Inventions to be thankful for

Every Thanksgiving you give thanks to all the things you are grateful for. This year Quirky wants to celebrate the simple everyday inventions that we are grateful to have been invented.

In 1888 John J. Loud created the first ballpoint point, such a simple invention but even in the age of technology is still the go to writing tool. The first pens sold in stores originally manufactured only 50,000 pens but sold over 30,000 in the first week. Today if someone tells you “I don’t use pens” you would think they were strange.

Think about life without the toothbrush, talking to people would be a lot less pleasant. The toothbrush has changed drastically since its original invention on 1498 AD in China made from boars hairs as bristles (Be Thankful). The version we are more familiar with was patent by the company Dupont de Nemours. Just goes to show, although something exists doesn’t mean you can’t make it better.

How about your headphones, you can’t leave home without them. Originally intended for telephone operators connecting to switchboards slowly became this ongoing phenomenon. The first audio in ear headphones created by Nathaniel Baldwin in 1910 were originally dismissed but ironically picked up by the US Navy. But using headphones for listening to music didn’t actually become popular until 1958 by Joss Koss creating the first stereo headphones from cardboard and sofa foam. This invention was created around the rise of Rock & Roll ( talk about timing!)  Most couldn’t imagine life without headphones above all, how else would you effortlessly ignore people this Thanksgiving?

 

Anyone has the ability to invent the next great invention that we will all look back and say “ How did I ever function without this?”

Happy Thanksgiving, Keep Inventing!

3 Toy & Game Trends that Will Surprise You!

The holidays are right around the corner. The hottest products in toys and games are making the lists of parents everywhere. What are they you ask?

The top three toy and game trends this year involve sensors, role playing and the element of surprise. Let’s dive deeper into each one.

SENSORS!

Characters meet science kits this season with games that enable kids to use real-world sensor data, such as light, sound and heat, to build characters. Have you ever imagined a toy or game that responded based on real-life events – perhaps a time of day, a temperature, speed or cue? 

ROLE PLAY!

Let’s take wearing costumes to the next level with Augmented Reality (AR) and actually become the character in your imagination. Technology has grown leaps and bounds over the last few years and now you’re seeing it come through in toy and game development in a big way. Can you think of a few ways AR and other role-playing technologies could evolve or improve today’s toys or board games?  

SURPRISE!

This trend is probably the fastest growing of the three. Hasbro’s Pie Face or Toilet Trouble are among the top surprise games to play with your family and you’re starting to see other brands like Disney, DreamWorks and MGA (L.O.L.) integrate the element of surprise into their toys. How can we integrate surprise into new toy or game inventions? Can it burst, hatch, erupt? Create a growing feeling of anticipation?

Think of ways to integrate these interesting trends – SENSORS, ROLE PLAY and/or SURPRISE – into invention ideas you’re entering into the Sharper Image Toy & Game Challenge. The best ideas will be chosen and turned into the hottest new products of 2019. Don’t miss out. The challenge ends on November 18th. Enter Now. Enter the challenge here.

Inventing is hard. Community matters.  

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!

IGA

 

 

 

 

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!

Inspiring our Next Generation of Innovators, Kid Inventors

Did you know that the trampoline, popsicle, and ear muffs were invented by kids? So were the first fully electronic TV, Braille writing system for the blind and the snowmobile.

We love the creativity kids bring to inventing. Remember 7-year-old Houston Diaz? He invented the Quirky Squeezie, which screws directly onto toothpaste and with a simple squeeze delivers the toothpaste onto the brush head.

The Quirky + Hover-1 Cruze Skateboard, the first remote-less, electronic, cruise-controlled rideable, was invented by 14-year-old Michael Wahba just last year. It’s currently selling at Best Buy.

We should encourage kids to explore their creativity and try to invent their ideas. Practicing these skills early on in life will help children learn how to solve problems, dream big and follow through on their ideas. Don’t rely on the classroom. Take your child to the science museum in your local area or try a fun invention project from Pinterest.

There are other incredible opportunities for kids to get more involved in inventing. One of these was founded and hosted by one of our Quirksters, Mary Couzin. Every year, kids from around the world invent amazing new game concepts and submit them to the Chicago Toy & Game Week (CHITAG) Young Inventor Challenge. The Challenge provides an opportunity for kids ages 6 to 18 to showcase their own original toy & game inventions to industry professionals, members of media and the public. All entrants receive feedback from a top industry professional and compete for licensing deals and up to $10,000 in scholarships. Quirky will be one of the judges at the competition and we’re excited to see what the kids come up with!

11-year-olds Olivia Wasilewski and Brynna Siewers won the challenge in 2016 with their game Ship of Treasures, a pirate treasure hunt game that hit Target shelves in 2017. You can’t help but smile and be inspired by these other kids and their ideas.

The CHITAG Young Inventor Challenge is entering its 12th year and they’re looking for more kids to participate. There are five categories kid inventors can enter: Most Creative Concept, Best Ride-On or Wheeled Concept, Best Game Concept, Best Playful Learning Concept, and Best Presentation.

Go to www.chitag.com/yic to read the rules and register before October 31st. For those looking to attend, the event will be held at the Navy Pier, Chicago, IL on Saturday, November 17th, 2018 from 9am – 2pm.

Should You Fake It Until You Make It?

It’s a saying entrepreneurs and inventors hear all the time. It means to present yourself and your business or idea as if it’s legitimate, and maybe even showing signs of early success, when in reality you’re not quite there (yet). So should you fake it til you make it?

Image result for fake it till you make it

Fake it ’til you make it

My two cents: No.

But before I dive into my rationale, let’s look at what it means to fake it until you make it.

Most faking it takes place in the pitch deck, where having a sleek and professional design can imply you’re the real deal. Unlike the actual product, the pitch deck is an even playing ground where for a few hundred dollars a freelance designer can make anyone’s idea, no matter how nascent, look on par with that of an AirBnB or Casper (in fact, sometimes you can hire the same freelance designers the bigger companies used).

The other place you’ll find people faking it is in their in-person presentation of themselves and their business. Confidence is infectious. Through an individual’s voice and body language they can make another individual, or even an entire room, believe they’ve achieved something great. A handshake sets the tone, and direct eye contact, smiling, and leaning in through proactive introductions expels an energy that says “I’ve clearly got something to be confident about.”

These two channels, the tangible and the intangible, can be built on a foundation of air, and many a seed round has been funded on not much more. But if you really have nothing more than an idea, is this a viable strategy for growth and long term success? Should you fake it, get the funding you need (in the form of investment, a Purchase Order, or your first client), and then figure it out from there? I would advise against it.

Why? Because you don’t have to. There are too many options for you to create a business case and prove concept for you to completely fake it. At Quirky I see a hundred new product ideas a day, some of which are nothing more than sketches on napkins. Everyone is ready to convince me their idea is a winner, but it’s those that offer a real proof of concept that really stand out. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Size of Prize. Know the maximum target audience for your product or business, and an estimated share you’re going after. It’s as easy as using the FREE Fact Finder from the US Census Bureau to get population numbers. You may have the world’s best stroller for triplets, but with only 1,374 triplet births a year the juice is not worth the squeeze.
Image result for census fact finder

US Census Fact Finder

  1. Competitive Matrix. Make one. Use Owler to profile your competition and Wikinvest to see how they’re performing. Google “competitive matrix” and fill out any one of the 100+ templates that pop up in image search. If you’re alone in the top right quadrant that’s a good thing, if it’s packed up there, time to re-think your positioning.
Google search for competitive matrix

Google search for competitive matrix

  1. Purchase Intent. Use a landing page site like Unbounce and create a real page selling your product or service, and show that it’s currently out of stock (or for a service show there is a waiting list to become a customer). Include an email capture to “alert me when this product goes on sale.” Now go spend $500 or $1,000 on performance based (cost per click) Facebook ads using creative messaging that promotes buying the actual product or service. Scared someone is going to steal your idea? Read my article on that here.

Don’t have a real product yet to take pictures of for your landing page and ads? Head on over to Upwork or Fiverr and hire a designer to make you a couple killer renders of your product in lifestyle images. You don’t need detailed industrial designs or mechanical renders, simply shots of people using your product in real life scenarios (which is much easier AND CHEAPER to design than detailing exactly how something needs to be made for production).

Image result for fiverr screenshot

Fiverr Marketplace

You can do all of this in a week or two, and now you’ve got a story to tell, and you’re not faking the fact there is tangible market interest in the product you’re planning on selling. Armed with this data your confidence should naturally increase and your pitch with strengthen. Sure, it still might be worth it to spring on the extra smooth Moo cards, but at least they’ll be backed up with numbers you can count on.

The Key To Your Brilliant Idea

Written by Gina Waldhorn

We’re all the world’s poorest billionaires, just letting our game-changing ideas rot away in our Notes app because for a multitude of reasons we can’t get past “I’ve got this great idea…”

We’ve got jobs. We’ve got kids. I’ve got a dog who lets himself out of my apartment.

The idea is the easy part (isn’t there a saying about ideas being like a**holes, everyone’s got one?), the execution is the true test. So having worked with hundreds of startup founders and successful inventors I’m going to give you a tip that can truly set you on your path towards buying that Palm Beach vacation home with the waterfall pool you’ve always wanted:

Find yourself a partner.

What’s that? You don’t want to give up 50% of your bajillion dollar idea? Well guess what, 50% of nothing is nothing, and that’s what you’re earning now, so get over yourself and get networking. Here’s why finding a partner is going to change the game for you:

  1. Humans because of necessity evolved into social beings. You’ll enjoy the journey when you’re not doing it along.
  2. You need to be held accountable. We can easily let ourselves down, but when we miss a deadline that sets someone else back we feel pretty terrible, which is strong motivation to progress.
  3. You need an unbiased opinion of your idea. Your mom won’t tell you clothes for hermit crabs isn’t a good idea, your future partner will.
  4. I’m 99.9% sure you don’t know it all. Whether you’re launching a SaaS solution, hardware product, or new smoothie mixture you’re going to need to employ a diverse set of skills across business and financial planning, development, manufacturing, sales, marketing…the list goes on. The right partner will complement your existing skill set by filling your gaps.

And here’s the amazing thing: right now there is someone out there who wants to partner with you! How can you find them? Try these tactics:

  1. Attend local meetups for founders, makers, and inventors. Try to join groups loosely in your area, e.g. the local hardware meetup or local SaaS meetup.
  2. Check out sites and events dedicated to helping you find a co-founder like CoFounders Lab or BuildItWith.Me. You’ll also find some great conversations happening on the CoFounder subreddit.
  3. Tell all your friends and family about your idea. You don’t need to worry about someone stealing your idea (unless your friends with Marc Zuckerberg), that’s another BS excuse we make for ourselves for not pitching. Chances are your future business partner is a friend of a friend thinking of doing something similar right now and you’re only one or two degrees away.

Once you’ve made that magical connection you can decide what type of partnership makes sense. I recommend always dating before you jump into a formal partnership. Spend time simply working next to each other and meeting a few milestones. Maybe you’ll end up the next Sergey and Larry, or maybe they simply provide enough of a reason to show up. Either way you’ve got 5 months left in 2018 to find that special someone and get that idea out of your Notes app and release it into the world. Palm Beach is calling…

Written originally for Linkedin.

The ABC’s of inventing your dreams

If you want to make it in the world of invention, you’ve got to know and talk the lingo to communicate with the right people to prove you’ve done your homework and are ready for the big time.  The invention process may seem daunting and even confusing, but it doesn’t have to be.  In addition to the invaluable resources and information you’ll be sure to find on Quirky, we’ve provided below a rundown of the need-to-know terminology in the industry and why knowing this information will be critical to your success as an inventor.

3D modeling and printing – the process of printing three dimensional products from a digital file or a virtual blueprint.  The digital design is created from a CAD (Computer Aided Design) file while utilizing either a 3D modeling software or a 3D scanner – the first is for the creation of a completely new object and the latter is used to make a 3D copy of an object/invention already in existence.  From expensive services offered by 3D printing companies to smaller and more compact home 3D printers, it should be fairly easy to understand why this magical technology is so influential to the success or failure of an invention, depending on the object and industry.  The opportunity to see even just a rough model of your invention brings your vision to life and may illuminate new ways to further improve your design.

Abstract – A basic summary of the invention included in the patent application process.  In order to have the best chance of any invention making the journey successfully from conception to reality is the ability of the inventor to see the big picture and to describe the idea as a whole, feasible concept.  Providing an abstract will help the patent office to better understand what your product does and will also aid in the patent search process.

Collaboration – meaning, “To work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort.”  Yes, we would say that the process of bringing an invention to life is most definitely an “intellectual effort!”  And sure, your idea is YOUR idea, and we’re not asking you to trust your creative genius with just anyone.  But, we are suggesting that you consider collaborating with others who are passionate about your idea, trustworthy and bring valuable and necessary skills to the development of your product.  Quirky’s online community is ripe with designers, writers and engineers who are just itching to help with the world’s next best thing, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help and input.

Entrepreneur – “person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks to do so.”  In a previous blog post, we talk about how fearlessness is a trait commonly found in successful inventors and for good reason.  You may not think of yourself as an entrepreneur at this very moment, but if you’re hoping to strike gold from an invention, you will want to incorporate best business practices utilized by successful entrepreneurs – like taking risks when necessary, or like an article on Forbes.com says, “Define, invest, build, repeat.”

Innovation – a new idea, device, method, or the use of said new idea, device or method.  All successful inventors, scientists and entrepreneurs know that innovation, creative thinking, using new perspectives and always learning – is absolutely critical to success in any industry.

Marketability – “A measure of how well your product or service is perceived or purchased by the consumers.”  In other words, you may have the greatest idea since the light bulb, but if you can’t sell the importance of your idea, concept or actual invention to investors or your targeted demographic, your idea will be dead in the water.  The most successful inventors know that true success comes when people learn about a new product and think “I must have that in my life – I NEED it!”  Convince your audience that your invention will simplify, improve and lighten up their lives and you’re well on your way to a successful innovative endeavor.

Patent – a government-granted license authorizing a right or title for a set period, specifically the sole right to prevent and exclude others from making, using or selling an invention.  There are three different patent subtypes issued in the United States: a utility patent, a design patent and a plant patent – yes, like the green kind that grow in the Amazon.  Though not necessary immediately, filing a patent should be done after determining if an idea or invention is marketable,as the process can be somewhat expensive.  A patent only protects the concept and its owner; it does not guarantee that the invention will go on to be successful in the market or is even feasible to manufacture.

Patent Classification System – a national and international organizational system maintained in part by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office containing patent, technical and other documents that are given a classification based on subject matter, industry, etc.  When performing a patent search, this classification system simplifies and streamlines the process in order to more easily locate patents or patent applications that have already been submitted or are being processed.

Patent search – done individually or professionally, a search of the Patent Classification System within the Patent Office to determine if other patents have already been filed for the same or a very similar invention.  This action is a crucial and potentially time-saving  jump-off point for any invention as it may identify for you ideas that have already been patented, or may provide insight into how to change or alter your idea to stand out from the existing competition.

The “Pitch” – the act of selling the concept of an idea or product to any possible investor, by explaining  and demonstrating through videos, testimonies and more the value of the idea or product to consumers and the market.  Creating a concise, memorable pitch for your invention is a strategic process that should be given significant consideration, as your delivery can make or break chances of taking your creation to the next level financially,

Prototype – a model of a future invention constructed pre-production used for a full service testing of the item or invention as it would actually be used in the real world.  There it is – the first real-life draft of your invention!  And though it’s amazing to finally behold your imagination’s creation come to life, the prototype isn’t meant to be the final product, but more of a test subject.  By putting your prototype’s functionality to the test under real-world conditions and scenarios, you may think up ways to improve the design, user experience, price or any other element of your invention.

(PPA) Provisional Patent Applicationa more informal version of the official patent application, filing this document provides the applicant with a 12-month grace period before he or she would need to apply for an actual patent.  Functioning as a sort of temporary place-holder, a PPA protects an idea or invention for a limited amount of time at a lower cost than an official patent application, and is a safe first step when venturing into the world of inventing and patenting.

Of course, there’s still much to know about the invention industry, and that will take a bit more research, study and practice on your part.  But with resources like Quirky available literally at your fingertips, you’ll get a leg up on the competition and can expand your knowledge as an inventor at your own pace.  Ready, set, learn!

Get a little Quirky and invent something great!

You were one of the lucky ones…. Woken from a deep sleep with the best idea you’ve ever had, you manage to scribble down your brilliant invention concept onto the blank notepad lying in wait on your bedside table.  This act alone is a notable achievement, since so many ideas – good, bad and ugly – float into our brains and back into space almost seconds after popping into our consciousness and are gone forever.  But not your genius concept – you’ve held onto a little nugget of pure gold, so congratulations!  By simply jotting down your musings and putting pen to paper, you’ve taken the first crucial step in the journey of transforming your invention from a vague, abstract idea into a possibly tangible reality.

Right before you drift back off to slumber, you’re struck with a swift bolt of reality – you have not the faintest idea as toyour next step in the invention patenting process.  Your mind races with questions  – “Do I need to get a patent right away?  Must I have a sketch of my prototype ready to go?  What does ‘prototype’ even mean?  I can’t draw a straight line, so how will I sketch my imaginary product?”  At this point you might be doubting the overall feasibility of your seemingly brilliant invention.  All of a sudden, it seems a goal too lofty to reach.

Thanks to Quirky, you do not have to worry about how to get your invention off the ground, because their unique and collaborative platform will lead you through the entire process along with an incredibly knowledgeable and talented community of inventors.  If you’ve got a great idea, Quirky will be your secret weapon in the quest to bring your innovative idea to life, having already helped to produce over 150 products.  Here’s what to do next….

Research

It’s been said that great minds think alike – usually a compliment to the thinkers’ intelligence.  However, this truth can sometimes be rather disappointing in the whacky world of invention when one realizes a truly wonderful idea, only to discover through internet research that another bright mind patented the same exact idea two years earlier!  That roadblock does not mean you must hang up your inventor’s hat forever – It simply means that you keep trying.  And when you do stumble across another ingenius idea – and you WILL – first do a quick Google search to learn whether a fellow inventor has already brought your creation to life.  If the answer is yes, no worries – just keep on grinding away at that idea mill.  If the answer is no, well – you could just be the next Thomas Edison – and Quirky is ready to work for you!

Document the details

Once you’ve confirmed that there’s no invention in existence exactly like your idea, you’ll want a couple of hours to sit down with a big cup o’ Joe, plenty of paper and whatever else inspires you and hash out some details about your invention:  what exactly IS it?  What is its purpose and what consumer industry or category would it fall under?  Ponder the size, color, construction, material and price of your invention, and any other aspects that would need to be considered if a prototype were created.  Jot down some instructions on how to use your invention – if it’s that type of creation.  The more details you nail down, the easier it will become to judge the possible potential in your product.

Access Quirky’s community for sketches, 3D models and more

If the idea of even loosely sketching the elusive image of your invention in your mind’s eye strikes fear into your heart because of lack of skill, you’ve come to the right platform!  With an online community of over 1 million members, the folks at Quirky are passionate about creativity to say the least and are ready to offer their unique skills to give your idea wings.  Whether you are looking for a great writer to craft some compelling descriptions about your product, a digital artist’s expertise, or simply need some honest and unbiased feedback, there’s likely a member on Quirky that can meet your needs – a unique creative tool you won’t find anywhere else.

Utilizing this peer-to-peer community of Quirky benefits both the inventor and those providing input on a possible invention – whether going public with your invention or only working privately with a few team members.  Inventors can receive invaluable services from not only artists and 3D model producers, but can even gather feedback from knowledgeable people in their invention’s industry to provide a applicable content for each idea.  AND those who contribute to the idea in some way can earn a portion of the influence, or a cut of the product revenue.

Submit a completed project to Quirky

Think you have a great idea on your hands, but don’t quite have the confidence – or maybe the deep pockets – to apply for an expensive patent?  No problem, simply submit a completed project idea with details, sketches, a 3D model, even a 1-minute video pitch to Quirky and let us vote on it!  It’s a common misconception in the invention industry that you MUST apply for a patent immediately after coming up with a bright idea – but that’s not always the best move.  Why not let people knowledgeable and passionate about inventing vote for the product most likely to succeed?

Keep imagining!

If you need help with your idea, work with the talented Quirky community to fine-tune the details, explore new possibilities, or even throw your invention out the window and begin fresh with a new concept.  Everything in our world in 2018, whether a thought, book, object or experience was “invented” by someone at some point in history.  Since you’re working with infinite invention possibilities, your chances of stumbling upon something great aren’t too shabby.  So, go get a little Quirky and start building your first invention today!

What’s Stopping You From Pursuing Your Idea?

By Gina Waldhorn, President of Quirky

I Asked a Room Full of Women: What’s Stopping You From Pursuing Your Idea?

Quirky launched #InventHer, an initiative dedicated to creating a more inclusive invention ecosystem. We started small, hosting a breakfast to have a conversation about the issue (women file only 8% of all patents in the US) as well as our program goals.

But rather than tell people what the initiative was going to do to, we wanted to hear from those on the frontlines of invention, and understand openly and honestly: What’s stopping you from inventing?

So, to a room full of women from across industries including media, marketing, technology, education, hospitality, and even Australian Rules Football, a room full of women with ideas, we asked:

What’s stopping you from pursuing your idea? What’s getting in the way of you taking that concept from out of your iNotes app and actually doing something with it?

Slowly, one woman stood up and shared her answer.

Followed by another, and then another, until the room was an outpouring of confessions. Here is a sample of what we heard:

“I don’t want to do it alone. I’d love a group of women, or a partner, to help me on this journey.”

“I just can’t get started. The first step seems impossible to take.”

“I need sincere feedback. No ass-kissing, is this a good idea or what?”

“It’s intimidating to think of all the skills I need across the spectrum of inventing.”

“Time. Work, kids, dogs, life. How can I find the time to invent?”

“Money. We know the stats, females don’t get funded.”

Do these answers feel familiar? They did to me, which I find both comforting and frustrating; comforting to know I’m not alone feeling like I’m the world’s worst confidence-lacking procrastinator who can’t seem to juggle it all, and frustrating to know that so many women like me are struggling with the same challenges that – let’s be honest – are not that hard to solve! We have a Mars rover people, come on!!

In fact, we solved one that very morning: not going at it alone. When that brave soul stood up and shared that she felt more comfortable creating surrounded by other women there was a collective nod throughout the room. And why wouldn’t there be? Inventing, founding, starting something is REALLY HARD. It’s even harder when it feels like “there’s no one else like me” going at it.

So for the next several months, we’ll be creating a program that solves some of these problems. Not all of them (not yet at least), but a handful that will help us push the needle just that much further to get more people who don’t see themselves as inventors to change that perspective.

  • We’re going to organize resources for funding and patenting.
  • We’re going to schedule group work sessions and skill-building workshops.
  • We’re going to tell you if your idea for hermit crab clothes might be absolute garbage.
  • We’ll even bring you a dog walker or babysitter if it means you’ll give that brilliant idea of yours the shot it deserves.

What stops you from inventing? What’s standing in your way? Tell me how you’d like to see #InventHer help create an invention ecosystem that makes you feel more confident in pursuing your ideas, and message me if you’d like to get involved with #InventHer.

Originally posted on Linkedin.

The Epic Showdown – Dogs vs. Toothbrushes

Toothbrushes are invading the mouths of dogs everywhere. Dogs aren’t having it and they’re doing anything and everything to fight back.

Video credit: CrazyFunnyStuffCFS

As funny and entertaining as it is to watch dogs dance, juke, bark, nip, play or anything else but get their teeth brushed, keeping your dog’s mouth clean is critical to their health and length of life.
Did you know?
80% of dogs have periodontal disease by 2.5 years old. If left untreated, it can lead to life threatening health problems including heart, liver and kidney damage
Plaque begins to develop within hours of brushing your pet’s teeth and in as little as three days, can convert to tartar
Only 4% of pet owners brush their dogs teeth daily

Staggering, isn’t it?

Dogs’ teeth, not unlike human teeth, need to be brushed every day to prevent infections and more dangerous conditions such as periodontal disease. If a strong, consistent oral care regimen is maintained, your dog may even live up to 2-4 years longer because of it!

My dog hates ‘teeth time,’ what do I do?

Although nothing truly replaces brushing, there are a variety of products on sale today to help improve doggy dental care. You can go to most pet stores and buy toothpaste, toothbrushes, finger brushes, water additives, gels, foams, sprays, breath mints, breath strips, chews, bones and chew toys to try out with your dog. You could also read dog owner forums and blogs for out of the box tips and tricks, I Heart DogsFidoseofReality, Dogster, and Reddit are just a few. With anything new, it’s best to start out small and train your dog to adopt the new skill over time.

I’ve literally tried everything, what now?

If you consider yourself creative, you could come up with a new solution to help your dog and more like him/her. Arm & Hammer, one of the leading brands in oral care, makes many pet dental products and is searching for new ideas to develop and offer to dog owners around the world. The brand came to Quirky, the community invention platform, to launch the Doggy Dental Invention Challenge and work with everyday ideators and dog owners to invent a useful new doggy dental product that isn’t on the market today. Whether you have invention experience, or not, you can enter the challenge for a chance for your product to be made (and make a buck or two in the process).

It is estimated that sales of pet oral care products will outpace the overall pet market; the forecast is estimated to grow to nearly $1 billion by 2020. A focus on functional and value-added products are at the heart of innovation for items in this growing category. Consumers are willing to pay more than ever for pet products, but they are also more educated in terms of product benefits. Source: Packaged Facts

Click here to learn more about how to enter the Quirky and Arm & Hammer Doggy Dental Invention Challenge. Share your idea for a chance to win before May 18th, 2018.

Meet inventor Sam Cheng

Meet Sam. He’s a computer science major at Rice University and inventor of the Portable Surround Sound, which has been renamed, Air by Quirky. Air is a portable speaker that detaches into 3-5 smaller speaker segments and can be used to create a premium, wireless surround sound experience in or outside the home. “I wanted to bring sound everywhere – to the living room, the shower and the beach,” said Sam.

Sam has been ideating his whole life. He submitted his idea for Portable Surround Sound on Quirky before he turned 18. “Since childhood I’ve wanted to create and make things that are my own.  The thought of people seeing and using a product of mine inspired me to start sketching my ideas,” said Sam.

When asked about his motivation to invent, Sam told us Iron Man [Tony Stark] and Elon Musk were inspirations for him to become an inventor, be his own self and not follow conventional paths.

The Quirky team was attracted to this invention because of it’s unique detachable speaker design, versatility and durability. Air was recently selected to move into Development, which means Quirky’s product team is working to finalize product design, materials sourcing and prototyping before setting up a production schedule with major big box retailers.

In addition to inventing, Sam has used the community platform to collaborate and help fellow inventors. “I’ve been on Quirky for a while and have contributed to a ton of challenges. Doing sketches were always my favorite – I had just learned Illustrator and Quirky projects gave me opportunities to practice. I’ve really improved my skills through making sketches for people on Quirky,” exclaimed Cheng.

Learn more about Sam’s invention, Air by Quirky, here.

OMG I’m so thirsty!

Written by Gina Waldhorn, President of Quirky 

OMG I’m soooo thirsty!!

I’ve said it a thousand times. I’ll probably say it a thousand more.

But I’ll never say it again without recognizing I have no clue what it feels like to be truly thirsty.

I’ll never know the pain of having to walk 6 hours to find a source of clean drinking water, or carry that water on my back another 6 hours to bring it to my son. I turn on the tap and clean water flows out, and I walk to any one of the 20 bodegas on my block and choose from a myriad of overly designed bottles (or cartons or tubes) of spring, mountain, or even re-packaged NYC tap water.

Quirky recently teamed up with the philanthropic organization charity: water and my perspective was forever changed. There is a water crisis. But unlike so many of the other seemingly insurmountable problems facing the world today, the water crisis is solvable. IN MY LIFETIME.

I didn’t know much about charity: water except that as far as charities went they produced rather beautiful content, and felt more like a cool millennial brand than a typical charity. It was the Quirky community who suggested we partner with charity: water, and from my first step into their office (literally, see below) I knew the community had nailed it. charity: water changed the social good game with a transparent infrastructure that allows for complete accountability – so you can see exactly how they spend each and every penny collected to work with local boots on the ground to support operations and execute “water projects” that bring clean drinkable water to those who need it most. charity: water isn’t a movement. It’s a well oiled machine with strategic and tactical plans that deliver results.

Lissa Regets & I visit charity:water HQ

So we’ve launched the Water Changes Everything Invention Challenge to do our part in supporting their incredible mission. It’s easy to participate because we all drink, wash, and use water everyday, and we can all think of new/better ways to conserve and enjoy that water. From washing dishes to washing the dog, watering plants to slip & sliding, submit your water inventions to the challenge to make a difference. Submissions will be judged on their market potential because Quirky will be donating the profits from the winning invention sales to charity:water!

The challenge is open starting today – World Water Day – until April 23rd. Follow @Quirky on twitter for daily challenge inspiration. If you don’t have an idea yourself, check out the “needs my help” tab on your Quirky dashboard and contribute to others’ ideas. Or share our challenge with your network. Or donate directly to charity:water via our Quirky donation page here.

The Home and Housewares Show: A Brief Quirky History

The International Home and Housewares Show, hosted at Chicago’s McCormick Place, is the largest housewares-only show in the world. The show attracts 2,200 vendors featuring their incredible products and more than 60,000 attendees looking for what’s new in the world of housewares.

Kitchen was a huge focus of this year’s show. Natural-themed products and fun-infused ideas were also a big hit. Large companies the likes of Whirlpool/KitchenAid, Cuisinart, Thermos, Midea, Eureka featured their latest and greatest products. There were also many inventors featuring their own ideas – which we loved!

Quirky showcased more than 20 of its products invented by real people like you, including its power line with crowd favorites Pivot Power, Switchflip, Prop Power and Port Power. Quirky kitchen products Ventu, Bake Shapes and Tether made an appearance and new storage solutions Slimline, Cubby and Versa Store were introduced.

Over the 80+ years the Home and Housewares Show has been around, many interesting inventions where showcased to the world. Below are some of our favorites.

  • 1906 – The first Housewares show was held in the NYC Madison Square Garden
  • 1910 — Chester Beach’s small motor powered a milkshake mixer for a Wisconsin dairy company. He partnered with L. H. Hamilton to form the Hamilton Beach Company.
  • 1915 — Corning Glass Works developed a glass to withstand extreme temperatures for railroad signal lanterns—this led to PYREXovenproof cookware.
  • 1928 — Manufacturer Col. Jacob Schick patented a men’s electric shaver. The electric shaver market reached its first year of million-unit sales in 1936.
  • 1938 — KitchenAid introduced a stand mixer designed by Egmont Arens. The stand mixer became the company’s keystone product and its form a symbol for a product type.
  • 1948 — Engineer/entrepreneur Lewis Salton invented an electrically heated tray to keep food warm at the dining table. His HoTray served buffet-style parties for decades.
  • 1958 — Corning introduced Pyroceram, a ceramic-glass material that could endure heat and cold and was strong enough for space missile nose cones. Corning Ware cookware soon became a kitchen classic.
  • 1966 — In Germany, Heinz Hankammer developed the AquaDeMat filter to desalinate water to use in car batteries. He made jug water filters for home tap water and named his new company, Brita, after his daughter.
  • 1979 — Black & Decker applied the technology it created for the Apollo moon landing to its Dustbuster.
  • 1994 — Salton, Inc. invited boxer George Foreman to represent its new grill, the George Foreman Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine.
  • 1999 — Procter & Gamble’s Swiffer made its debut. The mop with the dirt-grabbing, disposable cloths created a new category of cleaning tools.
  • 2002 — The iRobot Corp., founded by Helen Greiner and partners to create military, industrial, and research robots, introduced the Roomba vacuuming robot and in 2005, the Scooba floorwashing robot.

Source: Wikipedia

Learn more about Quirky Products featured at the Home and Housewares Show (#IHHS2018):

  • Pivot Power – Jake Zien
  • Switchflip – Inventor Erin Wiggins
  • Prop Power – Inventor Jacob Riesgaard
  • Port Power – Inventor Marc Zech
  • Carabandits – Inventor Marc Zech
  • Slimline – Inventor Leanne Luce
  • Crates – Inventor Jenny Drinkard
  • Cubbycomb – Inventor Lisah
  • Cubby – Inventor Tammy Maddrey
  • Versa Store – Inventor Robert Francois
  • Stackable Locker Storage – Inventor Jaswinder Brar
  • Pawcet – Inventor Tony Lytle
  • Silo – Inventor Jan H
  • Broom Groomer – Inventor Bill Ward
  • Squeak – Inventor Team Lab
  • Zen Cosmetics – Inventor Edwin Van de Bospoort
  • Ventu – Inventor Andrea Z.
  • Bake Shapes – Inventor Hadar Ferris
  • Tether – Inventor Gary Rose
  • Poppit – Inventor Yolanda Jackson
  • Stem – Inventor Timothy Houle
  • Verseur – Inventor Angelo Cacchione
  • Sheath – Inventor Sonia C.G.
  • Bobble Brush – Inventor Spencer Sloan
  • Solo – Inventor Don Darnell

Women Won’t Hold As Many Patents as Men Until The Year 2092

That’s according to The Atlantic, which means “when we reach patent gender parity I’ll most likely be dead, or at least wearing a new “sleeve” Altered Carbon style, says Gina Waldhorn, President of Quirky.

Less than 8% of all patents filed name a woman as the lead inventor.

81% of patents filed DON’T NAME A SINGLE WOMAN AT ALL.

If 30% of women hold STEM undergraduate degrees, and 24% hold STEM jobs (according to the US Dept of Commerce), and if we just consider how many original ideas are outside of STEM fields, why the hell are only 8% of patents coming from women??

My guesses are:

  1. Patents are expensive, and funding for female-led companies actually GOT WORSE in 2017. If the majority of funding is behind men, the majority of patents will be behind men.
  2. There aren’t enough women in STEM jobs at corporations which are filing patents on the regular. Even though studies have shown teams with females on or leading them boosts the bottom line, too many companies use the pathetic excuse that “we don’t see enough female candidates applying” to avoid taking real proactive steps in hiring women.
  3. Patents are confusing and time consuming, as is creating an original product or process to begin with, and without flexible work structures it can seem impossible for many women who are also managing motherhood to pursue them. Love what companies like Werk are doing in this space.

“Don’t worry, I’m not here to whine. I’m here to do something about it.

It’s been exactly 1 year since I assumed the role of President at global invention community Quirky and I am lucky enough to be in a position to steward real change,” says Waldhorn.

In a few weeks we’ll be announcing a major initiative to move the needle in 2018 on patents filed by female inventors. This will be more than a “movement,” we’re going to take action to get more patents filed with female inventors named on them.

What will it take? Awareness, education, and support to help play the long game. 3,000 patents filed with women named on them plays the short game and moves the needle one percent in 2018. Message us if:

If you are involved with Corporate Social Responsibility at any of the top 20 patent filing companies (see here).

If you work with any organization promoting females in STEM education or employment.

If you’re in IP law and need to fill your pro-bono hours with something worthwhile.

If you work for a major brand that supports Open Innovation.

If you believe this is as important and worthwhile as we do.

Lookout for news when Quirky officially launches our initiative in the coming weeks. “I refuse to be dead, cryogenically frozen, or suspended as AI before we reach gender parity in inventing,” says Waldhorn.

#InventHer

See the original article here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/rate-were-going-women-wont-hold-many-patents-men-until-gina-waldhorn/

Quirky Makes an Appearance at the New York Toy Fair

Each year nearly 1,000 global media representatives flock to Toy Fair to report on the hottest trends in toys and games. From exhibitors to manufacturers, attendee companies presenting at the Toy Fair account for approximately 90% of the annual U.S. domestic toy market totaling $26B.

This year Quirky joined thousands of other registered play professionals at the Jacob K. Javitz Center in New York City, to showcase some of the marvelous inventions submitted by our very own Quirksters!

Quirky showcased one recently launched product, the Tune Zoo and previewed 5 brand new inventions currently in the development pipeline. These are the lucky inventions that made an appearance at one of the biggest Toy shows of the year:

Free Wheel by Rene Diaz of Dallas, TX
Tune Zoo by Debbie Schwartz of Plantation, FL
Boo Boo Bear by Faith Bouchard of Phoenix,AZ
Q the Kangaroo by Christopher Zailo of Gulf Breeze, FL
Soundtrack by Ricardo Seola of Milan, Italy
VA Spy Tank by Megan Yocum of Kentucky

Congrats inventors!

Meet Quirky Inventor: Paulette Blankenship

Meet our featured Inventress, Paulette Blankenship!

Paulette has had aspirations of becoming an inventor since childhood. With so many innovative ideas in mind, she began searching for a way to make it happen. And then it did! Paulette came across Quirky several years ago during a televised broadcast and shortly after decided to give Quirky a shot!

“Since joining, I have made friends on the other side of the world and what I love most is that these people are just like me and we share the same passions for inventing and collaborating on ideas. My professional experiences have included anything from Magistrate to Real Estate, but for me, nothing has been more rewarding than inventing with friends…. it’s what I love.” – Paulette Blankenship

Since joining, Paulette has submitted 260+ ideas, collaborated on 690+ inventions to help other Quirksters and is an avid community forum leader. One of her most recent ideas was the SOS Flashlight: a flashlight that sends out 3D distress signals via laser projection. The SOS Flashlight was one of the winners of the ACE Hardware Invention Challenge, which was an initiative by Quirky + ACE Hardware aimed to develop inventions to help victims of hard-hit hurricane areas. Her invention recently passed Quirky’s Development tests and is moving to Production! It will be on ACE Hardware store shelves in 2018! Learn more about her SOS Flashlight idea here.

Community is at the heart of who we are at Quirky. We couldn’t help but to ask a few of our Quirksters about Paulette. Here’s what they said:

“Paulette’s creative engine never shuts down. I love working with Paulette; she inspires me and helps me to become a better inventor!” – Debbie Schwartz, Inventor of the Tune Zoo

“Paulette is a creative dynamo and the most passionate member I know. She’s the total package – skill, intellect, creativity, and dedication to task. Her excellent contributions on my invention are a testament to her skills, passion, and dedication to making invention accessible through – collaboration.” – Constantine, Inventor of Pivot Power Cubed.

“Working with Paulette is always fun and inspirational, She is an extremely creative person and comes up with more features and uses than any other member I have worked with” – Bill Jephson, Community Quirkster

Inspired? (we are). Join our community and spark up a conversation with Paulette here.

Quirky and Syracuse Partner to Make Invention Accessible

Students kicked off their spring semester with a 2-week invention challenge hosted by Quirky.

The community-led invention platform Quirky in partnership with Syracuse College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) partnered to deliver a one-of-a-kind invention experience for students coming back from winter break. When students arrived to start their spring semester at VPA, they were greeted by Quirky industrial design lead, Lex Zelekowitz, a Syracuse alumni and briefed on a Quirky invention challenge, The World’s Greatest Party Host, to design the next generation of party planning and hosting products.

Students were engaged and excited about the challenge – with multiple groups starting their brainstorming exercises within minutes following the brief. “This was a great group project, where students from freshmen to seniors had a chance to practice defining problems, communicating the solution and thinking about possible production methods. The collaboration was fantastic. Solutions truly emerged from anyone on the team,” said Denise Heckman, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator for the Syracuse School of Design.

Students will not only receive a grade from the school on their design work, but also vie for the opportunity to be chosen to preview their invention idea live on Quirky partner HSN’s Monday evening show, American Dreams, a program designed to tap into the joy and excitement of discovering new entrepreneurs.

Nearly 100 students participated in the invention challenge, and more than 20 ideas were submitted over the 2 week period. The winning product or products will be selected in March. As new members of the Quirky community, students will also have the ability to receive product royalties if their idea is chosen and commercialized.

Knowledge in science, technology, engineering, arts [industrial design] and math (STEAM) can be the key to a successful future. Some of the most well-known leaders of our time, including Steve Jobs and Marissa Mayer, demonstrated strong creativity and technical skills. “We invest in the younger generations because tech is the face of the future. 80% of jobs in the next decade will require technology skills and we believe partnerships like the one we have with VPA will help prepare students for their careers,” says Gina Waldhorn, President of Quirky.

Press: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/02/prweb15156514.htmq

The best inventions we found at CES 2018

This year, CES, the country’s biggest consumer electronics show in the world, featured nearly 3,900 exhibitors covering more than 2.75 million square feet, making it the biggest floor in the show’s history. Team Quirky represented products invented by real people like you at the show across two booths. Among the Quirky inventions which were featured:

– Air
– Spacebar
– Chirp
– Helix
– Trek
Cruze
– Ventu
– Silo
Pawcet
Squeak

Watch the video of Quirky President Gina Waldhorn touring one of our booths.

That’s not all, at CES, we walked the floor at Eureka Park on a mission to find the coolest new inventions. Below are a few of the products we discovered.

  • Jooki: Celebrate the joy of music with your kids without the screen. Hear Theo’s story here
  • Shapescale: This smart scale will change how you view your fitness progress. Hear Charlie’s story here
  • Siren: Meet the sock that can change it all for diabetes patients. Hear Maryam’s story here
  • Oblend: The first essential oil dispensary is here. Hear Jim’s and Matt’s story here
  • WiSurf: Customize your wireless charging station with Wi Surf. Hear Lucas’s story here
  • Hypnos: Find a new way to start thinking and feeling better with Hypnos. Hear Kevin’s story here
  • My Special Aflac Duck™: This cute robot helps kids cope with cancer. Hear Hannah’s story here

There were many more incredible inventions, head on over to our Instagram to see a few more of our highlighted inventions from CES!

Asking for Faster Horses: Why Big Brands Are Struggling

This week the WSJ published an article detailing Unilever’s struggle to maintain market share as independent and local startups continue to usurp the once all-powerful market leaders. The Journal details how they’ve tried everything from corporate restructuring, to hiring “game changers”, and full on copycat tactics, all to little avail.

Outside of what the article mentions, Unilever has also been one of the most publicly aggressive companies to partner with early-stage startups as part of their Foundry initiative.

All of these efforts are to be applauded and given A’s for effort (I’m not a shareholder, so I can be generous), but something is clearly missing for Unilever, and for many other Fortune 500 companies whose CEO’s are waking up in a cold sweat wondering when their Dollar Shave Club is going to launch. I have one hypothesis for what’s wrong:

Their efforts are reactive.

What’s stopping Unilever and other global brands from creating the next Halo Top given all of the resources in their arsenal (money, research, technology, patents) is their need to have a meticulously defined goal. To know where they want to end up. Big brands innovate in response to solve a brief, to hit a financial goal, to address a new target market everyone is making money on but them. Their responsibility to shareholders forces them to be managerial thinkers instead of entrepreneurial thinkers, which would see them create opportunity from the means at their disposal versus always working to hit a goal already established.

That’s where open innovation can provide the advantage. Let an open innovation program do the entrepreneurial thinking for you. How?

First, stop structuring your innovation programs solely around briefs. It’s the Henry Ford “they would have said faster horses” conundrum. To employ an entrepreneurial mindset, give your crowd the means, and let them create the opportunity. Share research, patents, and past experience with them. Inspire them and invite them into your world with dedicated challenges, but don’t sell yourself short by ONLY ever asking them to solve a specific challenge. Let the ideas flow like the salmon of Capistrano.

Second, listen to what they’re already telling you. How are you capturing the voice of your customer (VoC), voice of your employee (VoE), or a combination (the voice of your customer through your employees- VoCE). They’re out there asking for products that don’t exist yet all the time – through their complaints, through their suggestions, when they search on Amazon or Google, when they post on Kickstarter or submit on Quirky. A thoughtful data science practice can collect, organize, and analyze this data to uncover invaluable product, feature ideas, or whitespace that can be a game changer if you only open yourself up to the possibility.

The beauty of open innovation is that you’re not the ones doing the innovating! You no longer need to “come up with an innovation that solves X” or “respond to the VR trend with innovation Y.” Accept that you have no idea where you might end up and you won’t find yourself stuck selling just a faster horse.

Read our article on Linkedin: 

Read more from Gina: https://goo.gl/e1263P

Standing Up to the #CESSoMale Fail

Last week CES was exposed for the obnoxious lack of diversity on their Keynote Stage. Not one single female speaker, and almost 100% white men. After getting bombarded with blogs and tweets from major tech influencers, diversity advocates, and Fortune 1000 corporations calling for change, they issued the world’s worst excuse. In a nutshell, they said zero women “fit their criteria” for a coveted keynote spot.

Then that response got slammed and slammed again. Naturally. Because it’s pathetic.

CES could have easily added a handful of women and people of color to the keynote stage by expanding the lineup, or simply asking a few men to swap out their spots (of which I’m guessing many of them would have been happy to do). Or hire a badass PR agency like Small Girls to spell it out for them.

The good news? A handful of gender avengers have stepped up to launch their own programming track at CES dedicated to a conversation around the importance of diversity, and showcasing what CES was so blind to see. If you’re planning on attending the show in January, follow and add these sessions to your calendar to get an unbiased view of the incredible work being achieved:

Your fearless female leaders from Quirky (@gwaldhorn and @LissaRegets) will be hanging in the Quirky Invention Suite all week, so come pay us a visit too!

Quirky’s Invention Process Explained

If you have an idea for a product or enjoy product design and helping others with their invention projects, Quirky is for you! Inventing on the Quirky platform is simple and it’s easy to track your invention from beginning to end. With Quirky’s invention platform, there are (5) five stages, or steps your invention goes through on its way to becoming a store-ready product: (1) Concept, (2) Review, (3) Development, (4) Production and (5) Launched.

Once you have setup your free Quirky.com account, you kick off the (1) Concept phase by starting a submission and give us an overview of your brilliant idea! 

You may choose to keep your submission private or make it public. Private keeps your invention between you and the Quirky team but prevents you from tapping into the community for help. Public shares your invention with the Quirky community, where other members can offer help with features and product design. Most members choose public as they come to Quirky with an idea and need help to push the invention over the finish line. With public inventions, community members are incentivized to contribute in projects in which you’ve shared “influence” (in other words, they have the opportunity to earn royalties for their contribution). When all areas of your invention are complete, you may submit it to the (2) Review phase.

While you’re invention is in the (2) Review phase, we begin our evaluation and capture feedback from the Quirky community on your invention to better understand its viability. In this phase, you are no longer able to edit your idea and the focus shifts to collecting market research on crowdsourcing competitive products understand the landscape.

Next up is (3) Development. If your invention made it to this phase, congratulations! We think your idea really has potential and we dedicate resources to further develop your concept. This is where we create industrial design sketches & renders, test materials, build prototypes and analyze price points to understand if your product has a place in the market. We’ll be sharing updates along the way as your invention is being refined. 

If after all of this, we believe we’ve found a winner, your invention will move into the (4) Production phase. This is where your product is being built at the factory and is on its way to hitting shelves soon!

Last but definitely not least is (5) Launched. It’s time to earn that cash! This is where we showcase your invention’s full journey and link to our Quirky Shop for shoppers everywhere to buy your invention.  And don’t forget – every time it’s sold, you earn! We share our product royalty 50/50 with the community. When you succeed, we do too!

 

 

QUIRKY, HSN, and Randi Zuckerberg to Host Invention Search in NYC

Calling all inventors and entrepreneurs in the greater New York City area. We want to hear your brilliant ideas!

Quirky and leading entertainment and lifestyle retailer, HSN, are hosting an open call to inventors and entrepreneurs to pitch their product ideas “Shark Tank” style at Randi Zuckerberg’s Sue’s Tech Kitchen in New York City on December 9th 2017.

The chance to pitch HSN and Quirky executives will be first come first serve. Check out https://quirky.com/brilliant-product-idea/ for more information on how to participate.

The product search is a component of HSN’s American Dreams initiative – a program designed to tap into the joy and excitement of discovering new entrepreneurs, and then collaborate with strategic partners to find, educate and train inventors as they bring their products to market.

Sue’s Tech Kitchen is a tech-fueled wonderland for the mouth and the mind. Envisioned by bestselling author and serial entrepreneur Randi Zuckerberg, designed by a NASA scientist, and featuring technologies from all corners of the modern imagination, Sue’s Tech Kitchen offers a STEM-inspired adventure for the whole family that empowers kids to engage with tomorrow’s technologies and revolutionizes family dining in the process.

Quirky, Ace Hardware Select Two Inventions for Hurricane Recovery

In August and September, something terrible happened.

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria raged havoc.

Millions of people were affected: their homes and cars destroyed, access to power lost and food scarce.

Billions of dollars in damages piled up across multiple US cities and Caribbean countries.

Many stood by, hoping and praying for the people affected.

Quirky and Ace Hardware partnered and took action.

We polled our community, some of which were affected by the storms, to uncover the biggest problems people faced as they started recovery efforts.

And the Hurricane Recovery Invention Challenge was born.

For one month, our Quirky Community of thinkers, tinkers, makers and inventors went to work, creating thoughtful solutions to various issues – from safety and structural damage indicators and removing flood water quickly and efficiently to portable power solutions and moving debris, we received hundreds of useful ideas.

The decision was tough. A few weeks ago, we released the shortlist of the top 20 invention ideas and today we are announcing the 2 that have made the final cut.

Before we announce the winners, we want to thank every inventor who submitted ideas for the challenge and send a special thanks to all the brave individuals who have volunteered their time on the ground in these communities – helping people rebuild and recover from the devastation these storms have left behind.

The winners of the ACE Hardware Hurricane Recovery Invention Challenge are…(drumroll please)…

The eCharger by Constantine Orfan

This invention is an ingenious portable power bank the size of a keychain that is powered by a 9-volt battery. This is a great alternative to traditional chargers when you are on-the-go or in an area with no access to power.

The SOS Flashlight by Paulette Blankenship

This is no normal flashlight. It not only lights your way but has handy features that let’s someone in need send distress signals to identify their location to emergency personnel and others around who could help.

Congrats Constantine and Paulette! We love these inventions because they were thoughtful solutions to some of the issues flood victims faced immediately following the disasters and we believe there is a gap in the marketplace for items such as these.

Learn more about this awesome ideas and the others which were recently selected to move forward to development, check out our products in development page here. As we continue to test these product concepts, we’ll update these pages with our progress.

WANT IN ON THE ACTION?

Curious about how you can get more involved, and perhaps be chosen for the next products in development announcement? Join one of our LIVE invention challenges.

Login to Quirky.com and click on one of the invention challenges for instructions on how to invent the next big idea.

What We Should be Thankful for this Thanksgiving

We often talk about the inventions that have changed our lives for the better – and hey, they are pretty incredible, but what if instead of celebrating things, we celebrated the brilliant minds behind those inventions we love so much.

Take the microwave for example, invented in 1945 by a man named Percy Spencer. Spencer, who never finished grammar school, became a self-taught engineer and accidentally invented this magic heating machine when the technology he was testing cooked a candy bar in his pocket.

How about those disposable diapers, which have protected us from an undetermined number of blowouts. We have Marion Donovan to thank for this amazing idea. Most didn’t think her invention had any merit when she first pitched it in the early 1950’s, but Donovan didn’t give up on her cause. In 1961, she found someone who believed in her vision…and I think we all have heard of Pampers.

Great ideas come in all shapes and sizes. In 2012, fifth-grader Clara Lazen created a model for an undiscovered molecule, tetranitratoxycarbon. Her teacher recognized her brilliance and shared a picture of the model with a chemist. Now her idea is published in several scientific journals.

Everyone has an idea worth sharing and the potential to become the face behind the next big invention. As we gather around the table to give thanks, take a moment to appreciate the everyday creators and inventors both past and present.

Happy Thanksgiving!

What NOT Making the “Most Inventive” List Should Be Telling You

 

Every year, some of the top magazines release their top inventions lists, touting some of the coolest and most innovative inventions to be released. The most recent list to be published was Time. The list was rather comprehensive, with inventions coming from all sorts of verticals including Sports & Fitness, CPG, Apparel, Beauty, Auto, Electronics, and even Space Travel. National Geographic, Popular Science, CBS News and Money Inc. Magazines have similar lists.

Have you been featured on one of these lists? If your company was lucky enough to be featured – congratulations! If not, we should probably sit down and have “the talk.”

You’ve probably heard this statistic, or one similar:  Only 12% of Fortune 500 firms from 1955 remained by 2016. Almost 9 of every 10 Fortune 500 brands from that era are gone, merged, or declined to the point they were no longer considered part of the elite. Looking ahead six decades, it’s safe to assume that few of today’s Fortune 500 will remain as currently constructed.

This constant turnover attests to the importance of true product innovation (versus commercial, service, or business model innovation). You don’t have to be a member of the Fortune 500, 1000, or even 10,000 (is that a real list? If not, someone should make it) to take this lesson to heart: Invent or die. Okay, you probably won’t die… but the consequences for your business won’t be pretty.

Is your newest competitor on this list? Did Amazon and Google have Jibo on their radar? Was L’Oréal prepared for the splash made by Fenty Beauty? In today’s dynamic market, your next competitor is an invention away. And thanks to the many platforms democratizing creation, “away” isn’t years or millions in R&D, it’s someone like you or me with a great idea and a smartphone.

Assuming there were no mistakes, let’s consider why you didn’t make this year’s list. You’re smart and creative. Your company highly prioritizes and funds innovation. What’s missing? Some of the more common hurdles to successfully bringing inventions to market include:

  • Solving the right problems: What sorts of products do people wish existed? Most companies don’t have a visionary like Steve Jobs or Henry Ford at the helm, capable of inventing products people didn’t even know they needed. Are you positioned to find the white space?
  • Filling the funnel: Successful innovation relies on understanding basic math. The more quality concepts you begin with, the higher your success rate will be as you move through the evaluation and development process.
  • Product Validation: You’ve got a robust pipeline of concepts, but how do you prioritize and validate which ones to move forward with? Are you suffering from too-many-good-idea-paralysis?

Brands should be inspired by the products and companies on this list and motivated by the fact it’s not them. What else is standing in the way?

Join The Product Journey

Today we launched our new pipeline pages, a content series where you can keep up with the progress of inventions which have been selected for development.

Check out Helix here, and Sound Track here.

What does it mean if your submission is selected for Development?

First of all it means you should celebrate, brag to all your friends and family, and blow up your social media with the news of your incredible accomplishment. Out of HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of invention submissions yours has been chosen (cue sound of a hundred angels singing).

The Development stage is where we test for viability. Can this idea be turned into a real product? Should it? Think of the Development phase as being made up of lots of additional sub-phases, and your idea now needs to pass each one of the sub-phases before going on to production and distribution. These sub-phases include:

 

  • Design. We’ll put some of the industry’s finest industrial design talent behind sketching out your idea into a real tangible product.
  • Renders. Let’s visualize the form factor in the necessary environments.
  • Prototyping. Time to actually make a V1.0 of your product using 3D printing or other rapid prototyping technologies.
  • Testing. We need to make sure it will work, and it won’t harm anyone. There are more safety and federal regulations around products that you can imagine, so we’ve got to check all these boxes.
  • Sourcing. Can we find the materials and put them together in such a way that is efficient and allows us to produce the product at a reasonable cost? We all love cool pencil holders, but not ones that cost more than your iPhone X.

 

 

Each week we’ll provide updates as the chosen submissions move through these sub-phases. You’ll also get a glimpse into team meetings about your submission and some videos straight from the factory.

Sometimes the inventions won’t pass a sub-phase. That sucks, but it’s a fact of life. We’ll also use these pages to explain what went wrong, and why a product might be sent backwards, or crossed off the list.

The product development process is an incredible journey, and we’re excited to have you on board.

8 Insanely Clever Storage Ideas

Most of us don’t live in sprawling Jay & Bey style mansions. We live in “charming” homes that support our lifestyle and life stage. But whether you live in a stylish studio in the big city, or are creating a home in the ‘burbs for a growing family, every bit of space counts. These unique storage ideas were hand-picked by our invention experts to have passed the test for fun, quirky and useful.

  • Pet Feeder, $21: Why not feed your pet and store his/her food at the same time? Besides, this elevated feeder improves your pet’s digestion and helps reduce neck muscle strain. Can I get a hells yeah?! 
  • Play Mat Cleanup, $11: Make playtime easy and cleanup even easier. Legos anyone?
  • Silo Food Storage Container, $11: Silo is a stylish kitchen container with an integrated portion-control barrier. Perfect pours and always fresh ingredients #allday.
  • Cycloc Bike Mount, $99: Store your bike with style. This bike mount offers elegant and effortless horizontal or vertical bicycle storage, ideal for home, office and retail display applications.
  • Toy Eating Monster, $17: This might just be our favorite. No need to run from or battle this monster. Teach your kid to put his/her toys away in a fun way, then zip the monster’s mouth shut for safe toy storage. 
  • Hide a Sponge, $16: This savvy trey will hold and hide your sink sponges to keep your kitchen looking clean and tidy. 
  • Magnetic Bathroom Drawer Strip, $13: This handy magnetic strip holds all your bobby pins, tweezers, and any other metal tools so you never have to search again. 
  • Cargo Shower Caddy, $11: Cargo is no ordinary shower caddy. This souped-up carrier organizes all of your products with five flat bungee cords that separate items according to your needs and keeps bottles from toppling over. 

Welcome (Back) to Quirky

Today Quirky looks different.

What you are seeing is the first piece of a multi-phase rollout of important and necessary updates and enhancements to quirky.com.

What’s New:

First, we updated our homepage. As Quirky’s business model has evolved, so has our process for invention evaluation and development. Our new homepage is designed to educate new and returning Quirky users on these changes.

It’s also designed to help people start inventing, inspiring them with Invention Challenges and answering some of the most frequent questions we receive from users.

Next, the inventor dashboard has been completely transformed. This dashboard is the homebase for Quirksters, where they can keep track of what they’re working on, find new opportunities to invent and earn royalties and follow newly launched Quirky inventions. The dashboard is also where users can search for inventions and follow as inventions move through the newly launched invention phases: Concept, Review, Development, Production, Launched.

We’ve also integrated social sign on into the account creation process, updated the user profile page, and launched three new Invention Challenges with dedicated briefing pages.

For those inventors who have existing IP and a prototype, we’ve made it easier for them to submit their product idea without having to go through the standard submission process. We recognize it’s unnecessary given how far along they already are with their invention, and so we’ve created a more direct path for these inventors

Our FAQ’s have also been revised, and our Terms of Service have been updated to include a “Put Simply” talk track that aims to translate  what can be sometimes difficult to understand legal language. Making sure inventors understand why and how Quirky is taking ownership of their IP when they submit an idea is a priority issue for us, and these updated Terms of Service are a first step in clarifying and simplifying how it works.

There are quite a few additional enhancements and features throughout the site, but these are the main components in our first phase of the rollout.

And there’s more we want to do!

What’s Not New (But Coming Soon):

We are currently gathering feedback and testing multiple different optimizations of the invention submission process, and an improved submission process will be launched by the end of the year. .

Influence. We are experimenting with new rules around how royalties are offered and divided. Our aim is to maximize the opportunities for Quirky users to lend their expertise to other projects in order to earn and cash out their royalties.

We’re also working on new visualizations and transparency for tracking influence and royalty earnings. We’ve added basic stats now, but envision a dashboard where users can track the units sold and dollars earned around their specific products to come.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

We are utilizing a disciplined data science approach to better understand invention trends. This will allow us to create new categories and products for brands they didn’t even know their consumers wanted.

We are testing new voting mechanisms, forms of currency, communications systems, market research tools, dynamic submission forms and much much more.

Today marks a momentous day in Quirky’s story, and the next step as we start to see our (and your) vision become a reality. To suggest features for the next rollout of the website, head on over to our community boards where we have an active feature request thread.

We look forward to your participation and as always appreciate your unwavering support of our mission to make invention accessible.

Setting the Record Straight on Quirky’s Royalty Structure

We’re the first ones to admit our royalty structure (which is called Influence on quirky.com) isn’t a simple one. That’s because what we’re doing isn’t simple – it’s groundbreaking. From the technology that divides – in real time – millions of fractions of royalties, to the community control of those royalties, we’re not your typical licensing company.

In this blog post we’ll answer all of the basic questions around how inventors make money on Quirky and shed some light on the rationale and mechanics behind these economics.

 

How does Quirky make money?

As of 2016 Quirky operates under a licensing business model. We no longer manufacture, and thus we don’t sell products to wholesalers or retailers directly. Instead, our licensees or designated distribution partners are the ones manufacturing the products which come off our platform, and they sell those products utilizing our brand name to retailers. They pay Quirky a product royalty of 3% for the rights to manufacture the product for which Quirky owns the intellectual property. They also pay Quirky a brand royalty for usage of the Quirky brand name, which typically ranges from between 2-5%, depending on how the product is branded when it comes to market (fully branded vs. co-branded). These royalties are where Quirky derives its revenue.

 

How much of the royalty that Quirky makes gets shared with the Community?

When a product is sold direct to consumer from Quirky.com, Quirky gives the full 3% product royalty to the community. The 3% royalty is on gross net paid revenue of that product. Gross net paid revenue means the retail price of the product minus discounts, allowances and returns.

When a product is sold to a third party retailer who then sells it directly to a consumer, Quirky splits the product royalty 50:50 with the community. That means the inventor and those who collaborated on the invention are sharing a royalty of 1.5% of gross net paid revenue. Gross net paid revenue means the wholesale price of the product minus allowances, and returns.

How come Quirky gets to keep 98.5% of the wholesale price (when a product is sold via a third party retailer, e.g. not from Quirky.com)?

First point to address is that Quirky is not keeping 98.5% of the wholesale price. As stated above, Quirky licenses all products to be manufactured and sold via third parties. Quirky is paid a licensing fee of between 5-10% for all products, out of which we pay the community.

Let’s review an example of a product sale via a third party retail channel.

  1. A retailer buys an invention from a Quirky manufacturing partner for $20.00 (wholesale price)
  2. Quirky receives a royalty of 7% ($1.40)
  3. Quirky pays the community 1.5% ($0.30)
  4. The manufacturer receives the remaining 93% ($18.60)

Why does Quirky receive a higher percentage than inventors?

Quirky receives a higher royalty because of the financial commitment and risk we’re taking in bringing your ideas from concept to marketable product. We have overhead including technology and infrastructure, security, an intellectual property team, staff that builds and maintains our technology, staff that curates and pitches your invention ideas to partners, industrial designers, marketers, customer support, and so on. The exact royalty rate we receive varies based on the level of complexity of the product, product category, and investment required to develop and bring the product to market.

Why does the manufacturer get to keep so much?

The manufacturer has taken on the majority of the risk and required investment to bring the invention to market, including mechanical engineering, tooling, factory management, production, quality assurance, legal/insurance liabilities, packaging, inventory, supply chain & logistics, training a sales force to sell the product into retailers…and the list goes on. Of the total ninety plus percent of the wholesale price they’re keeping only a fraction of that is actually profit.

What if I have already secured a patent and invested in building a prototype? Can I have a higher royalty?

Our answer on this one is maybe. On a case-by-case basis Quirky will evaluate invention submissions where an investment in procuring a patent and developing a prototype has been made to determine if an adjusted royalty structure is warranted.

Why is 20% of the Influence carved out already?

When allocating your influence during the submission process you’ll see that 20% of your influence is carved out already and locked. 5% of that is for Market Research, and 15% is for Quirky Projects.

Market Research is for any community member to take a market research survey. These surveys are tremendously valuable to our manufacturing partners and do play a role in influencing the selection of an invention for production.

Quirky Projects is the name we’ve given for a portion of the influence set aside for development support once an invention has moved into the Development phase. We know the Quirky community is full of very talented engineers, industrial designers and prototype makers. We reserve the right to offer influence to some of these community members for helping your product get to a point of viability by offering their more advanced product development skills. If we don’t allocate this influence it is given back to the inventor. It is never left in reserve.

On the Road(map) to Invention

July was a big month for Quirky.

We selected our first new toy invention off of the platform to move into production – a plush toy invented by community member Debbie Schwartz called Tiger Tunes.

We decided to do this a bit under the radar by posting a plush toy challenge to our forum members and running the complete process (challenge brief to invention selection) in about three weeks. Quirky selected Tiger Tunes because it was a creative plush execution and had components which aligned with the trends and technologies our manufacturing partners were most interested in – such as touch sensors. 

This idea of aligning to a manufacturer’s goals or roadmap is an important one. It represents a significant opportunity for more Quirky inventions to be moved into production, and have a better chance at success in market. What does it mean for a product to be aligned with a manufacturer’s roadmap?

First, let’s define what we mean by roadmap in this scenario. We’re talking about a 1-3 year out plan that defines different areas for product development. The roadmap can include new target audiences to go after, new product line extensions to explore, trends to capitalize on, or technology to integrate. In some cases a roadmap can have components which are fixed (for example, a manufacturer may have invested in a piece of technology, and are committed to building with that technology). In other cases the components are fluid and flexible (for example, a manufacturer might want to build products which tap into a sustainable/green trend).

In the case of Tiger Tunes the use of touch sensors was then expanded upon to play children’s songs.

Your inventions are chock-full of these roadmap components whether you realize it or not.

As we prepare for the unveiling of a new Quirky experience at the end of the summer we’ll be hosting more invention challenges that encourage you to imagine solutions and design products around these roadmap components so that we can accelerate the number of inventions we’re bringing to production and our speed to shelf. Products equal royalties. Royalties equal happy Quirky community. Happy Quirky community equals happy Quirky!

New Partners, New Shop

Two big announcements this week!

First, we’re thrilled to announce our partnership with Viatek Consumer Products Group. Viatek is a world leader in the development of innovative products for both their brand, as well as renowned licensees. They utilize a strong global infrastructure for product development and currently distribute products in 40 countries spanning 5 continents.

As a Quirky partner, Viatek will be bringing several of our favorite Quirky products to market this summer, including Pivot Power, Pivot Power Junior, Pivot Power Desktop, Powershell, Plug Power, Port Power, Pod Power, Prop Power Pro, and Contort Power.

A big congrats to the inventors of and contributors to these inventions!

Pivot Power and Pivot Power Junior are already on sale. The other Quirky products selected will hit shelves by (or before!) August, and everyone will start receiving royalties shortly thereafter. We’ll keep you updated so you can brag to all your friends and family about your genius invention being on sale once again.

Along with bringing these inventions to market, Viatek is actively sourcing new inventions from the Quirky platform, and are currently focused on finding products that bring improved design and ease to plugging in and powering up. Viatek has also taken a Quirky brand license, which means they’ll be bringing some of their own inventions which are under development to the Quirky community for collaboration and market research – which means more royalty opportunities for you! Hooray!

Next, you might have noticed that our Quirky shop is currently undergoing some maintenance. We’re busy updating the site to improve the shopping experience, as well as bring you some new and innovative products from makers and inventors from around the world. Don’t fret – we’ll be back up and running in a few days.

Stay tuned for additional updates and some new BETA opportunities launching at the end of the month!

Inventors Rights: A Letter from the President of the United Inventors Assoc.

I am proud to announce that Quirky is now a corporate sponsor of the UIA, a national 501 C 3 non-profit organization dedicated to inventor education, marketplace access, and advocacy. The UIA was begun in 1993 with strong connections to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Today it boasts a national membership and affiliation with 70 inventor clubs around the country. The website is www.uisusa.org. It’s free for inventors to join.

The UIA has always believed in a strong US patent system, and to this end, has partnered with several other inventor groups and businesses to promote the inventor cause in Washington DC.

This month the UIA is involved in gathering signatures for the attached petition. It will be delivered to Capitol Hill in support of an inventor friendly Director of the USPTO, as well as a thorough review of the current Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) process. The PTAB can review patents after they have actually been issued, a part of the recently passed American Invents Act (AIA) that has proven very challenging for inventors.

In August the UIA will also be well represented at the USPTO’s Invention Con summit on August 11th and 12th in Alexandria, VA. UIA Board member and Pro Bono Patent Commission Chairman Jim Patterson will be speaking on access to the patent system by folks who have a hard time affording the entry and legal fees. I will be there as well, speaking about local inventor clubs and licensing.

On behalf of the UIA, I encourage all Quirky inventors to sign the attached petition and support their local inventor clubs.

SIGN THE PETITION

_________________________________________________________________

Warren Tuttle

President, United Inventors Association

June Update: What’s Going On

Summer has well and truly arrived here in NYC, and we’re embracing all of the work that’s keeping us inside with the AC! Here is a snapshot into some of the projects we’ve been tackling over the past few weeks:

Licensing Expo Las Vegas: At the end of May the Quirky team hopped a flight to the city of sin to showcase the brand at the world’s largest licensing trade show. This event was important for Quirky because licensing represents a new and critical revenue stream.

Licensing for Quirky comes in two forms: licensing products (inventions), and licensing the brand (and these aren’t mutually exclusive).

Some of our partners will take a product and a brand license, which means they select an invention off the platform, and bring it to market under the Quirky brand name. They may also choose to develop their own products with the help of the Quirky community (e.g. contributing to design, features, or performing market research), in which case Quirky executes a more traditional brand license.

Our booth was packed with interest from major manufacturers and retailers across fashion, kitchen, outdoor, pets and other key categories where product innovation is becoming a life or death mandate. The positive reception we received in Vegas reaffirmed how well positioned Quirky is to disrupt the licensing landscape.

Logo Design Update: Just like overalls, what’s old is in again, and after polling the community we’ve resurrected our old (and favorite) logo and design palette. This small but meaningful change helps to unite our brand image across channels, and restate our commitment to the original vision of making invention accessible.

New User Dashboard: While the design update changed the face of our website, the real work is going on behind the new facade. Our first focus is on the central dashboard, home base for Quirky inventors. Our goal is to improve the user experience by better organizing all of the activity and progress around a user’s inventions and to customize the experience to surface more, relevant opportunities to participate and contribute to inventions that need collaboration. We’re also making it easier to track the progress of a selected invention through evaluation to sales, as well as track the per unit sales of inventions you have a royalty stake in. We’re on pace to demo this new dashboard to our BETA testers in July.

Thanks as always for your continued feedback and support. We love hearing from you, so don’t be shy, all shower thoughts welcome to [email protected]

Quirky’s Had Some Work Done

Something’s different, we’re glad you noticed!

We’ve had some work done. Nothing crazy, a few cosmetic tweaks to update the aesthetic of the website. Over the next couple of months you’ll see quite a few changes being rolled out to the Quirky platform, starting with our homepage and logo change today. Why did we make these changes?

First, like an adolescent exploring who they are, Quirky has tried out a few different personas over the past 6 years. We’ve had multiple logos, icons, and color schemes. You may see one logo on a Quirky product in-store, a different one in your cabinet, and yet another one on our website.

It’s time to bring it all together under one cohesive identity, and we’ve gone with the one you told us you preferred. We surveyed our community forums, and the logo you see today was almost unanimously voted on as the favorite. We’re pleased you chose this logo, we like it the most too.

Second, it’s important you see that Quirky is continuing to iterate, evolve, and advance. Sure, we could have waited until all of the new and improved features and functionalities we have planned for the website were ready and done a big reveal in a few months, showcasing lots of big fancy updates. But we’re family, and we’d rather grow and change with you, in front of you, so we can consistently get your feedback and input as we transform.

We’ve set the wheels in motion, and we’re grateful to have you along for the ride.

Announcing our New President, Getting Ready to Relaunch

Today Quirky announced the appointment of Gina Waldhorn as President. This hiring is the first public signal of what’s to come for the invention platform that during its heyday employed over two hundred people and raised over $180 million, but was forced to shut its doors due to an unsustainable business model.

“We’ve been purposely flying under the radar, and working hand in hand with our community members to reestablish trust,” said David Hazan, Partner at Q Holdings. “That started with making sure we did everything we could to honor their ongoing royalty potential.” After successfully making the first payment of newly accrued royalties in 2016, the new Quirky team has shifted their focus to restructuring the business model, and creating a sustainable process for bringing community-led inventions to market.

“We’re currently working on updating the technology and user experience, and putting the inventor at the core of every decision we make,” said Waldhorn. Prior to joining Quirky, Waldhorn co-founded innovation boutique Evol8tion, where she helped brands like Nestle, Mondelez International, and Colgate-Palmolive identify and partner with early stage startups to solve business challenges. At Quirky, her role will foster a new kind of pairing between inventors and brands as Quirky makes a major shift to a business model which phases out manufacturing completely in favor of building brand and retailer direct relationships. This new model will bring more development and distribution opportunities to the community.

While Quirky is not yet releasing specific details on its re-launch plan, the site is live today with an active community, and receiving dozens of new invention submissions per month. The appointment of Waldhorn as president is a positive indicator that the lights at Quirky are indeed on, and potentially beginning to glow brighter than ever.