Anything You Want. 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur (3rd ed.)
Anything You Want is a business book like no other. Derek Sivers built a business a different way, a human way. He did it with no investment and a series of apparently crazy principles. And they work. They worked for him and they might work for you. A brilliant book.
— Seth Godin, author of This Is Marketing
I love this book! Derek is the entrepreneur’s entrepreneur. Just as important, perhaps more so: he is a phenomenal teacher. Whether detailing the fascinating rise of CD Baby, explaining catastrophic (but common) founder mistakes, or teaching me about relational databases in two minutes using analogies, he makes the complex simple. Moreover, he makes it all actionable. If you want a true manifesto, a guidebook with clear signposts, and a fun ride you’ll return to again and again, you have it here in this book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
― Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek
Derek Sivers was just a musician who built an online store from scratch to sell his music online. But word-of-mouth led to other musicians asking him to sell their music too. Eventually his company became the largest seller of independent music online with over 150,000 musicians and $100M in sales. After ten years, he sold the company for $22 million and gave all the money to charity.
Sivers distilled his ten years of experience into Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur — a short book that can be read in an hour. For example:
- Business is not about money. It’s about making dreams come true for others and for yourself.
- When you make a company, you make a utopia. It’s where you design your perfect world.
- Never do anything just for the money.
- Don’t pursue business just for your own gain. Only answer the calls for help.
- Success comes from persistently improving and inventing, not from persistently promoting what’s not working.
- Your business plan is moot. You don’t know what people really want until you start doing it.
- Starting with no money is an advantage. You don’t need money to start helping people.
- The real point of doing anything is to be happy, so do only what makes you happy.
The book’s most memorable stories are from his horrible mistakes, such as how he lost $3.3 million dollars with one quick mistake, and was attacked by Steve Jobs.
Anything You Want was a surprising success when first published by Seth Godin’s The Domino Project in 2011, then Penguin/Portfolio in 2015. This third edition for 2022 was improved with eight new chapters.
Its counter-intuitive humanist approach to business, focusing on generosity and happiness more than profits, has helped thousands of entrepreneurs re-focus.