Author: Keya Gibbons of @KeyaGibbons
Editor: Katie Crammer
Ever wish your outlets were in a more convenient location? So did Jake Zien, inventor of Pivot Power. Zien thought up a flexible power strip that could bend to fit in tight or awkward spaces, pitched it to Quirky in 2010 and has now earned almost half a million on the idea.
When I first checked out Quirky.com, a site that turns consumer ideas into reality, I couldn’t believe the process was so simple. First you submit your idea—any idea—to the site (for free!). Quirky suggests you approach your pitch with these questions in mind: what problem does the world face without your idea and what’s the solution you’re proposing? Members can vote on the ideas they like. If your idea gets enough votes, the people of Quirky, industry experts, friends and community members gather at Quirky Headquarters in New York to debate it. This gathering happens every Thursday and at least three ideas are decided upon each meeting. If more than half the attendees vote in favor of your idea, it starts through development, where things like product name and pricing can also be voted upon by site members—with the potential to earn money for doing so.
Then what? Well your idea is an actuality and you’re getting paid! Sound too good to be true? It gets better. I read through the terms and conditions and found all fees are laid out clearly on the site. No surprises! They also detail ownership of user content so you know your rights. Worried someone might beat you to your own idea? Quirky recognizes that with so many submissions, it is likely people are submitting similar ideas. According to the FAQ page, “two submissions must be identical in concept, function, and presentation to be considered similar.” If two ideas are in fact identical, the one submitted first will be considered.
Quirky covers all the bases and the best part is it’s designed for ordinary people with extraordinary ideas, just like us. That really cool automatic breakfast machine you drew in fifth grade? It’s going to make you rich! So get to work on your proposal and hope the world wants instant bacon and eggs as
badly as you do.