Derek Sivers

My heroes


Like a musician names their musical influences, let me tell you about my heroes.

Seth Godin
Seth is my favorite thinker. A huge inspiration and mentor. I often ask myself, “What would Seth say?” I usually don’t even need to ask him, because I’ve ingested his books so thoroughly. But I’ve called him in rare times of huge indecision since 2003, and his advice has directly influenced my biggest decisions. ( I’m being as succinct as possible, but even got a little teary-eyed thinking back about this. )
Leo Babauta
First read his story, then read his book. Focus is required to have that level of effectiveness in whatever you do. In our crazy, distracted multitasking world, Leo’s approach to life is a role model to me.
Tim Ferriss
Read my intro to our interview for details, but this audacious punk and I are a lot alike. I admire his constant results-focused search for shortcuts and harmless cheating. (Why not gain an “unfair” advantage in education and self-development?) I admire how he throws himself completely into something, while treating it all as an experiment.
Ariel Hyatt
One of my best friends because I so admire the way she thinks. Most recently she dove completely into her own re-education about modern marketing, learning from the masters in non-music realms, and is applying what she’s learned back to the music world in an incredible way. Also, because she was raised by high-society New Yorkers and I was raised by a pack of wild kittens, she is my consultant on manners and norms.
Richard Branson
I’ve read all of his biographies and autobiographies and so admire his approach of, “That sounds interesting. Let’s make it a business.” I love his non-MBA intuitive approach to business, and never forgetting the real point is to make people happy.
Hugh MacLeod
His book, “Ignore Everybody” is the absolute best I’ve read on thriving in the balance of creativity and business. I love his perspective and refer to it often.
Paul Graham
His essays were a massive influence on me, so I loved it when he compiled them into a book. A fellow programmer and entrepreneur, his clear thinking always resonates with me. I aspire to write, think, and code as well as he does.
Kathy Sierra
See her Creating Passionate Users blog and click the “Past Favorites” on the left-hand side. Her lessons in communication and teaching are in my head every time I write.
Harry Beckwith
Harry’s book “Selling the Invisible” is what got me to start writing. I love his mindset of considerate humanist marketing, so beautifully communicated. See my notes from his new book “You, Inc” for a sample. If Harry blogged, he’d be an online superstar.