Scientifically Speaking, Your Shoes Are Untied

According to a recent scientific paper, our shoelaces are put through the physical wringer with every single step we take, reaching a combined impact and acceleration rate of 7Gs — about as much as an Apollo spacecraft on reentry to Earth’s atmosphere. Being the wizards of science and whimsy that we claim to be, are there scientific explanations for other mundane misadventures we all experience every day? 

Read More

First-World Paint Problems

At its best, innovation is about solving people’s real problems. And, sometimes, the best way to solve people’s problems is to truly empathize and experience the struggle first-hand. Over the past few weeks, I’ve experienced my fair share of painter’s plight as I took on the ambitious job of painting six rooms in my house. As I sanded, stretched, sweated, climbed and cursed my way through the painting process, I was struck with a few, simple ideas that could have made my life a whole lot easier. 

Read More

The Dots: Gravity and the Fabric of Influence

We wrote a book! The Dots is our examination of influence in the modern age. Through humor, a series of analogies to physics, a litany of pop culture references, and an algorithm to harness the power of influential people, it helps readers develop an actionable approach to influence. Plus, it has pictures! We really want you to read the whole thing, but to get you started, here's a free chapter.

Read More

The New Lexicon

If you’re a regular reader of Wired Magazine, then you may have come across Jonathon Keats'  ‘Jargon Watch’ column. As stellar a job as he does, he can’t cover every new word that gets added to the social lexicon, and in today’s always-evolving digital landscape, creating new words is the norm. That being the case, we’ve been having fun noting down some of the interesting turns of phrase we’ve seen and heard recently...

Read More

Superforecasting 2017

The book, Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Predictionsuggests that accurate predictions are less about supercomputers and scientific methods, and more about compelling evidence from a variety of sources, probabilistic thinking, teamwork, and the ability to admit error and change course. With that in mind, rather than offering our predictions for the year ahead, here are some of our own Superforecasts for 2017.

Read More

The Not-So-Scientific Science of Spending

According to a professor in the finance department at Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business, our propensity to spend and save money is coded into our DNA. Much like athletic ability, we are pre-programmed to be good (or bad) with money. When faced with a spending choice, such as how much to spend on a glass of wine, there’s a specific gene that helps determine our decision. 

Read More

What Chance The Rapper Changed For Young, Black Chicago Men

He was damaged, like many of us, and had tapped into the sources of that damage just before the lyrics spewed eloquently from his mouth. The apparent pain and frustration that flowed between his words stood as proof that my assumption was correct. The content of Paranoia describes a lifestyle that Black men in Chicago are all too familiar with — and not by choice.

Read More

What if Google Ran for President?

What if we had another option in this election? A candidate without any of the typical east coast, Washington ties? A nominee programmed from birth with the kind of temperament and intellect necessary to lead? What if we could vote for someone whom the American people trusted? What if Google ran for President?

Read More

THE SYLVAIN LABS 2016 MID-YEAR RETROSPECTIVE: BEST GIF

Emojis are for squares. If you really want to make an impact with your message in 2016, you gotta have a clutch GIF. We like to fancy ourselves masters of the GIF game, and any peek into our internal email chains will quickly prove us right. So, as we close out this mid-year retrospective, we leave you with some of our favorite examples of haphazardly animated nonsense.

Read More