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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 #67


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


If you’re interested in a creative, innovation-themed holiday party for your team and/or your customers, shoot us a note. We’ve got some dates open in December, and we’re cooking up some cool ideas for full-day, half-day, and evening events.


While in Toronto last week, I heard a term I loved: Pronoia, which is the opposite of paranoia:

Whereas a person suffering from paranoia feels that persons or entities are conspiring against them, a person experiencing pronoia feels that the world around them conspires to do them good.

We’d all be better off if we were a bit more “pronoid” ever day.

Speaking of language, I loved this nugget from Nicholas Carr’s Utopia is Creepy about the origin of the word Serendipity:

[It] slipped into the language 250 years ago, in 1754, when Horace Walpole, the novelist, coined the word in a letter he sent to an acquaintance, the diplomat Horace Mann. Walpole was inspired by a Persian fairy tale called “The Three Princes of Serendip,” about a group of royal travelers who “were always making discoveries,” in Walpole’s words, “of things which they were not in quest of.”

I wonder how we might find a way to turn building these cotton-ball launchers into an activity for Filament?

Don’t ask for feedback. Ask for advice, instead:

Why is asking for advice more effective than asking for feedback? As it turns out, feedback is often associated with evaluation. At school, we receive feedback with letter grades. When we enter the workforce, we receive feedback with our performance evaluations. Because of this link between feedback and evaluation, when people are asked to provide feedback, they often focus on judging others’ performance; they think more about how others performed in the past. This makes it harder to imagine someone’s future and possibly better performance. As a result, feedback givers end up providing less critical and actionable input.

In contrast, when asked to provide advice, people focus less on evaluation and more on possible future actions. Whereas the past is unchangeable, the future is full of possibilities. So, if you ask someone for advice, they will be more likely to think forward to future opportunities to improve rather than backward to the things you have done, which you can no longer change.

I think this is such a brilliant idea to reduce food waste:

A Finnish super-market chain has instituted a “happy hour” for food. At 9 p.m., the stores slash food prices by up to 60 percent for hundreds of items that are set to expire at midnight.

Old XPLANE colleague and friend Matt Adams suggests we open our junk drawer from time-to-time for some additional creative fuel:

Start now — A junk drawer can be made of anything. It’s just important that it contains stuff [that inspires you].

Add often — Save interesting and inspirational items in your junk drawer. Let your curiosity drive you to discovery and wonder. Done right, adding items becomes habitual as opposed to a purposeful activity.

Take the time to open it — When you’re stuck or bored do some junk drawer rifling. It will pay off.

Expand your resources — When it’s full, make another. The natural evolution of a junk drawer is a junk shelf. Keeping things together in a loose organization of type or time will help.

I love Yarn because when you type in a word, name, or snippet of dialog, it gives you back a short clip from a movie or tv show iike this one.

We’re thinking about doing a Filament “Gift Guide” this year. If we do, I’m pretty sure a few of these Geeky Jerseys will make the list. Personally, I’m waiting on this one to come back into stock.

I’m really digging this newsletter that curates the best Twitter question-and-answer threads.


“The greatest gift you can ever give another person is your own happiness” ― Esther Hicks

"Everything great that ever happened in this world happened first in somebody’s imagination." ― Astrid Lindgren

“Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last.” — Samuel Johnson


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