I guess that I am a sucker for odd business models. Where Made.com controls what products if requests opinions on, these guys are letting “influencers” actually help shape the product. Made.com is counting on people who are just interested in furniture to visit their site regularly while Quirky is offering cold hard cash. The homepage identifies a Featured Infleuncer who has earned over $2,300 by impacting 47 products. Not exactly enough to retire on, but not a bad return if the time invested is sufficiently small.
So there is the question of whether this will work. Clearly, it is good to have committed demand before you move into production. Also, I think that they benefit from having a variety of products that are relatively inexpensive. That is, while there are limits on how much furniture one person is going to buy, the ability to indulge in impulse purchases for gadgets can be unconstrained. On the other hand, some of the items seem very much late night info. I wonder whether there would be a market for some of these items without the open design process that gets many people hooked into the product before it launches.