Thursday, February 2, 2012

crowdspring accused of ignorance, manipulation, misrepresentation, and exploitation

Following is an excerpt from link
Ross Kimbarovsky, co-owner of Crowdspring, is either, at best, completely ignorant of the practice of design and it’s potential for providing powerful solutions to a broad range of problems or, at worst, a greedy manipulative capitalist (in the worse sense of the word) who misrepresents design, the design community and the role Crowdspring plays in the devaluation and commoditization of design.
His position is on display for all to read on his blog.
Reducing the design process to mere deliverables along the lines of a Chinese takeout restaurant (with apologies to those proprietors), he makes a case that crowdsourcing opens up wonderful opportunities for designers of all levels of experience to work for big name clients by providing a fair and level playing field through his benevolent site.
In fact Kimbarovsky’s model encourages the exploitation of designers by facilitating the process of engaging them for spec work. He argues, as do other’s who profit from crowdsourcing, that, like the revolution in self-publishing in the music industry, it will open up opportunities for entrepreneurial success for participating designers. This is an intentionally deceptive and flawed analogy. Self-publishing affords artists the choice to market their work with all the associated risks AND rewards. Designers participating in spec work take all the risk, with the reward being so minimal that it couldn’t possibly justify the time, talent and intellectual investment they put into their design. It’s design on the cheap, with Kimbarovsky and his partners in crime, along with the clients, garnering the lion’s share of the profits.
Besides the inaccurate representation of the financial benefit to those participating in crowdsourcing, Kimbarovsky ignores, and actually obscures, the strategic value that design thinking contributes to marketing, cultural and societal challenges. The sourcing mechanism, as it’s incorporated into the Crowdspring model, minimizes any opportunity for this type of contribution by designers, cheating the participating clients of the chance to tap into the talent, creativity and intellect of those they’re looking to buy a design from. There is no opportunity for the designer to help the client reframe the assignment and arrive at a more appropriate solution. It becomes all about ink on paper or pixels on a screen.
Crowdsourcing is a base, cynical attempt to clothe exploitation in the guise of benevolence, fairness and free market dogma.

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