Kickstarter’s Executive Shake-Up is a Model for Knowing When to Leave


Knowing when you’ve fulfilled your duties and it’s time to take on a new role is essential in business and looking at Kickstarter’s recent executive remodeling is an excellent example.

The Brooklyn-based crowd funding company has seen incredible growth since it launched in 2009 and some big changes are happening in the top levels. CEO and co-founder, Perry Chen recently announced he’ll be moving to the role of chairman on January 1st of 2014. In addition, co-founder and Head of Communications, Yancey Strickler will become the company’s CEO. Finally, Charles Adler, co-founder and Head of Design is leaving the company all together to move his family back to their home of Chicago.

Kickstarter's Perry Chen

Chen added that all of the changes will be good for the company’s health and he’s looking forward to stepping back from the day-to-day of it all. “I’m also looking forward to having time to work on creative projects of my own, after all these years working on an engine to support them,” said Chen.

These changes are a prime example of how founders need to always look at themselves objectivly and their role in the business’s growth. “You may have been great in your time–and you still may be great–but ask whether you fit the moment. Is the environment that your organization is operating in now the one that you are most comfortable?” wrote Inc. columnist Samuel Bacharach.

Bachanach has lined up four key questions for founders to truthfully ask themselves.

Is my knowledge base static? Think about if you’re out of touch with newer technologies and concepts. If so it could be time to make room for the new generation.

Is my network expanding? Leadership involves networking and expanding. If you’re dealing with the same faces, it could be time to cover new ground.

Is your work more demanding? Think about if your less engaged with the activities needed to sustain forward momentum.

Could somebody else do a better job? Pride can be a dangerous thing, but if you think there’s somebody else that could help your company more, consider it. Leaders recognize talent in others.

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