Quirky is a product development company that uses community ideas to generate new products.
The application was created by Ben Kaufman, an entrepreneur who started following his creative streak in high school. As he worked through his own product designs, he decided to embrace a community based process for product creation. Quirky has raised over $29 million from investors like Norwest Venture Partners or RRE Ventures.
Quirky allows users to participate in the process of product development both from the development standpoint as well as influencing the current ideas that are vying for the honor of going into production. The site chooses one item per week to develop.
Once submitted, the design team and the Quirky community members evaluate the idea. Users are asked to vote for the next product to move into production and to provide feedback to the creator. This step is called “Influence”.
It is somewhat difficult to understand the influence process for a newcomer to the site. The current product is in the process of being chosen and users are asked to rate them and vote for them in the directions on the page, but when viewing the products, the options for rating and voting are unavailable. This is likely due to the timeline, but instructions or information regarding this is not readily available.
In shopping for the products that have been green- lighted, users will find that if they do not meet the presale numbers set for them, they will not be produced. This may be an issue for a buyer as the timeframe and even definite production is up in the air. Credit cards are not charged until the item is actually made. If it is not produced, they are not charged.
This also means that creators and influencers do not get paid if the item is never produced. Influencers are awarded small amounts after voting and rating items. The amount must reach a minimum of $75 prior to being paid by Quirky.
Users may connect with Facebook or provide full name, email address, and password. Activation email is required to begin site use.
There is a $10 submission fee to send an idea to Quirky. If a product is chosen for development, the inventor’s item will be created for pre-sale. When the pre-sale figure is met, the product will then go into production and the inventor will receive a portion of the sales. How the presale number is determined is unclear, as is the percentage of products that actually fulfill the presale requirement.
Income for accepted ideas appears to be 40% of the product revenue. Prior to submitting ideas, users should thoroughly review all terms and conditions.
There are people who always seem to generate great ideas. Quirky provides an outlet for them to work through the proposed product and to possibly see it become a reality. Anyone considering participation should read the terms and conditions carefully and weigh the amount of time and investment of the submission fee before committing.