As a web developer, I dedicate 12 to 15 hours of my day designing, coding and all at once absorving endless new information. Since the early HTML and GIFs era, where everybody did mediocre code and threw a bunch of animated gifs on their pages just to claim their space in a brand new globalized world, a lot has changed. A few years from now, not only the web turned into something immensely complex but the world itself became a whole cultural mess. At the same compass internet connected cultures and made viable an exchange that was previously impossible to average people, it mixed up currencies, trends and economic standards. The worth given to work has got to many people’s pockets and is following inversely proportionally the evergrowing amout of cheap labor, in a very capitalistic way.
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The Eastern World has become more present in western everyday life in the last few years. Wherever you go, there’s always a Japanese restaurant for your quick sushi dinner around the corner, or cheap chinese computer hardware for sale, and not only outside our homes but online, an unstoppable crowd of junior web professionals have started to populate free lance auction websites and tech forums. I would say “oh great, the more diversity the more possibilities and the better results” but it isn’t simple as that. If in a first world country you’d hire a service for US$10.000, and you could have exactly the same quality service from a third world company for three times less, what would you do? For those who believe the strength of dollar is a good deal for your new media/tech business, consider one fact: Following the very american way of thinking economy, good learners as we are, if dollar is worth too much you don’t want it in anybody’s hands but yours, right? So why would you hire a local service for the benefit of your country, it costing much more money than otherwise, if internet is accessible to everybody and quite easily you can find it way cheaper there? Of course you wouldn’t.
The way world competition affects developed countries is obvious. If somebody offers the same service you do but cheaper, companies are gonna hire them over you. For a Graphic Designer or Programmer who lives in a country with a dollar based economy it can be scary. Think of your average US$40/hourly becoming two to three times less (to follow the online world trend), while companies profit on exploring cheap labor and produce more and more high quality products that cost money. You could predict economy is heading toward a collapse and life standards are lowering. The tendency is that companies and their owners, which can hire cheap labor abroad, will get richer while average people become more distant to that reality.
Now, if you deal with a foreign currency it would be wise of you to also pay close attention to your steps. At the same time you can take advantage over the effects of globalization and profit offering low cost high quality service, you should never forget it’s a big boy’s fight. There will always be somebody as good as you willing to charge less for the same service you provide. That, together with other facts, may end up costing money you don’t have.
The best thing for Internet Professionals is to try to keep a balance between time and cost. Don’t overcharge somebody for something you can accomplish quickly or charge too little for complex tasks. The market will always head towards balance, or it collapses. You don’t want to make the rich richer and the poor poorer but make both of them raise together.