Kickstarter is a popular crowdfunding platform, and it’s been great for getting the backing that some truly inspirational and worthwhile projects needed. Human nature being what it is, however, some less-than-noble Kickstarter campaigns have also been launched over time.
Some of the strangest Kickstarter campaigns have been among the most successful, especially when compared to the original fundraising goals of their creators. Others, however, have failed to take off at all; their creators might have been much better off gambling in a casino than trying to sell strange products and ideas!
We’ve assembled some of the very wackiest Kickstarter concepts for you here. Some have been considerably more successful than others, but that wasn’t our primary criterion. We were most interested in how peculiar each project was!
Potato Salad, Burritos and Toe Protectors
A good trifecta of Kickstarter campaigns that are well within the realm of the ridiculous are Zack Danger Brown’s Potato Salad, Noboru Bitoy’s tracking of how delicious a burrito is, and Sean Lambert’s StubStopper.
Brown’s first goal was to raise $60 by making potato salad, which donators of different amounts could have a bite of, make an ingredient suggestion, have their name mentioned on the live feed, and enjoy other perks. The project grew much bigger, with goals such as a huge pizza party and a much bigger potato salad along the way. By the end over $55,000 had been raised, most of which the good guy donated to charity. The Kickstarter page makes for some really amusing reading, with one of the stretch goals being to use organic mayonnaise and the fact that the salad “might not be very good” identified as the risk. The whole of the Internet seemed to love the humour!
A sense of humour is clearly also seen in Bitoy’s Chipotle burrito taste tracker. All he wanted to do was raise enough money to buy one in the first place, and promised to graph how delicious it was. As he kept receiving donations his parameters changed, and he promised to buy more burritos and graph how their taste profiles changed over time. He even graphed what the burrito tasted like while skydiving. Hilarious comments from different sources are on the Kickstarter page, where you could also buy a T-shirt that says “ask me what I did to earn this shirt” to support the project.
In contrast to these successful Kickstarter projects, Sean Lambert’s StubStopper toe armour has failed to even get off the ground. He didn’t even launch the campaign properly; he shared it as a draft for feedback. The idea is to wear a plastic toe protector to keep from stubbing your toes, but the comments have been less than encouraging. Lambert claims to want to protect the toes of the world and be willing to risk further to his own in this quest, but it’s hard to tell if he s being serious or attempting humour. Either way, the copy doesn’t read as funny and there has been very little response.
Why Are Some Wacky Projects A Hit?
Why do some projects catch the public imagination so much more than others do? This is a hard question to answer, but it may have something to do with the kinds of off-the-wall humour seen in younger people who have grown up with technology and new ideas such as Kickstarter.
The same individuals who sum their lives up in bitingly satirical and sometimes very dark memes are possibly more likely to be tickled by the product that a Kickstarter creator is peddling, and by the tongue-in-cheek proposals that they write on their Kickstarter page. In a way, there needs to be an element of absolute fun and frivolity; witness the success of Potato Salad and the Burrito Deliciousness Graph in the face of the failure of the somehow more earnest StubStopper.
Since the younger generation is so accustomed to interacting with Kickstarter and all kinds of other online platforms, it seems likely that the trend of funding very out-there Kickstarter projects will continue. As a reflection of our current society it’s quite interesting, and watching to see which campaigns get funding in the future should be fascinating.