Skip to content

Why we started Kickstarter

Yancey Strickler
Yancey Strickler
1 min read

This week, a website that I co-founded opened its doors. It’s called Kickstarter, and it’s an easy, feel-good way to raise money to do anything: make a record, produce a book (which is what I am doing), invent an invisibility cloak, put on a show… The possibilities are endless.

Below is an explanation for what motivated us to start this, and where we hope to see it go. If you’d like to be a part of Kickstarter, just email me at yancey at kickstarter dot com. Word.

The Beatles were turned down by nearly every record label. George Lucas couldn’t find a movie studio that would make Star Wars. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post were two of the only reporters assigned to cover Watergate. John Kennedy Toole went to his grave with A Confederacy of Dunces still unpublished.

Anecdotes like these have become folklore, as have their lessons: good ideas go unrecognized, experts get it wrong, perseverance prevails. All true. But as we marvel at the elixirs of skill and luck that have brought the few enormous fame and many endless heartache, it’s also worth considering that maybe this judgment system that seems to get so much so wrong is outdated. That it doesn’t speak for anyone except itself. That a good idea, well-crafted and pursued with passion, doesn’t need a gatekeeper’s stamp of approval to succeed.

The gauntlet that is fundraising (for everyone who doesn’t have a rich, benevolent uncle) sees only profit or predictability. Not art or passion or talent or an incredible story of inspiration.

Kickstarter aims to give each one of us a chance to fund our ideas, starting directly with the people who are closest to it (friends, fans, community-fellows). And it’s a way to break beyond the traditional methods — loans, investment, industry deals, grants — to discover that we can offer each other value through creation without a middleman dictating the product and terms.

Kickstarter

Yancey Strickler

Sup y'all. I'm Yancey — writer, founder of the Bento Society, cofounder of Kickstarter, and author of "This Could Be Our Future: A Manifesto for a More Generous World." Subscribe to stay in touch.


Related Posts

Members Public

Smell the smell

In March of 2013 I flew to Los Angeles on short notice. It was two days after the Veronica Mars Kickstarter project had launched. Kickstarter’s “Hollywood moment.” I was with Veronica Mars’ creator Rob Thomas in Austin. I sat in his office as the $2 million budget that had

Smell the smell
Members Public

Introducing the Creative Independent

This morning Kickstarter launched a new project that we’re very excited about: The Creative Independent. The Creative Independent is a new resource of emotional and practical guidance for creative people. Each weekday The Creative Independent will publish one essay or interview from an established or emerging artist in which

Members Public

The object, offline

On Monday I spoke at the Museum of Modern Art at a salon to discuss “objects that are born in the digital realm and are then transposed to the physical world.” Here’s what I shared.