Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Harrison Lee, Founder of Free-Artists, located in Oakville, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Free-Artists enables fans to directly & responsibly invest into creators through fundraising pools linked to underpinning revenue streams and ROI via royalties, merch, ticket sales, sync, sponsorships, and more. See our website to learn more.
Creators build & propose healthy financial terms based on their revenue streams and long-term plans. Over the course of the project, depending on the financial terms (incl. revenue types), the smart contract distributes revenue to their token-holders.
Community A&Rs (or other industry professionals) invest their time & skills into the right creator team. While they can also act as a backer, A&Rs will earn tokens based on their contribution to the success of the project (whether it be capital raised, marketing, etc.). Enabling the full potential of superfluid teams.
Backers can support and engage with creators in ways that have until now been impossible. Backers can support creators before the point of creation and, as a result, can engage with creators a project's genesis. As backers come to the platform, they can discover new projects & communities to invest their resources. After they connect their wallet & stake USDC, the backers can then excite & motivate their networks to close the creator pool. Post-raise, backers can liquidate their investments on secondary markets.
Tell us about yourself
Traditional labels provide artists with the funding they need to create. In return, labels are entitled to a portion of artists' earnings. This take rate is typically in excess of 80%. Labels' take rates are our collective opportunity. Before creators even get to the financing table, they face massive barriers (cultural, socio-economical, etc.) strictly based on social media and/or industry ties.
Free-Artists aims to be a community-owned public utility / public good, which will be achieved via DAO governance. The development team will create the protocol and decentralize it over time. The protocol will be minimally extractive, capturing just enough fee revenue to maintain operations.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Hitting $1k MRR, $200k capital raise, and 5,000 users on the first company.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Keeping at your own pace. People are always pulling you in different directions with financing & product. Learning checks & balances to drive focus is something that only comes with experience.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Daily Stand-ups for yourself (progress, plan, impediments) + daily energy checks/drivers.
- If you build it, people will come. Successful product wins every day over marketing, financing, etc. Use bubble.io to build if you have limited to no coding background.
- Perform iterations through design & user tests before deploying dev resources.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
There's always an excuse to wait until tomorrow. Block 3 hours in your calendar today, and get started!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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