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Brick by brick–building a digital platform right

May 1, 2012
by seth godin

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Amanda Palmer (leaving out her middle name, which is a story for another day) didn’t used to be a superstar.

She is now.

Her Kickstarter project is instantly oversubscribed. Her concerts sell out, wherever she goes in the world, and she goes everywhere.

Her Twitter account has more than half a million followers.

Classic overnight success. Of course, it isn’t that at all. Just a few years ago, Amanda was posing as a statue in Harvard Square, collecting dollars and quarters on the street.

And a few years after that she was building her fan base, one listener at a time, one CD burned for one fan and then another CD burned for another fan.

Amanda is a wonderful character, a warm and optimistic friend and a killer ukelele player. But that’s not her secret.

Amanda is an impresario in service of her art. She understands that her job is to earn the permission of her audience, to make them big promises and then to keep them. She’s aware that she needs to put on a show, and she does. And most of all, she doesn’t merely sell to her audience, she leads them and connects them. Amanda F. Palmer is a touchstone, the center of the circle, a living, breathing experiment in audacity, in challenging the status quo and in having a good time while she does it.

The most amazing thing about this path is that it’s open to just about anyone willing to put in the extraordinary sweat and tears it takes to be this powerful and this remarkable.

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