Story of the potato salad campaign

Crowdfunding a potato salad

Story of the potato salad campaign

What would you think if you asked a friend, a very good friend apparently, if you could borrow $10, and he wrote you a check for $55,000? You might think that all your birthdays had come at once.

This may be a contender for the fundraiser which exceeded the amount asked for, by the biggest multiple, by five thousand five hundred-fold! It might also be the most certifiably silly campaign too.

Back in 2014, Zack Brown launched a campaign with the stated goal ‘Basically I’m just making potato salad. I haven’t decided what kind yet’. That was it. He asked for $10 and received $55,492.

Well, not quite that simple, But still, how do you explain that? Is it something to do with our love of the underdog? Or maybe people just fell in love with a fella who wanted $10 to make potato salad.

If you see Zack, I would say that he does have a deal of personal charm.

Is it just proof of the craziness of the modern world, the internet specifically? Some sort of post-modern ironic statement by the donors?

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Potato salad campaign on Kickstarter

Then, his stretch goal was to invite the ‘internet’ to a potato salad party. His salad must have been damned good because, of the one thousand people who turned up for his party, six hundred pledged money.

He also added a little further humour with some other, rather whacky, stretch goals. The last of those was completed 2 years after the launch of the campaign, with the publication of ‘The Peace, Love and Potato Salad Cookbook’

Of course, as we are often told, we should be careful what we wish for. Zack Brown was very much in the spotlight in 2014, and that included fierce criticism, waves of support followed by tsunamis of hate. The ‘gift’ of this money, proved to be challenging. In what I think was an idle moment of frivolity, he had used Kickstarter to raise the money, but their rules precluded any funds being given directly to charity. He seems to have found a way forward but, three years later, when asked if he was glad that the glare had subsided, Zak Brown said “It is SO good to be out. I enjoyed the attention, but it was addictive and probably unhealthy”.

Do you mind if we say it again … be careful what you wish for. As we have said elsewhere and in other ways, please give a little thought to what you want.

Moral of the Story

When asking for money for an idea, no matter how zany the idea may be, always have at least 3 plans. 1 plan should you receive the money you ask for, one plan with less options should you receive less than you ask for and one plan with more options should you receive more than you ask for.

Planning is everything and not having the right plan to fit your funding could result in disaster.

Further Reading

This is what a $55,000 Kickstarter potato salad party looks like – The Verge

Potato Salad Kickstarter Beats Funding Goal by Over 500,000 Percent – Gizmodo

The Potato Salad Guy Is Throwing a Music Festival Called PotatoStock 2014 – Eater

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