What price potato salad? Around $45,000, at least if Kickstarter is anything to go by.
That’s the amount that’s been pledged—as of this writing—to Zack Danger Brown’s effort to crowdfund a batch of potato salad. Brown’s Kickstarter campaign, which originally sought to raise just $10, has generated an outpouring of support from more than 5,500 backers who love either a good joke or potato salad (or both), and nearly as much backlash from people who think those tens of thousands of dollars could be better spent on anything other than a tasty side dish.
But honestly, that argument could be made for nearly every crowdfunded project from smartwatches to feature films, and that hasn’t stopped people from pledging fistfuls of cash. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that a bowl of potato salad is hardly the worst idea to ever surface on Kickstarter. We found 10 other projects that seem like a much bigger waste of time, imagination, and capital and that didn’t stop most of them from meeting their fundraising goal.
Some soaps promise to leaving you feeling as clean as whistle. Others boast of being 99.44 percent pure. Meat Soap promised to make you smell like meat. Because bacon, I guess, which, to be fair, is one of the best smelling things in the world. But that doesn’t mean you should lather up with something that seems more appropriate for the breakfast table than for your morning shower. Still, at least 42 meat soap backers disagree, and they gave a combined $1,905 to make the campaign a success.
Poop: The Game
Kickstarter has backed plenty of card games—Up Front, Antidote, and Cards Against Humanity all got their start on the crowdfunding site. So did Poop, an Uno-like game from Chicago-based Feels Like Design with the motto “take turns pooping but don’t clog the toilet.” Several cards in the deck that make players do silly things, like make a fart sound or a grunt; the game can be played with up to 10 players. A whopping 668 backers gave Feels Like Design more than $11,000 for the opportunity to play Poop for themselves, which probably left the game maker feeling like No. 1 after producing No. 2.
A Chicken Burrito from Chipotle
At least Zack Danger Brown wants to make his own potato salad. Noboru Bitoy tasked someone else with making his Kickstarter-funded meal. Specifically, the design student from Chicago sought a measly $8 to buy a chicken burrito from Chipotle and graph its deliciousness. He raised a little more than $1,000, a record 13,000 percent funding, and added some wacky stretch goals that saw him consume a Chipotle burrito while skydiving. Bitoy ate 24 different combinations of Chipotle chicken burritos and sent the deliciousness graph for each to his 258 backers.
Miley Cyrus Twerking T-Shirts
Of all the crazy things Miley Cyrus has done, none have brought our culture to its knees more than twerking. Daniel Bañaga of San Diego thought it would be awesome to relive Miley’s infamous twerking by emblazoning it on a line of not-exactly-safe-for-work shirts and tanktops, and sought $300 to make it possible. 20 backers gave Bañaga a total of $528, so there are now 20 people out there who proudly wear a shirt with Miley Cyrus twerking. Presumably, Billy Ray Cyrus is not among them.
Paul the sexy smartphone charger
When I get home at the end of the day and plug my phone into the charger, the last thing I care about is what my charger looks like. Eleven people disagree with me. And they were willing to pony up $2160 to try and make Paul, the “sexiest smartphone charger on the planet,” a reality. Alas, Paul needs $8000 to spring to life, so unless that funding gap closes in the next 10 days, you’ll never know the joy of docking your iPhone where Paul’s… Paulness would be, nor connecting to a wall outlet with a cord coming out of Paul’s back end.
World’s Largest Jockstrap
Anyone can pitch the folks at Guinness World Records to try to have a new category entered into the record books. And while there are several cool record categories out there—good on you, guy who can arrange a chess set in 34.41 seconds—some just make you question why the heck people waste their time on it. Enter the world’s largest jockstrap, made by artist Michael Barrett of San Francisco. Barrett convinced Guinness to make the world’s largest jockstrap a category, and turned to Kickstarter to raise $850 to pay the surveying company to release the measurements so he could submit it to Guinness. He convinced 11 people to chip in a total of $854 to make his giant-sized jockstrap a reality.
Writing stupid things in the cloud
Kurt Braunohler is a Los Angeles-based stand-up comedian who had the idea for a prank that would probably get a chuckle out of Los Angeles residents: Hire a guy with a plane to write an absurd message in the sky. All it would take to make the world a better place would be $4000; 257 backers pledged $7000. And so, on March 23, 2013, citizens of Los Angeles could look up to the sky and see “How do I land?” written in the clouds. Which was probably good for a chuckle, but probably not the best way to spend $7000.
The afternoon lull, the time about 30 to 60 minutes after lunch when all you want to do is sleep, is the worst time of the day productivity-wise. And, man, it’s really hard to find a comfortable place to sleep in your cubefarm. Recognizing this very real problem, Studio Banana Things—yes, that’s a real name—introduced a crowd-funding for the Ostrich Pillow, a pillow you wear on your head and tuck yourself away like an ostrich as you take a little siesta. The Ostrich Pillow was a runaway success, raising nearly $200,000 when all it wanted was $70,000. Thankfully, Studio Banana Things made holes for your nose and mouth so you can breathe while you sleep.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson isn’t the only one spotted wearing an animal head on the top of his own skull. In 2012, San Francisco-based Buffoonery Factory launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Griz Coat, which is a jacket that looks like a giant bear. A staggering 180 people gave Buffoonery Factory more than $29,000 to bring the Griz Coat to life, and the campaign was so successful that the company released a polar bear version of the Griz Coat. Because everyone loves polar bears, so why not wear them around all the time? On your head.
People get quite excited over anything that looks like Jesus. That was the observation of Rob Corso and Meg Sheehan, at any rate, so they launched a Kickstarter campaign for the Grilled Cheesus, an electronic sandwich press that emblazons the face of Galilee’s most famous native son on the top and bottom of your sandwich. It may not feed a multitude, but 286 people pitched in $25,604. To paraphrase Monty Python, blessed are the grilled cheese makers.
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