Yesterday, a Reddit post about an Australian website that allows customers to send envelopes full of glitter to their adversaries went viral. The site, ShipYourEnemiesGlitter.Com, quickly earned praise for tapping into something many of us probably feel but had never articulated: Glitter is kind of the worst. Or, as the site puts it succinctly, it’s "the herpes of the craft world.”
Perhaps predictably, the site crashed as it was bombarded by people looking to see what the fuss is about. (And, if they were lucky, pay $10 to glitterbomb their foes.) Luckily, Slate spoke with ShipYourEnemiesGlitter.Com’s founder, 22-year-old Australian Mathew Carpenter, to satisfy our curiosity.
Slate: So, why do you hate glitter?
Carpenter: I've received Christmas and birthday cards over the years from family and friends who put glitter in the cards. I hated it, and I wanted the rest of the world to feel my pain. So that's how the website was born.
Have you done this kind of thing before?
I'm 22 and have never been to university, but I am in Internet marketing and have worked on other sites before. The one I'll show you now is www.dickpicoftheweek.com. That said, I apparently have too much free time on my hands because now my plans for the next few weeks consist of sending stupid fucking glitter to terrible people.
Even though it seems obvious, run me through how this whole thing works. Do you have a glitter distributor or do you just walk down to your local craft store and buy a few hundred pounds of it?
Actually, I do have an Australian glitter supplier. People decide they want to waste money on sending someone glitter in an envelope, I get their recipient's information, hand-fill envelopes, and ship that stuff out.
Are you on your own or is anyone helping you with this crazy plan?
The website is 24 hours old and despite my cries for help I stand alone.
What happened yesterday?
A couple of hours after launching, the website was getting pounded with too much traffic for the server to handle so it crapped itself. We had people buying every minute until I took the ability to purchase down.
In this case I think [traffic exploded] due to the combination of a unique idea, creative copywriting, and evoking an emotion in the user.
How many orders have been placed so far?
Over 2,000 of the world’s brightest people have spent money on this service. It's good for business, but bad for society.
Who, would you say, is your target consumer?
People with too much disposable income.
This might be a dumb question, but do you see this a long-term viable business plan?
God I hope not.