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Open Source Bug The Almighty Buck

A New Way To Fund Open Source Software Projects, Bug Fixes and Feature Requests 52

Posted by Soulskill
from the charge-10-cents-per-compile dept.
Lemeowski writes "Open source software projects are seeing some success on fundraising sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. But Warren Konkel believes open source software needs a better funding model that's more aligned with how software is built. So Konkel, who was the first hire at LivingSocial, teamed up with his friend David Rappo, a producer for games including Guitar Hero and Skylander, and founded Bountysource, a crowdfunding and bounty site specifically designed to help developers raise money for their OSS projects, bug fixes and feature requests. In this interview, Konkel talks about how he recently snagged a $1.1 million investment in Bountysource, gives developers tips on launching a fundraising effort for their OSS project, and more."
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A New Way To Fund Open Source Software Projects, Bug Fixes and Feature Requests

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  • Tighter integration? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @05:35AM (#44881839)

    It would be cool to have bounty collection integrated with issue tracking, where after creating a new issue or finding that one that I need implemented I could put my money on having a resolution with just a couple of keystrokes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @06:13AM (#44881939)
    Bounties have been tried over and over again with open source software. They don't work. You end up getting like five people chipping in $10 to try to solve some problem that would take a team of engineers a week to solve. And who in their right mind is going to do that, when they could get paid to do something else?

    OSS definitely needs to find a better way to get users to part with their cash to fix the bugs that actually take work to fix (instead of it just being "fun", like most less-mature OSS projects). But bounties have proven themselves as not being that solution.
  • by pspahn (1175617) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @06:50AM (#44882059)

    Bounties have been tried over and over again with open source software. They don't work.

    If this is the case, do you think that maybe it's simply a matter of visibility? How many people do you know (ie how many fecebook friends do you have) that would even be aware that some form of bounty-open source kit exists? Are the bounties something they will perceive as valuable? I'm guessing not.

    You've got to make it attractive to aunt Suzy, and that's where the problem lies. Suzy doesn't really care about this stuff and so it never gets put under her nose. Do a promotional live cd as a reward. Have it play a promo video that's simple and mimics Google's ad motif while also touting the benefit of open source in general. Maybe offer some form of outstanding support as a reward.

    If you're too specific with bounties, there's no greater incentive for someone to donate. Bundle your fixes up and try and fund it as a leap from 0.95 to 1.0. With all the version creep going on today, people might be inclined to see something go 1.0 (however arbitrary the version scheme actually is).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @08:14AM (#44882321)

    Github, are you reading this? Go for it!

    issue tracking, where after creating a new issue or finding that one that I need implemented I could put my money on having a resolution with just a couple of keystrokes.

    It would also make it legal to fund projects in Finland, where donations are illegal (without cumbersome permits etc). One can't give money without compensation like work, or product or service. But giving money for fixing issue would be legal.

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