Crowdsourcing: Are Clients Getting Ripped Off?

Our resident expert on crowdsourcing, Laurel Black, noticed that, one of the commenters of the recent CF blog post about the “rising army of freelancers” sounded angry, so she wrote this post (on her blog, Laurel’s Design Deli) about what she (and you) can do about it.

Laurel BlackIndependent creatives continue to bemoan the effect of crowdsourcing on our ability to make a living, and the main driver seems to be a toxic confluence of globalization and recession. I have recently concluded that a big chunk of the persistence of crowdsourcing (CS) rests on the Deception of Equal Value. Clients unconsciously assume that crowdsourced “design” is equal in value to the services of experienced professionals, both in the design’s quality and in its ability to do the job for clients, i.e., sell their stuff.

The CS sites encourage this deception with their slick come-ons, and unless we proactively take this bull by the horns, clients will remain in the dark and keep buying CS crap. Some of the sites go so far as to imply that professional designers are ripping off the business community. We ignore this at our peril. Letting CS sites control the messaging around design is a huge mistake.
Read the rest here to find out what Laurel suggest we all do if we intend to….

 

20 thoughts on “Crowdsourcing: Are Clients Getting Ripped Off?

  1. Nick

    Not to be the wet blanket here, but if clients can’t see a difference, isn’t that saying something also about the alternative to crowd sourcing as well as other economic factors clients are faced with?

    Seems also that successful companies who have resources (both financial and human), understand the value of design and hire talented, high priced agencies. Crowd sourcing is not an issue there.

    Is this a case of supply side economics? As designers, you’re welcome to bemoan this issue around the industry water cooler, but artificially altering the market by forcing (and often guilting) the buyer seems petty, rude, and frankly ineffectual.

    FYI, I am designer.

  2. Shaun Hensher | Toronto Graphic Designer

    I think you’re missing the point Nick. It’s not about forcing the buyer or making anyone feel guilty. It’s about protecting the buyer from people selling snake oil. Business owners spend money on graphic design because they expect it to do something for them. What happens when it continually fails to do so? It doesn’t serve anyone but the crowdsourcing companies. I don’t know about you, but I got into this business to help business owners succeed. If I sit on the sidelines while our industry erodes, I’m failing at that.

    I recently wrote an article on Graphic Design Pricing that might interest folks as well.

    1. Nick

      I’m not sure I agree with the snake oil analogy. Design is self evident. Consumers (educated on design or not) respond to it implicitly given how effective it is.

      If business people find value in crowdsourced design, it doesn’t mean they’re ignorant or naive, and if some are then their competitors will push them out of the market — it’s their problem to fix, and there’s plenty of information out there on good marketing and brand practices.

      On my part I didn’t get into design to altruistically help businesses, as is the case with you. I found design to be a fitting trade given my interests and competencies, and like most people, am working to earn a living. The “helping businesses succeed” part is a nice extension of that.

      You mentioned that it’s not about forcing buyers or making others feel guilty, but have you read some of the comments on typophile.com, no-spec.com, and even on your own site. Just follow the article you reference and you’ll see for yourself. Here’s what jennifer has to say:

      “If your a cheapskate please go to them and use them, because real designers don’t want to deal with you anyway since you obviously don’t care what the work looks like your just cheap. ”

      —-

      My concern is that this vile attitude is more toxic to the design industry than crowdsourcing.

  3. Laurel Black

    Thanks, Nick and Shaun, for your input(s). Have to say that I agree with Shaun that Nick isn’t quite getting it.

    1. Crowdsourcing can be an issue even when big organizations have the ability to buy professional custom design – witness the recent attempts by a couple of federal agencies to use crowdsourcing to get their logos redesigned.
    2. Nobody, whether an individual or a company, “automatically understands the value of good design.” It is learned and everyone is on a different rung of the knowledge ladder. Expecting clients to just somehow know your value is a pipe dream. It is our responsibility to communicate it.
    3. The issue being bemoaned isn’t so much the fees offered by crowdsourcing sites (although that is moan-worthy), but that our profession is being commoditized and dumbed down. That is what happens when crowdsourced design sites present their wares as equal in value to those created by professional designers. As I have said in earlier posts, no one likes to have their education, years of experience and expertise devalued, whether one is a designer, a doctor an attorney or a psychologist.
    4. As Michael Beirut observed, the difference between design and art is clients. So Nick, if you aren’t in the business of helping other organizations and producing work that serves your clients, what is the point of your being a designer?
    5. ”Design is self evident.” Seriously? If that was true, there would be no need for design schools, and we wouldn’t argue about it so much.

    All that being said, Nick is absolutely right that the rhetoric around this issue is getting a bit toxic. Ranting about the unfairness of crowdsourced design is childish. My point was that it’s more productive to get busy pushing back against the commoditization with consistent and constant client education. So I hereby promise never to use the word “crap” in conjunction with crowdsourcing again. My time will be better spent in educating my clients as to why and how I can help them be successful.

  4. Nick

    I’ll respond to each point.

    1. Who is it an issue for exactly? If they want to use crowdsourcing or have their 5 y.o. nephew come up with a new logo for them, who are you to question that?

    My point is the market will sort it out. If Toyota begins using crowdsourced designs, resulting in poor quality output, Nissan will get a leg up on them by investing in a pricier but theoretically more effective alternative.

    Where is the need to intervene in the free market?

    2. Granted, quality in all things is more nuanced and challenging to understand than quantity. And while I agree, educating consumers of design comes with the territory, ultimately it comes back to market economics.

    If clients use bad design, they open the door to competition that “gets it” and steals market share from them.

    If you have to communicate the subtly of your value to customers over that of a hack-job alternative, then either they’re clueless and deserve what they get, or your designs aren’t substantially different from the alternative.

    3. The profession being commoditized and dumbed-down? First, when you’re describing a profession, you do realize that by extension, it necessarily is producing a commodity, right?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity

    Second, I’m not sure I agree that crowdsourced design is dumbed-down. Perhaps it’s not as sophisticated as pricer alternatives, but that’s up to the business consumer who is buying the design to decide. If they want lower price, they inherently understand it’s lower quality. For you to assume they don’t understand that is insulting.

    4. I believe there are many differences between design and art. In my opinion, much of it has to do with context, constraints, and intent. But that’s a whole other philosophical tangent.

    I never said I was not in the business of helping my clients. I said that helping clients was a nice extension of my primary business objective, which is maximizing profits.

    Honestly, if you’re under the impression that as a designer, you are not functioning as a business, then you don’t very much understand business. There is no argument what-so-ever from any flavor of economic theory that the objective function of business (excluding non-profits) is to maximize profit.

    If you don’t understand that fundamental objective, do you truly believe you can serve your business clients?

    5. Design “is” self evident. Nuance, interpretation, abstraction… those things require a higher order of thinking. Also, technical execution of design (the stuff design schools and literacy programs purport to offer) is wholly separate from design being self evident.

    A car’s benefit to you is completely self evident, but designing, engineering, and manufacturing a car is a completely different track of discussion.

    The same is true for design. Clients understand the need for a logo. They understand the need for a visual brand identity. They realize the effect these visual tools have on the market. They may not always appreciate the subtle differences in one design over another, what if any shelf-life a particular design arrangement has over another, and so on, but they see what they like and in my experience often give thoughtful relevant feedback — notwithstanding their lack of training.

    Frankly, those who don’t get it all usually make for poor clients in the first place, so why fret over them?

    One issue that rarely gets the proper attention is a clients budget constraints. Not all clients have the luxury to pay substantially higher prices for work that isn’t “dumbed down”. Their budgets often drive their purchasing decisions, not their desires for good or bad design. Without question, everyone want’s “good” design. Some just can’t afford it. So what, they should be forced to close shop and crawl back under the rock from which they came from? (That sure sounds like what many of the no-spec advocates are insinuating)

  5. Nick

    PS:

    “I agree with Shaun that Nick isn’t quite getting it”

    Truth be told, I get exactly what’s going on. Unions and industry lobbyists have been doing the same thing for generations. It’s about protectionism, collectively bargaining, and other forms of artificial market manipulation.

    But sure, just saying Nick doesn’t get (rather than rationally understanding what Nick is saying) sure sounds smart.

  6. Laurel Black

    Hi Nick – Looks like the ball’s in my court. Here goes:

    1. “If they want to use crowdsourcing or have their 5 y.o. nephew come up with a new logo for them, who are you to question that?” This isn’t about clients’ right to choose – that’s a given. The point is that the perceived value of professional design is being hijacked by crowdsourcers who present their products as equal in worth to thoughtful, strategic design services. Yes, there are many designers who rant and scream “UNFAIR!!” I agree that this is unproductive, and I think the antidote is client education. As an independent designer who works directly with business owners, I place a premium on this – it is my responsibility to explain to anyone who asks me why my work is superior and has a better ROI than simplistic off-the-shelf images. Expecting the average business person to somehow just get it on her own is like asking a fourth-grader to interpret Shakespeare. There are certainly some who can, but most need some help.

    2. “. . . ultimately it comes back to market economics. If clients use bad design, they open the door to competition that ‘gets it’ and steals market share from them.” That could take a while. Why should Mr. Client spend years figuring out that his marketing isn’t working when I can help him now? Neither of us can afford to wait while market economics runs its course. It’s called being proactive.

    2a. “If you have to communicate . . . your value to customers over that of a hack-job alternative, then either they’re clueless and deserve what they get, or your designs aren’t substantially different from the alternative.” This statement is contemptuous of people in general, and clients especially. People aren’t born with this knowledge. When you provide design to a client, you are doing them a service, not a favor. And the basis of good service is respect.

    3. “If they want lower price, they inherently understand it’s lower quality. For you to assume they don’t understand that is insulting.” To assume that clients in general will automatically equate lower price with lower quality is a stretch. It is not insulting to assume they don’t understand. I don’t know much about accounting, so I appreciate it when my CPA explains things to me. And like my CPA, I work at understanding my clients well enough so that when they do have some expertise, I recognize and build on it.

    4.”I never said I was not in the business of helping my clients. I said that helping clients was a nice extension of my primary business objective, which is maximizing profits.” Is this what you tell your clients? Personally, I don’t separate making money and helping clients. They have equal priority in my business because I view design primarily as a service.

    5. “Clients understand the need for a logo. They understand the need for a visual brand identity. They realize the effect these visual tools have on the market . . . Frankly, those who don’t get it all usually make for poor clients in the first place, so why fret over them?” Lucky for you that you seem to only have clients who already recognize the benefit of professional design over a “hack job,” but I can assure you that many do not. That does not make them bad clients, or unworthy of quality work. It certainly doesn’t make them deserving of your contempt.

    5a. “Not all clients have the luxury to pay substantially higher prices for work that isn’t ‘dumbed down.’” Of course not – part of the service a good designer offers is a range of scoping levels with appropriate price points. This issue has been discussed a lot on this blog. What clients need to know is that the most expensive marketing tools are the ones that don’t work, regardless of the actual dollar amount spent.

    What this is really about is helping clients understand the difference between price and value. Those of us who can’t be bothered to explain our worth do the profession as much of a disservice as the crowdsourcing sites.

  7. Nick

    I’d be curious to see how you describe your greater value. Do you have an apples to oranges comparison?

    For example: your work product and your rate vs a CS work product for a similar problem and their rate, as well as the ROI to the client?

    Seems when you talk value, it comes to these substantive proofs. Otherwise, IMO, it’s often a matter of being the slicker salesperson. I’ve seen many designers who frankly are terrible — CS or not — and convince “uneducated” clients that they are good.

  8. Laurel Black

    How to demonstrate greater value depends on the client. My clients are nearly all very small businesses without the resources to track numbers in the conventional corporate marketing sense. They rely heavily on their personal observations over time and referrals from trusted sources. So I describe my value in narrative terms since I can’t give them numerical data. I also make sure they have access to my lengthy list of previous clients to use as references, which are on my web site along with a client feedback page with specific names and locations.

    Since I am a small business myself, I know what’s important to them. When I describe my ability to work with them on their marketing strategy in addition to creating their marketing tools, this differentiates me from CS sites immediately. I have found that people want to understand how to effectively use the tools they are buying. If you don’t know how to use a band saw, it doesn’t matter if the one you buy is shoddy or top of the line – either way you are not going to get the results you want. When I make analogies like this, clients get it, especially if I use an analogy that is related to their business. I think the way I demonstrate value is to show that I understand their challenges and that I can help them find solutions.

    Your point about terrible designers being slick sellers is unfortunately often true. That’s all the more reason to educate clients on how to make wise purchasing decisions. I consider every educated client a win for quality design.

  9. Nick

    Sounds like you spend a lot more time giving your client advice on marketing / branding, which justifies the higher price you ask for.

    I suppose with CS, you get a less of that but for a lower price.

    As for the actual logo or design artifact, some clients may just have the budget for only that part, and have less interest in the softer “educational” services you offer.

    Does that mean that CS is ripping them off?

    I’m just playing devil’s advocate here.

    1. Laurel Black

      Hi Nick –

      Devil’s advocacy is good – keeps us honest. As I said earlier, I think that CS sites are deceptive because they imply that their products are of equal value to strategic design. Whether that translates into being a rip-off depends on one’s values. I personally would never do business like that. Just as clients’ budgets need to be respected, so does their understanding. Anyone who sells anything needs to be clear about its relative value – implying it has more worth than it really does feels like a rip-off to me, because the seller is taking advantage of a buyer’s ignorance. When I have a client who simply doesn’t have the resources for a fully developed logo, I try to help them find a solution that they can handle. So yes, I do spend time giving advice, sometimes for free, but that’s part of my marketing process. Being helpful has paid off pretty well.

      On another note, here is a link to a very interesting take on the true nature of crowdsourcing in general:
      http://www.forbes.com/2009/09/28/crowdsourcing-enterprise-innovation-technology-cio-network-jargonspy.html

  10. Nick

    Well, it’s plain to see, if you spend more time working with clients, you charge more. If you spend less time working with clients you charge less.

    But apples to apples, if you spend the same amount of time as anyone in the CS space, the output would be about the same — unless you’re claiming that your skills are unequivocally superior?

    I’ve never used or participated in CS, but I imagine it’s not dissimilar to working distributively with a client. I have clients all over the country, we exchange ideas and feedback via email and I render a solution.

    I imagine CS allows an exchange between the designer and the client?

    PS: My take on Dan’s article is that CS is not a replacement for traditional innovation. It’s possible things can progress from crowds, but in his examples, often the genesis of innovation is the “one guy”.

    I agree with that.

    What I’m not in agreement with is that designers who participate in CS are somehow unable to venture off into their cave, dim the lights, and meditate on rendering an amazing solution given the exchange of information with the client.

  11. Chris

    Greed is the root of the problem.
    Greedy agencies, greedy designers, greedy placement services, greedy shareholders and business owners.

    “Designers” 9 out of 10 times only design for their own portfolios anymore. We can thank magazines like HOW and Print for this. I’ve seen more and more designers that say “I made it into HOW magazine.” But when you ask them how effective were their designs for the client they shrug their shoulders. I actually got “What do you mean effective?” during an interview once. Needless to say they were not hired.

    Once, one of the agencies I was at had a CD that called people in from as far as they would come from just so he could look at their “books.” He never intended on hiring them (we didn’t have the budget). He was fired because he missed his target market on our main account.

    In crowdsourcing, the only people who make money consistently are the people who provide the service of crowdsourcing. If it takes 100 people 1 hour each to design a logo and the client pays for only 1 design, then the design industry loses. The “designer” is contributing to their own demise by participating. The expectation that 1000 people will participate in the next design is already set. When 1000 people contribute designs to one site the site gets all of the traffic. The designer loses their individuality. The target market for these designers is people who are looking to buy logos or whatever designs the designer is selling. They are designing for their own portfolio.

    I’ve had several clients tell me they “tried crowdsourcing” but were not impressed. This is because the people who are crowdsourcing can’t cut it in the design industry.

    The same thing happens with freelancing through a placement service. 100 people apply, the service picks their favorite 10 and submit their picks to the client (based on past work portfolios). When the client picks, the price is negotiated already. The designer goes in and works with what they have. Sometimes they can produce work better than what was in their portfolio. Sometimes they can’t. Regardless they’re still designing for their portfolio.

    See… if they make something that appeals to the placement service, they’ll get more work. So their target market is the ex-design flunkies at the placement service. (The people who couldn’t hack it in the design field.) They select the designers based on their portfolio. The designers are still designing for their portfolio.

    Professional Designers are the people who are responsible for making an effective communication for a client so that client can in turn speak to their end client or customer. If this is not the goal of all parties involved, the design will most certainly be ineffective. This process involves research, follow-up, and a good level of communication between the designer and the client. Every instance I’ve seen where the designer was not able to talk directly to the client always ended with a non-optimal design.

    It’s all about the numbers. If someone needs a logo, and they only budget $100. They go to a crowd sourcing site and spend $100. If their logo isn’t effective they only think they’re out $100. Minimal investment. What they don’t realize is all of the potential clients (and income) they lose because they’ve cheaped out.

    If they go to an agency and they spend $1000 on a logo and that logo isn’t effective, then they have lost more money at the onset. You would think that the agency would always produce effective logos. That’s not always the case if the agency is using freelance designers and providing little ability for communication. The agency having a relationship will at least have the ability to try and recover the relationship.

    If they go to an agency or a freelancer directly and have an open communication line to the designer, then the logo can be much more targeted to the consumers. They can design effectively together. And they have a feeling of a relationship, rather than some online vending machine for “art” labeled as “design.” See without that level of communication, they would never know their logo could be ineffective. The crowdsourcing people aren’t going to tell them that and a placement service isn’t going to be held responsible for the money the client spent with them for a potentially ineffective logo.

    Agencies need to make absolutely certain that they are creating effective designs. They need to do their research before and after. Then they can build credibility again. They need to hire talent that is familiar with the design process, not just people who have nice books.

    Many agencies will try and build off of the past success of their employees. I’ve worked at companies that took my bio word-for-word and put it on their website. It wasn’t work they had done, but they wanted some sort of notoriety or clout from having my portfolio added to their own. I felt like an accessory. They didn’t really care about designing for the client’s best interest and in turn are out of business.

    I think the idea of survival of the fittest is great. It’s engrained in people already.

    Let people fight it out on the crowdsourcing sites. Then go to google and report the crowdsourcing sites in violation of copyright laws and licensing agreements (where applicable). This will have them delisted from the results due to infringement.

    If you report someone using stock art in a logo back to someone like shutterstock or istock, then their legal team can go back and pursue all of the people “designing” on the cheap.

    Go on to websites and report negative reviews of crowdsourcing sites. People read reviews.

    Go onto websites and add tons of backlinks to the crowdsourcing sites from sites that are not relevant to design. This will look like spamdexing and will lower the rank of the CS site. You can take back your industry but you have to speak.

    Nick “I’d be curious to see how you describe your greater value. Do you have an apples to oranges comparison?

    For example: your work product and your rate vs a CS work product for a similar problem and their rate, as well as the ROI to the client?”

    When a company goes out of business because they spent their budget crowdsourcing you can’t get feedback unfortunately unless you talk to their ex-employees at McDonalds, Starbucks, or the Gas Station where they’re working along side of the people who are still providing “designs” to the crowdsourcing sites.

  12. Laurel Black

    @Nick – As to what level of exchange CS allows between client and designer, given the amount of money involved, I would guess that the designers on those sites spend as little time as possible in dialogue with clients. Whether the process is the same or not isn’t the issue. My point continues to be that CS sites purporting to sell design are deceitful because they imply that their products are equal in value to, and will have the same results as, the work produced by thoughtful, professional designers. The sites trade on clients’ lack of knowledge, and my other point is that it is the responsibility of professional designers to educate their clients about what they’re buying.

    @Chris – I don’t think greed is going away anytime soon, but we can at least decide individually not to participate in it. Sounds like you went independent partly to get away from what you describe as a very toxic environment. Your definition of a professional designer is quite good, especially the part about being able to work directly with the decision maker. On the one occasion I found myself not in this position, the work reflected the resulting communication deficit, and I have since made sure that this won’t happen again.

    Your ideas about survival of the fittest and fighting it out on the CS sites may have merit, but I prefer to counter CS by making my case directly to clients, one by one. So far it seems to be working. “You can take back your industry but you have to speak.” Right on – one way or the other.

  13. Nick

    Yeah, you keep repeating your point. I’ve been trying to separate the wheat from the shaft in this discussion. I’ve tried to identify exactly what you mean by value with respects to CS vs “professional designers”.

    I think overall you’ve failed to prove your point. You’ve talked about giving advice, more attention, time, etc.

    It’s those things that I claim result in a higher price. You spend more time with a client, you charge more as a “professional designer”.

    As for CS, if you’re suggesting that the designers who participate are not professional, I’d like to see your evidence of that claim.

    Personally, I think there are always degrees of quality. With design, it’s often a mix of subjective with objective. To take a broad stroke to CS designers in the way you’ve done is IMO irresponsible.

    As for the service providers / CS website owners, I know nothing of them. I suppose in their view they believe the product their participants deliver is of quality, so implying they are being deceitful is also irresponsible, IMO.

    I haven’t seen you portfolio, but between you and I (and the readers here), I’ve noticed that the loudest advocates against spec, against competition, against CS are those who’s work is nearest to the quality produced by so called CS designers — if we’re to generalize a stereotype.

    Most pros frankly don’t give a rats arse about this issue. My only interest in it is as a libertarian.

    People like Chris confuse me when they talk about greed. If you’re intent is to create art, then be an artist. A designer solves problems that generally have a context, most frequently related to business.

  14. Chris

    “People like Chris confuse me when they talk about greed. If you’re intent is to create art, then be an artist. A designer solves problems that generally have a context, most frequently related to business.”

    I’m not sure what this means, but I’m sure you’re confused by a lot of things. Maybe you can see how those statements might be unrelated in the same paragraph given the context. Some designers are artists as well.

    “As for the service providers / CS website owners, I know nothing of them. I suppose in their view they believe the product their participants deliver is of quality, so implying they are being deceitful is also irresponsible, IMO.”

    I’ve been in the communications industry going on 20 years and have seen a lot of talent wasted. I’m sure most people only turn to CS out of desperation. I can’t imagine there are successful people who have said “I’m doing great… the next phase in my life… crowdsourcing.” Which is why the people who run CS sites make all of the money. If you have 1000 people designing for you for free, then you can make as much as you want. Make a CS site, take a little off the top for other people’s labor. Use their works in your own advertising. It’s like a free franchise. You don’t even need to be talented to start a CS site. Just kick out the people who do bad work. I have a hunch that successful CS sites are started by unsuccessful wanna-be art directors.

    “I haven’t seen you portfolio, but between you and I (and the readers here), I’ve noticed that the loudest advocates against spec, against competition, against CS are those who’s work is nearest to the quality produced by so called CS designers — if we’re to generalize a stereotype.”

    Nobody can be against competition if they’re in business. Competition creates the drive we need to better ourselves. I think there are a lot of problems with American English and the way we use the language. There are so many things that use the same phrasing. I’ve done spec myself and for agencies in order to win a big campaign from a competitor. It’s sometimes what you have to do to gain business or get someone’s ear.

    To say someone who is against the abuse of talent is a bad designer is ignorant, but it’s not that people couldn’t see the ignorance in your responses already.

    CS is the greedy response to greed. If you run a corporation and fire the people who work for you, then solicit (in this case) designs from thousands of people to only pay 1 it is extremely irresponsible (and greedy) in a country with an economy based on capitalism. Outsourcing on the cheap on the whole is to blame for much of the demise around the globe.

    The people (workforce) who work in companies pay taxes, they pay for infrastructure. In numbers they pay for advancements in technologies. They drive profits by spending their earnings. They spend their discretionary incomes. When a corporation uses a device like crowdsourcing to replace talented workers just to save money it affects us all. When people don’t work they become desperate. Desperate people can be dangerous especially in numbers. Life is too short to have to worry about whether you’re going to win a design auction in order to survive. Taking what you want seems like a much more sustainable option in desperation as well.

    Make a CS site. You’ll win money off of a lot of people. If you don’t spread the wealth back around you’ll soon find yourself far out numbered and you will lose. When corporations start taking risks on good qualified people the risk will pay off.

    Laurel is right. Greed is not going away anytime soon.

    Greed created the environment of desperation that allows an abomination like outsourcing to exist. When the people who run agencies don’t hire people, they help that environment to spread. When designers jump from job to job for notoriety they soon find themselves without a chair when the music ends. When placement services take 80% and 90% of the earnings from a hard working professional they’re stealing that infrastructure from us all. Greedy shareholders and business owners should see the errors of their ways and start hiring people to build back what has been taken away. Without infrastructure we all lose.

    When crowdsourcing fails because of lack of a base of people capable of sustaining it (nobody can live for free), the market will return for many people because of the lack of services to fulfill the growing need. When creative people who aren’t savvy enough to cut it in the design industry enter other markets we will start to see new growth and business owners with a sense of duty when it comes to creating positions for people who like themselves have been let down by the greed that permeates the globe.

    Until then, sit back and watch. It’s going to be messy.

  15. Laurel Black

    @ Nick – Looks like we have failed to make our respective points to each other. Your attempts to “separate wheat from chaff” sound like ideological nit-picking to me, and my attempts to explain why CS is deceitful has gained no traction with you. As for your theory that “that the loudest advocates against spec, against competition, against CS are those who’s work is nearest to the quality produced by so called CS designers,” if you are curious as to the quality of my work, I have published my web address with each post — you can look at my work whenever you want and make your own judgment. I am sure I will survive the scrutiny, just as I have survived decades of competition.

    @ Chris – Your analysis of the business model of CS and its effects is at once concise and depressing. Your projection of the zero-sum game of CS reminds me of similar descriptions of the Wal-Mart retail model. At some point, continually lowering prices becomes unsustainable, and then either the model has to change, or the Law of Unforeseen Consequences kicks in. Messy indeed.

  16. Nick

    “Outsourcing on the cheap on the whole is to blame for much of the demise around the globe.”

    Chris, you’re clueless about economics. You’re also fairly rude. Those generally go hand-in-hand though, so I’m surprised.

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