Potato Salad and Modern Art

A guy decides to raise $10 to make potato salad and four days later has more than 30 grand. It’s hilarious, ridiculous, and worth at least two news cycles.

Potato Salad and Modern Art

Potato Salad and Modern Art

The potato salad story is modern art. write about that


Kevin my web guy is pretty good at reminding me to write. But he wants me to go deep and talk about how Kickstarter potato salad is modern art and how that’s all important and stuff.

I’ve heard of this phenom. I don’t live under a rock. But until Kevin messaged me I didn’t think it was art, just potato salad.

And to me it wasn’t worth $10.

But (as usual) upon reflection I see see his point. Crowdfunding is massive! Everyone’s doing it! Want to do a project? Why wait, just ask other people for money!

And the crazy thing is, it works. People give money to get a perk or incentive and everyone goes home happy.

Potato Salad Kickstarter

But people don’t usually raise money for potato salad

Usually people crowdfund to kick-start projects like movies and albums and video games. Small businesses. Money for sick kids. Projects, which will add value to the world and help people.

So you can see why this potato salad thing is making me uncomfortable.

Don’t get me wrong, I love it. A guy decides to raise $10 to make potato salad on Kickstarter and four days later has more than 30 grand. It’s hilarious, ridiculous, and worth at least two news cycles.

On the other hand, it’s embarrassing. For two reasons.

  1. At its core this project pokes fun at the entire industry of crowdfunding, pointing out how lazy people can be…asking for a handout rather than working hard and earning the money themselves. It hurts a bit, and to see so many people respond to this campaign by giving money to it further proves the point.
  2. If you read through the perks you see this guy is going to have to make a LOT of potato salad. And while it will be hysterical to watch Zach Danger Brown SUFFER (because they will live stream the entire fiasco, won’t they oh pretty please?) through the potato salad madness I wonder if people have lost the spirit of crowdfunding. To see how much potato salad the Internet can force a guy from Ohio to make in 30 days feels…mean-spirited.

There are no rules saying you can only raise money for projects with meaning. I mean, that’s the beauty of the model—people can put money towards anything they want.

So what’s my problem?

I work at a non-profit. We rely on donations and are always trying to find new and creative ways to fundraise. It’s downright exhausting sometimes.

And I see this thing go viral. A project, which is crazy to the core, raises $30,000 for no reason. And I get a bit jealous. Because for me raising money is hard work.

And I worked for months to help create a successful fiscal year-end campaign. It was successful, by the way. And it feels great. Not potato salad great, but great nonetheless.

There are all sorts of tips and tricks for appealing for funds. Most of the articles I’ve read about fundraising wax poetic about how important it is to remember the “what’s in it for me” (WIIFM) principle…you can tell people what you do is important but no one will care until it impacts them on a personal level.

These articles also make me feel like raising money is such a delicate science no one but the elite few can really do it right. And it has made me all insecure and stuff. Insecure all over the place.

None of my research said anything about making a joke. Or anything about food really.

I suppose Kevin was right. This potato salad thing is modern art. Bringing fundraising to the everyman, even more than crowdfunding already had. And in the end I don’t feel so insecure. Because if Zach Danger Brown can do it maybe I can too.

A guy decides to raise $10 to make potato salad and four days later has more than 30 grand. It's hilarious, ridiculous, and worth at least two news cycles.

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