I lost my job 4 months ago when the startup I was working for decided to close it’s San Francisco office. That was unfortunate, but I learned a ton in the time I was there and it gave me the opportunity to do some deep thinking about what I wanted and needed in my next professional home.
After four months of thinking, looking, and talking to lots and lots of companies I’ve accepted a new role as VP of Growth Marketing at an awesome company called Patreon. Patreon has meaning for me on an incredibly deep level. When I was building Lyft our mission for drivers was to provide them with a platform that they could rely on to follow their dreams and pursue their passions. We had artists, musicians, actors, makers, comedians, dancers, yoga instructors and aspiring entrepreneurs all using Lyft to free up their time and bolster their bank account so they could do the things that really made them happy. This was and is awesome… then I discovered Patreon. Wow.
I’ve followed them closely since the beginning and am so incredibly excited about the opportunity. Patreon is about creators. If you create art of any kind nowadays you have some of the most amazing distribution channels ever in Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and many more but the reality is that those channels are horrible ways to make a living and connect with your community. They value eyeballs, views and scale and the value of those views is falling at a rapid rate while the expectation of what constitutes impressive scale continues to grow. A creator with hundreds of thousands or millions of views on YouTube might make $50 for their hard work. That system does not put creators first and yet it is the only system they have to rely on. Patreon is changing that.
With the evolution of online payments and communication we can return to the way that art used to be funded — through patronage. Patreon allows creators to continue creating and provides an avenue for their supporters to fund these creations in an ongoing way. It’s for musicians, videographers, artists, comics, writers, storytellers, comedians, dance and performance art, podcasters, gamers, educators, and so many more.
Imagine a world where instead of buying a new song you simply supported the artist who made it on a recurring basis and got to experience all of their creations. Or a world where writers could finance deeply thoughtful pieces that might be too niche or controversial to sell to publishers, but still valuable to many people. A world where via that support you had a deeper connection with the creators you cared about — a view into their world, a chance to converse with them directly, and a feeling that they were receiving the value that they were giving to the world.
This is Patreon’s mission: to fund the emerging creative class. I’m very excited to join them in that mission and to help build a way for creators to get paid for the value they give to the world. As the head of their Growth & Marketing teams I am responsible for taking an incredible idea and product that is used by 20,000+ creators and turning it into a world-renowned brand synonymous with the connection and inspiration fostered by old-school patronage. I will do this by leading and growing an incredible, kick-ass team of marketing and growth practitioners and we will not rest until every creator can receive value for the value they provide the world. We will do this in a tasteful, real, and creator-led way. In a way that is not about Patreon, but about the creators who power it.
If you have the time, check out what our CEO has to say about why Patreon exists: