In March 2019, Aziz Hasan was announced as the interim CEO of Kickstarter. He was promoted from his previous position as the head of the Design & Product teams; he has since become the permanent CEO. When the pandemic hit, he had his work cut out for him, and Hasan had to lay off 40% of the workforce. Still, thanks to the vast experience working as a solutions strategist in SAY Media and Creative Director of Marketplace and Media at Refunery29, Hasan continues to navigate the challenges he faces. There is more to him besides being the CEO, as you will learn from these facts.
1. His Wife is a Fashion Designer
While they say opposites attract, it seems that like poles do not repel in the Hasan household. His wife is a fashion designer, and since Hasan has showcased his love for art, it makes sense that the two were compatible and gravitated towards each other. It is no wonder that the best pastime activity for the family is spending a couple of hours painting.
2. Creative Work Brings Harmony in His Life
Hasan revealed to The Creative Independent that he has always struggled with harmony since he was a kid. He remembered that even when he began his journey in the business world, the desire to create balance drove him and the only way to achieve it was through creativity. Hasan said that he struggles to be an artist because he aims to bring harmony in every area of his life and hopes to see each aspect of his life resonate with the other.
3. How He Ensures He Spends Enough Time with His Kids
As an artist, Hasan knows that spending time doing something creative with his kids goes a long way in helping him meet his creative need. Therefore, instead of going on picnics and Disney tours, he prefers the family having an art day every Sunday. He said that they spend a couple of hours on the dining table with everyone doing whatever they want with paint during the art day.
4. He Doesn't Like Monotony
To Albert Einstein, the monotony and solitude of quiet life help to stimulate creativity. However, even if Hasan appreciates his creative side, he still does not mind a little chaos in his life. He said that he is torn between maintaining discipline and embracing chaos but knows that sometimes, not everything goes as planned. Therefore instead of getting frustrated by chaos, he embraces them and uses them as a platform to reinvent something. He disclosed that he comes up with different activities for his family and friends to do during art day.
5. He is Bright
According to Everipedia, the CEO joined Case Western Reserve University in 2005 for a business management degree. The institution is ranked among the top private universities in Ohio and the U.S. It expects students who want to be enrolled in the institution to have attained a GPA of at least 3.99 which means it only selects the best students. Furthermore, to clinch a spot in the school, prospective students should have taken Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) classes to make them more competitive. That said, Hasan must have been a bright student to be admitted to the school.
6. His Art Is For Himself
Hasan is afraid of letting the public get a glimpse of his work. Although he acknowledges that those who see it resonate with it, he still cannot bring himself to share it with the world. The CEO was afraid that it would not culminate into something big worth being noticed since he spends so little time on it. So instead of putting it out there for the world to see, he keeps his artwork in a book, maybe one day hoping to be confident enough. He, however, posts his sketches on social media.
7. He Feared His Campaign Would Fail
Hasan is one CEO who seems to be living on the edge of fear in everything he does. On Instagram, he revealed that he was so nervous about being unable to raise the required $1,000 to cover the production costs for his project that he undervalued it by $200. The CEO was afraid of not getting the support he needed but was surprised to see many people show up at his event. He added that although he had experience talking to other Kickstarter creators, he feared failing. Still, he reached his goal and pushed the goal post further to attain 100 backers.
8. He is Fairly Active on Social Media
Social media has become an addiction, especially now that people cannot do without their phones. Those who are looking to become social media influencers are encouraged to remain very active in their platforms. According to Social Buddy, the more you post, the higher the number of followers who will flock to your page and like your posts. Hasan does not seem to be interested in growing his fan page. He has been using Instagram for over two years and has only 892 followers despite posting stuff regularly.
9. His Artwork is Nostalgic of His Childhood
On AVC it was published that the CEO had a "Squids in Disguise" project in which he would make 100 surprise sticker packs. As per the article, 10 of the stickers would be a special edition 5 Kickstarter-themed squids. There would be another ten superhero-exclusive special edition packs, and the remaining 80 packs would contain five limited edition random art stickers. Hasan said that the artwork reference was nostalgic, particularly the video game and cartoon characters he loved growing up but reimagined as squids.
10. His Motivation as CEO of Kickstarter
Hasan told TechCrunch that he has always felt a connection with Kickstarter because what he does daily in his profession blends well with his passion for creativity. He said that when he got hired, he loved that he would get to be a creator when he went back home. Thus, he knew the challenges that creators go through, which motivated him to find solutions and get the creative minds the funding they need.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee