An Internet Creator's Manifesto

Dear Everybody,

A few weeks ago I set out to distill the worldview of successful internet creators.

Not what makes them different, but the philosophies they share.

I’ve copied Draft 1.0 below and created a shared doc for anyone who’d like to iterate together. My goal is to create something that will motivate us all and, in particular, people starting out in their journeys.

Here’s the doc. Would love if you offered comments about what’s missing and what seems off or unnecessary. Thank you, and happy creating!

An Internet’s Creator’s Manifesto


I have a duty to be useful and to be myself.

I don’t know what’s useful or obvious to others, so I share things useful or obvious to me.

I never know what will resonate.


I show up daily and give myself permission to create.

“The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.” -Steven Pressfield


I post freely.

If a tweet gets 100,000 impressions in a day, 99.95 percent of the people on Twitter that day didn’t see it.


If I’m creating, I’m succeeding.

I measure my success by how much I am discovering about myself.


I think long-term.

Creating is not a race against time nor a competition with anyone else.

Learning and creating takes time, and the best time to start is now.


I don’t need to know everything, I just need to put myself out there.

If I create and share enough, I’ll spiral into a style no one else can replicate.


I direct others’ attention.

“Any painter, any poet, any musician, sets a trap for your attention. That is the nature of art.”

-Marshall McLuhan


I play positive-sum games with positive-sum friends.

My creations help others, and others’ creations help mine.


My attention is an asset and I spend it wisely.

I listen intently and I'm selective about what I listen to.


I follow my curiosity and learn.

If I’m curious enough about something, I will be successful at it.

The more curious I am about it, the more successful I will be at it.


I don’t need my own style at the outset.

I develop it by what I observe and mimic.


When I pay close enough attention, I can’t help but create.

If I’m not creating from the things I’m consuming and experiencing, I’m not consuming or experiencing them well.


I share ideas in the spirit of helping others.

I aim to capture less value than I create.


I don’t need to find or impress everyone. I just need to communicate.

One ten-thousandth of one percent of people on the internet is four thousand six hundred people.


The scale of opportunity on the internet is huge and hard for me to grasp.

Twitter’s daily active users would fill the largest stadium in the United States 2,000 times.

The internet is one million one hundred sixty-five thousand groups of 4,000 people.


I know everything is a remix.

I’m original by building on the thoughts of others.


I learn more by creating than consuming.

I refine my ideas by sharing them.


I focus on the process, not the outcome.

I refine what I create, then throw the output back into the process.


I do what creators have always done: take the counsel of other creators.

I promote them. Give them feedback. And tell them when their work is valuable.


I promote myself and my work so other people don’t have to.

If I’m creating valuable things, sharing them is selfless.


My reward isn’t transmitting.

My reward is how fast I can learn from others transmitting to me.


The more I share, the more I interact with like-minded people.

The more I interact with like-minded people, the more I discover about myself.

The more I discover about myself, the more I share.


I make my own serendipity.

My luck is a product of participation.


I don’t copy others, but I say things without worrying if others have already said them.


I pare what I create to its essentials.

If the quality of the things I create is compelling, then the value of the things I create is compounding.


I try to write one true thing I now know.

“The great thing is to last and get your work done and see and hear and learn and understand; and write when there is something that you know; and not before; and not too damn much after.” -Ernest Hemingway


I strive to create consistent A+ content, but I realize consistent B+ content gains attention over time and can be later refined into A+ content.


Published content isn’t final content. It’s just published.


Thank you for reading!  

If you'd like more notes on creativity, please do join the email list.                

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Sincerely,

Justin