Derek Sivers

Programmer, writer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Why no advertising?

I got a call from an advertising salesman, saying he’d like to run banner ads at the top and bottom of cdbaby.com.

I said, “No way. Out of the question. That would be like putting a coke machine in a monastery. I’m not doing this to make money.”

He asked, “But you’re a business. What do you mean you’re not trying to make money?”

I said, “I’m just trying to help musicians. CD Baby has to charge money to sustain itself, but the money’s not the point. I don’t do anything for the money.”

This goes back to the utopian perfect-world ideal of why we’re doing what we’re doing in the first place.

In a perfect world, would your website be covered with advertising?

When you ask your customers what would improve your service, has anyone said, “Please fill your website with more advertising”?

Nope. So don’t do it.

Anything You Want - book cover