A sense of non-commitment – or is it?

In recent post Andy Rutledge writes:

I’m talking specifically about actively displaying clearly conflicting loyalties in our professional practice; e.g.: being employed by XYZ Corp. as a Web designer and operating and promoting one’s own Acme Designz on the side. This practice smacks of irresponsibility and non-commitment. It reflects poorly on both the individual and the agency that employs him. Yet this is not an uncommon practice, even among otherwise respected and highly visible designers. Why?

I must say the article got me thinking. And as much as i’m hearing most of Andy’s arguments, and i actually agree with the perception side of the issue, i can’t help but wonder..

Firstly, a lot of webdesigners have freelance background – freelancers, collectives, companies. Then you get employed as an ‘interaction director’ or ‘senior producer’ and where do your previous clients go? You can either refer them to somebody else, or you can decide that you have built enough of the client relationship (and i mean in knowing the client’s product kind of way) to think you know what to recommend to the client. And while you remain clued in his projects you have the team to actually do the work in the collective/company so it does not require you to compromise your day job.

Secondly, websphere exists on weirdly timed employments, i know a company director, who is employed as an IA for two days a week by an US company and for another two days by a Swedish company. I guess it’s down to him to figure out how to manage his time not to fail anywhere and not to take too much projects on.

Another thing is, sometimes the company that hires you has a very narrow scope of activity and client base and they are not interested in expanding it, and they would actually encourage you to handle the projects out of their time. And i think it’s better if it’s done out in the open on agreed terms.

So all in all i think it’s a fairly complex issue. As i said i can’t disagree that a person who’s employed by one company and has a competitive business on the side looks to be of questionable integrity but at the same time, there might be few factors that you might not be aware of by looking at both.

just my 2p

internet world 2007

Internet world 2007 came and went and i must say i’m glad i went but
might skip it next year… Yes i know it sounds confusing but i was
confused too – looking at the list of exhibitors made me wonder who the
target audience was.
Half companies seemed targeted at Web Managers
and industry professionals: hosting, payment processing solutions,
analytics and such. Half companies our direct competitors: off-the
shelf CMS systems and e-commerce applications, people selling to an
audience who have their own product. Then the seminars – i cannot
comment on the Google academy, as i haven’t managed to get in, but from
the turnout it looked like the most interesting thing in the whole
exhibition. However every time i went past they seemed to be discussing
screenshots from Google local. I have sat in on a seminar on ‘The
ROI of Usability’ and popped in on a number of seminars on Web 2.0. And
it all seemed like preaching to the converted – everyone who’s in the
industry would be clued in about these issues already, they would form
our working practice, so my overall impression is – nothing new. But
it’s still good to see Web 2.0 finding its way into all online

However i did pick up a couple of interesting leads for SME companies:
Payment processing: eKashu – looks to be affordable and easy to set up for SMEs, SecureTrading – bit higher prices but definitely good value for money
Product presentation – brandsauce – 3D modelling of your product to any specs – and the price seems really affordable.
And postcode anywhere – a solution we’ve integrated for a client before, and seems to work
like magic, so will look into providing it for other clients.