Idea Surplus Disorder #62

In this edition: SuperCollider2, innovative proximity, trusting silence, creative hacks, provocative questions, criticism, toasters, 70s handheld video games, and more.

Idea Surplus Disorder #62

Good morning, and welcome to another Idea Surplus Disorder.

In this edition: SuperCollider2, innovative proximity, trusting silence, creative hacks, provocative questions, criticism, toasters, 70's handheld video games, and more.

I'm Matt Homann, and I'm glad you're here!

SuperCollider2 is June 7th

Friday was our first public SuperCollider and it surpassed our expectations. The next one is on Friday, June 7th, so get a team together and register here.

Ideas + Insights

Want to drive more innovation between teams? Keep them less than 20 yards apart:

Startups within 20 meters of each other influence each other the most in the choice and implementation of web technologies. According to the study, working within that short distance increases a company’s probability of adopting a neighbor’s technology by 3 percentage points.
Beyond 20 meters, the influence of proximity declines quickly. The study found that doubling the distance between two firms reduced the probability of technology adoption by 1.7 percent. Startups over 20 meters apart “behave as if they are on different floors altogether,”

Great facilitators learn to trust the silence:

Hold the space with positive intention. Have faith in them and their creativity - even if they don't. If you hold the intention that they will absolutely be able to do come up with what they need, you impact the energy in the room differently - with an inner authority - than if you are filled with doubts about whether they can do or get it. Or if they'll like what you're doing. The facilitator is there to be the strong container-holder for the participants, not the other way around. If you hold it with peace and ease in your heart, they will feel it, and it will open them up and put them more at ease.

Speaking of facilitation, there are some gems in this list of provocative questions, including:

  • If we hosted a forum called ‘How Our Products & Services Suck,’ what topics would be on the main stage?
  • If you could only work on one project for a year to transform the business, what would it be and why?
  • What can we offer for free that no one else does?
  • What are the unconventional partnerships or collaborations that could unlock new opportunities?

James Clear shares a similar suggestion:

Make a list of the people in your field who enjoy unfair advantages. How can you collaborate with them?

I love this reflection on startup life:

A friend once told me that company building was most analogous to cycling: It never gets easier, you only go faster.

The year's best creative life hacks.

What small things are you cutting corners on?

Every six months for over three decades I receive an updated insurance card from State Farm. Over the years the quality of the card has deteriorated in every single way.
The card used to be plastic and then became a thick removable card and then it was something that had perforations on a larger size of paper that you had to tear and now it is as thin as it can get with scissor marks where you need to cut it.
It is a small thing. But it is the only time the brand and I interact (assuming that I remain lucky enough not to have to file a claim). Its their twice annual contact point. And every time I open their mail I see a cheaper card some confabulation of consultants, accountants and financial operators have optimized to reduce costs along with a standard completely non customized come on to buy more insurance along with the gift of a higher premium.

Who will thrive in a "polycrisis" future?

Rather than ultra-specialized experts, it is the agile and curious—those who venture far outside their disciplinary comfort zones, seeking out new insights from other fields and opposing perspectives that challenge their thinking—who are best placed to connect the dots and develop more realistic maps of the future.

Gen-Z workers can take criticism; we're just giving it wrong:

They want to be themselves at work, feel that their voice matters, and that their managers are empathetic and will invest in relationships with them. They also value context on why things should be done certain ways…Young workers say older generations are wrong to label them as lazy or soft. Instead, they just want to bring humanity back to the workplace.

Reprocrastiporting’ is the act of delaying data until nobody cares about it anymore.

Blocking more discretionary time is one way to feel less overwhelmed:

Create a list of discretionary tasks that are creative and attractive to you but do not involve a deadline. For me, this means sketching out book ideas in a notebook I carry around with me. When I have unfilled time, I pull out the notebook and start brainstorming. This inevitably induces a pleasurable “flow state,” which gives me energy and refreshes me—and creates an incentive to block out more discretionary time. At one point in my career, when I was running a large organization, this observation led me to ring-fence two hours a day in the morning, when I know that my brain chemistry is best for idea work.

Rules for criticizing someone:

  1. You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.”
  2. You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
  3. You should mention anything you have learned from your target.
  4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

Fun Finds

Words Of Wisdom

"The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing." – Edith Wharton
"There are more truths in fiction than reality. – Walter Mosley
"He is careful of what he reads, for that is what he will write. He is careful of what he learns, for that is what he will know." — Annie Dillard
“Competence is how good you are when there is something to gain. Character is how good you are when there is nothing to gain.” — Mark Manson
"We don't use our brains, we are our brains." – Steven Pinker
"We read books to rehearse for life." – Lois Lowry
"If the path before you is clear, you're probably on someone else's." – Joseph Campbell
“You must care deeply about your people, but not what they think about you.” – Dick Costolo
"If you're not enjoying something, it's almost always because you're doing it too fast." -- Donna Tartt
"Deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised." – J.R.R. Tolkien

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