If you ever thought that you had to have a good idea to raise money, you’d be wrong. As we all know, there have been some amazing inventions that have been funded by things like Kickstarter. However, there have been some less-than-amazing things that have also been funded, and when I say funded, I mean way beyond their target goal. These crowdfunding success stories is going to make your head spin.
The 9 Craziest Crowdfunding Campaigns That Succeeded:
Yeah, you know, in case you ever come across one of those dreaded kitchen ninjas. If you thought that breakfast time was lame, it just got bumped up to a whole new level.
On November 13th, 2012, Virginia, entrepreneur James Brown launched a Kickstarter campaign for combat kitchenware. Basically a bunch of cookware that would truly help prepare you to fight a tough enemy for dinner. Wielding large sword handles to frying pans might seem ridiculous to you, and it is, but, there is no but. Brown and his team at Morlock Enterprises have a fully functional machine shop and created several options for all your cooking needs. These include a rogue dagger handled pan, and a huge evil-looking executioner’s sword pan for all the bake frying that needs to be done. After asking for $7,000 to jumpstart production, the campaign received over $46,000 from very excited patrons. Did I say excited? I meant psycho. Making pancakes has never looked so badass.
Cat ear headphones
Number two craziest and successful crowdfunding campaign is cat ear headphones. Launched on October 8th, 2014, this crowdfunded project lets you listen to some sick tunes while looking like some sort of cat character in a Tron universe. Created by co-founders Wenqing Yan and Victoria Hoo, the Axent Wear cat ear headphones feature comfortable wireless headphones with a pair of illuminated cat-like ears on top.
Each ear also contains a pair of speakers so you can share what you’re listening to with those around you, who are probably already staring at you by now.
The two UC Berkeley graduates asked for a large amount of money to get their dream off the ground, $250,000. But, instead of laughing them out the kitty door, 20,890 people backed them, giving them over $3.4 Million, just so that the world could look kittier. If you have a stupid idea, now’s the time to throw it online, you never know.
Inman Park, a neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia, wasn’t a well-known place, but then a local resident and author, Jamie Allen, revealed some statistics to the world and, uh, well, it didn’t really make that big of a difference, but squirrels were involved.
On November 2, 2012, Allen launched a Kickstarter campaign aimed at bringing in $7500 to fund his dream of printing large posters, with which he could showcase the data that he and his team had collected. Oh man, is this AIDS research? Did he collect something useful that can help the world? No. The data was collected by counting and watching the many squirrels in the area. Yup.
Sounds insane, right? Well, guess what? 102 Backers disagreed with that as they supported Allen’s dream, giving him, in total, almost $9,000. The Inman Park Squirrel Census has now occurred twice, and the results are on some nice posters. What’s wrong with people?
Pi Pie Pans
Attention all mathematician bakers and pun lovers, if you’ve been looking for that product that allows you to show off double meanings, this is the bakery accessory for you.
Described by its inventor as “the geekiest way to bake a pie”, the Pi Pie Pan allows you to toss out the old round pan formula and replace it with irony, in the form of the mathematical symbol for pi. Created by industrial engineering graduate, foodie, and self-labeled math geek Garrett Heath in San Antonio, Texas, this pan became quite a hit online.
On August 7, 2013, when he asked the world for $2,000 on Kickstarter in order to fulfill his dream of manufacturing them in large numbers, his fellow geeks spoke up, donating over $17,500 over 30 days to the campaign. It turns out there’s a lot of pie-loving mathematicians out there. Mmm, yes, I’ll have an apple, and I’ll also have blueberry. Looks lovely.
Are you sick of not being able to nap on the bus, at your desk, or anywhere else you want to go? If so, you’re definitely not alone, as at least 1,846 other people agree with you. Those other people backed a Kickstarter campaign for the Ostrich Pillow, a product that gives you the ability to sleep anywhere, albeit while you’re wearing a giant blanket over your head that makes you kind of look like a sports mascot that gave up halfway through getting dressed.
This pillow is basically a Snuggie for your head and has a soothing and soft interior that its manufacturer, appropriately named Studio Banana, claims gives you your own pocket micro-environment. Look at it! It also gives you an easy way to get robbed.
Who’s taking my wallet? Give me a second, I was sleeping. Basically, it allows you to completely ignore outside influences and have a power nap. Astonishingly, after asking for $70,000 to launch, which sounds like a lot, donors gave over $195,000 so that they, too, can look ridiculous.
Looking to bring a splash of joy into people’s lives, and a large helping of raised eyebrows in confusion, Kurt Braunohler decided to tell a joke in a pretty unique way, by having it spelled in clouds.
On January 23, 2013, the Los Angeles-based comedian launched a Kickstarter asking for $4,000 and allowing those who contributed to voting on the joke that the skywriter that he contacted would write. He ended up receiving almost $7,000 in funding and made good on his word. On March 23, 2013, a viewing party was held in downtown LA, where, at 3:33 PM local time, the alarming, yet hilarious, question “How do I land?” Was formed in white clouds against a blue sky.
While people on the street were worried about the pilot’s safety, the people at the viewing party cheered. To be honest with you, I don’t believe that first part at all.
Putting a real TARDIS in orbit
On May 30, 2013, Robert Doyle and his daughter, Alex, launched a Kickstarter campaign that made thousands of Doctor Who fans lose their minds. Being fans themselves, the pair noted that, at the time, the fiftieth anniversary of the BBC’s show was on the horizon. And while many were simply celebrating by binge-watching the television series, they wanted to do something legendary. Asking for $33,000, the Doyles announced that they would be launching a replica of the TARDIS, the famous vehicle of the Doctor, into space, so that it orbits as a satellite planet Earth.
They were quickly funded and wound up raking in $88,880 in total. Unfortunately, due to rocket science delays, the fiftieth anniversary came and went, and still today there is no TARDIS up there.
In July of 2012, Santa Monica, California resident, and CEO of Skell Incorporated, Lorenzo Maggiore, launched an Indiegogo campaign for a product that promised to protect people and their delicious food from buzzing pests. The Bug-A-Salt is a powerful plastic gun that uses regular table salt as ammunition and can stun or even kill houseflies. Wait, I hate houseflies. Okay, I’m listening.
The insects cannot avoid the tiny granules of sodium that strikes them, making these things effective deterrents. To get this product to market, he asked for $15,000; however, houseflies must be a real problem for people in North America as, incredibly, at the end of the campaign, he wound up receiving over $577,000 in support. Gone are the days of using a swatter, hat, or rolled up newspaper. Today, we use seasoning. Should’ve just called Salt Bae.
On July 2, 2014, Zachary “Danger” Brown was joking with his six friends about how he had a hankering for some potato salad when he suddenly had a brilliant idea. Why spend his own hard-earned cash on the side dish, when he could get strangers on the internet to spend theirs? The Columbus, Ohio mobile app developer launched a Kickstarter campaign with a simple message, I’m making potato salad. Brown set a modest goal of $10 and included gag rewards, such as offering a bite of the salad that he makes and saying the donor’s name while making it. You might be like, “Aw, he got fifty bucks. It’s five times his goal, it’s amazi…” Nope, it was a lot more than that.
In a matter of days, the project went viral, and Brown was being interviewed on major news programs. He wound up raising over $55,000 for potato salad, and made the spud-filled dish at an event that he dubbed “Potatostock 2014”. Really, is this all it takes to make money?
That was the ten craziest crowdfunding campaigns that succeeded. What do you think? Got some idea for your next campaign?