Editor's note: Ben Kaufman is the CEO of Quirky.com, which helps inventors bring their ideas to the market. Kaufman is the subject of Sunday's episode of "The Next List," on CNN at 2 p.m. ET.
By Ben Kaufman, Special to CNN
I am headed to London on Friday. Yes, for the Olympics. This will be the first time for me and the feeling is kind of amazing. Sure, I have always grown up looking forward to and watching the Olympics. But since the opening ceremonies last week and every moment since then, I feel something different.
Maybe its because I am 25 - making me about the age of many competitors. I look at these athletes and think about their commitment, dedication and powerful accomplishments. I think (and hope) that watching these marvels makes everyone think about their own potential and what could be. It’s inspiring to no end.
I think about the Quirky community and how there is something there that feels just a bit like the Olympics. There are these creative people from different countries bringing their best to one place and sharing it with the world, and some of them end up really winning. There’s definitely a little magic in that.
And then there is just Quirky - and the monumental game-changing things that I have seen since its launch. We have developed a brand new way of thinking about product development and made invention accessible. We have taken an industry, shaken it up and created this whole new kind of company that has never existed. This year, we started manufacturing in the United States and nothing makes me prouder.
I think about the impact Quirky is having on these U.S. manufacturers: creating jobs and revitalizing factories. I know it’s a drop in the bucket, but we are part of a group of companies who are going to revitalize the U.S. manufacturing industry. We did it with Crates and we will continue developing relationships and bringing more jobs home.
I will relish in the choices we made as a company as I sit and watch the Olympic games this weekend. In the coming years, I hope our uniforms will be made at home, too. Even better, maybe the Quirky community can come up with something great. How cool would that be? Maybe then we could see this headline: U.S. Olympic Uniforms Invented Together.