Jesse Thorn -- Make Your Thing: 12 Point Program for Absolutely, Positively 1000% No-Fail Guaranteed Success


32 Responses to “Jesse Thorn -- Make Your Thing: 12 Point Program for Absolutely, Positively 1000% No-Fail Guaranteed Success”

  1. BuddyBuddy says:

    I hope he applies the 12 point program to his website so it doesn’t display a 500 error and also a 404.
    In the meantime, here is Google Text cache: NEVER Mind- the cache was of some old page about Audio Levels….

  2. SpiderJon says:

    Oops! Google Chrome could not find

    Not quite the “Absolutely, Positively 1000% No-Fail Guaranteed Success” that was promised.

  3. The page seems to be having trouble loading.  

    Maybe it would help if we all head over to his site and keep pressing F5 over and over again until it is fixed…Hope it’s back up soon, I’m looking forward to reading this.

  4. EH says:

    coral cache not available.

  5. Robert says:

    Apparently the way to succeed is claim you have a way to succeed and then disappear? Seriously, though, I look forward to the hyperbolic humor that I presume the article is composed of.

  6. awjt says:

    Looks like only 8 points, to me.  But that’s just the deer hunter in me talkin.

  7. chrisspurgeon says:

    In fairness, isn’t Jesse Thorn’s site, it’s a site started by another well known public radio producer, a bloke named Jay Allison.

  8. esquire says:

    Bam!  Nice article – glad I clicked.

  9. BBNinja says:

    Shoulda hosted it on blogspot. :P

  10. Jim Saul says:

    Jesse’s site is

    Now go forth, and be more powerful than ever.

  11. That deer has an awfully suspicious look on his face.

  12. tl;dr – dumb fuckin’ luck

  13. monstrinho says:

    clearly the secret is a nice porcelain deer and a modren outlook.

    (old reference is old, so i’ll just leave this here.. )

  14. jimh says:

    I’d like to read this. But not found.
    Was it a gag?

  15. cubby96 says:

    Was ‘Boinged but now back up.  It’s a nice list of 12 examples of how people have unconventionally made their way into lucrative (mostly) media-related careers through pursuing their passions.

  16. Jesse Thorn says:

    It should be back up for everybody. Sorry – Transom usually is a site for public radio producers, so it isn’t used to big traffic. 

  17. timquinn says:

    Clue number one: Have lots of personality traits that you don’t have.

    There you go!

    • penguinchris says:

       Not everyone will be able to make it big in media – even if you do have the right personality, which you probably don’t. I’m sure Jesse knows this.

      What he’s done is use examples of successful people (including Boing Boing, number 5 on the list), and explained how they achieved their success. You can tell from his description of these people that personality does have something to do with it, but it’s also an extremely diverse group.

      So the takeaway is that it is possible for nearly anyone to be successful at this if you try, try, try – and if you have something meaningful to add to the wealth of media already available. That’s the hard part, not having the right personality – think about the “personalities” that you may be familiar with – radio DJs, TV announcers, whatever – the fact is that they don’t actually have any personality or anything interesting to bring to the table, they’re just charismatic and have a nice speaking voice.

  18. Joseph Bae says:

    Here are the 12 points (and the names of people/thing that are shining examples) :

    1. Start Now (Kate Beaton)
    2. Make Deadlines (Jonathan Coulton)
    3. Keep Your Legs Moving (Killer Mike)
    4. Don’t Confuse Content & Medium (Boing Boing)
    5. Be Authentic (Andrew WK)
    6. Follow Your Passion (Chris Hardwick)
    7. Focus on Great Work (Merlin Mann)
    8. Connect with People You Like (You Look Nice Today)
    9. Own What You Create (Felicia Day)
    10. Find the Money (Kasper Hauser)
    11. Build a Community (Insane Clown Posse)
    12. DO A GOOD JOB

    And here’s the final motivational paragraph:

    I don’t really think that most of what you need is born into you, though. Mostly, you just need to care, and try. You need to make something, and then make it again, a little better. You need to look around for money. You need to reach your hand out to meet someone when it would be easier to keep to yourself. You need to make something for you when it would be easier just do what someone else tells you to. All of these things are hard, but none of them require anything more than gumption. Which I bet you have.

    So: make your thing.

    *  *  *

    For the whole article, here’s the Google cache that Brian Easton posted earlier:

    “Gumption” is now my favourite word. ;-)

    • journey46 says:

      1. be yourself.
      2. you have one life.
      3. look for money but don’t count on it or get pissed off when it ain’t free.
      especially as a substitute for the miracle you are learning you are.
      4. count on your goodness, your zone.
      5. smile.
      6. a lot.
      7. ‘cept when ya can’t and can’t stand smiley faces.
      8. it’s all valid.
      9. none of it is terminal.
      10. embrace other people. (and their different ways when ya can)
      11. smiling is as natural as breathing.
      12. define gumption like robert persig did and wavy gravy and bukowski lived.
      13. embrace your life and wrestle it to the floor before you want to wrestle anyone else to the floor.
      14. whenever you have the need to wrestle others save up and visit turkey or greece and offer to pay for the olive oil.
      2. you have one life.
      15. never, never, write a book or an advice column.
      16. always, pick up your trash and leave the planet the way you found it.
      oops, live is 13 and the others follow suit.
      all found on page 43.
      dive into it.

  19. journey46 says:

    good luck jesse.
    welcome to the twilight zone of success, season 5 episode 124.

  20. GrueHunter says:

    Succeed, mostly through dumb luck.  Retrospectively fit a twee 12-point framework over what happened to make it look like it was all down to your drive, courage and intellect.  Support your framework with random anecdotes.  Ignore all of the time people did what you say, but were overcome by circumstance.  Claim anybody can do the same and be guaranteed of success.  

    Didn’t work for you?  You’re a lazy, gutless idiot.

  21. Paul Renault says:

    This article immediately reminded me of an old Doonesbury cartoon. I’ve done a GIS and can’t find it.
    Jason B. Thorn was also reminded of it when he read Laura Vanderkam’s 168m Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think.

    To wit: “…There’s an old Doonesbury cartoon that I couldn’t stop thinking about: Jane Fonda complains to her cleaning lady that she (the housekeeper) should be more interested in Fonda’s exercise videos. The housekeeper says she’s too busy, and Jane responds, a la Vanderkam, “Nonsense—look how busy I am, and I have plenty of time to exercise.” The housekeeper’s answer is quietly devastating, and entirely appropriate throughout this book: “Yes, but you’re as busy as you want to be, and I’m as busy as I have to be. There’s a difference.”

    Maybe we should print out Jesse’s points in bullet form and hand them out to the people in, oh I don’t know, Darfur.

  22. jtegnell says:

    Remember, if you fail, it’s entirely your fault, and it’s probably because you weren’t smiling hard enough.

  23. donovan acree says:

    The problem with telling other how to achieve anything based on your experiences is that most people aren’t you.
    In other words: If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him!

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