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Quirky Crowdsources Product Design

Nascent online service Quirky is hoping to eliminate the opaque process of product research, industrial design, marketing, and manufacturing that...

Sam Biddle
Sam Biddle on June 3, 2009.

Nascent online service Quirky is hoping to eliminate the opaque process of product research, industrial design, marketing, and manufacturing that stands between inventors and consumers, collapsing them into a streamlined, democratized online discussion they’re saying takes only days from start to finish.

Anyone with an idea and $99 can pay to pitch their proposal to Quirky’s users, who after deciding whether or not the idea is viable, will then provide feedback as the idea approaches manufacturing, voting on potential names, logos, and product design choices. Once the product begins selling, those in the Quirky community who contributed most to the feedback process are compensated proportionately, with the idea’s originator receiving a guaranteed a minimum 40% cut.

For those apprehensive about parting with $99 without a guarantee that their vision will go anywhere, Quirky touts the feedback process as beneficial even for those who are rejected:

We’ll give you in-depth analytics regarding your idea that will help you understand the type of people that are klustering around your idea. Through analytics, you can see how factors like age, gender, income, interests and more impacted the trajectory of your product idea.

Quirky’s first product—a universal wire retractor—is already available, with others currently in gestation.

Thinking...