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Weekly Inspirations: June 1st, 2018

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:

Meet our new font, Airbnb Cereal

There’s a new font in town, with a quirky name to boot. Meet Airbnb Cereal—the typeface we created with character, function, and scale in mind. See it in action: airbnb.design/cereal
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HOW TO INTRODUCE DESIGN THINKING INTO YOUR ORGANIZATION

Design thinking is a human-centric, iterative process to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems. It’s made up of five core phases: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test. While more and more organizations are recognizing the power of design thinking, it naturally raises the question: how can you best introduce this mindset into a new environment? Here are a few ways to champion design thinking in your company:
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Want to Create Better Products? Ban Presentations. Make Everyone Draw

Traditional meetings have a predictable life cycle: Attendees gather around a table with a glowing screen in front of them. A leader, clicker in hand, cycles through dozens of slides filled with bullet points and pie charts. Employees take notes. Some doze off. Then at the end, if there’s a few minutes left over, the room opens up for questions. Meeting dismissed. For Clark Valberg, there’s a problem with this scene. “We’re not living in a ‘time for questions’ world anymore,” he says.
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The Six Laws of Technology Everyone Should Know

Three decades ago, a historian wrote six laws to explain society’s unease with the power and pervasiveness of technology. Though based on historical examples taken from the Cold War, the laws read as a cheat sheet for explaining our era of Facebook, Google, the iPhone and FOMO. You’ve probably never heard of these principles or their author, Melvin Kranzberg, a professor of the history of technology at Georgia Institute of Technology who died in 1995. What’s a bigger shame is that most of the innovators today, who are building the services and tools that have upended society, don’t know them, either. Fortunately, the laws have been passed down by a small group of technologists who say they have profoundly impacted their thinking. The text should serve as a foundation—something like a Hippocratic oath—for all people who build things.
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The Pressing Need for Everyone to Quiet Their Egos

We live in sometimes. On the one hand, things are better than they’ve ever been. Overall rates of violence, poverty, and disease are down. There have been substantial increases in education, longevity, leisure time, and safety. On the other hand… We are more divided than ever as a species. Tribalism and identity politics are rampant on all sides of everything. Steven Pinker and other intellectuals think that the answer is a return to Enlightenment values– things like reason, individualism, and the free expression of as many ideas as possible and an effective method for evaluating the truth of them. I agree that this is part of the solution, but I think an often under-discussed part of the problem is much more fundamental: all of our egos are just too damn loud.*
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