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Author Topic: The Good Enough Revolution: When Cheap and Simple Is Just Fine  (Read 3485 times)

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« on: September 13, 2009, 23:00 »
I was reading the "Free: The Future of a Radical Price" thread, and by pure coincidence I then read the article The Good Enough Revolution" in Wired magazine.

It didn't mention microstock as an example, but it certainly seems to fit the Good Enough model in which a low-priced product beats a technically superior competitor.

We all need to understand that there are different types of customers out there, some of which feel a free snapshot of Big Ben is good enough for their needs, a better value for free than the technically superior microstock image for a few dollars (while the high-priced, professional shot at an RM agency isn't even a consideration for this customer).   It's clear we're in a transitional phase right now... many people who would normally pay top dollar for macro or mid-stock are now deciding microstock is good enough, and it's likely the case that a big group of people buying microstock are discovering they can get free snapshots by hobbyists which are good enough for their needs. 

Some in the "Free: Radical Price" thread predicted that free will overtake micro, but that won't happen.  Hobbyists will flood the free sites with their Big Ben photos and some current buyers will be fine with those... but photographers, illustrators, 3d artists, and videographers who have found a specialized niche and perfected it will always find their work is in demand, and they will certainly not give their work away.  Many of these folks are making a good profit right now in microstock, and they will continue to do so, even while the market shakes up around them.

Everyone should read the Wired article RIGHT NOW at: http://www.wired.com/gadgets/miscellaneous/magazine/17-09/ff_goodenough

« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2009, 23:56 »
I just finished reading the entire article on my smartphone (the browsing is cumbersome and the font was tiny, but it was good enough).  Quite an interesting article and is certainly relevant to our line of work here in microstock, but to a point.
hile on one hand buyers are for the most part happy with the discouted prices that microstock offers, are not the agencies in turn though being more picky towards us as contributors due to the flood of images that they receive? While in one sense the buyer has an overwhelming amount of choices with regard to what they are looking for at a very attractive price, we as contributors have to step up our game in both quality and content in order to make consistent sales.  I guess we as contributors get the short end of the stick from this trend.

« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2009, 18:22 »
(...) but it was good enough (...)

Was this on purpose? :)

« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2009, 18:35 »
Indeed, people in general are less impressed with quality than price.  I don't see here anymore any studio were to take real ID photos, only booths with instant prints.  No more soft and even lights with a nice background, just an ugly setup with white background.  Even our passport photos are now taken with a digital compact, set probably at wide angle and shot with in-camera flash.  Clear images, but definitely now to be proud of. 

But on the other hand, there are products like cell phones, that people keep on changing for models full of features that sometimes I wonder if people even use them to talk.  I think this is a case not of "good enough" but of "cheap enough" - cheap enough to make people buy a new cell phone even if the old one still suits them well.


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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2009, 22:06 »
Great article and I'd agree. These days most people will sacrifice quality for "good enough".

Good enough even applies to stock photography. I was a Nikon shooter and wanted a D3X. But the 5D MarkII did everything I needed and was "good enough". And it was $5,000 less. So I dumped all of my Nikon stuff.

Anybody remember the audio craze of the 70's and 80's? Where you were cool for buying the highest quality home audio? Amplifiers that weighed 50 pounds and cost $1,000? Giant speakers that were sonic perfection? My most advanced audio component these days is a $50 SanDisk Sansa MP3 player.


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