new mistake

When I briefly met Esther Dyson the other day, I gave her the above cartoon, which I had drawn there, right on the spot. It was, of course, inspired by her classic maxim, “Always make new mistakes”.
What a total honor to meet her. People like Esther always remind me of what Loic and I talked about once: That the best thing about being a blogger is the people you get to meet. Exactly.


  1. It isn’t always the posts with the most complicated messages and theories that interests me. Like this one. You’re absolutely right: it’s the people we meet.
    It’s worth reminding ourselves.

  2. Amen, brother! Such a gift.

  3. Now that’s a maxim that is simple and profound! Firs t off it says DO something. And secondly her statment implies doing something NEW that way you are growing, learning, evolving as you are making new mistakes (not making the same ones again, and again and again). Great slice of information Hugh. Clearly a reflection of your personal brand. As you say my friend “Rock On”!

  4. Hugh, Great post. In the woodturning world, we like to call mistakes creative opportunities. If i gauge a piece of wood while it’s spinning on my lathe, it is simply an opportunity to seek a better alternative and grow with your art.
    Keith Burtis

  5. I like that maxim. It allows people the latitude to make mistakes, which is the only way one can attain success. I should print this out and post it over my monitor.

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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.

The New Republic
Lydia Depillis

Last year my State of the College address was 76 slides loaded with data. This year it was 14 cartoons that were substantially more memorable.

Len Schlesinger
Former President, Babson College

"There are only two daily newsletters that I look forward to opening and reading every time they show up to my inbox: Seth Godin's and gapingvoid."

Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos

In moments of indecision I glance at the wall [to Hugh's work] for guidance.

Brian Clark
  • Seth Godin
  • The New Republic
  • Len Schlesinger
  • Tony Hsieh
  • Brian Clark