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Ben Kaufman

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Ben Kaufman, born and raised in Melville, New York in 1986, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Quirky, a company that launches new products through crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, is a leader in reshaping how inventions are made brought to the market.

Kaufman started his career as a senior in high school while inventing a way to conceal headphones from his teacher and allow him to listen to his iPod in class. Convincing his parents to take out a $185,000 mortgage on their home, Kaufman launched Mophie in 2005, for which he designed cases and accessories for Apple products, raised $1.5 million in venture funds and went on to win best-in-show at MacWorld in 2006. Kaufman was named one of Inc Magazine’s

Kaufman left Mophie after the company’s investors hired a more experienced CEO to lead it, and went to work for the next 18 months designing a web-based community of “social product development.” His efforts resulted in Quirky.com. Launched in 2009 with $90 million in venture capital, the website relies on contributors who submit ideas for new products and weigh in on whether those products are successful. Kaufman hosts weekly meetings with community members and industry experts to pick the next ideas that go into production and the profits of those products is divided between the website, the inventor, investors and Quirky members who contributed to the selection and branding process.

So far, Quirky has launched over 100 new products and is projected bring in over $100 million in 2014, up from just under $50 million the year before.

Companies and Investments

Quirky (founder and CEO), Kluster (founder), Mophie (founder), BKMedia (founder)

Lessons Learned

Inventions can come from anyone in the world, but success depends on access to the market.

A community of regular people with great ideas can put a new product into the market quicker than any established corporation.

Design a product to solve a problem in your own life because that product will likely solve the same problem for countless others.

Inspiring Quotes

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn

Benjamin Franklin

Ben Kaufman's Quotes

Invention is really hard, but at the same time there’s nothing more important in the world than leaving it a better place than you found it, and the way you do that is through invention.

Ben Kaufman

Invention is the most important thing in the world, and for it to be left up to luck just didn’t feel right. I wanted to create a platform where ideas were pushed out into the world because they were great, not because they came from someone who was lucky.

Ben Kaufman

The best products in the world are the result of problems that people are experiencing…They’re simple problems that resulted in brilliant solutions.

Ben Kaufman

Influential Books

Aaron Dignan - Game Frame: Using Games as a Strategy for Success


Kaufman's mother