Money makes the world go round? Yes: new paid developer program for OpenPhoenux/Goldelico

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at
Tue Jul 10 13:14:26 CEST 2012

if we look at the steadily growing number of applications
initiated e.g. by the iOS developer program and compare
it to our OpenPhoenux, there is obviously some fundamental
factor driving one and missing in the other...

Thousands of students and developers are subscribing to
such programs for one reason: it opens an opportunity to
earn some money. While pure FLOSS projects have no
such direct return.

Well, FLOSS is a lot of fun, gives reputation and knowledge,
but if you can get additional benefits through such programs,
the choice is obvious. Especially in times where it is no
longer for sure that one has a paid full-time job + enough
spare time for volunteer work.

Since money and freedom are not antagonists ("free as
in "free speech" and not in "free beer"),  I think we should
try to combine both to the benefit of our OpenPhoenux

The first step is to create a program [1] where developers
(and other contributors) can subscribe who are interested
in getting some money as compensation for non-volunteer
(i.e. directed with clear targets, deliverables and deadlines)

So that we know them and their expertise areas and levels.

The idea is that there is a mailing list where we (the project
leading team) propose subtasks needing development
(e.g. camera driver, bug fixing etc.) and interested
developers can also make proposals what they could offer.

The rough idea is to resemble a permantently installed GSoC
that is not limited to students. Or e.g. the Linux kernel and
other FLOSS projects where companies send employees
to contribute.

But there may also be non-software tasks to be done, e.g.
hardware development, marketing etc.

Where does the money come from? The plan is that it comes
from some % of the hardware sales of OpenPhoenux devices
(as soon as the fundamental production problems are vanquished).
And from donations. Currently there isn't very much honey
in pot, but it is not completely empty (thanks to some donations).

So the more OpenPhoenux devices are sold, the more
money becomes available for the developer program.
This makes the OpenPhoenux better and better and more
attractive to new users who buy devices - forming a positive
feedback loop.

So this is just a start of the idea and the details may be
refined in the future based on the experiences we make
in this process.


PS: this is not limited to future devices but also for new developments
for the GTA01/GTA02 which we think as part of the OpenPhoenux


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