After 5 years, Kickstarter has helped more than 7 million people pledge more than $1 billion to fund more than 70,000 creative projects. It's been quite a run, noted Yancey Strickler in a recent live chat with Inc. senior writer Christine Lagorio-Chafkin.
The Kickstarter co-founder, who launched the crowdfunding site in 2009 with two friends, Perry Chen and Charles Adler, isn't planning to slow down anytime soon.
Since the beginning of this year, the Kickstarter staff has grown from 70 to 93 people, and they've moved into spacious new headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. Also this year, Strickler took over the reins as CEO to allow Chen, who formerly held the title, more time to pursue other creative projects.
"Being a CEO is a huge catalyst for personal growth," says Strickler, who worked as a music critic for publications such as the Village Voice and Entertainment Weekly before launching the site. "You learn what you don't know very quickly."
While he's still getting to know the top job, he certainly has deep experience with successful crowdfunding campaigns. Here's his top advice on creating a winning campaign--and finding business success:
Get your timing right. Thirty days has shown to be the optimum length for a campaign, according to Strickler. "A sense of urgency helps projects get funding," says Strickler who adds: "A lot of backers join in the first 48 to 96 hours of the project, and there's another steep increase as the deadline gets closer, but in the middle it's really up to the creator to get the idea out there."
Have a purpose. To succeed, Strickler suggests making a list of things that are important to you personally. "It's important to ask yourself: If my project is successful, what impact would it have on the world?" As many founders of startups will attest, it's easy for your life to become synonymous with your company. "Have a grounding in something besides your business," says Strickler. "You are more than your company. You are a person."
Be passionate. While it's important to not let your life be over run by your company, you really do have to enjoy it, to the point of passion. "If you are successful with your idea, you better love it," Strickler says. "You're going to be doing it all the time."
To hear more from Strickler, watch the recording of his live chat.