Many of you already know about the Internet innovation company called Quirky. For those of you who aren’t one of the million registered influencers on the Quirky network, it’s an invention-submission website that asks the public to help decide the best ideas to develop. They have developed more than 100 new products in the past few years and strive for three new products each month.

On their website — — you can view thousands of the newest product innovations in various stages of development. The magazine Inc notes: “Quirky is asking people to share their dreams and giving them real incentives to participate. It turns out people don’t just want to make apps; they want to make things; and by recognizing this, Ben Kaufman has built a $50 million business, attracted $97 million in investment, and established a productive partnership with a giant of American industry. For these reasons and others, Quirky might be the most important innovation engine in business today”.

What can we learn from this innovation company that will help our industry and your company? Let’s list a few examples;

  • Create an innovation system with all your associatesand customer associates;
  • Offer incentives for the winning ideas;
  • Ask everyone to vote on the winners;
  • Use a software system to submit all ideas and instantly communicate updates;
  • Protect the best ideas quickly; and
  • Celebrate success.

It’s true that most good ideas that will spark your innovation process are already in the minds of your associates. Sometimes they’ve had those ideas for years and they just don’t have the opportunity to reveal them. Quirky has made the fear of failure for these early ideas easy to bear, and has been rewarded with thousands of concepts. If we are to be truly innovative, we need to coax these ideas out into the light to see if they will grow.

Spend 30 minutes of your time in the next week checking out Quirky and understanding its success. Learn how to adapt the concepts into your business and Innovate!

If you have any questions on the concepts here, feel free to contact me at and see the latest from Fenestration Innovation Network on LinkedIn.

1 Comment

  1. Great blog Ray. I checked it out and what an interesting concept. It’s a really cool site and I hope this does spur more innovation. Thanks again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *