Derek Sivers  sivers.orgderek@sivers.org    @sivers
BACKGROUND:
Professional musician
Website to sell my CD
CD Baby (1997)
CD Baby (2007)200,000 musicians2 million customers85 employees
CD Baby (2008)sold for $22 million cash
CD Baby (2008)sold for $22 million cash… and gave it all away
Moved to Singapore
Why are you listening?
Why are you listening?Dumb luck…… but learned some things
WHY ARE YOU DOING?
Most people don’t know
They imitate others.Go with the flow.Pursuing someone else’s ideaWon’t make them happy(or even rich)
Deathbed regret:Pursued something thatsomeone convinced youyou should want, instead ofwhat works for you.
WHAT DO YOU WANT?Money?Prestige?Fame?Leave a legacy?Freedom?
Know. Focus. Don’t diffuse.
Money?(Refuse fame.Others in spotlight.Just watch numbers.)
Legacy?(Like Trump:Put your name on everything.More money if others get to name it.)
Freedom?(Refuse responsibility.Delegate everything.DIY = Decide It Yourself, but not Do.)
Your compass. Optimize.
Side-effects(money, fame, freedom)But know your goal.
NOBODY KNOWSTHE FUTURE
Q: “What’s the future   of new media?”
Q: “What’s the future   of new media?”A: “Nobody knows.”
Your business plan is moot.
No plan survives firstcontact with the customer.
CD Baby:
CD Baby:Payment processor 
CD Baby:Payment processor Store 
CD Baby:Payment processor Store Distributor
Admit: “Nobody knows.”
Admit: “Nobody knows.”Ask instead of answer.Learn instead of preach.
REVOLUTION?
Warren Buffett:“We don’t swing unless it’sa clear home run.”
Keep it simple. One thing.
CD Baby business model:ask the local record store
CD Baby business model:$35 to add$4 per sale
5 years later: “Revolution!”
Love ≠ Romeo & Juliet
Revolution ≠ War & blood
Revolution =simply serving people better
Revolution =uncommon sense
IF NOT A HIT, SWITCH
12 years trying everything
CD Baby = hit song
Felt the difference. Advice?
If people aren’t LOVINGwhat you’re doing, STOP!Don’t persist. Don’t push it.
When you’ve got somethinggreat, you’ll know.They’ll be freaking out.
Anything less than “OMFG!Yes! I want to pay!”STOP. Write a new song.
Success comes frompersistentlyimproving and inventing
NOTpersistentlypushing what’s not working
VERSION 0.1
Music recommendations?
First CD Baby:- showed CDs- add to cart- emailed me the info
First CD Baby:- showed CDs- add to cart- emailed me the infoProfitable in 2nd month
If you’re notlaunching too soon,you’re launching too late.
IDEAS vs EXECUTION
“I’ve got this killer idea!”
“I’ve got this killer idea!”(sign NDA to hear it)
“Online dating with music!”
“Online dating with music!”(That’s it! You make it. 50%)
IDEA-1 = bad idea1 = weak idea5 = average idea10 = good idea15 = great idea20 = amazing idea
IDEA                EXECUTION-1 = bad idea       $1 = no execution1 = weak idea       $1000 = weak execution5 = average id...
IDEA                EXECUTION -1 = bad idea       $1 = no execution 1 = weak idea       $1000 = weak execution 5 = average...
IDEA                EXECUTION -1 = bad idea       $1 = no execution 1 = weak idea       $1000 = weak execution 5 = average...
IDEA                EXECUTION -1 = bad idea       $1 = no execution 1 = weak idea       $1000 = weak execution 5 = average...
IDEA                EXECUTION -1 = bad idea       $1 = no execution 1 = weak idea       $1000 = weak execution 5 = average...
IDEA                EXECUTION -1 = bad idea       $1 = no execution 1 = weak idea       $1000 = weak execution 5 = average...
THE MOST SUCCESSFULTHINGS WE DIDAT CD BABY
Answered phone on   2nd   ring
From: CD Baby loves Sara <cdbaby@cdbaby.com>To: sara@gmail.comSubject: CD Baby loves you!Personalized email headers
Changes need pizza
Customer commentssent to musicians
Special requests with order   (including cinnamon gum and squid)
People remember you morefor the little ways you makethem smile, than all thebusiness-school stuff you do.
Eccentric American?
Eccentric in America, too.(that’s the point)
So unusual (remarkable) thateveryone tells their friends.
Be shockingly unique.Use uncommon sense.
Derek Sivers  sivers.orgderek@sivers.org    @sivers
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Derek Sivers - Revolution ? No - Just Uncommon Sense

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Derek Sivers' Talk at The New Media Asia 2011 conference in Malaysia

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Derek Sivers - Revolution ? No - Just Uncommon Sense

  1. 1. Derek Sivers sivers.orgderek@sivers.org @sivers
  2. 2. BACKGROUND:
  3. 3. Professional musician
  4. 4. Website to sell my CD
  5. 5. CD Baby (1997)
  6. 6. CD Baby (2007)200,000 musicians2 million customers85 employees
  7. 7. CD Baby (2008)sold for $22 million cash
  8. 8. CD Baby (2008)sold for $22 million cash… and gave it all away
  9. 9. Moved to Singapore
  10. 10. Why are you listening?
  11. 11. Why are you listening?Dumb luck…… but learned some things
  12. 12. WHY ARE YOU DOING?
  13. 13. Most people don’t know
  14. 14. They imitate others.Go with the flow.Pursuing someone else’s ideaWon’t make them happy(or even rich)
  15. 15. Deathbed regret:Pursued something thatsomeone convinced youyou should want, instead ofwhat works for you.
  16. 16. WHAT DO YOU WANT?Money?Prestige?Fame?Leave a legacy?Freedom?
  17. 17. Know. Focus. Don’t diffuse.
  18. 18. Money?(Refuse fame.Others in spotlight.Just watch numbers.)
  19. 19. Legacy?(Like Trump:Put your name on everything.More money if others get to name it.)
  20. 20. Freedom?(Refuse responsibility.Delegate everything.DIY = Decide It Yourself, but not Do.)
  21. 21. Your compass. Optimize.
  22. 22. Side-effects(money, fame, freedom)But know your goal.
  23. 23. NOBODY KNOWSTHE FUTURE
  24. 24. Q: “What’s the future of new media?”
  25. 25. Q: “What’s the future of new media?”A: “Nobody knows.”
  26. 26. Your business plan is moot.
  27. 27. No plan survives firstcontact with the customer.
  28. 28. CD Baby:
  29. 29. CD Baby:Payment processor 
  30. 30. CD Baby:Payment processor Store 
  31. 31. CD Baby:Payment processor Store Distributor
  32. 32. Admit: “Nobody knows.”
  33. 33. Admit: “Nobody knows.”Ask instead of answer.Learn instead of preach.
  34. 34. REVOLUTION?
  35. 35. Warren Buffett:“We don’t swing unless it’sa clear home run.”
  36. 36. Keep it simple. One thing.
  37. 37. CD Baby business model:ask the local record store
  38. 38. CD Baby business model:$35 to add$4 per sale
  39. 39. 5 years later: “Revolution!”
  40. 40. Love ≠ Romeo & Juliet
  41. 41. Revolution ≠ War & blood
  42. 42. Revolution =simply serving people better
  43. 43. Revolution =uncommon sense
  44. 44. IF NOT A HIT, SWITCH
  45. 45. 12 years trying everything
  46. 46. CD Baby = hit song
  47. 47. Felt the difference. Advice?
  48. 48. If people aren’t LOVINGwhat you’re doing, STOP!Don’t persist. Don’t push it.
  49. 49. When you’ve got somethinggreat, you’ll know.They’ll be freaking out.
  50. 50. Anything less than “OMFG!Yes! I want to pay!”STOP. Write a new song.
  51. 51. Success comes frompersistentlyimproving and inventing
  52. 52. NOTpersistentlypushing what’s not working
  53. 53. VERSION 0.1
  54. 54. Music recommendations?
  55. 55. First CD Baby:- showed CDs- add to cart- emailed me the info
  56. 56. First CD Baby:- showed CDs- add to cart- emailed me the infoProfitable in 2nd month
  57. 57. If you’re notlaunching too soon,you’re launching too late.
  58. 58. IDEAS vs EXECUTION
  59. 59. “I’ve got this killer idea!”
  60. 60. “I’ve got this killer idea!”(sign NDA to hear it)
  61. 61. “Online dating with music!”
  62. 62. “Online dating with music!”(That’s it! You make it. 50%)
  63. 63. IDEA-1 = bad idea1 = weak idea5 = average idea10 = good idea15 = great idea20 = amazing idea
  64. 64. IDEA EXECUTION-1 = bad idea $1 = no execution1 = weak idea $1000 = weak execution5 = average idea $10,000 = average execution10 = good idea $100,000 = good execution15 = great idea $1,000,000 = great execution20 = amazing idea $10,000,000 = amazing execution
  65. 65. IDEA EXECUTION -1 = bad idea $1 = no execution 1 = weak idea $1000 = weak execution 5 = average idea $10,000 = average execution 10 = good idea $100,000 = good execution 15 = great idea $1,000,000 = great execution 20 = amazing idea $10,000,000 = amazing executionTo make a business, you need tomultiply the two.
  66. 66. IDEA EXECUTION -1 = bad idea $1 = no execution 1 = weak idea $1000 = weak execution 5 = average idea $10,000 = average execution 10 = good idea $100,000 = good execution 15 = great idea $1,000,000 = great execution 20 = amazing idea $10,000,000 = amazing executionAmazing idea × no execution?$20
  67. 67. IDEA EXECUTION -1 = bad idea $1 = no execution 1 = weak idea $1000 = weak execution 5 = average idea $10,000 = average execution 10 = good idea $100,000 = good execution 15 = great idea $1,000,000 = great execution 20 = amazing idea $10,000,000 = amazing executionGood idea × good execution?$1,000,000
  68. 68. IDEA EXECUTION -1 = bad idea $1 = no execution 1 = weak idea $1000 = weak execution 5 = average idea $10,000 = average execution 10 = good idea $100,000 = good execution 15 = great idea $1,000,000 = great execution 20 = amazing idea $10,000,000 = amazing executionAmazing idea × great execution?$20,000,000
  69. 69. IDEA EXECUTION -1 = bad idea $1 = no execution 1 = weak idea $1000 = weak execution 5 = average idea $10,000 = average execution 10 = good idea $100,000 = good execution 15 = great idea $1,000,000 = great execution 20 = amazing idea $10,000,000 = amazing executionI don’t want to hear ideas.I just want to see the execution.
  70. 70. THE MOST SUCCESSFULTHINGS WE DIDAT CD BABY
  71. 71. Answered phone on 2nd ring
  72. 72. From: CD Baby loves Sara <cdbaby@cdbaby.com>To: sara@gmail.comSubject: CD Baby loves you!Personalized email headers
  73. 73. Changes need pizza
  74. 74. Customer commentssent to musicians
  75. 75. Special requests with order (including cinnamon gum and squid)
  76. 76. People remember you morefor the little ways you makethem smile, than all thebusiness-school stuff you do.
  77. 77. Eccentric American?
  78. 78. Eccentric in America, too.(that’s the point)
  79. 79. So unusual (remarkable) thateveryone tells their friends.
  80. 80. Be shockingly unique.Use uncommon sense.
  81. 81. Derek Sivers sivers.orgderek@sivers.org @sivers

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