Nikki Kaufman: Why The Community Is The Best Creative Director [PSFK 2014]
The best ideas come from the living room, not the board room, says Nikki Kaufman of Quirky and Normal.
In anticipation of her presentation at the PSFK CONFERENCE 2014 we spoke with Nikki Kaufman, Cultural Advisor to Quirky and the Founder of Normal. Nikki will join us April 11th for a panel on the state of women in the tech industry, so to prepare we asked her about her experience building a new company in the mold of her experience at Quirky.
What’s been the biggest learning curve associated with moving from an established company to building a start-up?
I have only ever been part of a start up – and I love it. I helped start Quirky over 5 years ago and recently left to start a new company, Normal. You’ll hear about that one soon! In some ways Quirky has since become an established company and I’m back in the true start-up world again. But Quirky continues to hold on to its start-up culture. This is the culture that I feel most comfortable working in and really the only one I know professionally! I love building high performing teams and shipping products that we are proud of. I love that I am doing it all over again from square one at Normal.
How did your time at Quirky influence your approach to the product design process?
It helped me understand that constraints are actually really beneficial to the design process. The design and product teams at Quirky accomplish amazing things under seeming ridiculous constraints.
Outside of direct involvement, how do you ensure that consumers feel ownership over the end product?
At Quirky it’s all about community involvement. Nothing gets produced or even considered unless the world wants it!
What do you feel is missing from today’s technology products? How should companies think about addressing those needs?
The cool thing about Quirky is that the world lets us know what is needed! I encourage everyone to keep inventing and don’t let anyone tell you something is not possible. We hope that more product companies continue to follow Quirky’s ethos, that great ideas can come from anywhere and anyone. As we always say at Quirky, the best ideas do not come from the Board Room but rather the Living Room.
Check out our conference page to see more of innovative industry leaders who will be speaking at our event.
We hope to see you at there! Click below to buy tickets.