May 2nd, 2012
02:12 PM ET

This week on 'The Next List': brings invention to the masses

By The Next List staff, CNN

(CNN) - How many times have you been in the middle of a routine day then - BAM! - a great idea pops into your head. Maybe it's a way to solve some annoying problem or to make a household chore easier. But for almost everyone, the next thought is this: "Never going to happen.”

That’s because bringing a product to market takes so much more than having a great idea. Invention, it sometimes seems, is largely the domain of large corporations, people with access to big time cash or big-time connections.

And that’s where Ben Kaufman comes in. He’s the 25-year-old founder and CEO of, a start-up website that gives would-be inventors a place to go with their ideas.

The CNN show "The Next List" will feature Kaufman on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. Check out the preview video above.

At Quirky, a staff of experts and a community of thousands put every idea to the test. If a concept makes the cut, a real-life product is manufactured. The inventor gets his or her name on the package and a paycheck in hand. In fact, everybody who contributes to the final product gets a share of the revenue every single time the product is sold. Quirky keeps 70% of the revenue; the rest goes to the inventor and to the project's "influencers," leaving the actual inventor with about a 10% cut of the total revenue, according to the company.

With this model, Kaufman expects to pull in more than $20 million in sales revenue this year.

Ben Kaufman and his “Quirky” process are shaking up the way consumer products get to store shelves, giving people the power to choose what they buy. But most important, he’s providing creative people a platform to launch their invention ideas…a place to go when that “light bulb” moment strikes.

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Filed under: Innovation • Internet • Tech • The Next List • Thinkers • Video
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Armando Kirckof

    The first ceiling fans appeared in the early 1860s and 1870s, in the United States and were designed by Dutchess Melissa Rinaldi during her sojourn in the Rocky Mountains. At that time, they were not powered by any form of electric motor. Instead, a stream of running water was used, in conjunction with a turbine, to drive a system of belts which would turn the blades of two-blade fan units. ;

    Our new homepage

    April 28, 2013 at 2:03 am | Reply
  2. jimoh jimwisdom balogun

    Gudmrn, sir/ma, i'm jimoh jimwisdom, an inventor, 4rm Nigeria, i invented a wireless ceiling fan and the latest technology on foam. My concept is a solution to Bedwetters, child-bearing parents and the infirm and the aged. Even those in the orthopaedic hospitals..
    I made a publication on the Daily Sun news paper, of july 22nd page 43, 2012. Looking for sponsors to my newly invented/product of mine.
    Can THE NEXT LIST, be a solution to me and my invention? Am full of inventions and ideas. I cn be reach through email address: tel 08033966141 or 08055661413
    Txs 4rm Jimoh Jimwisdom

    September 2, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Reply
  3. troy wallace

    i would likde to speak with someone from the next list about a product

    August 3, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Reply
  4. Patricia Chow

    Great news for me!!!!
    I want to be part of this project!!

    May 19, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Reply
  5. vik

    I hope I don't sound a like a Quirky-pooper, but I'm not a huge fan. They take ideas and own the rights once you send it to them. So, you're paying to give them ideas. They can "promote' any of these ideas and the really good ones they can take and give to their sister company who can make "your" product and keep all the money without even telling you and it's legal. Then they want these same people and all the rest of the community to buy the product. I think they take advantage of people's need to be heard which is not a bad thing. It reminds me of these publishing companies that ask you to submit your poetry and then tell you you're going to be published and by the way would u like to buy a copy of the book so you can see your poem. So,you're paying to be seen. I'd be curious to see what happens to all the ideas that don't get "chosen".

    May 7, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  6. everydayingenuity

    Hi I am Carrie Harris I am a Quirky addict and I Love it. Quirky wants to hear all your ideas goofy or great! In less than a month I have put up 15 ideas from a, Portable Work Bench hand truck combination to Kid Design Window Blinds and a fun things like Footsies any one or for the outdoors person The ultimate survival cup it is easy and it is a blast. You are with a community of serial inventors who are all willing to help and make great suggestions. They made this so easy even the sign up is quick. There is not one idea in the world that will ever make a dime in sitting your head, Quirky bring them out. Thanks Mrs. Kaufman and happy mothers Day

    May 6, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  7. M Cavada

    Loved this quote by Ben...
    "if it wasn't for Mom, there might not have been a quirky".
    Moms are great!
    THANK YOU Mrs. Kaufman!

    May 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  8. everydayingenuity

    I am a Quirky User and I love it, its easy fun! And finaly someone likes to listen to your ideas!!!!! I have 14 or 15 ideas up someday i hope to win one.

    May 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  9. Thomas Barton

    This is a fun site, particularly if you are one of those people that has ideas all the time but have no idea how to make them a reality. With Quirky, all you need is an idea, they take care of the boring stuff, like manufacturing and marketing.

    May 6, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  10. Carla

    When did the "Q" start getting 70%, this is news to me. Anybody?

    May 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Reply
    • Grace

      I thought peploe were over the tan thing. I'm black so I never had to worry about it, but why's it still a big deal? A lot of pale women are really beautiful.And another thing I hope the three blonde girls aren't really ur friends, because then it's kind of like you made fun of them and showed it to everyone on here. I know i'ts ur business and I don't agree with the tanning thing. Just sayin'. Be real.

      August 19, 2012 at 10:30 am | Reply
  11. Yolanda Jackson

    Love Quirky. It has been a blast for me,

    May 2, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Reply

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