How Kickstarter “Kickstartered” it’s own website

Kickstarter was founded in 2009 by Perry Chen, Yancey Strickler, and Charles Adler. Since its launch over 20,000 projects have been successfully funded, with people pledging more than 75 million dollars. However, Kickstarter wasn’t always this big. Much like your project, Kickstarter began small.

In 2002 Perry was working in New Orleans and trying to put together a concert. He wanted a way to query the audience to see if he had enough support to go through with it. From this initial idea was born. However, it would take another seven years before the site would launch.

“I didn’t necessarily know where to begin. I wasn’t coming from working on the web” says Perry in an interview with TechCrunch. “At the time…I couldn’t have been less interested in dedicating my life, which is clearly what it takes.” Fortunately for us, he met some like-minded individuals and began working on the site.

A couple years, later Perry moved back to New York City, his hometown. He met Yancey while working as a waiter at a restaurant called Diner in Brooklyn. Yancey was a regular and worked as a journalist. One day Perry mentioned an idea he had for a site that would allow him to raise money for creative projects. Yancey liked the idea and they began working it. However, neither of them had technical backgrounds. It wasn’t until they met Charles Adler that the idea really started to take off.

Recalling the early years, Yancey said “At the beginning… it was a few people with a piece of paper and not much else.” He spoke of how they would wake up every morning wondering “Is today the day that the three people who live in Palo Alto, who are working on the exact same idea launch their site?”

In order to get the site funded they reached out to David Cross, an actor on Arrested Development. Perry was friends with David’s cousin, and she helped arrange the meeting. David came on board as the initial investor and was joined by a few other artists later. When they were finally ready to launch, they sent invitations out to 30 of their friends and asked them to share it with five of their friends. In essence, they kick started their own site.

A Kickstart’s Guide to Kickstarter TOC:

pssst…you can read all of this offline by downloading the e-book.

  • A Kickstarter’s Guide to Kickstarter: Introduction
  • How Kickstarter “Kickstartered” it’s own website
  • Introduction
    A Kickstarter’s Guide to Kickstarter: Introduction
    How Kickstarter “Kickstartered” it’s own website
    Understanding Kickstarter
    The Basics of Kickstarter
    Kickstarter is an updated version of the Parton Model
    Kickstarter is like girl scout cookies…without the calories!
    Make sure your project has an ending
    Some additional benefits to running a Kickstarter project
    Perry Chan’s Six Principles on why Kickstarter projects are successful
    Yancey’s thoughts on getting funded
    Brainstorming Your Project
    What is this damn thing about?
    Simplify your project for success
    Is your project a Purple Cow?
    Making Lemonade And Telling A Good Story
    Reward The Patrons
    Naming Your Kickstarter Project
    Doing Your Homework
    Before you launch, do your homework
    No one cares about you
    Some People Care About You
    Who is Your Audience?
    Where is Your Audience?
    Resonating With Your Audience
    Crossing Chasms
    What Will it Cost?
    Understanding Profit Margin and Costs
    Setting Your Goals
    Make or Break Decisions
    Running the Numbers
    Focus on what you need
    Reasonable funding goals
    Why be Reasonable?
    How long your campaign runs depends on one thing, momentum
    30 days or less
    Managing Deadlines
    Going for the BIG bucks
    The Allure of a Large Backer
    Pricing theory, thoughts about pricing your Kickstarter rewards
    The Paradox of Choice
    Crafting Your Pitch
    Creating a compelling pitch for your Kickstarter project
    Four questions people want answered when visiting your Kickstarter page.
    Show some credibility to get more backers
    Clarity is your friend
    How to ask for Support
    Kickstarter is a video-driven site
    Examples of great pitch videos
    Launching Your Project
    Launching your project
    How to track the progress of your Kickstarter campaign
    The 30% Kickstarter project “Tipping Point”
    How to engage an audience with a Kickstarter project: Idea & Story

    Published by


    Separated from my family during El Salvador's civil war, by death and adoption, I was reunited with them at the age of 16. I do entrepreneurial art projects that are meaningful, relevant, and push me creatively.