“Brands become interesting to us once interesting people start using them, not the other way around.”

[Back in 2004, I tried merging The Cluetrain with the ad industry, perhaps a couple of years before the world was really ready. Heh.] One of gapingvoid’s favorite collectors, Havas International CEO David Jones wrote a nice article in Advertising Week recently about how we need to kill the idea of “consumer”, replacing it with […]

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“Mea­ning­ful brands out­per­form stock mar­ket by 120%”.

Havas CEO David Jones tweeted the following news story earlier tonight: “Meaningful brands outperform stock market by 120%”. 120%. And why is that, you ask? Perhaps it’s related to something Seth Godin and I were riffing on, WAY back in 2008: SETH: You can’t drink any more bott­led water than you already do. Or buy […]

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The Hughtrain, Mark Two

THE HUGHTRAIN MkII 1. The mar­ket for something to believe in is infi­nite. We are here to find mea­ning. We are here to help other peo­ple do the same. Everything else is secon­dary. We humans want to believe in our own spe­cies. And we want peo­ple, com­pa­nies and pro­ducts in our lives that make it easier […]

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So what comes after advertising (9 years later)?

Back in the early blogging days of 2004, I wrote a little online rant called “The Hughtrain Manifesto”, influenced by all the stuff I was reading at the time: Tom Peters, Seth Godin, Mark Earls, The Cluetrain Manifesto etc. The question I was asking then was, “What comes after advertising?” If this new Internet thingy […]

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“The New Certainties”: Minimalism, Motivational Speakers & Looking For New Stuff To Believe In etc.

[The “Hughtrain” cartoon, 2004] I’ve been seeing a pattern emerging. Here are some of the main ingredients: 1. That Marfa, Texas, one of the great Minimalist shrines in America is now a popular hipster destination spot. 2. One of my my favorite movies of recent years, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, which I’ve been raving about for […]

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Happy gapingvoid Birthday! My Blog Turns Eleven…

Over the weekend, gapingvoid.com turned eleven years old. I won’t dwell on it too much, other than to say, 1. Yes, it has been an amazing trip, 2. Thank you very much for all the love over the years and, 3. Looking back, I consider “Personal Faves” (2001) to be the best thing on it […]

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the hughtrain mkii

THE HUGHTRAIN MkII 1. The market for something to believe in is infinite. We are here to find meaning. We are here to help other people do the same. Everything else is secondary. We humans want to believe in our own species. And we want people, companies and products in our lives that make it […]

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on finding “meaningful work”

Back in October, I wrote a relatively candid blog post, “Note to My ‘Tribe': Where are we headed, Anyway?” And as our mutual friend, Seth says, every tribe needs a leader: The next frontier of marketing is in leading groups of people who are working together to get somewhere. I concur. So I’m guessing that […]

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the survival dance and the sacred dance

A friend just emailed me this excerpt from “Soul Dance”, by Bill Plotkin. I liked it so much, I thought I’d share it with y’all. It certainly resonates with my current day job. Brilliant. The Survival Dance and The Sacred Dance Harley Swift Deer, a Native American teacher, says that each of us has a […]

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art, the kinetic quality and social objects

Vinny Warren, a highly respected Creative Director in Chicago [He wrote the Budweiser “Whassup” ad campaign] has kindly hung his new “Bluetrain” print in a key focal point of his agency, the conference room. He blogs about it here. Fresh from the framing store, it’s one of just 85 signed Hugh MacLeod prints from the […]

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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