Is Twitter a waste of time?

That was one of the questions on Quora recently. Of course there were so many answers – for and against but the summary was the same – it all DEPENDS on how you use it.

Rather than reiterating what has been said, I thought I will share my own journey with Twitter and how (accidentally) I was able to capitalize on what Twitter had to offer.

From a Skeptic to an Admirer

I will share my story on using Twitter. Like many people here, I was a skeptic about Twitter and never bothered to get in. Not just that, I would tell other people that people waste a lot of time on Twitter. One day, a close friend challenged me by saying that I was shying away from Twitter because I don’t know how to use it, that I am lazy to figure it out.

I thought for a few minutes and realized that what he alleged was probably true. Yes, there are a lot of people who are wasting time (a large majority) but there are a lot of people who are getting a lot out of it too (a minority). The difference was clear – those who were getting something out of it were giving it the right attention that it deserves. They were listening, they were engaging and more importantly they were contributing!

The “Aha Moment” !

Being a writer, I observed one more thing – people were beginning to get very comfortable with sharing and consuming small chunks of information. They were also learning to quickly ignore the “noise” and catch on to the “signal” Researching a bit more, I realized that this was going to be a trend to stay. Twitter or not, people will start to prefer good information in small chunks.

If this were true, all we need to do to capitalize this trend would be to package brilliant insights into small chunks and serve it up.

The Experiment and Beyond…

That was when I created an experiment – writing a book in Twitter format. Long story short – I created a book called #THINKtweet – a collection of 140 “140 character insights” That was two years ago. Here is the video from #140Conf where I released the book.

Partnering with my close friend Mitchell Levy, we created a publishing company called THINKaha that publishes books in the same format. One such book is called #LEADERSHIPtweet by Kevin Eikenberry. Kevin has 140 insights on leadership. It takes 30 minutes to read the book. But it takes days to reflect on it. I have friends who are reading Kevin’s book every month and they tell me that every time they read it, they get different insights because THEIR life has changed over the last 30 days. Would they have re-read the book if it was in the longer format? May be but for sure this format makes it extremely easy.

You can see the other books in the same format here:

Taking the concept to iPhone

The logical next step for us was to take these books to iPhone so we got a THINKaha iPhone App and released it.

You can download the app here and at this point in time, you can pretty much get all the books on THINKaha series for FREE on the iPhone App.…

Thanks to the fine folks at Mokriya who designed and developed the app, people love the THINKAha app and the downloads are growing every single day.


If I had thought Twitter was a waste of time and stayed away from it, today we would not have had a growing publishing company. There is a treasure chest buried within Twitter. THINKaha was our way of discovering what treasure. May be there is another way that works for you. All it requires is to have an open mind and execute well!