In 2006, when I was almost a high school senior, I spent the summer studying industrial design at RISD's precollege program.
My final project was a concept for a power strip that could extend to fit adapters of any size.
I knew the idea had teeth. But I didn't know how to do anything with it — until 2010, when a family friend told me about Quirky, a startup “invention platform” that developed products from crowdsourced ideas.
Bored in class, I paid $99 to submit “The Usable Power Strip” to Quirky.
Best hundred bucks I ever spent.
Here's my submission on quirky.com, and the renderings I included with it.
In just under a year, my sketch became a real, shipping thing, sold at Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and online.
Pivot Power launched in summer 2011 and immediately became Quirky's bestselling, best-known product. It landed Quirky (and me) in the pages of Wired, Inc, and the New York Times, and across the tech blogosphere.
Its promise earned Quirky distribution in big-box retail, including a flashy launch with Bed Bath & Beyond, where shoppers could find an entire Quirky aisle.
The Pivot Power family in marketing photos from Quirky.
Patents, awards and honors
Pivot Power on display at the MoMA Design Store.