Yes, Ben Kaufman actually picked up! Perhaps you’ve noticed Ben around town – he is the portly man who has recently been spotted rubbing the feet of Garthen Leslie, the inventor behind Quirky’s latest product offering – the Aros Smart Window Air Conditioner. But if you thought that commercial was odd, then you may have also noticed that Quirky has been going all out with a marketing campaign around New York City that encourages you to call Ben Kaufman, anytime, with an idea that you want to pitch.
For those not familiar with Quirky, the company encourages amateur inventors to submit ideas, with the hope that the Quirky community will vote on it, and make the simple idea a reality.
The campaign declares that the “World’s least important CEO is never too busy to take your call” and it offers a number that is a direct line to Ben Kaufman himself. So being the curious folks that we are, we had to give it a try. Would Kaufman really pick up the phone? Or were we going to just get a voice mail instructing us to leave a message at the tone?
At first, we dialed not really expecting to have Kaufman pick up – and lo and behold – he did. So we hung up.
We were a bit shocked, and also shamefully felt like we were 13 again, and had been crank calling 1800Mattress. So with tremblingly fingers we dialed the 212 number again and handed the phone to our friend who was ready to pitch his idea.
The call started out nice enough, “Hello, I was calling because I got an idea for you.” our anxious friend told Kaufman. Kaufman, then very politely asked our friend to go on, and he did. “Well my dad is a teacher but in the Summer he likes to paint houses for extra money, so you know, those laser measuring tapes that give you the measurement of a room? Well, I was thinking about creating a laser of some sort that would measure the entire surface area of a room and then calculate, by volume, how much paint my dad would need to buy. You know, it would be great to sell at the check-out line, like at Home Depot.”
Kaufman then quickly chimed in that “He loves Home Depot!” And that it is one of his favorite stores. Our friend, on the other-hand, quickly corrected himself and said, ” I meant Quirky, sorry about that, we could sell it at Quirky.” Kaufman, not really caring either way, went on about how he loves Home Depot and that our friend should submit his idea to the Quirky website, and if the Quirky community deems it worthy – It might just get made.
The call lasted all of two minutes and concluded with Ben giving our friend his e-mail address – Ben@quirky.com – just in case he wanted to talk more about Home Depot, we guess.
So there ya go, we tested the waters out for you, so now you can go ahead and give Ben a call too. He will actually pick-up the phone for you – and you never know, your product might just get the Quirky Community stamp of approval. And if not, at-least Ben Kaufman isn’t so bad to talk too.