Kickstarter announced today that cofounders Kerry Chen and Charles Adler will no longer be involved in the day-to-day operations but will instead be involved as chairman and advisor.
The blog post tries to reassure the readers but the way it is introduced is worrying for crowdfunders and backers alike. As a platform used by dozens of thousands of creative who trust it for their future projects, we have to wonder why it wasn’t announced before. It’s very similar to the way the Blackberry cofounders stepped down and were thanked for their role… and we know the result, now Blackberry is just a shadow of its past glory.
Kerry Chen and Charles Alder shaped the DNA of the platform, with a mission to fuel creatives and support the maker economy. They are thus behind the platform’s success, and why it’s leading in terms of numbers in front of other competitors. The new CEO, Yancey Strickler, is said to be from the company’s ranks, and has taken various roles, but the following questions still rise:
- Was the company pushed by its investors to be bolder, more commercial?
- Were the co-founders shown the door by investors?
- Is kickstarter going to change its mission to fuel creatives and try to go into equity crowdfunding, as well industries that are currently not on the site (health, firearms, software projects…)?
Those questions are key – if not, creatives and artists should start looking seriously to one of the other 800 crowdfunding platforms available out there.