Guy's Kickstarter dream: Making potato salad (with dill even)

A forward-thinking entrepreneur attempts to Kickstart a potato-salad-making session and ends up blowing away his $10 funding goal.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read

potato salad Kickstarter
So this is a real thing on Kickstarter. Screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Amid smartwatches, video game consoles, 3D printers, and wireless headphones, a serious oddity has sneaked onto Kickstarter: potato salad. Say it with me: po-ta-to salad. Yep, some guy is Kickstarting the creation of a potato salad, that famously starchy and mayonnaise-y dish we usually associate with backyard barbecues and summer potlucks.

That bold man with a vision of cooked potatoes transformed into salad is Zack Danger Brown. You know he's a badass because "Danger" is his middle name (he declines to comment on whether that's his official middle name, though). He's living on the edge of Kickstarter, challenging the status quo with relish and mustard. And he's winning. He's already racked up 10 times his initial funding goal with 29 days to go. Granted, that initial funding goal was only $10.

Brown explains the inspiration for the project, telling Crave, "I realized that I really liked potato salad, but had never made it. Then I wanted to make potato salad." The project is therefore an experiment, an odyssey into the heart of potato salad, the moving story of a boy and his bowl.

Backers seem to be enthusiastic about paying for pledges that include having Brown say their names out loud while he makes the potato salad ($1) and hanging out with him in the kitchen while he makes the dish ($10). Transportation and accommodations are not included.

"I'm not much for potato salad, but I support your right to potato salad. You have my pledge sir, and I admire the cut of your jib," writes backer Scott Zalkind.

Brown has already reached his $75 stretch goal, which adds the perk of a pizza party (no potato salad will be served, just pizza). Now that he's topped $100, he will make two different potato salads. Perhaps one with vinegar and one with mayo? Brown is not letting the success go to his head. "I didn't get in the potato-salad game to make money. I did it to make potato salad," he explains.

Brown shies away from committing to any particular recipes at this point, but he did reveal an exclusive to CNET: dill will be involved, though he won't elaborate as to whether the herb will be fresh or dried. The potato-salad project may not be changing lives, but it is prompting Brown to aspire to greater goals. "This morning I was just hoping I would get the opportunity to make a potato salad, but now I'm thinking that if we keep doing well, we should get hats made," he says.

What does all this tell us about Kickstarter? Perhaps that the crowdfunding platform is abiding by its own rules. If your project qualifies, then it goes live, whether it's a slim RFID-blocking wallet or a potato salad. While I personally have plenty of wallets, I could sure use some potato salad.