A New Approach to Our Work on Drip

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Andy McMillan and Andy Baio of XOXO. Photo by Searle Video.
Andy McMillan and Andy Baio of XOXO. Photo by Searle Video.

A year ago we launched Drip, a tool for people to fund their creative work on an ongoing basis. We saw this as another way to fulfill our mission — to help creative projects come to life — outside of the project-based funding we’ve pioneered with Kickstarter, and creator resources like The Creative Independent.

Since its launch, Drip has operated as an invitation-only service with about 100 creators. Recently we began talking with our friends at XOXO, Andy Baio and Andy McMillan, about the best future for Drip, and the best way to support creators and creative work through such a tool. These discussions opened up a new direction that we want to share today.

A New Project With XOXO

We are partnering with XOXO on a new project that will ultimately replace Drip, one in which Kickstarter will be taking more of a supporting role. The project, which will build on the work of the Drip team, will help independent artists and creators get discovered, find a community to support their work, and build a long-term, sustainable career.

To date, subscription-based funding has proven to be a viable source of support for YouTubers, podcasters, and other serial digital-content creators — but it is still a challenging model for artists and other creators whose output is less episodic. With Drip, we endeavored to build a method for ongoing funding to support creators who didn't see subscriptions as fitting their creative practices. Andy and Andy are in an excellent position to pursue that goal, as well as to better serve creators who are already finding traction with this model.

XOXO has formed a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) for the new project, which will be led and driven wholly by the vision and experience of Andy and Andy. Kickstarter is contributing seed funding, making the Drip code available to them, and providing other support. Andy and Andy’s work in developing XOXO, the premier festival for independent artists and creators who work on the internet, has been a master class in how to support people who fight every day to bring their ideas to life. They are the best people to be leading this new effort.

Kickstarter and XOXO have a long and deeply intertwined history. In 2012, XOXO was launched through a Kickstarter project. It has since grown into a thousands-strong community filled with people creating new things — and many of those people have used Kickstarter and Drip. Andy Baio was Kickstarter’s first CTO, has remained a longtime friend and informal adviser to its founders, and most recently served as a Kickstarter Fellow, working often with the Drip team.

Supporting Current Drip Creators

Kickstarter will continue to operate Drip in its current state for another year. We’re committed to supporting creators and subscribers on Drip while the new project is developed. (In fact, the Kickstarter and XOXO teams have already been in close contact with many Drip creators about the change in direction.) We’ll help creators export their content and securely transfer subscription and payments information to the new platform when it’s ready. And if a creator wants to leave Drip sooner than that, we’ll help them move to another platform.

Our Mission at Kickstarter

Kickstarter is a Public Benefit Corporation with an obligation to serve our mission, not one to maximize our profits. When we make big decisions, we focus on impact — how can we help people bring more creative projects to life? We still believe ongoing funding can work for a broad range of creators, and we’re big believers in the ability of Andy and Andy to make that happen.

Meanwhile our teammates who have been focused on Drip are being rededicated to the big challenges and opportunities within Kickstarter itself. We’re a relatively small company in the internet landscape (140 people), so that shift will have a real impact. Simply, there’s a lot to do through Kickstarter proper, and we’ll do it better and faster with more helping hands.

We’re thrilled to be working with XOXO, and we’re looking forward to supporting them as their plans take shape. You can read their announcement of the new project here.

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