The Greatest Kickstarter Of Our Time?

by Alicia Lu

What started out as a guy's nervous foray into making potato salad has turned into a Kickstarter potato salad project of epic proportions. Zack Danger Brown launched his Kickstarter on July 3 with the goal of $10 and the project description "Basically I'm just making potato salad. I haven't decided what kind yet." Since then, 1,300 backers have pledged $8,756. That means 87,560 percent of his project has been funded and his goal has been surpassed 876 times. Just a reminder: all he's doing is making potato salad. If that doesn't define the American dream, then I don't know what does.

Like any red-blooded American, Brown likes some good, old-fashioned potato salad. He decided to exercise his freedom and try his hand at making his own batch. A reasonable guy, Brown knew that he might run into some speed bumps along the way of his journey. Brown even bravely noted these challenges: "It might not be that good. It's my first potato salad."

But Brown decided to face his demons head on and like a true entrepreneur, he took to Kickstarter to help fund his dream. After breaking down the cost of a decent batch of potato salad (perhaps four to six servings), he asked for $10 on the crowdfunding platform. From there, things escalated quickly.

Soon Brown had to start making stretch goals and announced what he would do with the extra funding. For example, at $35, he declared that he'd make four times the potato salad he had originally intended to make. At $100, he vowed to make two different recipes. At $250, he promised better mayonnaise. At $1,000, he announced he would do a live stream of him making the potato salad. And at $3,000, he invited the entire Internet to his potato salad party.

Now that he's received nearly $9,000 for his noble project, the possibilities are endless. Imagine the variations, the experimentation, the fancy aiolis he could use! And the influx of backers and donations is proof that potato salad, as simple and underrated as it is, is a national treasure — and clearly a cause for celebration.

Brown isn't the only one who loves the creamy comfort food. Take a look at potato salad's presence in pop culture and I dare you to tell me it's not a relevant food. I dare you.

The Kids in the Hall

Bruce McCulloch plays a typical housewife who has a better time making potato salad than most people do in their whole lives.

Family Guy

If someone asked me to name something one typically takes on a picnic, I would have answered "potato salad" too.

The Internet

You know you're an official phenomenon when you're associated with the Most Interesting Man in the World.

But back to Brown and his mission for a second. On Monday, Brown participated in a Reddit AMA, in which readers asked questions like "Will there be onions in the potato salad?" (his answer was "I don't know!") and "What was the most memorable potato salad you've ever had?" (Grandma's brand from Giant Eagle). Brown even made mention of starting a potato salad delivery service, which made us think of all the things he could do with the $9,000 (and growing) in funds he's accumulated.

This is what we'd like to see Brown do with his potato salad money:

  • 1,001 Potato Salad Recipes With Chef Zack Danger Brown (a cookbook with potato salad recipes that all cost $10 or less.)
  • It Might Not Be That Good, With Zack Danger Brown (a cooking show where he makes something for the first time on each episode — if he was worried about potato salad, how will he handle pasta salad?)
  • Zack Danger Brown's Potato Salad Kit (for all his fellow potato salad neophytes out there who just want to make a decent batch to bring to their next picnic.)

Image: Stacy/Flickr