Whenever I’ve chatted with founders of “stealth start-ups”, I’ve noticed that they tend to be very guarded about their business. “What do you do?” I ask. “I can’t tell you,” they respond. “Well what problem are you solving?” I continue. “I can’t tell you that either,” they respond. It’s as if the only value they have is their idea – and if they tell anyone, an army of copycats are going to secure millions in funding and beat them to the market. And that’s assuming that first mover advantage is even relevant to their category – more often than not, it isn’t.

Along comes Quirky.com, the anti-stealth company. Have a great idea? Submit it for the public to see. The Quirky team is composed of market analysts, product designers, manufacturing aficionados and channel experts. You bring the ideas…and if they make the cut, you get to share in future revenues. Very cool business model.

This is one more brilliant use of crowdsourcing on the Web…crowdsourcing product ideas. So how much is an idea worth? According to Quirky that depends on the revenue that it eventually generates. What do you think of this model?