At least now Derek is being clear about the purpose and mission of Pixish. He has come out to say that it is basically a contest site. In which case, it’s not a whole lot different than the design contest sites DesignOutpost and 99designs.
Some people feel that design/photo/etc. contests are just spec work in a friendly disguise; however, I’m not as opposed to them because they are at least up front about it. For the same reason, I feel less of a need to “spin my gragger” about Pixish.
I still disagree with commenters such as GregM who argue that “designers are empowered by Pixish: they get to pick and choose what they work on in a marketplace.”
If the Pixish interface is good and easy to use then yes it will allow them flexibility to pick and choose assignments, but this is offset by the fact that they are submitting to a contest. Pixish does a whole lot more empowerment for the clients who get to compare a bunch of submissions. Granted if people are just submitting whatever they have laying around it ain’t too bad of a thing.
This latter point is why Derek makes the distinction between designers and art content creators (i.e. photographers, illustrators), and I agree with him here. Designers don’t have spare logos or collateral designs laying around for any old company — everything is usually made to order. Art content creators on the other hand often have a bunch of flotsam and jetsam that they can use for submissions to Pixish.
Derek has also stated more clearly that people who submit their work retain ownership until a client actually chooses to use that work; at which point the rights are subject to the deal set for the project. Thus, art content creators can submit their flotsam and jetsam to anything again and again until it get’s chosen.
All that being said, I may be less inclined to shout “BOYCOTT,” but I’m still not in love with the idea of Pixish — or any generic contest site. As it is, Derek has basically just reframed his business model without actually changing the underlying business model. Granted just slapping on a new coat of paint is much easier since this way he doesn’t need to change actual functionality or recode the site.
It would be better if Pixish were to do something that truly interesting. Something more in line with the suggestion that I made in an earlier post. Something that truly empowered the designers and art content creators.