The Beginnings

A lot changes from the startup to “unicorn” phase. It is interesting to hear from people who have been a part of that rapid change.

YCombinator just released a new series, and here is their first story:

Employee #1 is a series of interviews focused on sharing the often untold stories of early employees at tech companies.

Cassie Marketos was the first employee at Kickstarter.

And to me, this is the most interesting part of it. It’s the casualness, spontaneity for which things happen. Call it a coincidence, whatever it is. The best ideas are not necessarily part of this huge master plan. They just happen because people execute on them.

Craig: So he emails you and you’re like, “Alright, let’s meet up.” And what’s that conversation?

Cassie: We got dinner at Sweetwater. I had no idea what I was looking for in my next job or what to expect from the conversation. He was laying out behind what they were trying to do, and it was clear that him and Perry [Chen], who I hadn’t yet met, believed really purely in the why of the idea behind Kickstarter. They cared deeply about enabling all types of people to make creative things and put them in the world. I remember being really moved by his sincerity. And I was like, no matter where this thing goes it’s important to me to be around this kind of energy.

Yancey believed in what they wanted to do so purely. A matter of days later I put in my two weeks at my job and started working for Kickstarter. They didn’t have funding yet, I don’t think.