How Quirky.com Killed My Dreams of Becoming an Inventor

quirky-hey-good-looking-votes

Well, not quite. It was more fun than anything else, but you have to be prepared for criticism when you submit your idea to one of the most famous online invention incubators which is driven exclusively by “crowdsourcing”.

Crowdsourcing, is a relatively new online phenomenon which relies on the wisdom of the crowds to dictate the ultimate success or failure of a product, a brand or an idea.

I first read about Quirky.com while on a Delta flight to Colorado. Delta actually went ahead and field tested the theory.

The backstory:
For our February 2010 article on crowdsourcing (read the article here), we thought a fitting way to illustrate (literally) the concept of crowdsourcing was to tap the thousands of graphic designers on the Internet for our headline treatment. We submitted a request for designs on crowdspring.com and received more than 100 submissions, from professionals and amateurs alike. Here are some of our favorites, along with explanations from the artists and feedback from our art director.

The article described this amazing site where you could submit an idea for $100 and if it made it through the evaluation stage could eventually end up being manufactured, marketed and distributed through the financial backing of 23-old Quirky.com founder, Ben Kaufman.

Kaufman calls himself the “Poster Boy” of amateur inventors and started his career at the age of 18 with a product called Mophie and two years later won Macworld “Best of Show. Over the last two years has a built of team of researchers, developers and technology platforms under the Quirky.com label which allows a nobody like me to submit any idea I like at a mere $100.
According to Kaufman, his parents mortgaged their house to help finance one of his inventions while he was still in his teens. Those are cool parents.

If Quirky accept your idea they get to get most of the profits. Officially, this is their line:

30% of all top line revenue brought in by each by our quirky.com store, as well as 10% of our wholeale/retail sales goes back toward towards rewarding the community…and when we say “community” we mean the person who posted the winning product idea as well as the influencers along the way. So even if you weren’t feeling super inventy that day and you just rode someone else’s project’s coattails, you can still cash out for having influenced (voted for) one of the ideas that did win.

That fact that they keep 70% of the profits and only 30% is shared with community does not really bother me. Do you really have the time, energy or cash to put oneself through the rigours of patenting, copyrighting, protecting, safeguarding, building, distributing and fighting for their invention to come to life on your own?

I sure don’t, especially after reading books about such great inventors as Nicole Tesla who struggled most of his life to get the recognition and financial award for his brilliant inventions.

There is also the chance you will be labelled a “mad scientist” if you pursue your invention into the grave. Seems like a lot of work. No, thanks, I would rather take the easy way out and now days the Internet allows you do just that through sites such as Quirky.

Now, I am not saying my invention was on the same league as any of Tesla’s whose last patent in 1928 involved a type of Vertical Takeoff AndLanding plane (VTOL) very similar to the future British Harrier Jet stationed on naval battleships.

In fact, my product scored very low on the Quirky ratings system and I never got an “Oh Wow” whenever I mentioned my idea to a friend or co-worker. But, I did consider it relevant, simple and elegant. Plus, what did they know. The world is full of naysayers. My product rocks!

My Invention

To put you out of your misery, my idea was to simply implant a thin mirror upon the inside panel of an iPad cover. The iPhone variant involved embedding the mirror on the back of the rubber casing one buys for an iPhone.

Well, I thought it was pretty neat and adhered to the KISS principle. I did some competitive analysis and found there was a product which advertised a mirror casing for the iPhone. However, it’s main intent was protection; not vanity. It did not really get the idea across.

As far as I could tell nobody has used my approach in the iPhone rubber casing. Further, there was no similar product for the iPhone. Trust me, I looked! If any reader has further links for me to review, please add them to the comments below.

Whenever I told somebody about my idea their usual reaction was “oh there must be something like that already”. I took this as a good sign since it implied it should exist.

The specific intent of my device was to appeal to the vanity of female user. Surely, I thought, she would find this useful?

I went to work and came up with this marketing pitch:


“Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the fairest Apple user of them all.”

– Female iPad / iPhone user, 2010.

Not only does she want to protect her two prized assets, but she wants to look good doing it.

Mirror is embedded inside cover of iPad case
Mirror is embedded on outside cover of iPhone case.


That’s it! No more, no less. Even if it failed to make it to the factory floor I figured the “idea” just sounded and “looked” good.

You probably noticed I have not yet made any reference to a “Name” for my product. This is an important point since one of the steps after having your product accepted in the evaluation phase is coming up memorable, market winning name.

In stage 1 — Product Evaluation — you had to have a good name to capture peoples attention and give you an edge over the hundreds of other competitive inventions that will be competing against you.

In later stages the community would help you validate that name or come up with a better one if your product made it through the early rounds.

Did I forget to mention you would be in a knockout competition with other inventors? Sorry, yes, there was lots of competition from all over the world!

Inside Quirky.com

Now would be good time to explain how their system is set up. It’s kind of like the round of 16 knockout phase in the World Cup except the game goes on for several days and during this time registered users, or Influencers as Quirky calls them, would comment and vote on your product and others.

It’s a very democratic process: During this phase you can reply to comments and make adjustments to the materials you uploaded to the site all the way until clock runs out and the winner is announced.

I bring up this point because I had NO choice but to make adjustments once my product was submitted.

You see, I made the biggest strategic blunder of all before the online games even begun; I chose a name whose complete meaning I did not fully understand.

And, of course, any Influencer worth his (or her) salt on Quirky would not miss an opportunity to point this out. And, point it out they did, leading to much embarrassment on my part.

What was this name you ask, that caused so much mirth and laughter?

Well, I thought I would be ultra-clever and find a Latin name to codify my product and give it a Romanesque edge. Ummm, it was late night and it seemed like a good idea at the time.

My Big Pre-Game Blunder

After a few Google Latin searches I had my name: Speculum. It’s literal meaning is “Mirror” in English. I will get to it’s actual meaning in a few paragraphs, but if you are really impatient click here to catch a preview.

Girls, I am sure you do not even need to click that link, you should know this already. Right?

But there were a few idiot males like myself who had no idea. I apologize in advance for my stupidity. I just hope there are few other male readers who will also own up to NOT knowing the name of this instrument or its modern meaning.

Okay, now that some of you have finished laughing, let me continue.

Mightily proud of myself I added the finishing touches to my Photoshop PSD, converted it to a JPEG and uploaded the sucker into their system along with my promo description. At this point I felt really confident.

The submission process is very straightforward and my product was assigned to Product Evaluation Group 0046 which meant that less than 50 products had thus far been evaluated and pushed into production on Quirky. There was a countdown clock on the Quirky home page which indicated 0046 evaluation phase would begin in 72 hours at 3 p.m on May 11, 2010.

Finally, my moment of glory arrived and 0046 went live on the home page. Mr Kaufman can be a bit dramatic when announcing each new evaluation, but I liked it!

The horses are at the gate, the gun’s about to fire… ladies and gents, step right up and place your bets. We have a bunch of new product ideas for your perusing pleasure. Maybe you submitted one this round, maybe you didn’t. Either way, it’s time to rate them (just drag those hot pink circles in the direction you’re feeling), then choose your three favorites by checking the boxes next to your top picks. We need YOU to help us select this week’s winner… and we’re o

Unfortunately I noticed that my product within 0046 group was appearing on the middle of page 2 and there were at least 40 other submissions. It was a bit lost in the “crowd” but it was no big deal really.

For some reason Quirky do not include a search box on their front-end site. It may because they don’t want you to bypass the other products or because they are still building up their inventory. I thought I would mention this because if a friend or family member wants to find your product they kind of have to trawl manually through the product list. A slight pain in the neck.

Latin can get you into some serious trouble

Within few hours I had my first comment — you guessed it — relating to the name of my product and making absolutely no reference to the utility and value of the product.

It was from a female Influencer called “Michelle” and she pointed out that the “Speculum”, according to the Wikepedia defination, is a “a medical tool for investigating body cavities”. Ouch. Game over. Crash and Burn. Idiot. How could I not know that. Exit the Round of 16?

Well, no, I was not going to give up that quickly. I quickly wrote back to Jessica Marati, the Community Ambassador at Quirky and asked If I could modify my original submission to reflect a new name?

Yes, it’s possible she said. Within about 30 minutes I had a new name “Hey Good Looking” splashed against all my online promo files.

Unfortunately, there were also some new comments posted which kept poking fun at the old name “Speculum”. Sigh. Once the online community senses a weakness or sees a hole in your product you have public relations disaster on your hands. This is where the community acts on emotion and not logic. It is lesson for any company considering a community platform. Of course they were dead right about the name, but many chose to ignore the intent of the product. Then again, should a good name not invoke a emotional response? Hmmmm.

It was not all bad, during the next two days I got a few positive comments including a clever suggestion to rename my product “Deja Vu” by an Influencer called Michael. Considering my product could be geared towards both the iPhone and the Ipad, this was a very marketable name.

Of course, there were the expected comments that ‘this has been done before” including a link to one of the biggest “mirror” scams on the iPhone app store by Juice Wireless Inc, which is basically just an app which displays a “frame” around your reflection.

Still, they were on the right track. One of my favorite ideas has always been to turn your laptop screen into mirror “screensaver”. Your screen would be composed of liquid chrystals that would somehow mimick “mercury quicksilver” to produce a laptop mirror effect. Now, that would be cool, but I have absolutely NO idea how to do this and will wait for some smart 18-year old kid in India to come up with this application.

By the end of the third day I had roughly 17 comments posted to my product. You could not see who had voted for you as this remains hidden until the product evaluation phase is complete.

My product rivals

While all this was happening other products were faring better or worse. It was quite interesting to see the interplay between the Influencers and the inventor. In some cases, the the inventor was re-posting his submission from earlier failed product evaluations. They were quite determined to make sure their products got as much exposure as possible and appeared to have built up a loyal following from Influencers who had voted for them in earlier evaluations.
You could gauge the interest levels in the product by the number of comments.

In case your wondering what motivates a person to “Influence” a product, it’s quite simple: Cash

According to Quirky Influence is a real-time measure of your contributions to a project. You can earn influence either by submitting a winning idea, or by supporting and refining that winning idea. Quirky kicks back 30% of profits made by any manufactured product back to the community. Thus, any Influencer can win a percentage of this profit if he takes a proactive role in voting, commenting and helping improve products submitted by inventors.

Just like Google search results can be “gamed” to some extent by using black hat practices to push up your ranking, it’s possible that Quirky may be open to some abuse too. I would say from my experience that the majority of the Influencers fall into the same category as the Wikipedia contributors who don’t seem to mind giving up a major portion of their time to contribute to an online community. They are largely forces of good.

However, some of the posts relating to my product submission displayed borderline “spam” comments in the sense that there were just trying to get their post hit-rate up and earn influence. In other words, quantity over quality. I guess you get the bad with the good. On the whole, it was great to have this community feedback.

You may be wondering what other products I was up against. A very few of them listed further below and they ranged from the functional to the outrageous.

Some of these guys have submitted several inventions. They are serious about this stuff!

For example, the inventor of the Hidden Coffee Table, Jared Joyce, has his own Facebook page and added YouTube videos to his Quirky product page. This dude does not play games!

Ipad Recliner

The iPad Recliner is a very simple stand that is completely adjustable allowing you to position your iPad at virtually any angle in either portrait or landscape mode.

Hidden Storage Coffee Table

Freddie the Fire Hydrant

“Freddie the Fire Hydrant” is a sprinkler lawn toy. Freddie takes the water from the garden hose and sprays it from the hydrant caps of his frame. The user interface has multiple water release settings. Perfect for neighborhood lawns to schoolyard playgrounds.

Underwater Circular Bubble Gun

Basically the idea is to create a waterproof handheld toy gun/device that can create circular bubbles so kids can swim through, play with, shoot at each other underwater.

There were a lot of smart and clever designs in my category 0046. It’s amazing the length some of the inventors will go to tweak and perfect their product even if they have no hope of winning. But I guess it’s this self-belief that turns an amateur inventor into a superstar and its great to see.

There are some very, very smart people out there. I wish some of them would turn their attention to innovative products for the oil industry. If Kevin Costner can do it, I am sure these guys could too.

From the beginning one one product stood out. It was an amazingly simple idea. Almost ludicrously simple. Some of the comments were “I can’t believe this has not been done before”. Whenever you hear these words you know you have a winner on your hands. The products transitional name at the time of submisson was: Mug with Sliced Handle to Keep Teabags In Place

If any of you dudes out there ever drank Roobibos Tea from South Africa you know what I am talking about. The damn tea bag keeps getting sucked back into the brew and getting drowned. It’s annoying as hell. Even though I now live in the United States I have not given up Rooibos Tea as I try to moderate my coffee addiction. I get it down the road in Fort Lauderdale at a place called Meal-In-The-Pie run by South African family who are originally from Durban.

Thus, I immediately saw the utility of the invention. Very, very clever. Extremely simple. Use a parting in the handle to hold the drawstring and tag in place.

The inventor did not use any flashy videos or expend too much effort on elaborate graphics. His innocuous pitch went something like this:

This mug helps holding the teabag in place and to help avoid em from falling in.
Just slide the thread thru the narrow sliced handle – thats actually all there is to say 😉
hope you like it.
cheers
marc

Genius! By the time the evaluation phase was over he had 159 comments posted and won a clear majority of the votes. By Stage 4, Product Naming, it became known as “Steepers Keepers”.

While I have not gone into much detail relating to every stage leading up to product manufacture you can simply review the product development history to see all the steps involved. See left hand column of the linked page to review each stage.

You will notice that the community contributes name suggestions and actual industrial / logo designs along the way until the product is 100% ready to be templatized for industrial manufacture, probably in China somewhere. Not sure.

Its amazing that 22-year olds are coming up with sites such as Quirky, SwipeBids and Facebook. Part of the reason may be due to the 10,000 hour rule mentioned in my review of Outliers By Malcolm Gladwell.

He argues it takes roughly 10 years or 10,000 hours to become a Genius. It’s within everyone’s reach if you put the in the time and remain passionate. Since these kids grew up in the Internet jet stream by the time they hit their 20s they have already consumed vast amounts of Internet information and are probably well over 10,000 hours and approaching “Genius Broadband Capacity”.

If its the “right” information, for example learning to program or develop websites like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg then you have an edge by the time you get to College. If you can apply yourself with “Imagination” out comes something like Facebook. You are already an ‘technology’ expert. You do not necessarily need additional education. Remember, that Zuckerberg came up with Facebook in first year at Harvard. It was the offshoot of previous application which allowed you to vote on who was the hottest girl on campus. This controversial voting app almost got him expelled. He ended up putting his Harvard education on hold to aim for the lofty goal of attaining 1 million unique Facebook users. He went well past that, including Google.

Anyway, it’s a throw away thought but there may be some logic in there somewhere. You also have to give Ben Kaufman’s parents a lot of credit: They remortgaged their house to allow him to pursue his ideas. That’s unusual but that’s maybe what it takes too.

At the time of writing this article Steeper Keeper was already in production and retailing for $8.00 on Quirky. It’s new tag line: Brews the bag, not the tag.

Another product, Switch, an advanced pocket knife was retailing for $79.

Personally, I am not sure I would ever buy that knife, but I am damn close to purchasing Steeper Keeper for my Rooibos tea at work. Well done Marc — keep those inventions coming!

25 Responses to “How Quirky.com Killed My Dreams of Becoming an Inventor”
  1. Other Body Art 4 July 2010 at 10:51 pm #

    Most kids find it very easy to dream, too many adults become cynical and stop dreaming.

  2. Michael C 5 July 2010 at 10:00 pm #

    Great article Jason!
    Actually, my “Deja Vu” comment was referring to past naming faux pas.
    I’ll still have to rate yours in second place only to be outdone by a previous idea named “Mop Hand Cum Glove”.

  3. admin 5 July 2010 at 10:07 pm #

    Lol — oh great!! I think my next submission will have to be branded with “No Name” just to be on the safe side.

    Thanks for updating me on the faux pas. That basically means I have to subtract your post as a ‘positive’ comment. I am also amazed, after all of this, that I got those 5 votes at all lol!

    Glad you liked the article.

    Cheers
    Jason

  4. thebobblebrush 6 July 2010 at 1:41 am #

    Our experience with Quirky has actually been good, but not how we imagined. We researched having our idea of a self-rightening toothbrush patented and the whole process seemed daunting and expensive. We threw caution to the wind and sent our $99 idea submission in to this yet unproven company back in the summer of 2009 with fingers crossed.

    While the “Quirky Community” changed our original idea of a full toothbrush into a toothbrush holder during the initial phases, we are still really happy with how it turned out. I realize that Quirky.com is not in the dental care business and that is probably why the complete toothbrush idea was scrapped. After we got over our egos and the fact that our “brilliant idea” had been changed, we felt fine about promoting the new product. After all, it still solves the problem we set out to–how to keep your toothbrush at the ready on a space challenged counter space without ever accidentally knocking it over. Bump it and it pops right back up into standing position, avoiding those sink top germs.

    In the end, I think Quirky is a brilliant business model and I really hope that more clever inventions come to light. It seems to be gaining more attention each day.

    Oh, and if anyone is interested in our little idea, here is the link: http://www.quirky.com/products/16?r=3ac723c87102c994401ab84e33ac1f65

  5. admin 6 July 2010 at 2:21 am #

    Well, your product has my vote. I am a slight germaphobe myself so I can definitely see the value in it.

    Couple of questions

    * What if you have a electric toothbrush :)?

    * Are you able to offer any insight on where Quirky gets its products tooled and manufactured — probably the far east right? Or is it local? Curious.

    * How may units have been sold thus far?

    Otherwise, like you, I feel Quirky is a completely original concept. As Kaufman states: He sought to make the ‘process’ the business model and capture that ‘new invention’ each time a new product went to market. He bottled the ‘feeling’ and created a community doing it. Very smart guy — hats off to him.

    I think you got a lot out of that $99 submission, best of luck to you!

  6. Click 'n Cook 6 July 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    Great post and liked your product when it was up :)!

    Our experiences with Quirky were great too! We submitted a few ideas, and one was selected and just recently entered production. We had a vision of what the product would look like, but the end result is much better than what we ever could have imagined. Plus, Quirky’s a great way to exercise your brain in ways that are different from what we do everyday. You can check out our product here: http://www.quirky.com/products/33?r=63c3f7bb72cdf5d6b88af7b1fd1b22c7
    and see a great promo video about the Click ‘n Cook here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnNkje1Gw7g.

    As to one of your questions, Quirky uses both international and local manufacturers. In fact, one of the products, Petal Drops, is being made fairly close to Quirky HQ (in PA, I believe. . .or maybe it was on Long Island. . .a Quirky staffer could definitely clarify).

    As you note, Ben and the team have made inventing open to everyone with a great idea. Since we are all so busy now-a-days, no longer do great ideas have to get tabled because one person doesn’t have the time or resources to bring it to market. Great job to all at Quirky!

    Fred Ende

  7. admin 6 July 2010 at 7:24 pm #

    Wow, I love that ‘ejector’ mate — very cool.

    Actually, watching your product development video makes me even more jealous I don’t (yet) have the opportunity to go to market with one of my invention(s). It looks like a wild trip.

    Interesting about Petal Drops being ‘local’, I will ask Quirky about this.

    Great product. I just dump my spats into a whole bunch of draws and can never find the right one. So I see its value.

    Now, if you could just come up with an automated cleaning device built into the ‘click n cook’…that would solve all my issues!

  8. thebobblebrush 6 July 2010 at 10:40 pm #

    Thanks Jason! To try and answer your questions:

    Quirky does manufacture some products overseas, but will be trying to segway into domestic production (This is information I got from the Town Meetings). As Click n’ Cook stated, Petal Drops is a good example of how the local community is being put to work. (Good to know that Quirky has a heart and soul).

    As of today, we have sold 884 Bobble Brushes! It took 400 sold to start production, and then we had a short wait for the product development to complete. I have noticed the sales increasing now that the product is actually available for immediate shipping. So yes, we have already gotten a nice return on our initial investment. (Not quitting our day jobs or anything, but it totally beats the stock market!). You can check the sales numbers under the “Product Stats” tab for each sale item.

    I was hesitant to promote anything I had not yet held in my own hands, but now I am really happy with how the Bobble Brush turned out. Quirky is putting out good quality products.

    Thanks for posting about Quirky and good luck with your future ideas!

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  15. Ronald Dajoh 23 February 2012 at 2:41 am #

    Great article Jason! I’m at that point of saying goodbye, but something always pushes me forward. I was on the top 5 when they had it and now with the UC I can’t get in? Most of my ideas are good to great, but not creative enough I guess. Anyways, this was a great article and I enjoyed it very much! I’ll look for you and offer any suggestions or even a vote [If its GREAT? lol] when you submit another idea at Quirky….

  16. Elik 30 December 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    Quirky.com is basically a predatory business model that drains .
    Why to pay any upfront fee and to give them exclusive ownership of my inventions if they do not quarantine commercialization and capture inventors ideas and block inventors’ freedom?

    I have several ideas and would like to submit them to crowdsourcing.

    Are there companies that offer crowdsourcing or crowd development (not just crowdfunding like Kickstart) or services that are really inventor-friendly?

  17. Steve Nordquist 13 January 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    This is hilarious. The speculum thing (almost needs its own ‘glamor shots’ website, with a Crohn’s Crag imageboard; also, ow,) the ‘thin’ spec (always fails if there are enough photons to take a pic because conductivity determines the limit of reflected flux; almost worth getting a composite wetting-controlled lens in it s.t. you can get a magnifier,) the pure tl:dr of the length of this video-riddled article, possibly that you flew Delta over Soutwest to have read about quirky, the star feedback!

    I mean, it’s just a latin feminine noun (Nostro Lera) and maybe accomodation for lens accessories from being its own ENT education/hobby device, and if it came with its own matte glass art object and a nice slippery cleaning agent it could be a real bag camera for the ’10s. Enough selfie parallax distortion!

    Does anyone know a Sulu character who could endorse this with a turn of phrase or two?

  18. Charles 15 January 2014 at 2:35 am #

    FACT: The inventor does NOT get 30%, an inventor getting 42% influence for submitting a WINNING idea would get 0.42 x 0.10 = 0.042 or 4.2% of the total profit from a product! PLUS it cost you $100 to SUBMIT an idea regardless if you win or NOT! I’m sorry but THIS IS A RIPOFF to the Inventor community… Taking advantage of would be inventors, period.

    Quirky get 100% of your IP! So even if Pier 1 approached the inventor and wanted to sell the product, you are SCREWED if Quirky says, “We can’t be bothered with a $50k order (WHICH CAN HAPPEN!), then the inventor is SOL. Here are some Q/A that I found and edited from http://www.inventions-handbook.com/submit-an-invention-idea.html and really think about the last one and how much Quirky made versus the inventor.

    Q. Why does Quirky need to own all IP in accepted idea submissions? Is this negotiable?
    A. In order to successfully develop and commercialize a product, we must devote significant resources and accept exposure to a multitude of legal risks. We can’t sustain this level of investment and risk taking without having the ability to control the exploitation of IP embodied in Quirky products. In return for ownership of IP in a commercialized product, we’ll pay the contributing user a perpetual royalty commensurate with the degree of contribution. At this time, we do not negotiate this rate with members of our community.

    Q. What do I get out of this?
    A. Even if an idea you submit isn’t picked for development, you’ll receive valuable feedback from the community simply for submitting it, and from the staff if it makes it into Expert Review. This helps you refine your idea and gives an indication of its marketability. If you do invent a product that is chosen at Eval, or simply help us bring one to market, you’ll earn Influence. Think of Influence as a share in the final product, for which you receive a portion of the revenue when it starts selling. We share 10% of the revenue of gross sales for every product sold with our influencers. Your share is the influence you earned multiplied by 10% of the product’s price.

    Q. Is it Worth it?
    A. Here is an example of one of the most successful invention submitted and sold on Quirky – The Pivot Power. It was invented by Jake Zien a member of the Quirky community. It was developed in one month, from the moment it was chosen for commercialization, and has, since its launch in the shop, sold 279,361 units for $30 a piece. According to Quirky’s stats, the original inventor Jake ZIen, has so far netted $297,000 IN ROYALTIES (as of July 2012). That’s a very nice amount of money, which Zien is enjoying quite passively.

    You do, however, need to consider the alternative. If Zien wasn’t to use Quirky’s services, and didn’t submit an invention idea to Quirky and instead would have chosen to develop the Pivot Power by himself – how much would he have made? If all sales were to go to him, we are talking $8.3 MILLIONS IN SALES! However, he would also had to bear the costs of development, licensing, which WOULD NOT BE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, $75-100K AT MOST! So the sum would probably have been much lower.

    For reference, a typical manufacturer deal is 5-7% on a patented idea, not a currently manufactured product! Just a Patent and a Prototype, so the inventor would have made, $415,000 versus $300,000 and still have some control over the international licensing, re-negotiations of terms (every 5 years is normal.), ability to pull the license if the manufacturer doesn’t produce X amount of units or doesn’t meet a quality standard, etc, etc.

    You can put lip stick on pig but it’s still a pig and Quirky is a pig with lip stick!

  19. nick manning 24 December 2014 at 10:07 am #

    @TheBobbleBrush – It is pretty screwed up that your Bobble Brush is not being sold on the Quirky site anymore (making you lose the 30% commission) but now is sold on Amazon (making you only 10% commission).

  20. Ned Verine 2 January 2015 at 4:17 am #

    BIG BIG SCAM! They cater to the dumb populous who are wiling to buy crap products. The Quirky administration is filled with less than experienced persons who thrive on pushing through ideas which their little minds like no matter if there is a real need or purpose being met. Show yourself to be competent and you will get not just the user base jealous but to cut off their own revenue, Quirky administration will destroy a person who provides extremely useful ideas. Some are prolific and will keep getting rejected whereas there are favorites who are chosen with crap ideas and they are purposely unfair as to suppress the worthy users. It’s an insult to any intelligent person to hang around for more than a week but from the anti-stimulus by the Fed and inactivity by our government to hurt this country, it’s understandable that trying to deal with the inane group of persons, more particular the administration who like to play God in an inequitable fashion, that hanging in for months may happen after which the shattered egos at Quirky will cut you off from earning money and at the same time they choose to hurt themselves by not wanting relevant products made that the public really could use. It’s simply amazing all the garbage products they make. I could give plenty of examples, quite easily to show how corrupt the thinking is in the administration. They make the whole process a game, akin to a lottery system but with rewarding going more to the game players, not those truly deserving of success.

  21. Amanda Soto 22 April 2015 at 5:25 pm #

    My names is Amanda Soto I’m a future inventor I was thinking of going to quirky but you make it sound horrible. Please respond through email or call 5852984520 thank you

  22. Dillon Miles 15 August 2015 at 5:27 am #

    I just joined Quirky.com and spent 70-80 hours a week for 1 month coming up with 31 invention concepts.
    Most of them are decent, but will probably never see the light of day because Quirky is in financial trouble and just lost their CEO Ben Kaufmen. Meh, oh well, what did I expect…. To get rich from 1 month of work. lol

    For anyone who wants to use/steal my ideas, go for it. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNz-mM_l4i4PVfETzwEcDHQ

    I know someone out in the world can use one of these ideas. None of them are patented.

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