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Kickstarter's potato-salad analysis reveals making of a legend

The infamous potato-salad project just wrapped up a stunning run. Kickstarter breaks down the numbers on how the campaign came to rule the crowdfunding world.

Potato salad Kickstarter
One man's potato-salad dream came true in spectacular fashion. Screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Zack "Danger" Brown started a humble Kickstarter project back on July 3 seeking a measly $10 goal to pick up some ingredients to make his first potato salad. On August 2, the project ended after having attracted 6,911 backers and $55,492.

This success, combined with the unusual and amusing nature of the project, prompted Kickstarter to delve into its data and unleash a series of charts to show the world just how this particular potato salad turned from a side dish into a global phenomenon.

Brown's project is the fourth-most-viewed in Kickstarter history. Only the Ouya game console, Pebble watch, and "Veronica Mars" movie beat it out. That's right. Potato-salad grabbed more eyes than "Reading Rainbow" or Oculus Rift. Despite the attention, it didn't come close to being on the most-funded list because pledges averaged a low $8.03, compared to a site-wide average of $77.51.

All in all, backers from 74 different companies were enamored enough with potato salad to throw in some cash. Brown's hometown crowd in Columbus, Ohio, really stepped up. Ohio residents threw in 17.6 percent of the total backing funds, with Franklin County tossing in 62.6 percent of the state's total. Those residents will have easy access to Brown's PotatoStock 2014 event in September.

Though publicity for the project spread far and wide, the backers were mainly Kickstarter veterans. There were first-timers, but in general, potato-salad fans had backed an average of 15 projects on the site. Many of those people apparently like to read, since there was an overlap of 868 backers between potato salad and "Reading Rainbow."

Kickstarter even addresses a bit of the angst surrounding the project, which inspired some haters who were upset about such a silly project pulling in such massive funding. Kickstarter offers this analysis: "Kickstarter is a good place to aim high and go big, but small projects are great too. If you want to make something to share with others, maybe you just need 10 or 20 or 50 people to get your idea off the ground. And if it turns out that 6,911 people share your vision for potato salad...then you're going to need some more potatoes."