Quirky files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as Wink smart home system goes up for grabs

Before Kickstarter emerged as the leading hub of crowdfunded devices, there was Quirky, a company devoted to reinventing invention. Founded by Ben Kaufman, who had previously founded the Mophie accessories company best known for its iPhone snap-on batteries.

Quirky has a model that is in some ways the opposite of Kickstarter’s or Indiegogo’s. Rather than have the crowd fund a product and have inventors create it, Quicky’s model was that the crowd would suggest products and then Quirky would create it. The company’s New York offices were a hub of professionals specializing in all aspects of product creation including marketing, legal, sourcing, branding and industrial and mechanical design. Inventors would get a perpetual royalty on designs that became products, and people who suggested product names and other attributes would also receive a small percentage. Quirky staff voted on which products moved forward in a weekly meeting. It scored what became perhaps it’s biggest win relatively early with the snaking Pivot Power power strip that spawned several spinoffs.


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Backerjack is a leading source for people to learn about the latest products being brought to market through crowdfunding and pre-orders. Unfortunately, though, many product ideas don’t make it to market because the inventors lack the expertise, funds or other resources to see them through. Sometimes, products don’t win enough support from the community. And sometimes, even successfully crowdfunded products hit roadblocks that prevent them from ever coming to market.