Social-design site Quirky announced Tuesday it has hired Frog Design president Doreen Lorenzo to lead research, design, and product development. At Frog, Lorenzo oversaw strategy and worldwide operations, helping transform the design boutique into a global innovation firm.
"I know that the way products are developed must change, and the old way of producing them has become irrelevant," Lorenzo told Fast Company. "Quirky has developed a process of getting information from consumers and knowing how to make the right kind of product that the world wants. I came to Quirky to work really closely with [founder and CEO] Ben Kaufman, help scale business, and build the best consumer products company in the world."
Calling itself the invention machine, Quirky relies on its community of 528,000 people to select, develop, and manufacture products that show up on retail shelves, such as Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and OfficeMax. It's an open approach to innovation: The product team at Quirky livestreams weekly meetings from New York City that decide which products make the cut. Those who submit ideas that are produced receive a percentage of sales revenue, typically about 35%, while others who contribute by voting or suggesting refinements earn a smaller stake.
In April, Quirky and GE teamed up to tap the site's community to create cobranded smart products for the home. In the process, GE opened up thousands of patents to aid the development of new consumer products.