I love potato salad. American style, not European. It needs to have bits of bacon and the chunks in it can’t be too big. Okay, now I’ve gone and made myself hungry. But! As I’m sure you can guess this post isn’t about food. It’s about a Kickstarter campaign that is causing quite a lot of drama.
So far, as of the time I’m writing this, the campaign for potato salad has 23 days to go and has raised $70,000. That must be some pretty awesome potato salad. Or not. Either way it has some people up in arms and angry to the point where they won’t even talk about it anymore.
These people tend to call it stupid, say it undermines real artists who use Kickstarter for worthwhile projects, and tend to be artistic sorts themselves. Is there perhaps a connection there?
Undermining Real Artists
This argument really doesn’t hold up very well. One point often said is that it degrades the importance of Kickstarter. But I think what they don’t realize is that this isn’t the first campaign like this. There was in November of 2013 someone who put up a campaign looking to raise $500 to cook an onion. Now that one didn’t succeed in the end and it also didn’t get any attention from the media. But it wasn’t the downfall of Kickstarter. I’ve gone on to back several campaigns since then quite happily on varying scales of professionalism. And records have been broken in that time. Sure, there are going to be a few copycats for a little while but none of them will see the success that Potato Salad has. This is a one hit wonder, and not the catchy kind you can’t get out of your head.
Another thing being said is that it takes away attention from campaigns that are actually worthwhile. Yes, there are a lot of great campaigns that never succeed for one reason or another. Most often it is because there hasn’t been anything about them in the media. And that is really unfortunate. I’ve backed a lot of projects that never made it and really deserved to. And there are also a lot of projects out there that are just crap. Sometimes those fund, sometimes they don’t. If you see a project you think is worthy of funding then it is up to you to talk about it. It is up to you to help get the word out. How much effort you decide to put into it is really completely up to you. But the entire idea behind crowdfunding is spreading it by word of mouth, or fingers as the case may be.
Potato Salad wouldn’t be possible without the likes of Goat Simulator, Rock Simulator, or Grass Simulator. What makes them so great, and Potato Salad can get lumped in with this, is that they don’t take themselves seriously. Why are all these things so popular? They’re funny!
Okay, so I’ve sort of lost steam from earlier. Jonathan came home and distracted me. So I’ll end with this. I gave Potato Salad a dollar. Since I joined Kickstarter in February of 2012 I’ve donated $685 to a variety of campaigns. Not all of them have funded, but I’ve put in the time and money that if I want to give a dollar to an amusing kid I should be able to without people looking down on me. How much have you given on Kickstarter?