Zack Brown started a Kickstarter campaign on July third to make himself some potato salad. It was clearly a joke and actually really funny. His goal was $10. He has since raised $40,850. I’m not sure if this makes me want to give him a high-five or set my computer on fire. More of the latter, I think.
I’m making potato salad.
Basically I’m just making potato salad. I haven’t decided what kind yet.
That was the whole description of his fund, with this picture attached:
The whole thing is pretty funny, but illustrates perfectly what is wrong with Kickstarter and similar funding platforms: there is zero accountability. There is no way this guy can fulfill all the promises he makes to backers on his site – and while that’s hardly the point, it’s kind of the point – isn’t it? This whole fiasco is just showing how badly these funding platforms need to be regulated. Or – maybe not. If someone is dumb enough to throw their money into the Internet with no guarantee that it’s going where they think it is – so be it.
Pledge $1 or more – 1179 backers
With your help, we’ll be on our way to a successful potato salad. You will get a ‘thank you’ posted to our website and I will say your name out loud while making the potato salad.
Pledge $2 or more – 719 backers
Receive a photo of me making the potato salad, a ‘thank you’ posted to our website and I will say your name out loud while making the potato salad.
Pledge $3 or more – 605 backers
Receive a bite of the potato salad, a photo of me making the potato salad, a ‘thank you’ posted to our website and I will say your name out loud while making the potato salad.
He can’t make this happen, can he? Not that these pledgers probably even care since they have just given a few bucks. But what makes someone even pull out their credit card to fund something like this? I’m asking, because I know of several actual charities that really need the money that also find it impossible to get people to open their wallets. What is going on here? There are several other funding brackets, culminating in this one:
Pledge $50 or more – 69 backers
POTATO SALADS OF THE WORLD: Receive a recipe book with potato salad recipes inspired by each country where we have a backer along with a bite of the potato salad, a photo of me making the potato salad, a ‘thank you’ posted to our website and I will say your name out loud while making the potato salad. The recipe book will have a dedication page with the name of each of our backers.
”I’m so overwhelmed by the awesome power of the Internet,” Brown told ABC News. ”I am honored to be in the position I’m in.” What position is that, exactly? The position of throwing a potato salad party?
”I can’t wait to see what people have in mind,” Brown said. ”All these wonderful people are making my dream of spreading joy and humor in the world come true. We’re going to throw a massive party in Columbus [Ohio] and the whole Internet is invited. We are going to do right by the Internet.”
Do you really think people who pledged a dollar are going to have the drive and or money to join you in Ohio for the Labor Day weekend potato salad extravaganza? Why not just donate it to a food bank or something?
Kickstarter’s official statement on their platform is this: “Kickstarter does not guarantee projects or investigate a creator’s ability to complete their project. On Kickstarter, backers (you!) ultimately decide the validity and worthiness of a project by whether they decide to fund it.”
It doesn’t sound like Brown plans on doing anything constructive with the money. But hey, the world needs humor and a 40,000 potato salad party. There are 750,000 kids struggling with hunger daily in Ohio alone. But let’s not ruin the joke by thinking about that!