Race To The Bottom

Posted by Scott // Jan 25, 2016

Apple’s App Store is known for a term: “Race to the Bottom.” It refers to the general downward trend of app pricing. Despite the fact that the bar for user experience of software has never been higher, the price people expect to pay for it is going lower and lower. 

There have been many discussions about why this is and what can be done about it. (I have no desire to re-open this here, however.)

A big takeaway from most perspectives is that there is a general lack of perceived value of what an app is. The vast amount of effort required to create an app is hidden from the user. Their perception is that one app isn’t that different from the next. Given the blind choice, the cheaper one wins. But not even just cheaper, the app should be free! “Why should I have to pay for it at all?”

As an example, a hugely popular game, Monument Valley released an expansion pack that took 8 people 29 weeks (over 7 months) to create. There was a rash of 1-star reviews and outrage that the developer would charge $1.99 for this update.

It should have been free, they already paid for the game! It doesn’t matter that it cost the developer $549,000 to create it! (source: http://blog.monumentvalleygame.com/blog/2015/1/15/monument-valley-in-numbers)

This same problem can be seen in the freelance and contract world. A client has a project they need completed. By definition, the client isn’t an expert in the work needing to be done for the project. The only question they are interested in is, “How cheap can you do it for?” That puts you in the tough situation of competing, almost solely, on price. It doesn’t matter that the lowest bid won’t necessarily be what the client needed.

When you have a skill and you want to sell it on your own time, what are some websites that you would consider using? A few come to mind:

  • 99designs.com “99 designs in your inbox!” - That’s a lot!
  • fiverr.com “what can you do for $5!” - Not a lot.
  • taskrabbit.com - move my furniture, please.
  • freelancer.com “hundreds of proposals to compare within minutes” - and the lowest price wins!

All of these sites are centered around a project to be done. They package up a set of tasks and ask for bids. The work is very price-sensitive and commoditized. Being a common task, the main qualifier is price. None of them focus on expertise.

Now, well-scoped work needs to happen and I’m not saying there isn’t a significant place in the world for it. There is.

What I am saying is, this is what you won’t find at Brilliant Chemistry: a race to the bottom.

The average expert at Brilliant Chemistry has 15 years of experience.

Brilliant Chemistry exists because there is an underserved category of work between direct employment and fixed bids. Between every layperson that has a need and every cookie cutter project, there is a gap. A gap of missing expertise. To fill this gap, we require the foresight to determine what needs to be done, the strategy of the best way to do it, the well-honed ability to execute on an on-going basis, and, certainly, the experience of what constitutes good work.

At Brilliant Chemistry, you can sell your expertise, not for the lowest price, but for the real value you provide.

Create an Account

From minutes to years, you can use Brilliant Chemistry to find the right mix of talent for your specific business.

Get Started