Aaron Dinin, PhD
2 min readJul 13, 2020

That could be true. But I think the lesson of this article was critical, and the best way to teach the lesson was to explicitly show what happens in fundraising by sharing my own story. To "pull back the curtain" so to speak.

Too many entrepreneurs spend their entire careers thinking they're failures because all they see are the news articles promoting wildly successful fundraising rounds when the truth behind those fundraising rounds is often very different than what the articles promote. By showing what "success" actually looks like, I hope I gave struggling entrepreneurs a bit more perspective and a bit more hope.

As for the "Those who can..." stuff, people often hit me with that now that I've moved from building startups to teaching entrepreneurship. The things is, I actually 100% agree with the statement.

Doing and teaching are two very different skills. Those who can "do" often can't "teach." Conversely, the best teachers in the world on any given topic are rarely the best at executing the skill, and for good reason.

In the case of startups, building a successful company requires a full-time, 150% effort type commitment . But here's the thing... being a great teacher requires the same kind of time and effort. There aren't enough hours in the day to be good at both, so I chose to focus my energies on the thing I valued more: teaching.

Whether or not I'm any good at it (or will ever be), is, of course, up for debate. But I know one thing for sure: I don't have a chance of becoming as good a teacher as I want to be if I don't give it the attention it deserves.

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