When I was a kid, I always wanted to be an inventor! I would pitch my ideas to the family over dinner all the time. Ideas like a ‘Nerf-Car’ – a car made entirely out of Nerf – so there would be no accidents or maybe cookie dinner plates so you could eat your plates as dessert! The point is, these ideas were crazy and ridiculous. My family would have a huge laugh at my expense and my ideas would die at the table.
But boy has time changed! Crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and GoFundMe have made it easier than ever to get your wildest and craziest ideas funded. Crowdfunding has made some great inventions possible, and we all should be grateful for that. But at times, you see some of the most ridiculous ideas get funded, which make you question your very existence! Well, this post is dedicated to all of those times. Here are some of the crowdfunding ideas that inexplicably got funded thanks to, well, the internet!
1 The Potato Salad! So, back in 2014, a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed guy called Zach “Danger” Brown decided to have a little fun. He set up a Kickstarter campaign to get someone to donate him $10, so he could make (and subsequently eat), you guessed it, potato salad!
Well, as it goes, the campaign went viral, and soon 6,911 people were backing the project! The project amassed over $55,000 just in a few days. So, what the people got in return, you ask? Well, their name mentioned on Mr. Brown’s site ($2), a bite of the salad ($3), the power to choose an appropriate ingredient ($5), hang out with Mr. Brown while he makes the salad ($10), a potato-themed haiku penned by Mr. Brown himself ($20), a potato-themed hat ($25), T-shirt ($50) and a cookbook ($100). And for pledging $110, the backers got all of the above, sweet deal, eh?
However, something good came out of the campaign nonetheless. Mr. Brown donated a significant amount of the money to The Columbus Foundation in his home city of Columbus, OH. According to Mr. Brown, the money will be used to fund programs for homeless and an effort to eradicate hunger from the streets of Columbus, OH. I’ll take the outcome, all well that ends well!
2 Have things written in the sky! It is another one of those crowdfunding campaigns that makes you go “but why?”. The genius mind behind this campaign belongs to a guy named Kurt Braunohler. He set up a Kickstarter campaign to get money to hire a professional skywriter to write something ‘stupid’ in the skies over Los Angeles, CA. And the logic behind this- life is too bleak and we need something to cheer us up. Wow, just wow!
Although most of us may find the idea stupid, useless and a gigantic waste of time and money, a few, 257 to be precise, thought it was a great idea! Together, they raised a whopping $6,820. Let me reiterate so that you can wrap your head around this, 257 people gave their hard-earned cash to have something stupid written in the sky. Yes, that’s the world we live in now.
So, they funded the campaign alright, but what did they get written? HOW DO I LAND! Mind…blown!
3 The Veronica Mars Movie Project. Have you ever wondered why they don’t make a movie version of your favorite TV shows? Well, you are not alone. Apparently, thousands of ‘Veronica Mars’ (a popular TV show) were wondering the same thing. Guess who heard the fans? Well, of course, the Veronica Mars writer/director Rob Thomas. He thought won’t it be fun if he could use people’s money to make a movie version of the TV show. So, as any budding entrepreneur would do, he started a Kickstarter campaign.
Diehard fans raised over $5.7 million to get the movie made! And guess what, they made the movie, and it was released in the Summer of 2014 to critical acclaim! Whether you think it was okay for Warner Brothers to make the backers pay for a ticket, it is a weird way of getting a film made, don’t you think?
4 The cat calendar! Everyone has a calendar in their homes, right? And there are a lot of people who love cats. What do you get if you put the two together, you guessed it, a calendar with pictures of cats! But what if I tell you the cats could be dressed up, as magical creatures, how about that!
That’s exactly what a Kickstarter campaign asked cat lovers. And boy did they love the idea. A calendar with pictures of cats dressed as magical creatures, what’s not to love! The campaign raised over $25,000 and the cat lovers got a beautiful calendar with pictures of cats on it! I just have one thought… what am I doing with my life!
5 Lionel Ritchie’s head. Some people thought we don’t get enough of Mr. Ritchie and decided to make a giant, inflatable head of the legendary musician. They launched a Kickstarter campaign, because, well, why not!
Soon, they raised over $ 13,000 from people who loved the ‘Hello’ singer! What did they do with the money? Well, of course, they made a giant inflatable head of Lionel Ritchie. All I can say, “hello! It is NOT you I am looking for!”
6 The Squirrel Census. Apparently, Inman Park in Atlanta GA has a lot of squirrels. And some ‘scientists’ decided to count them all up in a “part story-telling, part science project,” their words not mine! So, naturally, they went on to Kickstarter and started a campaign. The goal was to create an infographic poster based on the data.
As a backer ($30 pledge and above), you would get “gorgeous, 38″ x 51″ posters” to do whatever you want to do with it. Hang it in your squirrel themed house, use it as a placemat, it’s your poster!
Well, as you may have guessed it, the campaign got funded and raised nearly $9,000 within a month! It’s just…how you say…nuts!
7 Swimming pool floating in the middle of a river! Some New Yorkers realized that they love swimming pools, but not just any run of the mill pool, no. They love a swimming pool that is floating on top of a river! Yes, we need something to swim in on a river that is filled with water.
Anyway, long story short, they raised over $41,000 within a couple of months. What can I say, New Yorkers want to swim in a pool floating on a river, I guess!
8 Launch a TARDIS into space! Fans of the TV classic Dr. Who are pretty imaginative (read crazy!), to say the least. Some of the fans decided to send the iconic TARDIS- a fictional time machine shaped like a London phone booth from the show- into space!
Lo and behold, die-hard fans of the show generated over $90,000 to send an actual, full-sized London telephone booth in space. Of course, there is no update on the project in over a year now. I guess the creators took the money and went to another dimension?
9 Emoji-Dick! Moby Dick by Herman Melville was one of my favorite novels as a kid, heck I still love it. But apparently, Mr. Melville needs to be updated so kids today can understand the novel better.
Someone, by the name of Fred Benenson decided to translate the classic entirely using Japanese emoji icons! The reason – Mr. Benenson wanted to ‘study’ how our language, culture, etc., is influenced by technology. The Kickstarter project got funded and raised over $3,500, and today an emoji version of the Moby Dick is out on bookshelves all across the world!
I don’t know what Mr. Benenson learned from this ‘experiment,’ but frankly, Herman Melville must be spinning in his grave!