Essays

How Young Entrepreneurs Can Find World Changing Ideas

As someone who teaches in an entrepreneurship program, I spend lots of time talking with my students about how to come up with ideas for products and companies. Personally, when assessing the potential of a company, I don’t prioritize ideas or products. I believe the most important indicator of success is a company’s approach to […]

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The Two-Letter Word That Will Kill Your Startup

As a young entrepreneur, I remember calculating the market opportunity for multiple startup ideas using some formulation of the following “back-of-the-envelope” math: The market has X-many-millions of people. So, if I only capture Y-tiny-percent of that market, I’m going to have Z-ridiculous-amount of money. Luckily, I advanced beyond that kind of flawed thinking fairly quickly. […]

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Instagram

  • Asked my #learningtofail students to sell a @jollyrancher for $100 today. For the first time ever, everyone #failed.
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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.
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What a strange coincidence. Must have been someone else selling candy today, too...😒
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#innovation #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #sweettooth #collegevisits
  • Finally had a freshman discover the Duke-sponsored free lunch opportunity.
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I forgot to ask Julia about the most important thing she’s learned in my class, but she’s taking another one with me next semester, so I feel like that’s a good sign she’s not just using me to get free food ☺️
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#innovation #entrepreneur #entrepreneruship #socialmediamarketing #teaching #freelunch
  • The end-of-semester FLUNCH parade continues... this time with Thomas, one of my soon-to-be-graduating seniors in the @dukeinnovation capstone who’s heading off to work @txinstruments.
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When asked to share the most important thing I’ve taught him about #entrepreneurship, Thomas had trouble coming up with an answer. Sounds about right 🤔
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#entrepreneur #innovation #teaching #freelunch #duke2018
  • “When you go into a company, whatever you decide to do, you want to be closest to the money. That’s the safest place to be in every business.” - @cleithe, VP of Sales for @adwerxre, who I conned into speaking to both my @dukeinnovation capstone classes.
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#sales #marketing #startups #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #innovation
  • Doing a little FLUNCH with @adam_kershner,  Ben Lee, and Adam’s freshman roommate who was just there for the free lunch ☺️
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Adam says the most important thing I taught him was: “How to think differently and approach problems in an unorthodox way, and how that approach to problem solving is one of the most valuable lessons from Duke.”
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Honestly, I don’t think I taught him that. I think he already knew it when he showed up as a freshman in my very first class @dukeuniversity. Now he’s a graduating senior in my @dukeinnovation capstone, and it’s been a privilege to watch his Duke journey. I’m sure he’s going to do great things, and I look forward to following his post-college journey via Instagram.
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P.S. Adam, tell Ben to follow me here so I can keep tabs on him, too 😉
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#innovation #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #startups #teaching #duke2018
  • “I’m not tasked with trying to sell you anything. Thankfully. There’s nothing more boring. What we’re looking to do is be magnetic. Pull you into our orbit. Be interesting.” -  @gavinohara, the global social creative lead for @lenovo, talking with my @dukeinnovation class about the importance of sharing good content online instead of trying to “sell.”
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#entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #innovation #socialmediamarketing #socialmarketing #startups #corporatemarketing
  • Here’s the final viral #meme  video created by my @dukeinnovation #learningtofail class: #piggybackchallenge
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Would you randomly take a ride on a stranger’s back? 😁
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#innovation #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #startups #socialmediamarketing #viralvideos #memes #memestagram
  • Being part of @dukeinnovation is the best.
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Spent an hour discussing how I&E can help support Duke’s new #esports initiative, then spent an hour with @clairecatenaccio talking about launching a new I&E course connected with the #classics department.
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Where else could I get to think about Homer and video games in the same afternoon? Errr... except for a @thesimpsons video game. But not that kind of Homer ☺️
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#innovation #entrepreneurship #entrepreneurseverywhere
  • A tour group of prospective students encounters viral #meme number three from my @dukeinnovation #learningtofail class: #cornered
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Watch all the way through. Totally worth it 😂
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#innovation #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #startups #socialmediamarketing #viralvideos #memes #memestagram
  • Viral #meme number two from my @dukeinnovation #learningtofail class: #forkflipchallenge
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They seem to be liberally interpreting my “nothing dangerous” rule... 😒
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#innovation #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #startups #socialmediamarketing #viralvideos #memes #memestagram
  • In today’s @dukeinnovation #learningtofail class, I challenged my students to create #viral memes.
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They’ve got one week to get as many people as they can to watch, recreate, and post their own versions.
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Who wants to help them out? Here’s the first meme: #smoothpickupchallenge
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#innovation #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #startups #socialmediamarketing #viralvideos #memes #memestagram
  • A bumblebee 🐝 has fallen in love with my motion-activated security camera. It would be adorable if it didn’t keep making me think a burglar was breaking into my house 😒
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#truelove #birdsandthebees #camerasandthebees

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