One of the most rewarding things about being an inventor is the community you join. By taking that leap of faith in manifesting an idea you immediately become part of a global family of like-minded creatives, who are all moving through the ups and downs of bringing a concept to market. And like most families, this one is full of characters. Makers, founders, inventors and entrepreneurs are often a special breed of people, filled with passion, perseverance, and emotion. While this family is full of people from different backgrounds headed in different directions, the overwhelming bunch of them have one thing in common: they’re willingness to help each other.
I’m constantly inspired and uplifted by our Quirky community members who don’t only support each other on the platform, providing renders, features, and other valuable contributions to Quirky submissions (which they do for a share of royalties), but off the platform as well (where they do it for FREE). They recommend freelancers, suggest educational resources, and share invaluable lessons learned to help new inventors avoid making similar mistakes they’ve made. It is truly a beautiful thing to witness.
If you’re a new inventor, welcome to the family! If you’ve been inventing for a while, welcome back. Here are some ways to get connected with invention communities:
- Join the Quirky Community Forum! Our Quirky forum can be found at community.quirky.com. Note, you’ll need to create a separate username than what you use on Quirky.com
- Join the Reddit conversation. Check out the invention subreddits such as r/LightBulb and r/Inventions
- Join fellow inventors IRL (in real life)! Most major cities (and a lot of smaller ones) have Inventor Groups or Clubs. Check out a list of groups here on the United Inventor Association’s website, and make sure to join the UIA while you’re there – it’s totally free and chock-full of great resources. The Inventors Groups of America also has a great list here!
We know it can be intimidating at first, but once you get started, you’ll be hooked. Here are a few simple tips from our seasoned community members:
- Don’t be shy, say hi and introduce yourself. A simple “Hi, I’m new here, just checking things out!” goes a long way, and you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised at how many welcome messages you receive.
- Don’t feel pressured to contribute. As in the wild, there is a natural balance to every community. The 80/20 rule will probably prevail, and 20% of the members will make up 80% of the content, so don’t feel like you need to “pull your weight.” Speak up if/when you’re ready.
- Be honest. Inventor communities that are moderated well should be safe spaces for honest communication and idea feedback. Be ready for people to shred your idea, and in fact, be open and excited for it! Hearing why people believe your idea WON’T work can be some of the most valuable input into your product journey you’ll ever receive. Just make sure when giving or receiving feedback you remember to be respectful.
Inventing is more fun when you do it together. Let the welcoming arms of an inventor community be another nudge that helps you take the leap into pursuing your idea. We’re waiting for you!