Derek Sivers

Why I don’t promote


Every day, someone asks me to promote or announce something they’ve created.

Every day, I have to say no, no matter who or what it is.

It upsets me every time.

Almost everyone I know is a creator. Everyone has made a song, site, video, book, business, or project. Most of them are quite good. I want them all to succeed.

I hate to play favorites. But if I announced them all, my site and feed would be a daily firehose of “check it out”. Or if I was a discerning curator, it would be a full-time job.

I admire the curators. They click every link, hear every idea, listen to every song, watch every video, read every article, assess every project, then share the best stuff they find. I’m so glad those people exist, but that’s the opposite of the life I want.

I’ve never been a fan. Even as a musician, I was never that into other people’s music. I just liked the creative process of making my own music.

Even now, I don’t check out much. If I said OK to every “check it out”, I’d have to spend hours a day just surfing, browsing, listening, and watching. But what I really love is making, making, making, and making.

Sometimes a friend says, “Please. For me.” I have to say no to them, too. It wouldn’t be fair to everyone else.

So, a sincere apology to everyone who wants me to announce their thing. I try to be helpful in other ways. But I’m just not a promoter.

Photo © Paul Stevenson.