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Thread: money in this industry -- reasons for decline

  1. #1
    the traveler
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    money in this industry -- reasons for decline

    i think everyone can agree that from the inception of this type of work, salaries and rates have been on the decline. not so much at first but recently it has been declining at much steeper pace. is this because of the saturation of the industry, the bubble burst, this ridiculous war, declining world markets, or a combo of each? what do you think bears the most effect?
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  2. #2
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    I think that the general perception that web work is an overpaid, easy touch is rife throughout the business world - a business world jam packed with people who know nothing about which they speak, yet hold the attention of too many decision makers.

    Also, the fact that the industry is plagued by starter-uppers who want to give web design a go (fair enough), but to get themselves up and running offer their services for free, helps no one involved. In fact, when it comes down to it, these new entries are doing themselves the biggest injustice of all, because if they keep up offering their services for zero compensation, when it comes time to offer a paid service, there'll be no one willing to switch from the free to the paid.

    Obviously, I'm not talking about big contracts here, small and medium-sized mostly, and free work is just that free, and accordingly subpar. But still, if John in Accounting can whip up a decent html page for free and some freelancer can maybe do better work, but wants US$ 2,000, which CFO is going to turn down John in Accounting?

    This last piece just happened to me, so I know well of what I speak.
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  3. #3
    Banned vampstko's Avatar
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    kids and people with no skills and charging pennies

  4. #4
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    i dont know....i think if a company wants a real nice looking website then they will pay the cash for it. i honestly think it comes down to the art and design. bob in accounting might be able to put together a website, but whats it going to look like?? theres a lot to be said for a functional site versus a nicely desinged site that is also functional. thats where the money comes into play. you want the best....you pay for it. thats y companies like 2A do so well.

    as far as a decline in the industry, i dont really see it. i work for a small software, design company (only 3 of us currently) but we stay pretty damn busy. we've got a couple of good clients that need work all the time, and other assorted jobs come in very frequently. i think word of mouth is big....who you know means a lot in the biz world. if you dont have any connections, then yes, it can be a very "down" time for webdesign in the current economy.

  5. #5
    Illuminatus! fospher.com's Avatar
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    @vamps: the main concept of the industry going down is because kids and people with no skills are charging pennies? i disagree completely. their price range does not compensate for their skills. if they are charging nothing, this means that their services are also worth, nothing. if you're charging less for the same product, of course people are gonna come to you than the next guy standing by. but if you have no experience in the field, and charging nothing, non-serious businesses will come to you, and pay you pennies, therefore taking away nothing from a serious web developer. an anology would be: people stopped buying snickers bars because a new brand called gnickers makes another candy bar that tastes horrible, but costs half the price. that wouldnt make much sense would it? people would still buy snickers because they know its quality, tastes great, and has been in the business for ages(or in our case, instead of snickers we would have 2a, or any other experienced designer). they're not going to buy gnickers(in our case, geocities/*.*), because its new, and tastes horrible(in our case, bad skills).

    so if you're making a webpage that is the same quality as 2a but charging half the price, and could still manage a living, you're not pulling the economy down at all. you're simply providing competition.
    Last edited by fospher.com; 04-02-2003 at 02:23 AM.

  6. #6
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    Originally posted by fospher.com
    @vamps: the main concept of the industry going down is because kids and people with no skills are charging pennies? i disagree completely. their price range does not compensate for their skills. if they are charging nothing, this means that their services are also worth, nothing.
    You, me, vamps and the majority here know this, but there are many, many business types who will gleefully exploit offers of free websites and be perfectly happy with the product, crap or not. Their lack of skill defys them the ability to know crap when they see crap, so they end up being perfectly satisfied with the tripe that you get when you pay nothing.

    Take away the freebies and these guys would still be in line for a site, and would still not know how good or bad their site was, but at least someone would've made some money off the deal.
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  7. #7
    the Super B
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    Originally posted by hurricaneone
    You, me, vamps and the majority here know this, but there are many, many business types who will gleefully exploit offers of free websites and be perfectly happy with the product, crap or not. Their lack of skill defys them the ability to know crap when they see crap, so they end up being perfectly satisfied with the tripe that you get when you pay nothing.

    Take away the freebies and these guys would still be in line for a site, and would still not know how good or bad their site was, but at least someone would've made some money off the deal.
    But to play Devil's Advocate, that doesn't seem fair to the customer. If they are willing to pay very little, get very little in return, and are happy with that, it seems unfair to require them to spend more to get a "better" product that they don't see the need for.

    If I need a car, but all I need is some old beater that runs, it would be wrong of the Auto Manufacturing Community to say, "Sorry, it's bad for our business to allow people to make cheap, crappy cars. It's better for us to require you to spend more and get a better prodcut, even if you would be perfectly happy with the beater."

    Bottom line, if the customer is happy getting crap, then who are we to force them to pay for something better?

    I agree that this may be one of the main contributors to lower income in the field, but rather than blaming those who offer the cheap or free services, I would say that it is the willingness of clients to accept crap that has had the impact...and is it even fair to call it crap if they're happy with it and it meets what they see as their needs?


    Adam
    Last edited by haikumania; 04-02-2003 at 02:24 PM.

  8. #8
    Illuminatus! fospher.com's Avatar
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    ^^ well, i might as well play devils advocate too. if someone is eating crap, and you come up to them and say "why are you eating that, its crap!", and they would reply to you as "this isnt crap, this is a high class meal!", it would still be crap no matter what they say, just that they would see it as something else. this analogy of course corresponds with the bad websites / clients.

  9. #9
    the Super B
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    Agreed, but what about things that are subjective, like taste (both figurative and literal)? Who's the arbiter of what is crap and what is not? The professionals in the industry? Customers? Consumers?

    Based on the numbers, McDonald's is not "crappy" food, but rather a good meal for the money spent. In the eyes of a Gourmet Chef, it is crap. So who's right and who's wrong? Who gets to define crap?

    Adam

  10. #10
    Illuminatus! fospher.com's Avatar
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    i think in this case, mcDonalds would be a freelance designer, just like you or me, and the gourmet chef would be 2a/widegroup/whoever huge. and crap would still remain crap. you can still get a very good meal off of mcdonalds, just like you can get a clean/structured website off a freelancer. however if you have the money to have a chef cook for you, then why go to mcdonalds. same thing would be if you have the money to get 2a do a website for you if you're michael jordan, why hire a freelancer? but, if you have the money to go to mcdonalds, why should you be eating crap?

  11. #11
    the Super B
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    Originally posted by fospher.com
    but, if you have the money to go to mcdonalds, why should you be eating crap?
    Because taste is subjective.

    I could be rich and still like the taste of McDondald's hamburgers. You may think it's crap, but what gives you the right to make that choice for me?

    I may be a rich business client who could afford a "good" website, but if I am happy with what "web design pros" think is crap, what's wrong with that?

    I've seen so many threads in this forum where people complain that clients are making bad design choices, but the general consensus seems to be "They are the client, even if you disagree with their choice, they are the ones who know their customer and their needs and they are the ones paying the fees, so give them what they are asking for."

    And yet if the same client is willing to pay Bob from Accounting in Big Macs to create their website, and they are happy with the results, it seems we shouldn't complain that Bob is ruining the industry.

    Adam

  12. #12
    Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk! Hey Moe... serpent star's Avatar
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    What about offshoring. They could concievably get very good product by anyones standards at a price that, if I'm lucky, could buy me a couple big macs.

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