This is the text of an editorial I presented at Toastmasters as my “Straight Talk” assignment from the Communicating on Video manual. The objectives are to effectively present an opinion or viewpoint in a short time, and simulate giving a presentation as part of a video broadcast.
Here is my video recording and speech text. Please leave your comments at the end of the article.
Zack Brown of Columbus Ohio, has recently been in the news for raising $47,000 on the crowd funding web site Kickstarter …. for making potato salad. Strange, crazy or dumb? I support this crazy idea – because crazy ideas are often the basis of great ideas and inventions. Let me explain.
So what is Kickstarter? It is a web site for people to get funding for their projects. Maybe it is a film or a Musical production. Noone approves the project – it is up to the general public. The project creator sets a financial goal, then people can pledge money to help bring the project to life. There may be benefits for the sponsor once the project is funded, and donors only have to pay if the target is reached.
And who is Zack Brown? Zac is a 31 year old software professional who decided just for fun to create a Kickstarter project. Looking at his project page Zack wrote “Basically I’m just making potato salad. I haven’t decided what kind yet.’ He set a target goal of $40.
This humble goal quickly captured the interest of social media networks. Try searching Twitter with the hash tag #potatosalad. Donations started pouring in and two days ago (13th July 2014) nearly 6,000 backers had pledged a total of over $48,000. The project is still open for another 20 days.
Andy Warhol, the American pop artist predicted that in the future everyone would be famous for fifteen minutes. Zack got his fame on Good Morning America on Tuesday. He acknowledged the response to his project is crazy and is looking for ways for the money to be put to a good cause as well as making potato salad!
So is Zack’s project just another stupid Internet phenomena? Probably not. The enthusiasm for funding the project has raised awareness of crowd funding as a means of investment.
Rick Chen, co-founder of Australian crowd-funding platform Pozible believes that there are no bad ideas when it comes to crowd-funding. He said that “Some people may think it’s stupid and some people might like it,” “But it’s not up to us to kill an idea.” Chen pointed out that Zack didn’t do anything wrong and his project does have an outcome beyond financial returns even if it is potato salad.
We need some craziness from time to time to shake up our thinking – to try something different – and to do something outrageous.
Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computer once said “Here’s to the Crazy Ones”.
The internet gives us the ability to try crazy things and to reach a global audience. We should not dismiss the potato salad as something stupid – it may be crazy.
So what crazy idea can you try – what will be your potato salad?