Tag: Derek Sivers

“When you make a business, you get to make a little universe where you control all the laws.” – Derek Sivers

Starting a company is a magical time.  It’s a time when all the potential and possibility are in front of you and the vision of making change and meaning are the strongest.

It’s also a time when you control pretty much all that can be controlled.  You get to test your hypotheses and make your pivots without worrying about the approval of investors and board members.  The only thing that matters is finding out what your customers are willing to pay for solving their problems.

Enjoy this time but use it very wisely.  Having control is not about appeasing the ego.  It’s about getting to your core value proposition as quickly and cheaply as possible.  There’s a time for involving partners, key employees, investors, boards of directors and the rank and file.  You will spend more and more of your time managing communication between all these groups.  Make sure by then you are on the right track.

Read “Anything You Want” by Derek Sivers

Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson


“You can’t please everyone, so proudly exclude people.” – Derek Sivers

Being best in the world does’t mean everyone will love you.

For one thing, your competitors won’t love you, nor will their devoted fans.

You will be tempted to water down your value proposition in order to respond.  Or perhaps more common, add more and more features until your product is mediocre and pleases no one.

Be the best you can be at what you do and stay focused on that.  Saying, “we’re not for everybody” is a pretty powerful marketing statement.

Read “Anything You Want” by Derek Sivers


Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“Make yourself unnecessary to the running of your company.” – Derek Sivers

You will never grow your business until you figure out how to let other people take the reigns.

  • Your time is limited and you have to sleep
  • Your brain can only process so much information
  • Your skills and expertise only go so far

Mind the fact that you have to pick the right people; but instead of pulling your hair out while trying to determine how to do more, spend that time finding great people.  That’s the only way to multiply your efforts.

Get the right people on the bus!

Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“I live simply. I don’t own a house or a car or even a TV. The less I own, the happier I am.” – Derek Sivers

Derek Sivers is all about making meaning and much less about getting rich.  He gave away the proceeds of the sale of CD Baby to charity.

Building a company is hard and expensive.  It’s even harder if the founder has an expensive lifestyle to maintain.  Entrepreneurs don’t start companies to get rich.  They start them to make meaning.  Getting rich is a pleasant side effect if that happens.

Read “Anything You Want” by Derek Sivers

“Your business plan is moot. You don’t know what people really want until you start doing it.” – Derek Sivers

The business plan will NOT convince the customer to buy your product.  You don’t get to decide.  They do.  The customer discovery process will help you start with the most important things first but the only way to really know is to start selling something…quickly and as cheaply as possible.

Read “Anything You Want” by Derek Sivers

“By not having any money to waste, you never waste money.” – Derek Sivers

This is a great thing about startups.  When every dime is precious, and if it’s your dime, you tend to be very efficient with capital.

This should never change once you have acquired other people’s money (OPM).

They have invested in you because you have convinced them your idea will provide them with a return.

Make sure you choose the right funding partners and when you do, take care of them.  Take care of their money.  Treat like it’s yours.  Provide them with a return.

Everyone get’s to eat before the cook.

This quote is from Derek Sivers “Anything You Want”.  Get it.  Read it. Share it.