Anything You Want

by Derek Sivers

Posted Jan 31, 2021

A quick, inspiring read by the founder of CD Baby on how he ran his business and why he sold. There are a lot of great stories on how he put his customers first, relentlessly.

Here are a couple favorite quotes:

A business plan should never take more than a few hours of work—hopefully no more than a few minutes. The best plans start simple. A quick glance and common sense should tell you if the numbers will work. The rest are details.

After working on dozens of business plans and models, I came to a similar conclusion. There are a lot of cases where putting in the work to figure out how key metrics and growth drivers would need to compound over time to get to certain hurdles is helpful. For most businesses, I think basic unit economics and thinking about how repeatable those units are is enough.

Make every decision—even decisions about whether to expand the business, raise money, or promote someone—according to what’s best 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. ... 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.