“Everything in moderation, including moderation.” – Oscar Wilde
One of the things I’ve struggled with since I started getting involved in technology startups is figuring out my strategy for staying up to date with technology news. This week I’ve been busy at MicroConf and travelling, and my google reader unread count right now is sitting at 1000+. If I spent 30 seconds to read each one of those posts, that would be over 8 hours straight of reading.
Technology by it’s very nature moves fast. Consequently the news that cover it moves at a similarly blinding pace. To be innovative in the space it’s important to be up to date with the latest technologies and trends, but it’s also important to moderate the amount of time and mind share you spend reading what other people are doing. Personally I believe that we are increasingly spending too much time inputting new data, and not enough time thinking about what we’ve read. To be innovative it’s just as important for you to spend time thinking about the things you read, as reading them.
Much creativity occurs when people take concepts from one domain and move them to another, or combine previously unassociated concepts. If you want to be able to find creative solutions, it’s important to spend time learning about things other than technology. You need to find some other disciplines which are going to allow you to bring a unique perspective to the problems that people are having, and allow you to find unique ways to solve those problems using technology.
In the startup lifestyle we always find ourselves being time limited. It’s important to make the time to stay up to date with what is happening in technology, but it’s just as important to make intelligent choices about how much time to spend. At the end of the day missing the latest rumour about the iPhone or the latest Google drama is not going to make or break your business.