STEP RIGHT UP! It’s Dr. Cho’s Magical UnSplash Elixir!
You give it to us. We make money it on it. I think the word you’re looking for is “pimp.”
The medicine show is back in town.
Meet Mikael Cho, entrepreneur, and purveyor of a whole lotta high-sounding, self-serving rhetorical wankery.
You can use his Patented® UnSplash® to Build RELATIONSHIPS®! And relationships are DISRUPTIVE®! You can work your ass off and give it away on our Platform and DISRUPT YOURSELF®!
I got an idea. Why don’t you come over here and disrupt this, Sparky.
This article is the biggest crock of fauxtopian, dreamy-eyed, kumbayah horseshit you’ll step in all day. I don’t think it’s a secret everybody likes free stuff, and high-rez, top-end photography? Why the heck not. Another thing we know is you don’t make a living giving it away.
Let’s take the article’s last graf sentence by sentence.
If you do it right, you’ll be the one to disrupt yourself.
What does this even mean? It sounds all TED-talky, but what about you needs disrupting? Please, Michael, explain this in practical detail.
You’ll be out in front of the pack.
Well, not exactly. If it goes the way Cho wants you’ll be part of a very large pack. Of hobbyists who think you get rich by working for free.
You’ll help determine the new value.
No. The value has already been determined: zero dollars. That’s right there in plain text.
That’s what we’re looking to do for photography.
No, that’s what you’re looking to do to photography. You’re looking to making it impossible for any shooter to ever make a penny.
That’s what we’re looking to do for the creative community.
No, you’re looking commoditize creativity and render it valueless to the creative community.
We’re all in the same boat.
If you get paid and I don’t, we’re not in the same boat. You’re in a yacht and I’m in a leaky rowboat.
When the creative industry benefits, we all benefit.
When the plantation benefits, the slaves benefit.
UnSplash is brought to you by A Medium Corporation. It was founded by Evan Williams, the guy who also co-founded Twitter. Hopefully you understand people like Mr. Williams are in the business of making money. Twitter’s value has been sliding, but it’s probably still worth $10 billion (or was a few months ago). So this isn’t Mother Teresa we’re talking about. If you think he and Mikael Cho are in it for you – and please don’t take this the wrong way, because it comes from a place of love – you’re a barking moron.
To summarize – these people want to make money, and the big idea is to do it on your back. You give it away. They make money. You work for free. They make money. You give them your work for free and they get rich. Because one of these days they’re going to monetize your work. Probably an advertising model in this case. So you will post your work, for free, and they will make money selling advertising on the site.
I think the word you’re looking for here is “pimp.” And as far as I’m concerned Mikael Cho can eat every dick in the bag.
Seriously, though, I wish them luck. I’m fine with smart people profiting off idiots. We’re the land of sociopaths and hucksters like PT Barnum and Donald Trump (Cho seems to live in Montreal, but he damned sure acts Americanized), and far be it from me to get in the way of you spending your hard-earned cash on a case of snake oil. Excuse me, I meant Dr. Cho’s Magical UnSplash Elixir.
Meanwhile, I’m going to keep busting my ass getting better at my craft and trying to build an audience so I can sell my work. So I can benefit from my talent.
Here’s one of those images now, in fact. If you like it, it’s for sale at a fair price.