Thursday, September 1, 2016

Derek Sivers; try everything in 12 years

Derek Siver

Making a company is a great way to improve the world while improving yourself. When you make a company, you make a utopia. It’s where you design your perfect world.

Why you need to fail?

when you’re green, you grow.
when you’re ripe, you rot.
No pain, no gain. (works for muscles and also brain)
  1. learning
  • to learn effectively, make mistakes and pay attention to these mistakes.
  • Making mistakes teach better than advanced preparation.
  • Doing what you know is fun, but doesn’t improve you.
  • Doing perfect in a practice room is not practicing
  1. growth mindset vs fixed minset
  • talent is from work vs innate
  • Anyone can master anything* vs you are great, or you aren’t.
  • The fixed mindset hurts you.
  • Mindset can be easily changed. (praise their effort/work not their talent)
  • You shouldn’t compare your inside with other’s outside, because we see our mistakes ourselves, but we only see other’s final product
  1. experiment
if you’re not failing, you are not trying hard enough.


  • mindset
  • the art of learning
  • the talent code
  • latent is overrated

weird, or just different?

Whatever true thing you can say about India, the opposite is also true.

Say no more often so you can embrace what you really love

Start now. No funding needed.

Keep your goals to yourself

Telling someone your goals makes them less likely to happen.
because someone acknowledge you that makes your mind tricked into feeling that it’s already done. You feel satisfactory. You’re less motivated to do the actual hard work necessary.

Derek Sivers speech to Berklee Colege of Music

6 things I wished I knew first day in Berklee
  1. Focus. Disconnect. Do not be distracted.
    you are surrounded by distraction. You are surrounded by cool casual people, telling you to be relax.
    My successful classmates are fiercely focus, determined and undistractable.
    While you are here, president will change, the world will change. Media will try to convice you these are important. But they are not.
  2. Do not accept their speed limit.
    I learn stuff in several weeks instead of sitting for a whole semester
    I graduated in 2.5 years.
  3. Nobody teach you anything. you have to teach youself.
  4. Learn from you heros, not only theirs.
  5. Don’t get stuck in the past. innovation is more important than imitation
  6. When done, be valuable.
    never underestimate the importance of making money in making music.
    Money is nothing more than a neutral proof that you are adding value in people’s life.
    Be one of the few know how to help yourself, instead of expecting others to do it for you.

Derek Sivers at TEDxTaipei 2012

life is ..


  • learn to ignoure logic and trust emotion
  • emotional brain stores instincts, fears and gut feelings
  • trust gut-feeling on something is usualy correct than when they tyr ot over-think it and use thier 5-dollar caclulator brains
  • if you learn to understand this feeling and saying this is good enoug and I’m happy with this. You actually make better choices and you feel better about it.
  • more choices is not always better. we are actually happier when we let other people make some choices for us, like see a doctor, follow religous rules, being told what to do
  • important vs urgent


  • how to use wisely? Always remember it’s limited
  • mostly future focused, somewhat present focus, somewhat past focus
  • state of flow, loving their work


  • make more memory: to not get stuck in the routine too much, to do what’s novel, to do the risky thing, move to a new country, learn a new language, do ridiculous things


  • approach it side ways
  • ask yourself too much, how can I be happy? you’re going to be miserable

no meaning

  • I project all the meanings into it.
  • no inherit meaning
  • remove whatever meaning that holds you back
  • humans are 75% of water, I think humans are also 99% unused potential.
  • The thing holding you back from where you are to where you want to be, is always in your head. It’s usual because you put meaning on something that isn’t there.
  • If you learned that life has no meaning, then you can do whatever you want.

uncommon sense

2 why are you doing

Deathbed regret:
pursued something that someone convinced you should want, instead of what works for you.
what do you want? No matter what you choose, go for it.
  • money
    refuse fame, others in spotlight, just watch numbers
  • prestige
  • fame
  • leave a legacy
    like Trump, put your name on everything, make less money
  • freedom
    refuse responsibility, delegate everything,
    DIY = Decide it Yourself, but not Do.
key point is know, focus, don’t diffuse your energy to everything
Compass. Optimise.
know your goal

3 Nobody knows the future

4 Evolution

Love != Romeo & Juliet
Revolution!= War & Blood
Revolution = simply serving people better= uncommon sense

5 If not a hit, switch

12 years trying everything
If people aren’t loving what you’re doing, Stop!
Don’t persist. Don’t push it.
Warren Buffett
WE don’t swing unless it’s a clear home run.
Success comes from persistently improving and inventing,
not persistently pushing what’s not working

6 version 0.1

version 0.1 is what you can do right now, today, no programming, get real feedback.
If you’re not launching too soon, you’re launching too late. No perpect time

7 idea* Execution

I don’t want to hear ideas. I want to see the execution.

8 why CD baby is so successful

People remember you more for the little ways you make them smile, than all the business-school stuff you do.
So unusual (remarkable) that everyone tells their friends.
Can be shockingly unique.

Adam Grant: the surprising habits of original thinkers

late to the party

  • “ I have my most creative ideas when I’m procrastinating “
  • they are quick to start but slow to finish.
  • Failiure rate: First mover 47% vs improver 8%
  • It’s much easier to improve on somebody else’s idea than it its ot create something new from scratch. To be original, you don’t have to be first

feel doubt and fear

  • browser. who takes the initative to doubt the default and look for a better option
  • when you feel doubt, don’t let it go.
  • they’re afraid of failing, but they’re even more afraid of failing to try.
  • In the long run, our biggest regrets are not our actions, but our inaction.
  • It’s too important not to try.

have lots of bad ideas

  • They are not judged by their bad ideas
  • the greatest originals are the ones who fail the most, because they’re the ones who try the most