I have written in the past about a company called Quirky where product ideas are submitted by people like you and me, developed by people like you and me, and then sold to people like you and me. I love Quirky and I’m a fairly regular contributor (and earner). In fact, I returned to my office today to find an unexpected package from the company. I love surprises.
Wrapster is a single piece of durable plastic that is uniquely designed to help you wrap up your ear bud headphones. In the video further down the page, I show how it works.
Retailing for $6.50, it’s a cheap way to keep your headphones from getting tangled up. It also boasts the ability to use it as an iPhone stand as well, but I couldn’t get it to hold my iPhone 4 up. Despite being unable to use it as a stand, I enjoyed it for the hour I owned it until my wife claimed it as her own.
One of Quirky’s earlier products has been revamped and is shipping again. Cordies, coming in at $12.99 keeps all your cords and cables from falling off the back of your desk.
I showed this one in the video below as well and I was pretty impressed with how well it works. Cordies has a little weight to it to keep it on your desk and in my testing, it held up to some weight on the other end trying to pull the cable down.
Both of the items described above are easy to talk about, but I thought it would be better to just show you how they work. Rather then using the company’s videos, I decided to make my own and put them to a real test. Other than the Wrapster’s bonus feature as an iPhone stand not working out for me, everything worked better than I expected. I also talk about the company as a whole and the awesome shirt they sent me, which I wore immediately.
For those unaware, Quirky is a site that takes ideas from anyone willing to submit them and presents them to the global community via their web site for evaluation. Once ideas have been evaluated by the community and by Quirky staff, one or more are selected to go through the development process. This process includes several smaller submission/evaluation rounds to flesh out things like the industrial design, colors, name, etc. Quirky also asks the community to participate in surveys and other ways to help define the end product. Eventually, a product is presented for pre-sales commitments and if enough sell, it goes into production and ships to buyers and stores.
The beautiful part is how people make money on the site. People make money by earning “influence” in a product. That influence translates into a percentage of the sale price of each unit sold for the item the influence is earned on. As an example, I have some influence in Wrapster, so I earn a wee tiny amount of money on each and every Wrapster sold. It’s very tiny, but 87,000+ Wrapsters later, it’s adding up nicely. The most influence is given to those who present the ideas and the least to those who just vote or help guide the development, but it all earns. I’ve only earned real money little bits at a time with the voting and guiding, but have made a few hundred dollars so far. Others have made thousands. Check it out for yourself if you haven’t yet.