Salad days continue at Kickstarter

Last updated 16:15 09/07/2014

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Kickstarter is being overrun with amateurs trying to make side dishes.

A man named Zack Danger Brown made headlines on Monday after his Kickstarter campaign to raise a modest US$10 ($11.38) to make potato salad brought in thousands in pledges. By midday Tuesday, it had raised nearly US$40,000.

Now the potato salad clones are coming.

At least a dozen Kickstarter campaigns have launched in the past 24 hours attempting to capitalise on the newfound attention surrounding potato salad. (Yes, writing that sentence made me question my choices in life.)

One user put up a campaign, called "I'm also making potato salad," and has raised US$1 out of its US$9 goal. Another has raised $10 out of his US$50 goal to make Japanese potato salad.

Some found more success by changing things up a bit. Sidney Shapiro of Sudbury, Ontario, launched a campaign to fund making chicken soup and has already raised C$74, beating his goal of C$10.

"Lets prove its better than potato salad!," Shapiro wrote on the campaign's page.

Some in the media have criticised the amount of money going to fund a silly project like potato salad rather than more worthwhile causes. Others have argued it highlights a shift in Kickstarter's thinking to accept any and all projects, however ridiculous they might be.

"There's no single recipe for inspiration," a Kickstarter rep said, marking Kickstarter's only public statement on the potato salad campaign.

Inside Kickstarter, according to a source familiar with the matter, the team views the potato salad campaign as similar to many other campaigns for food projects that create a limited batch of a certain product. It just happens to be one that gained more press attention because of its whimsical nature.

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As for all the copycats, that hasn't come as too much of a surprise to Kickstarter. "It happens with every category when we have a big cultural touchstone moment," the rep said.

The original potato salad Kickstarter campaign still has 24 days left before it ends. At one point late on Monday, the total amount pledged dropped from US$45,000 to US$15,000, which we hear may have been the result of either backers canceling their pledges or Kickstarter's algorithms detecting suspicious activity.

Whatever the case, the potato salad campaign marches on.


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