Not Just Another Company

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When we started Kickstarter our goal wasn’t to start another company. It was to create a way for artists, musicians, filmmakers, chefs, craftspeople, designers, adventurers, and other creative people to fund and build community around their ideas. We wanted to create a universe where ideas were funded not because some executive thought they seemed like a good way to make money, but because people wanted them to exist.

A belief in the immeasurable importance of art and creativity is core to who we are as a company. Our mission is to help bring creative projects to life. We exist so that other people’s ideas can exist. We've remained independent and founder-led so that we can pursue this mission fully.

We’re also a company that cares deeply about how we go about pursuing this mission. We try to act with integrity, by prioritizing responsible governance, corporate transparency, and a respectful and inclusive work environment. There’s much more to be done, but our commitment to creating a better company for our team and you, our community, is real.

Over the past few months we’ve worked with a nonprofit called B Labs that recognizes companies that demonstrate a commitment to corporate transparency, civic engagement, and other socially conscious practices. We’re happy to report that after evaluating Kickstarter against their high standards of corporate responsibility, B Labs has named Kickstarter a “Certified B Corporation.” You can read the full assessment of our practices here. We’re proud of this certification, and we will use it as a baseline for further improvement.

From our commitment in our Privacy Policy to never sell our users’ data, to our transparent public stats page, to this B Labs certification, Kickstarter is committed to being a responsible company for the long haul. We’re grateful for your continued support. Thank you.

Comments
    1. Missing avatar

      Nicholas Musolino on December 4, 2014

      Does this mean Kickstarter is converting to a Benefit Corporation (or is one already)?

    2. Scott Munoz on December 4, 2014

      What about KickStarter's lack of support for supporters when projects go south? It seems that once KickStarter gets their money, they wash their hands and walk away.

    3. Michael McGregor on December 4, 2014

      @ScottMunoz As the creators and stewards of Kickstarter, we hate more than anyone when a project doesn't pan out as planned. We also understand that there's a level of risk in the creation of anything new. The Kickstarter system is built around minimizing that risk through the collective decision-making of all-or-nothing funding, as well as through our rules, careful governance, and anti-fraud filtering. The foundation of the entire system is the collective wisdom of backers.

      Still, projects won't come together as planned despite the creator's best efforts. In these situations we make ourselves available to creators to help however we can, and we encourage them to be open with backers about the obstacles they face.

      Much of our attention is focused on improving this part of the experience for backers and creators. But no matter our efforts, projects will sometimes fail to come together and backers will sometimes be disappointed in outcomes. From blog posts like "Kickstarter is not a Store" to our Trust & Safety page, we are very open about this fact. The fact that Kickstarter allows creators to take risks and attempt to create something new is a feature, not a bug.

    4. Michael Hartlef on December 4, 2014

      A little of topic, but... you guys mentioned that KS would come to Germany this autumn. Well, the year is almost over and no sign of it. Plans canceled?

    5. Brian E. Harris on December 4, 2014

      So, with your response to ScottMunoz, how about you block project creators from participating in other Kickstarters until they make good to their backers? For example, don't allow them to create more projects to bilk more backers, and don't allow them to spend money by backing other projects until they deliver to their backers? Maybe even lock down their ability to communicate outside of their projects?

      It's beyond frustrating to see project creators ignoring their backer comments and emails, yet still logging in and playing with other projects.

    6. Brian E. Harris on December 4, 2014

      Also, for what it's worth, "Kickstarter is not a Store" doesn't negate the pre-10/19/2014 Terms of Service in regards to requirements you set for project creators when it comes to deliveries and refunds.

      It'd be nice to see some enforcement of those terms on a lot of deadbeat project creators.

      What is Kickstarter doing about shyster project creators creating new accounts under different identities to bilk more backers?

    7. Missing avatar

      Bill Gonzalez on December 4, 2014

      What a load of hogwash!!!! Kickstart is in it for the money and allows inventors/creators or others to continue posting new projects even when current projects are way behind schedule or even not deliverable.

    8. Missing avatar

      Thomas Marzahl on December 4, 2014

      Michael Hartlef's comment above about Kickstarter coming to Germany brings to mind an email I received from Kickstarter a few weeks ago looking for help translating the Kickstarter webpage into German. As a professional translator I was of course intrigued before realizing that the company is apparently trying to get the site translated pro bono by the crowd.

      I may be wrong in making this assumption but an email to the company asking whether this was the case has so far gone unanswered. If you want to truly be a different company, and in many ways Kickstarter is that, then you should also IMHO be willing to pay for a professional translation, and not undermine translators' livelihoods.

      On the other hand if I am way off base and just went way too far, then I will be happy to be proven wrong.

    9. Newt's Playing Cards on December 4, 2014

      Maybe one of your goals is to actually have some level of "customer support". Stop hiding behind the internet and making it so difficult to contact your company. That's the kind of "transparency" I would want.

    10. Jim Withington on December 4, 2014

      I've backed many projects and only one or two has come out and said "we aren't going to be able to do this." There are a few early projects that still aren't done, but the rest have come through as expected. The joy I've received as a backer far outweighs the risks -- and I always know there is a risk!

    11. Nick Dodds on December 4, 2014

      How about insisting on accountability for projects that don't deliver?

      Seems like KS should do more to ensure project creators can't waste/lose/steal all the backers money and just walk away consequence free.

      Maybe KS should employ or retain an independent 3rd party company who can check on projects that fail, and then issue some kind of refund to backers if appropriate?

      Please KS, lets have just more than talk about ethics!

    12. TRACE BURROUGHS on December 4, 2014

      There are many film projects by celebrities and or directors that have had major independent films that are funded on Kickstarter. I don't think that's right. It takes funding money away from projects by directors, producers, etc that don't have any money, a track record or name recognition.

    13. Missing avatar

      Ross M on December 4, 2014

      @Michael McGregor
      Seriously? What a PR stunt! If Kickstarter really wants to be transparent, you need to have your own legal team which sticks up for backers when projects are not delivered on, recover as many funds as possible, and return them to backers proportional to their level of backing. These creators have got a free ride so far, and are able to steal tens of thousands of dollars with absolutely no consequences.

    14. Missing avatar

      Stephen Wilbourne on December 4, 2014

      Here's an example of a project that needs KS to intervene on behalf of the backers: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/haptix/haptix-multitouch-reinvented
      The hardware was delivered but there is no software to run it, so it is just an expensive paperweight. There are over 1300 comments from backers asking when the software will be available or just asking for some sort of truthful update. KS continues to remain silent on this one.

    15. Subrr on December 4, 2014

      I'm both a creator and backer. I know that when I back something, I am backing it because I believe in the project and the team, not just because I want to buy something. Kickstarter has truly empowered so many designers and artists to pursue their craft and put something out into the world. The kickstarer community is so awesome, and genuinely interested in the process. Because of this awesome community, there have been so many amazing projects that have come to fruition. Congrats on the ratings and I appreciate all that you do for individual creators.

      Sincerely,

      Arash Malek

    16. Missing avatar

      Scott K on December 4, 2014

      I have donated to several Kickstarter projects, tho I sent the money directly to the project and not thru Kickstarter, and found the projects I donated too were very good. Overall, I like the company but I have decided never to use your site again. I will look for interesting projects on indiegogo.

      http://www.libertynews.com/2014/12/kickstarter-fundraising-website-employee-admits-she-hates-white-people/

    17. Missing avatar

      Xavier Gusman on December 4, 2014

      I don't know much about KS, but it seems to me that it's very clear that there is a certain amount of risk involved in supporting a project. Just because KS is the name on the website doesn't man that they should be responsible for your bad investments. That's like sueing nasdaq for losing money on stocks. If a project you fund fails, it's a disappointment for the whole KS community, not just for you because of your financial loss. Maybe do a little research into the feasibility of a project before throwing your hard-earned dollars at it

    18. Missing avatar

      Stephen Wilbourne on December 4, 2014

      Yes there is risk, however when the creators give false updates and totally ignore all requests from backers for some sort of explanation, then KS should intervene. Companies have legal responsibilities to keep the market informed. KS allows creators to stay totally silent.

    19. Stacey Jay Kelly - PIXEL INITIATIVE on December 4, 2014

      Kickstarter is fine the way it is. It sounds like people are trying to make it more like everything we already have. Its based on trust not 100% stable but theres a charm to its freedoms that encourages honesty. If people practise these things more and more rather then blocking each other and blocking project creators then you open up a world of clamp down that would ruin an otherwise wonderful creation. Life is full of risk, that what makes it interesting....

    20. Missing avatar

      Donald G Schofield on December 4, 2014

      Hey, try the Frank Anthony "Shorts that won't get wet"....oh that's right, you can't BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT SHIPPING THEM. A few people got them and, guess what? They do get wet! No more KS for me....for sure.

    21. Missing avatar

      Steven on December 4, 2014

      In regaurds to Scott Munoz's comment and Kickstarters reresponse. Kickstarter is in ut for the profit. They stay this and that about trying not to be that type of company, but as fas as i am concerned, their actions on the matter speaks for itself. I am no longer active in backing products on this site for that very reason. After multiple attempts to bring my concerns of a projects MIA status and being ignored, i am done with this site. It was promising at first, but a few hundren dollars later, the proof is in the reality. Some people take the money and run and Kickstarter lacks the initiative to take responsibility for these actions. I wont be a sucker anymore.

    22. Subrr on December 4, 2014

      @Stacey Jay Kelly - PIXEL INITIATIVE: well said!

    23. Joe Pantaleo and Stefano Karabas on December 4, 2014

      Win or loose I love Kickstarter, my name is Stefano, my friend Joe just recently put our Christmas ornament on Kickstarter and when I think back to what options creators like us had only a few years ago, in getting any attention or funding to our projects the picture is dark and grim. Unless you had a real fat wallet you had a real fat chance. Kickstarter deserves every award it gets and then some. Unfortunately, like anything it takes super hard work to succeed. Stop thinking about that one millionaire that you know or heard of. Yeah there are some very lucky people out there but the reality is this if you want something you have to work hard to get it. We should only be so lucky that a company like Kickstarter exists. Its provided even the common man/woman with a tool to help another common man/woman achieve what only a few years ago seemed so un-achievable.

    24. Missing avatar

      Olivier J on December 4, 2014

      I fully support Jim Withington's and similar comment. Kickstarter is AMAZING. I LOVE it - it has provided hours and hours of joy. I find ideas I would never have daydreamed again and again. Kickstarter is not about the rewards (as your mother said: it is not always about you). It is about the projects that Kickstarter and the backers enable. It's not a shopping mall – it is crowd funding! I am still amazed by all the amazing projects I have found and was able to help come true. I'm touched to see how excited people get when they see that their dreams are about to come true. Although the rewards are an important element of the Kickstarter operation model, it is not about the rewards. They are just the outcome. They give me joy too. But, at the end of the day, backers take a risk, they are mini venture capitalists, and should be aware that a project might go south.

    25. Missing avatar

      Stanley Schwartz on December 4, 2014

      I have found, on many occasions, that individuals are seeking support from backers, for some rather innovative projects. Does Kickstarter provide any guidance to individuals who may be seeking funding for the purpose of developing a new product? The disclosure of that new product on your website could have serious consequences for an individual if no patent application was filed in advance of that disclosure, both in the USA and especially in many foreign countries. Also, it appears to me that many individuals seeking funding for a project, and who do obtain such funding, are unaware if their new product can be sold without infringing any patent owned by another person or company. What, if any, guidance is provided by Kickstarters to those seeking funding and should be provided to potential funders at the time of the publication of a new product or process?

    26. Missing avatar

      Hello world on December 4, 2014

      (You can read the full assessment of our practices) Apparently being a F rating BBB cooperation is one of them. At no point do I see the words customer first/customers focused anywhere in your mission of "responsible governance, corporate transparency, and a respectful and inclusive work environment". So many toxic campaign owners on your site and you are focusing your energy to get a certificTion that does not help your users. In fact I think I am going to receive the Asylum Playing cards from Ed Nash shipped to me shipped to across the country on the back of a sloth before I will receive a reply from your support team.

    27. Paul Matthew St. Pierre on December 4, 2014

      I'm an English professor and a painter. I encourage creativity among my students. Now I realize Kickstarter is my kind of company, not just because I've invested in one of their new thermoelectric lanterns but also because they promote creativity and collaborations among artists. Well done. Paul Matthew St. Pierre

    28. Missing avatar

      Ronald Shenck on December 4, 2014

      Transparency gets muddled when a KS site is removed by you for one thing and the starting company claims another. Reference Alien vs Predator by Prodos.

    29. Missing avatar

      citizen Vern on December 4, 2014

      Awesome! I applaud your commitment. To all the people complaining... nevermind. Keep on whining about how Kickstarter isn't a charity designed to take all risk out of VENTURE CAPITAL just for you. Or make a grown up feature-request and be patient and realistic.

    30. The Riahi Brothers on December 4, 2014

      Hi guys from Kickstarter. We are currently running from Austria a campaign for the maintenance of the non-violent platform Everyday Rebellion and we are facing a problem that I am sure we are not the only one: the fact that your only payment possibility is through Amazon is a serious problem for critical Europeans who are against Amazon and their working ethics. We get permanently messages from people who don't want to give their data to Amazon or hate Amazon! This is a major block for them. You definitely should change this if you want to be successful in Europe.

    31. Thomas Burns on December 4, 2014

      If your open to transparency will please respond to the accusations that you community manager is a is racist? Is it true your company is actively deleted users comments on this issue?

    32. Missing avatar

      Richard on December 4, 2014

      If you're really trying to be a more responsible company, how about taking responsibility for people you let host projects on your site? You make loads off of the community who backs projects and you offer no protection. For example, this project: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/155163930/paradise-desk-everything-youve-ever-wanted-in-a-de/comments

      It has been abandoned and no one is getting any refunds from the creator, nor is anyone getting an explanation of what happened. The project raised over 196k which means you guys got a nice chunk of change yet you have washed your hands of all responsibility in this issue. Countless backers have reported this project and contacted you and nothing has been done.

      Maybe you should consider something like what your competitor site is doing:

      http://www.cnet.com/news/indiegogo-trials-crowdfunding-insurance-for-failed-projects/

    33. Missing avatar

      Dan on December 4, 2014

      Echoing what many others have said: most people understand the risks associated with backing a project and have some understanding that they may never see the product BUT a project failing and the creators going AWOL are two entirely different things. While certainly no one can predict if a project will fail or creators will simply stop interacting with the community, when this happens, backers should have some sort of recourse, particularly on the latter aspect. If honest communication and effort is given in a project and it fails, I fully accept that things happen and would not be particularly upset but it's truly maddening to not know why creators have simply stopped updating or replying and having zero recourse. As another member mentioned above, my specific experience is with this project: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/haptix/haptix-multitouch-reinvented
      I'm sure your team must be aware that many of the backers have reported this project. We've gone so far as to reach out to numerous channels associated with this project to try and garner some sort of explanation as to what is going on but there really hasn't been much. Without some sort of legal penalty to hang over their heads, I'm sure we won't get a response either and it's because of this laizze faire attitude your company appears to hold that really leaves a sour taste in my mouth. You can't tout how great you are and how you promote transparency and community goodness while taking a back seat to legitimate backer concerns. As backers, there is very little we can do and it seems as if you are well aware and take full advantage of that fact while you sit back and count your money...

    34. Peter Gulka on December 4, 2014

      I am out US$349 from the same project Richard mentions above: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/155163930/paradise-desk-everything-youve-ever-wanted-in-a-de/comments

      At no point have I felt supported by Kickstarter. You got your percentage and shrugged your shoulders.

    35. Jaibee D. on December 4, 2014

      I have stopped viewing the photography section, because there is so many photographs bordering on pornography, which Kickstarter says it doesn't allow. There are really some good photos here, but it is off putting to see some of what's there.

    36. Evan Jensen on December 4, 2014

      I also backed Paradise Desk: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/155163930/paradise-desk-everything-youve-ever-wanted-in-a-de/comments

      I was out $1999 until I my credit card sided with me on my dispute and credited me back. I had belief and hope in this project and it just went down the drain. I don't believe any of the backers who reported this company got any help from Kickstarted. I know I didn't. Their response to my report was them basically brushing it off as a non-issue. I won't be putting anymore money towards any Kickstarter project after this mess unless Kickstarter gets better protection for backers.

    37. Missing avatar

      John Klinck on December 4, 2014

      I am really looking forward to all the enterprising con artists that really make a killing off kickstarter, and I'm not talking the small time stuff that you see currently. Once a couple million disappears in a project, everything will take care of itself.

    38. Nicholas Livadas on December 4, 2014

      Seems like the KS policy is: "Creators can do no wrong once the project is backed." Please review the detailed Paradise Desk fraud report that the backers have sent you. The creators raised over $200K, built the desks, and sold them on their own website and through local listings before shipping to backers. Now they're unresponsive after stating that no one is getting a desk.

    39. Ron Zawora on December 4, 2014

      Did you know KS that investors too have hopes and dreams?
      That they can only vet a campaign manager and the product to the degree you allow them?
      Did you know by penalizing vocal investors and silencing their collective chants you're guilty of stifling the DROVES of investors that make your site POSSIBLE?

      Yet you reward (continuously) yourselves for doing something relatively simple and your crooked PARTNERS (fraudulent) campaign managers by pocketing money you did little to earn (or them for that matter).

      Since you are of a philosophical ilk perhaps you can see this as a series of injustices?
      I challenge you and your leadership to raise the bar and MINIMALLY begin the use of business plans and 3rd party escrow to protect and enhance ALL experiences on this site, including yours.

      Can you work hard to improve the site short of a UI/UX update which prevents me from accessing the lists of co-investors in my projects? Why did you attempt and succeed in preventing me from accessing the previously available list of my co-investors? Afraid of a unified front?

    40. Raising talents Uganda on December 5, 2014

      I love kickstarter but them we still need more explanation to understand it more and more. UGANDA being a third world Country, we also want to be part on this that is why RAISING TALENTS UGANDA had to join kickstarter. Thanks for the updates and for the love and care.

    41. Justin Leonard on December 5, 2014

      What I wild like to honestly see is more support for artisan projects the hand made like true metal workers the old crafts that brought us to where we are today along with the love for the techie things as well

    42. Laurie Phillips on December 5, 2014

      I think kickstarter is full of bullshit. I have helped fund two projects. Neither have delivered anything expect promises they don't keep. Neither project communicates with it's customers and goes out of it's way to ignore complaints and requests for returned funds. I think I have simply tossed money down the drain and don't expect to ever see either products actually produced. This is a recipe for rip off artists, or people who have an idea but no real way of producing it. I would never fund another kickstarter project. How about the owners of Kickstarter kicking the butts of some of these companies instead of telling us how wonderful they are!!

      Laurie Phillips

    43. Michael Hargreave Mawson on December 5, 2014

      I find it extraordinary that so many people think that they have a right to gamble on something, and then get their money back if it does not work out. Life is not like that. You see something you believe in: you take a risk. That is your decision. If the creators of these projects all had cast-iron business plans, independently-monitored performance targets, and success underwritten by Lloyds of London they would not need to be here on Kickstarter begging for pledges of ten, fifty, a hundred bucks. They would already have signed the paperwork for the bank loan. Get real. Funding anything on Kickstarter is a risk, and the only person responsible for your money is you.

    44. Missing avatar

      KELVIN ONG on December 5, 2014

      I have participated in only two projects so far. Both products have not seen daylight.

      Now I always advise people not to use Kickstarter.

    45. Missing avatar

      Rashid on December 5, 2014

      Well said Michael Charles Hargreave Mawson, I backed up more than 11 projects and I dont expect have of them to go through.

    46. Ian Mark Johnson on December 5, 2014

      @Michael Charles Hargreave Mawson, I believe the biggest complaint is that investors are paying Kickstarter who then funnel the money through to the creators. The issue being is that they then wash their hands of the transaction having taken a cut. That makes them no more than a glorified landlord who enables a transaction. But wait... they're taking a cut. As they are the recipients of funds, do you not think they have an obligation and could to do more to assist Investors (as per Credit Card companies during fraudulent transactions)? Wouldn't having some kind of claims/investigation process into promises that do not get fulfilled increase confidence in their platform? I think so.

      There's a big difference between genuine creators whom for one reason or another fail to fulfil their side of the bargain and out and out scams. Kickstarter should be obligated to investigate fraud even after the funding has been passed over.

    47. Missing avatar

      Timothy Rex Spencer on December 5, 2014

      I am still trying to figure out how to promote and market my sci-fi trilogy starting with "Humandroids." It is a fresh and original exciting story people of all ages, (over 13) can relate to and get into. Any suggestions hit me at timrexatt.net@att.net. This is all new to 66 year old computer illiterate. A free sample is at "Goodreads" then type in "Humandroids." Thank You.

    48. ArniesAirsoft on December 5, 2014

      I echo the comments by the guys hit by the issues with Haptic https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/haptix/haptix-multitouch-reinvented . I've contacted KS on a trouble ticket and reported the project. I asked what exactly KS do if a project goes silent and the creators run away hen it is reported to them.. no answer and the issue sidestepped.

      I have suggested that perhaps KS give users the facility to contact each other so as to organise getting their own money back, but apparently that has data protection issues.

      I suggested that perhaps KS could flag the project or put an update on there to name and shame creators, or perhaps do something with funds or a contract to penalise creators that ran off. Again this has fallen on deaf ears.

      Don't get me wrong indie projects can go south and fail, that's an accepted risk. What I'm talking about here are people that just take the money and at some point cut times and run when it gets hard for them and don't speak to anyone.

      KS have allowed themselves to take contact details from a creator that is a Google phone number and a PO box address. No details are passed on to the users and KS allow the creators to remain anonymous by failing in their due diligence to vet and check out people prior to them starting a project.

      I'm walking away from KS and never backing anything again on here. I wait updates on the two failed projects and then that's it.

      KS is to me no better than the illegal shops much publicised that act as middlemen facilitating anonymous transactions. Backers are at a loss and left with no way to contact anyone when it all goes wrong. It is simply wrong and unjust.

    49. Missing avatar

      Just Joe on December 5, 2014

      For the record, I have also been burned by a KickStarter project and will never use it again. However, to all you "KS is great" folks, you miss the point entirely. In fact, even if you read this, you will still miss the point and keep saying the same thing over and over again until it resonates - Fox News 101....

      The point is NOT that venture (i.e. RISKY) projects can not fail. They can and they will. I think backers generally understand and get that. However, to have no support from KS in getting some INFORMATION out of those projects after taking their monetary cut is unacceptable to me. While I'm sure the backer's losing their investment may not like it at least they can understand it if provided some information. To have a KS-support script that runs: try real hard, if you succeed great! If you fail, just go into radio silence mode and we will never get in your way. I support entrepreneurs, but will find means other than KS to do so.

    50. Robin Sitzler- Frazier M. Ed on December 5, 2014

      I was getting ready to have a Kickstarter project set up in January. I am glad that I noticed these comments to Kickstarter. I am leary that Kickstarter gets their money and I will not have enough to complete my project and deliver it to my backers
      I seems logical that Kickstarter would not accept any money or the project creator, unitl all the money was received to back the project, If the project revenue is not met, the money should go back to the backers.
      What is up with Kickstarter keeping the money that evidentually should be returned to backers. I do not want my reputation ruined, if the project does not pull in enough revenue to send out the :goods:. This is not like stock market and trading, In my opinion.
      Will anyone from Kickstarter reply to how you collect the money and why you would keep the money, and not return it to backers.