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Quirky, GE Give Advice about Korea’s Creative Economy
Open Innovation
Quirky, GE Give Advice about Korea’s Creative Economy
  • By matthew
  • March 26, 2014, 09:08
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Ben Kaufman, Founder & CEO of Quirky, pictured here at the LeWeb12 Conference in Paris.
Ben Kaufman, Founder & CEO of Quirky, pictured here at the LeWeb12 Conference in Paris.


The management of US venture business Quirky and global enterprise General Electric (GE) cited cooperation as a condition for realizing the Korean government’s creative economy policy initiatives on March 25 at a seminar hosted by the “Public-Private Council on Creative Economy” in the head office building of the Federation of Korean Industries.

Quirky CEO Ben Kaufman said, “Cooperation between various players around the world is one of the most effective ways to get better ideas,” adding, “To bring about tangible results, nothing is more important than commercialization capabilities.”  

Quirky is a company that acts as a social product development platform where anyone can suggest ideas, and those ideas are commercialized. Once a product is developed, Quirky has intellectual property rights to the product, and pays 30 percent royalties to the one who proposed the idea. In this way, the company was able to increase its annual revenue by 50 times four years after its establishment. The CEO stressed, “The main reason for the success of our business model lies in active cooperation between experts and companies who can commercialize the ideas of ordinary people.”

Kevin Nolan, vice president of technology for GE Appliances, echoed Kaufman’s views on the subject. He explained, “Speed and innovation are our growth strategies. To implement these strategies, we are pursuing open innovation where small and medium-sized enterprises, startup ventures, and individuals in the world work together.” In fact, GE made a decision last year to cooperate with Quirky in order to share its numerous patented technologies with Quirky members for five years. The two firms were able to commercialize products only six months after their cooperation. 

The vice president commented, “Our partnership with Quirky is a successful cooperative model reflecting open innovation. Through this kind of cooperation, it is possible for the whole industry to continuously grow and innovate.” 

Lee Seung-cheol, head of the Public-Private Council on the Creative Economy, said, “The essence of idea platforms is dream services,” adding, “We need to develop our online creative economy town as a factory of dreams to facilitate our transition toward a creative economy.”