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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Meeting Tokens, for creating time scarcity

My pal, Mike Monteiro, is making good on his idea to try giving his team Meeting Tokens.

'Meeting Tokens' by Mike Monteiro

Previously mentioned in this post about re-creating scarcity and, in more detail, in my IDEO talk.

Can't wait to hear how it goes. I love me some scarcity.

Update, 2007-10-19 10:18 PT: Mike says he's going to produce these as handsome wooden tokens that will soon be available for sale in sets on the Mule Feed Store.

Update 2007-10-20 14:52 PT: Mike adds "The Red Merlin" to the mix.

Each bag of meeting tokens will include ONE Red Merlin. It's up to you to decide how it gets in someone's hands.

Playing the Red Merlin ends ANY meeting on the spot. No questions. (Beware of retaliation though; play it to make allies, not to make enemies.)

I'm honored.

Merlin's picture

We'll just have to see

I think Mike would be the first to say that this is a Crazy Experiment. But I'll tell you what I really like about it.

  • We're placing even a tentative stake in the ground that says these resources -- which we've all started to treat as 1) constantly available and 2) theoretically endless -- do in fact have both limits and limitations. And we're going to express that in undeniable physical terms
  • We're realigning the implicit idea that everyone in the room needs to be there for every meeting from beginning to end. Because, as with email spam, meetings will change a lot when the people with the power to call them are made to pay something...anything. It's simple economics.

Building good habits? Maybe / maybe not.

But when you charge a nickel for the hotel ice machine, the number of ice fights kids have plummets. Does it solve the problem of ice fights? Nope. But it does get kids out of the habit of thinking a) hallways are for ice fights, and b) ice machines will happily afford their abuse by providing an endless free supply of ammo.

Anyhow, I've asked Mike to write up his experience with meeting tokens for the site, so I encourage everyone to keep an eye out. Should be pretty interesting.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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