Yancey Strickler co-founded Kickstarter to help bring creative projects to life. In the process, he has started an important conversation about how companies can stick to their ideals, resist conformity, and contribute to the public good. “I think there are other entrepreneurs and people like us that want to do something more than just survive or get rich,” he says.
Strickler is co-founder and the former CEO of Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects, raising nearly $2.5 billion in its short history. Under Strickler’s leadership, Kickstarter has become a Public Benefit Corporation, a designation which means the company must consider not only its financial obligations to shareholders, but also its impact on society. As part of its corporate charter as a PBC, Kickstarter donates 5%t of its after-tax profits to arts education groups and organizations fighting systemic inequality.
Strickler also serves on the board of New Inc., the New Museum’s incubator for art, design, and technology. He has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People, listed among Vanity Fair’s New Establishment. Yancey also received a Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award from the Tribeca Film Festival. Prior to Kickstarter, Strickler worked as Editor-in-Chief of eMusic and has written for The Village Voice, New York Magazine, Pitchfork, and other publications.
Here’s what you can expect from a Yancey Strickler keynote:
¨Don’t sell out your values. Stick to your ideals. Help spread new ideas. Sustain yourself, but don’t let profits alone dictate why you do what you do. This is the story of Kickstarter. It’s also a rallying cry for a growing group of people weary of the aggressive money-first ethos dominating start-up culture and the economy.¨
In this talk, Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler offers a hopeful rebuke to a quickly calcifying status quo. What happens when society champions maximizing profits above all else? Innovation wilts, small businesses suffer, and people with great ideas struggle to realize their vision. How did we all agree on this model? And how can we cross over into other, better, paths? “It’s important that there’s a diversity of concepts and models about how an entrepreneur, how a business, how an artist or creator can operate,” Strickler says. In this keynote, he draws on Kickstarter and a plethora of independent-minded companies to show us how a more meaningful, sustainable concept of success can benefit us all.