We all have ambition and at one time in our lives we really think we can make a difference. Some of us even try to invent new ways of doing things that would be better. We try to find solutions to problems as if anybody would listen to us anyway. Some of us are lucky to obtain an influential ear to listen to us and with the best of luck, your invention will be mass produced and then you will be filthy rich and proud to go to your high school reunion saying that you were the guy who invented Post Its. Luckily there are still places where you can go and someone will hear about your invention. Today’s quirky idea just might be tomorrow’s must have product.
There is even a company called Quirky. Is that another name for weird? The company’s motto is that some of the best ideas in the world don’t come from the boardroom but come from the living room. It is an unusual approach for a consumer product company that brought in $48,000,000 in revenue last year and they didn’t invent a damn thing. Perhaps the true next best thing was to start a company that featured next best things? Why didn’t I think of that? If we could reach our behinds, we would be kicking ourselves in the butt for various reasons.
Each one of us are creative people. It is hard to get through a single dinner without someone saying, ”Wouldn’t it be cool if….or I got an idea to…” Well, your product could possibly go from Thursday night’s vote to be on store shelves within 29 days with Quirky helping you out. This company is the brainchild of Ben Kaufman who started this company five years ago at age 21. The company started with a three word mission statement, to make invention accessible . What is usually inaccessible to most inventors is the important steps after the OK I got the perfect thing moment. That is where Quirky steps in with constant communication feedback from its vast online community . The Quirky team actually designs and markets, patents and manufactures the inventions they decide are worth promoting. I’m not sure I want the job of pushing something forward that could possibly fail but that is what the voting process is all about. No individual fails in this company and that is a healthy policy.
If a product makes it to the retail shelves, 10 per cent of the revenue is shared with the inventor and every member of the website who helped along the way whether it was voting on a color or even picking on a name gets a piece of the profits. This is my idea of making money online. No taking money from me upfront and no 50 identity questions from me out there like most online schemes seem to want. So far its online influences shared 3.8 Million dollars. Ok 10 per cent is not a lot of money however, there are not too many better deals out there. The popular TV show Shark Tank rich investors usually want to take a 51 per cent controlling interest in your company anyway for their help in getting your product to stores. I want to know if Quirky gets to own your patent too? Lori Greiner from Shark Tank takes pride in owning patents on other people’s inventions and is filthy rich because of her greed.
The company has more than 100 products on sale in stores like Target and Best Buy. Some of the products are weird like a citrus sprayer that you stick into a lemon or orange and then can spray the juice anywhere. Do I really want that? Other products are like the power strip that can curve and actually has enough room to plug in all your clunky chargers. I like that practical product. Of course this is not all about me. No product will last long if it ultimately does not sell on the store shelves. An ambitious product the company is pushing now is the idea from an ordinary guy who would be stuck in traffic every day going to and from work like most of us who would stare out of his car window looking up at the apartments on the streets. He couldn’t help noticing all the air conditioners leaning out of the windows of the apartments. He had an idea and that was it.
Without having any formal education or engineering degree, he simply proposed his inspirational idea. His thoughts were that, Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a remote start for our air conditioners so that by the time we open our doors, we can come home from work to a cool apartment? Now this is where a place like Quirky is worth the 90% it will claim in revenue. The idea could have remained trapped into his brain. He submitted a proposal to Quirky and within months in partnership with General Electric they unveiled a Wi Fi enabled air conditioner that can be controlled from your I Phone. Yeah! Make a call to your air conditioner and tell it to start purring. His air condition should be on store shelves by this summer. The company expect s this ordinary guy who spent hours in traffic every day looking up at a conditioning units to make about $1,000,000 this year alone. More importantly, he is not just an ordinary guy anymore. He is a successful entrepreneur.
So whether you are a student, engineer, or even stay at home mom with an invention, Ben Kaufman and his Quirky community just might vote to try and take your invention to everyone. Try taking whatever it is all the way to the bank. What next big idea have you been thinking about?