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I definitely like the idea of pushing the 99 designs concept into new verticals. That being said, it seems like one would want to target the low end of the market such as people doing music for a friend/lover, podcasts, indie games, etc. Bigger ticket items are likely to be done in-house by a studio or outsourced to an already known quantity. As an analogy, I'd be happy to make use of 99 designs for a personal side-project or a place without much money, but when it comes to bigger projects that have a little more money to spare, I'd be much more inclined to go directly to a trusted professional and feel happy that I was in good hands.

IMO, the larger the budget you have, the more valuable the 99designs model becomes.

I agree going to a trusted professional is always a good idea, budget allowing. The value of 99designs at that level isn't so much to crowdsource your fundamental design as it is to quickly generate multiple views/impressions/takes on a particular theme, either for the benefit of your chosen designer, or to present a list of basic designs to the stakeholders. 99designs becomes a way to get a bunch of cheap "looks" at different designs, that your GA and stakeholders can use to help define what it is they're actually looking for.

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