A web service for mailing your enemies envelopes full of glitter that sold for $US85,000 last week has been revealed as just one big viral marketing stunt.
The founder of the service, Mathew Carpenter, spoke to Ryan Holiday at BetaBeat who writes that Carpenter “knew the media would make him rich if he played his cards right.”
Carpenter, a 22-year-old Australian SEO expert, runs Sofa Moolah, a website devoted to teaching people how to make money online.
One of his New Year’s resolutions was to work on more side projects in order to improve his marketing skills. Last year he began experimenting with a few different ideas before hitting a success with Ship Your Enemies Glitter.
He says he knew topping out on aggregators like Reddit and Product Hunt would allow his stunt website to gain mass coverage. However, what he wasn’t prepared for was how media outlets would warp his story.
“It really reinforced to me how little fact checking and verification goes into a story. For example, many outlets reported I was a student at a local University which isn’t true and I have no idea how they came to that conclusion,” he says.
The stunt website wasn’t malicious, and it appears from the interview that, before it became unmanageable, Carpenter was attempting to fill orders.
“The great thing about this project, no matter how messy my place has gotten from the glitter, is that I’ve met a lot of really smart & creative people from it,” Carpenter says.