XOXO: Yancey Strickler - Kickstarter

Yancey Strickler is co-founder of Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects.

The Details

Yancey Strickler

Projects: Kickstarter

XOXOing: Crowdfunding

Portland has the most Kickstarter projects by capita of any place in the world – $12.63 per Portlandian, with the first-ever page of featured projects maintained by a serving Mayor. “There’s a Kickstarter recovery going on in Portland.”

735 backers of XOXO, collectively supporting 5,574 projects with 80+% successful. 80 attendees are Kickstarter creators themselves. XOXO attendees fund:

  • Double Fine Adventure
  • Pebble
  • Ze Frank’s Show
  • Elevation Dock
  • Shape of Design
  • Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa
  • Matter
  • Amanda Palmer
  • Ouya
  • Creative Mornings

Kickstarter Stats

70,901 Kickstarter projects have launched, and 29,544 have succeeded. $356M pledged, $302M funded, with lots more stats available on the Kickstarter stats page.

44% of projects get funded, vs. an initial estimate that only 5% of projects would succeed. 89% of all dollars go to funded projects. Last year $3M was pledged to games, but this year, over $60M has been pledged to games — 2012 is Kickstarter’s year of the game.

  • [Montage of Kickstarter game videos]


The explosion of Kickstarter success has led people to have concerns, and led people ot think the company is bigger than it is. But they’ve got only 40 people, half on product and half on community. The founding team aren’t business people – they’re figuring it out as they go along. A photo of their whole team shows an old pencil factory in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where Kickstarter intends to “put down [their] roots forever”. The first Kickstarter project was Drawing for Dollars for just $35. And if XOXO is the Andy Baio-con, you have to think of the meta-universe, all the weird things people do and how this is the perfect place to talk about some of these oddities.

Charles Adler did Feltron vs. Kickstarter as the first meta-project, and Yancey did “This is not a Kickstarter shirt” as a Fugazi reference. But the site’s become even more reflexive, leading to “Not Another Kickstarter Shirt” and “Kickstarter for a Kickstarter” and “Create the First Kickstarter Strange Loop” which aimed for an unsuccessful project.

James Franco launched the “Museum of Non-Visible Art”, and the Daily Show made a parody of Kickstarter to lampoon Newt Gingrich’s campaign, and McSweeney’s did a campaign for Greece. NYU ITP students did a project to capture Kony, and someone did a project to buy Kickstarter itself.

  • [Video of Portlandia Kickstarter clip]
  • [Video of Obama Kickstarter parody for The Debt]

The fact that there are so many parody videos shows that a convention has emerged around how videos are structured and how rewards are presented.

  • [Kickstarter montage video with Dylan clip]

People are mimicking Amanda Palmer mimicking Bob Dylan, not even knowing what they’re referencing.

  • [Montage of seminal KS film project which used a long single shot to raise >$100k, along with later single-take clips it inspired]
  • [“Oh hi!” montage]

It’s supercuts all the way down. (Will add videos later)