Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the potato salad Kickstarter by now. (If you are living under a rock, you have our sympathies; we get that the Boston apartment hunt process is grueling.)
Basically, a dude from Columbus, Ohio, by name of Zack “Danger” Brown wanted to try making potato salad, and decided to launch a Kickstarter with a $10 goal for the culinary quest. And no, we didn’t forget any zeroes. Homeboy sought to raise 10 bucks. The campaign has only been live for six days, and has managed to raise a whopping $58,849 from nearly 5,000 backers.
— Reed Sturtevant (@reedsturtevant) July 9, 2014
The Kickstarter has ridiculously exceeded expectations, and it still has another 24 days to go. As the total amount raised has grown, Brown’s tacked on a few more stretch goals, tongue planted firmly in cheek. For example, he wrote that if the campaign hit $75, he would throw a pizza party. Brown’s latest stretch goal promised that if the picnic dish Kickstarter reached $3,000, he “will rent out a party hall and invite the whole internet to the potato salad party (only $10 and above will be allowed in the kitchen)! The internet loves potato salad! Let’s show them that potato salad loves the internet!!”
Give $1, Brown will say your name while creating the potato salad and digitally thank you on the site. Give $20, however, and you’ll get a haiku inspired by the side, your name carved into a potato, a signed jar of mayonnaise, the potato salad recipe, get to hang out in the kitchen with Brown while he makes the potato salad, choose a potato-salad-appropriate ingredient to add to the potato salad and receive a bite of the potato salad.
Still, Brown gives fair warning of the Kickstarter’s risks and challenges: “It might not be that good,” admitted the casual cook. “It’s my first potato salad.”
Gillis Bernard: What did you study at MIT? Where do you work now?
Lieber: I studied user interface design, but moved to California to help Luke Iannini start a company called Tree Computer. Now I’m designing software for global collaboration (the kind of software you’d use to write a potato salad recipe with 100 of your closest friends).
How’d you first hear about the potato salad Kickstarter?
What factored into your decision to fund it?
Maybe it’s because I’m also from Columbus, but something told me it was the real deal. “Here is a guy who could use some potato salad,” I thought. “And he’s not afraid to tell the world.”
How much did you end up giving?
I gave him a buck. For context, that’s usually what I’ll give someone on the street if they ask, and it’s far less than I donate to various organizations monthly. Potato salad is a ridiculous cause, but it’s not the only thing I spend money on, and it made me laugh!
What other projects have you backed on Kickstarter?
I try to back Kickstarters that need the funding to survive, whether that’s because they won’t be able to afford the project without my help, or there’s enough market uncertainty that they might abandon the project if the Kickstarter fails. So some of the projects I’ve backed that I’m most proud of recently are Spaceteam Admiral’s Club and imitone.
Can you make potato salad? Have you had it before? If so, do you like it?
I’m not a fan of potato salad. But if you think my mom will read this, put that I love her potato salad.
What stretch goal would you like to see realized?
To be honest, I haven’t paid much attention to the stretch goals that he’s added since I invested. I think he jumped the shark at the pizza party.
What are you hoping to get out of the Kickstarter?
I’m just following the golden rule. I hope he’ll chip in a buck next time I want to try a new recipe 30 days later.