It may already be apparent to you, but I’ve recently realized that the best blogs, tweets and podcasts are the ones that actually do something for me. Seems obvious, right? By “do”, I mean they do at least one of the following:

  • Enrich my life
  • Inspire me
  • Teach me something

Enrichment makes me glad to be human, and quite often makes me feel human once-again. The good stuff makes me laugh, smirk at some bit of unexpected cleverness, or gain a fresh perspective. The best sources of my enrichment are often non-tech, almost always come from unexpected places, especially when I’m not looking for it.

Inspirational content helps me turn my ideas into reality. It helps me zoom past “should I”, turn the corner at “when will I”, and head straight for “I’m doing it NOW.” Paul Graham was big for me a few years ago when I realized how difficult it is for me to feel excited about others' goals (aka my employer’s). I fancied starting a company of my own as a playground for my self-motivation. Paul’s essays helped me get over the “can I even make it as a small software company?” fear.

Eventually I found a product idea that I wanted to act on, and by this time I’d been inspired enough that I wasn’t crippled by fear. I began building the product, started a company with a friend, and made a run for it. However, that fish has been floundering from the start. It feels like I’m running on the fumes of a vague notion that I once had a fucking clue. Inspiration does nothing for you at this stage. It’s fluffy and airy all the time, which is not the reality that I’m experiencing. This is where the teaching content comes in handy.

Bring it on. I need it.