Indiegogo revealed a new CEO in late April. After Andy Yang quietly left the position in late-2021, Becky Center, previously of Healthjoy and Groupon, assumed it. The crowdfunding platform appears to be in a better position than it did when Yang took over two years ago amid layoffs, at least from the outside. Indiegogo seems to have survived the crowdsourcing cycle in significant part. As its biggest competitor, Kickstarter, suffers customer backlash amid labor disputes and blockchain worries, there is some room for growth. After serving the firm for three years as CEO, Aziz Hasan retired in April.
Of course, there is still a ton of work to be done. There are still unanswered questions, such as how to manage the rising user trust problems brought on by too many unsuccessful campaigns. Center joined us to talk about why she accepted the position as well as what the future holds for Indiegogo.
What was the most important change you wanted to make right away? It was genuineness for me on Day One, and this is already a part of the Indiegogo culture. That requires me to be true to who I am as the CEO, as a leader, as a team member, as a human, and as a member of society. Encourage the staff to be real and to bring their complete self to the workplace. Last but not least, honesty in our work, in our brand, and on our website.
That link is one of the factors contributing to crowfunding’s longevity. You are connecting with someone who has a wonderful concept, a passion, and who is being upfront and honest with what they’re trying to do, so you are not just purchasing from anyplace. There are several significant obstacles. From the outside, you can only see so much. However, now that you are inside, are there any immediate aspects that Indiegogo can and should improve upon moving forward? I believe everything connects. We are aiming to prioritize based on value addition for our users, who are split into two groups: entrepreneurs and supporters. Of course, value addition for the business comes next.
As with most CEOs, my initial aim for the business is expansion. I want to figure out how to expand a fantastic business and where we can go. In terms of expansion, I prioritize several areas. In terms of technology and innovation, we’ve had great success. At this point, that’s practically what we’re known for. However, our audience is interested in other categories that perform well. The key to this development is giving both the audience and the businesses the space to contribute what they are passionate about.
Support along the business journey is the second. The 30- to 60-day crowdsourcing campaign comes to mind. And although that is, of course, the primary point, Indiegogo has set itself apart from other platforms in a number of ways prior to that. We genuinely assist the business owner in formulating the most effective campaign launch and audience-building and marketing strategies. We offer marketing assistance, and we can also handle your advertising needs. Many people have tales of campaigns that fell short of expectations. One of the largest disconnects appears to be there. What can a platform like yours do to ensure that candidates keep their promises?
When a reward you’re expecting doesn’t materialize, it’s a negative experience. A horrible backer experience, that. Having positive supporter experiences as often as possible is unquestionably in everyone’s best interests. We can stop that in a few different ways. First off, it’s sad that occasionally bad actors and those with ulterior motives use the website. I believe that our website has done a great job of weeding out fraud and is working to do even better.
We have also been able to be thought leaders in the crowdfunding trust alliance and collaborate with businesses like GoFundMe to spot fraud hotspots and develop methods for spotting novel fraud schemes. The more we can do to keep them from accessing the website, the better. They are occasionally discovered afterwards. Beyond deliberate deception, these are risk-taking businesspeople. We are all aware of how difficult it is. They are all attempting to construct and produce something. And occasionally, it doesn’t work out for a variety of reasons, such as when the logistics are challenging or when the supplies cost more than anticipated.