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Costs of {Absorption}

Cost: a : the amount or equivalent paid or charged for something. b : the outlay or expenditure (as of effort or sacrifice) made to achieve an object or project.


a : entire occupation of the mind.
b: a state in which the whole attention is occupied.
c: total engagement of one's mind and attention
d: soaking up.
e: to understand facts or ideas completely and remember them.


Was reading a comment in an editorial that pretty much summarize what our industry has been doing for the past 10 years and there is no.. relenting.. it seems.. in sight.

In business, the above is always passed back to clients. There is no such thing as R&D being absorbed by a corporation, since the sole object of existence of the company is to make profit for itself, shareholders and stakeholders.

Now, you explain to me, why is it that in the new media field and industry, it is taken for granted that these investments, read as:

1. constant learning curve

2. constant devaluation of time

3. constant upgrade of material (be it hardware or software)

Try to pass to your existing clients your recent upgrades of either hardware or software or both.

Drop a neat 10% increase on their next bill and see how they react. Your phone and mine, will be ringing no end - demanding mind you - not (politely) asking - to justify the increased billing.

Another scenario?

Try to actually bill the last books, conferences and internet digging (search and mailing lists quests) you did to deliver that 'thingy' that was so important to them.. for which you spent xtra time.

Sharpening skills seems irrelevant.

Turn around and propose they hire a newbie and see their scandalized expression - they want nothing else but 'experts' and that is what, by definition, any respectful company desires. No less, man.

So, since you are supposed to be the expert (read: you are supposed to 'know' - thus 'deliver' everything.. on a whim and usually for yesterday) - why is it that your increasing the time required, be such a ballistic issue?

Another scenario?

Try to actualize your initial proposal because all of a sudden the creative thinking and brainstorming is going nowhere and that the hours allocated have melt like ice in the sun and now??

Admit to client, that you need more time and see what they think.

Usually they expect you to stick to the agenda. The proposal said that, and that is what they have agreed to pay. No more. You then need to swallow the hours in order to get to the 'idea' that saves the project.

Oh, notwithstanding having to 'deliver' according to plan as well.

In all other industries, when:

1. You have learned and acquire more expertise - you can expect it to be recognized and get promoted and/or better paid.

2. You have secure new knowledge and make 'breakthrough' contributions, the company will assert this by keeping an eye on you and your career. It is usually perceived as a loyal and enthusiastic interest in the success of the organization.

3. You have admitted 'not knowing' and requested access to further training, coaching, resources, whatever it takes. If you are a valued asset - it will be provided to you gladly.

Of course there is always a slight chance you might get fired.

Your 'ignorance' might be perceived as a threat and hint decision makers, that you can potentially hurt the company.

Is not it worrisome that above seems to indicate, that clients would rather have us lie right in their faces, rather than face our realities?!?!?

Whereas never is it questioned the 'worth' of certain professions (electrician, bankers, management, lawyer, doctor, postman, truck driver, administrative assistant, engineer, baby sitter)... it seems that creative and new media folks are enduring a different value-grid.

Now how and when do you think this will change?

Next question: why do we still do it?

-> next: Creativity is?


Editorials by Carole Guevin


Essays — ethics — business of design — brain bytes — digital creative culture.

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