Praise from Clay Shirky

Clay Shirky:

“Fans aren’t just customers―they care more about what your company does, both good and bad―and no one understands how fans tick and what they can mean for a business better than Zoe and Aaron.”

–Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations and Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age

Mashable

Toy companies like Lego have experimented here and there with crowdsourcing, listening to customers’ input and churning out products they’re looking for. But it’s the core of Squishable’s mission.

The New York startup allows fans to choose and design plush, furry stuffed animals. Led by a husband and wife, the 11-person team uses social media to build a dedicated following, turning its 850,000 Facebook fans into active participants in the creative process, engaging with customers on every aspect from design to color.

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Fast Company

The great German writer and realpolitik statesman Goethe once said “talent is nurtured in solitude.” The only way to achieve true creativity, then, was to become “a child of solitude.”

But in our culture of constant connectivity, is solitude still needed, let alone possible? And when creators come down to Earth via Twitter, Facebook, and email, making themselves more publicly accessible than ever before, is there any hope for pure, untempered creation? Has the Internet made writers, painters, architects, and scientists more successful because they can reach a wider audience, or has all that white-noise hamstrung the very value these people are known for: creation? After all, what is art now, aside from the random expressions of everyone?

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The Wall Street Journal

When was the last time you went to a party that had a ball pit made out of stuffed animals?

Exactly.

This was one of the draws of an open house at Squishable, a stuffed animal company based in Chelsea. The conference room in the 900- or so-square-foot office was filled with 175 or so squishy, ultrasoft, oversize stuffed animals. Many were prototypes, overstock or samples, and guests were invited to jump and play around inside.

“Everyone loves to come for the ball pit,” saidAaron Glazer, who co-founded Squishable with his wife, Zoe Fraade-Blanar, in 2007. “You just missed a bunch of fashionable ladies in stilettos jumping around in it.”

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