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A talk by Derek Sivers

<figcaption class="wp-caption-text">via flickr/telstar</figcaption></figure>

Why Are You Doing What You’re Doing?

Most people don’t know. They imitate others, go with the flow, pursue someone else’s idea. It won’t make them happy (or even rich).

The worst case scenario is deathbed regret – pursuing something that someone convinced you you should want, instead of what works for you.

What do you want?

Know. Focus. Don’t diffuse.

Want Money? Refuse fame. Let others have the spotlight. Just watch the numbers.

Want Legacy? Be like Trump: Put your name on everything, even though you’d make more money if others get to name it.

Want Freedom? Refuse responsibility. Delegate everything. Turn DIY into Decide It Yourself, not Do It Yourself.

Whatever you choose, this is your compass. Optimize your activities for it. You might get the others as side-effects but, know your goal.

Nobody Knows the Future

Your business plan is moot.

If you admit that no one knows the future, you can go into a “listening” mode. You can look at a problem and decide if it’s a worthy problem to solve. You don’t know the answer but you’re willing to try and figure it out.

Ask instead of Answer.

Learn instead of Preach.


Revolution is a word that people only use when you’re successful. Before that, you’re just a quirky person who does things differently.

Keep it simple. Do one thing well.

If you start a new venture, it doesn’t have to be revolutionary. Just serve people better.

Revolution = Uncommon Sense. It’s when you look at a situation and it seems pretty obvious that it could be done in a very different way than everybody’s doing it and it makes a lot more sense to do things that way but, for some reason, people aren’t. So that’s it. If you persist with that and it’s successful, they’ll say that you made a revolution.

If It’s Not a Hit, Switch.

If people aren’t LOVING it, STOP.

Don’t pull the trigger unless it’s a clear home run.

Success comes from persistently improving and inventing, not persistently pushing what’s not working.

Version 0.1

Don’t dream about version infinity, the version of your product that has every feature you’d ever want. Just start talking to real people about your idea.

If you’re not launching too soon, you’re launching too late.

The Most Successful Things We Did at CD Baby

People remember you more for the little ways you make them smile than all the business school stuff you do.