Welcome to the first edition of Idea Surplus Disorder (though we've been writing this newsletter called the Monday Morning Meeting). I’m Matt Homann, the founder of Filament, and I’m glad you’re here!
In this edition: ridiculous prices, paper airplanes, monkish wisdom, liar’s dividends, dancing, red tape, Mah Na Mah Na, and more!
THE BIG IDEAS
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.
In my experience, agency leaders do not aim high enough on this front. As of today, new clients equals new prices. Much higher new prices.
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.
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.
Spend more time cultivating a mind that is not attached to material things than time spent accumulating them.
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.
Gurwinder's Third Paradox: In order for you to beat someone in a debate, your opponent needs to realize they've lost. Therefore, it's easier to win an argument against a genius than an idiot.
Principle Of Humanity: Every single person is exactly what you would be if you were them. This includes your political opponents. So instead of dismissing them as evil or stupid, maybe seek to understand the circumstances that led them to their conclusions.
I loved this wonderful visualization from the NYTimes about Dancing on Stairs.
Why do we call it red tape?
And finally, Mah Na Mah Na.
WORDS OF WISDOM
“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” — Theodore Roosevelt
“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
“We think people judge us by a single success or failure, but they don’t. If you mess up one meal no one thinks you're a bad chef, and if you have one great idea no one thinks you're a genius. People just aren't thinking about you that much.” — Ethan Mollick
“The mind, like the parachute, is most valuable open.” — Dan S Kennedy
“Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit by the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.” — Kahlil Gibran
"It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow." — Robert H. Goddard
"If you never question things, your life ends up being limited by other people's imaginations.” — James Clear