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Ico-D on Fiverr and the Gig Economy

Recently, ico-D, the International Council Design, was contacted by Fiverr with a request to promote their recently launched Fiverr Learn, “a one-of-a-kind e-learning platform” for teaching design. Apparently, Fiverr skipped background research before drawing up their list of potential partners. Fiverr’s model pits creators against each other in a race-to-the-bottom pricing competition while ignoring best business practices and respect for copyrights. Contrast that with ico-D, which as an international body of design associations promotes design and designers, and supports fair wages and business practices.

In response to the request, ico-D published an article exposing Fiverr’s business model, and explained why the idea of partnership with the platform is so antithetical to ico-D’s core mission. In “It might look like a logo but it isn’t design”, ico-D lays bare the lie in Fiverr’s lofty mission “to democratize lean entrepreneurship.”

As ico-D points out: “The problem is, platforms such as Fiverr are raising questions around web scams, infringement of copyright, fair pay, the need for certification, and the consequences of creating a space ripe for skewing the perception of what a designer is. What is often obscured by the virtual marketplace is the expertise of the person hired to do the job and the quality of work that will be delivered.”

From poorly executed work, to plagiarism, to the degradation of design standards, ico-D lists the multiple ways Fiverr hurts the creative class. They back up their points with references to complaints about the platform in online forums, articles by designers plagiarized on Fiverr, and Fiverr’s own shoddy terms of use.

You can read the full article on the ico-D website.

Fiverr advertisement

In advance of their IPO expected early this year – for which the company is valued at $800,000,000 – Fiverr has plastered Wall Street area trash receptacles with ads depicting their gig-economy freelancers in a heroic light.