As an advisor to Kickstarter creators, Alex Daly has helped projects like Neil Young’s Pono Music Player, Griffin Dunne’s Joan Didion documentary, and TLC’s final album succeed. Here, she talks about carving out her unique career in crowdfunding.
You recently talked to Fast Company about creating your own dream job. What’s your advice for someone who wants to create a career that doesn’t yet exist?
Find what you are really good at — as unexpected as it may be — and stick with it. Through my journey as a founder, I have learned how important it is to remind yourself that you are doing great work, and that you are valuable. It’s common to see women questioning whether they’re good enough or if they are worthy –– it’s not easy, but trying to work through that with a lot of personal reinforcement is key.
Before becoming a crowdfunding expert, you worked in a few different fields, including magazines and documentary film. Which of your many roles had the biggest influence on your current one?
My time as a fact-checker at The Wall Street Journal and New York magazines proved to be incredibly helpful. It taught me to really pay attention to detail and demand perfection.
What’s been the most surprising campaign you’ve worked on so far?
The NYCTA Graphics Standards Manual. The internet blew it up. Because of that campaign, we started working with more design-focused projects. It also ignited an interesting trend in reissuing these manuals, and led to a business: the creators behind it, Hamish and Jesse, ended up starting a publishing company.
What is the first question you ask any creator you’re working with?
If their project has a built-in audience –– the “crowd” in crowdfunding. These are the people who make your project a success; they will help you launch your project into the world and spread the word with you.
What’s the one quality you think all successful creators have in common?
Perseverance. It’s more than just having a good idea –– it’s the willingness to work really hard to turn that idea into something real.
This interview originally appeared in our Handpicked Happening newsletter, where Kickstarter creators share their recommendations for things to read, watch, and listen to.
Want to get Happening delivered right to your inbox? Sign up here.