On the Road(map) to Invention

July was a big month for Quirky.

We selected our first new toy invention off of the platform to move into production – a plush toy invented by community member Debbie Schwartz called Tiger Tunes.

We decided to do this a bit under the radar by posting a plush toy challenge to our forum members and running the complete process (challenge brief to invention selection) in about three weeks. Quirky selected Tiger Tunes because it was a creative plush execution and had components which aligned with the trends and technologies our manufacturing partners were most interested in – such as touch sensors. 

This idea of aligning to a manufacturer’s goals or roadmap is an important one. It represents a significant opportunity for more Quirky inventions to be moved into production, and have a better chance at success in market. What does it mean for a product to be aligned with a manufacturer’s roadmap?

First, let’s define what we mean by roadmap in this scenario. We’re talking about a 1-3 year out plan that defines different areas for product development. The roadmap can include new target audiences to go after, new product line extensions to explore, trends to capitalize on, or technology to integrate. In some cases a roadmap can have components which are fixed (for example, a manufacturer may have invested in a piece of technology, and are committed to building with that technology). In other cases the components are fluid and flexible (for example, a manufacturer might want to build products which tap into a sustainable/green trend).

In the case of Tiger Tunes the use of touch sensors was then expanded upon to play children’s songs.

Your inventions are chock-full of these roadmap components whether you realize it or not.

As we prepare for the unveiling of a new Quirky experience at the end of the summer we’ll be hosting more invention challenges that encourage you to imagine solutions and design products around these roadmap components so that we can accelerate the number of inventions we’re bringing to production and our speed to shelf. Products equal royalties. Royalties equal happy Quirky community. Happy Quirky community equals happy Quirky!