05 October 2009 by Jim
Full of more ideas than you can ever follow up on? Had a
brainwave but don't know what to do with it? Just don't have time
to research and develop the product of your imaginings? Excitingly
disruptive US product development business quirky could be
just what you're looking for.
This ingenious website encourages people - anyone, anywhere - to
submit an idea they've had for a product. Each week, the best
idea gets listed on the site, where 'influencers' (members of
the quirky community willing to spend a fair amount of time giving
useful, detailed feedback) vote for a product and advise on its
The best ideas from this pool get sent into production - and the
person who originally came up with the idea gets 12% of top-line
revenue in payment. Which is really not a bad margin at all for
just having an idea.
Ideas cost US $99 to submit, which obviously acts as a
differentiator between those who take their idea seriously enough
to pay the fee and those whose concepts are perhaps more frivolous.
But the price-tag has been well though through, and offers value to
all those whose ideas never do make it to the production line -
everyone who submits an idea gets detailed feedback from the
community and a market analysis.
Plus, seeing how members of the quirky community (presumably all
fairly interested in entrepreneurialism and product development
themselves if they're there) can be a fairly good preliminary gauge
of market reactions to your product.
If you'd rather judge ideas that generate them, you can also earn
a bit of cash on quirky by giving feedback on other people's ideas.
And if you just want to shop, you can of course purchase all
products through the quirky site - generating another revenue
stream for the business and opening up a strong marketing
opportunity for the products it supports.
The site is the brainchild of Ben
Kaufman - on his third business already, despite only being 22.
Pretty impressive. He strikes you as someone obsessed with product
ideas and determined to make this business flourish.
We like quirky a lot, and are inclined to agree with its
hopeful assertion that it'll change product development forever.
Too many ideas are never acted upon - it's about someone stepped in
to capitalise on all the brain power out there in a way that
benefits both parties.
Find out more about how quirky works.