Happy Friday – and what a lovely Friday it is. I have the feeling the folks at Quirky think so as well…with the announcement that they’ve just raised an additional $16 million in funding and a new TV show on the Sundance channel debuting this month, it’s safe to say that all of August probably looks pretty rosy to the Quirky folks. If you’ll allow me to wax nostalgic for a moment, it was last August that I published this post on Quirky, and explored their definition of social product development versus PTC’s definition of social product development.
At the time (with a little help from IDC’s Mike Fauscette), I challenged the notion of outsourcing your innovation to the crowd – at least without some sort of crowd inclusion qualifier. So, are we at odds with Quirky? Not necessarily. First, Quirky is a PTC customer, and um…the customer is always right. But besides that, I read this article on the Creo blog, posted in March, that leads me to believe that Quirky’s founder Ben Kaufman and I actually see eye to eye:
Ben Kaufman, the 24-year-old CEO and founder of Quirky, believes that crowdsourcing alone does not work because the idea that the world community is smarter than a band of experts isn’t sustainable. “It’s experts and the community working together that works stunningly,” says Kaufman. Indeed the relationship works both ways. “People are calling our expert designers out on their work makes our expert designers better. And our designers make the world smarter.”
Interesting, huh? Who knows…maybe he reads the blog. In any case, maybe it’s not about our social product development versus your social product development after all. The heart of social product development comes from using social tools to enhance the value of the participants in your product development network. And maybe that’s the only definition that we need.
So congratulations to Quirky – for more than keeping the lights on with this latest batch of funding, and also for putting some lightbulbs over the heads of the rest of us.
If you’d like to hear John Jacobsen, Head of Engineering at Quirky, talk about how Quirky works, and how they use PTC’s Creo product, check out the full article and video here.