Why Potato Salad Is More Worth Than Your Hard Work

OK, that´s a little harsh headline, but it is true, according to Kickstarter the Potato Salad of Zack Brown will get funded.
At the time of writing this article he has already raised $58.000 bucks with 24 days left to go.

Sure this is just fun, yes but he always (and still) has the chance to delete the campaign and reject the funding.
There is a deeper meaning behind this experiment (let me call it this way) and I want to analyze a little what he is doing, why he is doing it and why it is so successful.

This experiment is in my opinion a proof that the system that is based on logic, is flawed. And at the same time I say it is perfectly working.

No, I´m not silly, that is just what a paradox is.

The laws of how things behave are depicted by their nature and it means that in the real world a magnet is always attracted or constantly detached from another, that´s a rule. And since we grow up with rules like that, it doesn´t occur or happen to us that we are used to question it. We are born with creativity and would playfully try out ways to change the rules until we learn that this works only to a certain degree.

What we do is try to apply logic to the internet or any other market, but lets take the internet, because that is where the magic happens right now - so we come to kickstarter, the crowdfunding page and see someone breaking the rule properly.

Many inventors use the site to fund projects that aren´t invented yet or to raise money to compile books that aren´t published yet and to gather people to participate before the critical mass even knows that such a project exists.

And here comes someone who uses this site for a complete different thing a commodity such as a potato salad with even a realistic goal of $10. So where is logic now?

It´s gone, vanished and yet it confirms one thing that a machine never can understand; The fact that what we do is for people and people are illogical.

Only people can understand what is going on there and they have only two choices; Support or envy, pro or contra.

And that´s where the magic happens twice: those people that are against this project, because they think it is a waste of time a joke or fake still promote it to their friends by complaining about it and most likely than not; 5 of 10 people think it is good and spread it to their friends, and on and on and on...

But still one thing isn´t explained yet: Why does it raise so much money then?
Sure, there are tons of people talking about it, but that doesn´t mean everyone does shell out $3 for a bite of potato salad that will be delivered in December.

For one thing I suspect people on Kickstarter are waiting for such fun things to happen and happily pay $3 for it and probably even don´t expect something in return. What they support is the brave attitude, the support for someone who know how to break the rules properly - cleverness wins.

And another aspect is the story. I refer to the K.I.S.S. approach (Keep It Stupid Simple) here and this simple approach delivers a short but authentic story; there´s someone you don´t know who want to do a potato salad and needs $10 bucks for it. Chances are that either no one supports it or everyone wants to give a little and they become part of a bigger story - you can guess what happened here and I bet it will have an impact on future KS-campaigns too.

There is an interesting talk about design from Frank Chimero that led me to some of the thoughts about logic in this article, so I think it is only fair to credit where it is due:

Frank Chimero - The Shape of Design from Build on Vimeo.
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Oliver aka Fantasio is a creative blogger who likes to share his insights about art, marketing and social media. Follow Fantasio on twitter or facebook


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