BoS digest: on Twitter

I’m late to Twitter. At first, I didn’t see the point. Why would I care that you had bacon and eggs rather than your usual organic muesli this morning, and how exactly can the headache that’s currently splitting my head rock your boat? But now, I’m hooked. I still don’t care about your breakfast and won’t tell you about my aches and pains, but I’ve slowly realised that I’d missed the point. It’s not about sharing the boring minutiae of our lives. Instead, I’m using it to share useful snippets of information I come across.

Did you know that Teddy Roosevelt said “The thrill is in overcoming your own fear” about bear hunting, or that Paul Romer said “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste”? When I read these, I have an irresistible temptation to share them. Twitter means I don’t have to resist: as Oscar Wilde said, the only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. And did you know that Stephen Fry declared December 1st to be Oscar Wilde day and got hundreds of replies from his 25,282 followers?

So, if you want to know that President Tubman of Liberia gave two pygmy hippopotamuses to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1961, or that Churchill once said that however beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results, then join twitter and follow me. Often, but not always, if you squint hard enough and if you're clever enough then you’ll be able to spot a tenuous link to the business of software. My account is

I’m reinstating the question of the week on the Business of Software social network. This week’s question is Twitter: why do, or why don’t, you use it? I’ll send a $20 amazon voucher to whoever comes up with the best response.

I’ve posted the video of Jessica Livingston’s Business of Software 2008 talk online. Jessica talks about the lessons she’s learned from her interviews with, among others, Paul Graham, Steve Wozniak, Mitch Kapor and Joel Spolsky.

If you haven’t already done so, then check out the other videos of Steve Johnson, Cory Doctorow, Paul Kenny, Eric Sink, Dharmesh Shah, Jason Fried and Alexis Ohanian.

Elsewhere on the forums, people are still discussing their biggest marketing mistakes, whether to use resellers and whether product managers are overpaid.

Finally, I dug up Hewlett Packard’s original 1937 business plan. Read about it on my blog, and post up your comments. I’ll send a copy of the HP way by Dave Packard to the best reply.

Next week, I hope to bring news about Business of Software 2009. To stay up to date, follow me on Twitter, or subscribe to my blog, or sign up to the Business of Software social network.