By Anthony Capkun
September 17, 2013 – When this information first arrived in my Inbox, my gut reaction was to not let it stop there, but to keep it going straight to the Trash… but something about Quirky and its story of Pivot Power made me pause.
Quirky says its mission is to help ordinary people bring their ideas to market. Pivot Power was invented by college student Jake Zien, and it addresses the problem of power bar overcrowding. Standard 6-outlet power bars are straight and don’t usually provide a lot of room for many of the oddly shaped AC adapters and plugs that accompany our cell phones, computer tablets, laptops, etc.
But Pivot Power is flexible and adjustable, allowing users to plug in large AC adapters in each of its six outlets.
“This product sums up pretty much everything about as at Quirky,” said Ben Kaufman, Quirky CEO and founder. “We like to take the ideas spinning around in people’s heads and bring them into the real world where they can benefit all of us.”
The Quirky process begins when inventors submit their ideas to be evaluated and voted on by Quirky’s community of more than 200,000 users (a.k.a. influencers). Quirky’s in-house team of experts then select their favourite ideas and take them through the development phases of research, design, branding, engineering and manufacturing—with input throughout the process from Quirky influencers. Once the product is complete, it gets sold online through Quirky’s website and on the shelves of major retailers across North America.
So why did I pause and not throw this out? Why bring this up? Like Jake Zien, you must see a ton of things in the course of your work that make you pause and say, “Someone really ought to make something that [fill in the blank]”. Maybe it’s time you explored something like Quirky and got your own ideas off the ground.