As it turns out, money can buy happiness, just not in the ways you might think. This is “More of What You Love,” a collaboration between OZY and Ally Financial to highlight the people who are not only doing good business, but doing what they love and finding innovative ways to fund their passion projects.
Linda Liukas became a children’s book innovator almost by accident. While learning programming, which she found dry and jargon-y, she found herself doodling, and what soon emerged was a small girl named Ruby who imagined explanations for the different programming concepts that made them both understandable and fun.
Those doodles became blog posts, which became a blockbuster Kickstarter, which became a children’s book series called Hello Ruby…which became a new hybrid career for Liukas.
“When I was growing up, I wished there was a book like Ruby that showed a more whimsical and creative side of technology,” says Liukas. “There wasn’t, so I needed to create that book.”
Maybe the biggest risk is that you don’t take risks, and don’t develop.
Her huge success with crowdfunding was the impetus she needed to actually produce the book, which meant learning about the publishing industry and how to budget her projects, breaking big problems into smaller pieces and attacking each one individually.
While Liukas says her initial image of an entrepreneur was of an adrenaline-driven risk-taker, launching her own business has taught her that the word can encompass much more. ”Maybe the biggest risk,” she says, “is that you don’t take risks, and don’t develop.”
For her, the chance to make kids feel like the world of technology is welcoming and creative is a risk well worth taking.