Our mission is to help bring creative projects to life.
Kickstarter helps artists, musicians, filmmakers, designers, and other creators find the resources and support they need to make their ideas a reality. To date, tens of thousands of creative projects — big and small — have come to life with the support of the Kickstarter community.
Kickstarter is an enormous global community built around creativity and creative projects. Over 9 million people, from every continent on earth, have backed a Kickstarter project.
Some of those projects come from influential artists like De La Soul or Marina Abramović. Most come from amazing creative people you probably haven’t heard of — from Grandma Pearl to indie filmmakers to the band down the street.
Every artist, filmmaker, designer, developer, and creator on Kickstarter has complete creative control over their work — and the opportunity to share it with a vibrant community of backers.
We built Kickstarter to help bring creative projects to life. We measure our success as a company by how well we achieve that mission, not by the size of our profits. That’s why, in 2015, we became a Benefit Corporation. Benefit Corporations are for-profit companies that are obligated to consider the impact of their decisions on society, not only shareholders. Radically, positive impact on society becomes part of a Benefit Corporation’s legally defined goals.
When we became a Benefit Corporation, we amended our corporate charter to lay out specific goals and commitments to arts and culture, making our values core to our operations, fighting inequality, and helping creative projects come to life. You can read our commitments in full below.See our charter
We’re an independent, founder-controlled company of 116 people working together in an old pencil factory in New York City. We spend our time designing and building Kickstarter, connecting people around inspiring creative projects, and having a lot of fun doing it.
We’re developers, designers, support specialists, writers, musicians, painters, poets, gamers, robot-builders — you name it. Between us, we’ve backed more than 34,000 projects (and launched plenty of our own).Meet the team Join us
Kickstarter launched on April 28, 2009. A lot has happened since.
We had the craziest 24 hours ever. We saw $1 billion get pledged. We shared the early designs behind Kickstarter. We learned what a Kickstarter project looked like back in 1713. We talked about why Kickstarter matters. We made some important changes to how we govern the site. We put on a film festival (and another) (and another) (and another) (and another). A project won an Oscar. And after five years, we made a video about it all.
as told by founder Perry Chen
The fact that the potential audience had no say in this decision stuck uncomfortably in my brain. I thought: “What if people could go to a site and pledge to buy tickets for a show? And if enough money was pledged they would be charged and the show would happen. If not, it wouldn't.”
I loved the idea, but I was focused on making music, not starting an internet company. Yet slowly over the next few years I started to work on the idea more and more. In the spring of 2005 I moved back home to NYC, knowing it would be much more possible there.
Once back in New York, I started to try and tackle the next steps: Who could build the website? How much it would cost? Where could I get money? I talked to a bunch of folks and I learned a ton. I planned and planned.
In the fall of 2005, I met Yancey Strickler, and we became fast friends. Yancey soon joined me in brainstorming. We bought a whiteboard. We had big dreams. I convinced some friends to give us a little bit of money. At some point I made this rough design of the site. Clearly we needed more help.
About a year later, I was introduced to Charles Adler, through an old friend. The day after we were introduced, Charles came over to my apartment and he and I started working together almost every day. After months and months of collaboration, we ended up with wireframes and specifications for the site.
But none of us could code. We had a few false starts hiring people to build the site. There were months where not much happened. Charles moved to San Francisco and took some part-time freelance work. Yancey was still at his day job. We had this money from our friends and not much was happening. It was emotionally draining.
In the summer of 2008 things finally started to move again. I was introduced to Andy Baio, who, though he was living in Portland, started to help us out. Soon after, Charles and Andy found a few developers — including Lance Ivy all the way in Walla Walla, Washington. We were a scattered team that lived through Skype and email (Charles had moved again, this time to Chicago), but we were finally building — even as the economy started to collapse.
Finally, on April 28, 2009, we launched Kickstarter to the public. We told as many friends as possible, and Andy announced it on his awesome blog Waxy.org. Projects trickled in. Yancey jumped into gear to handle all the new emails from people actually using (or wanting to use) Kickstarter. It was amazing! You cannot imagine how excited we all were.
There are so many projects that defined the early days. Designing Obama, Robin Writes a Book, and Mysterious Letters were all landmarks. Filmmakers took their natural-born hustle and wrapped it around our template. People stepped up to support projects over and over again. It was thrilling. And then one day we even had an office. In January 2010, nine months after we launched, we moved into a tenement building in the Lower East Side of Manhattan along with Cassie Marketos and Fred Benenson, our two new teammates.
But before all that, three weeks after Kickstarter launched, a young singer-songwriter from Athens, GA, launched a project to fund her album, Allison Weiss was Right All Along. Allison was using Kickstarter in the exact way we had always dreamed. Her album was funded in one day. She did a Skype chat with the backer that put her over her goal and posted it for all to see. This was the moment Kickstarter was truly alive.”
Every Kickstarter project is an opportunity to create the universe and culture you want to see. The games you wish you could play, the films you wish you could watch, the technology you wish someone was building — on Kickstarter, people work together to make those things a reality.
Take a look around: right this minute, thousands of people are funding their creative ideas. Feel like joining them?See our favorite projects Start your own project
The year in Kickstarter 2014