Keeping It Simple & Stupid
How come every time something simple gets popular, people want to make it more complicated? And less fun? And then eventually less popular? Like how raw, energetic rock 'n' roll turned into pompous, sluggish stadium rock. Or how superhero comics mutated into a baffling mess of retcons and reboots. Or how daily deals turned into…well, whatever the hell you call it when an online store has too much selection to be easy to use, but too little to find what you want.
That's why the guys who invented the daily-deal thing are embarking on a grand experiment to bring it back. Back to its simple roots. Back to when one deal every day meant one deal, not a compacted mass of overstock matter plugging up the Internet like that stuff they found inside Elvis. Back to when a trained chicken could literally have done your shopping for you.
Cue the angelic choir as we present...
Yes, that's our logo. And we're at meh.com. Because even if it turns out to be the greatest store on the Internet, it's still just a store on the Internet. It may amuse you. It may perform a necessary function in the digestive system of capitalism. Once in a while, it may even offer a kick-ass deal on something you actually want. But it isn't going to change your life, or give you more powerful orgasms.
Our Project: 24 Hours to More Powerful Orgasms
Every day, we'll shove a brutally frank product review up your face, salesmanship be damned. We'll screen a new video that, at least, won't waste any more of your time than any other video of the same length. Our members will comment and argue and cajole and commiserate in each day's discussion for even more fun than the discussions on your local newspaper's website – maybe even more than the YouTube comments section. We're dreaming big here, people.
And oh, yeah, meh.com will never, ever “expand selection”. We'll offer one (1) item at a time. Period, forever.
We'll do stuff on our website and that's it. Here's our marketing plan: we have a three-letter domain. Just type it in. Facebook? Screw that. Twitter? Nuh uh. Vine, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Hulu commercials where a dad walks a toddler down a beach at sunset, and an ethnically mixed group of pals picnic with a dog and an acoustic guitar? Not a chance.
And we won't send any marketing email, either. No newsletters. No daily campaigns. Nothing. Is that crazy? If so, we don't want to be sane. If the only way we can succeed is to crawl through your Interpipes every morning to beg you and hector you and trick you into spending your money, we'll yield quietly to failure's sweet embrace.
We think your social life should remain social, not another way for companies to blare ad bullshit at you. People who want to see what we're doing can come see what we're doing. It'll be on the Internet!
Rewards: What's in it for me?
Along with wasting their money, backers can choose from a wide variety of options for squandering other key resources:
- Waste your time with an all-access preview pass to our Day Zero celebration (or, if you must, sale-a-bration).
- Waste your emotional energy in anticipation of what you'll get in our inaugural fukubukuro bag, a century-old tradition we're borrowing from the Japanese, where people buy crap in bags sight unseen and then are crushed by the inevitable, certain disappointment. (And for this Kickstarter-edition fukubukuro, we created a custom, original, one-page comic that you could call collectible if you have little understanding of that word.)
- Waste your reputation by sponsoring a day of the site that will not reflect well on your judgment.
The possibilities are literally unlimitless!
How will all these crowdsourced funds be put to use?
Well, to be vague about it, the funds will go toward launching our site. But to be specific about it?
Well, as some of you Internet deals-biz insiders might know, we’re actually already sitting on a little bit of money. Unfortunately, it’s all in the lamest of old pre-digital currencies: USD (sad emoticon). It’s basically useless in the web 2.0-conomy! As a great man once said: We don’t care too much for money; money can’t inflate our Klout score (paraphrasing).
So, in an effort to convert the maximum amount of our stodgy ol’ dollars into the much more prestigious Kickstarter Backerbucks, we’ve tried to put together backers’ rewards that offer “value.” Meaning: We’re probably not going to come out far ahead on this stunt.
But if it turns out we made some kind of significant calibration error in setting up this Kickstarter project, and we end up netting a bunch of money from it? I dunno, maybe we’ll commission some famous rock stars to write our site theme song.
Risks and challenges
How Long You Wanna Live, Anyway?
The greatest risk is that we do fabulously well and use our money to finance a private space station that gets infested with an alien spore that spreads to Earth during one of our wild r'n'r weekends in Cyber-Saigon, turning half of humanity into Space Blood Slaves from Beyond the Planets!
The second-greatest risk is that we aren't as smart or funny or irresistibly charming as we think we are and our website isn't anywhere near as much fun as Woot used to be and eventually we drift away to find our true passion because we know it seems like we're all about the money but that's not who we are, man, really, it's not who any of us are.
The third-greatest risk is that one of the other experiments we're planning to launch from our Mediocre Laboratories, uh, laboratories is more fun, and we forget about this one until we realize we've accidentally sold thousands of nose-hair trimmers that we don't actually have, so we have to go underground until the heat dies down.
The fourth-greatest risk is that meh.com is just one more hollow consumerist stunt and does nothing to improve ecommerce, the Internet, or your orgasms.
There are no other risks.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (4 days)