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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.


Posts in News
Workshop Weeks at Filament

We’ve been thinking about a new offering here at Filament called “Workshop Weeks.” In the spirit of “Shitty First Drafts” and working out loud, here’s a cleaned-up summary of a Twitter thread that captures the idea:

Lots of people have great ideas, but need an occasional push to build a cool prototype, finish a project, or explore a new business model.

What if that push came from a handful of other creative, interesting people who are also working on their cool prototype, project, or business model?

And what if that interesting group of unique people building cool things was supplemented by a handful of professional writers, coders, prototypers, innovators, and designers?

And what if we brought all of those cool people and talented "helpers" into an amazing space for a week of support, help, advice, work, and getting shit done?

This wouldn't be an agenda-driven, expert-centric, un-conferency gathering, summit, or meetup. Instead, it would be a week of caffeine-fueled, peer-supported, engaged working on real projects -- with people who are building something cool on their own (but helping you, too).

We'd limit the number of "projects" to 10 or so, and support both individual change-makers and small teams. We'd also include housing at a brand-new boutique hotel across the street.

Facilitation would be limited to a handful of daily, scrum-like check-ins with progress pitches at each day's end -- though we'd ask every attendee to spend at least an hour each day helping someone else.

Does this sound interesting? We don't think there should be a single industry focus, and believe there's likely an application process for prospective attendees.

Let us know what you think, and please give me a sense of what price seems fair (though a pay-what-you-want model is really interesting). I'm hoping our first Workshop Week happens late Summer, 2019.

Look for more information soon!

Rethinking Process Mapping: Our Customer's Journey

Every week, we work on something that (we hope) will help us improve the way our customers experience Filament. This week, we started with a quick “Sketch Session” to illustrate our customer’s journey. It is still a work in progress, but because we’re trying our best to #workoutloud, we thought we’d share:

A lot more fun and useful than a wall full of Post-It Notes, don’t you think?

"There was a noticeable shift in appreciation for the many perspectives and challenges of participants."

We’re back from the Inspire.Legal conference in New York, where we designed and facilitated a collaborative problem-framing exercise for 200 legal innovators and industry leaders. Here’s what Integreon’s Chief Innovation Officer Alma Asay had to say about the day:

Matt Homann, an expert facilitator with a passion for driving creative thinking to solve big problems in legal and other industries, led the Forum Workshops.  Participants completed problem exercises that included brainstorming a “challenge worth solving” and drilling down to the “key stakeholders (and the impact they feel is).”  By focusing on the “who” and “why” – instead of “how” – there was a noticeable shift in appreciation for the many perspectives and challenges of participants in our industry versus the all-too-common “well, they’ll have to change” mentality that can accompany solutions-focused discussions.

Monday Morning Meeting #38

Welcome back to Filament’s Monday Morning Meeting — your weekly mix of cool ideas and interesting links. Let’s get to work!


We’re still finalizing details, but if you’d like to join us as we celebrate our third birthday, block Friday, March 29th on your calendar. More news to follow!


Want a mentor? Find someone who’s on the same path as you — but is just a few steps ahead of you.

So if you’re starting a brand new business, talk to someone who started theirs a year ago. Or if you’re about to sign your first office lease, talk to someone who just signed theirs. Or if you’re about to hire your first employee, get advice from someone with a two-person company, not 200. I think there’s a good chance the advice will be more helpful. Memories fade and myths form over time – the closer someone is to the actual events you’re asking them about, the more relevant the advice has a chance to be.

If you’re trying to name something (business, product, etc.) check out Onym: tools and resources for naming things. Beware of the rabbit hole, but there are tons of things I bet you’ve never seen, including:

Speaking of rabbit holes, this list of things to read about Artificial Intelligence helps you take a deep dive on the technology that will change everything. Overwhelmed? Here’s where I’d start: The State of AI in 2019.

Paper Mario Brothers is pretty cool.

Seth talks about the trap of early feedback:

If you’ve created something that will delight and astound 10% of the marketplace, there’s a 90% chance that the first person who encounters your work will dislike it. He might even hate it. In fact, if you do the math, you’ll see that there’s more than a 70% chance that the first THREE people will hate it. And if you give up then, you’ve just walked away from serving the people you set out to serve.

Help your team make time for their hobbies:

In one study, researchers found that “creative activity was positively associated with recovery experiences (i.e., mastery, control, and relaxation) and performance‐related outcomes (i.e., job creativity and extra‐role behaviors).” In fact, they wrote, “Creative activity while away from work may be a leisure activity that provides employees essential resources to perform at a high level.”

Something so easy, you’ll feel stupid when you see it: how to hang pictures using a fork.

The best thing you dan do for your health is sleep well.


“Imagination is when you close your eyes and think of a door.” — Dave Hickey

"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes." — Oscar Wilde

“If you’re not ready to find exceptional things, you won’t discover them.” — Avi Loeb

The Return of Filament Fridays
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Back when we first opened Filament, we set aside the occasional Friday afternoon for old friends to stop by and for new ones to visit for the first time. Now that we're approaching our third anniversary, we thought it was time to bring back Filament Fridays and make them better than ever.

Filament Fridays: An Informal Gathering of Irregular People

Do you have a problem you're trying to solve, a new idea you'd like to share, or something cool you'd love to show to others? If so, come to our first "Filament Friday" on October 19, 2018.

A Filament Friday is a creative mix of networking, problem-solving, show-and-tell, and happy hour.for "irregular" people who'd rather hang out, share ideas, help others and have a beer (or two) than trade business cards.

This month's theme is "feedback" so we'll freely offer it to you, share some insights we've gained about how to give (and receive) it better, and ask for your input on our newest offering: a brand-new product we're launching on Kickstarter.

To get your weekend started with an inspirational bang, join us! We'll roll up our sleeves beginning at 3:00 (but come whenever you can) and will wrap up by 6:00. There's plenty of metered parking right out front, and we'll take care of the snacks, beer, and wine.

Attendance is limited, so sign up soon and we'll see you on the 19th!

Meetings, NewsMatthew Homann