I spoke with Adam Grant from Jafflechutes about his recent Pozible campaign – Jafflechutes: North America. Jafflechutes is Melbourne’s first float down eatery, delivering prepaid jaffles via small parachute to a spot marked on the ground with an X.
Daniel: Can you tell us a little about Jafflechutes? How does something like that come about?
Adam: It came from lots of places – none of them very serious – from an idea to produce tiny parachutes to numerous conversations about what restaurants *could* be. They all came together one night in a cabin in the countryside away from electricity and YouTube.
Daniel: Tell us about the North American tour?
Adam: The North American trip was really just going to be one of us throwing some sandwiches out of a friend’s apartment in Brooklyn, but after word of Jafflechutes started floating into international press we began discussing how we could scale up an American Jafflechutes to something that would be on par with the events we hold in Melbourne.
Daniel: Crowdsourcing seems like a great way to get backing for a project. How is the Pozible campaign going?
Adam: Right now we’re *just* on track to achieve our goal, but it feels delicate. I’ve always felt that crowd-funding Jafflechutes would be a difficult task – not because it’s not an attractive product, but because there are so many other, more noble causes out there.
We’ve tried to bring people into the campaign as much as possible – and that’s been successful to a point, but we could do better. We’re offering a kind of ‘penpal’ service between Americans and Australians, where Aussies can leave personalised messages in Jafflechutes intended for Americans. The idea is that people who like Jafflechutes will probably like each other. I guess I secretly want to be a dating agency.
Another reward that we’re offering is called ‘The Ultimate First Date’ – basically a Jafflechute drop for lovers. We’ve done something like this before and it was really fun. I’d love to do more, but no one has bought one yet. Maybe it’s priced too high?
Daniel: How many Jaffles have you floated down so far? and what is your success rate like?
Adam: Somewhere between 500 and 1000, I’d say. As for hit rate.. we’re getting better all the time, and our average success rate is now probably something close to 85%. We’ll never be 100% If we had a 100% success rate it’d probably kill the whole spectacle.
We always replace lost jaffles for free, of course!
Daniel: Is there a certain style for successful deployment?
Adam: I like to think that I have magical Jafflechuting timing, and I can sense when wind gusts are ebbing and flowing, but no – there’s no real method other then a quick flick of the wrist and a small secular prayer.
Daniel: How do you view the project? How much is it about the art, the food or the fun.
Adam: It’s about fun. Food is what gives people excuse to turn up, but fun is the reason it exists. We like to play with themes when we can to make it interesting for ourselves and fresh and unpredictable for others. Our last theme was Pharrell Williams, and the one before that was two parts California Games and one part Beach Boys. I’m not sure what our first American theme will be… Bach and Mario Kart?
Daniel: How many people are involved in a Jafflechutes event? I imagine a whole team of people sharing some beers whilst working in the Jaffle production line.
Adam: There are three in the core team, a couple of part-timers and a LOT of extra help from all manner of people. They’re all jafflechuters, as far as I’m concerned. We’ve been really lucky to have the support of so many amazing friends. It sounds super cliché, but without them there’s no way that any of this could happen. There’s no way we could do events of 100+ jafflechutes, and there’s certainly no way that we could ever consider floating to NYC.
To support the project please visit the Pozible page – http://www.pozible.com/project/179962.