virus: The 22 Immutable laws of spreading memes. Violate them at your own risk.

Davorin Mestric (
Wed, 24 Feb 1999 01:38:11 +0100

  1. The law of Leadership: It's better to spread it first that it is to spread a better meme.
  2. The Law of the Category: If your meme can't be first in a category, set up a new category your meme can be first in.
  3. The Law of the Mind: It's better to be first in the mind than to exist first.
  4. The law of Perception: Spreading memes is not a battle of facts, it's a battle of perceptions.
  5. The Law of Focus: The most powerful concept in spreading memes is owning a word in the vector's mind.
  6. The Law of Exclusivity: Two memes cannot own the same word in the vector's mind
  7. The Law of the Ladder: The spreading strategy to use depends on which memes in the same category already exist in the minds.
  8. The Law of Duality: In the long run, every meme war becomes a two-meme race.
  9. The Law of the Opposite: If your meme is shooting for second place, your strategy is determined by the leader-meme.
  10. The Law of Division: Over time, a category will divide and become two or more categories.
  11. The Law of Perspective: Meme spreading effects take place over an extended period of time.
  12. The Law of Meme Extension: There's an irresistible pressure to extend the scope of the meme. Avoid it.
  13. The Law of Sacrifice: Your meme has to give up something in order to spread faster.
  14. The Law of attributes: For every meme attribute, there is an opposite, effective attribute.
  15. The Law of Candor: If your meme admits a negative, the positive will become stronger.
  16. The Law of Singularity: In each situation, only one move will produce substantial results.
  17. The Law of Unpredictability: Unless you design all other memes, you can't predict your meme's future.
  18. The Law of Success: Success often leads to arrogance, and arrogance to failure.
  19. The Law of Failure: Failure is to be expected and accepted.
  20. The Law of Hype: The situation is often the opposite of the way it appears in the press.
  21. The Law of Acceleration: Successful memes are not built on fads, they're built on trends.
  22. The Law of Resources: Without adequate funding a meme won't get off the ground.

Davorin Mestric

(Thanks to Al Ries and Jack Trout)