What Raising Money Means To Me

Posted ago by Ben Kaufman

What follows is based on my own personal experiences, views and opinions about the world of startup financing.

I’m sharing today because I believe in the educational value of other people’s failures. Here are mine.

An Introduction

I started mophie over seven years ago. It began very simply:

I had an idea. I believed the only thing standing in the way of my gift wrap and ribbon prototype of the first “lanyard-headphone” becoming a mass market success was just a little bit of dough.

Like most entrepreneurs and creative people, to me money appeared to be the only barrier.

So, with the same instincts that instruct me to breathe and blink every now and then, I began raising money.

After endless Excel models, the writing of my first (and last) business plan, promising that I would go to college, and committing not to do anything stupid. My first round of funding came from a second mortgage on my parent’s house.


Mom and Dad Kaufman

My parents invested $185,000. If I remember correctly my Mother took 90% of the founder’s equity in her name, and gave me 10% with the chance to get to 50% as she was paid back (if producers for Shark Tank are reading, call Mindy Kaufman).

To this day, that first round of money was the hardest to raise—even though it was my parents. They put me through the ringer, and boy am I glad they did.

I took the deal, and began working on my little product under the name mophie—named for my two golden retrievers, Molly & Sophie.


The origin of the name ‘Mophie’

mophie had a rocky beginning. I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. My security blanket was the money I had raised, so I used it to learn.

Think college is expensive? Try retooling a consumer product 5 times because your engineers and/or factory didn’t have their shit together.

The $185,000 my parent’s bet their house on quickly vanished in the back streets of Shenzhen. It was then that I realized that money was not the thing standing in my way, but rather the details and intricacies of execution.

Yet still, money was necessary to keep the dream alive.

Somehow, I hustled together a small angel round from Vermont entrepreneurs in order to get to a Macworld trade show.

I then hustled folks at the Macworld show into digging a set of renders for products that didn’t exist yet, ultimately taking home the Best of Show award at Macworld 2006.

Then came my first Venture Capital Round.

1.5 Million Dollars. I was 19.

Know what the press said? “Mophie hits the big time”

That’s where our story begins…


The Burlington Free Press – August 01, 2006

Startups, The Press, & Funding

There were 7 guys on the cover of the local paper that morning. All in douchey sunglasses holding a set of iPod condoms like they were Benjamins.

One of the seven dudes was the guy the venture capitalists hired to replace me as CEO of mophie because I was too “inexperienced”.

“Hitting the Big Time”:


The Regrettable Photoshoot

  • We hadn’t shipped any of the 12 products we showed the Macworld attendees in San Francisco 8 months prior.
  • We raised 1.5 million dollars at a 1 million dollar pre-money valuation. I lost complete control of a company I worked incredibly hard to start, and a great deal of confidence in myself as a result.
  • The world (and our team) believed what they read. We were treated differently. We treated things differently. The world thought everything was done, mophie was successful.
  • My grandfather called me to congratulate me on building a successful company. We still hadn’t done shit. We just got some dude to write a check.

This experience, coupled with another 6 years of institutional financing experience after, has lead me to accumulate a comprehensive array of reasons why I hate glorifying startup financing, and why it disgusts me when fellow entrepreneurs gloat about how much money they’ve raised as part of their 60 second elevator pitch.

In the eye of the public, and specifically the tech community, funding is thought to mean much more that it actually does. The world views funding as a badge of honor. I view it as a scarlet letter.

I’m continually disturbed, insecure, and uncomfortable about what it means to raise money, and what it means to boast about it. Here’s why:

A few establishing remarks:

  1. It’s undeniable that one of a CEO’s primary jobs is making sure that there is enough money in the bank to do the concept justice. Throughout my career, the longest I’ve gone without worrying that my vision was being throttled back by resources was probably around 8-10 months.
  2. For most endeavors, money is necessary. That’s ok. None of the below is meant to dissuade you from raising money.
  3. Raising money is indeed an accomplishment, and it most certainly is not easy. Most startups struggle to get people to buy into their visions, and those who receive the scratch necessary to pursue their dream definitely have something to be proud of.

For those of you who haven’t been able to close a round yet: use the below as comfort that the folks who have aren’t as far ahead of you as they may seem.

For those who have, realize that the press release announcing your big fundraise will only keep you warm for so long.

Things I have learned from closing rounds & announcing funding:

1. Be bigger than your round
If the press is only writing about how much money you raised, it’s because you haven’t done anything bigger. That’s on you and your team. Work your ass off to make sure the money is not the news. You should be really fucking uncomfortable if the money you raised overshadows the work you’ve done. It scares the shit out of me every night. Still does. Don’t rest on your round. Fight your round, be bigger than it. Make people forget that time you raised money.
2. Lead through it
The way you carry yourself through the announcement of a financing has a huge effect on your team and community. If you pretend it’s the coolest biggest deal in the world- they will too. Suddenly, all the hard work they are putting into launching a new product is out-shined by the fact that you got someone to write a check. As some illusion of success is felt, the collective level of hustle will naturally wane.
3. Be insecure
When I sign a term-sheet, I get angry and uncomfortable. “Shit, ok no excuses anymore–I gotta do this.” There is an immense sense of responsibility. Let your team feel your stress, your angst, your hunger. The passion of all around you will go through the roof. People won’t just throw money at problems, they’ll work with the same scrappiness and drive that got you this far.

You don’t have to pretend you’re a big fucking deal. You’re not (yet). Be insecure.

4. Congratulations

Don’t congratulate people for raising money. That was never the goal. The goal is building a successful and meaningful business. When people raise money, instead of congratulating them, wish them luck. Their work is just getting started.

Congratulating people for financing perpetuates a problem that has plagued the startup world. The problem is that that it’s easy to focus on the hype surrounding a company, and lose sight of the fundamentals.

This is why our industry is flooded with what I call “startup fuckers.” These are people whose only ambition in life is to raise money, and then sell their company. They have no real interest in building a meaningful and enduring business. If we let startup fuckers dominate, we all lose.

Read TechCrunch and any other “deal blog” and you’ll see countless companies boasting about how much money they’ve raised and how great they are as a result. It’s bullshit. They’ve done nothing (yet). Don’t fall into the trap of congratulating them.

This is my favorite startup quote of all time (although I don’t know who said it):

“Congratulating an entrepreneur for raising money is like congratulating a chef for buying the ingredients.”

That says it all.

5. Put your ass on the line.
Lay out clear goals for your users and staff as to what you hope to achieve with this round of funding: why you’ve raised the money, what you’ll do with it, and how the collective performance of everyone involved can be measured. Even if the money is news in the short term, you’ll have something to point to. “Judge me on this.” Some say under-promise / over-deliver. That’s fine. But do promise something, otherwise everyone will make up their own mind about how much your round should let you accomplish.

What I am trying to communicate is that there is a message to be sent along with the consummation of a fundraising round. And that message isn’t, “Yay! We did it!” Your messaging and attitude will set the tone, and the culture, of your company moving forward. Act accordingly.

A Taste Of My Own Medicine. Quirky’s Series C:


I didn’t go to summer camp this year. I went fundraising instead. It consumed my entire summer, and did wonders for my SkyMiles status. I met some great people, and learned a lot about myself.

I view the process of raising money as somewhat cathartic. When you’re building a company you tend to believe your own shit. Sitting through months of constant interrogation about your prior and future decisions makes you understand how things are perceived by folks outside of your little ecosystem.

As we have many times in the past, we chose to go with the better partner / firm, rather than the best valuation. As much as I valued the interrogation of our business, my team and I waged our own interrogation of the folks on the other side.

We were intent on finding partners who shared our vision for how Quirky will change the world. Plain, simple, and as cliche as that. We looked for a firm who believed, with great conviction (as we do), that Quirky is going to make the world a better place by enabling creativity at an unheard of scale.

There are no two firms in the world with a better track record for swinging for the fences and believing in ambitious missions than Andreesen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins.

They’ve been kind enough to lead our $68 Million dollar Series C round, along with participation from our current investors- Norwest & RRE.

Joining our board are two amazing individuals I cannot wait to work with: Scott Weiss & Mary Meeker.


Scott Weiss


Mary Meeker

Scott and Mary both bring something unique to the table. Scott, a straight shooter known for building great companies and team cultures. Mary is the quintessential futurist.

So that’s what happened.

What Now?

With full & complete transparency: here is what to expect from Quirky in future. These plans could change, but as of right now these are the things top of mind for us.

Pace & Verticalization

We’ve been clear in saying our mission is to Make Invention Accessible. As time has gone on, we’ve actually been doing the exact inverse.

Increasing submissions to the site and a steady two product per week pace means the chances of becoming an inventor on quirky have diminished over time.

The undeniable fix for this is increasing the pace at which we choose ideas and bring products to market. We’ve been testing this internally for quite some time and are confident with some structural changes and additions to our team we can comfortably scale.

We aren’t taking on more for the hell of it, we are taking on more because it will produce better products, and more vibrant communities.

The quality of the feedback you’ve received as an inventor on Quirky has gone down over time. The “community” has become one central place where people are reviewing ideas that aren’t necessarily even relevant to them. Too much noise, not enough signal.

Ideas for a new type of baby bottle shouldn’t be shat on by a 43 year old hardcore gamer who lives in his parents’ basement. Similarly, his Monster Energy coozie shouldn’t necessarily be reviewed by Kindergarten teachers.

The online and offline world is filled with vibrant, vocal and knowledgeable communities centered around shared affinities. We intend on giving each one of these communities its own little invention machine.

Retail Revolution

We’ve been blessed with some of the best partners a company can ask for: Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Staples, QVC, Container Store, etc. All of these amazing partners have bought into the crazy idea that consumers are the best place to look for innovation.

One thing has been clear: retail isn’t setup for fast-and-agile. Retail is dominated by large organizations that plan 12+ months in advance, and hate risk.

This doesn’t jive perfectly (or at all) with our plan to introduce several new products on a weekly basis (especially because we can’t even tell them what those products are until a few weeks before launch).

It’s because of this that we intend to take control of the last mile: the shelf space itself

…and by “us,” I mean you.

Once everything is sorted out, negotiated, signed and sealed, we’ll be experimenting with our own space at retail. The space will be within the same great stores we are doing business with right now. Difference being, it’ll be completely managed by you. Change the assortment on a daily basis, run your own promotions, check product in/out of the store.

You’ll be our chief merchant in your town.

US Manufacturing

What I saw when i visited our factory in New Jersey had a lasting impact.


This country and industry is headed in the right direction, and nothing can fuel that fire more than average people’s ideas being made right here in the US.

It will take quite some time before we will manufacture a majority of Quirky products here in the US, but over time I believe we can and should.

We will invest in US Manufacturing. I promise to provide more quantifiable goals and milestones once we are a bit further along.

What today means to me, and to the Team at Quirky

  • We are proud today because of the opportunity we can now provide to our inventors and influencers.
  • We are proud today because of our newfound ability to invest in US Manufacturing
  • We are proud today because of the knowledge and mentorship we will receive from Scott and Mary
  • We are proud today because of the new challenges we will take on, the failures we will have, and the lessons we will learn.
  • We are proud today because of the inventions and innovations the world will now be able to enjoy. Inventions that wouldn’t have been possible if we ceased to exist.

….but then we shut the fuck up and get to work, because none of the above matters unless we execute.

Follow me on Twitter @benkaufman

Comments (189)

Dexter avatar
Dexter
Very exciting, keep up the good work Quirky!!
Thrifty avatar
Thrifty
gob smacking news looking forward to it all, cant wait to get into toys r us
John James Velasco avatar
John James Velasco
Ben, Good to know where the "Ship" is heading! Wishing "all" a safe voyage, fair weather, and following seas. :)
Denyveaus Sells avatar
Denyveaus Sells
Very exciting Thank you, Mr and Mrs Kaufman (and) Thank you, Ben for Making Invention Accessible.
Kris Mode avatar
Kris Mode
Kris Mode avatar
Kris Mode
This is the most amazing post I have read in a long time. Good luck guys - what a great idea.
ChesterCat avatar
ChesterCat
Crreate avatar
Crreate
Full steam ahead!!
Ruben Brito avatar
Ruben Brito
Love the honesty! Looking forward to the next phase!
Deepthinker avatar
Deepthinker
Thanks for your story, and thanks for the opportunity here at Q... it gives us all a chance Thanks
Gyro avatar
Gyro
Definitely has the seal of the successful entrepreneurs, I can't wait to hear more about new opportunities to help each other by merchandising Q products. A step on the right direction as I do work for a manufacturing company. Thanks for sharing.
Diane Alexander avatar
Diane Alexander
Heather  O'Donahoe avatar
Heather O'Donahoe
Awesome!
Wayne Swanson avatar
Wayne Swanson
Chabib Amrullah avatar
Chabib Amrullah
Excellent post Ben, Well laid out and easy to read. Keep up the great work! http://bibiku.blogs.fi , http://resepkulinerkreatif.weebly.com/
Melissa Dawn avatar
Melissa Dawn
I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own blog now. ninja cooking system Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a fine example of it.
Tatiyana Saravo avatar
Tatiyana Saravo
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Pushkin avatar
Pushkin
Wow! Exciting! Thank you Ben and Quirky staff. I'm proud today for being a part of Quirky. (as an aside, I don't feel so bad for occasionally swearing in the forums to get my point across after reading this. It seems swearing is made accessable here too : )
Jerry Chang avatar
Jerry Chang
A very good story Ben, and excited about Quirky's future. Be interested to learn more about how we can "manage" our own stores.
Greg Elias avatar
Greg Elias
Quirky merchandisers/brand ambassadors - awesome
Jack Duhamel avatar
Jack Duhamel
Congrats on the big raise!
Jesse Knox avatar
Jesse Knox
Awesome entry, Ben.
iamJordan avatar
iamJordan
Why so many F bombs?
sikotiq avatar
sikotiq
Thanks for the updates. I always appreciate working in a changing environment. It's when things get stale, and people do things because "that's the way we always do them" that really starts bugging me. I can't wait to see all the great products headed our way!
Mina Cohen avatar
Mina Cohen
Yes.
david blaisdell avatar
david blaisdell
Thanks for making this all happen Ben. You and your staff have worked so hard for us. Quirky has given hope for others and have guided us in the right direction. Congrats on your success and ours.
iamJordan avatar
iamJordan
Just Kidding! =)
stazy avatar
stazy
Great blog post. I'm looking forward to the 'retail revolution'. A town meeting is in order to spread the news.
Laura Doty avatar
Laura Doty
This is exciting stuff. Thanks, Ben!
Robert  Garnham avatar
Robert Garnham
Starting to feel that excitement I felt when I first joined receiving my first .001% influence. I would love to be involved in merchandising in my area I miss it had to leave it for a more stable career. Thanks Ben
PS1 avatar
PS1
Taking control of the shelf space sounds interesting-anxious to hear more about that!!! Congrats!!! Now let's EXECUTE!!!
JARED JOYCE avatar
JARED JOYCE
Great post Ben. Well laid out and easy to read. Keep up the great work!
MarcR avatar
MarcR
Very exciting Ben. I'm looking forward to the next phase in Quirky's evolution.
Kyle Dulan avatar
Kyle Dulan
Nice Concept! Voted!
Dexter avatar
Dexter
Very exciting, keep up the good work Quirky!!
Clinton Fleenor avatar
Clinton Fleenor
Well, though you are correct that raising capital is not why Quirky exists, it is still an accomplishment. So, for this accomplishment, congratulations Ben.
EW . avatar
EW .
Wow. Wow! This is not what I was expecting to read at 1 am on a Thursday night. I believe that Q can be a moneymaking Hogwarts, and I am ready to help you. Can't wait for our Town Meeting, should be a good one!
Thrifty avatar
Thrifty
gob smacking news looking forward to it all, cant wait to get into toys r us
John James Velasco avatar
John James Velasco
Ben, Good to know where the "Ship" is heading! Wishing "all" a safe voyage, fair weather, and following seas. :)
Denyveaus Sells avatar
Denyveaus Sells
Very exciting Thank you, Mr and Mrs Kaufman (and) Thank you, Ben for Making Invention Accessible.
Evonne Wilks avatar
Evonne Wilks
Congratulations to :Ben & all QS & us Q community! This is a giant leap in a positive direction for future growth for all of us @ Quirky! Wonderful & I am looking forward to being apart of this giant leap! Awesome News, Thank you :))
Kris Mode avatar
Kris Mode
Kris Mode avatar
Kris Mode
This is the most amazing post I have read in a long time. Good luck guys - what a great idea.
PattiD avatar
PattiD
Wow! You ALL have so much to be proud of. Sounds like an amazing year ahead!
PattiD avatar
PattiD
Am I selfishly thrilled that the booster rockets are being strapped on just as my new product (Enclose) is introduced? You better believe it!
e a s t avatar
e a s t
Congratulations from Budapest ;)
Bradford Shellhammer avatar
Bradford Shellhammer
This and you and your company make me smile.
uniqueideas avatar
uniqueideas
Very excited about all of this and the future.
David Brown avatar
David Brown
I wonder, do all entrepreneurs use such foul offensive language? What happens if they don't?
Michael Kloeckner avatar
Michael Kloeckner
Thanks for sharing your story and vision for Quirky. I am extremely proud and excited to be a community member.
ChesterCat avatar
ChesterCat
ChesterCat avatar
ChesterCat
Ben, I give you a lot of correct!
indie avatar
indie
This is wonderful news; congrats Team Quirky!
Nichole avatar
Nichole
Good luck to you Ben, how exciting! I'm sure you're utilizing your time while traveling but don't forget that regular communication will draw in a bigger community to help you become even bigger & better.
Matthew Murrie avatar
Matthew Murrie
Booyakasha!
Debra Courtenay avatar
Debra Courtenay
Awesome! Quirky is just that - a place that provides opportunity! that article was easy to read and understand - sound really great. Thanks for sharing.
Maria Morrill avatar
Maria Morrill
Thank you for putting this together Ben!!! Very informative. Looks like Quirky has a VERY bright future! Thank you for letting us share in your vision :)
Sebastien Lauzon avatar
Sebastien Lauzon
Congrats Ben and all the Quirky Staff. Nice story and let's write Chapter 2 all together ;)
Robert Francois avatar
Robert Francois
Possible quantum leap. Thanks and good luck Quirky!
Crreate avatar
Crreate
Full steam ahead!!
Ruben Brito avatar
Ruben Brito
Love the honesty! Looking forward to the next phase!
Peter Provart avatar
Peter Provart
Quirky : Re-defining how we create, produce and consume products. Bloody excellent vision , now for execution , and you have the communities support.. Tip Top!
JonesAndJones avatar
JonesAndJones
Ben, thank you for taking the time to put in the details. We are thrilled and appreciative of being on this train. What a ride you and your staff and the rest of the community are providing!
Deepthinker avatar
Deepthinker
Thanks for your story, and thanks for the opportunity here at Q... it gives us all a chance Thanks
Lorem Ipsum avatar
Lorem Ipsum
Yea! went from lowercase q to capital Q with that.
Gyro avatar
Gyro
Definitely has the seal of the successful entrepreneurs, I can't wait to hear more about new opportunities to help each other by merchandising Q products. A step on the right direction as I do work for a manufacturing company. Thanks for sharing.
Matthew Toghill avatar
Matthew Toghill
Whilst I'm not as active as I used to be, I'm still proud to be a member of Quirky and have influenced such a brilliant company somewhere along its life cycle, even if that influence barely scratched the surface. Great news about the Series C funding, I'm sure the Quirky team will make good use of it to realise your expectations of the future, but none the less GOOD LUCK! =D
JAEP avatar
JAEP
The best lessons come from pain- you have had your fair share, which has lead you to this amazing point on the road map. People say we make our own luck- I prefer to cal it fortune- if that's true you your great passion will ensure you have plenty more waiting for you at the bank if you ever need it! well done so far!-
Kat Devlon avatar
Kat Devlon
P.S. Thumbs up to Paul Kendall's comments above!
Matthew Rose avatar
Matthew Rose
Found my way here via Max and Irv... bravo. Love it, congratulations and greetings from Paris, Ben. MATTHEW ROSE
Yolanda Jackson avatar
Yolanda Jackson
Great job, so proud of everyone that help Quirky and Ben become successful, that shows us all to never give up dreaming, or on our dreams. :) great pot
Heather  O'Donahoe avatar
Heather O'Donahoe
Awesome!
Christopher Defiance avatar
Christopher Defiance
LMAO. made me cry* *good stuff sir* http://www.quirky.com/ideations/283415
Sam Ticker avatar
Sam Ticker
Wow - I'm speechless. Get on that grind, BK.
Claire Davis avatar
Claire Davis
Awesome new direction! I'm so excited to see where this takes Quirky - and thrilled to be along for the ride. Congrats Ben & Company!
Wayne Swanson avatar
Wayne Swanson
fauzi sofiyurohman avatar
fauzi sofiyurohman
Thanks and good luck Quirky! Hotel Information and Travel trip
Nagato Rikudou avatar
Nagato Rikudou
The capacity of your creativity in writing, making my terinsfirasi. and I understand, unyielding hard work is the key : http://bit.ly/1l4IJyj
Nagato Rikudou avatar
Nagato Rikudou
The capacity of your creativity in writing, to make me understand. I hope I was able to work hard and then try to be creative with very creative within my means < a href="http://bit.ly/1l4IJyj">http://bit.ly/1l4IJyj
Nagato Rikudou avatar
Nagato Rikudou
The capacity of your creativity in writing, to make me understand. I hope I was able to work hard and then try to be creative with very creative within my means http://bit.ly/1l4IJyj
khalila alya avatar
khalila alya
What an amazing post.. your post really fire me up.. right now i also try to build my online business dutafashion tempat belanja pakaian dan sepatu.. after got bankrupt on my cook shop... thanks.. and keep posting..
khalila alya avatar
khalila alya
Terima kasih atas tulisannya, tulisan anda sangat mengispirasi kami yang sedang menjalankan bisnis tempat belanja pakaian dan sepatu
khalila alya avatar
khalila alya
Awesome post. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work! dutafashion
Steve Hulsey avatar
Steve Hulsey
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Pushkin avatar
Pushkin
Wow! Exciting! Thank you Ben and Quirky staff. I'm proud today for being a part of Quirky. (as an aside, I don't feel so bad for occasionally swearing in the forums to get my point across after reading this. It seems swearing is made accessable here too : )
Jerry Chang avatar
Jerry Chang
A very good story Ben, and excited about Quirky's future. Be interested to learn more about how we can "manage" our own stores.
Greg Elias avatar
Greg Elias
Quirky merchandisers/brand ambassadors - awesome
Jack Duhamel avatar
Jack Duhamel
Congrats on the big raise!
Jesse Knox avatar
Jesse Knox
Awesome entry, Ben.
iamJordan avatar
iamJordan
Why so many F bombs?
sikotiq avatar
sikotiq
Thanks for the updates. I always appreciate working in a changing environment. It's when things get stale, and people do things because "that's the way we always do them" that really starts bugging me. I can't wait to see all the great products headed our way!
Mina Cohen avatar
Mina Cohen
Yes.
david blaisdell avatar
david blaisdell
Thanks for making this all happen Ben. You and your staff have worked so hard for us. Quirky has given hope for others and have guided us in the right direction. Congrats on your success and ours.
iamJordan avatar
iamJordan
Just Kidding! =)
stazy avatar
stazy
Great blog post. I'm looking forward to the 'retail revolution'. A town meeting is in order to spread the news.
Laura Doty avatar
Laura Doty
This is exciting stuff. Thanks, Ben!
Robert  Garnham avatar
Robert Garnham
Starting to feel that excitement I felt when I first joined receiving my first .001% influence. I would love to be involved in merchandising in my area I miss it had to leave it for a more stable career. Thanks Ben
PS1 avatar
PS1
Taking control of the shelf space sounds interesting-anxious to hear more about that!!! Congrats!!! Now let's EXECUTE!!!
JARED JOYCE avatar
JARED JOYCE
Great post Ben. Well laid out and easy to read. Keep up the great work!
MarcR avatar
MarcR
Very exciting Ben. I'm looking forward to the next phase in Quirky's evolution.
Kyle Dulan avatar
Kyle Dulan
Nice Concept! Voted!
David Veshapidze avatar
David Veshapidze
Inspirational and educational. Having money is definitely a burden. It comes at a price of lost control and is a good deal of distraction from what you are trying to achieve - make your product or service happen! Ben, you'd be smart to invest in US manufacturing. It is coming back and it will enable you to make quality products. I cannot tell you how many times my own customers have specifically emailed, or called to ask if my company products were made in the USA. Consumer is ready to pay a small premium for quality and robustness that lasts for years.
Clinton Fleenor avatar
Clinton Fleenor
Well, though you are correct that raising capital is not why Quirky exists, it is still an accomplishment. So, for this accomplishment, congratulations Ben.
EW . avatar
EW .
Wow. Wow! This is not what I was expecting to read at 1 am on a Thursday night. I believe that Q can be a moneymaking Hogwarts, and I am ready to help you. Can't wait for our Town Meeting, should be a good one!
Joe Schmoe avatar
Joe Schmoe
Great article. I especially enjoyed the first half, about raising money. I hadn't heard of Quirky before, but I'm curious about your desire to move all manufacturing back to the U.S. over time. Steve Jobs famously said "those jobs aren't coming back". To play the devil's advocate on this one: what do you know about manufacturing that Apple (and the rest of the industry) doesn't, or alternatively, are you planning to take a hit to your revenue to prop up American manufacturing jobs?
David Veshapidze avatar
David Veshapidze
Hey Joe Schmoe, actually rest of the industry knows that jobs are coming back: http://www.forbes.com/sites/singularity/2012/07/23/the-end-of-chinese-manufacturing-and-rebirth-of-u-s-industry/ Numerous other articles and news of specific companies like auto makers moving or expanding to US. Cheap Chinese manufacturing times are over. The China had its run and it is now gradually forced to bring standards, wages, and quality to a competitive level. Consumer is tired of buying goods that used to last for years and now barely make it to warranty period. I replaced my dishwasher made 10 years ago with brand spanking new one that broke in 18 months. Many other goods and appliances are the same way. Quality is not cheap but cheaply made products are even more expensive. I guess India can be the next China in terms of cheap goods but that chapter is yet to be written - India's infrastructure is not as strong as China's.
Evonne Wilks avatar
Evonne Wilks
Congratulations to :Ben & all QS & us Q community! This is a giant leap in a positive direction for future growth for all of us @ Quirky! Wonderful & I am looking forward to being apart of this giant leap! Awesome News, Thank you :))
Jerry Rubenfeld avatar
Jerry Rubenfeld
Ben, this seems to be a natural extension of the roots that launched Mophie. Your Mom kept sending you back to satisfy a thorough study of your product design, the marketplace and manufacturing prior to signing on with your folks assets. Next, you made a leap of faith into virtually unknown waters with what has become QuirkyInc and have defined something new for the world called a "social product development site" and have shown what it would look like if there is passion and hard work partnering there. And now re-evaluating those original questions of product design, the marketplace and manufacturing in synergy with the talent, emotion and energy of the entire Quirky Community seems to me to be an appropriate foundation for the next launch into the future. I'm proud to be part of your family and share in those passionate roots.
BradyR avatar
BradyR
Thank you Ben K. I truly and sincerely thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your journey. It means a great deal to me that you, yourself are so passionately involved and continue to speak directly to us. The news about our future excites me beyond words. Today solidifies my belief that Quirky is destined for great things, trailblazing an industry, and changing people's lives. I am looking forward to the local ambassadors to the stores idea and feel it just one more aspect that will help us all reach incredible heights with Quirky as the industry leader for community based product innovation. Thank you once more for making time for us.
PattiD avatar
PattiD
Wow! You ALL have so much to be proud of. Sounds like an amazing year ahead!
PattiD avatar
PattiD
Am I selfishly thrilled that the booster rockets are being strapped on just as my new product (Enclose) is introduced? You better believe it!
e a s t avatar
e a s t
Congratulations from Budapest ;)
Bradford Shellhammer avatar
Bradford Shellhammer
This and you and your company make me smile.
uniqueideas avatar
uniqueideas
Very excited about all of this and the future.
David Brown avatar
David Brown
I wonder, do all entrepreneurs use such foul offensive language? What happens if they don't?
Michael Kloeckner avatar
Michael Kloeckner
Thanks for sharing your story and vision for Quirky. I am extremely proud and excited to be a community member.
ChesterCat avatar
ChesterCat
Ben, I give you a lot of correct!
indie avatar
indie
This is wonderful news; congrats Team Quirky!
Nichole avatar
Nichole
Good luck to you Ben, how exciting! I'm sure you're utilizing your time while traveling but don't forget that regular communication will draw in a bigger community to help you become even bigger & better.
Matthew Murrie avatar
Matthew Murrie
Booyakasha!
Debra Courtenay avatar
Debra Courtenay
Awesome! Quirky is just that - a place that provides opportunity! that article was easy to read and understand - sound really great. Thanks for sharing.
Maria Morrill avatar
Maria Morrill
Thank you for putting this together Ben!!! Very informative. Looks like Quirky has a VERY bright future! Thank you for letting us share in your vision :)
Sebastien Lauzon avatar
Sebastien Lauzon
Congrats Ben and all the Quirky Staff. Nice story and let's write Chapter 2 all together ;)
Robert Francois avatar
Robert Francois
Possible quantum leap. Thanks and good luck Quirky!
Peter Provart avatar
Peter Provart
Quirky : Re-defining how we create, produce and consume products. Bloody excellent vision , now for execution , and you have the communities support.. Tip Top!
JonesAndJones avatar
JonesAndJones
Ben, thank you for taking the time to put in the details. We are thrilled and appreciative of being on this train. What a ride you and your staff and the rest of the community are providing!
Leo avatar
Leo
That was an AWESOME post Ben! Your thoughts on raising money are very enlightening. Also, I love the fact that you are beginning to start the process of doing more inventions and letting communities get involved more effectively. I have had the problem where my inventions were falling on deaf ears (like on my facebook page). I also love the possibility (If I understood correctly) of having more control of what products are at my local stores so they have fresh products. I would drop everything in my life right now to work with you guys because I love your company. Can't wait to do my little part from up here in Binghamton!
Lorem Ipsum avatar
Lorem Ipsum
Yea! went from lowercase q to capital Q with that.
Paul Kendall avatar
Paul Kendall
Our Ben, is wise way beyond his years, I love the bit about his mum asking for 90% equity .The Universe has Ben's number.. he is blessed.. he has amazing parents. And his dog on instagram is gold, yes gold. And has an adorable little black nose.. Is this how I assess companies well yes. but not quite… The future is Quirky and micro manufacturing and localised production. Not 3D printing but small scale fast production units. Retail buyers are behind the times. They are mesmerised by the China price. Times are a changing. An article in the Economist about 3D printers led me to Quirky.com. I joined Quirky in August 2012. I watched the "Eval" live (midnight UK time). Nikki Kaufman was the chair. The word awesome was used liberally, the team on the panel were alive with ideas, this was enormous fun to watch. They all looked like they had the dream job. The energy you could cut it with a knife. the prediction is Quirky will start to find monster inventions as quality thinkers migrate away from the red pill :- Patenting, Manufacturing and Self Marketing and take the blue pill and enter the walled garden of the "royalty for life" model offered by Quirky. (Patents only last 20 years). So which is best ? The red pill or the blue pill ? Crowd funding or Quirky? I think this is a false dichotomy why not the purple pill. If Quirky can't see the potential of your new washing peg with LED idea… try crowd funding… if that bombs… it's back to the drawing board. (Simple) I hope to see Quirky in the UK with the HQ in Leeds. Why? because it's so obvious. WalMart (UK) HQ is in Leeds. Micro manufacturing must be implemented into the Quirky concept in my humble opinion. Thousands in the Quirky community could make many of the products sold by Quirky.com Small kitchen table type assembly units, or in a shed in in the back garden or in pay as you go factories. (3D printing won't be the next big thing). Most small components used in Japanese cars are made in small backroom home factories. Materials like shapelock plastic can be press moulded or welded with no harmful emissions. Package, barcode and you are seeing the future. This overhead light manufacturing model is how Hong Kong was built.. This Hong Kong style business model of micro manufacturing can be cut and pasted to New York or London, if only there was the will to do it. The "China price" is vulnerable to wage inflation, transport cost inflation (which is pegged to the oil price). Long supply chains means unsold stock inventory risk for retailers Quirky is an ant, China made is an elephant.millions of ants can move mountains. One in 1,000 can invent a product, but the other 999 can make it with the new micro manufacturing methods. That's the next inventive step… No employment law issues, no factory rents, huge taxes.. all gone, as the Quirky members are self employed. Like Amazon kindle KDP but for product design. All QC members have family and friends this "word of mouth time bomb" has yet to explode. Everyone I tell about Quirky is blown away. But they all comment on the what if the idea submission is not accepted issue. Meanwhile back at the ranch : the other USP is the friends of Quirky members will predictably favour Quirky products over other products when making buying decisions. Secondly the evidence shows consumers are happy to pay a "feel good factor" premium for locally produced products. Delivering this Feel Good Factor is what Quirky does really well. The failure rate of ideas submitted by members is a downer, this may be holding the concept back. Solution: Get the 999 failed inventors making stuff, get them selling more. WalMart in the UK is called "Asda". I want to see "Quirky invents" racks full of products in all of ASDA stores all across the UK. And quirky invents in all walmart stores in America. Made in the USA by Americans Made in the UK by the British Made in the Netherlands by the Dutch and so on. May be Ben will disagree? The power of the Quirky concept has yet to be fully appreciated. The key is "designed" in New York but made locally... If Quirky opened in the UK that would be big news. And very risky and may be the timing is not perfect. (May be next year?) But.. The UK media has a very big gob. If Quirky could create just a few hundred micro manufacturing jobs in America and sell this MM output to retail giants like WalMart and Target…Q the next industrial revolution…. good luck Ben.
George Scott avatar
George Scott
A good read and glad to hear the positive forward momentum. Nice to see the heavy hitters on the funding side involved, helping to give direction, insight etc. And yes, I know all to well (recent history) what a person who got funding and then wanted to quick sell the company. I saw the drawing, two lines intersect, that was buyout point, on a dry erase board. I'm hearing you Ben, loud and clear! Here's to Quirky and it's community of incredibly diverse, helpful, and motivating folks!
Matthew Toghill avatar
Matthew Toghill
Whilst I'm not as active as I used to be, I'm still proud to be a member of Quirky and have influenced such a brilliant company somewhere along its life cycle, even if that influence barely scratched the surface. Great news about the Series C funding, I'm sure the Quirky team will make good use of it to realise your expectations of the future, but none the less GOOD LUCK! =D
Diane Alexander avatar
Diane Alexander
First, and foremost--Congratulations to Ben Kaufman, the staff and the quirky community. "The future's so bright, we should all be wearing shades. Very excited. Caught something that's contagious--enthusiasm, and excitement. In this case--it is something I want everyone to catch. Good luck and cheers all:)
Steve Rader avatar
Steve Rader
Ben, I love it when leaders can articulate and share their vision and values! As you have experienced, it energizes everyone involved and motivates them. I joined Quirky in early 2011 to experience a crowd source community after reading Jeff Howe's book "Crowdsourcing" and getting an understanding of the potential for changing and improving the way almost everything is done. Quirky has not disappointed! It has really been great to see how the community works together and is motivated. Thanks for combining a great new model with a well run company that has real leadership. Congratulations and good luck!
JAEP avatar
JAEP
The best lessons come from pain- you have had your fair share, which has lead you to this amazing point on the road map. People say we make our own luck- I prefer to cal it fortune- if that's true you your great passion will ensure you have plenty more waiting for you at the bank if you ever need it! well done so far!-
Kat Devlon avatar
Kat Devlon
Ben, Thanks for the update! Congrats on the funding! I look forward to having Mary Meeker on the Board! Going to submit a ton of tech ideations now. heh heh btw, do you effing know you don't have to effing swear to be effing cool or to appear effing smart? How many effing times did your effing mom wash your effing mouth out with effing soap? ;)
Kat Devlon avatar
Kat Devlon
P.S. Thumbs up to Paul Kendall's comments above!
Paul Evans avatar
Paul Evans
Your company is a great idea and I totally agree with your philosophy. We live in a great country because hard working people from around the world came to this country with a dream and made it great. Let's keep it great!
Matthew Rose avatar
Matthew Rose
Found my way here via Max and Irv... bravo. Love it, congratulations and greetings from Paris, Ben. MATTHEW ROSE
Yolanda Jackson avatar
Yolanda Jackson
Great job, so proud of everyone that help Quirky and Ben become successful, that shows us all to never give up dreaming, or on our dreams. :) great pot
Cassandra Gordon avatar
Cassandra Gordon
A very good point was made about the fact that raising funds doesn't mean the success of your product (especially if it doesn't exist yet!). I am excited about the positive changes that are going to be implemented to reflect and capitalize upon the increase of submissions, which will be good for all involved. I'm also very interested in learning more about the retail space. Thanks for the update! ~Cassandra
Christopher Defiance avatar
Christopher Defiance
LMAO. made me cry* *good stuff sir* http://www.quirky.com/ideations/283415
Sam Ticker avatar
Sam Ticker
Wow - I'm speechless. Get on that grind, BK.
Claire Davis avatar
Claire Davis
Awesome new direction! I'm so excited to see where this takes Quirky - and thrilled to be along for the ride. Congrats Ben & Company!
Anonymous Quirk avatar
Anonymous Quirk
Ben, You know for a while now, I had given up on you and the Quirky process! It seemed to be heading down a road without it's driver...You! I found the whole process to be nothing more than too much to fast, and that's because you didn't have your hands on the wheel! I wasn't sure you where even in charge anymore. I had given up! The ideas that your team seem to pick always fell on dull, safe, and boring! I questioned your true intentions because of the products you choose to call winners! I yelled, I screamed, and yes, I even got upset. Because I too believed in Quirky! I to have dream of starting my own business! But unlike what you have done, I've envisioned my way to success thought you! What I have always wanted to do is first have the cash flow to start small. One successful product would lead to the next, and I would build from that. When Quirky repeatedly started making products that I felt would never sell to the masses, is when I lost hope in the Quirky process. Lets face it Ben, not many people in the industrialized world need or want a toy floating around in their pots to "help" them boil water.... What I'm saying is if what you have said above is true, then you are back on track! You are back in the driver seat! And Quirky will change the world! I know that passion! I get goosebumps and a chills even when I think about it! Quirky can change the world! You just need to have a sharp eye and a clue of what will sell! Don't always try to solve a problem with every product you make. Sometimes Ben man, there isn't a problem! Sometimes people just gotta have it! An iPhone5 doesn't solve a problem! But people sure as hell gotta it! Step away from cheesy products Ben and these investors will want to give you their money! I know in the past I have not been the happy camper you may have wanted me to be. You told me I was your favorite, but I never understood what that meant! If you believed in me, I sure didn't feel it. I'm willing to start over, I'm willing to give you some of the best damn product ideas I've got! And I've got them inside me. I just need someone to believe in me too... I need you! You need me! Just like picking winning ideas, you got to pick winning inventors! Yes what you learned sir is that money is just a piece of the puzzle. There are more pieces, and you don't always see how they fit! Shit you may even have to jimmy a piece to make things work. But in the end... when you get it right.... It's you name on the blimp...The world is yours! You know where to find me! Holla at you boy!
John Smith avatar
John Smith
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David Nguyen avatar
David Nguyen
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ruth sharon
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ruth sharon
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ruth sharon
ruth sharon avatar
ruth sharon
The great thing about python and php is that you can build many awesomeSoda shop machine software with them. I have used them both and I think they are the greatest. Makes me wish I had started ten years earlier already.
Feby Yolla avatar
Feby Yolla
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Chabib Amrullah avatar
Chabib Amrullah
Excellent post Ben, Well laid out and easy to read. Keep up the great work! http://bibiku.blogs.fi/ , http://resepkulinerkreatif.weebly.com/
Anne Go avatar
Anne Go
A very inspiring story. It only shows that nothing is impossible when you have a goal in life and you have the determination to achieve it. BTW, I just want to share a good source for fillable forms and tutorials - PDFfiller. It has a ton of business templates. It helps me fill out a needed form neatly and gives me the option to esign. http://www.pdffiller.com/en/categories_search
Muhammad Faizan Rafeeque avatar
Muhammad Faizan Rafeeque
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perdana internet murah avatar
perdana internet murah
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Wayne Swanson avatar
Wayne Swanson
Great blog Ben, recently GE announced that they would start manufacturing appliances in the U.S. again . How awesome is that. I'd like to be the first to offer all of Quirky's products at a mall space for the holidays. You can contact me asap at royalswan66ame.com. I would call it the Quirky HUB. Or let's just let the community name it. We could also educate the buyer then about our objectives as a design community. Let them go on Quirky.com and see what we're about. It's the gift giving season . I've been in retail furniture sales for 26 years and still feel that old fashioned word of mouth gets the best results with our seniors or non computer savvy buyers. I know of a few buying groups that market to mom and pop stores. These are the people who market American MADE the most. They have loyal customers who continue to buy based on a knowledgable sales person who they like. Now it's called niche marketing . So great blog and keep up the Great Work in building America one invention at a time . Just like the the new show on the History Channel called " The Men Who Built America." Thanks Wayne.
Tomas  Anderson avatar
Tomas Anderson
The lengthy tale short version (or TL; DR, in the parlance of our times)-- I attempt and raise money, I pitch in Lake Michigan following Saturday, I cannot feel my arms for a couple of hrs, you make fun of me, this organization gets more money to help pets in necessity. If you have actually obtained the ways and the wish, you could help me borrow at my fundraising web page. Any little bit will certainly aid. I'll publish a recap after the occasion once I regain feeling in my extremities. Many thanks ahead of time! http://brandengineers.nl/
David Veshapidze avatar
David Veshapidze
Inspirational and educational. Having money is definitely a burden. It comes at a price of lost control and is a good deal of distraction from what you are trying to achieve - make your product or service happen! Ben, you'd be smart to invest in US manufacturing. It is coming back and it will enable you to make quality products. I cannot tell you how many times my own customers have specifically emailed, or called to ask if my company products were made in the USA. Consumer is ready to pay a small premium for quality and robustness that lasts for years.
Joe Schmoe avatar
Joe Schmoe
Great article. I especially enjoyed the first half, about raising money. I hadn't heard of Quirky before, but I'm curious about your desire to move all manufacturing back to the U.S. over time. Steve Jobs famously said "those jobs aren't coming back". To play the devil's advocate on this one: what do you know about manufacturing that Apple (and the rest of the industry) doesn't, or alternatively, are you planning to take a hit to your revenue to prop up American manufacturing jobs?
David Veshapidze avatar
David Veshapidze
Hey Joe Schmoe, actually rest of the industry knows that jobs are coming back: http://www.forbes.com/sites/singularity/2012/07/23/the-end-of-chinese-manufacturing-and-rebirth-of-u-s-industry/ Numerous other articles and news of specific companies like auto makers moving or expanding to US. Cheap Chinese manufacturing times are over. The China had its run and it is now gradually forced to bring standards, wages, and quality to a competitive level. Consumer is tired of buying goods that used to last for years and now barely make it to warranty period. I replaced my dishwasher made 10 years ago with brand spanking new one that broke in 18 months. Many other goods and appliances are the same way. Quality is not cheap but cheaply made products are even more expensive. I guess India can be the next China in terms of cheap goods but that chapter is yet to be written - India's infrastructure is not as strong as China's.
Jerry Rubenfeld avatar
Jerry Rubenfeld
Ben, this seems to be a natural extension of the roots that launched Mophie. Your Mom kept sending you back to satisfy a thorough study of your product design, the marketplace and manufacturing prior to signing on with your folks assets. Next, you made a leap of faith into virtually unknown waters with what has become QuirkyInc and have defined something new for the world called a "social product development site" and have shown what it would look like if there is passion and hard work partnering there. And now re-evaluating those original questions of product design, the marketplace and manufacturing in synergy with the talent, emotion and energy of the entire Quirky Community seems to me to be an appropriate foundation for the next launch into the future. I'm proud to be part of your family and share in those passionate roots.
BradyR avatar
BradyR
Thank you Ben K. I truly and sincerely thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your journey. It means a great deal to me that you, yourself are so passionately involved and continue to speak directly to us. The news about our future excites me beyond words. Today solidifies my belief that Quirky is destined for great things, trailblazing an industry, and changing people's lives. I am looking forward to the local ambassadors to the stores idea and feel it just one more aspect that will help us all reach incredible heights with Quirky as the industry leader for community based product innovation. Thank you once more for making time for us.
Leo avatar
Leo
That was an AWESOME post Ben! Your thoughts on raising money are very enlightening. Also, I love the fact that you are beginning to start the process of doing more inventions and letting communities get involved more effectively. I have had the problem where my inventions were falling on deaf ears (like on my facebook page). I also love the possibility (If I understood correctly) of having more control of what products are at my local stores so they have fresh products. I would drop everything in my life right now to work with you guys because I love your company. Can't wait to do my little part from up here in Binghamton!
Paul Kendall avatar
Paul Kendall
Our Ben, is wise way beyond his years, I love the bit about his mum asking for 90% equity .The Universe has Ben's number.. he is blessed.. he has amazing parents. And his dog on instagram is gold, yes gold. And has an adorable little black nose.. Is this how I assess companies well yes. but not quite… The future is Quirky and micro manufacturing and localised production. Not 3D printing but small scale fast production units. Retail buyers are behind the times. They are mesmerised by the China price. Times are a changing. An article in the Economist about 3D printers led me to Quirky.com. I joined Quirky in August 2012. I watched the "Eval" live (midnight UK time). Nikki Kaufman was the chair. The word awesome was used liberally, the team on the panel were alive with ideas, this was enormous fun to watch. They all looked like they had the dream job. The energy you could cut it with a knife. the prediction is Quirky will start to find monster inventions as quality thinkers migrate away from the red pill :- Patenting, Manufacturing and Self Marketing and take the blue pill and enter the walled garden of the "royalty for life" model offered by Quirky. (Patents only last 20 years). So which is best ? The red pill or the blue pill ? Crowd funding or Quirky? I think this is a false dichotomy why not the purple pill. If Quirky can't see the potential of your new washing peg with LED idea… try crowd funding… if that bombs… it's back to the drawing board. (Simple) I hope to see Quirky in the UK with the HQ in Leeds. Why? because it's so obvious. WalMart (UK) HQ is in Leeds. Micro manufacturing must be implemented into the Quirky concept in my humble opinion. Thousands in the Quirky community could make many of the products sold by Quirky.com Small kitchen table type assembly units, or in a shed in in the back garden or in pay as you go factories. (3D printing won't be the next big thing). Most small components used in Japanese cars are made in small backroom home factories. Materials like shapelock plastic can be press moulded or welded with no harmful emissions. Package, barcode and you are seeing the future. This overhead light manufacturing model is how Hong Kong was built.. This Hong Kong style business model of micro manufacturing can be cut and pasted to New York or London, if only there was the will to do it. The "China price" is vulnerable to wage inflation, transport cost inflation (which is pegged to the oil price). Long supply chains means unsold stock inventory risk for retailers Quirky is an ant, China made is an elephant.millions of ants can move mountains. One in 1,000 can invent a product, but the other 999 can make it with the new micro manufacturing methods. That's the next inventive step… No employment law issues, no factory rents, huge taxes.. all gone, as the Quirky members are self employed. Like Amazon kindle KDP but for product design. All QC members have family and friends this "word of mouth time bomb" has yet to explode. Everyone I tell about Quirky is blown away. But they all comment on the what if the idea submission is not accepted issue. Meanwhile back at the ranch : the other USP is the friends of Quirky members will predictably favour Quirky products over other products when making buying decisions. Secondly the evidence shows consumers are happy to pay a "feel good factor" premium for locally produced products. Delivering this Feel Good Factor is what Quirky does really well. The failure rate of ideas submitted by members is a downer, this may be holding the concept back. Solution: Get the 999 failed inventors making stuff, get them selling more. WalMart in the UK is called "Asda". I want to see "Quirky invents" racks full of products in all of ASDA stores all across the UK. And quirky invents in all walmart stores in America. Made in the USA by Americans Made in the UK by the British Made in the Netherlands by the Dutch and so on. May be Ben will disagree? The power of the Quirky concept has yet to be fully appreciated. The key is "designed" in New York but made locally... If Quirky opened in the UK that would be big news. And very risky and may be the timing is not perfect. (May be next year?) But.. The UK media has a very big gob. If Quirky could create just a few hundred micro manufacturing jobs in America and sell this MM output to retail giants like WalMart and Target…Q the next industrial revolution…. good luck Ben.
George Scott avatar
George Scott
A good read and glad to hear the positive forward momentum. Nice to see the heavy hitters on the funding side involved, helping to give direction, insight etc. And yes, I know all to well (recent history) what a person who got funding and then wanted to quick sell the company. I saw the drawing, two lines intersect, that was buyout point, on a dry erase board. I'm hearing you Ben, loud and clear! Here's to Quirky and it's community of incredibly diverse, helpful, and motivating folks!
Diane Alexander avatar
Diane Alexander
Diane Alexander avatar
Diane Alexander
First, and foremost--Congratulations to Ben Kaufman, the staff and the quirky community. "The future's so bright, we should all be wearing shades. Very excited. Caught something that's contagious--enthusiasm, and excitement. In this case--it is something I want everyone to catch. Good luck and cheers all:)
Steve Rader avatar
Steve Rader
Ben, I love it when leaders can articulate and share their vision and values! As you have experienced, it energizes everyone involved and motivates them. I joined Quirky in early 2011 to experience a crowd source community after reading Jeff Howe's book "Crowdsourcing" and getting an understanding of the potential for changing and improving the way almost everything is done. Quirky has not disappointed! It has really been great to see how the community works together and is motivated. Thanks for combining a great new model with a well run company that has real leadership. Congratulations and good luck!
Kat Devlon avatar
Kat Devlon
Ben, Thanks for the update! Congrats on the funding! I look forward to having Mary Meeker on the Board! Going to submit a ton of tech ideations now. heh heh btw, do you effing know you don't have to effing swear to be effing cool or to appear effing smart? How many effing times did your effing mom wash your effing mouth out with effing soap? ;)
Paul Evans avatar
Paul Evans
Your company is a great idea and I totally agree with your philosophy. We live in a great country because hard working people from around the world came to this country with a dream and made it great. Let's keep it great!
Cassandra Gordon avatar
Cassandra Gordon
A very good point was made about the fact that raising funds doesn't mean the success of your product (especially if it doesn't exist yet!). I am excited about the positive changes that are going to be implemented to reflect and capitalize upon the increase of submissions, which will be good for all involved. I'm also very interested in learning more about the retail space. Thanks for the update! ~Cassandra
Anonymous Quirk avatar
Anonymous Quirk
Ben, You know for a while now, I had given up on you and the Quirky process! It seemed to be heading down a road without it's driver...You! I found the whole process to be nothing more than too much to fast, and that's because you didn't have your hands on the wheel! I wasn't sure you where even in charge anymore. I had given up! The ideas that your team seem to pick always fell on dull, safe, and boring! I questioned your true intentions because of the products you choose to call winners! I yelled, I screamed, and yes, I even got upset. Because I too believed in Quirky! I to have dream of starting my own business! But unlike what you have done, I've envisioned my way to success thought you! What I have always wanted to do is first have the cash flow to start small. One successful product would lead to the next, and I would build from that. When Quirky repeatedly started making products that I felt would never sell to the masses, is when I lost hope in the Quirky process. Lets face it Ben, not many people in the industrialized world need or want a toy floating around in their pots to "help" them boil water.... What I'm saying is if what you have said above is true, then you are back on track! You are back in the driver seat! And Quirky will change the world! I know that passion! I get goosebumps and a chills even when I think about it! Quirky can change the world! You just need to have a sharp eye and a clue of what will sell! Don't always try to solve a problem with every product you make. Sometimes Ben man, there isn't a problem! Sometimes people just gotta have it! An iPhone5 doesn't solve a problem! But people sure as hell gotta it! Step away from cheesy products Ben and these investors will want to give you their money! I know in the past I have not been the happy camper you may have wanted me to be. You told me I was your favorite, but I never understood what that meant! If you believed in me, I sure didn't feel it. I'm willing to start over, I'm willing to give you some of the best damn product ideas I've got! And I've got them inside me. I just need someone to believe in me too... I need you! You need me! Just like picking winning ideas, you got to pick winning inventors! Yes what you learned sir is that money is just a piece of the puzzle. There are more pieces, and you don't always see how they fit! Shit you may even have to jimmy a piece to make things work. But in the end... when you get it right.... It's you name on the blimp...The world is yours! You know where to find me! Holla at you boy!
Wayne Swanson avatar
Wayne Swanson
Great blog Ben, recently GE announced that they would start manufacturing appliances in the U.S. again . How awesome is that. I'd like to be the first to offer all of Quirky's products at a mall space for the holidays. You can contact me asap at royalswan66ame.com. I would call it the Quirky HUB. Or let's just let the community name it. We could also educate the buyer then about our objectives as a design community. Let them go on Quirky.com and see what we're about. It's the gift giving season . I've been in retail furniture sales for 26 years and still feel that old fashioned word of mouth gets the best results with our seniors or non computer savvy buyers. I know of a few buying groups that market to mom and pop stores. These are the people who market American MADE the most. They have loyal customers who continue to buy based on a knowledgable sales person who they like. Now it's called niche marketing . So great blog and keep up the Great Work in building America one invention at a time . Just like the the new show on the History Channel called " The Men Who Built America." Thanks Wayne.
Tomas  Anderson avatar
Tomas Anderson
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David Nguyen avatar
David Nguyen
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Putri Dwi  Haryanti avatar
Putri Dwi Haryanti
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