Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur by Derek Sivers

Derek shares how he built grew to one of the biggest music distributors then sold it for $22 million

He explains his business philosophies such as entrepreneurship, marketing, product development, and hiring.

Let’s dive in…

Anything You Want Summary

  • Business is not about money. It’s about making someone else’s life better
  • It’s about making dreams come true for others and for yourself. Making a company is a great way to improve the world while improving yourself.
  • Prepare for double: Always prepare for your business to grow twice as fast as it is currently growing. This way, you’ll never find yourself in a situation where you can’t handle the growth.
  • You don’t need a business plan: A business plan is just a guess. The best way to figure out if your business is going to work is to just start it and see what happens.
  • You don’t need to raise money: Raising money just delays the day when you have to start making money. It’s better to just start making money from customers right away.
  • Advantage of No Funding: You don’t need to please investors. You can please yourself and your customers instead.
  • Either It’s Hell Yeah! or no: Whenever you’re considering doing something, ask yourself if it’s a “hell yeah!” If it’s not, then don’t do it.
  • Only One Percent: You don’t need to please everyone. Just focus on the one percent of people who are your biggest fans.
  • Keep It Simple: The more complicated your product is, the less likely it is to succeed. Keep it simple so that people can understand it and use it.
  • Ideas are worth zero: It’s not the idea that matters, it’s the execution. Anyone can have a great idea, but it’s only the people who actually do something with their idea that make it successful.

“No business plan survives first contact with customers.”

Steve Blank
  • Strength of little customers: You don’t need a few big customers to succeed. You can make a great business with a lot of small customers.
  • Don’t punish others for one’s mistakes: When one customer does something wrong, don’t punish others.
  • Okay to be casual: Don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s okay to be casual with your employees
  • Customer Support: CD baby picked up all calls within 2 rings. They take customer support seriously
  • It’s Okay to quit: Don’t feel like you have to stick with something just because you started it. If it’s not working, then it’s okay to quit.

Quotes from Anything You Want

  • Set up your business like you don’t need the money, and it’ll likely come your way.
  • Care about your customers more than about yourself, and you’ll do well.
  • Don’t think you need a huge vision. Just stay focused on helping people today.
  • If you find even the smallest way to make people smile, they’ll remember you more for that smile than for all your other fancy business model stuff.
  • Make sure you know what makes you happy, and don’t forget

Looking for more hits? browse more book summaries.

Leave a Comment