The Oatmeal (aka Matthew Inman, aka “that artist who makes web comics that take over your Facebook feed every few weeks”) is at it again.
He raised enough money to buy Nikola Tesla’s old New York laboratory to build a museum for the late inventor. He sweet talked Elon Musk into kicking in a million bucks. Now he needs to build the thing.
To raise the remaining funds for the actual construction, Inman has once again turned to the crowd. And he’s off to a damned good start.
This time he’s put a clever twist on things: make a big enough contribution, and you’ll get a brick permanently installed into the property with your name on it. Or a bunch of names. Or an etching of a ham sandwich. The more money you put in the pot, the crazier you get to be with your brick(s).
And to make things all the more interesting, Inman has introduced some urgency into the mix. “The sooner you purchase a brick,” he writes, “the more likely your brick will receive a preferred placement such as near Tesla’s statue and the tower base.”
The campaign launched just a few hours ago, and is already set to smash through its $200,000 goal. All of the ultra-prime spots may very well be gone… but really, is there a bad spot for your name to be in Tesla’s museum?
So what’s the money for?
Besides the actual brick-laying, they still need a bit more money to remove hazardous waste (surprise! Mad science labs sometimes have hazardous waste laying around) and to renovate the parts of Tesla’s lab that are still standing.
Can’t afford $125+ for a brick? That’s okay! Inman is also selling T-shirts for $24, the profits of which ($15) go to the museum. They’ve currently sold roughly 3,000 shirts, which works out to another $45,000 for the museum’s coffers.