Saw a tweet yesterday on Twitter about the debate over spec work in graphic design raging on (is it really evil)...and for the life of me, I can't figure out what's being debated and why.
The truth is there will always be those that will take on work for cheap, even do speculative work in the hopes they'll get a lucky break and land a client. EVERY industry has these types of folks and this type of challenge. The question isn't how do we stop them, it's how do we compete against them.
- Why is it some out there think they can police this in the design industry?
- What gives them the right to police it?
- What would give me the right to tell someone how to run their business (assuming it wasn't illegal)?
People that want to regulate how others run their business are moving down a very slippery and dangerous slope towards Authoritarianism. Yet many of these same people are screaming about personal liberties. How ironic.
Do I think designers that take on spec work are foolish?
Well, I don't know...I don't know what's going on in their lives to be able to make that call - no one else does either. What I do know is that I feel it's strikingly wrong that there are some people, some organizations that boldly condemn it and anyone that's thought about it. What if the only way these folks can compete is to offer their services for little to no money, what right do I have to stop them from trying to provide for themselves and their family?
Why not hammer immigrants for taking less than minimum wage? Think about it, where does it end?
I've been freelancing for over 10 years, have never done a spec work project - I won't do it, period. And I've have had to deal with just as many jackass clients who thought they could con me into it as the next guy, so I came up with Verbal Kung Fu for Freelancers. Rather than stomping my feet and rebuke those that I felt are bringing down the industry, I came up with a way to effectively and intelligibly talk to clients about spec work and other things they typically try to get away with.
I can't control how others operate their business (not in a capitalistic society...which is what we currently have in the States...at least for a while).
I do have respect for my colleagues who desire to continue to fight this "evil of society", I just don't feel they're going to win...and as much as I admire them, I am not sure I want them to win.