Posts Tagged ‘Derek’

One of the best hours you’ll ever spend

July 3, 2011

Derek Sivers has written a book called Anything You Want. If you’ve ever read his blog or heard him speak in person, you know what a sharp thinker he is. And you know how supporting independent musicians has been his main gig, starting with his founding of CD Baby.

So it should be no surprise to see that his book is full of useful, practical (even if sometimes philosophical) info for musicians. What surprised me is how much of his advice would work for other startup businesses, not just indie musicians.

I also liked learning more of the CD Baby back story, including how it was sold for $22 million, but Derek didn’t get the money. Who did? I won’t give away the answer here.

Read this book review by Michael Ellsberg of Forbes magazine.


The day Steve Jobs dissed Derek Sivers

November 12, 2010
Steve Jobs announces iTunes in 2003

Steve Jobs announces iTunes in 2003

I have to share this amazing story. In his recent post, Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby, recounts how 2003 was a huge turning point for independent artists.

Read it here.


In May 2003, Apple invited me to their headquarters to discuss getting CD Baby’s catalog into the iTunes Music Store.

iTunes had just launched two weeks before, with only some music from the major labels. Many of us in the music biz were not sure this idea was going to work.
Especially those who had seen companies like eMusic do this exact same model for years without big success.

I flew to Cupertino thinking I’d be meeting with one of their marketing or tech people. When I arrived, I found out that about a hundred people from small record labels and distributors had also been invited.

We all went into a little presentation room, not knowing what to expect.

Then out comes Steve Jobs. Whoa! Wow.

He was in full persuasive presentation mode. Trying to convince all of us to give Apple our entire catalog of music. Talking about iTunes success so far, and all the reasons we should work with them.

He really made a point of saying, “We want the iTunes Music Store to have every piece of music ever recorded. Even if it’s discontinued or not selling much, we want it all.”

This was huge to me, because until 2003, independent musicians were always denied access to the big outlets. For Apple to sell all music, not just artists who had signed their rights away to a corporation, this was amazing!

Read the rest here.

How to become a singer

June 15, 2010

Always inspiring and always in a new way, Derek Sivers, the musician who created CD Baby, has once again hit the nail on the head, this time about becoming a singer. OK, becoming a singer is only the surface of what this post is about.

Read his latest blog post.

Have you looked under the chickens?

May 26, 2009

Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby, and champion of indie musicians, is someone I respect and admire. Every time I hear him speak or read his stuff, I’m amazed at how on it he is. Here’s his latest post, where he suggests we don’t overlook the simple answers.

Sometimes, we make it too complicated. In my day job, I fix computer and networking problems: wiring, software, hardware, protocols, blah blah.

Yes, computers are complicated. But it never hurts to look at the least complicated solution first. Like, check if the thing is plugged in, if it’s turned on. Often that’s the fix.

The same applies to songwriting. I’m guilty of looking for the most complicated chord or riff for a turnaround, for example, when sometimes a simple major chord is the best solution.