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. Judy Chute and Chris Barbeau on

      I just wish someone, just at least ONE person contributed to my transparent project which actually made the world a safer place for all but no big deal. Not being funded won't stop me from progressing. Thank you KS, sincerely, Chris barbeau, dudad.net

    2. Dashawn Thomas on

      People, do not loose faith in this idea. It is very difficult to get funding for art projects and kickstarter is a breath of fresh air. It has flaws, granted, but overall they are the best thing that ever happened to the world of art. If you're looking to get funding for a tech product...go get an investor. Technology is the only thing investors seem to invest in these days and you're on an artistic crowdfunding site? c'mon man!

    3. Tiffany Ross on

      Responsible would be addressing the Nicole He situation and not just deleting comments and waiting for it to go away. I'm not cancelling my pledges to the current Kickstarters I'm supporting, because it would be unfair to them, but I'm going to have to make some decisions on future ones and the ones I run myself. I've run several. I've supported many.

    4. Peter White on

      I am one of the common men mentioned by Joe Pantelo and Stefano Karabas hoping to launch a project late December early January. Having read through these comments I have to say that it is totally wrong for people who are good enough to back a project lose out. Yes there is risk but there should be a safety net for backers if they cannot get a reasonable explanation from the creator of a failed project (or perceived as failed.) I do want to say though that I needed an answer from Kickstarter about fulfilment and contact with backers (as this to me is the most important part of a project) they got back to me fairly quickly with an answer. Hopefully I can redeem some peoples faith in this platform when I start.

    5. Six on

      First, congratulations on the certification.

      Secondly, your opening statement regarding Kickstarter's founding goal "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" is exactly the promise I bought into.

      I believe that your statement takes for granted the fact that all of those types of people you point out have done the work required to get to the point of needing funds to bring a project to life. In my experience, those types of people may struggle to deliver on time but one way or another they find a way to make it work.

      Due to the lack of accountability and general misunderstanding of rewards based crowd funding there is a new school of project creators that have not done the work they are straight up marketers operating with a different agenda in mind, namely to create a highly viral campaign that will position them for secondary round VC or angel investors. I posit that if you look at the high dollar campaigns that have failed to deliver, you will find that the creator's have several things in common - Marketing backgrounds and Chinese manufacturing. They are not creative types of the same mindset as the folks you were geared towards helping Kickstarter their businesses.

      While I understand Kickstarter's position regarding not wanting to get involved, on more than one occasion KS has gotten involved by selectively deleting comments and a lackadaisical attitude towards backers concerns. From a business perspective I get it, KS will take care of the folks responsible for huge payouts - from a backer perspective, it seems disingenuous and contrary to the directive that it is up to the backers to vet project creators.

      Projects fail, it happens - but until someone starts looking at the "whys" behind the "what" these marketers will continue to manipulate the platform.

      Some specific examples include paid/compensated backers that can easily be purchased from a myriad of sources including Fiverr.

      The Coolest Cooler induced backers with a product valued at $997 for backing the Coolest "at any level" - this isn't speculation, this is concrete fact and aside from having a copy of the email blast list it is difficult for a laymen to discern who is or is not a compensated backer.

      The Pebble watch can be purchased at any Best Buy today, yet 2 years later there are still backers who have received nothing or defective products.

      I love Kickstarter, or what the promise in your first statement represents - giving people who have done the work the chance to bring their dreams to reality. My everyday carry consists of Gustin, Pocket Monkey, Ridge wallet and Blue lace project to name a few.

      You can see both my private messages to creators and my public messages, I not only understand but am supportive of late projects that are transparent such as the Vivax.

      Kickstarter is not a store, it is also not eBay. Trying to vet a project creator while deciphering the deceptive marketing tactics and cyber shills currently being leveraged on some campaigns while on a choke chain is frustrating.

      It would be nice to see the data regarding projects actually delivered that you collect from our profile pages - It would put much speculation to rest and allow for scholars and analysts to construct a better fact-based conclusion rather than speculation.

      I am pretty vocal when it comes to deceptive projects as are many others. I value the opportunity KS gives to legitimate small businessmen - figuring out who is who is difficult now and as KS continues to grow coupled with the lack of accountability for these deceptive campaigns it is going to be even more difficult.

    6. Jerry on

      it would be nice if kickstarter management did some enforcement to their own policies. the dead beat project creators and lack of communication from them is pitiful. i still back projects but not like i used to with so many bad projects its hard to know when to get out and when the creators don't deliver or violate the rules they are not held accountable. you should give the money to the creators like bankers give out construction loans. that way when the project doe not deliver some money could be refunded.

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      Robert Sweetman on

      "Certified B Corporation?" What? There are >600 comments on the RACTIV/HAPTIX project thread where the theme is 'What is happening with the project?!' and so far Nothing, Nicht, Nada, ZIP... Nothing from the project team and NO RESPONSE AT ALL from Kickstarter... After all, they got their cut and are on to the next slice of someone else's creativity and the community's trust. Do they care? No. Are they effective? No. Is there a grievance procedure that actually works? No. Add some value at the DELIVERY end of the deal - otherwise all you have is a pretty website and load of marketing wonks to feed. You might be socially conscious but you're also complicit in your 'customers' getting kicked in the teeth. Good luck with that as a long term business model.

    8. masamunemaniac on

      Backing a project is always a risk to the backers, sure, yet Kickstarter always retains their cut of the fees when a project creators disappear. How about refunding your cut to backers in these cases? If we're not getting any information about the project, let alone the deliverables promised, then what are we paying you for?

    9. masamunemaniac on

      And to clarify, my problem isn't with projects which, after an honest attempt, don't manage to succeed. Project creators might be overambitious in their aims, underestimate costs, run into legal or other impediments, or simply run out of funds before managing to do what they planned. That sucks, but that's the kind of risk I'm willing to take. My problem is with projects where the creators simply disappear one day and stop providing any updates - they've basically grabbed the money and ran, without even attempting to deliver on their promises.

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      Donny and Molly Hakes on

      I am considering using Kickstarter to start a business that has a mission to help end Hunger in America. I know there are many organizations that are doing similar types of outreach for this purpose and my idea has a somewhat unique concept that sets us apart from the others. I say somewhat unique because TOMS did a similar concept with their shoes, buy one pair and they give a pair to someone who needs shoes.

      I am leaving this comment after reading some of the comments left here because I have concerns as to whether or not KS is right for my creative idea and I would like some feedback as to how to alleviate these concerns.
      #1 I am not real tech savoy on how to use social media to accomplish my goal of crowdfunding
      #2 I would feel horrible if after getting the money and something went wrong after making all efforts to make it happen and the donors did not get a refund. I do not feel like this would happen but as masamunemaniac mentioned, it could happen.
      #3 I believe I fit in to a couple of the categories mentioned as the goal for KS to exist, yet I am concerned that some may think I am just one of those who are out to make a buck.

      So let me ask you who have been funding and using KS to fund your ideas, if you think KS would be right for me. The business is called "Shelf Life Pantry" it is an LLC. We package dehydrated meals that have added nutrients to make them life sustaining. Each meal will provide all the nutrients to sustain life even if you only ate one meal a day

    11. Missing avatar

      Donny and Molly Hakes on

      Shelf Life Panrty
      I am considering using Kickstarter to start a business that has a mission to help end Hunger in America. I know there are many organizations that are doing similar types of outreach for this purpose and my idea has a somewhat unique concept that sets us apart from the others. I say somewhat unique because TOMS did a similar concept with their shoes, buy one pair and they give a pair to someone who needs shoes.

      I am leaving this comment after reading some of the comments left here because I have concerns as to whether or not KS is right for my creative idea and I would like some feedback as to how to alleviate these concerns.
      #1 I am not real tech savoy on how to use social media to accomplish my goal of crowdfunding
      #2 I would feel horrible if after getting the money and something went wrong after making all efforts to make it happen and the donors did not get a refund. I do not feel like this would happen but as masamunemaniac mentioned, it could happen.
      #3 I believe I fit in to a couple of the categories mentioned as the goal for KS to exist, yet I am concerned that some may think I am just one of those who are out to make a buck.

      So let me ask you who have been funding and using KS to fund your ideas, if you think KS would be right for me. The business is called "Shelf Life Pantry" (SLP) it is an LLC. We package dehydrated meals that have added nutrients to make them life sustaining. Each meal will provide all the nutrients, calories and sustenance to sustain life, even if you only ate one meal a day. The concept is to market the meals so that if you buy one meal for $5 we would give a meal to an organization such as "Feeding America" and others who are already trying to end hunger in America so they will have an additional source of food for the people they serve. Additional marketing strategies include, reaching out to corporations, celebrities, religious organizations, and others who have compassion for the less fortunate hungry people in America for donations to go into our End Hunger in America Foundation fund which will go 100% to providing free meals all across America. The only profit for the LLC will come from retail sales and that will be limited to less than 30% to maintain administration and cost of doing business.

      My desire to use KS crowd funding is for necessary expenses such as; vacuum sealing equipment, packaging supplies, lab testing, and of course more dehydrated foods and nutritional super food supplements. I am almost there and ready to distribute meals but I need a financial boost to make it happen. My rewards will be free meals that are delicious, nutritious, and can be stored for long periods of time.
      So please let me know what you think,. Is Kickstarter right for SLP

      PS I have an acronym for PANTRY; Providing Additional Nutrition To Revive You

    12. Over the River on

      One of the reasons I support projects on KickStarter vice Indiegogo is the latter is, in my mind, an on-line gambling site.

      Indiegogo allows gambling on a perk without any legal recourse to that claim based on the campaigner’s funding model.

      If the campaigner selects the Flexible Funding model the campaigner will benefit from any amount of funding. (A "take the money and run" model.)

      If a campaigner makes the campaign look good but knows funding will fail, all the campaigner has to do is wait long enough to get enough money to run with it.

      Bingo "A Free Lunch".

    13. Raising talents Uganda on

      As Ugandans we are ready to Welcome this good idea of kickstarters no matter what

    14. Michael Hargreave Mawson on

      Maybe I have been lucky. I have backed eleven Kickstarter projects, a couple of which failed to achieve their targets, so no money was taken. Of the rest, three have already delivered, on time, and to my complete satisfaction. One I backed without claiming a reward (just because I liked the pitch, and the guy was accepting tiny pledges). One is running very late, has posted no updates since the end of the campaign in July, but has responded positively and fully to a personal message, and seems likely to deliver eventually. One campaign is still running. I am expecting delivery of various wonderful things over the next couple of months from the remaining four. How will I feel if all four of these fail to deliver? Not joyous, I admit, but not cheated either. Kickstarter is not a shop; it is a facility for putting creators in touch with supporters. It takes its rake-off for doing that, it is fully entitled to do so, and it has no responsibility to backers to refund any portion of their pledges if projects fail to deliver. The possibility that we are backing a fraudulent campaign is just one of the risks we as backers have to consider before pledging our money on Kickstarter.

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      noah on

      so no more wakfu awwwwwwww or i dont under stantd :D :3

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      Jonathan F on

      I am VERY dismayed at Kickstarter becoming a B-corp! This will be such a tarnish to the actually good concept of companies that believe in a greater good and hold values above profit in their policies and practices.

      Kickstarter and Michael McGregor: as much as you like to claim your good nature, I hope the many comments here calling you out should give you some pause, or at least alarm the B-labs investigators. Indeed, when a project creator goes AWOL, and literally scams thousands of dollars from many funders in the process, Kickstarter steps back in a destructive, unhelpful way. By doing so and claiming to "just" be the platform, you shelter the creator in his/her fraud, and aid in the escape from responsibilities and promises. We are left to pursue legal or criminal recourse on our own. This does not speak to any concern you have for a community or society.

      Kickstarter is now WORSE than "just another company" because of blatant hypocrisy -- you clearly are concerned with profits first and primarily, and by your policies and practices, concerned with values not at all.

      Consider the Airtracks project by Tom Baker project as an example. Over $30,000 defrauded from over 150 backers. I challenge Kickstarter to explain how B-corp values have come into play: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/baker/airtracks-inflatable-all-terrain-camera-slider/comments

    17. Missing avatar

      Ian R on

      If kickstarter is not a store, then let's see how a "no reward" model flies. not very far.
      sure, some projects would still get takers, but the backer majority are in it for the end product. Projects would never reach the hundreds of thousands to millions that we are currently seeing.
      kickstarter is actively cultivating this farce, encouraging creators to generate the lie- polished videos, scripted pitches, cinema-props posted as the real deal. Kickstarter is just as guilty as the crooks who take advantage of the process and therefore, should be held accountable as well.

      Has KS ever enforced their TOS after collecting their share of money?

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      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    19. Chris Jordan on

      And yet... Still no app for the Android platform, and a horribly broken mobile website. Hmmm... What kind of company are you again? Certainly not innovative.

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