Why Designers Hate Crowdsourcing

Why Designers Hate Crowdsourcing

This is a piece from 2010 I just ran across when recommending 99Designs, CrowdSpring and DesignCrowd to an entrepreneur trying to get his concept off the ground.

The title caught my attention, but it seems to be based on little more than grousing at the time by established, higher-priced design firms. I’m sure there also was, understandably, some fear of what this brave, new and increasingly connected world would bring. Five years later, though, crowdsourcing has only gained momentum, and its increased supply has reduced price.

Any time we start to condemn something as a “Walmart” of its particular industry, we should remind ourselves that Walmart has an extremely viable business model. Reduced costs–even and especially from offshoring (gulp!)–help everyone, including, yes, designers who can now crowdsource more services they need, such as funding, collaboration or market testing.

This is not to say that displacement isn’t a big deal or that we shouldn’t care about the people adversely affected. We need to do a better job of caring. But displacement from any source–technology, shifting demand or outsourcing–is simple a price of admission to the dynamic marketplace.

I was talking recently with John Geu who, one day in 2013, quit his day job to start Frost Bites Yogurt and Coffee and suddenly needed a great logo. He turned to 99Designs and a week later quickly got his choice pick from dozens of artists who entered designs out of a pool of over one million around the world. For only about $300, the friendly yeti he selected brought his marketing to life, even on t-shirts. Last year, when John added coffee to his menu, that same artist was immediately available again to augment the logo.

No one complained that this designer was never properly able to assess John’s needs or somehow skipped some crucial key step always taken by his more expensive competitors. Crowdsourcing just worked. It was easy, cheap and fast, allowing John to focus on his core skill set–providing really good yogurt and coffee.

Michael is responsible for client SEO work, reporting, FB ads, and web hosting. Prior to joining NSI Partners, Michael received his Bachelor of Science in Business Management Information Systems from Liberty University, and worked at the school’s Network Operations Center. Michael resides in Lynchburg, VA, with his wife, Megan. His hobbies include gaming, watching Atlanta Falcons football, and reading.

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A digital marketing company with almost two decades of experience, NSI Partners helps clients achieve robust results in search marketing, social media, and other digital marketing spaces.

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