Expert Secrets: The Underground Playbook for Creating a Mass Movemen
I had just gotten married earlier that year, which meant I was one of just two married guys on the Boise State wrestling team. It was spring break and all of our friends had jumped into their cars to make the six-hour drive to Vegas to celebrate. But Nathan Ploehn and I were stuck at home because the beautiful women we had married earlier were working hard to support their jobless, wrestling husbands.
I was a sophomore at Boise State University. For months leading up to spring break, I had been studying marketing and learning how to sell things online. At that point, almost everything I tried failed. I tried selling on eBay and made a little bit of money, but not enough to cover the shipping and listing fees. I tried selling things on Craigslist. I tried becoming an affiliate.
Nothing seemed to work, and I was a little desperate to figure out something that actually made good money. It’s funny looking back now. I didn’t set out to become a potato gun expert, but that’s exactly what happened.
On the third day of spring break, after we’d watched about a dozen movies, we decided we had to get out of the house and do something. That’s when Nate said, “Hey, we should make a potato gun.”
I had heard of potato guns before, but I’d never actually seen one. He told me how you could make them by gluing PVC pipes together. When they’re dry, you jam a potato down the barrel, spray hairspray into the chamber, create a little spark, and shoot them a few hundred yards! I was so excited I could barely contain myself!
There was only one problem—we didn’t know how to make one.
So we found some websites that had free potato gun plans. During our research, we found out a bunch of interesting things. We learned you had to have the correct barrel-to-chamber volume ratio or your potatoes wouldn’t shoot very far. We found out the right propellant to use, the correct pressure for the pipes, and lots of other important details. We also learned how to keep ourselves safe (meaning which kinds of pipes and propellants would blow up and which ones wouldn’t). It didn’t take long before we knew a ton of great information about potato guns.
Armed with this information, we were ready to make our first gun. So we went to Home Depot and bought the pipes, glue, barbeque igniters, and other things we needed. We spent the next few days making the gun and, when it was finished, we found a secluded location and started shooting it. We had one of the best times of our lives. It was so much fun!
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