Potato Salad: By the Numbers

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When you work at Kickstarter, you come across amazing projects all the time. But in the site’s five-year history we’ve never seen anything quite like Zack Brown’s potato salad project.

It wasn’t the project’s ambitions that blew us away, because... well, it wasn’t very ambitious, at least at first. It was the reaction Zack got from all corners of the Internet: head-scratching, laughter, loud harrumphing, pure delight. And it was Zack’s graceful handling of a project that quickly became far too big to fit in a bowl.

The potato salad project ended Saturday with $55,492 in pledges from 6,911 backers. Here’s a look at how it got there.

Zack’s project started popping up in the press almost immediately. On July 6th, three days after it went live, Zack was on local TV news in Columbus, Ohio, expressing amazement at how the thing had blown up. At the time he had fewer than 200 backers.

Traffic to the project page quickly took off and eventually reached 4.1 million visits.

That made it the fourth-most-viewed project page in Kickstarter’s history. The top ten:

  1. Ouya game console
  2. Pebble watch
  3. Veronica Mars movie
  4. Potato Salad
  5. Double Fine Adventure
  6. Project Eternity
  7. Penny Arcade
  8. Reading Rainbow
  9. Mighty No. 9
  10. Oculus Rift

It’s funny to think that more people have seen the potato salad project than Oculus Rift, but hey, the Internet is a crazy place.

Despite all the traffic, the project received fewer pledges than anything else on that list. Here's a breakdown of pledges by day, showing a big surge at the start and then a flurry of backers getting in just before the deadline:

Hunger for potato salad knows no borders: people in 74 countries supported the project. Here are the top ten:

Country Backers
United States 4,676
United Kingdom  419
Canada 363
Australia 220
Germany 179
France 107
Sweden 82
Denmark 54
Netherlands 53
Switzerland 46

Among countries with more than five backers, Norway had the highest average pledge at $12, followed by South Korea and Sweden.

About two-thirds of Zack’s backers were from the US, and they pledged a total of $41,166. Here is a breakdown showing what percentage of that total came from each state:

(We've omitted some states, including those contributing less than 0.5% of total money pledged to potato salad)
(We've omitted some states, including those contributing less than 0.5% of total money pledged to potato salad)

Ohio, California, and New York pledged the most to the project. Ohio was no surprise, as it’s Zack’s home state. In fact, if we zoom in on Ohio, there’s particular strength around Columbus, Zack’s hometown, where his friends and neighbors wanted to come along for the ride. More than 62% of the money in Ohio came from Franklin County, which includes Columbus. Columbus is now gearing up to host PotatoStock 2014 next month.

As you might expect, most pledges to this project were small. Backers averaged $8.03 per pledge, compared with a Kickstarter-wide average of $77.51.

Most of the project's backers were not new to Kickstarter: 72% were repeat backers. In fact, even when you include the newcomers, potato salad backers have backed an average of 15 projects on Kickstarter! So while this was a global joke on the Internet, backing the project became an inside joke among core Kickstarter fans.

Here are the projects that people backed the most before they backed the potato salad project:

  1. Reading Rainbow - 868 backers
  2. Double Fine Adventure - 437 backers
  3. Ouya - 343 backers
  4. Mighty No. 9 - 340 backers
  5. Torment: Tides of Numenera - 293 backers
  6. The Veronica Mars Movie Project - 276 backers
  7. Project Eternity - 262 backers
  8. Pebble - 245 backers
  9. Wasteland 2 - 239 backers
  10. Kung Fury - 230 backers

...and those they've backed since potato salad:

  1. Coolest Cooler - 101 backers
  2. Sense - 99 backers
  3. Bunch O Balloons - 95 backers
  4. Electric Objects - 39 backers
  5. Litographs Tattoos - 36 backers
  6. The Deer God - 36 backers
  7. Bibliotheca - 34 backers
  8. NudeAudio Super-M - 30 backers
  9. The Resistance - 29 backers
  10. Timespinner - 27 backers

The project also received an incredible amount of press. According to the media analytics service Meltwater, it got 2,068 media mentions in 54 countries.

Country Media Mentions
United States 1,319
Australia 272
Canada 95
United Kingdom  70
India 49
Singapore 29
Malaysia 24
Germany 20
New Zealand 20
China 18

Some of our favorite features were in The New Yorker, Good Morning America, Columbus Alive, and The Verge (and also The Verge).

Tons of people would have watched Zack’s project video — except that he didn’t make one. Here’s our favorite of his video updates:

Zack’s project inspired some handwringing about What It All Means. Here’s one take: Kickstarter is a good place to aim high and go big, but small projects are great too. If you want to make something to share with others, maybe you just need ten or 20 or 50 people to get your idea off the ground. And if it turns out that 6,911 people share your vision for potato salad… then you’re going to need some more potatoes.

We look forward to seeing your project! And maybe we’ll see you at PotatoStock 2014.

Got ideas for other fun things we could do with all the great data we have at Kickstarter? Write to us: stories@kickstarter.com.
    1. TROVE on

      This is some great number crunching guys! It was both and funny and inspiring to watch the Potato Salad project take off the way it did, but this data gives some real insight into how much influence media coverage can have on a project like this. Do you have or can you do an analysis on new projects that have tried to mimic Potato Salad or parody it? It would be interesting to see how many there were and how well they did.

    2. Jason A Kreiger on

      Isn't Kickstarter worried about credibility after a project like this. I search "potato salad" on kickstarter and came up with over 200 copy cat potato salad kickstarters... Why is there no regulating these projects? I saw a kickstarter the other day for drawing the worlds largest penis. Cmon, it's a slap in the face for any serious creators out there and muddles up the credibility of having a Kickstarter.

    3. Andy Jennings on

      And how about the hundreds, if not thousands, of stupid copycat projects that the project inspired? Or the media attention Kickstarter garnered as "do some goofy s*** and you'll blag some money" instead of "here's where you can get your great idea funded by the people who want to see it brought to life."

      Since the submission guidelines were relaxed, I no longer trust Kickstarter's interest in the quality of the projects they host.

    4. Loretta Fontaine Castagna on

      Bravo Danger Brown!

      As a member of Team COOLEST, I backed potato salad.

      74 countries. Awesome! Zach, speak my name out loud!

    5. Brad Summey on

      Does Kickstarter not see an issue with this, and other projects like it? These sort of things completely dilute the validity of every other project on the platform and were one of the worst ways to introduce the website to the mainstream media. The fact that Kickstarter allowed it to continue, as well as allowing project creators to create projects with zero oversight is laughable.

      What you've done is polarize well-intentioned project creators with the means to bring valid ideas to life via your platform. I hope someone over there rethinks the move to forgo reviewing projects prior to them going live.

    6. Lucy on

      Guys, Kickstarter is not going to regulate / delete projects like this because "validity" is in the eyes of the funder. Remember, KS is not just a fun platform, it's a business. KS has no ads; instead, they make 100% of their revenue from taking 5% from successful projects. This means that for hosting the Potato Salad page, kickstarter made $2750.

      They ALSO got a TON of publicity. Yes, people already knew about kickstarter, but people already know about Coca-Cola and they still run ads for it. Suddenly kickstarter is in international news, not as an annoying advert you tune out, but as central to the plot of a news story people are actually talking and arguing about.

      I seriously doubt the few creators who leave KS as a platform because they're offended by the project outweigh the benefit of all the $$$ and publicity this project got them. Even if from now on 100% of projects become hipster jokes (which, frankly, is hyperbolic), if those jokes make more money than serious projects, KS is absolutely savvy to pursue that angle.

      Bottom line: KS was never in the business of being elitist. Just like publishing houses known for Great Literature, like Penguin, are smart to also have their line of mass-market paperback thrillers and erotic romances that make money but'll be forgotten in a week, KS is smart to indiscriminately host art films, gadgets, and pranks alike, to hit as broad an audience as possible.

    7. Terrance Grace on

      If KS is not careful and does not rein in some of the ridiculous, they and us (the creators) might soon be in the midst of a trash-sourcing platform. The reason I chose KS over indiegogo in the first place was the fact that KS held creators to a seemingly stronger ethic of accountability. Once you start allowing dumb in... then all of a sudden it's just a big wasteland of crap that no potential backer will want to wade through.

      I understand that this is a business, but it's better business in the long run, if you maintain quality over quantity.

    8. Minerva McJanda on

      Putting aside the issue of 'validity', doesn't this project make a mockery of kickstarter's policy of enforcement on pledge rewards? If I've got the numbers right this guy is going to have to say 6911 names while making the salad, give 3573 people a bite of the salad (with no shipping charge), add 2301 ingredients to the salad, and let 484 people into the kitchen while he makes the stuff. How this project was approved given the recent restrictions on physical pledge rewards, I have no idea. An article like this on how he plans on fulfilling all those pledges would be pretty interesting.

    9. Missing avatar

      JediaKyrol on

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    10. Latham Conger on

      What is this guy doing with the money he raised? He can't give it to charity, right, because that's against your rules? How are people stupid enough to give this guy money and undermine what this site is supposed to be about? More importantly, why is Kickstarter complicit in this moronic exercise.of how to take advantage of mass hysteria?

    11. Dale Taylor on

      The problem with unleashing the virus of dumb, is what are you going to do now that your brand is destroyed? Are you going to embrace being the Monty Python of crowdfunding now? Your competitors must be delighted.

    12. Mike Kabala

      I don't mind projects like Potato Salad. Even though I didn't pledge for it, I was amused. We need to be able to laugh at ourselves sometimes. I much prefered Potato Salad than the perpetual motion projects on Kickstarter. I also love the core community that understands what Kickstarter is about: funding dreams and enabling the common man to accomplish something he couldn't do by himself. Hooray for Kickstarter!

    13. Michael Klaus Schmidt on

      This shows the nature of the human condition more than anything specific to Kickstarter. It remains a great way to fund projects. Just because a lot of people backs a silly project (or was it genius?) that does not undermine the effectiveness or validity of the site.

      I really wish people would get this excited and generous about more serious things, like homeless children in war torn countries, but this sort of thing goes on all the time, right? People spend large sums of money on designer clothing, toys and other "frivolous" things all the time. Why not potato salad?

    14. Erin Keely on

      Why are so many people too serious, and don't like to have fun? The potato salad thing is hilarious. If you don't like it, go back and art project and stop policing people who enjoy humor.

    15. Missing avatar

      Scott Rehm on

      I know that, in the past, you've mentioned that once people back one project, they tend to browse Kickstarter and find other projects to back. Do you have any data on how many of the new backers this project garnered went on to fund other things? It'd be interesting to see the "rising tide" effect in action here. Obviously, the Potato Salad project was good for Kickstarter and everyone on it. I'd be curious to see how good.

    16. Joe Sutliff on

      Potato salad came at a particularly bad time for me... I had just cancelled my campaign due to lack of interest. I put a lot of hard work into my novel, and only made 20% funding, so I was annoyed at the huge success of PS. Ultimately, I realized that PS was proof that crowd funding works - a lot of happy people giving up a buck just for the laugh. What KickStarter has to do now is build on that and encourage the philanthropic side of this - if half the 7,000 backers made it a habit to drop a dollar a month on something, then I'll be happy (unless my next project doesn't get funded, in which case I will be REALLY annoyed.)

    17. Film GRIT on

      Yeah this kind of bums me out. First I as annoyed when Directors with money were doing projects to fund a film they could afford and giving out crappy rewards (after all they will make money off the project in the end) and now we go to the other end of stupid with joke projects. Why don't you just setup up a new dot com for these projects richstarter.com and jokestarter.com - that way everyone knows where they supposed to find "real" projects you know... on kickstarter.com

    18. Kate Stafford on

      I almost gave a couple bucks, back when the potato salad was < $1k. I think we sometime undervalue humor in our lives. But since it blew up to a ridiculous size, I didn't. I don't begrudge him for his haul - how could he have expected this? And if someone felt this was a worthy use of a few bucks, good on them.

      But what is killing me now are the copycats. First, it is just lazy. It isn't original anymore. Come up with your own attempt at humor. Nobody is going to fund a recycled joke. Second, and far more obnoxious, I'm tired of wading through all the variations of "I'm going to do something mundane" no matter what I search for on Kickstarter.

    19. Jonathan Hummer (何林) on

      I'm torn on how to feel about this. It was humorous and entertaining, if not depressing (it just corroborates Ben Franklin: "A fool and his money are soon parted"). But I also see the concerns other have voice, as now nonsense projects are cropping up all over the place, making it difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. We'll let the Futurists decide how it will affect the brand and the business long-term, but it sure makes things annoying short-term.

    20. Andy Jennings on

      People arguing on the basis that "it's a joke, we need a laugh every now and then, lighten up" didn't see a month's worth of poutine, sandwiches, kimchi, cookies, and other HILARIOUS "im makin food giv me munee" projects. A joke isn't funny when it's told a hundred times. And it's even less funny when someone keeps telling it to you when you're trying to do something you actually enjoy.

      Kickstarter's new automated approval system is supposed to weed out fake projects, but it just doesn't work. Under the old system, a perpetual motion machine wouldn't even have made it through filling out the form, let alone made it onto the site.

      Never mind the number of projects which are basically "I can't afford a new computer/Xbox, help fund me buy one... so I can stream gameplay videos!" No, I'm not going to pay for you to buy a new computer, everyone else who streams videos bought their hardware with their own money, kindly bugger off.

    21. Geoffrey Hebel on

      I have funded a few projects on KS ranging from custom marshmallows (which were delicious) to mens underwear for bigger guys (larger generally not er yeah i'll stop now) I saw this and, as long as he fulfills his agreements to his backers who cares what the project was about.

      The people complaining about all the copycats are forgetting that this is a user generated site, meaning don't like them don't fund them and they will go away when the fad runs it's course.

      What i consider worth giving money to is probably different than what everyone elses. The copycats are a fad and, will vanish in short order when nobody funds them.

    22. Brandon 'Link' Copp-Millward on

      @Latham, he actually IS starting a charity with the money, launching his own for-profit business, and some other things. It all falls into that grey area of Kickstarter not caring about what you do with all that overfunded money.

    23. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      This user's account has been deleted.

    24. Miguel Ortega on

      This completely ruins kickstarters credibility. What a shame and mockery for the legit projects.
      I can't believe they do not see how band this tarnishes the brand.

    25. Crystal Bass on

      I'm on the side of this being what finally has made kickstarter jump the shark. Its basically a joke now. Legit projects will be taken less seriously. Its already starting.... tons and tons and tons of ridiculous people trying to copy those crap ideas, clogging up bandwidth. But of course they didnt cancel it because it went viral enough that their cut of the money was worth hanging on to.

    26. DapperDevil on

      I didn't think potato salad was very funny, and I didn't back it, but all of these comments about ruining the KS brand and worrying about a flood of stupid imitation projects are way off the mark. Let's be honest, there were a lot of stupid projects before potato salad, and a lot of projects that imitated other successful projects. That's the nature of commerce, really, and complaining about it accomplishes nothing.

    27. Krystal Mack on

      I'm sorry but I totally agree this kind of made me hate Kickstarter. As a creator who ran a project while this whole potato salad BS was going on I wished I had used a different site like Go Fund Me Or Indie Go Go. This project should have been featured on a site like that. Thats why I chose Kickstarter because I thought it was a site for serious well-thought out projects. Not a site to make a mockery of its project creators. Fortunately I exceeded my goal BUT there are still a lot of projects on this site probably kicking themselves wishing that they had chosen another crowdfunding site. I won't make the same mistake of choosing Kickstarter for my next project.

    28. Jason Gleim on

      Kickstarter's job is to connect people looking for funding with people who have money to invest... Nothing more and nothing less. It isn't KS' job to determine if a project is "worthy" or to police how the project will spend the money or anything like that. They have a disappointingly low bar in fact to get a project posted it lets a lot of questionable projects through. Just look at sites like KickFailure or Drop Kicker who specialize in weeding out the fakes and cons and you'll see this.

      At least Zack's project is legit. He isn't breaking the laws of physics or claiming some amazing new process nobody has ever thought of before or trying to cobble together some "amazing MMO" game with absolutely no programming experience. He is going to produce something he can actually deliver and I'm sure the backers know that the rewards are tongue-in-cheek and likely dubious at best. Nobody is going to cry because they can't confirm he said their name while making the salad. Those that have a problem with the project or with KS allowing the project can exercise their freedom of choice and either not visit the site or not back the projects. Don't claim this is the downfall of society or KS has no credibility when, in fact, they never claimed any cred in the first place. If you think they somehow had some sort of credibility in whatever metric you think they might have had it in, just search for Brony projects and your illusions will quickly evaporate.

    29. Jonathon Dalton on

      I think Kickstarter does have an obligation to regulate the projects that get hosted on the site, to vet them for fraud, appropriateness, etc. From everything I've seen Kickstarter do so far, it looks to me like they take that responsibility seriously.

      Potato salad is a joke, but, it's not fraudulent! Anyone who pledged to potato salad knew exactly what they were getting. They were "in on the joke," and if they weren't, they didn't pledge. So I certainly don't think this undermines Kickstarter's legitimacy as a platform.

    30. Missing avatar

      Nova Clarke

      I agree with some of the other comments about the ridiculous projects that are showing up. As a backer it dilutes the good projects out there when I am searching and makes me more likely to give up on looking for good projects - especially in the food category lately

    31. Moe Lane

      Speaking as a regular backer of both Kickstarter projects, and a specific backer of this one... I don't have a mystical appreciation for the process, sorry. This service is a great way to get otherwise difficult-to-fund webcomics and roleplaying games published by independent small businesses. As long as it keeps doing that, everything is golden.

      Besides, it was *my* $25, and I wanted a hat that announced that I am a backer of potato salad. Kickstarter made that possible. Go you, Kickstarter.

    32. Leshia Doucet

      Waaaah, someone made a joke and tons of people loved it, this website is ruined! Bull. Yeah, all the copycat campaigns are annoying, but they'll go away when people realize it's not that simple. And in what universe does one page on a user-submitted site ruin the site's credibility? Kickstarter is a platform for people to use as they will, not some high-and-mighty bastion of elite art projects. If a project is worthwhile, people will back it, same as they ever did, and if not, you can always try again in search of that elusive viral audience.

      The projects that get funded are the ones that, for whatever reason (even if it's dumb), resonate with people. PS was the 100th kickstarter I've backed, I've seen all types make it. Don't hate on Potato Salad because a lot of so-called "legit" projects just didn't click with people on the same level that a silly joke did.

    33. Cerity "Legendary Bottlejak" Silverhawk on

      @Kickstarter how are you getting location data... From all the logged saved data for all these returning backers from other projects' surveys.. Or from the smattering of information on profiles which is non-mandatory??
      Kickstarter isn't the only crowdfunding site, but it is the largest brand, hence their 5% cut. You guys don't get it if you think kickstarter will start controlling whats on here. once that happens their profits diminish substantially. Unless laws continue to ignore runaway creators and kickstarter still keeps their cut... No way would kickstarter thrive were it required to keep a minimum bar of presentability, respectability, or actual product. Fit within the guidelines and you can get your trip paid for as long as you do something at the end. I truly hope zach follows through with all his backers.

    34. Maricriz Perea & Jazz Tigan on

      I'd be really curious to see the amount raised over time chart - if I recall, it actually got up above $70k at one point and then experienced a big drop down to $40k before stabilizing. That's is certainly a unique phenomenon for this project and speaks to the dynamics of a joke campaign. I feel any discussion of the stats that doesn't include this is a little bit insincere in terms of really understanding the data available. Still, fascinating seeing all of this play out. :)

    35. Missing avatar

      Vicki Pracht on

      I agree with many of the commentators that this is a poor use of the Kickstarter platform and I am sorry that KS is giving it even more attention. I appreciate that people don't have to back what they're not interested in, however I would appreciate KS using more of that 5% they collect to keep some standards, rather than letting everything go.

    36. Penny Brewster on

      All I hear from you haters is "blah blah blah I'm jealous" trust me if kickstarter starts regulating projects some of yours are not going to pass either, I heard a guy who asked for money for a burito before so ya there were "dumb" projects before but lucky for everyone you don't have to back something you dont like. This is funny and obviously people like it. When joke stores opened up selling fake poo and stupid t shirts did that stop people from shopping in other stores? No.

    37. Eric Stover on

      What, Kickstarter isn't going to discuss this project that happened on their own platform? Potato Salad guy lucked out. He had a laughable small goal and people loved it. It snowballed into something completely bigger than it was ever supposed to be and the guy ran with it. While I didn't back the project, and I didn't really like the message it sent about crowdfunding, I think it's a little immature to threaten to leave KS because of it.

      KS polices projects that are scams, and I wish they'd police all the copycat rip offs that they backers are a bunch of suckers waving wads of cash around, but they had no reason to shut down the Potato salad project. It's a legitimate project that managed to get attention and a budget most of us are jealous of if we're honest.

      Instead of complaining about the Potato salad project, see what they did right, see what's wrong with your project. I've had projects fail, seen worthy causes fall short of their goal. It sucks, but usually it's because something was off about the project. Maybe the message was too general, the rewards lackluster, the concept too mundane, a project can fail or succeed for a million different reasons.

      That all being said, I do worry about all the half-brained "parody" and rip off projects popping up. As far as I can see, none of them are doing anywhere near as well as the original Potato Salad, but we'll see what the future brings. Hopefully crowdfunding will still remain a strong option for creators of creative projects to find support for their work.

    38. Catherine Todd on

      This silly potato salad project has ruined Kickstarter for me. Yes, it's funny and I too am amazed that this guy could bring in so much money, but I remember when very worthwhile projects were turned away from Kickstarter for "not meeting the criteria." Now it's turning into a joke. Not where I'd like to put my money or association. Why not make another Kickstarter Parody" site if you want to be funny? Either way, until you do, it's over for me.

    39. Catherine Todd on

      PS: Eric, I get your point, but I am neither "immature" or "jealous." I am simply a donor to worthwhile Kickstarter projects, and if there is to be silly ones, fine, but make a separate site for them. Kickstarter used to insist that projects fit into specific criteria, and I always helped fun movies, documentaries, education, music and the like. Not "making potato salad and maybe sending donors one bite." It really turns Kickstarter into eBay instead of Amazon. Perhaps that is OK and that's where Kickstarter will end up, but I hate to see their reputation and others who participate here ruined because of one joke. The guy definitely earned his money - thanks to the MEDIA ATTENTION he got - and I have no problem with that, but I won't take Kickstarter seriously any longer as long as "projects" like this are up here. I am really sorry to see a good idea go bad and so quickly. Kickstarter shouldn't be a game show to me, at least. And that's what it is now, just another internet joke.

    40. SoftStorms, LLC on

      I agree with most of the comments here. We've backed (a paltry) 3 projects since discovering KS in April, and also run a campaign whose last week overlapped with Zack Danger Brown's PS (yes, that was a 'P'). We struggled to raise $6K, and just made it to target in our final hours. Meantime, I watched in stupefaction as PS rocketed to about 50K that overlapping July 4-11 week! I do think that his tongue-in-cheek project, FOR SOMETHING HE CLEARLY COULD HAVE AFFORDED TO FUND OUT OF POCKET, did draw undue attention from other, meritorious, projects out there whose creators could NOT have self-funded. I hope a vetting system is reinstated or instituted by KS simply to help folks feel confident that the site isn't just another almsgiving forum or worse. All that said, maybe my next KS should be a project to study how much satisfaction Zach's backers got, got from eating gastronomically speaking,from eating the 4,000-ingredient PS. See you soon on CNN when we Ho viral at $50K.

    41. Michele Galla on

      As a backer of many projects, I like this Potato Salad Kickstarter. If I had known about it before it closed, I would have backed it. That's the thing about Kickstarter. It is, at its very essence, a free market venue. We back what we back because something about the project appeals to us individually. We don't need to defend our pledges to anyone. There no reason to get miffed at any project that succeeds. Instead, learn from it. Know that whimsy, too, can be inspirational in its own way, and not everything, all the time, must be ardent and serious to get support. With Kickstarter, you get to appeal to the world and the myriad of perspectives out there. And if you have an idea that some might deem worthless, you just might find as many or more who think it's worthwhile. There's no harm in asking the global crowd for help. Good for you, Zack and backers. Enjoy your potato salad!

    42. Matt Bray on

      Lighten up people. I backed Potato Salad for a laugh. I've also backed other projects for their innovation, design and artistic qualities. Projects that had little or no chance of becoming reality without crowd funding. Kickstarter is an amazing platform.

    43. Gavin Maxwell on

      I'm all for a good joke - the Death Star project was a great example - which I backed. What I don't like though is the direction KS is heading, nothing to do with PS Boy above, but more to do with the scam artists out there who are taking advantage of the "no rules" nature of KS projects. You can come up with some BS project that defies the laws of physics and if there are enough stupid people who believe your BS then ta-da - cash - with no commitment! There are multiple projects like this live right now on KS, and no matter how many people report a project KS simply don't care - and why should they - it's money in the bank for them no matter how many people get scammed. KickScammer - you heard it here first.

    44. Stephanie McGillis on

      I think it stands to reason that people just need some fun .. and this was just that, fun .. but like I have read, with others it make those of us with projects running look a little ridiculous now as it seems that we" just put one on" just to make money. I worked for months on the planning of mine and it just happened to launch AFTER PS and I dunno I feel like the stall is because people are doubting the seriousness of any project that was after PS

    45. Latham Conger on

      For all the people telling others to "have a sense of humor", you are missing the point. That's OK, though, because now you've set yourselves up to be hypocrites. Since "sense of humor" is subjective, make sure you keep that point of view through "anything else anyone comes up with that is ludicrous to you but not to others". I was told Kickstarter had a good internal community, and, after much work and dedication, put my film project up, hoping to get many backers. Eventually, I found myself struggling to meet my goal, and ended up only hitting it due to generous friends and family. Some people I had never met donated (and ended up being very kind people), but they made up less than 10% of my donations. If this site is populated by people who would rather back some guy making potato salad than people trying to realize their dreams, then the people above are right. Time will tell whether you like it or not.

    46. Daniel on

      It seems to me that many of the people who were/are angered by potato salad are reacting to their own misfortune after their own projects didn't succeed.
      I strongly believe that these two things are not alike. One was a self depreciating joke that tickled the collective internet funnybone, the others are just projects that failed to garner attention or interest.
      Perhaps instead project creators should be happy when a project goes viral because ultimately it brings more traffic through Kickstarter which gives other ventures more opportunities to attract attention.
      When potato salad was launched I very much doubt that the creator was rubbing his hands with glee at the megabucks he was about to make. That he did well is less about him and more about the people who backed the project.
      If you are going to complain about what other people decide what to spend their money on I suggest you think about how you might feel if they told you how to spend your money.
      Also, there is already a system that filters out much of the dross like the coleslaw project and that is the rankings based on interest. Projects that haven't been marketed well or just don't interest people soon drop to the bottom of the scrolling page.
      Meanwhile, if you want your project to do well, make it interesting, make it seem feasible and social network it like crazy. Don't get grumpy and entitled because of someone else's success.

    47. Stephan

      I think some folks are making some faulty assumptions. First, KS is not a zero-sum game. Is there any proof that those who backed Potato Salad for $1 decided not to back another project due to budgetary concerns? Hardly. This meta-hipster-ironic joke probably didn't take money from the pockets of struggling independent filmmakers. Nor did it steal donations from starving children.

      Copycats, flops and joke projects have been around for a long time. Remember the "graph my burrito" guy? And how many minimalist wallets and bottle openers have you seen? There has always been, and will always be junk and good projects. It's up to the backer to decide.

      The reality is that good projects will continue to come to Kickstarter, and I (and I firmly believe most backers) will continue to back them.

      PS - No matter how bad KS gets, it's still not as bad as IGG.

    48. Alexandre Barret on

      I think it shows that backers have a sens of humour and can make fun of themselves. Projects like these must exist and had to be created. The issue here is more about the people who backed projects before the potato salad. They believed in backing projects for the greater good and just find this one offensive. It is humour, it might hurt but it is some type of art. Deal with it.

    49. Melissa Chambers on

      A few years ago when I was heavily vetted for my kickstarter campaign I was spurred on by the idea that I had a responsibility to my backers to show them something worthwhile. And deliver what I promised. I really got behind the idea that great things can happen from small gestures in big amounts and that the quality of you and your promotion was the point. I took pride in that.

      This represents the death of that idea. Now I am embarrassed to contact my backers through the Kickstarter platform. By allowing this project onto the platform Kickstarter is taking pride in the fact that for a small gesture, you can instead be a part of something stupid. There’s a difference between variety and stupidity. This re-enforces a culture that you should invest your spare change in being part of a fad that helps nothing and no-one and rewards irony alone.

      A really great brand just became useless to legitimate people. It's so hard to raise money for new ideas. Congratulations Kickstarter. This just made it harder.

    50. Tony Gruber on

      Congrats to the Potato Salad guys for launching a successful project! And thanks (Fred and David) for putting these stats together!

      Opinion time:
      Potato Salad was funny, but I think it's a silly thing to back. My partner found it hilarious, and he backed it. I don't think anyone should be mad at at my partner, jealous of Potato Salad, or upset with KickStarter.

      "KickStarter should be better regulated"? Regulate yourself, and let the rest of us regulate ourselves as well!
      One might argue that KickStarter should be family-friendly; but beyond that, let's be careful what we ask for. BTW; I found some copycats to be funnier than Potato Salad, but I didn't back them either.

      I want to back serious projects that could have a long-term impact; but that's just me. I know there are plenty in the KickStarter community who feel as I do, and I'm not bothered by those who feel differently.

      For those who have had failed projects, I'd suggest learning what you can from Potato Salad, which probably isn't much: But also take a look at successful projects that are similar to yours.
      Own your situation!

      KickStarter's awesome! Keep up the good work!

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