change the world, 500 words at a time

Please submit a mini-manifesto.
I have to say, after writing an under-five-hundred-word mini-manifesto, I find myself quite taken by the format. Somehow the brevity just clicks for me.
Why take 50,000 words [the length of your average business tome] to say what you have to say, when 500 will do? Brevity. I love brevity. We’re both in a hurry.
So I’m thinking, well, there’s also a lot of people out there besides myself and the bloggers I read, with ideas needing spread. Powerful ideas that could be easily summed up in 500 words or less. And I would really, truly, seriously like to do what I can to help get them out there.
So here’s the deal. If you’ve written a manifesto in 500 words or less, and you want help spreading the word, just e-mail it to me, or send me the link. If it’s any good I’ll either link to it, or post it here on gapingvoid [under the same Creative Commons terms with which I publish my own work].
It doesn’t necessarily have to be about a topic I’m professionally close to. Nor does it have to be the greatest piece of writing since Cluetrain or Purple Cow. Just make sure it’s written with authority and passion. Just make sure it’s good.
Two points to consider:
1. I’m interested in changing the world [however you wish to interpret that statement]. And I believe gapingvoid readers tend to be interested in writers who feel the same. That’s the quality we’ll collectively be looking for, so please keep that in mind.
2. I am more likely to publish something “specific”, as opposed to “general”. By that I mean, I prefer manifestos that are about something tangible, for example, accounting or driving in Phoenix, than vague, self-help/lifestyle coach/quasi-spiritual/motivational “Go, Me!” stuff. I hope that makes sense…
Thanks. Let’s see what happens…
[Manifesto archive is now here.]


  1. you got my admiration, for this and your previous (hughtrain-)post. in fact I was spending the last days thinking about writing a _personal_ manifesto for myself until the year passes by (though I’ld have called it rather my ‘personal list of steps for improvement of my professional life’ than a manifesto). but I wonder if maybe it’s about time to break the personal scope, and try changing my environment for the better. hmmmm….

  2. I had also been thinking of writing one myself anyway, now I might get started :)

  3. Wow, this has turned into quite a meme! Really enjoying them so far.

  4. The full manifestos were always a bit daunting to write. The mini’s inspired me to write mine. I wrote it in ten minutes, just to see what would happen.
    Thanks for the ignition!

  5. Hugh !
    Did you get mine ?
    I emailed it to you !

  6. Ok, so after the Thanksgiving holiday I finally got to sit down and read up on a few blogs i’d been missing out on. This rehashing of manifestos finally got me to write down the core things I try to emphasize while i’m designing a site.

  7. As human activities evolve, one important aspect of our shared brilliance in adaptation and innovation is consolidation, simplification.
    As we develop new ways of working and problem solving, we are sometimes able to take stock, observe patterns, see commonalities, and unify some things.
    By this strategy, we achieve more with fewer resources and are thereby strengthened, releasing energies for a further exploration phase.
    With regard to the web, the time has come for such a consolidation.


  1. […] is a lost one, which is why I often ask my students to write them about themselves according to Hugh MacLeod’s 500-word manifesto specifications, only composed in the traditional rhetorical form of a governing enthymeme followed by paradigmatic […]

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Hugh MacLeod is a genius.  Genius.

Seth Godin
Best Selling Author

His work acknowledges the absurdity of workaday life, while also encouraging employees to respond with passion, creativity, and non-conformity...   MacLeod’s work is undeniably an improvement over the office schlock of yore. At its best, it’s more honest, and more cognizant of the entrepreneurial psyche, while still retaining some idealism.

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Brian Clark
  • Seth Godin
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