Monkey Monday - May 4th, 2020

Cool things to inspire you

Monkey Mondays | Branding | Fun stuff

In today’s lockdown Monkey Monday, Matt and Chris are sharing some cool things we’ve come across lately that might inspire and motivate you to think about how you work.

  1. Kevin Kelly’s ‘68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice’ - the senior writer for Wired Magazine shares some nuggets of wisdom with the world on his 68th birthday - happy birthday, Kevin!

  2. Hiut Denim’s yearbook and Twitter feed - David Hieatt shares some inspirational tips for running your business.

  3. Grayson Perry’s Art Club - in this week’s episode, the iconic artist talks about the power of relaxation.

We hope you enjoy these titbits of wisdom. If you’ve found something cool that’s made you think differently lately, share it with us!

Thinking outside of the box?

Transcript Show / Hide

And go!
It’s amazing, trying to sync things when there’s a delay, isn’t there.
Let’s clap on four, right? One, two, three, four...
I thought that was pretty good. My end anyway.
I thought you clapped after four… Anyway, we’re here to share with you three things we found this week on the interwebs.
Yeah, so, something a bit inspiring I guess, and something to cheer up your week. So number one, Chris. Kick us off.
Yeah, well, our amazing copywriter sent this into the team, which is ‘68 bits of Unsolicited Advice’, and it’s just this link to a friend of someone who works at Facebook [Nope!] - something like that? And it’s his birthday, he’s 68, and he’s got 68 different bits of advice. And there’s some really interesting things in there. Apart from ‘Don’t trust superglue,’ there are other things that relate to our business quite a lot, and the first one I picked out was, ‘Pros are just amateurs who know how to gracefully recover from their mistakes’. And it’s so true. I mean, we’ve made mistakes in the past and--
Go on.
Yeah, I mean, I was just going to say it’s how you learn from them, isn’t it. It’s how you deal with the mistakes that’s the important thing, and that’s how you become really great at your job, your art, your music (if you play the guitar). Unfortunately, I make no mistakes on the guitar, so I’m--
Haha, yeah, right. I remember when we were young little Rusty Monkeys that Matt went to one of his first big meetings and didn’t write down the name of the person he was meeting. And went to the front desk and said, ‘I’m looking for Bernadette.’ The name was actually Benedict.
Benedict. Yeah. There you go. I was maybe 20. I dunno.
You learned though, didn’t you? Learned to remember the name of the people you’re going to visit.
You would hope so… I’d kinda planned everything else but I just stumbled at that very first hurdle. It was fine though, we got the work, it was great. One of the best jobs we ever did. Really good.
What about your ones? What have you picked out? Okay, so, I quite liked this one: ‘Always demand a deadline. A deadline weeds out the extraneous and the ordinary. It prevents you from trying to make it perfect, so you have to make it different.’ The bit I like is this last bit: ‘Different is better.’ I just liked it. I dunno, always demanding a deadline sounds a bit harsh, but I think what this does do is it shows the power of a deadline and it shows that sometimes getting something of value and something that might be different done within a timescale can bring more value than just waiting and dragging it out and getting something to perfect and it being over here. Sometimes just getting something out there different and telling that story can be a really good exercise.
Yeah, you can often spend so much time procrastinating and going, ‘Oh, it’s not quite ready to release because that tiny dot isn’t there or--’ Just get it out there.
Yeah, I mean we see it with customers, don’t we Chris. You know, we get a website really great to completion and the guys sit and they're combing over every single tiny bit of detail while their old site over here is just not performing what they need it to, and they have this whole new great build over here that’s pretty much ready to go. They’re combing through every single last thing to try and get perfection, but it’s not a print document here, is it? You know, you can change things once you’re live. What’s the value of getting-- Is this better than this at the moment? What’s the value of getting that out there now? You know.
Yep. The next one I thought I liked was, ‘Trust me: There is no “them.”’ You spend a lot of time in your own head thinking about what other people think about you, and actually they’re not thinking anything. You might as well just get on with your own stuff, really.
Yeah, really ties into the Simon Sinek ‘Infinite Game’ as well, doesn’t it, that one. Spending loads of time worried about other people rather than your own focus.
Hmm, yeah, definitely. What’s your next one?
Okay, this one’s a bit long. Let me see how well I do reading it. Hang on. Ahem. ‘Separate the processes of creation from improving. You can’t write and edit, or sculpt and polish, or make and analyze at the same time. If you do, the editor stops the creator. While you invent, don’t select. While you sketch, don’t inspect. While you write the first draft, don’t reflect. At the start, the creator mind must be unleashed from judgement.’ It’s a bit bigger than ‘There is no them’.
Yeah, that’s why I chose that one!
I should’ve gone with the superglue one, right?
You’re going to be our new voice over man, Matt.
Oh, do you think?
Yeah, it was really good. Why did you choose that one?
I think it’s a really powerful thing, because in the creative process you can start analysing what you’re doing. When we run workshops we try and sort of, at the start of it we say, ‘Hey, look, there’s no wrong here,’ and I guess that ties into this, because if every idea you come up with you analyse and break it down and throw it away straight away, you’re not really getting the power of your own creativity out there, I think. So I just like the idea of, this idea of just separating those processes out in a really raw way. I think you get really good results from that. I know that we do when we focus on those really specific things. I’m just noodling. I’m creating here. I might create some terrible things in this process, but sometimes-- myself as a creative, if we’re looking at logo development or something like that, I kinda sometimes have to do the really rubbish ideas that sort of are in my way before I can get those really exciting ideas out.
Yeah, it’s really interesting. And you should just take a look at all those 68 tips - there are some really good ones in there. Let us know what you think.
Yeah, let us know which ones resonate with you. Some of them are really good. We do like the glue one.
So that’s the first one of the list of things we’ve found. The second one is Hiut Denim again. I know David Hieatt does a lot of good things, and he puts out a yearbook every year, which is sort of like a sales brochure kind of thing, but it’s sort of inspirational, and he does a lot of writing in it, and his writing’s really good and they charge £30 for them. And people buy them and they always sell out. And I think the theme of this one is just try and do something better every day. So he sort of talks about - in the email he sent out, anyway - if you do something 1% better today - if you try and improve your business by just 1% a day - by the end of the year you’re gonna be 3800% better. Due to the compound interest factor.
Cumulative, right? Yes. Again, I think that ties in with loads of the stuff that we talk about, Chris, doesn’t it? The Simon Sinek ‘Infinite Game’ kinda thing. So you know, have we improved everything we do from where we were this time last year? I think just having those little incremental tweaks and changes to everything you do, a little bit of creative destruction as you go along, it really can change how you market yourselves, how you communicate, how you innovate. So it’s a really nice representation of how small things can make a huge impact.
Yep, and if you have a look at his Twitter feed - the Hiut Denim company Twitter feed - they’ve got the ‘12 ways to become a better team’ and there’s some really good things in there as well. Like ‘Fun is not a pool table at work, not M&Ms in reception, it’s pride, it’s learning…’ And there are some really good things in there about how we have no right to ask you to work more than 40 hours in a week. That should be enough. And we’re working through a lot of these cultural things ourselves, and it’s a real challenge, but it’s also an honour to have people work for you, so you’ve got to really look after them.
A lot of it resonated with us, Chris, I think, didn’t it, when we looked through that - as to how closely aligned that philosophy is with the way we run our company. And I think since we’ve all gone into lockdown we’ve seen our team really shine in that respect. We’ve seen such dedication and love across the team, it’s been really inspirational actually. And it’s made work more fun, I think.
Yeah, I think it has. I think everyone’s really come into their own and people are also missing the other members of the team, which is really nice.
And to my knowledge none of us have a pool table either.
No, exactly. And the third thing I wanted to share with you this week is the power of relaxation. I watched - I dunno if anyone saw it - the Grayson Perry art show this week on Channel 4, and halfway through he said, ‘The basic need to be creative is to be relaxed.’ And it sort of resonated with me because I’ve been creating some content, some adverts for YouTube for Rusty Monkey, and I realised that I came up with the idea for some of the stuff in the hammock that I had in the garden in the sun last week. When I was sunny. And I thought it’s so true. If you’re tied to a desk 9 to 5 you’re never going to get your most creative ideas from there are you?
Yeah, I mean the idea of just going for a walk, doing some nothing, is really good. So when we talk about the power of relaxation it’s not leaving your desk and going away and busying yourself with something else. It’s giving your subconscious that time to problem-solve. It’s not just for creatives either, I don’t think Chris. I think we’ve seen this with our technical team and our development teams - when there’s a problem, when there’s a bit of code not quite working right, or some sort of technical hurdle we need to get over, it’s often best just to go, ‘Well we’ve spent a bit of time trying to get through this now, but why don’t we just park this, think about it over the weekend, and come back to it early next week.’ And that’s when our subconscious comes up with all these great ideas of how that can be sorted out. I think Russ, who’s our Systems Director, he’s even dreamt the code that’s fixed the problem. Which is really interesting. I’m sure there’s some great interesting psychology around this somewhere. We should look it up.
Wow, that’s nuts! Dreaming in code.
My code would be a bit basic.
I like to think all of our developers, that’s all they dream in.
So, there you go, there's three things that we’ve found this week that have inspired us. If you’ve got any inspirational things that you’ve seen send them to us and we’ll share them with everyone.
Yeah, and don’t forget to hit subscribe if you want some more stuff like this.
Hey, you remembered this stuff, this is really good.
I know, I’ve been relaxing Chris, so my brain’s all fresh with knowledge.
I wouldn't worry, because they put the subscribe button over your head.
Nice. I hope they can get that right.
Seeya next week.
Thank you very much. Bye!

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