Sahil Lavingia — From Finding The Focal Point in Design to Wanting to Be Bill Gates, A Wide-Ranging Discussion On What It Means to Be a Designer, Founder and Creator
Play • 1 hr 17 min

Welcome to the Conscious Creators Show; where through intimate and insightful interviews with authors, actors, musicians, entrepreneurs and other podcasters, you'll learn tools and tactics to 10x your creativity and strategies to grow and monetize your audience.

On today’s episode, we are joined by Sahil Lavingia, Designer and CEO of Gumroad who’s also a painter and writer. We discuss creativity, design, and what he thinks makes people really happy. Learn what Sahil is creating now, how he structures his time in a way that allows him to pursue several large projects, his reflections on his failure to build a billion dollar company and why his success in business is not the only thing that defines his self-worth. 

 

Actions: 

  1. Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts or on your favorite podcast app and let us know what you think by leaving a rating and a review.
  2. Thank our guest and let them know what you thought of today’s episode — click here to send a Tweet directly to Sahil and Sachit or find  Sahil on Instagram
  3. Head on over to Creators.Show to get new episodes, exclusive guides like our guide on “How to Connect With Busy Influencers”, partner deals and additional bonuses.

 

Episode Highlights: 

  • What does it mean to be a creator?
  • In Sahil’s eyes, a creator is someone who values the creative process and making stuff as an essential part of their identity.
  • Almost everyone in his mind is a creator, it's just how strongly people identify with that as one of their core purposes in life.
  • Sahil shares the creative projects he is working on now.
  • He just started learning Blender for 3D rendering. He’s also painting and learning form language.
  • He has spent a lot of time analyzing his own style.
  • Sahil is a minimalist. He enjoys a simple interface that is text-heavy.
  • He also enjoys technology and software that feels more real with shadows and tactile elements.
  • He remembers thinking about fonts in the early days of his life.
  • Sachit and Sahil reflect on the design of businesses, contrasting Panda Express and Chipotle.
  • We use implicit signals to know where to go in buildings and how to navigate through them.
  • Inevitably, even if you aren't a designer you engage in design.
  • The more you design, the more instinct you develop around designing. You develop unconscious competence.
  • With painting there's a lot of directly applicable, actionable lessons he can apply to design.
  • He's still trying to figure out what it means to have a single focal point.
  • There's an informational hierarchy in web design.
  • The importance of clarity is important to him as a designer and as a CEO.
  • Sahil describes how he sets up his week to address different problems.
  • When Sahil moved to the Bay Area ten years ago, he wanted to be an integral part of the tech and startup community.
  • They discuss Sahil's admiration for the way Bill Gates lived the American dream.
  • He loved the idea of being in control of his life, time, and location.
  • Sahil discusses his view on money and wealth.
  • He feels more motivated by influence and fame than by money.
  • When he was raising investor money for Gumroad, he felt validated.
  • So many people think there's something on the other side of a door they can't open.  
  • Sahil is not convinced that the things we do for money will make us happy.
  • It's easy to get detached from the reason you started in the first place.
  • Sahil is good at shipping fast. Even with painting, he started sharing early.
  • They discuss sharing metrics in general and how competitors also approach sharing metrics.
  • At one point, Sahil moved to Provo, Utah, because he wanted to take a science fiction course with Brandon Sanderson. There, he earned he wanted things that were different from everyone around him.
  • Gumroad is just one of the many things that define him.
  • They talk about billion-dollar businesses vs. lifestyle businesses.
  • There's something around picking a community that you like and building a business for that community.
  • They're building out a roadmap right now on the Gumroad side. Education is the core theme.
  • On a personal level, he's trying to figure out what type of creator he wants to be.

 

3 Key Takeaways:

  1.   Even if you aren’t a designer, you engage with design. Even if you don’t consider yourself a creator, you likely create.
  2.   The things that will make people happy are truly accessible to everyone.
  3.   Your self-definition can encompass more than your success in achieving a particular goal.

 

Tweetable Quotes:

"To be a creator... for me, is someone who values the creative process and making stuff as sort of an essential part of their identity." – Sahil Lavingia

“I really believe now that the most essential things that make people really happy are accessible to everybody.” – Sahil Lavingia

“Influence and fame are much more sort of what I need to feel good, for better or worse.” – Sahil Lavingia

“I'm a multi-faceted person and Gumroad is like one of the things that I do but it's not the thing that necessarily defines me.” – Sahil Lavingia

"Most businesses are that normal path right down the middle. They do care about their lifestyle but they also want to have an impact." – Sahil Lavingia

 

Resources Mentioned:

 

Actions: 

  1. Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts or on your favorite podcast app and let us know what you think by leaving a rating and a review.
  2. Thank our guest and let them know what you thought of today’s episode — click here to send a Tweet directly to Sahil and Sachit or find  Sahil on Instagram
  3. Head on over to Creators.Show to get new episodes, exclusive guides like our guide on “How to Connect With Busy Influencers”, partner deals and additional bonuses.
More episodes
Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu