Summary of How to Start a Movement

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How to Start a Movement summary
In movements, followers are the unsung heroes.


8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


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.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How a spontaneous dance phenomenon offers lessons on the way movements develop
  • Why followers are integral to starting any movement


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...
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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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    Abdul Niyaz 11 months ago
    Best part of the above content is what matters is ''the movement ,not followers nor the leader.

    superb lines
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    amy Cooper 1 year ago
    this is fantastic
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    Ivo Näpflin 1 year ago
    Sivers points out a very simple yet powerful idea that should be remembered in every change project.

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