George Costanza may have said it best when he declared, “The Jerk Store called…and they’re running out of you.”
Today’s patron of The Jerk Store is Zack “Danger” Brown. He’s not violating any laws or breaking rules, but critics say he’s attempting to suck the spirit of innovation out of the crowdfunding concept.
Still, one man’s jerk is another man’s hero.
Just a few weeks ago, Kickstarter eased up on its project guidelines and allowed its users to seek funding on the internet for just about anything that’s legal. In turn, Zack asked for 10 bucks last week to make some potato salad. Fast-forward just a few days, and he already has over 1,700 backers — as well as $23,000 — with no end to the cash in sight yet.
His project description? “I’m making potato salad. Basically, I’m just making potato salad. I haven’t decided what kind yet.”
If you’re paying close attention, you’ll immediately realize that bidding on this project doesn’t actually get you a potato salad of your own. Rewards instead include a BITE of the salad, or the opportunity to pick one ingredient to add to the ONE DISH that Zack is making. But the project has already begun ballooning into something huge. Brown says he will utilize the thousands of dollars he’s raising to rent out a venue and turn the meal creation into a gigantic live event that’s streamed on the internet. He’ll also be reciting every backer’s name out loud, which could become a rather lengthy affair.
Some have asked why Zack doesn’t give a portion of this money to charity, but that is actually against Kickstarter’s policies, as they don’t want project backers to be forced into charitable donations towards causes they disagree with (I’m sure this guy wouldn’t want to break any rules or anything). And as easy as it may be to get frustrated with the guy who launched the campaign, let’s be honest here: it’s the people backing the project who have made it into a hit. That’s why many have come to the defense of Zack “Danger” Brown, such as this dude who proclaimed the project is “better than the vast majority of “serious” crowdfunding efforts” and gave a detailed explanation why.
At any rate, it looks like Zack won the internet this time. In fact, let’s all thank The Interwebs for once again giving us amazing innovative leaps in human understanding, such as the collective creation of the most expensive potato salad in world history. Barack Obama only dreams of uniting people like this.
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