnovation students: bring me a snowball, a tire, and a lock of someone’s hair. I wanted to test their #entrepreneurmindset. Got some interesting and unexpected results #innovation #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #failure
  • When I tell people I was “sitting center ice this weekend,” I’ll probably leave out the part about the #hockey players looking a lot like @disney characters... #daddyadventures
  • Final pitches for @dukeinnovation #learningtofail. Did Fami win by helping students catch their buses? Or did Nick win by helping students find jobs? Find out in My Story. #entrepreneur #startup #pitchoff #pitchplease #mystudentsprobablyhateme
  • Hosted what my @dukeinnovation students described as “the lamest party ever” as our final #learningtofail challenge. Watch My Story to see the outcome. #entrepreneur #party #lameparty #dietfood 😒
  • In today’s #learningtofail challenge, my current  @dukeinnovation students had to find my students from a previous semester, bring them presents, and share a #selfie as proof. The most impressive was a pair of students who delivered someone a #glutenfree desert during her class IN COPENHAGEN! #impressive #hustlehard #entrepreneurship
  • 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

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