Collaboration for World Changing Ideas

Henrik Stamm Kristensen

Quirky is one of the most popular platforms for crowdsourcing. Their model is about executing ideas through a collaborative decision making platform, as its founder and CEO, Ben Kaufman, highlights in the talk below. They are launching three new products per week into the market, a figure difficult to achieve for large companies. There are some interesting points to learn from through this collaborative innovation model, which Ben Kaufman highlights in the video. Some of them are:

Launching new categories into the market. As Ben Kaufman points out, most of the effort in innovation nowadays is focused on the digital world: eCommerce, gamification platforms, webs, etc., while new products, real inventions, are not getting into the market. Quirky, rather, focuses on executing ideas and bringing new categories into the market for meeting consumers needs and demands.

Collective innovation. The Quirky’s model combines three elements for product development: the technology of their platform, a community of ideators and the expertise of a team of designers, industrial engineers and other professionals involved in different disciplines related to the launching of new products. They do everything in-house, even the marketing research and promotion. The founder of the platform stands that this model is not only crowdsourcing but facilitates collaboration between experts and consumers and creative individuals.

Democratization of innovation. Innovation is hard. Potentially, all of us are innovators, but the invention is terribly inaccessible because in some moments the “statu quo” stops us. Crowdsourcing platforms as Quirky provides the tools for the world-changing ideas of common people or individual inventors become a reality.

Acceleration and reduction of the cost of innovation. Bringing together the effort of a community of ideators, this platform is able to produce and launch three brand new products every week and needs about 100 days to bring a new idea into the market. Additionally, their innovation process is repeatable and more cost effective compared to greater efforts in innovation, which normally companies assume in their internal processes.

Engagement and transparency. Quirky is completely transparent in their process, sales and the contributions they receive, so the users and the consumers really understand the value of their products. Also, they look for their inputs to promote the community’s and consumers’ engagement. Both aspects are something that companies really need to pay more attention to in today’s world.

Competing from innovation. As Ben Kaufman says, Quirky handles strong competition from retailers, manufactures and, in general, different industries. They compete through constantly creating better products through a growth model completely based on innovation. As the founder of the company highlights in different occasions during the talk, the basis of their success is in that their model does not focus on money rather on the creation of value and the execution of ideas, without limits. If there is an idea of value, with a potential market, they just go for it.
Quirky is a great example of how collaboration and open innovation approaches can lead to constant and sustainable innovation to bring better and real valuable products into the market.

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