Saturday, January 28, 2006

Design Is The New Entrepreneurship

Design Is The New Entrepreneurship
In this increasingly unbundled world, design is the new entrepreneurship.

Specifically, in the old days, entrepreneurship depended on building a large team and infrastructure to handle manufacturing, operations, and sales.

Today, especially with Internet businesses, these functions can all be outsourced, leaving design as the core competency of the entrepreneur.

A friend of mine is building a Web 2.0-type Web site. In the old days, this would have taken an entire team to build and operate. He's doing it on his own. In his spare time.

He designed the service, created a spec, and put it out to bid on Rentacoder...48 hours later, he's received a ton of bids, including some as low as $20. And that is not a misprint.

Of course, the $20 bidders are students in low-wage countries, but several reputable firms bid only slightly more, like $120.

I was amazed when he showed me the bids, but it just reinforces the point: Design is the value-add, not implementation.

Today's entrepreneurs need to be designers, first and foremost.


Justin K said...

Getting low ball bids is one thing. Getting something that fits your requirements is something else entirely. Most of the time even onsite project development suffer from the lack of clear requirement definitions and offshore often become nightmares because of this.

I'd be interested to hear the outcome of this endeavour!

TK said...

Yes, writing detailed specs and use cases are the key. But as long as you can do that you are in good shape.

Most people cannot do that and that is why they run into trouble.

Ivar van Duuren said...

I'm doing the same, making websites with the help of rentacoder people. Works great!
The thing is, you indeed need to be very specific, and knowledgable in the area you're outsourcing as well.

Chris said...

Tight specs and firsthand knowledge are important for any project, whether you outsource, offshore, or hand it to the gal in the next cube.

Unfortunately, many people are too lazy or undisciplined to do a spec in advance, preferring to muddle through, even though the cost is much greater in the long run.