The Lesson Here Is Simple

So the complaint is that photography is being democratized. I think that’s a very good thing, unless, of course, you’re seeking to be a professional photographer. But the lesson here is simple and being learned again and again: be careful about going into industries that can be commoditized. You can make money doing this if you are very good, of course. It will take time for the business model to re-emerge: as it stands now, professionals get undercut by amateurs and semi-pros willing to work for less. Eventually, discerning customers will demand quality, and professionals will be able to price accordingly.

Examples: newspapers are dying, but the Wall Street Journal is doing just fine. Personal computers are a race to the bottom, except for Apple, who is still able to charge a premium for quality [real or perceived]. Sports blogs and semi-pro media are killing the sports media industry, but those ESPN folks in Bristol seem to be doing pretty well for themselves.

People, of course, don’t like change. There may well come a time when aerospace engineering is commoditized [although I expect that it won’t; it is, after all, rocket science]. If that happens, I’ll either be exceedingly good at it—and commensurately compensated—or be willing to change careers.