I teach at Duke & started RocketBolt

Earned a PhD in English while teaching myself to code and build companies. I enjoy sharing my entrepreneurial and academic misadventures.

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

  • 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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