Across The Board

Updates, inspiration, and musings from the folks behind Trello.

Kickstarting Creativity: How Trello Powers Communication At Kickstarter

Kickstarter is the platform that powers creativity. From artists, to musicians, to Delorean hovercrafts, Kickstarter is the tool that innovators use to fund their ideas, get noticed, and most importantly, create something awesome. With over a billion dollars already pledged to projects on their site, Kickstarter is poised to help their creators fund a new world of inventions and endeavors. It is an impactful company with a lighthearted approach, and its platform allows creativity to develop uninhibited. In short, Kickstarter empowers others to change the world.

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At the very heart of the Kickstarter mission is a fundamental concept: collaboration. The funding for projects on Kickstarter are crowdsourced by pledges from nearly 8 million backers interested in seeing the creation come to life. In the absence of collaboration, the very idea of sitting in bed, reading an emoji translation of Moby Dick by the light of an optical illusion LED lamp would not be possible. So thank you, Kickstarter, for helping those gems come to life.

It should come as no surprise that within the Kickstarter organization, teams work closely together to enhance their users’ experiences. Funding for dream projects is a tall order, and many teams within Kickstarter are fully immersed in Trello to aid them in their work.

The Community Support team at Kickstarter is there to answer questions at any stage in the fundraising process. Support tickets can be anything from general inquiries, such as whether it is possible to back a build-your-own paper velociraptor kit (yes), to more in depth troubleshooting concerns, like recommendations for the optimal method of shipping a bluetooth gramophone. It is not unusual for a Community Support specialist to require the input of another team. For example, there is a specific list on the CS team’s Trello board that indicates there is a technical issue that requires further inspection. If a card is created or moved to that list, a point person in Community Support knows to take that card to the Development team’s Trello board, in order for them to weigh in on the issue. The ability to add members to cards and solicit advice across teams is invaluable to providing optimal responses to user questions.

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Content writing and copy editing at Kickstarter are kept organized within Trello boards (which is not as cool as writing it down with the 3Doodler, but perhaps slightly more efficient). Trello helps foster a culture of transparency at Kickstarter; anyone can jump into a project board and give their input on how or what is being said. Members of other teams are invited to submit material that requires copy editing to the content writers’ Trello boards, ensuring that content across all channels is effectively communicated. Having a dedicated space that is accessible to everyone sets a low bar of entry for anyone to participate in discussion, regardless of their level of involvement in the project.

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The Product Marketing team at Kickstarter uses Trello to get an overview of where everyone is on a particular project. The nature of marketing is putting forth a polished version of a product that required work from a multitude of teams. For example, when Kickstarter recently launched in all of Scandinavia and Ireland, it required cross team collaboration from development, to support, to content writing, and beyond. Product Marketers are able to use Trello to oversee progress and communicate better timelines. Gaining cross team perspective by being able to view and collaborate on various Trello boards is invaluable to presenting a more cohesive end result.

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Any Trello boards shown in images for this article are sample boards that do not actually reflect any internal information about Kickstarter, its organization, or its users.

Kickstarter, the funding platform that helps power the world’s creativity and collaboration, is integrated with Trello to help accomplish its goals. So whether the project is a launch into space or a desire to whip up some potato salad, the Kickstarter platform is using Trello to help keep logistics organized.

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