Quirky (https://www.quirky.com/) is a community-led invention platform specialized in consumer products. Quirky has gone through ups and downs since it was founded in 2009 (including bankruptcy in 2015 and the subsequent acquisition by Q Holdings LLC) and changed its invention process along the way. After the bankruptcy, Quirky has transformed itself from being a consumer product company that crowdsourced the ideation step entirely and the development step partially to a community of inventors into working now as a two-sided platform that connects inventors and brand partners.
Currently, it lets individuals to work on their inventions on their own, completing the mandatory steps (name, features, sketches, etc.), or to work on their inventions with other Quirky members by getting help with any of those steps. In exchange for this skills and inputs offered by the community, the inventor will share a percentage of the royalties (in case the invention makes it all the way to the market) with the members whose “influence” was officially recognized. The Quirky team will review the invention once it is submitted to Quirky after completing all the mandatory steps. If the invention is selected for development, it will go through several stages of preliminary legal work, design, and market research. When ready, the Quirky team will pitch the invention to potential brand partners who will take the invention all the way to store shelves. If a partner is found and the invention hits the market, the royalties on every item sold will be shared by the inventor and his/her collaborators (“influencers”).
The focus of the project is to understand how Quirky works by analyzing the whole community-led invention process from the beginning (idea submission) to the end (finished product going on sale). What is essential is to collect the data generated from the invention process and analyze it using some stats tools.
Your job is to crawl the data from the Quirky website on a regular basis and to transform the raw data into an analyzable data set (under my guidance). It is a must that you know how to crawl data from a website. That's your core competency that I will have to depend on.
Applicant's Learning Objectives:
Assuming that you know how to crawl data, you will learn about
1) how to conduct a social science research in a field setting (from data collection to analysis and interpretation of findings)
2) the emerging phenomena of open innovation and crowdsourcing