Can a television show capture imagination at work? Perhaps – but what it is best at doing is telling the story after that electric spark goes off in an inventor’s brain.
The new Sundance Channel’s series Quirky premiering on Tuesday, August 30th at 10pm ET/PT profiles an invention factory where grown up Oompa Loompas turn ideas into reality (See previous article). The show chronicles Quirky, a product development company founded by 24-year-old inventor businessman Ben Kaufman, who leads a team that take creative ideas and turn them into real products.
Quirky.com refers to an online community that the company turns to for ideas, evaluation, and sale of products. Anyone can submit and idea – but it is up to the creative designers and business developers to actually bring the idea to life.
Super Chef caught a sneak peak of the premier that showcases two products at different stage of the Quirky process: Jake Zien‘s Pivot Power, an adjustable power strip is already in production, but faces certification issues. Andrea Zabinski‘s idea of an all-in-one strainer, pasta bowl, and storage bowl gets chosen as the idea of the week for the team to work on and the program follows it from idea to finished product.
It is fascinating to watch the design team sketch multiple solutions and then see them critiqued. More interesting are the financial discussions that accompany the design – first sell an expensive bowl in stainless steel rather than a cheaper microwavable plastic bowl. All through the process the inventors, Jake And Andrea, meet with the Quirky team to discuss the products and help market them.
After the team comes up with an all-in-one bowl, a 3-D digital printer creates a prototype, and then that is sent to a modeling factory to actually create the first stainless steel bowl, the Ventu.
It is stunning. What chef wouldn’t want to create his or her own kitchen utensils, bowls, pots and pans, or utensils? This is how you do it. These are all the steps a product goes through except with Quirky.com it’s a matter of weeks not months before a finish product hits store shelves.
Quirky makes for exciting TV. The show focuses on the process of bringing a product to market. There are characters and conflicts – but they don’t get in the way of telling the story. And the story is fascinating.
The show was fun, much more inspirational than Shark Tank. Here’s a link to that cool power strip: Pivot Power
I’ve started doing some episode recaps of Quirky, located here if anyone’s interested: