An App Is What You Make Of It

“An app is what you make of it” is what I said when I met with Matt Hartman at betaworks in NYC.

I made that statement while talking products like Digg, Bloglovin, Snapchat, Medium & Instagram with Matt.

I have been thinking about that and how that ties in with how and why I use Twitter.

I have written about how I use Twitter as an learning tool before. I knew I was getting a lot out of the many hours I spent on Twitter. I knew all along that my mobile usage had increased significantly mainly because of twitter. Despite being well aware of that, I have become a religious Twitter user for the last 6 months.

I built digital relationships on it over several weeks or months. When I reached out to some of those people, they immediately were willing to meet with me. The reach out wasn’t cold. The reach outs weren’t a numbers game. I met people who I really wanted to. They were already familiar with how I think and what I know because of Twitter.

I truly hate the word “networking”. It has such negative connotation. Here’s my take on it from a piece I published a while ago on The Huffington Post.

My personal mantra for networking (read it as connecting) is adding net value to people around you and your communities without any ulterior motives. I think such graciousness sets you up for accomplishments and satisfaction in both personal and professional spheres in the long run. Build relationships with people not for leveraging them, but for enriching their lives. Once you do that, you will win over their hearts too. With this mindset, you will earn a circle of mentors, friends and weak ties that will not let you fail in realizing your aspirations.
Why would you be crazy enough to assist others when you are struggling yourself to get through your corporate jobs or scrappy startup lives ?

I use Twitter as a proxy for in-person get-togethers and meetings because of my geographical limitations. So, when I had a week’s time to visit NYC, I turned all those digital relationships into actual meetings.

So, yes, Twitter is of immense value to me because an app is truly what you make of it.

I feel its important to understand what your short term and long term goals are and then reverse engineer how you could achieve them. Not being able to physically have people immersed in the tech scene had been a major pain point for me my first semester at school. So, I thought about how I could possibly use tools to get some exposure to the people I admired and find knew people to learn from and engage with. This led me to start using Twitter extensively.

In my case, I took to Twitter since that gave me the highest ROI on my time. I think there are tools and processes that one can employ based off of their interests and goals in any industry. Its merely a matter of testing and figuring out what works and gets you closer to what you want. If I were an aspiring photographer, I would have doubled down on Instagram with the same mindset. For finance, it would be a little bit of Twitter & more of Stocktwits. And, so on and so forth.

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