The Holstee Manifesto

This one is my favourite, at least partially because of its origins. Basically, someone was annoyed at not having a convenient pocket, so they sewed a patch onto a T-shirt at an angle where they could easily reach into it across their body. Like a holster. People went fucking nuts about this idea, and thus the "Holstee" was born. Get it? Get it? It's a hols-T-shirt.

They sold so many and took so many orders that they started a company, and of course a company needs corporate culture and values, so all the people who worked there sat down and said "What do we stand for?"

And they made this. Which is fucking beautiful, and beats "Don't be evil" by a country fucking mile.


Notice how there's not one Goddamn word about making money in there? That's because "making money" isn't a corporate value. It's a corporate function. People like to confuse those things. They think "I am in the business of making T-shirts with pockets" and then their corporate values start off with "make fucking T-shirts and put fucking pockets on them because fuck yeah."

But the Holstee folks started differently. They didn't start with "what do we do" or "what do we want to tell people" or even "what do we stand for."

They started with "what do we believe."

Being BADASS starts with that, too. Having the Belief. The rest follows: develop Awareness, choose a Direction, take Action, create a System, tell your Story.

But first, believe.

What I love about the Holstee manifesto is that it hammers incessantly on the real important parts of doing good business, or indeed living a good life. It starts out on the same note where it ends: "This is your life. Do what you love and do it often." By the end of it, they come back and echo the same ideal: "Life is short. Live your dream and share your passion."

I cannot express how much I love this philosophy.

My only real issue with this manifesto is that it is too long, too hard to remember. You can't easily quote it - you can remember the first part, and some things in the middle, but maybe you don;'t have them in the right order and there's no real way to be sure.  The Cult of Done numbers them; that's good. But 13 is a bit many, too. People can, in general, remember seven items plus or minus two.

There's a great deal made of the fact that the Cult of Done Manifesto was done in twenty minutes because that's how much time they had. But it shows. That's its flaw - it was done in twenty minutes, and therefore it is limited by what could be done in twenty minutes.

Meanwhile, "the gap" was never intended to be a manifesto at all. It was, instead, constructed on the fly by Glass during an interview. And Robin Sharma's rule for being amazing are basically 28 short inspirational quotes - they're not even numbered.

What bothers me about these other manifestos is a series of issues that I wanted to rectofy, that I wanted to kind of wrap up and cut through all the garbage. And that's why I wrote the Badass Manifesto - it's why I boiled things down the way I did and made them fit into the seven-rule framework.

I didn't take them as inspiration. Most of them I discovered after I had already begun work on the Badass Manifesto, and i used them simply as models to refine my own work. It was important... once I knew I was writing a manifesto... to look at others and address the shortcomings I saw.

I mean, there's only so much you can learn from Karl Marx and the Communist Manifesto, or from the works of anarchists who followed his lead. So I had to look farther afield for things more inspirational and positive.

And tomorrow, we'll talk about the result of that - why I decided to write a manifesto in the first place, and why it took the shape that it did, and how it evolved over time.

But yep, that's tomorrow. We're done today. And several days behind schedule. But catching up. And within a week, you won't even notice the discontinuity. That's how archives and shit work.