Surprise guest Maisie Williams speaks at Disrupt SF 2019 | Summary and Q&A

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October 3, 2019
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Surprise guest Maisie Williams speaks at Disrupt SF 2019

TL;DR

Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams shares her journey into entrepreneurship with the creation of Daisy, a social network for the creative industry, and discusses the challenges of fundraising and the impact of the internet on personal and professional life.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did the idea for Daisy come about?

Williams explains that the idea for Daisy originated from a conversation with her co-founder, who noticed the difficulties in breaking into creative industries and the struggle with connectivity and collaboration. They wanted to create a social network focused on work within the creative industries.

Q: What were the challenges in fundraising for Daisy?

Williams shares that although being a celebrity helped her secure meetings with venture capitalists, she still had to pitch and convince them of the value of Daisy. She also highlights the valuable advice she received from the VC's who had experience in the industry.

Q: Did Williams' experience in the entertainment industry help her in pitching and founding a company?

Williams believes that her determination to create a career in the creative arts helped her in both acting and entrepreneurship. She mentions that founding a company requires self-belief, as people may doubt or not understand the ideas being pitched.

Q: Can Daisy succeed without scaled distribution or brokerage for deals and sponsorships?

Williams explains that Daisy is currently working on partnerships that will allow users to pitch ideas to real clients, get their work made, and be paid for their work. These partnerships aim to bridge the gap between the online platform and real-world job opportunities.

Summary

In this video, Maisie Williams, known for her role as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones, discusses her venture into entrepreneurship and her company Daisy. She talks about the challenges of fundraising, the importance of self-belief, and the purpose of Daisy in connecting artists and creators. She also shares her thoughts on follower counts and the internet's impact on her life. Williams discusses the benefits of scheduled releases in television and the abundance of content in the streaming era. She concludes by expressing her openness to the future and her desire to continue pursuing both acting and entrepreneurship.

Questions & Answers

Q: How did Maisie Williams come up with the idea for her company Daisy?

Maisie Williams and her co-founder Tom were inspired by the challenges of breaking into creative industries and the difficulty of finding collaborators. They wanted to create a social network focused on the creative industries and the work of artists and creators.

Q: What challenges did Maisie Williams face during the fundraising process?

Despite her celebrity status, Williams still had to pitch her idea and convince venture capitalists of its potential. She reached out to people on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter, but still had to work hard to secure funding. The VCs provided valuable advice on managing her platform and creating a successful product.

Q: Did Maisie Williams' experience on Game of Thrones help her in pitching and entrepreneurship?

Yes, Williams believes her experience as an actress and the scrutiny she faced prepared her for the challenges of entrepreneurship. Both require self-belief and determination, as well as the ability to handle rejection and convince others of one's ideas.

Q: What are the future plans for Daisy?

Daisy is heading towards partnerships that allow users to collaborate on real projects and get paid for their work. By connecting users with clients and providing opportunities for job placements, Daisy aims to bridge the gap between the online creative community and real-world opportunities.

Q: Why did Daisy choose not to include follower counts on its platform?

Daisy believes that rewarding people based on follower counts or popularity can be damaging and create a false notion of talent. They aim to focus on connecting people based on their work and interests, rather than prioritizing social status.

Q: Does Maisie Williams wish that follower counts and likes would disappear from the internet?

Williams admits that she is currently losing followers, but she sees value in follower counts as a way to find her audience and connect with people who appreciate her work. It allows her to transition from being known for Game of Thrones to her own independent ventures.

Q: Does Maisie Williams actively collaborate on projects with Daisy users?

Yes, Williams receives requests from Daisy users who want her to work on their projects. While she is currently focused on Daisy itself and fundraising, she appreciates the opportunities to see and potentially collaborate with other creators. Daisy's marketing team also brings in creators from the community for campaigns and collaborations.

Q: What are Maisie Williams' thoughts on remixing and recycling content, such as on TikTok?

Williams believes that limiting variables and finding new ways to express creativity can make people more innovative. She appreciates the way content can have a new life through remixes and edits, as it keeps ideas fresh and inspires new creations.

Q: What is the difference between Daisy and platforms like Joseph Gordon-Levitt's HitRecord?

While HitRecord focuses on connecting creators to build something together but not necessarily launch careers, Daisy aims to bridge the gap between online creative communities and real-world opportunities. Daisy wants to help users with creating portfolios and getting recognized, thus potentially launching their careers.

Q: How does Maisie Williams handle the pressures of being on the internet?

Williams acknowledges the challenges of presenting oneself authentically on the internet, as there is a pressure to post and be actively seen. However, she also recognizes the necessity of finding a balance and keeping some aspects of her life private. She enjoys being able to connect with her audience but also values offline experiences and time away from screens.

Q: What are Maisie Williams' thoughts on scheduled releases versus binge-watching?

Williams enjoys the suspense and build-up of weekly releases, as it allows for discussions and anticipation. She finds binge-watching can lead to episodes blurring together and viewers not fully immersing themselves in the content. However, she acknowledges that the streaming model is the future and acknowledges the convenience and abundance of content available.

Q: Does the abundance of platforms and content creation make a difference for talent in the industry?

It can be both positive and challenging for talent as there are more opportunities to showcase work and new platforms emerging. However, finding time to watch everything becomes a challenge for viewers. Ultimately, as long as one is happy with how they spend their time and keep an open mind, the abundance of content is not necessarily a problem.

Q: Is Maisie Williams feeling pressure to match the success of Game of Thrones in her future projects?

While Game of Thrones was a unique and successful experience, Williams does not feel the pressure to replicate that success. Instead, she wants to surprise audiences and take on roles that people wouldn't expect from her. Her goal is to continue exploring different creative endeavors and not be limited by past achievements.

Q: What are Maisie Williams' plans for the future?

Williams plans to remain open-minded about her future focus, whether it be acting or entrepreneurship. While she is currently dedicated to Daisy and enjoying the experience of founding a company, she believes she will always be involved in some form of creative pursuit.

Takeaways

In this interview, Maisie Williams discusses her entrepreneurship venture with Daisy, the challenges of fundraising, and the importance of self-belief. She also shares her thoughts on follower counts, the impact of the internet, and the future of content consumption. Williams emphasizes the value of connecting artists and creators and bridging the gap between online communities and real-world opportunities. Despite the fame she gained from Game of Thrones, she is open to different creative paths and aspires to surprise audiences with unexpected roles.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Maisie Williams and her co-founder came up with the idea for Daisy after recognizing the challenges of breaking into creative industries and the lack of connectivity and collaboration options.

  • Daisy aims to create a social network focused on the creative industries, providing opportunities for collaboration and work rather than personal connections.

  • Williams highlights the importance of self-belief and determination in both pursuing a career in the creative arts and founding a company.

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