Quirky's deal to create 'headphones of tomorrow'

Living inside Quirky's world: CEO
Living inside Quirky's world: CEO   

Quirky is broadening its vision and amplifying its sound.

The crowdsourcing inventor platform has announced another major partnership—this time with Harman International, a maker of audio equipment, to develop the "headphones of tomorrow."

Harman and Quirky are entering the extremely competitive space for such products, with Apple's recent acquisition of Dr. Dre's Beats and 50 Cent's launch of SMS Audio.

Quirky founder and CEO Ben Kaufman told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Wednesday the best new ideas may come from the bedroom, not the boardroom, but when it comes to scale and scope, it may pay to partner with industry leaders.

According to Kaufman, Quirky has received nearly 20,000 audio and entertainment products to date from its community of everyday inventors.

What once began as an incubator and manufacturer of ideas, Quirky expanded its reach when it partnered with General Electric in November 2013 to develop smart home technology.

When he first launched the company six years ago, Kaufman was vehemently opposed to the idea of partnerships.

"I had no intention to really reach out and partner with other companies. But when our collaboration with GE worked out, it just made sense to keep going," he said.

Kaufman's Quirky empire has been burgeoning, and he was even approached by ABC's "Shark Tank," which airs in syndication on CNBC, as a potential host.

"About a year and a half ago, I did speak with 'Shark Tank,'" said Kaufman. "'Shark Tank' is great, but I don't think money is the barrier to making products. Plus, I'm not a money dude; I'm a product person."

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