Ohio man hoped to raise $10 on Kickstarter to make potato salad for the first time
By Sunday evening, more than 850 pledged nearly $5,000 to Zach Brown
"Entire Internet" invited to a party to taste Brown's recipe
It’s not the most ambitious Kickstarter in history, but maybe that’s the secret ingredient that’s making one man’s pitch on the crowd-funding website so successful.
Well, maybe that and a little dill.
“Basically I’m just making potato salad. I haven’t decided what kind yet,” wrote Zack Brown on his campaign’s Kickstarter page.
In a campaign that went online over the holiday weekend, Brown’s goal was to raise only $10.
He tempered any expectations – if there were any. “It might not be that good. It’s my first potato salad.”
Despite his own lukewarm forecast, potential investors were not shaken by Brown’s recipe indecisiveness and lack of experience. By Sunday evening, Brown had raised nearly $5,000 by 850 backers.
“I never thought it would go this far,” Brown of Columbus told a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session. “$10 seemed like a good, conservative goal. I think the thing people are responding to is the opportunity to come together around something equal parts absurd and mundane.”
So what do investors – which Kickstarter calls “backers,” get in return? A pledge of $1 – of which there were more than 300 by Sunday evening – earns a “thank you” from Brown on the website as well as aloud while the potato salad is made. But for $20, you get a potato-salad themed haiku written by Brown and a signed jar of mayonnaise.
As the campaign caught steam over the holiday weekend, a new goal was set: at $3,000 the “whole Internet” would be invited to Columbus to taste the potato salad.
That didn’t take long.
“We’re going to need a lot of potato salad!” he wrote when $3,000 came and went. “It could take me weeks to make it.”
Asked on Reddit why he was doing it, Brown got philosophical.
“Potato Salad isn’t controversial, but it seems to unite us all.”