File this one under “It was fun while it lasted”: Ship Your Enemies Glitter is closing down after just two days — but not because it wasn’t doing well. On the contrary; it was immensely popular. But there can be too much of a good thing, which can often result in the thing’s undoing: Ship Your Enemies Glitter, you see, was far too popular for its own good — and its owner decided he just can’t deal with it anymore.
Let me 'splain: 22-year-old Matthew Carpenter, an entrepreneur whom Fast Company described as “what you could call a FILDI kinda guy,” created the business/gimmick/whatever you want to call it and launched its website on Tuesday. It made its way to both Product Hunt and Reddit shortly after its launch, and from there, it quickly went viral. The ShipYourEnemiesGlitter.com site crashed due to the high volume of visitors early in its brief yet glorious lifespan; said Carpenter to Slate, “A couple of hours after launching, the website was getting pounded with too much traffic for the server to handle so it crapped itself.” (He has such a way with words, doesn’t he? Then again, given how hilarious the copy is on the website itself, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised.)
But after a mere eight hours, Carpenter had had enough. He posted the following message on Product Hunt:
Only to be met with… shall we say, a less sympathetic response than he might have hoped for:
How fickle the masses, no?
Finally, he turned off the “Buy Now” button on the site; clicking on it now sends you to a message that reads, “Purchasing has been temporarily suspended. You guys have a sick fascination with shipping people glitter.” Some 2,000 orders were placed during Ship Your Enemies Glitter’s moment in the sun; said Carpenter (again to Slate), “We had people buying every minute until I took the ability to purchase down.”
Of course, we don’t technically need someone else to send glitter anonymously to our enemies; we could very easily do it ourselves, as long as we get clever about it (get someone else to address the envelope, mail it from a post office other than your regular one, and so on). But I think Nancy L. Miller at Fast Company hit the proverbial nail on its shiny little head when she attempted to explain why we latched on so quickly to an actual service that delivers this perfect piece of revenge:
“There is something about Carpenter and his website that appeals to the inner child in every adult. You know, the one that longs for a well-deserved comeuppance. Ideally, something sophomoric. Humiliating but not life-threatening. The copy on the website hits that sweet spot—part frat boy, part junior MBA project, balancing a generous serving of profanity and corporate speak. The f-bomb abounds but then that’s offset with a ‘Process’ vertical as if it were an institutional investing website and FAQs (‘Is this real? Yes, you fucking idiot.’).”
Sending someone an unmarked envelope of glitter on your own to someone you hate sounds like the act of a small child. Paying someone else to send an unmarked envelope of glitter to someone you hate sounds like the act of an adult who hasn't lost their sense of childlike wonder:
Have no fear, though; Carpenter will fulfill all the orders that were placed before going gentle into that good, glittery night. He also put the site itself up for sale so as to permanently scrub his hands of the whole beautiful mess:
So if you want to take up his mantle, go right ahead. Just, y’know…brace yourself. Because it’s going to be insane.