Derek Sivers

If I had a record label, would you be signed to it?

I never liked the idea of having a record label, because you’re too deeply invested into something you don’t control.

So if I were to have a label, my decision of who to sign wouldn’t be decided just by the quality of the music. There are plenty of people with great music but destructive work-habits or an unsustainable approach to their career.

To confidently invest in an artist (as a label), I’d want to see:

And so you see why I’ll never have a label. Who could possibly fit this list?

I haven’t talked to any labels about this yet, but I wonder what their perspective would be. I’m friends with Jac Holzman who discovered the Doors and obviously didn’t regret it, despite Jim Morrison being the opposite of everything on my list. I should ask him.

Anything you’d add to the list? (I’m assuming there are many things you’d subtract.)

Jim Morrison mug shot