Less monkey. More business.
April 13, 2011
There was a great post on Seth Godin’s blog today, talking about biz monkeys. I found it interesting for a couple of reasons. First, in that he gives Andrew Chen credit for coining the phrase. I’m not sure when or where I first heard the moniker (I know I didn’t come up with it), but I’ve used the term “design monkey” for years.
Like a biz monkey, a design monkey is a low skill-using graphic artist who (1) is better at following orders than at being creative; therefore (2) is inherently replaceable; because (3) he or she is willing to work for bananas. In other words, they’re cheap.
Credit for the term is irrelevant, of course. What really gets me is the attitude behind it, both from outside the industry as well as within it. Too many businesses are willing to sacrifice quality in order to save a couple of bucks. And too many creatives are willing to do the same for the sake of making a buck. As a result, what gets flung around isn’t design at all. It’s just a lot of poo. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. After all, that’s what monkeys do.
Whether creative professionals are more evolved than their monkey brothers or are a different species altogether is a philosophical question for another day. But I think everyone can agree on the following: If you don’t want crap, don’t hire a monkey.