这本书其实就是他创办 CD Baby 经历的一些缩影，并从中提炼出普适的内容和自己的一些思考。我觉得他的一个优势是没有经历过系统的商学院熏陶，缺少了这些条条框框，能更从 First Principle 去思考，然后你会发现并没有什么 Magic，只是坚守了一些原则或者初心吧，比如当 CD Baby 非常成功地经营了多年后，把它捐给了一个自己创建的基金会，用于音乐教育 (后来以 2000 多万美元被售卖时，已经跟 Sivers 没什么关系了），用作者自己的话说："I live simply. I don’t own a house, a car, or even a TV. The less I own, the happier I am."
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.
When you make a business, you get to make a little universe where you control all the laws. This is your utopia.
The key point is that I wasn’t trying to make a big business. I was just daydreaming about how one little thing would look in a perfect world.
Success comes from persistently improving and inventing, not from persistently doing what’s not working.
When deciding whether to do something, if you feel anything less than “Wow! That would be amazing! Absolutely! Hell yeah!” then say no. When you say no to most things, you leave room in your life to throw yourself completely into that rare thing that makes you say, “Hell yeah!”
If you want to make a movie recommendation service, start by telling friends to call you for movie recommendations. When you find a movie your friends like, they buy you a drink. Keep track of what you recommended and how your friends liked it, and improve from there.
To me, ideas are worth nothing unless they are executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.
You can’t pretend there’s only one way to do it. Your first idea is just one of many options. No business goes as planned, so make ten radically different plans.
Care about your customers more than about yourself. “Honestly, I don’t care about CD Baby. I only care about the musicians. If someday, musicians don’t need CD Baby anymore, that’s great! I’ll just shut it down and get back to making music.”
When you’re thinking of how to make your business bigger, it’s tempting to try to think all the big thoughts and come up with world- changing massive-action plans. But please know that it’s often the tiny details that really thrill people enough to make them tell all their friends about you.
When you want to learn how to do something yourself, most people won’t understand. They’ll assume the only reason we do anything is to get it done, and doing it yourself is not the most efficient way.
In the end, it’s about what you want to be, not what you want to have. To have something (a finished recording, a business, or millions of dollars) is the means, not the end. To be something (a good singer, a skilled entrepreneur, or just plain happy) is the real point.
Trust, but verify.
Delegate, but don’t abdicate.
When I decided to sell CD Baby, I already had enough. I live simply. I don’t own a house, a car, or even a TV. The less I own, the happier I am. The lack of stuff gives me the priceless freedom to live anywhere anytime. So I didn’t need or even want the money from the sale of the company. I just wanted to make sure I had enough for a simple, comfortable life. The rest should go to music education because that’s what made such a difference in my life.