Well as expected we have had a sackful of responses to the launch of Wooshii. On the whole the feedback has been excellent – mostly positive and constructive. That said however there is small number of people that come through the doors with a big ‘NoSpecWork’ banner and I thought I would address this issue here.

We (JimSean and I) are all creatives so we have deliberated over this issue for some time but our position is now pretty clear. I have tried to answer some of the nagging questions below. It would be great to know your thoughts!

Wooshii is spec work and I don’t do spec work?

Wooshii is not a spec work site unless you want it to be. You can pitch on Wooshii just by submitting ideas and concepts. You can upload examples or finished articles if you wish to increase your chances of success, but you don’t have to.

But that is spec work?

Well only in the sense that the more work you do the higher the chances of winning with a pitch .What makes the design industry so exceptional that we don’t have to do work before winning work? I have run and worked in many companies and I don’t know of a single instance where you don’t have to do some work in order to gain work… that is how it works. (So to speak!)

But sites like Wooshii are driving down the market…

I totally disagree. The market is changing, shifting and the cashflow is shifting with it. It is becoming more competitive but the economics are just shifting. The same amount of money exists in the system; it is now just spread differently.

But I need to live. I can’t live off what is being paid anymore.

There is no getting away from new markets and changing economies. So change your model. Markets change. Just look at the music industry. Stand still, moan and you will fail. Innovate, change, dare I say be creative and you will succeed.

I am a professional-level designer and I won’t participate in work on spec

That is fine. (Not that we draw any real distinction between you and an “amateur”. To us our users are just “creative”.)You probably have a good bunch of clients and are working with established brands. What Wooshii is all about is connecting not only professionals but also the rising stars, the new creatives, the stay at home moms, students, amateurs with people who want to tap into their talent. Our users are passionate about what they do and would do it anyway regardless of any financial reward. We want to challenge the notion that agencies and professionals hold the keys to creativity.

I am a professional-level designer, how can I work with Wooshii?

Submitting ideas is easy. Just spend say 30 minutes a day submitting some pitches to projects and see what comes back. As a professional you have a wealth of experience to draw on.

OR

Use the system as a way to increasing your creative pool. Post projects. You are still the client facing entity with editorial control.

But there is no guarantee of work from my pitches, is there?

That’s right, but when is there? If you run a business there is never any guarantee of work just because you pitched your sale, proposal or design to a buyer

We do however do everything we can to ensure that you are protected against misuse with b terms and conditions that protect both the buyer and creative.

Is Spec Work Evil? (thanks to I’m Just Creative for this)

Ask most seasoned designers or employed creatives and you will get a big meaty ‘yes’, SpecWork is evil. Ask those creatives struggling to make a living, those who have lost a job and find themselves without a personal portfolio, those just starting out or those seeking to earn a living whilst living with a illness and you are likely to get quite the opposite reply.

If you find it easy to judge those mentioned above, the ones that do participate in SpecWork as being reckless and irresponsible, then you ‘Creative Person’ need to open your eyes to the reality of the world. (see full article here)

So in a nutshell give it to me…
1. Live and let live – There are different markets for different parties

2. Markets change – Change is always difficult but embrace it or be the changing force and you will surely succeed

3. Enjoy it – If you enjoy it then the cash is just a bonus

4. “No one owns design” – Graham Smith (or for that matter creative thought). We just do it. We love it and people sometimes want to pay us to do it which is awesome!

5. One mans SpecWork is another mans pitch. Just do what you feel comfortable with. If what you are being asked to do makes you feel uncomfortable then don’t do it. 

A final note:

I understand this is a hot issue for some people. At Wooshii we really have thought about both sides of this argument. But in the end it boiled down to our own belief in the principles above. We want to make Wooshii useful, engaging and fun. Along the way we might all earn some cash, meet some nice people and gain some great clients… which will be nice

Inspiration and thanks to

@rosskimbarovsky – http://37signals.com/svn/posts/1253-the-nospec-campaign-vs-crowdspring

@imjustcreative – http://imjustcreative.com/trials-and-tribulations-of-specwork-and-crowdspring/2009/10/06/

@skaw – http://jakenickell.com/2009/10/14/some-spec-work-thoughts/comment-page-1