Once more into recession, dear friends

This has absolutely nothing to do with editing, or shooting, or script writing. But it is something we’re all going to deal with: Discounts.

Now that our Darling Chancellor has admitted it, times are getting tough. When you do your shopping, you cruise the isles, you dig amongst the vegetables, and maybe spot those short dated items that will sit well in your freezers. You’re looking for value for money. Well, all of us are doing that. In every walk of life and every business.

My work is based on daily rates. Kit, people, time spent gazing at the ceiling, sitting on planes, wallowing in baths, hacking through HTML, in fact spending time doing things that don’t involve family and relaxation. Yes, wallowing in baths does not count as relaxation because that’s where great ideas form. Even waking up at 0400 with a fantastic solution to routing video through three venues in real time counts as billable time in my book.

That time you spend in baths, or cruising the web, or chewing the fat with colleagues, or stir-frying garlic, or painting the bannisters, it’s all research. Werner von Braun (the original Rocket Scientist) sagely stated that ‘”research” is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing’. Research is vital in these times: are you doing what you need to do? Is there a better way of doing what you do? Is ‘what you do’ actually doing what your clients need you do to do?

We’re knowledge workers. We know things. We are, dare I say, Mentats. We are not grocers. We don’t go down to a Soho pub and gather round a bunch of geeks and bid on their Web 2.0 ideas as if they were the catch of the day. We are not farmers. We don’t plant a million identical idea seeds and harvest those that grow beyond knee height. We are not hunters. We don’t chase after Entrepreneurs and snare them to be a trophy on our walls.

Intellectual property and research isn’t something that one can ‘discount’… but I’m getting more questions from new business that dangle on ‘and how much of that quote are you going to discount?’. That tempts many to load the original quote, and that tends to over-inflate things as more jobs drop away because they seem too expensive.

Thank you, Mister Darling. Another fine mess you’ve left us.

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