• Innovative
  • Applicable


At the 2009 Sasquatch Music Festival in Washington State, a man began dancing in an erratic fashion to the song “Unstoppable” by Santigold. His unique, energetic style attracted the attention of another concertgoer, who started moving in sync. Soon others joined in the dancing, until a large crowd was participating. In this brief but dynamic TED Talk, entrepreneur and musician Derek Sivers cleverly uses footage of this event as an illustration of “how to start a movement,” emphasizing the crucial role of the first followers. getAbstract recommends this brief presentation as an unconventional lesson in leadership.


At an outdoor summer concert, amid a crowd of music lovers reclining on the grass in the sunshine, a lone man dances, flailing his body with gusto. His singular, animated, easy-to-copy movements soon attract the notice of another man, who starts emulating them. This initial follower joyfully beckons to his friends, encouraging them to join the dancing. A third person takes up the new dance, a couple joins in, and then a trio. Other concertgoers spot the growing assemblage of dancers, and people from all over the field rush to partake in the action. Although they might not have noticed the first dancer, they’re eager...

About the Speaker

Derek Sivers founded CD Baby, an online independent music retailer, and MuckWork, a company that assists musicians by tending to their “uncreative dirty work.”

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