UPDATE**** as of 03/22/18 –The ZStand is up on Kickstarter now as we speak for the third time! This really shows how driven Salvatore is in pursuing his dream! You can check it out here.
I typically come in contact with a couple hundred products each day as I scroll through crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to see if there’s anything innovative or unique to write about. One of the perks of my job is watching people’s crowdfunding videos since they range from professional to zany. What I’m about to delve into deals more with the latter.
As I was browsing, I stumbled upon a failed project called “ZStand – Sleek, Sexy Technology!” by Salvatore Matteo, ran in 2016. I always like seeing projects run by the creator because they tend to be a bit more fun and significantly less polished. Upon further digging, I saw he ran the same campaign the year before and also failed.
The ZStand is described as a portable workstation, but it can also be used around the house for more leisurely activities like holding your tablet as you read in bed. It’s adjustable in height so that you can stand or sit as you use it. Perhaps its unconventional design and lack of exposure caused it to fail, but clearly, some people were interested as it raised over sixty thousand dollars between the two failed Kickstarters.
Salvatore is many things, but a quitter is not one of them.
He is a Los Angeles based artist who’s famously known for his prize-winning photo sculptures. Salvatore has sold pieces to lovable crank, Larry David, and the charming Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Despite success in the artistic field, it hasn’t translated to his product.
Being a Los Angeles based resident myself, I reached out to Salvatore to chat about the ZStand. Since his last campaign, he’s revamped the design to incorporate different variations. He says he wants to give it another shot but he’s not exactly sure when. In the meantime, the world shouldn’t be denied the bizarre videos he created to promote the ZStand. With his permission, I’m going to guide you through one of the strangest marketing campaign approaches I’ve ever seen. The videos and images that look more like they were produced by Adult Swim than someone selling a product.
The gem below didn’t make it onto the Kickstarter page but was posted as a commercial/avant-garde art piece/nightmare fodder. The woman’s name was Clownalyn Monroe and she has unfortunately passed. Clownalyn had a small but devoted following in Los Angeles and was kind enough to lend her services to Salvatore for the Production of Agent ZStand.YouTube won’t allow me to share the video but here’s a gif:
You can’t really tell what’s going on but clearly, it’s strange and intriguing. Below, you’ll see Salvatore explaining what the ZStand is all about in elegant fashion.
Here is an image taken from his last Kickstarter that I pray becomes a reality, a ZStand animated series. Salvatore told me that he would like it to be an absurdist drama, modeled after NBC’s This Is Us.
One thing is for sure, I want to live in a world where “Z R Family” exists.