NYDLA Members can get Derek Sivers’ New Book – “Anything You want: 40 lessons for a new kind of entrepreneur” for FREE

About Derek Sivers


Derek Sivers is an author of philosophy and entrepreneurship, known for his surprising quotable insights and pithy succinct writing style. Formerly a musician, programmer, TED speaker, and circus clown, he sold his first company for $22 million and gave all the money to charity.

He is best known for being the founder and former president of CD Baby, an online CD store for independent musicians. A professional musician since 1987, Sivers started CD Baby by accident in 1997 when he was selling his own CD on his website, and friends asked if he could sell theirs, too. CD Baby went on to become the largest seller of independent music on the web, with over $100M in sales for over 150,000 musician clients..

In 2008, Sivers sold CD Baby to focus on his new ventures to benefit musicians, including his new company, MuckWork, where teams of assistants help musicians do their “uncreative dirty work”. His current projects and writings are all at sivers.org.

In June 2013, Sivers launched his new company, Wood Egg, which published annual guides on how to build companies in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

He is the author of 4 books, How to Live, Hell Yeah or No, Your Music and People, Anything You Want, which he describes as

  • How to Live Not quite non-fiction, not quite self-help. It’s a work of art about conflicting philosophies
  • Hell Yeah or No – Useful wisdom. Simple profound mental models to guide your decisions
  • Your music and People -Get your work to the world by being creative, considerate, resourceful, and connected
  • Anything You Want – 40 lessons for a new kind of entrepreneur. My tales of starting, building, and selling CD Baby.

As of March 2023 he is currently working on his next book and describes it as:

“I’m fascinated with this subject of choosing beliefs that are useful to me now, not caring if they’re true. For past examples, see “Everything is my fault”, “Assume men and women are the same”, and “I assume I’m below average”.

I’m so fascinated with it that I’ve decided this is my next book — a dive into this subject so I can learn what others have thought around this and think deeper about it myself.

I read many books on Pragmatism, and now reviewing all past book notes for related inspiration.”

Here you can listen to Audio Only versions