November 24, 2006

seth godin's unforgiveable manifesto


I asked one of my heroes, Seth Godin, to submit a manifesto. Here is what he e-mailed me back:


Does it take 500 words to change things?

Probably not. It probably takes less than a hundred, plus a secret ingredient.

The secret ingredient is your desire to actually do something about it. To take action, to believe that it’s worthwhile, to confront what feels like a risk but really isn’t. The secret ingredient is to ignore excuses, abandon procrastination and stop looking for proof.

So, where’s my manifesto?

1. The greatest innovations appear to come from those that are self-reliant. Individuals who go right to the edge and do something worth talking about. Not solo, of course, but as instigators of a team. In two words: don’t settle.

2. The greatest marketers do two things: they treat customers with respect and they measure.

3. The greatest salespeople understand that people resist change and that ‘no’ is the single easiest way to do that.

4. The greatest bloggers blog for their readers, not for themselves.

5. There really isn’t much a of ‘short run’. It quickly becomes yesterday. The long run, on the other hand, sticks around for quite a while.

6. The internet doesn’t forget. And sooner or later, the internet finds out.

7. Everyone is a marketer, even people and organizations that don’t market. They’re just marketers who are doing it poorly.

8. Amazing organizations and people receive rewards that more than make up for the effort required to be that good.

9. There is no number 9.

10. Mass taste is rarely good taste.

So, decide. Decide before the end of the day. If you reject the aphorisms above, replace them with your own. But don’t settle. That’s unforgivable.
Thanks, Seth! Seriously.

Seth, besides being THE MASTER of brevity [I've referred to him in the past as "the Ernest Hemingway of marketing"], is no slouch in the Manifesto department himself. He founded, although yeah, he's no longer involved with it etc etc.

He's been a great inspiration to me over the years. Indeed.

[gapingvoid manifesto submission guidelines are here.][Manifesto archive is here.]

Posted by hugh macleod at November 24, 2006 3:22 PM | TrackBack

He's my hero too. =P What a great manifesto.

Posted by: Wise_guy at November 24, 2006 7:00 PM

Seth = good stuff.

Posted by: Jeff the Poustman at November 24, 2006 9:47 PM

Not solo, of course, but as instigators of a team.

There seems to be a big anti-"going solo" thing in the blogosphere lately, particularly when it comes to entrepreneurism, Web 2.0, and all that. But.. many of the greatest inventors and innovators who ever lived worked solo, so yeah.. if working solo works better for you, there's no reason to be in a team.

Posted by: Peter Cooper at November 24, 2006 11:22 PM

Seth is good guy

Posted by: Artyom at November 24, 2006 11:25 PM

IMHO - Seth is beyond marketing. His philosophy applies to all facets of business - indeed, some of the wisdom could be applied to most human endeavors.

Posted by: phillip marzella at November 25, 2006 12:28 AM

Too bad we can't all be Seth.


Posted by: John at November 25, 2006 12:43 AM

Seth just made unforgivable unforgetable.

Posted by: Scott Ahlsmtih at November 25, 2006 1:54 AM

"So, decide. Decide before the end of the day."

NO! It's NOW or NEVER, and not a second later. Why?

Because doers do not think and do. They "Thinkdo", or rather, "DoThink". Doing for them is exploration. They start off with the hunch of an idea, and that's why they occasionally blow up factory rooftops.

Bill Gates (Yes, Bill Gates) . Steve Jobs. Sergey and Larry. Jack Welch. Examples abound.

Jay, from Bangalore

Posted by: Jayakumar Hariharan at November 25, 2006 3:19 AM

Seth is an amazing guy. A huge inspiration to me.

I just saw the movie Deja Vu. Interesting concept but for me it really hit home. This Earth, this world, everything is just so incredibly amazing.

We think we only live once. At least we know we only live once because I don't remember living already.

So, how can we not make the best of our life? How can we settle?

How can we not go after our dreams? Life is way too short and precious to settle for the norm. That's not meaningful.

Seth has helped me break out of my shell. I am so close to exploding out of my shell and following my dreams, true strengths and confronting my fears and going after my passion.

I am going to leave my big, fancy corporate job soon enough.

The question is how can I not follow my dreams?

Posted by: Adam Gilbert at November 25, 2006 4:58 AM

Seth is superb.

Posted by: Marti at November 25, 2006 4:51 PM

Wow! Once again, Seth at its best! I am very sure, whoever reads Seth's blog or books, becomes a member of a fanclub of this hero.
I love his way of expressing deep meaning in very crisp manner.

Posted by: Aditya Kothadiya at November 25, 2006 9:42 PM

Who doesn't love Seth...?

Posted by: Lewis Smile at November 26, 2006 1:07 PM

Caro Hugh, anche qui ci sembra che Seth sappia bene come uscirsene!

Ti aspettiamo presto.

I tuoi amici Italiani!

Posted by: Alex Giordano at November 26, 2006 5:49 PM

I like the picture and can see
Seth himself in the center of
the eternal lapis produced by
the rotation of the elements-ideas.
Why there is No #9?

I tuoi amici Russo!

Posted by: RussPress at November 26, 2006 7:52 PM

Ideas are only as good as their execution, the secret ingredient. My translation:

1. Travel light, think boldly and go where no one has dared go before.

2. You cannot manage relationships; you live them and learn from them.

3. Make it easy for people to say no and then allow them to say yes on their own terms.

4. Know and engage your audience.

5. Manage growth skillfully.

6. If you don't want to read about it, don't put it in writing.

7. Marketing is to sales as building a network is to relationships.

8. When you're that good, your reward is already built in.

9. Love what you do and find ways to do it; enable yourself.

10. If you fall for everything, you'll stand for nothing.

Thanks, Hugh. Thanks, Seth. That was fun!

Posted by: Valeria Maltoni at November 27, 2006 7:36 PM

Seth is a great inspiration, just like Rick Warren

Posted by: RU at November 28, 2006 8:24 PM

Very wise words from Seth. Good idea to invite him to writing a manifesto!

Posted by: David Carlson at December 9, 2006 1:28 PM

Seth and Hugh, your both great! Your the guys who got me into blogging!

I (want to become the obvious Geek Movie Director) had an interesting conversation with a guy making comics the other day. Apparently we both use Seth's advices. It's really great to see that some things are just universal truths. No matter what you do.

André Hedetoft
Geek Movie Director
Join my Fan Club so that I get to make my next movie over at

Posted by: André Hedetoft at December 11, 2006 7:07 AM