Peter Crosby – Chief Dreamer at DreamFund

It’s the software, stupid. Build a great product and the rest will follow. So we keep our eyes firmly fixed on that.

Peter Crosby is Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Dreamer at, the circle giving platform for important dreams. With a passion for pursuing his dreams and helping others achieve theirs, Peter has established a career as a marketer and communicator, taking several software companies from idea to reality. Prior to joining, he worked as the Director of Product and Content Marketing for Constant Contact and was fortunate enough to spend every day helping small business owners more effectively communicate with their customers. Peter has also worked as a professional actor and knows what it’s like to build a network of people who share and support your dream. He believes it’s all about getting people’s attention in a noisy world, and inspiring them with your story.

Where did the idea for come from?

From looking around at our friends and families and communities and seeing that raising and saving money for dreams is hard. We thought that there must be a way to combine crowdfunding and savings to help make people’s short and long term dreams come true.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

First, I meditate. Just for 10-15 minutes every morning to make some space for creativity. And sanity.

Next, I look at what Dreams have started overnight. Like the sophomore in high school who wants $199 to start his own Little Library in his town. It’s inspiring, and reminds me why we’re doing this.

Huddle with the DreamSquad – are our Dreamers getting through their creation and sharing process ok? How can our DreamSquad help them?

The rest is spent on the road map, potential partnerships, lunch, content creation, snack, and so on. Snacks are key.

What keeps me productive is keeping each day’s task list on an index card. Once I start trying to write something vertically, I have too much on my plate.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Like my mom used to say, we’re not arguing, we’re “discussing”. We have a great team that bounces around ideas, strategies and tactics around the room. Then the beauty and challenge of a startup is, the ideators are the doers. The hour-by-hour swerve from strategy to tactics is sharp one, but it makes sure the execution is faithful to the original idea.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

The desire of people, and especially teens, to value experiences over “stuff”. That’s why we see so many people using our platform for generosity, service, and amazing experiences. Dreams that are truly important to them.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Active listening. The word “inspiration” also means “breathing in”. I try to breathe when I listen, to make sure I’m really hearing the true essence of what someone is trying to communicate to me. This often presents misunderstandings and unearths nuggets I might have otherwise missed.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

Ugh. I was a dishwasher for one day at a large restaurant. They wouldn’t even let me go to the bathroom. It felt like the conveyor belt in the I Love Lucy chocolate factory episode. I learned I’m better suited for humanity than assembly lines.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Be better at math.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Stop to celebrate. The pressure of creating can often overwhelm the joys of achievement. Celebration provides the fuel for the next sprint.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

It’s the software, stupid. Build a great product and the rest will follow. So we keep our eyes firmly fixed on that.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

We sold our startup to a business whose target customers didn’t match ours, believing their assurances that we could make it fit. We couldn’t – the customer pains weren’t the same. So I guess I didn’t overcome it, so much as learn to trust my gut.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

With the advent of gay marriages and families in this country, there is a great and growing need for financial, legal, and lifestyle services in a really compelling, content and service-driven way. Ready, set, go.

Tell us something about you that very few people know?

I was an extra in Sex and the City. Or, as we like to call it, a background actor. Check out over Big’s shoulder in a restaurant when he’s telling Carrie that he’s engaged to someone else. Best fake eating ever.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

Google Analytics. Thank you, metrics.

Marketo. In a brand devoted to a personal relationship with our customers, Marketo makes it scalable.

Notability. Because my brain leaks.

iMovie. Used to pay thousands of dollars for that kind of content.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. Because happiness causes success, not the other way around.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Andrew Chen @andrewchen

Seth Godin @thisissethsblog

Shyla Nelson:

Willy Wonka “And so shines a good deed in a weary world.”

Connect: On LinkedIn: On Twitter: @thedreamfund