Issue #39

In this issue, why marketing doesn't really age, delegation tips, technology's speed, the allure of rabbit holes, unfriendly futures, creepy dolls, Scooby Doo, David Pumpkins, and more.

Issue #39

Welcome to the post-Thinksgiving issue of Idea Surplus Disorder. I'm Matt Homann, founder and CEO of Filament. I'm glad you're here.

In case you missed it, Filament's Thinksgiving welcomed nearly 800 purpose-driven professionals to help move the needle for nearly 70 nonprofits – all in a single day. Check out the photo highlights (and all of the Solution Posters).

If you're a business who'd like to particpate next year, please let us know ASAP, since we expect to sell out in 2024.

In this issue, why marketing doesn't really age, delegation tips, technology's speed, the allure of rabbit holes, unfriendly futures, creepy dolls, Scooby Doo, David Pumpkins, and more.

Ideas & Insights

Consumers don't get tired of ads, only brands (and their marketing directors) do:

Analytic Partners looked across more than 50,000 ads in 2020 and found that only 14 of these campaigns had run their full course and were exhibiting wear-out when they were replaced. The other 51,232 were pulled despite the fact they were demonstrating no signs of wear-out at that time.
That finding not only demonstrates that wear-out rarely occurs for target consumers. It also signals the contrasting reality that wear-out for marketers, who grow impatient with their existing tactics and seek the green-grass smell of new creative, is a very real issue. The problem of wear-out is one of the marketer, not the market.

We should fall down more rabbit holes:

The beauty of the rabbit hole, and the warren you create by falling down it, is how it activates your curiosity to generate new, reflective pockets of information and knowledge. And the better you become at 'finding', the more portals emerge, and the farther you get from a complete sense of having found.

If you wish you could delegate better, these Six T's can help you decide what to delegate:

  • Tiny: Tasks that are so small they seem inconsequential to tackle but they add up. For example, registering for a conference or event, adding it to your calendar, and booking the hotel and flight
  • Tedious: Straightforward and simple tasks that can (and should) be handled by your team members. For example, data entry or updating the KPIs in your presentation deck
  • Time-Consuming: Important and perhaps complex tasks. You can step in when the task is 80% complete and give approval, oversight and/or direction on the next steps
  • Teachable: Tasks that can be detailed in steps and passed along, with you still providing quality checks and final approval. For example, teaching one of your direct reports how to draft the presentation deck for the monthly all-hands meeting, or how to be the one to deliver those updates to the team
  • Terrible At: Tasks that do not play to your strengths or fall on an area where you feel unequipped. You take far longer than people skilled in this area, and still produce a subpar result. For example, the visual design of a presentation. Or hiring a professional designer for an upcoming presentation outside of your organization
  • Time Sensitive: Tasks that are time-sensitive but compete with other priorities. You delegate important and time-sensitive tasks so that they can be done in parallel with your other project-based deadlines. For example, calling an airline to change seat assignments for the following day while you are in all-day meetings

Tech doesn’t make our lives easier. It makes them faster:

Believing that AI will save time is like being a person in the late 1800s seeing their first car and thinking “oh how easy it’ll be to get to the meadow now!” People back then didn’t imagine that by the 1960s we’d be stuck in traffic jams for hours in mega-cities. Now apply this to AI. If we fast-forward a decade, it will have recalibrated the entire economy to a state of higher acceleration where you’ll be expected to do far more, at much greater scale, in the same amount of time.

and this:

Increasingly our tech also opens us up to new vectors of anxiety. Regardless of whether you’re working more or less, your nervous system is now plugged into a neurotic and hypersensitive globe-spanning information system that’s constantly pushing unnecessary things into your consciousness. Perversely, this information obesity actually makes us feel more sluggish. We might be moving faster, but everything starts to blend into one.

Love this bio-writing AI prompt:

I need to update my bio. I am going to paste my resume and job description below. Based on this, I want you to interview me with questions that will help you write a concise, compelling, and credible bio. 

We prefer renting unethical products (vs. buying them).

The future isn't friendly, but that shouldn't keep you from making plans to visit it before your competitors do:

The future isn’t a friendly and welcoming place for scientists or businesspeople in the modern world. Problematically, there isn’t any data about it — yet. So, the standard data analytic tools for business and science don’t apply readily to it. For anyone interested in innovation, sadly there is only data concerning a world that they don’t want to perpetuate. There is none for any world that they might want to create.

Wow, does this ever feel true:

My late friend Stan Ulam used to remark that his life was sharply divided into two halves. In the first half, he was always the youngest person in the group; in the second half, he was always the oldest. There was no transitional period.

Fun Finds

Words of Wisdom

"Love is safe and if it isn't safe, it's not love." – Jerry Colonna
"You do not need anybody’s permission to live a creative life." – Elizabeth Gilbert
"In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." – Eric Hoffer
"I'm a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn't have the heart to let him down." — Abraham Lincoln
“I persist in wondering whether folly must always be our nemesis.” – Edgar Pangborn
"Learn to sustain the pain you’ve chosen. When you choose a new value, you are choosing to introduce a new form of pain into your life. Welcome it with open arms. Then act despite it." – Mark Manson
"One of the causes of status quo bias is a lack of attention." – Richard Thaler
"If you're having trouble getting started, shorten the distance between where you are and where you focus." – Shane Parrish
“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.” – Robert Frost
"To write the best story you can, take out all the good lines." – Ernest Hemmingway

Subscribe to Idea Surplus Disorder

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.