In this tutorial, we will explore the concept of decentralization and its application to Kickstarter, a popular crowdfunding platform. We will delve into the interview with Sean, a representative from Kickstarter, who discusses their journey towards decentralization and the potential benefits it can bring to the creative community. Join us as we uncover the essence of Kickstarter, their exposure to crypto and web3, the decision to consider decentralization, and the vision for the future. We will also touch upon the challenges faced and the lessons learned throughout this exploration.
Kickstarter is a community of 20 million people that aims to bring creative projects to life. Sean, a representative from Kickstarter, shares his passion for independent arts, creativity, and diversity, which led him to join the company. Kickstarter has been operating since 2009 and has had a significant impact on supporting unique projects. However, with only around 20,000 creative projects coming to life each year, Kickstarter believes that the potential of crowdfunding is still largely untapped. This realization sparked the desire to explore decentralization and expand the crowdfunding model.
Sean’s interest in technology, coupled with his upbringing in Silicon Valley, cultivated his curiosity about crypto and web3. His pivotal moment came when he registered an ens domain and discovered the power of having a voice and control over the future of a project through governance and delegation. This experience highlighted the difference between the passive participation of web2 and the active ownership and engagement web3 offers.
Around a year ago, Kickstarter began observing the trends in web3 and crypto. They had a team of individuals, including board members and advisors, who were deeply involved or interested in these emerging technologies. Simultaneously, Kickstarter recognized the limitations of their current crowdfunding model, as it only supported a fraction of the creative projects that could potentially exist. This realization, combined with the new tools and opportunities presented by web3, sparked the conversation around decentralization and how it could revolutionize crowdfunding.
Kickstarter’s vision for decentralization revolves around building an ecosystem where various players, such as crowdfunding platforms and creators’ advisors, collaborate to amplify the impact of crowdfunding. By linking these ecosystem participants and leveraging the tools provided by web3, Kickstarter aims to address issues such as project reach and trust. They envision a future where crowdfunding is accessible to a broader audience and where backers can trust the timely delivery and quality of projects. To achieve this vision, Kickstarter is exploring features like multi-listing and fee splitting using smart contracts on the protocol.
Throughout their exploration of decentralization, Kickstarter encountered challenges in effectively communicating their intentions to their existing community. Some creators misunderstood the transition, fearing that Kickstarter would abandon its current model or force them to adopt unfamiliar crypto concepts. Kickstarter realized the importance of spending time with existing users to understand their reactions and concerns better. They also emphasized the need for clear communication to ensure a smooth transition and foster trust.
Kickstarter has established a separate company called the Creative Crowdfunding Protocol PBC to facilitate the exploration and development of decentralized crowdfunding. They are actively seeking a head of products to drive this initiative forward. Additionally, Kickstarter is collaborating with organizations like Apiary to solve problems related to fee splitting and incentivizing ecosystem players. Developers interested in supporting Kickstarter’s decentralized ecosystem can contribute solutions, build features, or develop clients on the protocol. Collaboration and forming communities around specific verticals can play a crucial role in shaping the vibrant future of crowdfunding.
Decentralizing Kickstarter opens up new possibilities for crowdfunding and empowers creators and backers alike. By embracing web3.