The Least Important Ex-CEO

 

In light of our ongoing strategy to focus our efforts and resources on Wink, our founder, Ben Kaufman, will no longer serve as the CEO of Quirky.  Ben has always been, and continues to be, deeply committed to the spirit and values of Quirky's community of creative people around the world, as well as its inventors and its partners.  Ben continues to believe in Quirky’s core mission to make invention accessible and believes that mission will live on.  Effective immediately, current Chief Financial Officer Ed Kremer will be the CEO.

How to make a perfect video pitch

A video pitch can be an inventor’s most powerful presentation tool. When done properly, videos comprehensively portray concepts to audiences better than a sketch or feature set ever could. However, a few production missteps can distract from a good product idea, leaving viewers confused and closed-minded. Here are 6 easy tips to help you nail your next video pitch.

Use a Phone or a Laptop:

Fancy recording equipment or software isn’t necessary for a great video pitch. Simply record a video on a phone or computer then upload it to Youtube or Vimeo.

Film Horizontally:

Streaming services are built for showing videos landscape style, so to get the most out of your efforts, film your pitch horizontally. There’s actually a lot of literature to support this.

Find a Quiet Place:

The audience should be 100% focused on you and your invention — not your cat, toddler or washing machine making a racket in the background.

Use Props:

Leave nothing open to interpretation. Spotlight a sketch, proof of concept, or working prototype to ensure maximum audience comprehension.

Stay on Topic

Briefly introducing yourself is fine, but stay focused. Identify the problem you’re trying to solve, and explain how your product uniquely works/would work to solve that problem.

Do Multiple Takes:

Ain’t no shame in perfecting your game.

Follow the steps above and you’ll be sure to churn out a stellar video pitch. Want more? Here are a few pro tips from our video team:

  • Minimize the use of text

  • Steer clear of animation software as it distracts from, rather than adds to, your presentation (Powtoons, Voki, WeVideo, etc.)

  • Preview it to friends and family and ask for honest feedback

  • Make sure you film in a well-lit location natural light is always best!

  • Use multiple angles to show off prototypes or products

  • Use your imagination and keep it fun

  • Consider storyboarding to help keep your pitch on track  

Hack your summer: 5 awesome DIY’s

It’s summertime, makers! The weather is hot and it’s the perfect time to DIY. From hammock hacks to delicious drinks, we’ve picked our favorite summer projects for you to try.

1. Wine Bottle Torch

Need the perfect mood lighting for your outdoor BBQ or party, but want to stay eco-friendly? Look no further than this easy DIY using recycled wine bottles, a bit of hardware, and a little torch fuel. Your guests will be fired up in no time.

2. Watermelon Slushy

What do drills, watermelon and vodka have in common?! This awesome DIY. Guests will be equally as impressed with your maker skills as they are with this refreshing beverage. All you’ll need is a watermelon, metal hanger, drill, and liquor of your choice.

3. DIY Hammock

A simple summer hammock provides the perfect spot to relax and say “Aaah.” Craft your own using a towel, rope, and some pieces of leather. Perfect for decks or backyards. (Fire escapes do not qualify as decks. That’s illegal.) Just remember—the sturdier the fabric, the better!

4. Terra Cotta Smoker

Got mad cooking skills? Show ‘em off with this ingenious smoker. Made from terra cotta planters, it’ll blend right in with your outdoor decor. Feed your inner maker, and get started on this cooker now!

5. DIY Air Conditioner

Too cheap to buy an AC? We’ve got an awesome hack for you. With a computer fan, battery, soda can, and some ice, you’ll be cool in no time. While not quite as smart as Aros, this AC provides some quick relief on those super-humid days.

Got a hack of your own? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!

An Ecovative idea: biodegradable mushroom packaging


Ever think about where product packaging comes from or where it goes after you use it? Scott Shephard does. As Quirky’s “VP of Cardboard,” everything we package goes through his hands.

 

One of Scott’s biggest challenges? How to make packaging sustainable. Most materials, although recyclable, release chemicals and toxins when composted. Recycling is actually downcycling; the process reduces the quality of a material over time, until its lower-quality products are eventually incinerated or landfilled.

 

In a world where throwaway products have become the norm, it’s hard to think outside the (cardboard) box. But what if we could eliminate the concept of waste entirely? That means designing products, packaging and systems that biodegrade and become food for our earth, instead of toxins.


Ecovative is a company that’s stepped up with a solution: a no-waste, biodegradable material. Their mushroom packaging material is non-toxic, and can be grown anywhere from factory to in-home. It only takes a few steps:

1. Design a mold

2. Fill with agricultural waste

3. Add some ‘shrooms

4. Wait a few days…

...And voila! You’ve got your very own biodegradable packaging.

The end result is compostable, packs like styrofoam, and tastes great! (According to Scott. Please don’t eat.) Are mushrooms the future of packaging? Sound off in the comments below!

@ecovative

ecovativedesign.com