The Idea EnthusiastThe Idea Enthusiast

Newsletter Stories from November 2018

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by Greg Roth

Each Wednesday, I send out a newsletter with links to “idea enthusiasm” stories from around the web. Here is a compilation of stories from November 2018. You can sign up for the newsletter here.



What are we like? 10 psychological findings about the worst aspects of human nature. [11-7-18]

Modern life is changing both our IQ and our problem-solving skills. [11-7-18]

Whether you crave or can’t stand coffee may be influenced by your genetics. [11-7-18]

What happens to student behavior when schools prioritize art. [11-7-18]

Do creative ideas work better than data-driven ones? [11-14-18]

One of the cornerstones of the “Challenge Mindset” theory I’m developing is that we need to stop describing our early efforts as “failure” just because they aren’t 100% right. Related to that, this essay in The Atlantic illustrates how to combat the destructive force of perfectionism. [11-14-18]

How to stop wasting time on the internet. After you close this newsletter, of course. [11-14-18]

Inside the World Cup of eSports, with 50,000 screaming nerds. [11-14-18]

How rage can lead to a creative breakthrough. New ideas depend on persistence and flexibility. Anger encourages both, according to a 2011 study. [11-21-18]

10 paradoxes that will stretch your mind and 5 questions that kill creativity. [11-21-18]

Have you thought about taking more risks with your decisions? [11-21-18]

11-time ultra-marathon winner Courtney Dauwalter and the quest to outlast everyone, including the men. [11-21-18]

Conceived 6 years ago as an antidote to Black Friday and Cybermonday, how Giving Tuesday became a worldwide phenomenon. [11-28-18]

“Please stop telling me to leave my comfort zone.” Maybe anxiety isn’t a great motivator of achievement. [11-28-18]

This guy organizes his to-do list by mental state instead of by project. [11-28-18]

21 creative teachers who do things differently to serve their students. Would love to know how #10 sounds if you need all 4 teachers. [11-28-18]



Using experiments to launch new products, with the introduction of UberPool as an example. [11-7-18]

How do robots impact teamwork in the operating room? [11-7-18]

Playgrounds crush innovation and what to do about it. [11-7-18]

How McDonald’s has designed it wildly popular sweepstakes campaign over the years. [11-7-18]

How LEGO runs design sprints and attempts to scale them across the entire company. [11-14-18]

Inside the innovation kitchen at Shake Shack, a place where new ideas for food are introduced as small experiments. [11-14-18]

Making the business case for collaboration software at Aetna, Finish Line, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. [11-14-18]

‘Always on’ isn’t the best for team decision-making. A look at research experiments into taking communication breaks. [11-14-18]

Giving better advice depends on your ability to switch perspectives. [11-21-18]

How to get a UX job without a UX background. Turns out, this is a nice overview of how to work on any creative team. [11-21-18]

‘Weak signal detection’ and teamwork skills from the military. [11-21-18]

Meetings should be shorter. We attend 8-12 a week and most are stretched to an hour because that’s how our calendars are set up. [11-21-18]

The story of C Space, a Boston-based company that attempted to redefine its culture, only to see it backfire, then tried again and found a better way. Now that’s a #challengemindset. [11-28-18]

Students at the oldest technical university in Asia use a two-day design sprint to redesign the campus rickshaw system. [11-28-18]

Two argumentative heads can be better than one, explained by a cognitive scientist power-couple. [11-28-18]

Knowing is half the battle. The other half, before you know, is asking the right question. (Our second straight week name-checking Warren Berger). [11-28-18]



A (somewhat sad) look at how and why most Instagram photos look the same. [11-7-18]

Do you understand what UX is? 16 experts try to explain what they do. Vote for your favorite! (Wait, voting was yesterday, sorry). [11-7-18]

INFOGRAPHIC: Using simple psychology to increase conversions for whatever you’re selling. [11-7-18]

A really really really large app fraud scheme on your Android phone. [11-7-18]

Can you distill your presentation message down to just 15 words? [11-14-18]

Want to avoid getting duped by fake news? Don’t be lazy. Two competing hypotheses for why people fall for misinformation. [11-14-18]

How podcasts became a seductive and sometimes slippery mode of storytelling. [11-14-18]

This weekend marked the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Here are 20 slang terms from the era, you dingbats. [11-14-18]

How to start an email to your boss. [11-21-18]

On the other hand, Gen-Z employees don’t do email. Emojis have forever changed business communications and maybe that’s a good thing? [11-21-18]

Why fighting fake news is so hard, an in-depth look at how people use WhatsApp. Think about stopping your addiction to bad news. [11-21-18]

Acting like an extravert has benefits, but not for introverts. [11-21-18]

There’s a right way to speak truth to power: cultivate everyday courage. [11-28-18]

How political opinions can change, based on a clever experiment revealing how flexible we are. [11-28-18]

Is this the worst sales email ever written? if so, I’ve gotten a bunch like these on LinkedIn lately. [11-28-18]

VIDEO: Blue Note captured the refined sophistication of jazz during the early 60s, and designer Reid Miles gave their covers a signature look. [11-28-18]



VICE news investigators posed as 100 senators to run ads on Facebook to see if they could manipulate the “paid for by” filter. [11-7-18]

Working at a cannabis dispensary in LA for 6 months. [11-7-18]

Barron’s reporter took a psychological test about investment savvy. [11-7-18]

Prompted by a challenge from her church, a faith columnist takes a 10-day social media moratorium. [11-7-18]

Trying a carnivore diet lasted only 3 days. [11-7-18]

RIP Stan Lee. A WIRED writer reflects on 20 years of lunches with the comics legend and 12 lessons about Lee’s life. [11-14-18]

The folks at Buffer dissect a tweet that got over 17 million views. [11-14-18]

Author RJ Young becomes a gun owner to better understand gun ownership. [11-14-18]

A woman is attempting to write one thank you note everyday for all of 2018. Related, AJ Jacobs’ new book is about 1000 thank you notes to everyone worldwide involved in his morning coffee. [11-14-18

CJR set up a newsstand in Midtown NYC and replaced real publications with fake titles featuring misinformation pulled from the internet. Results were encouraging. [11-21-18]

An IDEO designer started making an animated GIF everyday to boost her creative thinking. She made it 32 days and you can see them all here[11-21-18]

Taking a gap year in your 40s. While not a financial reality for all of us, maybe we could do “gap days” over time? [11-21-18

What 20,000 letters to an advice columnist over 30 years tell us about our deepest concerns. [11-28-18]

The Red Couch experiments: what Politifact learned about its pop-up fact-checking while showing people two different State of the Union addresses. [11-28-18]

Jana Kleitsch, CEO of Wanderlust Society, on closing her company after a 3-year run. [11-28-18]

Surveillance kills the will to experiment and try new ideas. [11-28-18]


Greg Roth
About Greg Roth
Founder, The Idea Enthusiast. Speaker, Trainer, Facilitator, and writer about all things creative consulting. DC-based consultant to individuals who want to be more creative, teams who want to collaborate without fear, and anyone who wants to deliver the best pitches and presentations.

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Newsletter Stories from November 2018