I was hoping to explore the least popular projects on Kickstarter for our mutual entertainment. Unfortunately, while Kickstarter allows you to sort projects by popularity, it doesn’t let you specify the direction of the sort. You can only start with the most popular and work your way down through thousands of projects.
There are some ways to partially work around that limitation by playing with the URL, but the sorting seems to break down as you get toward the end of the list. That being the case, what follows is far from definitive.
So please join me in perusing some of the projects that are so baffling, nobody has pledged anything in support.
First up, Revitalize the pants. Jo, in Brussels, is seeking €9,700 to launch a series of pop-up stores to buy and sell used pants. After two and a half weeks, there are no pledges. Apparently nobody is interested in getting used pants, even though the pop-up store will have stylists who will “tail” the pants to your measurements. OK, perhaps that’s a reasonable mistake for a non-native English speaker to make. But I’m truly befuddled by the reward Jo is offering, and I suspect everyone else is too. Pledge Jo’s project and you’ll get your “names on our employees”. For €15, I can force someone in Belgium to have his name changed to mine? Interesting. Can I get documentation of the legal name change, please?
Jabari Clark is seeking $1,000 to launch KickBack. KickBack is, it seems, “the first Social App that promotes getting together with friends, and making new ones!” Did you know that every other social network prevents you from having an offline life? So Mr. Clark and his team believe, anyway. I wondered if Mr. Clark had considered how small an amount that is to launch a whole social network, but it seem he has. If you pledge $10,000–ten times the project goal–he’ll call you personally “to discuss potentially becoming a partner.” I’m pretty sure that’s not how venture funding works…
Dez Jackson’s Celebrity Bodyguard “is something that has NEVER been done or seen before!” If Dez can come up with $60,000, he can finance his planned “competition based reality show”. Because it’s never been done before. The show’s winner will receive “cash and prizes and a one-year contract” with one of the sponsoring celebrity protection firms. Because it’s never been done before. And hopefully it never will be done. Novelty is more elusive than you think, Dez.
The Counting Challenge by Mustafa Benali is seeking $2,500 Canadian. If the project succeeds, Mustafa will film himself counting to 10,000. Stop for a moment and let that sink in. Ready to move on? If you pledge $250 or more, Mr. Benali will come to your house and count from 1 to 100. Fortunately, that offer is only open to residents of Toronto. Apparently he came up with the idea after staying up all night. A little advice, Mustafa: sleep deprivation is a direct contributor to bad decision-making. On the bright side, the only risk to the project is that Mr. Benali might die. Even if he’s grievously injured, he’ll make sure the project goes on. Now that’s dedication!
Finally, we’ve got Amy Sandifer’s Mail My Thought. Amy wants to turn her hobby into a business. Laudable. And that hobby is: mailing fruits and vegetables with messages written on them. If you want to tell someone they stink in the most literal way, Amy will write your message–up to 140 characters (Twitter has a lot to answer for here…)–on, say, a durian fruit, and mail it to your intended recipient. Amy believes there are no risks involved. She might want to talk to a lawyer about liability issues* and to the Post Office about delivery guarantees.
* Four letter words? Threats? Sexual (and other) harassment?
I’ve only scratched the surface here. Be afraid: your neighbor might be working on the next bewildering project.