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Kickstarter Makes Potato Salad Dreams Come True
By: Jennifer Graber
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Kickstarter, if you have not heard, is an online “funding platform for creative projects.” People and groups take to the site to find backers to support their projects. And backers usually get something in return for their pledge, such as a keepsake or dedication, etc. The types of creative projects on Kickstarter run the gamut from art to music to food to clothing and beyond. Kickstarter is truly an online community coming together to support the hopes and dreams of one another. After all, without the platform, there would have been no Veronica Mars movie and no reboot of Reading Rainbow!
 
So when Zack ‘Danger’ Brown of Columbus, Ohio wanted to fulfill his dream, he knew just where to turn. Brown started a Kickstarter campaign to…..make potato salad. Yes, you read that right and don’t have to run to the other room to get your eyeglasses. He wants to make potato salad with other people’s money. But they will not go away empty-handed. Backers of Brown’s potato salad endeavors have the opportunity to earn a verbal thank you, a potato salad picture, the chance to be in the kitchen when it is made, a potato salad trucker-style hat, and much more.
 
Sounds crazy, right? What is even crazier is that Brown not only met his goal of $10, but surpassed it by an insane amount with just over 20 days still remaining. Brown has garnered the financial support of over 5,200 backers to the tune of over $43,000. This better be the best darn potato salad anyone has ever eaten.
 
This is proof that the Internet will do and pay to see just about anything. The power that the digital world has is almost mind-boggling. What was, hopefully, a sarcastic venture has gone completely viral. Brown’s digital success hinges on a few factors. But the most impactful factor would have to be uniqueness. It kind of catches your eye when someone asks for money online to “just make potato salad.” At first you question its legitimacy, and then you embrace the silliness of it all. And it has achieved success because you have noticed it amongst the millions and millions of sites vying for your attention.
 
However, one does have to wonder if stunts, like Brown’s potato salad campaign, will lessen the power of sites like Kickstarter. It may be incredibly hard to believe, but Internet validity and trustworthiness are somewhat suspect. Do these stunts detract from that even more? Do legitimate Kickstarter campaigns get less attention, and ultimately fail, because people aren’t sure if they can trust the site? Could people think that if the site will accept requests to start campaigns for strange things then pledging money is not a smart move? Or has the ridiculousness of the digital world caused people to take most things with a grain of salt, and be better equipped to distinguish between fact and fiction?
 
Whatever the case may be, it is hard to believe that simple idea of crafting potato salad caused such a discussion on the digital world.


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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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