Derek Sivers, is a kind of a reluctant entrepreneur, circus-clown musician turned author.
In 1998, Derek created CD Baby by helping his friends sell their CDs. It became the largest seller of independent music online, with $100 million in sales for 150,000 musicians.
In 2008, Derek sold CD Baby for $22 million, giving the proceeds to a charitable trust for music education. He went to speak at the TED Conference, for 3 times in 2010 (which is unheard of), with more than 18 million views of his talks. Since 2011, he has published 34 books, including “Anything You Want,” which I love so much.
In this conversation, we spoke about:
What Derek loves about Singapore
Things he learnt about sex
How and when to use “feeling” when making decisons
This is one of my favourite interview, enjoy!
If you’ve only got 2 minutes, here’s a short video.
Funny how the phone was never an enemy before, but it is now. Today, the phone has become more interesting than reality. We are constantly being distracted by it. And we can’t put it down.
Too often, we bought the belief that there’s some sort of evilness in technology. We blame the phone.
Yet, we also realise that we have the power to delete any apps on our phones. There are tools like the Pomodoro technique, freedom app and the light phone.
As we transit from the industrial (do what you are told) age, perhaps the real problem is not your phone. It is choices. Each of us gets the same amount of attention to spend each day. It’s a competitive advantage to figure out how to focus it to get something done.
Instead of being entertain by the phone, what do you choose to do instead?
There is an old English rule that states active voice is better than passive voice. Well, that rule is wrong – and this is an article of why following rules are not always a good idea.
“Teacher Amy says that active voice is always better than passive voice. Well, she is wrong – and this is the article why listening to rules are not always a good idea.”
Written in an active voice, we bring up an unnecessary character, teacher Amy who – might have good intentions – but forgets to explain why we should follow such a rule.
Active voice Mary will eat the pizza, beware. I shall always remember my first visit to Boston. The reason he left college was that his health became impaired. It was not long before she was sorry that she had said what she had.
Passive voice The pizza will be eaten by Mary, beware. My first visit to Boston will always be remembered. Failing health urged him to leave college. She soon felt sorry for her words.
An active voice is when the actor (subject) is in front of the action (verb) and the thing/person (object) that’s receiving the action. And that is how our brain understands cause and effect, not effect and cause. Hence, making it easier for you, the reader to understand.
An active voice also makes the sentence shorter and it usually becomes stronger. Brevity becomes a by-product of strength, making the sentence direct, bold and concise.
But at times, telling the truth is dangerous. So, we might want to hide the subject. Instead of telling your boss “you did not send me the cheque”, we might want to say “my cheque did not arrive”.
Active voice is powerful. Use it cautiously and with awareness. Lesson over.