The crown prince of profitable Web pranks: meet the guy behind Abusive Elmo and ShipYourEnemiesGlitter

The crown prince of profitable Web pranks: meet the guy behind Abusive Elmo and ShipYourEnemiesGlitter ...
Credit: @matcarpenter

Mat Carpenter has a knack for creating devious ideas that get the Web excited.

The 23-year-old Australian was the original brains behind ShipYourEnemiesGlitter, the site that Product Hunt’s Ryan Hoover called “the ultimate troll product”, and just this week launched Abusive Elmo on Demand.

I dropped Carpenter a line at his lair – Sofa Moolah, the SEO and marketing firm he co-founded in 2011 – to find out what his plans for the foul-mouthed furry one are. After all, he managed to sell the glitter bombing site for $85,000 without mailing a single order.

It turns out he doesn’t intend to flip his latest site for a quick buck and claims he fully intends to fulfil the orders for ornery greetings from a Sesame Street favorite:

We’ve received over 10,000 requests, so they’re going to take a while to deliver. That said, I don’t plan on selling the website or even making any money from it.

That onslaught of requests is why Carpenter has shut the Abusive Elmo submission form down for the time being.

As for Sesame Workshop, the owner of the ‘Elmo’ trademark, he actively hopes it gets wound up by his antics: “I’m not worried, in fact having them concerned would work better for me from a marketing standpoint.”

His theory on why both projects have got so much attention is simple: “I know what I’m good at and I know what I’m not good at. I think I understand what people like. It’s my only skill.”

But while ideas that troll your friends have got him plenty of attention from Reddit and Product Hunt – along with the traffic that comes along with that – Carpenter says his next headline-grabbing idea will be different:

The type of websites that I’ve worked on that have been prank-focused humor, it isn’t all that I focus on. My larger project are all about shining light on issues that have since been forgotten. Give me a month and everyone will be talking about my latest physical product.

He’s keeping quiet about what that’ll be right now, but we’ll be watching.

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