Good, Fast, and Affordable: Can You Have All Three?


Anyone who’s been faced with a deadline, a budget, and any expectations about quality has heard the business maxim: “Fast, cheap, good. Pick two.” We’ve certainly been in that situation ourselves. It’s part of what drove us to create CrowdPharm.

We started thinking about the problem and something struck us. Most people think linearly, using traditional models. What if there’s an alternative? Let’s take a look at what we mean.

Good and Fast?

Typically seen as the gold standard, any agency or brand with a complete in-house team has total control over hiring, workflow, and capabilities. While this may allow tasks to be completed quickly and within existing overhead, agencies are often bogged down with layers that reduce efficiency both in terms of time and cost. In addition, staffing decisions are often made based on who has capacity, rather than who has the necessary experience.

What’s missing? In-house staff are usually hired based on the types of projects and tasks they’ll need to complete most frequently. For that reason, brands that have unique needs can end up receiving work from people who don’t have relevant experience. When a fresh perspective is required, the task is usually outsourced, whether that’s conceptual ideation on a hard deadline or specialty design for a novel application. Augmenting the team’s skillset this way adds further time and expense.

Fast and Affordable?

It’s common for both agencies and brand teams to have a creative, product or marketing director within the company, managing an external group of freelancers or specialized agency subcontractors. The system may be fast, depending on the availability of resources, and it may generate reliably good work. In some circumstances, it’s even less expensive than retaining an in-house team. However, the manager is typically juggling many tasks with little time.

What’s missing? The continual use of freelancers or subcontractors is rarely “cheap” by objective standards. Not only is the overhead responsibility they assume reflected in their rates, but they require coordination and management from the director charged with hiring them—which can exacerbate any cost, time, or quality issues that may arise.

The Trifecta

Whether an agency or a brand, any company can tap into a network model and find it to their benefit. This is the one CrowdPharm exemplifies. An agency or brand team works closely with our experts to define their project.

From there, our experts coordinate the best available resources for that specific project across time zones to deliver an abundance of fresh strategic thinking in the time and within the budget required. In some cases, agencies and brands have even used us to motivate their internal teams to expand their thinking beyond typical, safe approaches to solutions.

We also take the burden off in-house leaders by managing the project download and creative development. We manage and curate for strategic and scientific accuracy and employ editors to ensure consistent quality.

This is the only option that breaks the linear mold and offers a quicker, high-quality, cost-controlled option to help meet agency and brand goals.

CrowdPharm works with a proprietary global network of vetted creative and strategic experts to power our creative engine.

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