11 Jan 2014
When I was in college, I used to make fun of my friend Vivek for spending a lot of time on a site called 99designs. We loved design, and spent a lot of time playing around with Photoshop, but at the time I didn't believe that we could actually make money from it.
Then one day, Vivek calls to tell me he had just won $300 for a design contest. For a college student, that is a lot of money. The very next day, I too started looking at similar platforms, and soon I earned my first dollar for my design. That was when it hit us: you could actually earn a living while following your passion. With our passion for design, my friend and I started learning and working with clients at similar platforms, day and night, and we continued doing it for around four years. We learnt quite a lot and obviously made a lot of money. But most importantly, we worked together with a lot of good clients and great projects.
You could actually earn a living while following your passion.
But the time we spent on crowdsourcing sites wasn't just about earning money. We learned how to interact professionally and give the best experience to our clients, built a good online portfolio and had a great opportunity to observe and work with some top quality designers in action. A lot of our learning involved trying to understand how the experienced designers worked.
Fast forward to late 2011, Vivek and I took a leap of faith and started our own design studio. Over the past five years, our work on crowdsourcing platforms had helped us find jobs as lead designers at a successful startup called Foradian. We then quit and worked as freelancers, drawing on a solid client base we had built in our crowdsourcing days.
During that time, we noticed that there weren’t that many startups dedicated to design. It was then and there that we decided to form our own design studio named WowMakers. With our hard-work and a lot of luck, we became the first startup to be incubated at Startup Village, where we were able to get in touch with a lot of startups, many of whom later became our clients. As the WowMakers gradually gathered more and more buzz, an increasing number of startups came to us with the hope that we could solve their design problems.
At Startup Village, we met many startups that understood the importance of good design, but couldn't afford a design studio like WowMakers. Many of them had tried working with individual freelancers and other crowdsourcing sites, but were put off because there were too many average designs and no real solution.
Initially, we were happy to help out such startups. Unfortunately, we also had bills to pay and we soon found ourselves out of the reach of our fellow startup founders, many of whom couldn’t afford our budget. They were in desperate need of designers who could provide them with affordable designs of high quality.
We also knew a lot of freelance designers who could provide affordable design, but had difficulty finding clients. These designers were providing good quality at a price that even startups and SMEs could afford.
Over time, we realized that we were in the perfect position to build a platform to connect both groups.
We connected the dots and thus, CrowdStudio was born: India’s first and only platform for curated crowdsourcing. A place where startups can find affordable designs without compromising on quality, a completely risk-free solution with a quick turn around time. A site whose goal is to create awesome branding for startups and SMEs, and a platform for aspiring designers to showcase the best of their work and earn great money for it. And judging by the responses we’ve got, curated crowdsourcing is the way to go.
"Obviously, this is not a miracle cure. As far as creating a brand identity is concerned, there is no substitute for a team of flesh-and-blood designers working closely together with the client."
What CrowdStudio does is put first-rate designs within the reach of startups, and in doing so, bring them one step closer to achieving their dream.