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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 #56

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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.


Filament will be featured on FOX2 Monday morning between 9 and 10:30 am today. We’re not sure we’ll get a video to post, but if you’re reading this super-early on Monday, tune in to see Todd and I talk about better meetings.

Come join us for Happy Hour on Wednesday, as we head across the street to welcome The Last Hotel to the neighborhood!


We’ll be doing another Filament Friday on July 19th. If you’d like to work with us, share a challenge you’re working on, and/or offer a bit of help to others who might appreciate a hand. RSVP here.


Seth Godin explains how great presentations are a series of stories:

Don’t memorize your talk. Memorize your stories. Ten stories make a talk. Write yourself a simple cue card to remember each story’s name. Then tell us ten stories.

Though we also do a lot of purpose-driven nonprofit work at Filament, we agree with the sentiment that helping large companies innovate matters.

Here are ten ways to brainstorm ideas when your brain is fried. An interesting one is “Ignore your Superpower:

Whatever our unique skill set is (e.g., writer or designer), it’s easy for us to rely on those superpowers when trying to overcome a creative block. But sometimes it helps to challenge yourself to try a different (or totally opposite) approach.

For example, if a copywriter needs to beat out a story but doesn’t know what to say, messy storyboarding with stick figures can help them visualize it. Conversely, when a designer needs to communicate something visually but can’t think of an image, looking up the root definition of a word can inspire an idea.

A useful primer: The Difference Between Tylenol, Aspirin, Advil, and Aleve.

Forget the “Minimally Viable Product” to validate your startup. Use the Riskiest Assumption Test instead:

A Riskiest Assumption Test is explicit. There is no need to build more than what’s required to test your largest unknown. No expectation of perfect code or design. No danger it will prematurely become a product.

A Riskiest Assumption Test puts the focus on learning. It is a candle in the darkness that allows us to move forward one step at a time. Once you’ve validated the riskiest assumption you can move on to the next largest one. Gradually building confidence in the viability of your idea.

The key to this is rapid, small tests. What’s the smallest experiment you can do to test your biggest assumption?

Heres something from The Stanford D School I couldn’t wait to share this week: Their Design Question Library with resources and answers to questions like “Where do new ideas come from?” and “Why do building, sharing, and testing a work in progress help you get to a good solution?

What might be even better? This Library of Ambiguity.

Looking for ways to reimagine your status meetings? Here are some solid tips.

These Google Art Zoom talks are super interesting!

I loved these mini-documentaries on Muppets creator Jim Henson.


"We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference, and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity."— George Takei

“The most talented, thought-provoking, game-changing people are never normal.” — Richard Branson

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” — Dorothy Parker

“When you can do a common thing in an uncommon way; you will command the attention of the world.” — George Washington Carver

“An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.” — Oscar Wilde

“Perfection is no small thing, but it is made up of small things.” — Michelangelo


If you’d like to subscribe to the Monday Morning Meeting or check out older issues, you can do so here.