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Useful or Entertaining

This post will take you about 3 minutes to read.

When you come up with a new idea, how do you know if it’s any good?

Good means different things to different people. A good idea to one person might be a terrible idea to someone else.

Instead of asking others if your idea is good or not, try asking yourself another question first.

The Internet is a curious and strange place. The last few months, I’ve noticed how Twitter has really changed. Twitter is losing the attention of a lot of people. Folks are giving that attention to other places.

Why is that?

Twitter is noisy. There is a lot there that is expendable. Almost all.

But for me, there are still a few folks worth following and listening to.

What are these people doing differently?

Take Brad Panovich or @wxbrad. He’s a meteorologist in Charlotte, NC. Panovich is probably my top recommendation to follow on Twitter. That is, of course, if you’re living in or around Charlotte.

He is relentless with information and forecasts. He works every day to share what to expect with the weather. Wondering if it’s going to rain on a summer day? Check with Panovich.

He’s your personal weather expert. Twitter isn’t his only outlet. He shares on Facebook and his website/blog.

People trust Panovich. Why?

Because almost every single thing that he shares is useful.

The weather can impact your day in a lot of different ways, and Panovich gets that. He strives to be reliable and accurate. He responds to folks that ask him questions, and that builds trust.

It makes Panovich useful.

Another follow of mine that I enjoy is Spencer Hall or @edsbs. His tweets aren’t exactly useful.

Take this one as an example.

That’s not useful. And it’s not even funny to some people. To me? That’s hilarious.

Hall’s tweets sometimes make me audibly laugh, actually out loud, when in public. That’s incredible.

Hall has other outlets too. A blog, Every Day Should be Saturday. A podcast. He’s on snapchat (@edsbsnappy) and Instagram too.

On Twitter, he has almost 100,000 followers. They’re not following him because he’s useful. You follow @edsbs because almost everything that he shares is entertaining.

It’s pure entertainment.

If someone comes to me with an a project or something that needs to be done, the first question I’ll ask is, “Is this useful? How is it useful?”

And if it’s not useful, it better be entertaining.

And if it’s not useful or entertaining, there is only one other basket left. That’s useless.

To us, business is really not rocket science. It’s just do useful stuff. And avoid useless.

Manoj Bhargava, founder of 5-Hour Energy

Bhargava described how he runs his company and the question he asks when someone has an idea or project they want to work on.

Is this useful? If it’s not useful, is it entertaining?

2 baskets. Useful and entertaining. If it doesn’t fall into one of those baskets, the idea is useless.

Stop wondering if your idea is any good.

Start asking yourself if your idea is useful or entertaining.