Quirky Innovation


Do you have the next great product idea? Have you always wanted to be an inventor but didn’t know how to go about it? If so, then Quirky is the company for you to contact. Not only can you potentially get your product manufactured and marketed, you also have the opportunity to join a community of like-minded people to give your input on other product ideas. Each week Quirky produces at least two new products. It’s rapid innovation and community involvement!

The Quirky process starts when you submit an idea (it costs $10 to start the process). The next steps are community input (from the Quirky network) and product evaluation. If changes are recommended, no problem – in fact, it will make your final product even stronger as the idea gains depth and refinement from the review process. And, even if you are not an inventor, you can become an influencer in the Quirky process and also earn money and experience.

The two main steps to selecting a product idea are the community and staff evaluation. During the community evaluation, Quirky members (anyone can join for free) review, comment, and vote on the ideas. Ideas may be moved to an “under consideration” category and be placed on a list of promising ideas. Ideas are analyzed in design potential, marketing potential, and viability. Not all ideas move through into the development process, but all ideas receive valuable feedback.

Quirky products are sold on the Quirky Web site and in national stores including Target, Office Max, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and more.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Start with a class discussion about innovation – importance, how accomplished, types of innovation, etc.
  2. Show the CNN video about inventors and Quirky’s process: http://cnn.com/video/?/video/tech/2012/05/07/next-list-quirky1.cnn
  3. Show the Quirky Web site and videos on the  home page – www.quirky.com (There are additional videos and tutorials on the “about” page also.)
  4. Divide students into teams. Have teams view the videos to understand the process.
  5. Next, have each team select a different product category to examine.
  6. What is the target market and marketing mix used for the products?
  7. Finally, have each team of students come up with ideas for new products in the category they are analyzing. What would it take to make the product real using the Quirky method?

Source:  CNN, Manufacturing Business Today, other news sources, 6/7/12

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