A Shamelessly Gushing Review of Anything You Want

July 28, 2011

A couple of months ago I was given the opportunity to proof read a new book by Derek Sivers, called “Anything You Want”.

He has a knack of taking an idea and making it seem so obvious that you’re embarrassed to admit that you didn’t already think of the world in those terms. However, when that happens ten or fifteen times in the course of one book you have to accept that you didn’t already think those things, but will from here on in.

He is also one of those rare people who is able to write in his own voice – so when you read you can totally hear him saying the words.

Here is a taste (in this case it actually is him saying the words):

On top of it all he’s humble, given what he has achieved.  In fact, many of the stories are examples of the things he messed up through the process of building CD Baby, and the lessons that came from that. I especially enjoyed the honesty in the section where he describes selling the company:

After a successful re-launch and Christmas rush, I was looking at my plans for 2008 and beyond. All my plans needed a huge effort for little reward, but were required for future growth. I had broken the plans into about twenty projects of two to twelve weeks each, and I wasn’t excited about any of them. I’d taken CD Baby far beyond my goals, and realized I had no big vision for its being much else.

The book is full of advice, but it doesn’t feel like he’s telling you what to do so much as providing an inventory of stories and anecdotes that you can use to convince yourself or others why something is a good or not so good idea – e.g. next time you find yourself banging heads with an MBA you can explain why taxi drivers in Las Vegas miss the mob.

So, yeah, it’s excellent and you should all buy at least one copy.


Derek’s TED Talks:

Derek’s Blog