Derek Sivers’s setup

Derek Sivers is an renowned entrepreneur and writer. He’s the founder of CDBaby and HostBaby, both projects he started from scratch, turned into successful businesses, then gave them away.

His proficiency in many areas make him wear many hats: programmer, TED speaker, producer, book publisher, and even circus performer. He’s an avid learner, and is helping thousands of people by sharing his insights about business, philosophy and self-improvement in general.

His works are an inspiration to many, whether it is from his blog, the many interviews he gave (for people like James Altucher and Tim Ferris, amongst others), or his seminal book Anything You Want.

Tell us something funny about you

I never tried coffee.

Show us your desk

I honestly don’t have one! I just sit wherever, with laptop on my lap.


What computers do use (desktop, laptop, mac or pc or both ?)
Lenovo T400s Linux laptop.

What’s your current phone ?
Google Nexus One.

What other useful gear can’t you live without (printer, router, analog stuff…) ?

My Kindle.

General purpose

OS: ArchLinux
Browser: Firefox
Email client: I run my own Postfix mail server and SSH into Mutt to check/send mail

Various programs

For starters, you gotta know that I do almost everything in command line. Yep, I use no GUI or as little as possible.

Terminal and Vim: you can do pretty much anything that’s doable on a computer with the terminal. Vim is a widely available, industry standard command-line text editor which, while not user friendly, is very powerful.

Mplayer: Music and movie player from the command line.

Ledger: simple but powerful double-entry accounting system that you.

ImageMagick: For image editing. It supports over 200 formats and allows you to do most of the image manipulations one would need (resize, mirror, rotate, distort, flip, adjust colors, special effects, draw lines, Bézier curves…).

Xpdf: an open-source PDF viewer.

Wenlin: Software for learning chinese.

Anki: a program that lets you learn and remembering anything using flash cards.

Skype: I wish there was a command-line VoIP program, but for now I’m using Skype for my internet calls.

Phone apps

I don’t use any apps on my phone besides Google Maps.

The one productivity tip you’d recommend

Disconnect from the internet. Shut off your phone. Face the silence, and fill it with your own thoughts.

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