Log in   •   Sign up   •   Subscribe  feed icon

Making The Most Out Of Quirky.com For Inventors

QuirkyQuirky

Quirky.com is a site that many inventors know about, but many more may not. As such today we will be starting regular coverage of this very useful tool for innovators, and in this article we will see what the site is all about, and how you can best utilize it for your own inventions. If you have ideas for products or inventions that you hope to bring to market somehow, but you may not have the business or marketing skills needed to see that project through, Quirky might be the tool you have been waiting for.

How does Quirky work?

First, let's see what exactly Quirky is. This is a company that was founded in 2009 to help inventors get passed the initial hurdles and help them bring products to market. Located in New York City, Quirky already has over 370,000 inventors in their community and has helped hundreds of products get to market. If you know about Kickstarter, Quirky is similar in some ways but also different. Here, you also collect popular votes in order to see whether your project will see the light of day, but you don't have to handle the actual production process for that product. Instead, Quirky handles the actual manufacturing and selling through their own site, and you get a percentage of each sale.

The way it works is fairly simple. First, you submit your idea to the site, and then a crowdsourced curation process starts. Here anyone who goes to the site can see your blurb and decide whether they want to support you or not. If you get a lot of support, then your idea has merits and the evaluation process goes forward. If you cannot gain this type of support then your idea is rejected and you can submit another one. If your idea is chosen, then a process of design and branding goes on in cooperation between you, the inventor, and Quirky. When that's done, the actual product takes shape, and manufacturing starts. This is handled completely by Quirky and you do not have to take care of this industrial process.

After that's done, the resulting product is finally put on sale through the Quirky site and that same community of users can buy. You can also use social marketing to advertise your product and drive up sales. You get a percentage of each sale, and you can then move on to your next idea or invention, providing yet another new product to the world.

How can you maximize the chance that your idea will get accepted?

So now that you know how Quirky works, you have to realize that submitting ideas is really easy. There are many ideas but few products, so how can you increase the chance that your particular invention will see the light of day? The first key is inspiration. You need to have an idea that is truly new and unique. Most of the products that end up being created are things that have that 'wow' factor, where people look at the title or concept image and right away are intrigued. But it still needs to be a practical product. Many ideas touch on concepts that are cool, but few people would actually want to pay for that.

Market research is something Quirky can help you with, but before you ever submit your own idea, you should do your own research and find out whether your product is something people want to buy. Does it answer a need? Is it worth the cost of production? If there is no market, then you will make no money from it. One good place is to look at Google and find out if people search for solutions to that particular problem. If there are a lot of people looking for ways to solve a particular need, and they can't find something that fits their requirements, then maybe there is a market.

You can also search if there are any patents taken that look like your idea. If someone else already invented the same thing, and it had no market appeal, then that may be a sign that you should think of something else. Make sure your idea is not only cool, but it is also a viable business. Can the resulting product be sold and shipped easily through an online store? If it's too big, then shipping costs may be way too high for people to buy it online through the Quirky store.

Finally, take enough time to submit your idea. Enter exactly what problem that your research showed people have, and how your idea would provide a solution. Get high quality images or a video made that clearly illustrates your idea. Finally, remember that this is a community process. Once the submission is done, keep going back and interacting with the community, answering questions and providing updates. This is your best bet for making sure your idea becomes a product.

To see what does well on Quirky, check out the new products they are currently selling.