"Anything You Want" by Derek Sivers

Review by Borodutch

This is the second book I've read by Derek — and I'm so glad it's another short one. The author describes 40 distinct pieces of advice that he learned by building a company that he later sold for $22,000,000. I urge you to check out my book's chapters on survivorship bias and omission error to learn why I think Derek's approach here is pretty wrong. It might have been a simple chain of lucky events that got him where he is right now. If one tried to follow every advice of Derek, they would still statistically fail.

However, the author gives us a unique perspective on a small-check exit strategy. $22M is no longer in the "f you money" range — and how one achieves this is quite different from how to get to a $1B+ exit. Essentially, the author tells us:

  1. Don't start a business until you have someone people want to buy.
  2. Don't raise venture capital.
  3. Delegate your way through the company management.

All points are pretty logical, and I thought this way, too. However, having gained a bit of experience in the venture capital and startup market, I now see how this strategy would work to earn $22M and won't (statistically) help to get filthy rich. If you don't have a goal to become outrageously rich — but to have a little piece of land with a ranch and a bunch of kids with your future secure, sure, advice from the book is excellent!

Derek's book discusses common sense and a logical business and wealth-building approach. Unfortunately, the market is neither rational nor it makes sense. Our system is chaotic, and the only thing one can strive for is to have fun along the way. Or find shortcuts to wealth that are plentiful yet not discussed in "Anything You Want."