Derek Sivers

Entrepreneur, programmer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Go where the filters are

Have you been filtered? If not, you should start now.

With the internet, there are more “media outlets” than anyone can digest. People in the music biz get piles of CDs in the mail everyday from amateurs. Many of them are crap.

You need to go through filters. Places that reject many, only letting the best of the best pass through.

As long as you're good (really good) - what you want are MORE filters! More obstacles... More hurdles...

Because these things weed out the “bad” music. Or the music that isn't ready. Or the people that weren't dedicated.

I worked at Warner Brothers for 3 years. I learned why they never accept unsolicited demos: It helps weed out the people that didn't do enough research to know they have to go meet managers or lawyers or Jimmy Iovine's chauffeur FIRST in order to get to the “big boys.” (Deal with the 'gatekeepers' to get to the mansion.)

If you really believe in your music, have the confidence to put yourself into those places where MOST people get rejected. (radio, magazines, big venues, agents, managers, record labels, promoters...)

Because each gate you get through puts you in finer company. (“the best of the best”)

And you'll find many more opportunities open to you once you've earned your way through a few gates.

Go where the filters are