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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 2

Welcome to another collection of the interesting, fun and eclectic things we've found on the web recently. Think of this as a bit of an Idea Garage Sale -- but for you, everything's free.

Here we go!

At Filament, we're building our meetings, conferences, retreats and off-sites to work great for extroverts and introverts. That's why we love this Map of the Introvert's Heart from Gemma Correll so much.


Don Smith reminds us about that innovation and invention are not the same:

While invention is the precursor to innovation, another critical ingredient is required. The value proposed in said invention must also be adopted by customers. I often wonder how many truly useful inventions never materialized because their value proposition was never effectively communicated to potential beneficiaries. The sad truth is, most inventors are really good at developing very useful inventions, but lack the skills to effectively communicate the value proposition. Therefore, an additional precursor to innovation is effectively and successfully marketing inventions. Inventors come up with really interesting and clever ideas. However, it’s the innovators who take a clever invention and effectively communicate the value proposition, which then drives significant adoption (i.e. lots of customers). I would like to suggest that the true measure of innovation is the rate of social adoption of some value proposition (social or technological) in a market.

We're proud to be from St. Louis. Here's an amazing video our friends at Grain about our city.


When you're writing anything, begin with story. And if you are thinking about stories, nobody does it better than Pixar.  Here are their 22 Rules of Storytelling.  Our faves:

#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.

#4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

#5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

#9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

#17: No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on - it’ll come back around to be useful later.

Not quite sure why this should surprise, but we learn more when we learn together.

Got a minute? Here are the 42 funniest YouTube videos under one minute long.

Want to know EVERYTHING Wile E. Coyote bought from ACME to catch the Roadrunner?  Wonder no more.


Would you go to a bookstore that sold only one book per week?

Getting organizations to learn isn't as hard as getting them to "unlearn."

If we look to the fall of great corporations, i.e. the way in which once great organizations suffered the indignity of being run over by smaller, nimbler competitors, this issue comes into stark focus. The great US car companies did not run into trouble because of too little knowledge. Nor did Kodak, or Commodore Computers, or Kmart, or Blackberry. All of these were companies with a tremendous amount of knowledge and, lest we forget, massive investments in research, development and additional learning.
What they lacked, then, was not learning, but a system of unlearning. For all the resources put into R&D and HR, they lacked a process by which they could rid their organizations of learnt behaviors that was holding the organization back. New knowledge was merely piled onto the existing knowledge base of the company, and when there was a lack of fit, the old knowledge still reigned supreme.
The organizations simply remained unchanged, no matter how much they learnt.
An organization without a system of unlearning will thus be forever caught up in its old ideas about “best practices”, hamstrung by the inability to let learning occur on a deep level. Whilst the notion of a learning organization sounds good, establishing such without a thorough analysis of how unlearning can occur is a fool’s errand. For HR, this puts up the following challenges:

Ever wonder how the term "to 86 something" came to be?

Charles Christian has it right: "If you need to take an hour to give a presentation, then you need to take a course on how to cut 30 minutes from it."

Stop your complaining, it is literally killing you.

Finally, here's why rejection is a good sign you're on to something new from Paola Antonelli:


Until next time ...

Links, CreativityMatthew Homann