Quirky.com is a unique concept–a website that allows users to test the concept for a new invention through social media, and if successful, bring that product to market through the site’s development team. Quirky has championed the world of “crowdsourcing”– crowd + outsourcing. Here’s how it works:
The value of Quirky is the ability to test the market from day one–your idea will only survive if it receives the most votes during a given time frame against all other big ideas. Not only do you have a social-media sounding board at your fingertips, but the Quirky team is prepared to bring promising and popular concepts to fruition, as they have already done with many new products for which they are taking pre-orders on their
website. A few of my favorites include Stance (an iPad stand that plants into your cup holder…albeit a dangerous item for the distracted driver :/ ) and Trek Support for all those toting numerous gadgets in need of easy-access AC.
Here’s my main concern–Quirky charges $10 for the submission of an idea for each round of voting, and if by chance an ideas wins out over all others, the concepts is then controlled by Quirky. Sure, the site says the inventor is consulted throughout the design process and will get money for each item sold, but how much really goes back to the originator, and how much financial benefit Quirky gaining off the ideas of others (who have already paid into the site to get their concept posted)? Many other sites I have read secondary to Quirky advise not to use marketing companies (at least not initially) to develop your invention.
Check out the Quirky “manifesto” below, as well as the site, and give your opinion. I’d be interested to hear if you think the potential benefits of Quirky’s platform for social product development outweighs those of developing a product independently. Also, I’d be interested to hear if anyone has made any Quirky purchases or submitted concepts.