Kickstarter founder: 'I'm not some rich dude with a Tesla'

Charles Adler, Perry Chen, and Yancey StricklerKickstarterKickstarter founder Charles Adler, left, with cofounders Perry Chen and Yancey Strickler

It might seem like becoming a tech entrepreneur is an expedient path to wealth.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel, Oracle’s Larry Ellison, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos became billionaires through the companies they founded.

So if you create a successful, popular website, web service, or app, you’re bound to get rich, right?

Charles Adler disagrees.

Adler is the cofounder of crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, which reached 100,000 campaigns funded through the site.

Instead of undergoing an IPO in 2015, it became a public benefit corporation, which means while it’s still for-profit, it must meet high standards of transparency and social responsibility. The designation does not prevent them from selling or holding an IPO in the future, should they decide to.

Adler’s cofounders Perry Chen and Yancey Strickler (Adler has since left the company and now serves as an adviser) told the New York Times in 2015 that Kickstarter has been profitable “for years,” earning somewhere in the range of $5 million to $10 million a year for the last three.

You could call that success, but Adler says it hasn’t led to incredible wealth.

Adler tells Wealthsimple:

People think that if you’re going to start a tech company, you’re going to become exorbitantly wealthy. The truth is most entrepreneurs don’t succeed.

It was about empowering people. That’s what drove us. That’s what fuelled my work ethic. I think this becomes clear with our transition to become a public-benefit corporation. And I’d say this shift in the company is a great reflection of how I think about money and work: You need to be balanced.

“So no, I’m not some rich tech dude with a Tesla,” he continues. “In fact, I usually convince myself not to buy things, and I’ve always been very wary of credit cards.”

Read the full story on Wealthsimple ยป

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