When I was a kid, I loved to pass the crummy Philadelphia winters making things. From Rube Goldberg-style contraptions to pinhole cameras, our attic was filled with my "inventions." Professionally, while I eventually channeled this urge to create into filmmaking and then product design, a few of those ideas still rattle around in my head as I lie awake at night.
But now, thanks to Quirky and MakeProjects, I have two new sites to scratch that creative itch. MakeProjects is a "collaborative resource for people who like to make things," and there are some clever, wacky, and creative projects already highlighted on the site to spur the inventor in you. The site also has a companion magazine, and this month's issue focuses on - wait for it - GADGETS! One of my favorite highlights is "the Most Useless Machine," a tautological invention if there ever was one.
Quirky is a social product development site which combines crowdsourcing and commerce together and enables would-be inventors access to a community of designers and consumers who help bring the idea to fruition. Quirky provides ideas a home to be nurtured, refined and built, and then offers those winning ideas to the public on their website. Quirky's staff builds prototypes and based on forecasted popularity (that is pre-sales), Quirky will take the product to production. If there is a community who'd love your product, but you don't have the resources to get it into the market, then Quirky is your answer.
Thanks to online creative communities like Quirky and MakeProjects, you needn't be a borrower or find a lender to realize being an inventor any more.