Case Study

Sharing a Product Idea: Is it Worth the Cost?

Minnette Bumpus, Bowie State University, Garthen Leslie, Independent IT Consultant, Dominique Turner, University of Maryland University College
November 1, 2017
North America
Strategy & General Management
17 pages
Innovation, intellectual property, royalties, ideas, crowdsourcing, patents
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.69)
Average rating: 

On April 25, 2014, Garthen Leslie and Ben Kaufman, Quirky founder and CEO, appeared on the Bloomberg television show, In the Loop, hosted by Betty Liu, to discuss how they had teamed up to move Garthen’s idea to an actual product. Garthen had invented a smartphone application that could control and monitor the operation of a window air conditioner. This invention evolved into the Aros smart air conditioner, a Quirky and GE cobranded product. It had been a little over a year since that appearance; yet a few of Garthen’s close friends and family members still enjoyed kidding him about his “deer in the headlights” reaction to Betty’s question regarding whether or not his share of potential earnings from his invention was enough. As he reminisced about the Aros’ evolution, Garthen wondered if his answer to Betty’s question would be the same if it were asked today.

Learning Outcomes: 

In completing this case assignment, students should be able to:

1. Distinguish between different types of product innovations

2. Analyze the value and monetization of intellectual property

3. Appraise the fairness of royalty arrangements