quirkyWhile watching the Tonight Show the other evening, Jay Leno had a guest on from Quirky.com, a new really cool social invention website to help bring ideas for inventions to fruition. They highlighted some great products that people recently invented.

There are all sorts of ways to make additional money, and this one really caught my attention. You may dream about getting out of debt, buying a new car, affording a different lifestyle or giving to charity. Ultimately you might like to be self- employed, or financially independent. One of the things people dream about the most is starting a new business with that new great idea they have.

Have you ever had a great idea for a better mouse trap, only to later see someone actually create it and make money selling it? My wife and I think of good, bad and strange ideas all of the time. I think most people do. However the difficulty is being able to take it from the idea stage all the way through to the end, where you have a successful profitable business. Therefore most ideas that you or I have never go anywhere, since it is too hard, or you lack the motivation or resources.

The reason you don’t develop your ideas is that you probably lack the money to develop it, investigate patents, then produce the item, and lastly sell it. Most people run out of money in the early stages of start-up, and they don’t know how to go about raising capital.  If all things go well, then there are the challenges of marketing, websites, accounting, staffing, administration, payroll, facilities and on and on. This can all be very stressful, and relationships and marriage can be strained.

What if you could craft an idea and leave a lot of that stuff to someone else. What if you can do it all online for $10 per idea, and when the product is sold, you are sent the royalty checks?  That is exactly what the new social website Quirky.com is designed to do, and doing it quite well. You can easily submit your ideas, by answering a series of questions and uploading drawings or other things that explain your product. Within 30 days your idea will be either taken to product development (every Friday new ones are chosen), or archived for future consideration. You can also decide to remove it from Quirky.com and develop it on your own or re-post it for consideration again.

Since Quirky is another online community, you can see and vote on other people’s ideas. It is really cool to see all of the new ones that people submit. I noticed a great idea about an electric paper towel dispenser. I voted for it and commented about it in their online community. You can also see products that have been developed and how much revenue has been generated.

Check out Quirky.com for useful gift ideas to buy, to upload your invention, to vote on things.  Quirky has marketing arrangements with many major chains including Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and HSN Home Shopping Network and sell their products on Quirky too. The only downsides to consider is the loss of control of the Intellectual Property and your royalties would probably be less than the eventual profits if an idea became a big hit. Those are the risks, however most ideas never are pursued or invested in, and your forget about them later. For a minimal cost, you can float your idea out there, and perhaps Quirky will run with it to make it a success, and help you in the process.

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