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An Inch Wide An Inch Deep or You Are What You(r Friends) Tweet

Everyone has heard the term - a mile wide and an inch deep

Well here's the corollary - an inch wide and an inch deep

Bryce Roberts has a great post up on his blog today: You Become Who You Hang Around

How true it is - and never more so than in the world of news and information

More and more people get almost all of their news from a Twitter feed, and while this is certainly a valuable real time hose of data - it is, by its very nature, self limiting to the feeds you put into it - and the time you spend reading those feeds.

Put in too few and you don't get enough information. Put in too many and you are overwhelmed, and can't possible read all the articles - so you resort to reading the headlines.

Speaking of headlines, how many people really click through the tweets to get to the ultimate story? Is reading the headline enough?

Thus my comment: an inch wide and an inch deep. Not enough information, and not enough depth of knowledge about the information you get. And because you are curating among the people you already know - and are probably similar in taste to yourself, you get almost no serendipidous content.

Me, I'm stuck riding the rails every day. So I get the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The New York Post every day. Add 30 plus magazines and a ton of RSS feeds and I feel like I am pretty well informed at any given moment. almost as important, I'm exposed to a ton of information that I might never see otherwise - professional curation works pretty well.

So why is this important? Why does this matter to me?

In the VC world, outside of the obvious investment skills you need to have, the most important skill is probably your ability to relate to people - find areas of commonality - get along. The more you know, the easier it is to find common ground. the more common ground you find - the more likely it is that you will do something together - all else being equal.

Just as Facebook and other social media have formed a ton of "weak ties" among people - Twitter has spawned an era of "weak ties" among data and information - giving us the headlines and little more.

People are consuming more and digesting less.

In other words - an inch wide and an inch deep.

You truly are what your friends tweet!


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