Idea Surplus Disorder #65

Big ideas, fun things, and inspirational quotes in this week's edition of Idea Surplus Disorder.

Idea Surplus Disorder #65

Good morning, everyone! This weekend got away from me (in a good, relaxing way) so this week's edition of ISD is a mix of a few new things mixed in with some old favorites. Bonus points if you can figure out which is which. ;-)

Oh, and before we begin, I hope you'll attend SuperCollider on Friday. See you there?

SuperCollider2 is Friday

Our next Supercollider (SuperCollider2, Electric Boogaloo?) is this Friday (June 7th). We'll have a great mix of learning, thinking, helping, and sharing on tap. Sign up and bring your team – because you can't come alone.

If you're solo (or can't spend the full day with us), check out New Skills For Work from 10:00 - 11:30.

Ideas + Insights

Want to make a huge shift in your business in 2023? Raise your prices ridiculously high!

Your prices are where they are now because you found an equilibrium years ago and then you slowly and incrementally raised those prices over time, each time settling at a new equilibrium. It’s time to leap over the next decade or so of increments and price according to your future vision. You think the market won’t bear those new prices but that’s not what happens. What happens is your considerably higher prices let you create even more value for the client thereby forcing your own growth.
You read that correctly: your new higher prices will do more than almost anything else to improve the quality of your firm. Charging the client more will allow you to create more value for your clients. It’s an upward spiraling helix of win-win for both parties.

And here’s a related quote from Dan S. Kennedy:

“There is no strategic benefit to being the second cheapest in the marketplace, but there is for being the most expensive.”

Want another big shift? Cancel all your meetings with more than two people (except when you're at Filament, of course).

To start 2023, we're canceling all Shopify meetings with more than two people. Let's give people back their maker time. Companies are for builders. Not managers.

Wish your team would generate better ideas? Here’s a list of ten methods to try. My favorites:

Paper Airplanes: To kick off a meeting in a collaborative mindset, have people write down their name and a challenge they’re working on right now on a piece of paper. Everyone folds their paper into a paper airplane, then shoots it across the room. Now, pick up an airplane and write down a few possible solutions, including some silly ones. Then, find your person and share those ideas back with them. This helps people meet each other and bring more playfulness into the idea generation process.
Assumptions Envelope: Before a project kick off or brainstorm meeting, ask everyone to write down their assumptions or preconceived notions on slips of paper. You can either share these out loud or keep them to yourselves. Put the papers into an envelope as a sign that you’re putting these assumptions aside now. This activity helps surface concerns, release tension, and encourage people to come with an open mind.

What can you learn from meditating with monks? Check out these bits of wisdom:

Who you are is not your fault, but it is your responsibility.
Your mind doesn’t wander. It moves toward what it finds most interesting. If you want to focus better, become more curious about what's in front of you.
There are 3 layers to a moment: Your experience, your awareness of the experience, and your story about the experience. Be mindful of the story.

Great icebreaker question:

What's something unusual on your bucket list?

Check out all 40 of these useful concepts. Here are the ones I’m still thinking about:

Nobel Disease: We idolize those who excel in a particular field, inflating their egos and afflicting them with the hubris to opine on matters they know little about. By celebrating people for their intelligence, we make them stupid.
The Liar's Dividend: Teaching people about deepfakes and other disinfo doesn't make them skeptical of falsehoods as much as it makes them skeptical of reality. Amid such confusion, they default to believing what they want to, discounting anything they don't like as disinfo.
Brandolini's Law (aka the Bullshit Asymmetry Principle): It takes a lot more energy to refute bullshit than to produce it. Hence, the world is full of unrefuted bullshit.

When you’ve got a big decision to make, convene a “Clearness” Committee:

Clearness committees are composed of five or six members who convene with a decision-maker, fully focus their attention on his or her problem for a couple of hours, and ask that person questions about the problem. “The members of the clearness committee are forbidden from saying anything, except to ask the focus person open, honest questions that will help that person have a deeper conversation with himself or herself,” Palmer said. “The core rule is: there shall be no fixing, no saving, no advising, and no correcting, because what you think the focus person ought to do is irrelevant. What counts is what the person is hearing from within, which will constitute his or her guidance for better or for worse.”

Tesler’s law of the conservation of complexity:

The total complexity of a system is a constant. If you make a user’s interaction with a system simpler, the complexity behind the scenes increases.

Maybe doing things IS the reward vs. resting after doing things:

The actual reward state is not one where you're lazing around doing nothing. It's one where you're keeping busy, where you're doing things that stimulate you, and where you're resting only a fraction of the time. The preferred ground state is not one where you have no activity to partake in, it's one where you're managing the streams of activity precisely, and moving through them at the right pace: not too fast, but also not too slow. For that would be boring.
And yet, most people have this model of the world where whenever they're not resting, they're taking damage. When the homework isn't done, they're taking damage. When they're reading a textbook, they're taking damage. When they go to sleep with work unfinished, they're taking damage. When they're at a large social event, they're taking damage. Some part of them yearns to be in the rest state, where they don't need to do all these things, and insofar as they aren't, they're suffering a little.
Rest isn't something you do when everything else is finished. Everything else doesn't get finished. Rather, there are lots of activities that you do, some which are more fun than others, and rest is an important one to do in appropriate proportions.

Why do we stick to what we know?

As we get older, our preconceived ideas of how things should be done become more rigid and harder to challenge. Although functional fixedness offers useful heuristics that help us save time on simple tasks, it can be detrimental to our creative thinking.
Like many creative processes, the more you practice finding new ways of problem-solving, the easier it will become. Rather than automatically following the same processes, try to develop the habit of regularly looking for answers outside the box, or even outside the system.
Making a conscious effort to let go of rigidity in favour of finding new ways of doing things will foster more innovative thinking; letting go of the status quo in favour of branching out to generate alternative solutions will lead to more creative solutions.

Fun Finds


"Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.” — André Gide
“Complexity is like energy. It cannot be created or destroyed, only moved somewhere else.” — Shane Parish
“Whether something is complicated is in the mind of the beholder.” — Donald A. Norman
“You must be interested in finding the best way, not in having your own way.” — John Wooden
“Nothing is more paralyzing than the idea of limitless possibilities. The idea that you can do anything is absolutely terrifying.” — Austin Kleon
“Advertising works best when it tells us things we already believe.” — Byron Sharp
"Life completely unhindered by anything manifests as pure activity.” — Kosho Uchiyama
“All real living is meeting.” — Martin Buber
“Never forget that your unconscious is smarter than you, faster than you, and more powerful than you. It may even control you. You will never know all of its secrets.” — Cordelia Fine
"If you never question things, your life ends up being limited by other people's imaginations.” — James Clear

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