Recently I mentioned to someone I was going to get a lot of printing done and they gave me the contact details of a person they use in China. I was surprised because this person is in my network
and expects other members to refer business to them and they were referring me not only outside of the network but overseas. This got me thinking about the whole crowdsourcing concept and how detrimental it can be to local businesses.
There seems to be a growth in sites that pitch your job worldwide. Now I'm no expert on crowdsourcing but it bothers me that I meet business people who moan about how tight things are then go and crowdsource a lot of their jobs to Philippinos and Indians. Running a business network I hear lots of stories, some are positive some not. The main complaints are;
- time consuming due to time zone differences
- cultural differences affect design and content
- can't just pick up the phone to get changes made
- with design it can be difficult to convey the ethos behind what you want
- it can be difficult to be open with friends in the industries you are using overseas, eg you want your friend the graphic designer to refer people to you but you have an Indian on $4hr doing your design for you so you keep quiet about it. This isn't good for trust building in relationships which is the basis of networking.
I'm all for competition but there is no way our designers, printers, web guys etc can compete on price with people overseas. Personally I'll stick to local services where I. What do others think?