The Power of Rumor

Right now, I could use graphic design software to create a concept product, and with the power of the internet, cause some company in some corner of the world to produce it. How could I go about this? Attribute it to a certain corporation and convince enough of its fanbase, its fanboys, to believe that it is a real product to be released at an undetermined date. If your concept is convincing enough, pressure from the competition is enough to materialize the product into reality.

I exchanged some anonymous emails with an anonymous designer and internet personality. From his emails, I was able to ascertain that he saw himself as some sort of hacker. “I'm making shit come alive by breaking into people's minds.”

Of course, Koopmink assures me that he has never been an Apple employee, but that he is bringing the iWatch into the public consciousness. “Now another company is going to work on it just cause they can't risk falling behind Apple,” he said. Whether he actually was the first to spread the rumor of some sort of Apple watch, I am not sure. Truly, who can say for certain that they are responsible for something on the internet?

Most products never leave the concept stage, he admits, but that doesn't stop him from imagining product after product. Koopmink doesn't seem to have a job. He doesn't get paid for any of the fake products he produces, but the satisfaction of knowing that he's secretly behind a popular product is enough payment for him. He sees himself as some sort of a Banksy, a graffitti artist of the internet.

In fact, Koopmink often ventures into highways to “edit” highway signs and advertisements. He assures me that anyone who has driven around enough has seen his work. He used to work for an advertising company and often vandalized his own work. I am not sure, but he basically implied that they asked him to leave quietly instead of firing him.

Koopmink has high hopes for 3D printing. “Once I can bring out my concepts in real life, I'll go beyond just design and release fake pictures of seemingly real-looking products,” he promised.

Like Banksy, I believe that Koopmink will eventually cross into the public consciousness. It's only a question of time until someone realizes the connection between him and his rumor-mill. Like Banksy, I expect him to somehow begin profiting from his rumors and attributed works.