I read a lot as do many of the other folks I know. A few people I know have over 200+ feeds on their Google reader. But most of it is of little use. Its the digital equivalent of “keeping up with the Joneses“.
The theory goes you have to read enough to know how to take advantage of the opportunities that are created.
So think about this. How much use is that piece of news of Friendster or its funding of value to you now? Or news of any of the other 2000+ Web 2.0 companies that came, released and went away?
Don’t get me wrong. Its valuable to know stuff. You’re more likely to create opportunities that way.
But its more valuable to create stuff. You see, creation expresses the form of reading that is active, and gives you the ability to express that way.
What I mean by that is to write – a blog, a book, a curated article, anything, but WRITE.
Even if you are an exceptional individual that retains 80% of what you read, I contend 50% or more of that is useless within 6 months.
- Lessons learned from startups that are successful, or failed.
- How one company get profiled on Techcrunch.
- How yet another entrepreneur got funding from YC.
All useless until you put it to use.
The reason is even if you read a lot, you next step is to think about it and process it. Then you form an opinion and finally decide on implementing your thoughts. The trouble with that process is 70% of what you read you dont believe you can act on ASAP – so its forgotten.
The FIRST way to put it to use is to write. Even if no one else reads (which I doubt anyway).
So stop “keeping up with the digital Joneses” – start writing.
Here’s one technique – give up 50% of you feeds, news sites and blogs you read and use that time to process the 50% you decide to keep and start writing. See how much further that takes you.