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Anything You Want

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  3,679 ratings  ·  211 reviews
Best known for creating CD Baby, the most popular music site for independent artists, founder Derek Sivers chronicles his “accidental” success and failures into this concise and inspiring book on how to create a multi-million dollar company by following your passion. In Anything You Want, Sivers details his journey and the lessons learned along the way of creating CD Baby ...more
Kindle Edition, 90 pages
Published (first published June 21st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aaron Goldfarb
The first time I ever spoke to Derek Sivers, I accused him of ripping me off.

I had seen his great TEDx video called "Why You Need to Fail" and I wrote him to complain. (Jokingly of course.)

I told him "I wrote THE book on failing."

Derek gives his e-mail address on his website and he couldn't have responded quicker or have been nicer (or have used a more amusing adverb to explain why he hadn't heard of my book) :

"Holy crap! That's awesome. Wow. I'm sorry I didn't know about this. Oh, I see it's on
...more
Doug
A couple of Derek Sivers stories:

My first CD Baby order was #17697, for 8 discs, in 2000. When I got the now-famous colorful shipment notice I thought I’d actually been the first brand new customer to order as many as 8 albums. I thought the email had been crafted for me, in particular. I felt special.

A little later, I placed an even bigger order, and it happened to be while CD Baby was moving across the country. It was delayed long enough that I eventually contacted support, and I promptly got
...more
Jenn
Top 10 Learnings from "Anything you want"

1. Page 11: Succes comes from persistently improving and inventing, not from persistently doing what's not working.

2. Page 15: Never forget that absolutely everything you do is for your customers.

3. Page 15: It's counterintuitive, but the way to grow your business

4. Page 69: TRUST, but verify

5. Page 33: When someone's doing something for love, being generoius instead of stingy, tursting instead of fearful, ti triggers this law: We want to give to those w
...more
Niran Pravithana
Seth Godin recommended this book for every entrepreneur. I just bought it in kindle format.

It's introduction tells that you could learn an author's entire experience of creating business within one hour or two... which, unbelievably, I managed to finish it within exactly one hour because it's short, direct-to-point and really fun to go through.
The story in the book is about author's bibliography, entrepreneur tips and tactics, wow ideas of CDBaby.com's owner Derek Sivers. He built his business w
...more
Jihad
I have loved reading Derek Sivers' essays for the longest time. And even though I've read some of the ones mentioned in the book before, they were still as fresh and thought provoking as ever.

I listened to the audio book narrated by Mr. Sivers himself, it added another layer of personal connection to the stories. It narrates a story with an unusual approach to business. Yet it's about much more than that.

It's a very short book, and I would recommend it to everyone.
Greg Stoll
I have a secret desire to found a technology startup, which probably comes from reading too much Hacker News. I'm pretty happy with my current job, and I don't think I'd actually handle the stress of doing a startup very well, so I doubt it will ever happen. But reading books like this push me towards it. It makes running a startup sound so exciting! (and skips over the long discouraging parts)

This is a collection of anecdotes about founding, running, and eventually selling CDBaby. It's a very q
...more
Minah
Actually I knew the author, Derek Sivers from his TED speeches: "How to start a movement," "Keep your goals to yourself," and "Weired, or just different?," not from this book. At glance of my thought about him is that he is interested in a big range of topics, but he points out the core things of human psychology and phenomenon very well. Most of all, I feel strongly he enjoys being what he is doing. He seems very happy. I mean he is doing what makes him happy. From his book "Anything You Want," ...more
Rob Warner
Quick read but insightful. The basic premise, as I understood it, is to spend your life doing things that bring you happiness, which is not as straightforward as it seems. Too often, we spend our time doing what we think will make us happy, or what we think others expect from us, or what society dictates that we do. This book isn't a formula for building a multi-million dollar company, although that's what CDBaby turned out to be. Instead, it helps you see what criteria to consider when making d ...more
Nathan Wheeler
Anything You Want by Derek Sivers

It’s not what you think. The title causes someone to think of some sort of name it and claim it gospel or a how to guide to accumulate mass amounts of whatever you want. Derek Sivers is behind one of the most important lessons on leadership on the web. Derek was also the brains behind a company called CD baby. These are lessons that he learned from that experience. This comes a business background so some of this is not applicable to church leadership but lots of
...more
Jon Stephens
I was first introduced to Derek Sivers while watching a TED Talk. I thought his three minute speech was brilliant, so when I saw that he had written a book I was very excited to read it.

Sivers is the creator of CD Baby, a very successful online business that helps independent musicians sell their music. The book is essentially his retelling of the birth and journey of growing that business. It is described as "40 Lessons For A New Kind of Entrepreneur". The book is put out by The Domino Project
...more
Rob
I read the audio version of this, read by the author himself.

The book reads as a manifesto mixed with a retrospective. Derek SIvers founded CD Baby before iTunes, before even ecommerce was popular in order to help a few of his musician friends sell their own CDs online. The business exploded and he sold it for $20+M. The book is both his philosophy on what it means to start a business (summed up as "you have a chance to build your own utopia in which the world works as you want it to work"), les
...more
Jacopo
Vorrei poter dare la lode a questo libro, perché 5 stelle non bastano.

È uno dei rari casi in cui percepisci la presenza dell'autore, il quale non è tanto un mentore, ma più un amico che dispensa pillole di esperienza mentre sorseggia una birra con te.

'Anything you want' è un libricino tramite il quale Derek Sivers racconta ciò che ha imparato dalla sua CD Baby e cerca di mettere in guardia gli aspiranti imprenditori.

Anche se lo si potrebbe paragonare al libro di Studio Neat, 'It will be exhilara
...more
Ali Prendergast
If you read Derek Sivers' blog or have seen him speak, you won't read anything new in this book. It's very short and took me about an hour to read. Derek Sivers has a great voice and has a refreshing, down-to-earth perspective based on his experiences and decisions. He seems incredibly genuine. The relationship between a customer and a business is often adversarial, but it's clear that Derek Sivers was able to create a different kind of relationship with his clients. Maybe that's because he ulti ...more
Jay
Refreshing book about building a customer focused business. Refreshing because it is very short - takes as long to read as a business magazine. Refreshing because it focuses on the decisions to best serve the customer, with plenty of examples, even though some examples run counter to other suggestions. Yes, business can be messy. Refreshing because this story about a business is not about optimizing the business, it's about optimizing the owner's happiness. Refreshing in that the owner describes ...more
Nichole
Why I didn't read this six months ago was a huge mistake.

Seems Monsieur Derek has some valuable lessons and insight... but here's the thing his words are only words until you've gone through the fire yourself... or maybe you're just one of those people who actually take advice and don't agree when hindsight is 20/20.

Best piece of advice from Derek Sivers? Delegate don't Abdicate. Le Sigh. Yes yes...

I learned a very hard lesson doing just exactly what Derek advises the reader not to do... and
...more
Salvador Daniel
No hay forma más clara de demostrar que el dinero es una consecuencia de hacer lo que amas y no un objetivo hueco, banal. El autor narra su experiencia, sus aciertos y errores. Es material muy valioso.
Mark Taggart
Probably the best title I've read to date from Seth Godin's Domino Project imprint (an interesting experiment). Interesting and direct, especially for the first 2/3 of the book; the last 1/3 felt a bit too much like a justification for an awkward exit strategy from his company, but I suppose there's no smooth way to tell those kinds of tales. I enjoyed Sivers' contrarian, DIY take on building a startup, even though I suspect he sanded over some of the rough edges. But I'm glad he included the "D ...more
Sean Goh
Don't pursue business for your own gain. Only answer the calls for help.

You can't please everyone, so proudly exclude people.

When you make a business, you get to make a little universe where you control all the laws. This is your utopia.

But if you think true love looks like Romeo and Juliet, you'll overlook a great relationship that grows slowly.
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.
If you think
...more
Ayush Jain
Wow, this is really a fantabulously crafted book. I loved this book so much that I made my own summaries of the various learning I had from this book. The book is extremely to the point and highly relevant for anyone who is into entrepreneurship or aspires to be in. Many of the statements or ideas present are so relevant that they would just get stuck in the head for good.
Quoting a few of the statements I loved,
"Delegate but don't abdicate.",
"Business is as creative as fine arts. You can be as
...more
Amr
Simple message told simply by an author and an business owner who admits to liking simplicity: Do what you like is the best strategy for better business management. Don't get driven into the usual way of doing and managing your business. Your business is YOUR business. Do what you like and know, very well, why are you doing it.
Interesting read of an unusual story. Not exactly a story that will fit every business out there but still nice to read.
Ahmed
Always loved listening to Derek Sivers talk. This time it wasn't different. Lovely, lovely book. It was short, insightful and was told like a story. Most of all it was enjoyable.


I'd recommend it to everyone who wants to have a fulfilling life, and has an hour or two to spare.

I must say that I read the audiobook and it was beautifully narrated by Derek himself.
Simon Dingle
This book is unpretentious and sincere. It's just as long as it needs to be - enough to digest in an afternoon - and is a must-read for entrepreneurs or anyone in need of a reality check. Awesome.
Vicky
This book is written so clearly and simply that you can't help but be influenced by its message; Follow your own path and do what makes you happy.
Timtom
A short 2-3 hour, but great read. His mentality and overall approach towards life and business is very humbling and inspirational.
Michael
An interesting read, more like you've sat down over a couple of drinks, and he's spilled his story out on the table.
Jeff
Beautiful, motivational, inspirational, and concise. Thanks, Derek.
Christine Bode
Entrepreneur Derek Sivers is the founder of CD Baby, the most popular music site through which independent artists can sell their music online. In the small but powerful Anything You Want, Derek reveals how he accidentally started CD Baby and the lessons he learned along the way while building a multi-million dollar business. He later sold it and donated the profit to the Independent Musicians Charitable Remainder Unitrust because he’s not motivated by money, he’s motivated by helping people.

I l
...more
Alex
Its an interesting, engaging book, a look into how CDBaby started. There are definitely lessons to be learned here.

But like a few of these types of books that I heave read recently, the author seems to believe that his experiences and his approach are the only way. His conundrum with his employees' healthcare plan I could see coming a mile away.

One size does NOT fit all. His business grew almost by accident, or rather by word of mouth. That doesn't mean that its going to happen that way for you
...more
trav
Derek Sivers’ Anything You Want is a quick read. It comes in under an hour if you don’t take notes and don’t stop to think about things. But I am guessing you will want to as there a some pretty inspirational (and easy to implement) ideas for serving your customers.

This is not a how-to business book. It is much more a manifesto on keeping things clear, simple and taking a common sense approach to work. Sivers, founded and sold CDBaby.com. This book is a summation of the lessons he learned with t
...more
Peter
Anything You Want is a book by entrepreneur and all around cool guy Derek Sivers. Derek is most popularly known for his company CD Baby. Since selling it he has branched out to become a speaker, author, and even make a few appearances at TED. His personal website is library of information with links to great articles and notes on books he has read.

Now the book. Derek always has the user in this case the reader in mind. Unlike most business books Anything You Want is short and to the point. Its n
...more
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“Most people don't know why they're doing what they're doing. They imitate others, go with the flow, and follow paths without making their own.” 15 likes
“Don't be on your deathbed someday, having squandered your one chance at life, full of regret because you pursued little distractions instead of big dreams.” 0 likes
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