Five-hundred million daily jolts of information, reshuffled every second, weighed up for what value they hold. Each with an average lifetime of 18 minutes.
But let me tell you a secret: virtually all of Twitter just equals noise. Smoke. Stuff you don't want and can't use. So why bother?
Because every now and then, it works. You discover an invaluable piece of advice, a powerful insight or a link to an incredible resource.
How? Simple: when you select people to follow and pay attention to, do extra diligence. Take discernment to an extreme.
Yes -- you can (and should) follow the Richard Bransons and the Bill Gateses. No doubt they have plenty to offer.
But these seven have something special to give you. Found via some of their best tweets, grab their wisdom here:
7x entrepreneur, coauthor of The Startup Owner's Manual with Steve Blank, advisor to startups
"Angry Birds plummets from #1 paid ITunes app to earth. Another high flyer crashes after declaring victory." - via @bobdorf
Two things about empires.
First: they don't stick around forever. Ask the Romans, Mongolians or British.
So yes, even the mighty Angry Birds empire can fall.
And second? They pretend to be too big to fail.
Dorf tells you a cautionary tale in one tweet: matters not how great, your victories can evaporate.
Reason enough to cut the hubris, stay humble and go plant seeds for meaningful victories. Little hint: you don't need to serve a million people to make a serious difference.
Cofounder of Andreesen Horowitz, author of The Hard Thing About Hard Things, venture capitalist
"Capitalism is the best system in the world, but also extremely frustrating...A nurse, whose dedication to her craft saves lives and brings hope to the hopeless, will make a fraction of what a crappy banker, who brings misery to everyone she encounters, earns." - via @bhorowitz
Sound like something a major venture capitalist would say?
Horowitz uses his special gift for observation here. The facts tell the truth; your assumptions don't matter. Even the sacred cow of capitalism gets examined under Horowitz's microscope.
Try this: in your business today, look at something under your nose as if you've never seen it before, and just observe. Like Horowitz did with capitalism. How clear is your vision? Some taboo coloring your perception?
The answer might change the nature of your startup.
"Success is what happens after you've survived all your mistakes." - via @RyanWestwood
Ever failed at something? Well done -- you get a pat on the back. You took a risk and went for it.
Ever suffered a crushing failure, picked yourself up and tried again? Congratulations: you've just raised yourself above the pack. Repeat until you reach success.
When it comes to failure, entrepreneurs must live in a different world. Just like you can't climb a mountain without oxygen, you can't reach success without mistakes.
Right on, Ryan.
Founder of Science of People, body language expert
"I'd rather be weird than fake." - via @vvanedwards
You don't have much middle ground as an entrepreneur. You're either a little weird or a little fake.
Which will you pick?
Warning: huge wisdom overdose in Edwards' comment. Accept your weirdness and you just might stumble on who you truly need to become.
Simon Sinek struggled as an entrepreneur until he figured out what he really wanted to do: to inspire people to do the things that inspire them. And what happened? Big time success.
Take it from a lifelong weirdo (me): go ahead, embrace it. The right people will thank you for it.
Author of The 80/20 Principle, entrepreneur, investor
"Is your company worth believing in? The most successful companies are those who have a purpose shared by all." - via @RichardKoch8020
Ask yourself: why does your company exist?
Without a clear answer, why should anyone believe in what you do and give you their best efforts?
The key words in Koch's tweet? The most successful companies. Sure, you can gain traction without a strong purpose. But locked up at the top of the entrepreneurial pyramid sits one thing: purpose.
Start with a strong purpose, framed around a customer.
2x entrepreneur turned venture capitalist, runs Bothsides of the Table
"No access to a TV but thanks to Twitter I can follow the debate. For all who say they should copy FB: this is exactly what makes Twitter unique." - via @msuster
Suster's talent for straight talk shines through this simple tweet. Again and again, you see him offer counterpoints to common knowledge.
New ideas. Bold statements. Ridiculous comments. (And the occasional typo.)
Do you need to agree with everything? Certainly not. But as an entrepreneur, you live to break accepted ways of doing things. So you need contrarians, and successful entrepreneur-contrarians even more so. Why? To push you out of your mental habits.
Ignore at your own risk.
Founder of Firepole Marketing, bestselling author, advisor
"'Who is your ONE person?' This is THE message I have needed to hear for 10 years!" - via @antijerk
Try to get paid to solve one problem for just one person. Hard enough, right? Now: try to do this with 100 different people and different problems.
Yes -- super wasteful. You'll spread yourself razor-thin. Guess what: wise entrepreneurs focus on a small set of ideal customers.
No clue what kind of person your ideal customer is? No time to waste: fix this, pronto. Top of your list.
Think of it: a mere generation ago entrepreneurs had to physically trudge down to the library for books to upgrade themselves. But the ones who did this got better.
Same here. Except now, you have the power of Twitter to help you learn and connect.
Hi, I'm Harry -- a fellow entrepreneur. Keen to help you discover customers you'd love to serve.Let's connect.