Quirky – Crowd Sourced Invention

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Quirky’s homepage states: For centuries, becoming an
“inventor” has been a hard gig to crack.
Quirky logo Complexities relating to financing,
engineering, distribution, and legalities have stood in the way of brilliant
people executing on their great ideas. Since launching in 2009, Quirky has
rapidly changed the way the world thinks about product development. It is crowd
sourced invention. The process is described here http://www.quirky.com/how-it-works. What is also interesting is that Quirky puts a picture of the inventor and their story on every product. Stories sell. 

As one who is a part of the inventor community, this is
intriguing. I’ve been watching them grow and have toy/game industry colleagues
that have had success at Quirky as well as loved the process and working with
them. Their founder, Ben Kaufman, has already been on the Late Night Show with Jay Leno three times. On my recent trip to New York City, I met with Andrew Erlick, Quirky
Invention Ambassador, who took me through their awesome offices in Chelsea
Piers. I asked him if he would share with us Quirky’s roots,
philosophy and goals and he agreed.

Andrew: “As an
Invention Ambassador (IA), I act as liaison between the inventors and Quirky's
in-house teams. IA's are assigned to new inventors and communicate with them
throughout the entire Quirky process from ideation to prototype, engineering to
retail. I am the voice of the inventor within Quirky, ensuring that their ideas
and concerns are heard and at times, anxieties quelled.

Throughout the
entire invention process, I provide constant feedback to the inventors and
ensure that they
Quirky's Ben Kaufman
feel confident that their idea is evolving through the process
in the most efficient manner. Often times, inventor's ideas change in the
design phases and its the job of the IA to explain and convince the inventor
why a departure from the inventor's original concept is the best collective
decision. Being a good IA means knowing when to be understanding and sensitive
as well as when to be persuasive and firm. The relationship between an IA and
inventor is very personal while the relationship between an IA and the Quirky
team is very pragmatic and businesslike. Managing this balance throughout the
process is always challenging and often exciting.

Day to day, I speak
with inventors from all over the world with different backgrounds and have to
be able

Quirky office photo

Certainly, the most
exciting part of my job is to see when an inventor's product makes it to retail
shelves. I have personally received emails from inventors expressing their joy
and life changing sentiments.”

Thank you, Andrew. For an example of how Jake Zien, an
inventor with an idea he thought of
while in high 
school, went from his science
fair like board to earning $397,530.75 (or more by now), here is the story and
the Quirky process in detail: 


Inventing reinventing itself! 


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