Crowdsourcing: The Root of All Evils!

psst wanna buy a logo?I hate crowdsourcing. I don’t even like the word. It’s yet another quickly coined bit of jargon doing the rounds in the online community. No doubt the person who gave birth to it thinks it’s a stellar addition to the English language. It’s Not! Even my spell checker hates it.

As a concept it stinks to high heaven.

Why? Because it’s deeply insulting.

It turns talented people into prostitutes. Imagine, underemployed creatives lined up six-a-penny and hustling drive-by corporates waving dollar bills out their car windows.

Crowdsourcing reduces both yours and my years of hard-won experience, credibility, talent, skill, and education to an almost worthless and meaningless commodity. If you’re participating in it, please stop!

Those who promote it (the smooth looking “dude” with the cool website and shiny suit, slouching up against the internet wall), will tell you this is a great opportunity to get some cash and experience while building your resumé and gaining credibility.


You might as well try to tell me women take up prostitution to become better lovers and find husbands.

What it is, is a wonderful opportunity for him to put some cash in his pocket while prostituting your talent and a hundred others like you to corporate enterprises for about a dollar an hour. No doubt they retain the rights to unused executions as well. Nice.

If you’re looking to find work, gain experience, and increase your exposure, then ask some of your marketing friends for their ideas. Finding creative ways to deliver messages that get results is our profession. It’s what WE do. Get creative! If you can do nothing else, go find a worthy start-up that will appreciate your talents, and help them.

As for the companies that use Crowdsourcing?

If you are a small start-up company who really doesn’t have the funds to get a decent logo designed, a PR article, copy or content written, a desperately needed professional strategy planned, or a photograph taken, I wouldn’t mind so much. If you really are one, ask around and be honest. Creatives are nice people. We’ve been known to help cash strapped clients in exchange for furthering our careers.

But the truth is, you’re not. You’re a big well established business who has decided it’s very clever, very “lean” to maximize your profits while you undermine the value of your own brand.

Yep, that’s exactly what you’re doing. If you’re going to replace professional competence with cheap and nasty practices, you’ll end up being perceived as a cheap and nasty company.

After all, what kind of company thinks a two-bit investment in their brand builds equity?

Why a two-bit company, that’s who.

Come on people! If we don’t take a stand, we’re going to find ourselves sitting on a south-sea island knitting sweaters for Wal-Mart.

Enough said.

Hmmmm…. Maybe not? This will undoubtedly crop up again and I’ll feel the need to rant anew.

Xross that line!
Cheers, Steven

credits: Image courtesy of Brad Evans

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4 Responses to Crowdsourcing: The Root of All Evils!

  1. Hey Steven – interesting blog. I would like to have a telephonic discussion with you on this topic and get your honest opinion on FREE Pitching platforms vs. “competitions” that really aim to empower designers. Hope to hear from you soon. Yours in creativity and best design practice. Leonard Rabotapi

  2. Abbey says:

    Great article. I really couldn’t have said it any better myself. I am sick of people dragging down the design industry by working for low wages. They need to have more respect for themselves and the industry. I would rather work a second job to supplement my income instead of working for crap wages.

    How would people like it if I treated people in other industries the way designers are treated? How about I will pay my mechanic in small increments, only if my car does not break down? I will pay a lawyer only if I like the advice they give me?

    • xrosstheline says:

      Hi Abbey,

      Thanks for dropping by your support is greatly appreciated. If you like the articles tell the world Please, share them with your friends!!!! If you don’t tell me and then I can learn and improve.

      BTW I Just got another, crowd source design opportunity today… For the Financial Times no less! I mean we’re talking the UK/ London equivalent of the Wall Street Journal. To design a digital Campaign for a whole $5,000 bucks if you win…woo hoo. I mean Who is their agency of record? Are they that Banal? Are they really going to execute somone elses work? Are the Financial Times that broke? Gee whiz…give it up folks.

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