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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 #60


Welcome to the Monday Morning Meeting: A weekly collection of Filament news, tools you can use, and interesting ideas that will help you think differently about your week ahead.


OUR SPRINT SPACE IS OPEN! Our new Sprint Space is open for business. If you’re looking for a creative space to work with your team for a week or a month — and might appreciate some Filament services to help you — come on down and check out our new Sprint Space. We’re really pleased how it turned out, and will share some pictures next week.


If you’re looking for a great morning routine for your team, borrow an idea from the Japanese and do a Chorei (a morning standup focused on motivating everyone to have their best day):

Every team is different, so designing your own Chorei should be a collectively creative process. Take suggestions from your team on what they’d like to try as a group activity in the morning. Here are just a few out-of-the-box ideas:

  • Include a 3-minute standing meditation or visualization from an app like Calm or Headspace.

  • Nominate a handful of people each day to share a personal goal they’re working towards. In many Chorei, this is considered “speech training” for employees.

  • Have a rotating inspirational mini-speech from leadership.

  • Crowdsource interesting industry headlines or tips from relevant news to share knowledge.

  • Track towards a shared company goal with a daily progress chart.

  • Do a team chant or cheer, or maybe just yell really loud!

In the Five Elements of Effective Thinking, authors Edward Burger and Michael Starbird suggest a better way to think about failure. Fail in Bite-Sized Chunks:

The next time you face a daunting challenge, think to yourself, “In order for me to resolve this issue, I will have to fail nine times, but on the tenth attempt, I will be successful.” This attitude frees you and allows you to think creatively without fear of failure, because you understand that learning from failure is a forward step toward success. Take a risk and when you fail, no longer think, “Oh, no, what a frustrating waste of time and effort,” but instead extract a new insight from that misstep and correctly think, “Great: one down, nine to go—I’m making forward progress!” And indeed you are. After your first failure, think, “Terrific, I’m 10% done!” Mistakes, loss, and failure are all flashing lights clearly pointing the way to deeper understanding and creative solutions.

Are you looking for a new business idea? Check out the Houston newsletter. Once a week, they share five real problems people would love to solve. It is an interesting read.

Some two-thousand year old wisdom from Marcus Aurelius:

Even if you’re going to live three thousand more years, or ten times that, remember: you cannot lose another life than the one you’re living now, or live another one than the one you’re losing.

I just shared Photomath with my daughter: scan almost any textbook math problem with your phone’s camera and it’ll generate a step-by-step solution instantly.

I’m still processing this one, but lots to chew on in this piece by Jonathan Zittrain about how AI might be more dangerous to humankind when it is right than when it is wrong:

Most important, we should not deceive ourselves into thinking that answers alone are all that matters: indeed, without theory, they may not be meaningful answers at all.

Want to experience more things in a shorter time? Learn to shrink the quantum of experience:

“Instead of reading a book, read a wikipedia article. Instead of eating a cup of ice cream, eat a spoonful. Decreases turnaround time, which both reduces procrastination and also allows me to decide whether I want to go deeper.” This tip encourages me to follow my curiosity, but reminds me to start with small bites.

Here’s how to reach out to someone who’s career you admire:

Highlight what makes you interesting. Successful people like connecting with other interesting people because it feels like fun, not work. And yet so often they’re approached by people taking the role of supplicants, who only want to ask questions and glean wisdom. It’s flattering at first, but with enough volume, it can become exhausting. So one secret is to position yourself as a peer who is notable in your own right.

Finally, I think you’ll be inspired by this beautiful letter from Hunter S. Thompson to a friend about goals. It is absolutely wonderful.


"There are no right answers to wrong questions." — Ursula K. Le Guin

"What people think of as the moment of discovery is really the discovery of the question." — Jonas Salk

"The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a very creative mind to spot wrong questions." — Antony Jay

"We need to look hard at the stories we create, and wrestle with them. Retell and retell them, and work with them like clay. It is in the retelling and returning that they give us their wisdom." — Marni Gillard

“If you’re opening a hot dog stand, you could worry about the condiments, the cart, the name, the decoration. But the first thing you should worry about is the hot dog. The hot dogs are the epicenter. Everything else is secondary.” — Jason Fried