Want This New . . . Ummm . . . Idea? Potato Salad
Yes, this is as strange as it sounds -- this story is true. A man by the quirky name of Zack Danger Brown wanted to make some potato salad. He describes himself as "risk averse" so he went to the popular crowd-funding site Kickstarter and started a campaign to raise just $10 for the fixings to make potato salad. Where it went from there was the stuff of which legends are made.
Brown had no doubt that his modest $10 request would be earned in no time. In fact, he thought he might raise as much as $60 for his rather insane idea. In just a few hours he was over $200. Now, in just a few days and as of the writing of this blog, he has raised over $40,000. I can't give you an exact figure because the amount is building so fast as I write this that it would be outdated before I could publish.
The really strange part about this is that Brown has never made potato salad in his life. He hasn't even nailed down the recipe yet. Suggested recipes are also flowing in from all over the place. It seems that in one way or another people want to get in on the act -- and nearly 4,000 backers have offered to donate $1 to more than $50.
The worldwide phenomenon seems to be strongly based in Columbus, Ohio, where Brown lives. Most of the donations are local and are on the $1 and $2 level. However, donations are coming in from all over the world.
Rewards for donating range from having your name recited as he makes the salad, to a potato salad haiku written by Brown, to an "I Just Backed Potato Salad" t-shirt. Some people are now donating just to get the t-shirt from Columbus-based company Homage.
Brown, 31, is co-owner of a software company in real life. His biggest issue now is deciding what to do with the money that is being raised. He certainly can't make THAT much potato salad. While it might seem ideal to donate the funds to charity, the Kickstarter rules prohibit direct donations. So, at this point, Brown is planning a huge party and has ostensibly invited everyone on the internet to the world's first and largest potato salad bash.
I am thinking that an indirect donation to charity would be to take all of the leftover "fixings" after the party and donate it to the local food bank. Thousands of dollars worth of potatoes, onions, celery, mayonnaise, olives, pickles, eggs, bacon, vinegar, and whatever else could go a long way to help out a lot of people.
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Laurie Kay Olson
Clever Problem Solvers