Derek Sivers

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

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Did you ever see the movie “The Player”?

Hundreds of screenwriters in Hollywood are pitching their movie ideas to the studio executive. Each one has about 5 seconds to impress him. The ONE sentence they use to describe their story decides whether the studio will read it or not.

You need to come up with one good sentence to describe your music. It has one goal : MAKE PEOPLE CURIOUS.

It should not try to describe every note of music you'll ever make. It should not try to justify your existence on Earth. It only has to describe your music just-enough to make people curious to hear it.

I described my band as “a cross between James Brown and the Beatles”. Of course not everything I did sounded exactly like that, but that phrase was just-enough to make hundreds of people want to hear more. I would see it work, every day, as I told it to people. You'd watch their eyes look up, watch their face change as they tried to imagine a cross between James Brown and the Beatles. Then they'd say, “Wow - I have to hear this!”. And that's all I wanted.

The shorter, the better. Give them one good sentence (a few good words), and stop talking. Let them imagine the rest.

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