1. Zack Brown’s Kickstarter project for Potato Salad has taken the internet by storm. Then, in just a week, Zack’s modest request (his original goal was $10) was multiplied by 7,000, and he became an internet celebrity in the process.
2. Between Saturday, July 5th and Wednesday July 9th, the funding jumped from $1,000 to $70,000, with 23 days of funding left.
3. When he reached the $70,000 mark, it was pointed out how steep a tax bill that sort of funding would generate.
4. The overwhelming success of the project has been written about everywhere.
6. And a bit of a debate has been waged over how he should be spending the money.
7. When the potato salad project was at $40,000 (Monday, July 7th), Zack appeared before a baffled group of Good Morning America hosts.
8. During the GMA appearance, Zack claimed that he wants to “take that money and do the most good with it.”
9. But between Wednesday July 9th and Thursday July 10th, Zack lost almost $30,000 in funding.
10. On the night of July 9th, he sent out an update to his backers explaining that he changed his project’s kickstarter photo to support a local business.
12. The change in project received mixed reactions from his backers. Backlash to the photo led to speculation on Twitter and elsewhere that there was a mass exodus of potato salad patrons, explaining the dramatic drop in donations.
13. But it wasn’t fed up funders staging a mass protest…a representative from Kickstarter told BuzzFeed that the drop in pledges were due to the cancellation of only three large donations that didn’t meet their verification review.
14. UPDATE: The photo for the Kickstarter has been changed again. Here’s what it looks like now:
15. In a statement to BuzzFeed, Zack laid out his thoughts on the recent funding plunge and the criticism he’s gotten about the change in his potato salad priorities:
“I don’t think that is a prevailing feeling. I DO believe that I made a few mistakes attempting to promote this city that I am so passionate about. I should have specified that I’m not getting anything in return for promoting various Columbus small businesses, I just love them so much I can’t stop talking about them. My goal is to make the biggest impact I can in my community and around the world. This may have started out as a little fun with potato salad, but it’s something different now. It’s an opportunity to make the world a better place. Those opportunities don’t come around every day.”