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It's Not Always Just About Design

02.17.2005

Design in the real world

Last night, while watching the reunion show for Project Runway, there was a lot of friction between the designers who wanted to scream bloody murder because some wanted to win by using strategy, tricks, tactics, or anything that wasn't just design alone. One of the designers, Wendy Pepper, admitted that she came into this game with the mentality of trying to win.

This is not Survivor.

That was a response by one of the other finalists, Jay McCarroll. I think Jay missed the boat on that one. In the real world, it's not always about winning with raw talent or your design alone. Simply, that's not how it works. There are always those play by a different set of rules, you might have not have considered yourself. This can be in any creative field too, not just fashion. It doesn't matter what it is, but the person with the most talent, doesn't always come out on top.

Business sense, marketing tactics, and generally sneaky tactics give some of the less talented folks a big advantage. It's it fair? Maybe not, but is it happening? You betcha. And if you want to pretend it's not, well pretend away, as you fall farther behind those at the front of the race.

What are some of the tactics used to push oneself ahead of the pack? Being the low-bidder can help. Is it fair to charge less for equal design services? Maybe not, but it's your choice if you want to make yourself work harder for less, but it always hurts your competition. If someone always charging less for services takes away all your clients, than how can you succeed? It's no different from the Wal-Mart philosophy, but it doesn't mean you have to be a large company, since in the design sense, you are carrying no inventory. You do have to get the design work done, but if you eliminate your competition early on, then you can slowly raise your rates and if someone comes and tries to low-ball you, then you can fight right back with the same tactics.

Some design firms steal talent away from others. It might not be through simple offers of more money, but maybe through more benefits or perks. If someone has more talent than you, why not take some of it away? Certainly sounds like a good plan. It might be sneaky or mean, but it happens.

Sometimes it's just plain better marketing moves that can push you ahead of the competition. You could be the best designer in the world, but a less talented one with better business sense will usually do better. In the end, it's not just about the design, because in the real world you can be that naive. It is Survivor.
Posted by monkeyinabox ::: |

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