How IndieGoGo Startup Founders Evolve into Leaders - Slava Rubin

In Chapter 5 of 12 in his 2011 Capture Your Flag interview with host Erik Michielsen, IndieGoGo co-founder and entrepreneur Slava Rubin answers "How Has Your Role Evolved as Your Business Has Grown?" IndieGoGo started with three people, Rubin, Eric Schell, and Danae Ringelmann. They name themselves "The Eyes, The Hands, and The Heart" at the inception, where Rubin, the eyes, handles publicity, marketing, and public relations. Schell, the hands focuses on technology, and Ringelmann, the heart, manages business operations, customer relations, and partnerships. Over time, as the company expands and hires employees, Rubin, Schell, and Ringelmann take on more management responsibilities that go beyond the blocking and tackling from the early days. All the while, they follow their "List, Prioritize, Execute" plan. Rubin is co-founder and CEO of, a crowdfunding startup whose platform helps individuals and groups finance their passions. Before IndieGoGo, Rubin worked in management consulting for Diamond Consulting, now a PWC company. Rubin founded and manages non-profit Music Against Myeloma to raise funds and awareness to fight cancer. He earned a BBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.


Erik Michielsen:  How has your role evolved as your business has grown?

Slava Rubin:  Yeah, I mean when we first started, it’s just the three of us, the three co-founders, so Eric Schell, Dane Ringelmann, and myself, and the three of us, we like to call ourselves the eyes, the hands, and the heart.  So I’m the eyes; I do a lot of external stuff, marketing, PR, biz dev, things like that.  Eric is the hands, so really putting in the implementation, making sure that the actual development and design is all great.  And Dane is the heart, so managing the day-to-day dealing with our customers and making sure that our partners are all happy.  

And it’s amazing that we just started as the three of us, always kind of debating, and discussing, and proving, and yelling at each other, and now we have employees, and we’re growing, and we really just have to evolve to learn how to not always be as hands-on, really make sure we company-build and bring in the right employees who are all smarter than us and better than us.  And so it’s really about managing growth and trying to figure out how to prioritize, again.  I mean it’s all we – at the company we talk about list, prioritize, execute, and that it’s really about working with the team and working with employees as opposed to just always blocking and tackling, which I still have to do a lot of that for sure.