February 28, 2018

The idea garden manifesto

Thinking, writing and publishing an idea is a bit like planting a tree. In my experience, some ideas flourish when they meet all the right conditions: they trigger my curiosity and attention (watering), they are based on previous positive experience (roots) they get enough attention from others (sunshine) and they can be easily communicated (respiration). Like a successful idea, a growing tree will naturally sprout and scatter new seeds. 

"Ideas are very important to me. Great ideas, in the form of great art, stories, inventions, scientific theories, take on lives of their own, which gives meaning to our lives as people. So I think a lot about how people create ideas and how ideas grow. And in particular, what sort of tools create the right healthy environment for ideas to grow." — Bret Victor

After 4 years of keeping a journal, it's time for me to get some of my ideas out there. This website will serve as a fertile soil to publish some of my thoughts. You can think of this website as a blog.  

However, unlike typical blogs, on this website the medium matters just as much as the message. The font, the line spacing, the white background: these are the details of the medium that I care about. As long as the website is running, I will be experimenting with the medium to optimize for three things:

  1. The clear communication of ideas. Removing visual noise to focus on the essence of my ideas. 
  2. The facilitation of interesting conversations around ideas. Ideas grow with feedback. 
  3. The respect of the reader's attention and time. No spam, no popups, no bullshit. 

My ambition with the idea garden is to 1. publish many interesting and creative ideas 2. see which ones yield a lot of attention 3. build businesses around those most successful ideas.

Here are some ideas I look forward planting in the idea garden:

  • Education and signaling vs. learning
  • Habits and automation of decision making
  • Ways to expand online learning
  • Memetics and cult-making
  • Making creative tools
  • Remix everything: using screenshots for fast prototyping
  • On the importance of feedback loops
  • Beyond business cycles: company longevity

I still have homeworks and exams to prepare, but I'm committed to publish new ideas every now and then. The best way to keep up with this blog is to enter your email below. You can also bookmark this page, follow @Bissenmann or subscribe to my RSS.

—Benjamin @Bissenmann

Credit to spacefarm.digital for the header image. The Bret Victor quote was taken from his awesome Inventing on Principles talk accessible here. 

Learn more about the idea garden →