We’ve written so much about crowdsourcing, I figured it was time to put our money where our mouth pen keyboard-tapping fingers are. CloudAve will soon get a new layout, and we thought we should refresh the logo, too. Next step: LazyTweet – and within minutes a trusted friend recommended 99designs.
I read a few positive reviews, even saw attractive designs on some running projects, so within minutes I created our contest. If one thing is certain about 99designs, it’s the lucrativeness of their business model: the $329 contest award actually cost $417 after fees – and that’s before the eBay-like hefty upgrades for positioning, boldface…you-name-it.
The first few days were fairly slow, and the first 20 or so designs turned out to be quite disappointing:
I added a comment:
read of the existing banner with the digital clouds, yet most proposed
designs include some form of cloud – hate to say but I find most
cheesy, childish. Hint: we’re not in the rain-making business, we’re
about Cloud Computing, Web Applications, the business of software…
The description I am referring to is a fairly detailed project description, that shows the creators of 99designs have a fairly well thought out system, but does it work? I displayed the profiles of some of the designers, and it’s not rare to see hundreds of contests with only 2-3 wins. That’s mass production at its worse. No wonder they won’t invest the time to check out the contest specs. A quick look at the name and fire away…
Of course that’s just speculation. I really can’t tell what’s “wrong” with our contest, since I’ve really seen good designs submitted to other ones. But all is not lost yet – if 99designs works like eBay does, the real buyers designers will only jump in right before the deadline. I keep my fingers crossed.