It's been almost five years since we launched Kickstarter to the world in late April 2009. Since then we’ve grown from an idea, to a start-up, to a strong, independent company. The team has grown, too. From Yancey, Charles, and me, to 68 of the best people I know.
When the three of us started working on Kickstarter we believed (in that way founders must believe) that we were working on something special. It was impossible to imagine where it would lead, but we believed enough to bet a big part of our lives on it.
As early as 2005, Yancey and I would spend hours together imagining and debating the possibilities. Soon Charles joined us, and he and I holed up in my apartment to design the details of the site and experience. Eventually we built a team, and I had to do things like find us an office and get our small team health insurance — while copywriting and working on new features and ideas. After we launched, Yancey answered every customer service email, then built our Community team, and then our Communications team. Charles managed our first developers and designers, then our Design team. As founders often do, we’ve each changed hats many times as Kickstarter has grown.
It’s time for us to switch things up again.
Charles has long been itching to move with his family back to Chicago, and now that timing is right. He’ll be sorely missed, but he’ll stay connected as an advisor as he explores new adventures. We’ll go back to seeing each other on Skype, like in the early days when we’d jump on to discuss design details at all hours.
I'm also changing roles — from Kickstarter’s CEO to its Chairman on January 1. I’m looking forward to stepping away from the day-to-day to consider our path from a new perspective. In the Chairman role I’ll continue to offer big-picture guidance, support key projects, and assist our amazing team. I’m also looking forward to having time to work on creative projects of my own, after all these years working on an engine to support them. :)
Jumping into the CEO job will be Yancey, who has been helping guide Kickstarter since we started working together eight years ago. Yancey has the love and respect of the team, first and foremost me. As a partner, I’m excited to work with him in this new way. As a friend, I’m even more excited for him. Kickstarter is in phenomenal hands.
Kickstarter’s mission is to help bring creative projects to life. We aim for Kickstarter to serve this mission for generations. Hats will change. Hats will change again. In the next few months we'll pass a billion dollars pledged on Kickstarter. We could have never imagined we'd get this far. This is still just the beginning.