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The Filament Blog


We all suffer from a profound case of “Idea Surplus Disorder” at Filament — and we think that’s a good thing. Here are some of those ideas we’d like to share with you.



Filamental Links 1

Welcome to Filamental Links, our regular collection of irregular (and interesting) things we've found around the web.

Solid is an app promising "productive and actionable meetings, every time" that might be worth a look if your team struggles with implementing meeting best practices like agendas, asigning actionable tasks and making decisions.

Stop thinking these Twelve Toxic Thoughts (via Abduzeezo)

Rethinking the placebo effect

It has always been assumed that the placebo effect only works if people are conned into believing that they are getting an actual active drug. But now it seems this may not be true. Belief in the placebo effect itself — rather than a particular drug — might be enough to encourage our bodies to heal.

Ever want to meet someone cool each and every day? A Person You Should Know does just that. Here's some particularly great advice from Jason Fried to Cut Your Big Ideas in Half

We want this beautiful circuitry-inspired schematic about electronic music.

Want to be inspired by lots of great questions?  Check out Ideas for the Brave.

What does collaboration mean?

Collaboration means bringing different minds and skillsets together in a way that doesn’t make assumptions about what someone is or isn’t good at. It means dispensing with limiting roles, and introducing a fluidity of thought and activity into the design team. Above all, it means putting interconnectedness at the heart of every action.

Here's an alternative view of pricing theory, from Henry David Thoreau:

"The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it."

Here are lots of great business-related GIFS from Creative Mornings like this one:

Speaking of GIFs, here's one for the shopping season that comes from this band's video.

What an amazing idea: the Monster Project: takes monsters drawn by kids which are recreated by artists in their own styles.

Delight gives you a stunning HD video screensaver. Absolutely beautiful!

Ty Mattson combines two of our favorite things:  Star Wars and Saul Bass:

New ideas are almost always better, according to Neil Degrasse Tyson:

In practically every idea we have as humans, the older version of it is not better than the newer version. With the invested effort of generations, and centuries, and sometimes millennia of smart people who have been born since the idea came out, we have improved ideas.

Here's a much better way to solicit and implement ideas across your organization from Quirk.

Your product is all there is:

What do I mean by this? [A]t the end of the day for most people the product either works or it doesn’t. It either fills a need of theirs (one they may not have know they had before encountering your product) or it doesn’t. Again, the vast majority of users will neither know of nor care about your vision.

This is worth repeating over and over again: your product is all there is. For the insiders in the know it is so easy to project the vision onto the product and they will always see it. But that is not how everyone else experiences it. Always keep this in mind. This by the way is true not just for consumer products but also for B2B ones.

So what should you do? Lots and lots of enduser observation of people who know nothing about your grand plans. And product improvement based on that feedback. Rinse and repeat and good things will happen.

Here are some interesting thoughts on project managers' new role in the modern organization.

Anyone else miss the prank call?

Vintage Typewriter Porn (in a good, SFW way).

At your next conference, give Scott Berkun's Min/Max Note Taking Methodology a shot:

  1. When a session ends, immediately make a list of 5 bullets per talk. 

  2. Use breaks and lunch to catch up and summarize.

  3. Consider taking notes on paper. 

  4. Annotate links and references from the talk.

  5. Post your summary on your blog (& twitter with the conference hashtag

  6. Share a one page summary at work.

Solid Startup Playbook advice from Sam Altman of Y Combinator:

Your goal as a startup is to make something users love. If you do that, then you have to figure out how to get a lot more users. But this first part is critical—think about the really successful companies of today. They all started with a product that their early users loved so much they told other people about it. If you fail to do this, you will fail. If you deceive yourself and think your users love your product when they don’t, you will still fail. The startup graveyard is littered with people who thought they could skip this step. It’s much better to first make a product a small number of users love than a product that a large number of users like. Even though the total amount of positive feeling is the same, it’s much easier to get more users than to go from like to love.

Seth Godin nails the things we're working on here at Filament:

"What if instead, you created a reputation as the person or organization that can honestly say, "you can't get this from anyone but me?"

See you again soon!

LinksMatthew Homann