Ben Kaufman, 23 Ben received his formal education from Portledge High School in Long Island, New York. While learning “in his own way” (which did not involve completion of much assigned work), Ben had an idea for lanyard headphones - an idea he went on to pursue during his senior year. These headphones were known as the Song Sling and became the initial product of Ben’s first company, mophie (named after his two dogs, Molly and Sophie). The same day he graduated from high school, mophie officially launched. Ben attended Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont - an attendance that lasted a single semester. After reaching Macworld in January ’06 and winning Best of Show, dropping out of college seemed valid. The Best of Show honor was awarded for a modular case accessory system that he created for the iPod Nano. This early success allowed Ben to raise $1.5 million in venture money from Village Ventures to help push mophie forward. A year later at Macworld ’07, while all the other accessory companies came to reveal their latest product lines, Ben and the mophie team came with...next to nothing. They had a booth made out of 2x4’s, and unveiled no new product. Instead, they handed out scratch pads to 30,000 people at the trade show and asked the Macworld community to design the 2007 mophie product line themselves. It was on that day in January 2007 that Ben committed to taking a product from sketch to ready-to-be-delivered in 72 hours. The sketch that got the most attention was a case/bottle opener for the iPod Shuffle. The true genius part of this Bevy, as it became known, was that 30,000 people from around the world came together to help develop this product. A product that under normal circumstances might be relegated to a flea market or dollar store - but with this amazing story behind it, the Bevy became a true success, selling in 28 countries worldwide. At this point mophie was no longer just about cool useful products; it was a brand. It was something that people wanted to be a part of - all because of this community driven process. Success tasted, Ben had an epiphany - it wasn’t so much about the end result, rather, the process was key. A week later, he sold mophie and rolled all assets into his next company - kluster. kluster is a powerful platform that allows its community to take any problem and apply the collaborative brainpower of tens of thousands of people to come together to make a decision. kluster is widely used to power strategy at many major ad agencies as well as various consumer product companies. While happy with kluster’s success, Ben wanted to transition back into product development; this time reaching far beyond the iPod case. Enter his third company, quirky - a social product development site that is built on kluster’s collaborative decision making platform. It effectively brings the world in and lets their product ideas become a reality while distributing the power of influence to tens of thousands of people.