Derek Sivers

Shine a spotlight on one idea at a time.


Writing in this format of short little articles has been really rewarding.

I present one little idea, something you can read in under two minutes, and shine a spotlight on it.

If it’s well-received, I’ll see it tweeted, linked-to, forwarded, and shared on forums.

The comments always improve upon it, making me see new perspectives, or how I could have communicated it better.

I’m usually surprised by which ones get a reaction. Something obvious to me may be powerful to others. Something powerful to me may be obvious to others.

But each idea gets its chance in the spotlight.

The work it takes to present it clearly and succinctly is rewarded, because it’s:

When I’ve written articles that were too long or had too many ideas, they didn’t get much of a reaction.

When I read books, I often feel bad for the brilliant idea buried on page 217. How many people will read that?

Stop the orchestra. Solo that motif. Repeat it. Let the other instruments build upon it.

Present a single idea, one at a time, and let others build upon it.