DANY LEVY, FOUNDER OF THE ONLINE GUIDE DAILYCANDY, DISCUSSES THE EVOLVING NATURE OF HER ROLE AS A FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR
This article was excerpted from OPEN Book: Leadership. Find more information and resources including a podcast featuring Dany Levy at openforum.com/leadership.
While she was working as a magazine journalist, Dany Levy dreamt up the concept for the curated online guide DailyCandy, and set out on her own to produce a free daily e-mail: a New York City-based insider’s guide to what’s hot, new, and undiscovered – from fashion and restaurant news to gadgets and travel. Ten years later, with 3 million subscribers, she is guiding her vision on a global scale with a new owner, and reflects on how her role as a leader has changed and evolved over time.
How have the last 18 months of recession affected your business?
Although I didn’t know it at the time, DailyCandy was founded just as the dotcom bubble burst in 2000. But I didn’t start the business with dollar signs in my eyes, and I always had very strictly applied ideas about not spending money until it was earned, and we came out of that bust intact. We’ve kept this philosophy over our 10 years, so while some of the more ambitious plans of 2008 have been put on hold, we didn’t come up short. The recession taught me that maintaining a start-up culture requires a resilient approach to business: one person can do a lot of jobs, and we watch expenditure carefully all the time. I realize now that I’ve been through a downturn before, and can pull through it again.
Where do you see the business going in the next 12 months?
It’s a very exciting time right now at DailyCandy. Thanks to Comcast’s support, we are investing in all areas of the business, allowing us to not only maintain our competitive edge but take the DailyCandy brand to the next phase in its evolution. We will invest in technologies to ensure we continue to lead the e-mail newsletter business; we will explore new relevant ways to engage our readers online, and we will dive deep into market research and new platforms to determine ways to best serve our readers with content, when and where they want it.
How will your role evolve?
I’m pleased with where I am. Managing both up and down is rewarding. I’m tuned into the business, and our owners take account of my opinions and input. But things are moving fast: I know what’s coming tomorrow and maybe next week, but as for six months’ time, I’ve no idea, except that I’ll be ready for it. I’m very solution-oriented.