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Businesses Programming Software

A New Non-Money Oriented Crowdsourcing Platform Based On Code Contributions (crowdsourcer.io) 84

An anonymous reader shares a new crowdfunding site built on open source principles to "remove the money element from project creation" so creators "don't have to take extreme actions such as quitting their jobs or compromising on their ideas because of investor demands. Because of the nature of crowdsourcer.io projects, project creators can remain as ambitious as funded projects and get all the contributors they need to make their idea a reality."

From the site: Crowdsourcer.io is an alternative crowd sourcing platform that allows developers and designers alike to create or join in on software related projects, build up their contribution and earn an income from the final product. Think of Crowdsourcer.io as something between open source software creation and Kickstarter start ups, a new crowd sourcing alternative, in its purest form"
The site's creator recently answered questions on Reddit, saying they'd spent years fine-tuning the idea, and writing that "It's really focussed on people who don't want to quit their job to form their own software company, and don't want to become embroiled in debt or other financing." A note at the bottom of the site adds that "Crowdsourcer.io is young. We want your ideas!"
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A New Non-Money Oriented Crowdsourcing Platform Based On Code Contributions

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  • So I can write code for someone who has a startup, and then they get all the profits? No thanks, that's why (one reason why) I use the GPL.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      that's why (one reason why) I use the GPL.

      If you use GPL software written by someone else, you are using their free labor to profit yourself. If you use GPL in software you write, you are doing free labor to create profit for someone else. So you're doing the same thing as the startup you're criticizing.

      • Nope. If I use GPL software, I return any changes I make back to the world. That is the agreement. With this project, you give them your code, and that's it.
        With kickstarter, you can donate a small amount, like $25. WIth code, $25 will buy you almost nothing.
        • 25 bucks can almost fill my gas tank, or buy enough groceries to last a week if i am frugal
        • You don't need to make modifications to GPL software to make use of it. Someone could conceivably use GIMP to make money by selling the work they create using it or hiring out their labor to others who want something created. Hell, you could run a huge business and use LibreOffice instead of Word and never contribute back to it. I think that's what the previous poster was getting at.
          • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
            Using GIMP to create something is owned by whomever creates it. Modifying GIMP so it is useful means no one owns the modification, provided you are attempting to distribute the modification. If you keep it in house, then it's no problem.
    • Hi,

      I created the site. Just wanted to clarify, that unlike with real startups, you'll be getting a share of the profits of all sales. They're split up based off of contribution and distributed in the same way to all members of the project, whether they're a contributor or the creator of a project. That's quite literally the entire point of the site! I don't know if it's the wording of the article or the site, but I definitely need to clear this up. Seems like it's been misinterpreted a little.
  • Software development is a great place to be today: It pays well, jobs are plentiful, and anybody can learn to program, for free, in their spare time. I learned to program, and created my own applications on my own, in my free time, while I was gainfully employed doming something unrelated. It cost me $0. Why do people today need millions of dollars and thousands of hours of uninterrupted (otherwise unemployed) time to program?
    • Why do people today need millions of dollars and thousands of hours of uninterrupted (otherwise unemployed) time to program?

      Because all but the most trivial problems require a lot of time to write all the code to make it work. You can do it nights and weekends if you don't mind taking so long that your solution becomes moot by the time it's ready.

      • That line makes me thing he is an idiot or trolling or has never actually done anything bigger than a shell script or thinks html is a programming language.

        Reminds me of the "Why should I pay you money to develop the application? My nephew Vinny has a Tandy and can bang this out in a weekend!" mentality that was prevalent in the 90s. Managers generally thought programmers were worthless because "anybody can sit at a desk and bang on a keybaord all day."

    • Re:Quit a job? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Sunday August 27, 2017 @01:54PM (#55093557) Homepage

      Why do people today need millions of dollars and thousands of hours of uninterrupted (otherwise unemployed) time to program?

      Market standards.

      When I wrote my first released software, a good idea and a few hundred lines of code would be sufficient to get a customer base, because the odds were good that it was a unique new tool that helped somebody.

      Now, to even get customers to try a product, it has to have a good website, professionally-designed interface, and be significantly better in some way than the dozen other equivalent tools available. All of that polish takes time, and if you're working on a spare-time basis, that means it takes a scale of years to produce a viable product. During that time, technology still changes, and that promising library that saved so much time is now obsolete and considered a security risk. Updating the product is possible, but it takes more time, and that means more risk. Finally, when the product is viable, it has to compete with an offering from a bigger company with an established revenue stream.

      I don't mean to imply that it's impossible to succeed with spare-time projects, but it is more difficult now than even ten years ago. Software has moved from being a few amusements and office tools to a mature industry driving the majority of our civilization. There's competition out there for most of the current generation of ideas, where there simply wasn't before.

    • Well, no, not anyone can learn to program. It requires the right aptitude. (There are people who, for example, simply can not understand pointers.) Many of those who aren't aware they don't have the requisite aptitude are the ones spending the money on boot camps and such.
      • There are people who can't learn lots of things... but any college graduate can probably learn to do the bulk of what passes for programming in the places I've worked. And I've seen lots of shitty development from people with CSci degrees (sometimes even Master's), who presumably had to pass a course in college where pointers were covered.
    • As someone that has been doing the job for over 20 years... maybe. When I joined in the late 90s people were so desperate for programmers that the vast majority had no degree or a degree in nuclear or chemical engineering or some other scientific field. (Nuclear was popular since so many people went into that in the 80's and TMI basically fucked everyone that graduated in the 80s and 90s with a Nuclear engineering degree.)

      Today, not so much. If you are 20 years old with absolutely no experience or formal ed

      • Also as far as "anybody can learn to program" goes.... No. Clearly not anyone can do the job, otherwise we wouldn't have so much shitty code out there. :)

  • ...everyone earning contribution points as they complete tasks. There are voting options and rights that come with additional contribution points which makes all the projects completely autonomous (I hope). The best part though is that by using the selling tools I want to provide, any software created with Crowdsourcer.io will be able to sell on a store (yet to be built), via its own websites and maybe even through third party retailers, with 100% of the profit being distributed to a project’s contributors...

    It seems that these ideas can be summarised into the following 3 groups of people:

    -idea-people-1 (owners of the site).
    They provide: the idea (which took years to be formed!) and the site.
    They get: upto 10% of the money generated by the future sales of the future applications in the future shop. Until reaching that point, I guess that they will be spending the money given by some VC (most likely, already used for the promotion so far), various $ millions probably.

    - Idea-people-2 (project/future-apps owner

    • by CustomSolvers2 ( 4118921 ) on Sunday August 27, 2017 @01:52PM (#55093553) Homepage
      The last part of the quote (from Reddit) which got cut: "...At the moment I’m hoping that on every sale there’ll be a cut of about 10% before transaction costs so that 90% of all sales revenue is going to the project contributors - with no extra, hidden costs. This could change though, depending on costs.".
    • Yeah, this reminds of the "idea people" that I thought were weeded out of existence years ago.

      "I have this great idea for an app but I know nothing about programming or the software industry. I want you to write the whole thing do all the engineering and testing and I will only pay you if we make money. But don't worry, I will make tons of money. Err, I mean WE will make tons of money. I totally don't plan on cutting you lose as soon as the cash starts rolling in. Also my idea is totally not illegal/trivial

      • weeded out of existence years ago

        ?! They are everywhere and will never go away. In fact, the huge amount of money + relatively easily availability of resources in software development have precisely provoked them to be the new normal. This is basically what non-technical management, recruiters, sales, marketing, etc. become when expecting their low-to-knowledge to be imposed when dealing with technical aspects. This is the kind of people providing all the funding + getting it; that's why a big proportion of the last trendy products/compani

    • Hi, I'm the creator of the site, and submitted the original anonymous article to slashdot. You've got some fascinating ideas, and I love your cynicism. I just wanted to correct some things. The contribution points are distributed to all members of a project, including the creator and all the profits are distributed to every member of the project based of the weight of their C.pts, not "this warm feeling of having helped the aforementioned two groups of people to get money from virtually anything". The sec
      • I'm the creator of the site

        A true honour and I am not being sarcastic. This is one of the aspects which I love of Slashdot: you can get involved in this kind of situations!

        I love your cynicism

        I am not cynical. I am absolutely and completely realistic on account of all my experiences on this front. But you don't need to take my experience to get a proper feeling about all this, you might just take a look at the last quite a few revolutionary app, site, whatever posted here, their actual content (beyond a poorly thought idea), the involved funding (quite

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          Thank you so much for the detailed response. It makes me so happy to hear that you're so up for a discussion and aren't ready to just right it off without a giving it (and me) a chance.

          Let me first address your questions on the practical features of the site which contribute to making it a fair workplace. And then maybe if I can allay some of those concerns, I can talk about why I genuinely believe it can create a change in the industry even though I know all too well the exploitation of workforce by the
          • Thank you so much for the detailed response. It makes me so happy to hear that you're so up for a discussion and aren't ready to just right it off without a giving it (and me) a chance.

            This sounds as an excellent starting point. For me, this is more than enough to assume that you have the right mindset and that I might have unfairly misjudged your attempt.

            Simply put, we advise creators to come up with a system for allocating cpts.

            Well, basically it does sound as the moderator-based system with the not-too-positive addition of being a mere recommendation. If you want to make sure that things will certainly be going in the right direction, you would have to set up some basic rules which will have to always be observed.

            Everything is done through project tasks. Tasks are created based on position and have a cpt associated with them. Anyone in that position can accept it (provided they've not undertaken too many tasks) and anyone in the project with a threshold level of cpts can create new ones.

            The concept of task seems interesting, but at t

            • Alvaro, thank you for the comments. I'm glad that I've been able to come away from this with some good feature ideas.

              I've actually got to scoot (dog walking, exercise, you know the drill) so I'll keep this short, but the idea of a centralised governing body is a very good one. To some degree this has developed naturally, for instance hard rules to the system that can't be broken, i.e. projects which don't match the site get rejected by the approval process which we do. E.g. if someone's going on there to
              • Anyway, I really do appreciate the feedback.

                Happy to help and to confirm that you have the kind of adaptable and reasonable attitude which is certainly required to accomplish what you want. I will keep an eye on your site and might give it a shot at some point.

  • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Sunday August 27, 2017 @02:11PM (#55093615)

    Asking people to donate their time and efforts in lieu of pay is called a charity.

    At the end of the day, your donated efforts will line someone's pocket. You're either cool with that or you're not, but enough of the Millennial-flavored marketing bullshit trying to label this as crowd-something simply because it involves more than one human.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Charity? You're too kind. I'm not. It's utter bullshit.

    • by Michael Daniel ( 5063191 ) on Monday August 28, 2017 @02:28AM (#55095523)
      Hi,

      I'm the creator of the site. I'm guessing from your comment that it's not clear that contributors get paid. Just wanted to clarify that the profits are distributed based off of contribution whether they're the creator of a project or a contributor. Better yet, everyone's contribution is valued at the same level so irrespective of what you're contributing with your time, the money you earn for that "unit" of time will be the same as everyone else. It's essentially a rev-share model weighted by contribution.

      Hope this clears stuff up.
      • Better yet, everyone's contribution is valued at the same level so irrespective of what you're contributing with your time, the money you earn for that "unit" of time will be the same as everyone else.

        Treating a diverse group of people as inherently "the same" is not a hill I would personally choose to die on.

        May the force fit be with you.

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