A Further Word About Kickstarter

Ten days ago, in light of troubling allegations of union busting by Kickstarter management, we decided to pause the launch of our crowdfunding campaign for the new edition of Agon. Although we had the specifics planned, the draft project approved, and marketing efforts underway, we felt it was important to stop and evaluate both the situation and our relationship with Kickstarter. We strive for transparency, fairness, and equity in the way we operate our business and we look for those same values in the companies we partner with, whenever possible. 

To be honest, Kickstarter management has put us in a bind. Their policies and actions have left us with a situation where we will lose some of our regular backers if we stay, and lose others if we move to an alternative. When it comes down to it, we will act according to our conscience, and for the first time in a decade of crowdfunding, that conscience has us seriously considering other crowdfunding platforms. If management continues to act against the public’s benefit by undermining unionization efforts, they will leave us with little choice in the coming year. We stand at an unpleasant and unexpected crossroads.

After more than a week of internal deliberation and due diligence, we’ve concluded the following:

  1. The situation is still fluid. The organization effort continues – and we’re encouraged by that – but management has not made any public steps to recognize the union.
  2. Union organizers at Kickstarter have not called for a boycott. That would represent a dramatic and deliberate escalation and it’s their responsibility to decide if and when such an important action would be warranted.
  3. As a company we have maximum influence when we work within the Kickstarter ecosystem, not outside it. Completely walking away at this point, while possible, would not just be premature but also undercut the impact of our support for the union.

So: we have determined that at this time our values, our business, and our commitment to the unionization effort are all best served by continuing to use Kickstarter with one important caveat: if management refuses to recognize the union after a majority of employees vote to organize or if the union calls for a boycott, we will cancel any ongoing campaign immediately—regardless of how much money it’s raised or how many days are left in its funding period. (Campaigns which have already funded and concluded will not be canceled; Kickstarter has already collected their fee on those and we remain committed to delivering what we’ve promised.)

The true power of Kickstarter is realized when collective action comes together to create something greater than any one individual can achieve. If you are reading this and would like to voice your support for the organizing employees at Kickstarter, we encourage you to sign this petition. If you are a creator on Kickstarter, this petition would be a good one to sign as well. We’ve signed both.

At its core, Kickstarter is a platform fueled by hope, optimism, and excitement. 

We are excited to launch Agon later this week.
We are optimistic that unionization efforts at Kickstarter will succeed. 
And we hope that management is listening to our concerns, and do the right thing.