Anything You Want


is a new book written by Derek Sivers. It was a pleasure to read through as it is a short book with lots of interesting thoughts using simple common sense and his years of experience leading a business.

It's really modern American style of doing business => build from scratch, sell in couple of years for a huge price, blog about it and write a motivational book. :-)

Anyway here are my notes from the book:

  • p3 Business is not about money. It's about making dreams come true for others and for yourself.
  • p3 Success comes from persistently improving and inventing, not from persistently promoting what's not working.
  • p9 If you think your life's purpose needs to hit you like a lightning bolt, you'll overlook the little day-to-day things that fascinate you.
  • p13 No plan survives first contact with customers. --Steve Blank
  • p20 As your business grows, never let the leeches sucker you into all that stuff they pretend you need.
  • p23 No way. Out of the question. That would be like puting a coke machine in a monastery. I'm not doing this to make money.
  • p31 But even well-meaning companies accidentally get trapped in survival mode. A business is started to solve a problem. But if the problem was truly solved, that business would no longer be needed! So the business accidentally or unconsciously keeps the problem around so that they can keep solving it for a fee.
  • p32 If you set up your business like you don't need the money, people are happier to pay you.
  • p43 Even if you want to be big someday, remember that you never need to act like a big boring company.
  • p50 As the company grew, everyone was surprised that I still did all the programming myself. But for an Internet business, outsourcing the programming would be like a band outsourcing the songwriting!
  • p51 You might get bigger faster and make millions if you outsourced everything to the experts. But what's the point of getting bigger and making millions? To be happy, right?
  • p65 Anything you hate to do, someone else loves. So find that person and let him do it.
  • p67 Make sure you know what makes you happy, and don't forget it.
  • p70 I thought of trying to repair relationships with each of the eightfive employees, over hundreds of hours of talking. But if you've ever had a romance break up, you know that sometimes it's beyond repair.
  • p77 No matter which goal you choose, there will be lots of people telling you you're wrong.
  • p77 You'll notice that as my company got bigger, my stories about it were less happy. That was my lesson learned. I'm happier with five employees than with eighty-five, and happiest working alone.

I don't agree with the idea of "romance break up beyond repair" and "happy working alone". Yes it's damn hard to cope with people, with a little help of romance we can get started, but every romance will eventually come to an end one day and there is also something beyond it. In my opinion the right way to do, is to keep the tension and stay in the tragic gap. Which might be really hard and it's really tempting to release the pain and sell a company like Derek did.