This summer a Columbus, Ohio man made headlines when a joke turned into tens of thousands of dollars to produce a staple of American cookouts – potato salad. Zack “Danger” Brown made more than $55,000 in pledges for his potato project and plans to hold a celebration – appropriately named PotatoStock – with proceeds from the massive amounts of potato salad-related goodness benefiting charities that help feed the hungry.
But for every quirky idea that makes millions and becomes a success, there’s plenty of not-so-hot ideas that never take off. Below are some of our favorite crowdfunding fails.
This person in Virginia started an IndieGogo page for help obtaining the ever-elusive McDonald’s Hamburger Happy Meal. Despite Happy Meals selling for less than $5 (with a toy included!), this project has a goal of $500, which seems like overkill unless he plans to eat 100 Happy Meals, in which case the collection should go toward his hospital bills. Creating this post on IndieGogo probably took longer than if the guy just scrounged for change in his couch and drove to McD’s himself. Amount Funded: $0/$500
ROAD TO NOWHERE:
Not everyone strikes it rich via quirky Kickstarter projects. Not everyone even knows where their project is going. This guy is trying to fund “digital road signs,” despite admitting he has no solid plans and no idea how to get the U.S. Department of Transportation’s blessing, which we’re guessing would be kind of a big deal (and a pre-requisite). Amount Funded: $0/$20,000
HE’S A ROCKET MAN
So far Ken Jones, of Dallas, TX, has raised a whopping $15.01 toward his goal of $4,000 to build something called a rocket bicycle – which is, you guessed it, a mountain bike with a rocket attached. Amount Funded: $15.01/$4,000
WOULD YOU EAT THIS?:
This man wants you to fund his dream of opening a pizza-spaghetti fusion restaurant. Despite his claim that it’s an “awesome new restaurant chain idea,” the man behind this Kickstarter admits he has “literally never cooked a pizza.” Amount Funded: $1/$11,500
OR YOU COULD JUST BURN YOUR MONEY
This Kickstarter is offering to sell you “nothing” for your hard-earned money, which we’re guessing you usually like to spend on actual goods and services. But if you’re so inclined, go ahead and buy nothing. Believe it or not, so far five “backers” have actually paid for nothing. Amount Funded: $5/$10,000