Yes, you heard it right, the Game of Thrones actor Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) is also the co-founder of a tech startup, Daisie.
You probably know that Maisie Williams, all of 22, has an impressive resume: all 8 seasons portraying Arya Stark on smash hit Game of Thrones, two Emmy nominations, saving the world by slaying the Night King.
But Maisie Williams is even more accomplished than most people realize. She’s also a founder. Together with her friend, film producer Dom Santry, the British actor co-founded Daisie.
Daisie, a platform for creative professionals to showcase their work and find collaborators.
The London-based business launched this May with a big advertising push in its hometown, quickly racking up 120,000 users, mostly in the U.K. It’s backed by top VCs, including Founders Fund and Kleiner Perkins.
Wired has all the basic details about the company and its future plans, including a push into the U.S. market, but perhaps even more fascinating than these fundamentals is the question of how someone manages to combine shooting an international juggernaut of a TV show with building a startup. Williams recently opened up to AngelList about her crazy juggling act.
How did an actress get involved in a tech startup at all?
Battling the undead and seeking revenge on the wicked as Arya Stark while shooting season 8 of Game of Thrones in 2017 and 2018 sounds like a full day’s work, but Williams tells AngelList that when the cameras stopped rolling, her day was far from done.
“When I was shooting, Dom and I would have to FaceTime at 11 p.m. So many huge decisions were made over FaceTime,” she relates. “When I finished the show, I went straight to the office, every day, until we launched our MVP.”
The answer to how she got it done, then, is clearly old-fashioned hustle, but another question remains. How did an actress get involved in a tech startup at all?
Acting actually helps in preparation for startup life
The unlikeliness of the jump wasn’t lost on Maisie herself. “When Dom first approached Maisie with the idea for Daisie, she remembers two thoughts rushing into her mind. Firstly, this is a great idea. Secondly, I have no idea how I can help,” reports AngelList.
But after speaking to Santry about how to divide up their roles, he took on developing the product and tech, Maisie concentrated on branding, marketing, and community building.
Moreover, She saw a lot of overlap between the skills you need to make it as an actor and those you need to conceive and pitch a business that still exists mainly in your head. Auditioning, she found, has a lot in common with fundraising.
Her work as an actor “taught her, early on, how to summon composure, sell an idea, and earn buy-in from those around her, like investors,” explains AngelList.
Furthermore, being a performer and having the ability to read a room and set others at ease also helped when interviewing talent.
“Audition experience helped me look at interviews from an interviewee’s perspective. It taught me how to conduct an interview, get what you want from the meeting, and make a good decision,” Maisie says.
Finally, the young star was no stranger to working under intense pressure. “I think if you’re going to get into the startup world, you have to like to feel the pressure. I like to feel the fire,” she says.
Do things with your own vision instead of people’s expectations
Whether you’re bringing to life the bloodthirsty daughter of a murdered lord or building a tech startup, you need both vision and the confidence to believe in that vision, Williams concludes.
“Sometimes, people will do things because of other people’s expectations, not because it’s their own vision for themselves,”Arya says.
“But if you can push to see yourself really clearly and know how you help a certain cause, then getting to the end point becomes so much easier. ” she added.
You find that core sense of why you belong. The sooner you can have that discussion with yourself, the sooner you can know what you want for your life, authentically,” she also added.
How Maisie Williams became Arya Stark in Game of Thrones?
Arya Stark is a fictional character in American author George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire epic fantasy novel series.
She is a prominent point of view character in the novels and is the only viewpoint character to appear in every published book of the series.
Arya is the younger daughter and third child of Lord Eddard Stark and his wife Lady Catelyn Stark.
She is tomboyish, headstrong, feisty, independent, disdains traditional female pursuits, and is often mistaken for a boy.
Arya Stark wields a smallsword named Needle, a gift from her half-brother, Jon Snow, and is trained in the Braavosi style of sword fighting by Syrio Forel.
Her performance has garnered critical acclaim, particularly in the second season for her work opposite veteran actor Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister) when she served as his cupbearer.
She is among the most popular characters in either version of the story. Williams was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for the role in 2016.