Aaron Dinin, PhD
1 min readJun 3, 2023

I definitely agree in principle. However, what I was trying to convey (and obviously didn't do a good job of based on your response) is a worry that the truth would be too harsh and unhelpful.

In the case of my friend in the article, he was so excited about the opportunity he thought he discovered but so woefully ignorant of what needed to be done to achieve it that I didn't know how to help him. There was just too much he didn't understand.

In retrospect, I feel like a lot of my early conversations with VCs were like that. I was very enthusiastic about my startup, but enthusiasm doesn't "pay the bills," so to speak.

Even a good VC couldn't reasonably tell me everything I was doing wrong, but, at the same time, maybe a good VC wouldn't want to dash my hopes and enthusiasm knowing those things, more than any knowledge he was going to give, were going to be the things that got me through.

If that was the case, it was true. My enthusiasm was much more important for my ability to learn and improve than any advice he could have given me.

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Aaron Dinin, PhD

I teach entrepreneurship at Duke. Software Engineer. PhD in English. I write about the mistakes entrepreneurs make since I’ve made plenty. More @ aarondinin.com