Funding Open Source



Tuesday Afternoon, Open Space

In attendance

  • Jared
  • Kat
  • Ravi
  • Rob
  • Gregory
  • Maureen
  • Will
  • Deo

Tokenization—blockchain, community currency
Creates a barrier to entry, but also a big funding mechanism

Wikipedia and Wikimedia
Reputation-based currency

Forestry in Africa
Planted on government land
How to track stocks and ownership on an enterprise scale?
Talking with the US Forest Service for a service management platform
Initially funded by the FAO

Love of open source communities
People with the relevant skillsets are naturally attracted to contribute
Part of a community
Analogy: plumbing is open source…
Pay developers to maintain infrastructure

You have to be okay with paying to fix issues that will benefit others

Individuals coders can contribute to source code much more cheaply than big enterprises
Open source is more financially efficient

Small recurring donations for your larger community
Kickstarter for life

Software CSA
Open source developer’s guild

Model has changed from selling IP to selling services surrounding source code

Public radio model

Dominant currencies tend to be inflationary
Cryptocurrency—use inflationary model for other purposes

SteemIt—social network
Reward pool
If you invest your tokens, your votes are more powerful
Reward pool goes out to people receiving the most upvotes
If your post is popular, you can make hundreds of dollars on it

Marketing budget given out in grants from a monthly token increase

Open Food Network
A lot of discussion about what to pay developers
Code contributors start as volunteers and then move into paid contributions
In the US, might apply to the USDA
In the UK, they found out that they make more money asking for donations than in setting package-based plans
Been around for the past decade

Moving a way from a culture of quantification and output-based compensation into a gift-based holistic model
Accounting is a mental model that we’ve created to interact with value but there are many other models

Barcelona’s move from Microsoft to Linux
Aiming to set a precedent that government funding should only go to open-source utilities

No matter what model you choose, there’s a lot of community building

Direct Public Offerings


I didn’t get to attend this session, but I would like to add a link to this great resource that outlines various types of open source business models and their pros/cons: