Are there any 'millionaire' web designers?

The other day me and my brother were discussing my web-designing aspirations. I told him I aspired to be an author, speaker on web-design. I said, I’d travel places all over the world, attend conferences, write books and be rich.

He said, you wouldn’t become a millionaire being a designer, unless you shifted to entrepreneurship.

That kind of took me aback. Somewhere, it kind of marred my motivation to excel in this field. Although I hadn’t actually planned on becoming a millionaire, but to know that the field you’re entering has a very limited skyline is not very inspiring.

What do you say, guys?

Are there any celebrity web-designers… like really rich, maybe driving an Mercedes Benz? Andy Clark? Zeildman?

The best things in life are free.

But, yes, there’s lots of ways to make cash in any field.

Of course there are, they just run digital agencies and work with huge clients, in reality they will do very little deign work anymore.

Worth pointing out though, that people get asked to speak and write books because they are excellent at what they do and not because it’s what they set out to do.

Agree with Richard (and your brother). To become a millionaire it’s unlikely you’l be still designing things yourself. (your time will be too tied to the amount of work you can do, and there’s a limit to how much people care about web design and willing to pay for it even if you are the best).

Becoming an author though, and doing design related information products/workshops/consulting etc could be an additional avenue to a much larger earning potential.

You’re right, to a degree. If you plan on being a salaried web designer working for clients, I’m pretty sure you wont become a millionaire. But that’s true of most salaried jobs. To make it big you need to be entrepreneurial and having solid web skills is a definite advantage. Think of all the websites that bring in millions of dollars in revenue, why not aspire to use your web skills to make one of those? :wink:

Yes, there are… but I guess most are not designing anymore. Most might be running their own design business now…

Okay, so to re-frame my question, if I excel at web-designing and open up a web design studio, I might have a chance of becoming filthy rich? Does that mean that any design studios are really earning in millions?

Of course I know that one would have to excel in this area to be able to write books or open up a business around this. :slight_smile:

Thanks for your replies.

Well, let’s break it down. What made you think that speaking at conferences and being an author made you much money? It’s rare for speakers to get paid unless they are speaking at world-class conferences (and even then it’s not a lot). Also, book deals do not earn a lot of money, even those that sell hundreds of thousands of books only see a small fraction of that money go to themselves. The people that stand to make money in publishing is the publisher, because they’ve done all the work.

Typically, the best-paid designers are either contractors with a proven track record over many years of designing key businesses, or figureheads in large businesses that again have proven track records and have designed products that have been highly successful.

You say it’s a limited skyline, but what fields don’t have their limitations? Programmers don’t get paid much unless they work in finance or in mission-critical fields. Doctors and Lawyers have high earning potential, but again many of those earn very little at the start of their careers, gain huge debts along the way and most don’t end up earning much more than other “thought-workers”. Even accountants are never guaranteed to learn a lot of money, especially those that want to work on interesting accounts or want to work for themselves. Chasing money is fun, but ultimately if you’re not doing what you’re doing for the fun of it you’ll burn out before you make your money.

The assumption of riches in the web seem to come from the very rare stories of those with no experience in building sites striking lucky. It’s very common nowadays to see beginners wanting to design and develop sites in the belief that they’re making a career for themselves. During the dot-com boom every jackass that could code some HTML thought that they were developers and were deserving of some of that sweet cash. This low barrier to entry is why many designers and developers aren’t paid nearly as much as they should be, both for the level of education they hit and how valuable their skills are to businesses.

Those that do make their money make their money for themselves.

Publishers have done all the work?? The content comes in from the author! Isn’t content the king here?

Okay, this guy here - Andy Clarke - is a big inspiration to me.
Wouldn’t he be earning well from his book(s) and speakings? What do you think?

There are legions of idiots that can write a book, but not even close to as many publishers that can sell that book and make it a success. Any book you’ve ever read was read by you because the publisher had publicised it.

The mantra “content is king” is as much a load of nonsense in this sense as it is for SEO.

Probably nowhere near the amount you’d think. Most books aren’t even that profitable for their publishers. It might buy the groceries a couple of times a year, but it’s far far less than what one would earn in even an entry-level job.

This article highlights how little people can stand to earn from writing a book. When you take into account the man-hours put into writing a book it’s actually not that much.

ULTiMATE is right. It’s nice to think that content is king, but at the end of the day, who’s going to buy your amazingly book if no one has heard of it? It’s the same in many industries, music, movies etc. A large portion of the earnings go to the publishers, distributors, the people that get the work in front of people that are willing to pay for it.

But that’s the great thing about the web. It gives you potential access to millions (billions?) of people without the barriers such as getting a publisher etc. Having said that, you take on the responsibility of marketing yourself which is not a simple task. :slight_smile:

Met Andy Clarke once, he spoke at my Uni when I was there. He probably isn’t earning millions and I get the impression that his earnings come from his design work (he has worked hard to push things forward and become a key player in the industry, in the UK at least) and not his speaking events, most people do the conferences because they have a great time and meet like minded people. Like in any businesses it’s these contacts that generate more high profile work and create revenue. That’s how they make money from conferences not by doing the conference itself.

yes the exist but we do not know them and will never meet them but i think that everyone can do his bast and become one of them if he wants.

Sure if you own your own web design studio.

Hmm, opening up a web studio seems to be the way to make some money.

Looks like you’re only thinking in terms of money. Money is important and we all want to earn enough to have a good life (not necessary being filthy rich).

Let me stress a point that has been mentioned but maybe needs a bit more of attention. Whatever field you get involved in, whatever job you take, whatever career you choose, make sure you love it because to excel in any field takes longs hours, tons of work and experience… and you’re going to be fed up of working like a mad man. If you hate what you do, you’ll be only concetrating on when the torture will end and end up completely burn out. But if you love it, you will be asking for more (still, an excess can drive you to the same path of boredoom)

Sure if you own your own web design studio. But without update your self its impossible.

Agree with everyone else that if you are going to be a millionaire in the field you most likely are running your own web design firm and don’t do much designing anymore. That said, almost anyone can become a millionaire in any field with savvy personal finance skills. But that takes a lot longer and probably isn’t the millionaire lifestyle you are looking for. :wink:

hey mate…
do not be upset…webdesigining is a field where you can a person once esatblished his/her carrer has great success…
there are many multimillionaire who are webdesigners
like from india-amit aggarwal,amit bhawani,harsh aggarwal and more…!!
so go ahead and spark your carrer in webdesigning…

I’m afraid that even if you have a successful web agency you’re still highly unlikely to make yourself a millionaire.

For all those that think you can become a millionaire this way, name one owner of a web design studio that can attribute his/her agency to being the sole source of their millionaire income.

The reality is that owning your own studio will often mean that you put it before your own pocket. Money your studio earns cannot just be taken out and put into your bank account. What you earn will go back into your company to ensure that you are prepared for the future. You could have £1M profit from the financial year and you wouldn’t see a penny of it, because if you’re hauling in that kind of money you probably need to secure your finances for the next year in case you lose your technical director, all the women in the office go on maternity leave at the same time, a major client pulls out, etc.

You can make a million by owning your own studio, and people do. You can also make a million from opening your own plumbing company, or by flipping burgers. The simple fact is this industry does not pay as well as it should and if you got into it on the promise that you’ll make a ton of cash you’re going to retire a very disappointed person.