Once viewed as a venue for wide-eyed start-ups, Kickstarter has proven to be an innovative launch pad for both the young and the established, and it’s quickly transforming into a verb for the maker community (“We’re going to Kickstarter the project.”) Yancey Strickler, CEO of Kickstarter, co-founded the site in 2009 with friends Charles Adler and Perry Chen, and he took on the CEO title at the beginning of 2014.
Prior to Kickstarter, Yancey was a music journalist, penning stories on such subjects as Old Crowe Medicine Show (“Country-blues revivalists wail against wars for Phish-heads) and Calla (“Where’s LaBeef?”) for the Village Voice. He also served as the editor in chief of eMusic, where he started a record label called eMusic Selects.
At press time, 75,098 projects had been successfully backed on Kickstarter, with a total of $1.4 billion pledged since its inception. Similar crowdfunding sites have since cropped up, but Kickstarter remains a gold standard in the CE start-up industry. As Strickler notes on his own Tumblr: “Kickstarter is the kind of thing that seems as natural as air — the structure of the system, how it works and feels, the fact that it exists at all. But it isn’t. It is the product of years of thinking, collaborating, building, and ultimately guessing by a handful of people. It’s been copied so many times now that the original thought doesn’t seem very original. It very much was.”