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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.



Monday Morning Meeting #41

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It is time for another Monday Morning Meeting from Filament — your weekly mix of smart ideas and interesting links. Ready to get started?


Please join us for our third birthday party from 3-7 pm on Friday, March 29th with some food, facilitation, fun, and cake! Here’s the link to sign up — and please bring a friend or business colleague.


If you’re mentoring someone suffering from the (very common) imposter syndrome, here are several things to keep in mind, including:

Do not allow your mentee to give you all the credit: When a mentee with imposter syndrome gives you the credit, express thanks and then highlight in no uncertain terms how she deserves the lion’s share of credit — and explain why.

I love this customer experience design question:

If you tried to rework your entire customer experience around the needs and interests of ONE incredible customer, who would that customer be? What would you start to do if you only had to address them in your customer experience?

Cognitive biases are “systematic patterns of deviation from rationality in judgment” and we’ve all got ‘em. Here’s a lengthy list to share (and here’s a cheat sheet) with your team before making a big decision or building a strategic plan. Here are a few of my (new) favorites:

  • Backfire Effect: The reaction to disconfirming evidence by strengthening one's previous beliefs.

  • Ben Franklin Effect: A person who has performed a favor for someone is more likely to do another favor for that person than they would be if they had received a favor from that person

  • The "I-knew-it-all-along" effect: The tendency to see past events as being predictable at the time those events happened.

  • The Law of the Instrument: An over-reliance on a familiar tool or methods, ignoring or under-valuing alternative approaches. "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

  • Pro-Innovation Bias: The tendency to have an excessive optimism towards an invention or innovation's usefulness throughout society, while often failing to identify its limitations and weaknesses.

  • Parkinson’s Law of Triviality: The tendency to give disproportionate weight to trivial issues. Also known as bikeshedding, this bias explains why an organization may avoid specialized or complex subjects, such as the design of a nuclear reactor, and instead focus on something easy to grasp or rewarding to the average participant, such as the design of an adjacent bike shed.

We’ll occasionally use a “Stupid Idea Wall” at Filament to encourage people to share their bad ideas instead of just their good ones. Mitch shares a similar process:

  1. Identify a challenge worth brainstorming.

  2. Conjure up a bad idea in response to it.

  3. Tell someone about your bad idea.

  4. Ask the other person to express something redeemable about your bad idea -- an aspect of it that has merit.

  5. Using this redeemable essence as a clue, brainstorm some new possibilities

The surprising power of simply asking coworkers how they’re doing.


“If you ask for money, you get advice. If you ask for advice, you get money.” — Unknown

The four most dangerous words in the English language are, ‘This time will be different.’” - Naill Ferguson

“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” — Lao Tzu

“It is no good getting furious if you get stuck. What I do is keep thinking about the problem but work on something else.” — Steven Hawking