Big fan of Derek Sivers as I have already mentionned, I really enjoyed this short and super easy to digest book.
It is the kind of book that you open to see what it looks like and 2 hours later (1 hours if you are not as slow as I am) you realise that you have finished it.

Through 40 stories turned lessons, Derek puts down all his learnings from creating, running and selling his internet business CD Baby.

The book is at the same time very easy to read and understand as well as packed to the brim with deep and original concepts. Derek exposes a very human, humble way to run a company, far away from the usual startup or corporate discourse. It shows that it is possible to do without investors, to respect your customers (really), and to enjoy the process of building a business (really although not always).

All in all I really appreciated how honnest the book was. I never felt like that book was over analysing, exagerating or embellishing facts like some other ‘business books’ will, mostly to increase sales.

Key Take aways

The book is packed with gems but here are a few that resonated with me:

  • Never build anything nobody asked you for. There was never a business plan (in someone’s head) that resisted the first contact with a customer. You can never know what will be useful to others until someone told you they need it. Get out of your own head and go ask people what they want before spending hours and thousands of dollars building anything.

  • You can be the boss without having to do bossy things. If you have built a company from scratch and suddenly end up with 50 employees, chances are your responsibilities have changed quite a bit. Maybe you are a maker type of guy and now you spend 100% of your time managing employees. Well if you don’t enjoy it, you don’t have to. If what you like is programming, put someone else in place and isolate yourself to do what you like and where you will be the most useful for the organisation.

  • Know your north star and what you want to be. Never follow other people’s dream or society’s idea of what’s acceptable. just follow your guts and be who you want to be.