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Crowdfunding Campaign Success Isn’t Small Potatoes

The Potato Salad Kickstarter Project that changed crowdfunding.

Well he did it. Zack Danger Brown ended up with $55,492 when his Kickstarter for Potato Salad wrapped up three days ago.

I’ve had a few frustrated clients call me and ask me how this was possible. I could almost feel them shaking their head as they lamented over the massive crowdfunding success the whole world saw unfold as they themselves struggle to hit a crowdfunding goal they now think is impossible to reach.


If you invented a new AIDS treatment that can save lives and change the world how would you feel seeing a successful crowdfunding project for potato salad as potential backers passed you by? Crowdfunding campaign success for potatoes and mayonnaise and not for a breakthrough medical treatment?

What about the creators of a flywheel battery that can transform the entire battery industry and give people all over the world access to more mobile power than ever before in a battery that’s safe for the environment? They were pulling the hair out of their heads to see Zack announce “PotatoStock” in central Ohio to accommodate as many as 7,000 people as they struggle to get even 100 backers to their crowdfunding project.

Then there’s the crowdfunding campaign to help a family try and put their lives back together after the most vicious cyber-bullying I’ve ever seen put an established local business OUT of business through relentless – and baseless – tirades on website review sites, Facebook and other places. The family is living out of an Extended Stay America paying their rent week-to-week as they figure out how to start all over again as they wonder why people can be so cruel. Actually downright evil.

I’m not knocking the Kickstarter Potato Salad Project. Zack has a lot of very worthy plans for the money raised. Among other things, he’ll be helping to feed the poor and impoverished in Ohio. All told he’s a hero on many levels, some of which we may never fully understand. Ever.

So I’m brought back to the age-old question; why do some crowdfunding campaigns fail while others succeed for no obvious reason?

In this crowdfunding blog we’ve assembled a veritable reference library of crowdfunding articles covering every aspect of crowdfunding success from pre-launch planning to day-to-day management and, of course, crowdfunding promotion and advertising.

So many crowdfunders spend so much time with campaign design, pitch videos, perk pricing and so much more. Yet the success rate of crowdfunding projects hovers at about 40%. Some campaigns that fail deserve to fail for lack of effort of any sort on the part of the campaign manager, the complete absence of any crowdfunding promotion and a project that itself leaves potential backers with too many unanswered questions.

Zack broke each and every rule as he thumbed his nose at nearly every crowdfunding convention and went on to make crowdfunding history in the process.

I still feel very strongly that the rules of crowdfunding success still apply. Even so, you can do everything right and still fail while others can do almost everything wrong and still come out on top.

The Kickstarter Potato Salad Campaign is perhaps the best example yet of truth being stranger than fiction.