A “mole skin” notebook made from real, skinned moles. A line of vintage apparel made exclusively from clothing people have died in. A minimalist watch that does away the numbers, the minute and hour hands, and really any discernible way to tell the time at all.
These are just some of the many horrible, horrible ideas on Flopstarter–what claims to be both “a real crowdfunding site” and a “platform for bad ideas” created by designer-provocateur Oli Frost (who founded Lifefaker–yes, the site for faking a better online life–and once played recorder for Simon Cowell on Britain’s Got Talent).
Flopstarter is absolutely worth a skim over your lunch break. You should laugh at it. Share it. Be the cool guy at the water cooler who discovered it three months ago. Whatever. I would just caution that you not put real money into it.
Because you can!
That’s right, Flopstarter allows you to actually back these projects. It goes so far as to collect your credit card info and store it on the legitimate preorder and payment platform Celery. When I clarify that this order is, in fact, real, Frost goes on to defend the parody business model.
Yes. It’s the same principle as Kickstarter. If people will put up money for it then it should exist, right? You can’t flaw that logic.
— Oli Frost (@realolifrost) May 24, 2018
And while he’s absolutely right, and retailers like ThinkGeek are infamous for putting their absurd April 1st gags into production after the jokes go viral, I do question whether Frost can source and distribute $20,000 in natural death beef, or $90,000 in sketchbooks wrapped in real moles.
In other words, the fatal flaw with Flopstarter is exactly the same as Kickstarter: These horrible ideas probably can’t ship anyway.