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Songs for Entrepreneurs

I've been meaning to write this little post for a long time.

There are a few songs whose lyrics stuck with me and have helped me along my programmer-to-CEO journey.

I want to share them with you in case they might help you too, and to hopefully learn about others songs that inspire other entrepreneurs like me. Post yours in the comments! 🙂

Keller Williams - More than a Little

Lyrics that stuck with me (at 7:20 in the video above):

Work like you don't need the money
love like you've never been hurt
dance like nobody's watching

The idea is about passion: work on something you love, give it all you've got, don't worry about what others say. Money is a consequence, not a motive.

The lyrics seem to come from an old Irish proverb and they are spoken in an old movie as well.

Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals - Fight Outta You

The lyrics I keep thinking about from this song are these (at 2:44 above):

There's always someone younger,
someone with more hunger,
don't let them take the fight out of you

Helps me remember to stay hungry and fast on my feet even as we become bigger and more successful. You can't let your guard down! 🙂

Ayo - Life is Real

Lyrics that stuck with me (0:18 above):

Some people say that I'm too open / they say it's not good to let them know everything about me / they say one day they will use every little things against me / but I don't mind / maybe they're right / that's just how it is and I got nothing to hide / I live my life the way I want / I got nothing to hide / nothing at all / life is not a fairy tale / they should know that / life is real.

This reminds me that even if it's hard and embarrassing sometimes, knowledge is for sharing.

Michael Cera and Ellen Page singing Anyone Else But You by the Moldy Peaches

There are no particular lyrics from this song (aside from maybe we sure are cute for two ugly people), but the whole thing resonated with me as I think it teaches a good lesson about marketing. Here's two non-professional singers, with terrible audio, singing a song in which they have to speak really fast sometimes in order to squeeze all the words into it. By all accounts, it's rough, unpolished.

And yet, the whole thing is absolutely, totally endearing. This tells me that a good story, told with passion, trumps beauty/polish/finish every time. We were successful even if our website was SO ugly for the first two years, and even if our product doesn't let you align things properly and makes you create images that look totally unfinished. It's about substance over beauty.

I'll keep adding to this post as I think of more songs. Please contribute in the comments, I'm hungry for more inspirational songs! 🙂


Peldi for the Balsamiq Team

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Comments (14)

  1. Pingback: EP48: What Makes a Great Conference Talk? (And Specific Takeaways From Outstanding Software Entrepreneurs)

  2. Your blog is great, and this selection of songs even greater.

    Thank you for “paying it forward” and sharing your experience with us!

  3. Awesome – def some tracks I”ve used (some new ones too!) .. I’ve also found that @friskyradio .. has powered some of my amazingly productive periods when I know the task at hand and just need to turn it out (usually balsamiq wireframing actually!!)

  4. Your a Keller Fan!! Yay! He has many songs that are inspirational.

  5. Great post brotha…love Ayo, she’s incredible ! One of the reasons why I love music is due to this inspirational stirring it can spark within us. Check out some of my favorite jewels…you’ll notice a bit of a bias for erlend oye tunes. Hope you enjoy !

    Lupe Fiasco-Fighters

    Devotchka-How it End

    Whitest Boy Alive-Don’t give up
    Erlend Oye-The Athlete
    James Figurine-All the way to china

    John Legend-Wake up everybody

    Akasha-Brown Sugar

    Marlon J.
  6. Big Mountain does ‘Get Together. Not just for inspiring Entrepreneurs. Great software testing music. 🙂–1442909

    Love is but the song we sing,
    And fear’s the way we die
    You can make the mountains ring
    Or make the angels cry
    Know the dove is on the wing
    And you need not know why
    C’mon people now,
    Smile on your brother
    Ev’rybody get together
    Try and love one another right now
    Some will come and some will go
    We shall surely pass
    When the one that left us here
    Returns for us at last
    We are but a moments sunlight
    Fading in the grass
    C’mon people now,
    Smile on your brother
    Ev’rybody get together
    Try and love one another right now
    If you hear the song I sing,
    You must understand
    You hold the key to love and fear
    All in your trembling hand
    Just one key unlocks them both
    It’s there at your command
    C’mon people now,
    Smile on your brother
    Ev’rybody get together
    Try and love one another right now
    Right now
    Right now!

    (Originally done by Youngbloods)

  7. No list is complete without Sinatra singing “My Way”.

  8. For some reason “Life is a Highway” always gets me going.

  9. Great post Peldi. Really enjoyed listening to those.
    Keep up the great work!

  10. Spotify doesn’t work here in Italy, and in most of the rest of the world. 🙁 You can copy/paste from the little subtitles… 🙂

    Peldi Guilizzoni
  11. Send us the link from spotify so we can share tunes, might be easier in the future 🙂

  12. Great topic, Peldi. Music remains my oldest, closest, enduring solace & strength. Always there for me. Regardless of mood or time of day. Here’s one of hundreds of songs that keep me moving forward thru tough times.
    Tom Petty: “Won’t back down”

  13. Thanks for these very inspirational songs. The one I like to hear is ‘Time like these’ of the Foo Fighters, because it’s kind of how i feel right now.