Derek Sivers hat 1997 CD Baby gegründet, welches sich zum größten Händler für unabhängige Musiker entwickelt hat. In 2008 hat Sivers das Unternehmen für 22 Millionen USD verkauft und den Erlös an eine Stiftung für Musiker übertragen. In diesem Buch gibt er Ratschläge für Entrepreneure.
Gelesen im März 2017.
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Business is not about money. It’s about making dreams come true for others and for yourself.
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.
Never do anything just for the money.
Success comes from persistently improving and inventing, not from persistently promoting what’s not working.
Starting with no money is an advantage. You don’t need money to start helping people.
You can’t please everyone, so proudly exclude people.
Make yourself unnecessary to the running of your business.
The real point of doing anything is to be happy, so do only what makes you happy.
His approach on CDBaby- I wrote down my utopian dream-come-true distribution deal from my musician’s point of view. That was my mission. I liked it. It was a worthy hobby.
Those points were like a mission statement. I wrote them on the site, talked about them at every conference, and made sure everyone I worked with knew them.
I was just daydreaming about how one little thing would look in a perfect world.
Revolution is a term that people use only when you’re successful. Before that, you’re just a quirky person who does things differently. If you think revolution needs to feel like war, you’ll overlook the importance of simply serving people better.
When you’re onto something great, it won’t feel like revolution. It’ll feel like uncommon sense.
If it’s not a hit, switch.
We’ve all heard about the importance of persistence. Success comes from persistently improving and inventing, not from persistently doing what’s not working.
When you present something to the world and it’s not a hit, don’t keep pushing it as is. Instead, get back to improving and inventing.
Present each new idea or improvement to the world. If multiple people are saying, “Wow! Yes! I need this! I’d be happy to pay you to do this!” then you should probably do it. But if the response is anything less, don’t pursue it.
No “yes.” Either “Hell yeah!” or “no.”
For every event you get invited to, every request to start a new project, if you’re not saying, “Hell yeah!” about it, say no.
We’re all busy. We’ve all taken on too much. Saying yes to less is the way out.
No business plan survives first contact with customers.
Even years later, the desks were just planks of wood on cinder blocks from the hardware store. I made the office computers myself from parts. My well-funded friends would spend $100,000 to buy something that I made myself for $1,000. They did it saying, “We need the very best,” but it didn’t improve anything for the customers.
Never forget that absolutely everything you do is for your customers.
If you’re ever unsure what to prioritize, just ask your customers the open-ended question, “How can I best help you now?” Then focus on satisfying those requests.
None of your customers will ask you to turn your attention to expanding. They want you to keep your attention focused on them.
It’s counterintuitive, but the way to grow your business is to focus entirely on your existing customers. Just thrill them, and they’ll tell everyone.
So no, your idea doesn’t need funding to start. (You also don’t need an MBA, a particular big client, a certain person’s endorsement, a lucky break, or any other common excuse not to start.)
To me, ideas are worth nothing unless they are executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions. Explanation:
Awful idea = -1
Weak idea = 1
So-so idea = 5
Good idea = 10
Great idea = 15
Brilliant idea = 20
No execution = $1
Weak execution = $1,000
So-so execution = $10,000
Good execution = $100,000
Great execution = $1,000,000
Brilliant execution = $10,000,000
To make a business, you need to multiply the two components. The most brilliant idea, with no execution, is worth $20. The most brilliant idea takes great execution to be worth $200,000,000.
You need to confidently exclude people, and proudly say what you’re not. By doing so, you will win the hearts of the people you want.
It’s a big world. You can loudly leave out 99 percent of it. Have the confidence to know that when your target 1 percent hears you excluding the other 99 percent, the people in that 1 percent will come to you because you’ve shown how much you value them.
This goes back to the utopian perfect-world ideal of why we’re doing what we’re doing in the first place. In a perfect world, would your website be covered with advertising? When you’ve asked your customers what would improve your service, has anyone said, “Please fill your website with more advertising”? Nope. So don’t do it.
I felt like saying things my old voice teacher would have said: “OK, make a plan that requires only $1,000. Go!” “Now make a plan for ten times as many customers. Go!” “Now do it without a website. Go!” “Now make all your initial assumptions wrong, and have it work anyway. Go!” “Now show how you would franchise it. Go!”
No business goes as planned, so make ten radically different plans.
Journalists would ask, “What’s your long-term goal for CD Baby?” I’d say, “I don’t have one. I surpassed my goals long ago. I’m just trying to help musicians with whatever they need today.”
So please don’t think you need a huge vision. Just stay focused on helping people today.
I miss the mob. They’d tell me that if I analyzed the business better, I could maximize profitability. Then I’d tell them about the taxi driver in Vegas.
We all grade ourselves by different measures: For some people, it’s as simple as how much money they make. When their net worth is going up, they know they’re doing well. For others, it’s how much money they give. For some, it’s how many people’s lives they can influence for the better. For others, it’s how deeply they can influence just a few people’s lives.
Of course you should care about your customers more than you care about yourself! Isn’t that Rule No. 1 of providing a good service? It’s all about them, not about you.
It’s kind of like the grand tales in which the hero needs to be prepared to die to save the day. Your company should be willing to die for your customers. That’s the Tao of business: Care about your customers more than about yourself, and you’ll do well.
If you set up your business like you don’t need the money, people are happier to pay you. When someone’s doing something for the money, people can sense it, like they sense a desperate lover. It’s a turnoff.
We want to give to those who give.
Set up your business like you don’t need the money, and it’ll likely come your way.
Life is good. You can’t prevent bad things from happening. Learn to shrug. Resist the urge to punish everyone for one person’s mistake.
If you find even the smallest way to make people smile, they’ll remember you more for that smile than for all your other fancy business-model stuff. (CD Baby’s Shipping Mail)
With one line of code, I made it so that every outgoing e-mail customized the “From:” field to be “CD Baby loves [first name].” So if the customer’s name was Susan, every e-mail she got from us would say it was from “CD Baby loves Susan.” Customers loved this!
There’s a benefit to being naive about the norms of the world – deciding from scratch what seems like the right thing to do, instead of just doing what others do.
But no matter what business you’re in, it’s good to prepare for what would happen if business doubled. Notice that “more of the same” is never the answer. You’d have to do things in a new way to handle twice as much business. Processes would have to be streamlined.
If your internal processes are always designed to handle twice your existing load, it sends an attractive “come on in, we’ve got plenty of room” message.
Never be the typical tragic small business that gets frazzled and freaked out when business is doing well. It sends a repulsive “I can’t handle this!” message to everyone.
The whole point of doing anything is because it makes you happy!
You might get bigger faster and make millions if you outsource everything to the experts. But what’s the point of getting bigger and making millions? To be happy, right?
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.
When you sign up to run a marathon, you don’t want a taxi to take you to the finish line.
Apple iTunes deal – I never again promised a customer that I could do something that was beyond my full control.
Delegating / Coaching – This time, instead of just answering the question, I called everyone together for a minute. I repeated the situation and the question. I answered the question, but more important, I explained the thought process and philosophy behind my answer.
Ten minutes later, a new question. Same process: Gather everybody around. Answer the question and explain the philosophy. Make sure everyone understands the thought process. Ask one person to write it in the manual. Let everybody know they can decide this without me next time.
After two months of this, there were no more questions.
There’s a big difference between being self-employed and being a business owner. Being self-employed feels like freedom until you realize that if you take time off, your business crumbles. To be a true business owner, make it so that you could leave for a year, and when you came back, your business would be doing better than when you left.
Never forget that you can make your role anything you want it to be. Anything you hate to do, someone else loves. So find that person and let her do it.
You have to just do whatever you love the most, or you’ll lose interest in the whole thing.
Make sure you know what makes you happy, and don’t forget it.
[DR: Russian proverb] Trust, but verify. Remember it when delegating. You have to do both.
Delegate, but don’t abdicate.
Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller were at a party at a billionaire’s extravagant estate. Kurt said, “Wow! Look at this place! This guy has everything!” Joseph said, “Yes, but I have something he’ll never have. Enough.”
The less I own, the happier I am. The lack of stuff gives me the priceless freedom to live anywhere anytime.
Pay close attention to when you’re being the real you and when you’re trying to impress an invisible jury.
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Bildquelle: Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain