Thursday, June 04, 2009

Startup Rockstars DC #5

I just got back from Startup Rockstars. This one was hosted by Latham & Watkins LLP. The evening was opened by Kevin Boyle from their Emerging Company Practice Group. Then a young woman, whose name I did not catch, introduced the evening's speakers.


Think Talk

Genius Rocket

Legal River

Revamped Media

During Genius Rocket’s presentation there was a spirited discussion about the fairness of asking artists and designers to work on speculation with no security of being paid. Genius Rocket’s view is that their system allows designers to bid on business that they otherwise would not be able to compete for. However, I have to agree with one of my fellow attendees that Legal River has a much more equitable arrangement whereby a prospective customer asks for a bid and prospective providers answer. That way the winner is paid and the others do not have to produce work on speculation.


Glenn said...

Can you elaborate more on this argument? This is fascinating to me.

The way I see Genius Rocket is that the artist knows that they are putting their ticket into a raffle. So it is harder for them to complain if they are worried about a security of being paid. They know they are competing. It is sort of the point. Beat out the competition. Get paid. To me, that is the genius behind it all.

I was a photojournalist in the past ten years and I hated it when newspapers would treat me in a similar fashion. I am imagining your argument taking place from this point of view: Newspapers are famous for doing the equivalent of hiring a a painter; have them paint a house, then say, sorry, we don't need a painter anymore, but only after the fact. I lost a lot of personal time committed to newspapers who treated me just like a painter in that respect. But I never considered myself to be in a raffle like Genius Rocket. That seems to break the expectations of the argument that I imagine you could have had.

G.R. I think, operates off the Wikinomics module. It is one of the only businesses I know that can actually work off that module.

Do you think there is a more "user friendly"-business waiting to be developed that has crowd-sourced logos, websites, etc? Is the Wikinomics module more of a dream than a reality?

How profitable would a company be if it told companies such as Microsoft, or owners of newspapers and local TV how to better brand their products and web services?

Hmm. Never mind. Let me create that organization first!! (great post!)

Fred (the intern) said...


I'm Fred, we spoke briefly last night!

I'm an artist who was hired by GeniusRocket to find ways to make it more fair to the creators involved in our community!

The critical difference between GeniusRocket and Legal River is that Legal River is a place for established professionals to connect to potential clients.

Lawyers essentially send out a resume along with their offer to do a job for a certain price.

Whereas the GeniusRocket community consists mainly of emerging artists who are looking to:

1) Develop their portfolios


2) Have their work seen by major companies!

At that point in an artist's career they will be making a lot of free work anyways, as a way to demonstrate their skill.

Once they've done all of that free work usually they have to beg, borrow, steal to have it seen!

Ultimately, in the current marketplace, its all about who you know or what degree you have.

As an alternative a young artist could join our community.

At GeniusRocket they get invaluable exposure to real assignments from businesses of all sizes. Giving them great guidance as they develop their work.

And it guarantees that the artist's work will be seen and fairly considered by major brands!

The possibility of being paid is just one added incentive for doing work for us.

We don’t want to replace the current industry, we want to help talented people break into it.

Consider us Career Launchers.


I hope this clears up any confusion!

And I thank you for providing such a fair and open forum for us to participate in!