Pretty spot on until I got to the act more like a lawyer and less like an artist part. Speaking only for myself, I would have had to go into law to make that work.
I did love the pay your vendors now part. I can't tell you how many times I've had to call for payment only to hear "we havn't gotten paid for that job yet." Never have I understood what that has to do with what they owe me and I've always taken that as an invitation to not work with them again. I don't even do the 30 day net thang. When someone finishes a job for me, I hug em and hand ema check. Just easier than remembering what and who I owe.
The intelligent pricing bit also felt nice to read. Our industry is constantly evolving, and honestly sometimes a job that 10 years ago woulda been $100,000 really is only worth about $20K these days. I don't mind that at all, it's evolution. But if you don't price your work to where you can pay your people, pay yourself, make a small profit, and put a little towards your continual education (and if you don't do this last bit, you're screwed!), then you're a fool.
That said, I really don't worry about competing with the "$300 TV Commercial" and "$200 website" guys in this world. Their work speaks for itself, and so does mine. Their clients are completely different animals than my clients. The thing is, and yes I'm speaking for everyone on the COW right now- we're not merely technicians (although we all must have tremendous technical skills). We're also problems solvers, and truly creative people. If all you do is hold a camera and press record, yeah, you're in trouble. If you bring more to the table- as I believe we all do- then you're gonna be OK. When you think you've "lost" a client to the "race to the bottom" guys, just remember that client was never really the right client for you. And that nobody wins a race to the bottom.
---------------------------- PatrickOrtman, Inc.
Los Angeles Digital Agency and Video Production Company
A good book to check out is the Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines. Updated for years, this book covers graphic design, but the principles still apply.
Many of the points you reference have been handled by disciplines that have seen the same types of changes and found ways to overcome them. In a way, they're a little ahead of the curve because these changes hit them first.
I know video isn't the same as graphic design, but we are all visually creative professionals in one way or another and can learn a lot from those disciplines that have already been through it so we can get through our own unique challenges.