At this point you’ve probably heard of the potato salad project on Kickstarter that has taken the Internet by storm.
But here’s the story: A man named Zack Brown set out to raise $10 on the crowdfunding platform, but the campaign went viral and has thus far seen more than 5,000 backers pledge more than $40,000 (these numbers are fluid). When the campaign was launched, Brown was pretty straightforward in describing his goals. “Basically I’m just making potato salad. I haven’t decided what kind yet,’’ he wrote.
Given the simplicity of that mission statement, perhaps it’s fitting that one of Brown’s funders didn’t have to stretch himself very far in describing why he donated a dollar to the campaign. BostInno spoke with entrepreneur, former MIT Ph.D. student, and potato salad funder Tom Lieber. Asked why he felt compelled to chip in, Lieber first said he’s from the same part of the country as Brown—Ohio—before really diving in.
“Here is a guy who could use some potato salad,’’ he told BostInno. “And he’s not afraid to tell the world.’’
BostInno’s interview with Lieber is pretty funny and worth a full read if you have any more patience for this week’s most ridiculous tech story.
The success of the potato salad fundraiser has sparked plenty of discussion about crowdfunding and why users reward what they do. After all, that potato salad has raised just a lot of freaking money. And plenty of worthier projects than one man’s ambition to delight in potato salad regularly fall by the wayside.
The campaign also attracted the attention of yestermonth’s tech absurdity. Yo, an app that allows users to send push notifications to other users that simply say “Yo’’, managed to raise $1 million in funding. It jumped on the potato salad bandwagon Tuesday night, tweeting:
Send a Yo to POTATOSALADYO to get a Yo for every 50 new backers!— Yo (@YoAppStatus) July 9, 2014
Yo took a turn for the more serious recently by partnering with Red Alert, an app in Israel that lets users know about missile strikes in the country. The partnership with Yo provides “supporters of Israel worldwide with real-time updates on missile attacks against Israel,’’ the Times of Israel reports. The report indicates Yo was approached for the initiative by Red Alert, so you don’t necessarily have to tip your hat to the app.
No word on future uses for Brown’s project, other than some already-achieved stretch goals listed on his Kickstarter page including a potato salad party for the Internet.