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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 #48

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Welcome to Filament’s Monday Morning Meeting: a mix of Filament news, the tools we use, and the interesting ideas to help you think differently about your week ahead.


We’re back in town after a week in New York, where we facilitated three different workshops (24 hours of different “content” spread over three full days without a single PowerPoint slide). We promised attendees at the ILTA events we’d share all the tools we used, and will post the link here next week for our newsletter readers as well.


Rob Walker shares another great icebreaker in his weekly newsletter:

Tell me something about yourself that I could never tell from looking at you.”

This oral history of the Making of Amazon Prime is absolutely riveting! There’s so much insight into just how messy disruption can be, as well as several amazing anecdotes, such as this one about the secret meeting when Jeff Bezos introduced the idea of “free” shipping to his team:

The thing I remember very distinctly is this phrase: “I want to draw a moat around our best customers. We’re not going to take our best customers for granted.” He said something along the lines of: I’m going to change the psychology of people not looking at the pennies differences between buying on Amazon versus buying somewhere else.

And I think that completely changed the mentality. It was brilliant. It made Amazon the default.

If you’re trying to “sell” a new way of working in your company or nonprofit, you might take some lessons from the chart in this article that lays out the Top Ten Rebuttals to “Agile (Development) is Great, But It Won’t Work Here.” It gives a response to six different organizational roles (CEO, CTO, Middle Manager, etc.) to several “It won’t work here because …” statements.

Mentors are good, coaches are better.

This is an interesting continuous framework about Good Things, Ruts, and Transitions:

A Good Thing never leads directly to a Transition, in large part because it has no reason to. A Good Thing wants to remain a Good Thing, and this is precisely why it becomes a Rut. Ruts, on the other hand, want desperately to change into something else.

Transitions can be indistinguishable from Ruts. The only important difference is that new events can occur during Transitions, whereas Ruts, by definition, consist of the same thing happening over and over. (via)

Looking for some working music that will get you into the zone? Check out Focus@Will, a service that streams “scientifically optimized music to help you focus.”

Finally, if you never knew you needed to watch a video showcasing Shuudan Koudou — the Japanese Art of Synchronized Precision Walking — you do now.


“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” — Anais Nin

“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.”William James

”Anything you build on a large scale or with intense passion invites chaos.” — Francis Ford Coppola

"I can give you a six-word formula for success: Think things through--then follow through." — Edward Rickenbacker