Although I have not yet had a successful Quirky submission (I only entered in the freebies) I do have 6 US patents and 17 years in product development and design.

I’ve read through many of the submissions and I cringe sometimes to think someone plunked down $100 bucks for and idea that is not unique, not feasible, or just incomprehensible.

I feel that it is my duty to help some of the newbies and not so newbies. Some Quirkyites are just plain tenacious and keep trying the same idea. Maybe persistence pays off but maybe the idea was just not that good. I’ve mentioned Quirky on my blog before. I have over 400 referrals, 4 people signed up and two entered ideas. I want you to be successful so here are some tips.

Five Tips for Quirky Success:

1) Find a good problem to solve

  • People don’t buy products, they buy solutions.
  • The broader based the problem, the better.
  • Seasonal items have less appeal than something you use year-round and a beach product would have even less appeal.
  • Look for a problem that frustrates you on a regular basis. Chances are other people share the frustration.
  • Just watch that you don’t get into too small of niche.

2) Do your homework

  • Google is you first step.
  • Do a Google products search or use Amazon.
  • Patents: you don’t have to comb through the USPTO database for hours.
  • Use Google Patents with a few keywords that describe your invention.
  • Try different words and different combinations.
  • I like to use the thumbnail view because I can get an idea of the invention without opening every one.
  • Also pay attention to the text when you mouse over the picture for the patent title.

3) Keep it Simple

  • The best ideas are the ones that are so simple that they are elegant.
  • Simple to design means lower cost to product means lower selling price.
  • That all means it gets past the pre-order threshold faster.
  • You have to have some idea how it works.
  • Details are important do the degree that you understand the basic physics of what you want to do.

4) Carefully craft your pitch

  • Life’s a pitch and then you buy (the farm that is).
  • Get inside the head of the consumer and try to tap into the emotions associated with the problem you’re solving.
  • Don’t name it, Describe it.
  • State the problem you are solving first. Tell them the bottom line up front.
  • Distill the invention down to a single sentence that conveys the essence of your invention–Product Zen.
  • Include a picture so we know what it is you are talking about.
  • Picture = 1K words and a good video is priceless. as long as its under 2 minutes.
  • Explain how it works and list the benefits.

5) Make it like a bikini

  • Your idea submission should be large enough to cover everything but small enough to keep it interesting.
  • If you submit a product that is already patented, designed and on the shelf, what do you need Quirky for.
  • The Quirky folks like to add to what your seed is. If too much is already done, they can’t offer anything.
  • If you don’t do enough, then the community is left scratching their heads wondering what you mean.
  • They may make their own interpretation and be wrong.
  • Most people I know hate enclosures so be careful with more than one attachment and keep it to the point. A single sheet is best.

Don’t get discouraged, If you have an inkling of an idea, run it past me, I won’t steal it. It’s not in my best interest to steal a Quirky idea.

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