Why do people still think spec work is okay?

26 Mar 2009

There’s a heated discussion that seems to boil to the surface every now and again about the validity of “spec work”. Typically it’s thrust into the conversation when some new project/venture/company puts out some request for some spec work. The lines are then drawn in the sand with conscientious, objective, honest designers & firms on one side and the soulless, firms that regularly practice this technique going to bat for the group or individual that proposed the project that brought this discussion up again.

I somehow missed the most recent rise of the discussion yesterday when a request was made for a slide design for the upcoming Future of Web Design conference.

The discussion can be found in the comments of the post on Carsonified’s blog.

Mark Boulton was kind enough to expand on the subject and outline some facts and thoughts around the topic of spec work.

But I think Zeldman sums it up the best.

Spec = asking the world to have sex with you and promising a dinner date to one lucky winner.

Jeffrey Zeldman on spec work

So after all that, how can anyone still think that spec work is okay?