I am sitting in the vegetable garden on the roof of Kickstarter's office, and I am thinking about software.

Published on 2019-08-12

Kickstarter's office here in Greenpoint, Brooklyn has a truly magnificent rooftop. An ideal place for social events or contemplation. On nice days, such as this, it is the perfect place to sit with Google Docs, with a notebook, with a Getting Things Done® productivity app, with browser tabs, with an Emacs frame.

As you likely have read, Drip is ceasing operations soon. We worked with the phenomenal XOXO team (the Andys) to find a way to support and encourage creators and independent artists out of what we built here, but in the end that team determined that they were unable to operate that business.

For those of you that are still following along with my Drip, I will follow-up in time with ways to stay in touch with me. You should downgrade to the $0 tier if you hadn't already. I am so very grateful for your support and your attention. I am disappointed we were not able to crack this nut. There were many, many lessons learned in building Drip. I am optimistic about Kickstarter's ability to transform those experiences to pursue our mission: to help bring creative projects to life

Software is a tricky medium. It is fixed, relied-upon, behind the scenes, eating the world, and simultaneously so temporary, short-lived, lost and abandoned, ephemeral. Engineers will tell you it's "legacy" months after its creation. One of my great mentors in the art and science of software is the pseudonymous _why the lucky stiff, who taught a great many about Ruby and writing code before deleting his presence off the internet and releasing his work to the public domain. He wrote this, about the works of Kafka:

"Hadn't he told Max Brod to destroy all of those books? He had said to burn them, my friend, to burn these books. But look, here was Amerika, thoroughly reconstructed. And yet completely unfinished in my hands. What if Amerika was only written for 32-bit PowerPC? Can an unfinished program be reconstructed?? Can I write a program and go, 'Ah, well, you get the gist of it.'" If The Trial was written for 32-bit PowerPC, Max Brod wouldn't have to burn them! He would just be like, 'how do I even get this thing off the hard drive?'"

I want to give a shoutout to the phenomenal team that built Drip. They poured themselves into this work and its mission. I am proud to say the lessons they learned here carry on. The former Drip team is hard at work thinking about the experiences of creators on Kickstarter: how they tell their stories, how they reward their supporters, how they speak to their communities. They built something special here.

When I first started writing on Drip, I was trying to continue a practice of writing software. I haven't been able to keep up that practice. I'm still thinking about software, just not so much about its runtime characteristics. I think about the kind of environment that produces great software. I think we wrote some great software with Drip. There is great software we have yet to write. Writing software is and continues to be a creative endeavor. With every creative endeavor there is the risk of failure. We know this to be true. We have an internal motto: this is just the beginning.