Unless you’re a chef, you often don’t expect to get paid for your potato salad, but one man did. His name? Zack Danger Brown. Most people may not recognize him by name, but you’ve likely heard of his crowdfunding campaign, in which he asked for $10 to help him kickstart a potato salad. Not only did he reach his funding goal, but he exceeded it by $55,482. His project page even became the fourth most-viewed page on Kickstarter after the Veronica Mars movie.
Brown isn’t the first guy to get a silly idea onto Kickstarter and get fully funded in the process. His campaign largely made it through because of the more relaxed policies the company enacted prior. Kickstarter’s upgraded posting rules made it easier to pass inspection if managers chose to launch their project page “immediately.” Pages would be subjected to an algorithm’s scrutiny rather than a human’s.
Since then, there has been an influx of silly projects, like a guy who wanted you to fund building a big deck for his wife. According to the post: “It can’t be a little deck, my wife only wants a big deck!! Please help us accomplish our goal to add a big deck to our back yard.” In it’s time alive, it received just $10 in funding from one backer despite being featured on several news sites.
While his deck dreams didn’t come true, many others who have submitted their silly projects before and after the rule change have had their projects funded. We’ve found some of the most questionable projects to receive funding so far.
1. Whoopi Cushion
It’s a play on words, you see. It’s a whoopee cushion with Whoopi Goldberg’s face on it. Shed Simove of London asked for a mere 50 pounds to make his printed whoopee cushion pun come true. He managed to find five backers to fund his project, giving him 70 pounds total, enough to make his comedic prop a reality.
This project was riding high on the Anthony Weiner scandal when one of his sexting pictures was leaked to the public. Patrick York decided to release underwear that’s more appropriate for the digital age. The self-branded Yorkies feature a bikini-brief style to enhance certain aspects of your body and a QR code design.
These undies managed to interest 42 people to back the project and contribute just over the $7,000 goal.
3. Grilled Cheesus
You know how people claim to see the Virgin Mary and Jesus in their food, particularly in their toast? Well, two young entrepreneurs landed on Kickstarter in 2011 with the idea of making a sandwich press that grills the son of God onto your bread. This idea isn’t novel. Plenty of people have already made machines that toast everything from Cylons to Jesus onto your bread (just do a Web search for it), which is probably why Grilled Cheesus narrowly managed to make its goal of $25,000. The two entrepreneurs managed to raise a total of $25,604.
4. Cat calendar
The Internet loves cats and people love cats, so it’s not hard to assume people would love a calendar filled with pictures of a cat dressed up as mythical creatures. Kate Funk created a Kickstarter page to help back her World’s Most Super Amazing 100% Awesome Cat Calendar. She asked for $3,500 to get the sixth annual edition of her cat calendar off the ground and the Internet responded by giving more than $25,000.
5. Drawing a house
After being inspired by the man who made thousands off potato salad, this person wants to “enter the world of architectural design.” But he doesn’t want to go to school to learn how to draw and create magnificent structures — nope, he wants to get crayons and draw a house in the style of a 4-year-old. He’s asked for a mere 10 pounds to achieve his dream and received more than 20 pounds from backers on Kickstarter.
6. Graph the deliciousness of a Chipotle burrito
Curious about how delicious a Chipotle chicken burrito is? One man on Kickstarter (an aspiring graphic designer) asked the world for $8 to fund the purchase of said burrito in order for him to graph and rate its deliciousness. The Internet responded in kind by giving over $1,000 to help him chart such an uncharted food product.
After receiving attention from the Internet for funding this project, he added a stretch goal to graph the deliciousness of a Chipotle chicken burrito while skydiving, which you can check out on YouTube.
7. Spare some change?
Michael Powell ran out of money making his radio-controlled plane, so he went to Kickstarter to inquire if anyone had a few quid to help him buy some electronics. Apparently, a few people did. His goal of raising 30 pounds was achieved, and he even made 1 pound extra. The two lucky backers will both receive a thank-you note and one will get a PDF of the final RC plane plans. How lucky.