The Kickstarter successes of the ambitious Ghost as well as the much more modest Schema Migrations for Django or git-annex (all open source software projects) got me thinking that this could be the start of a new way to fund open source projects in general.
The Django project in particular was solely to add a significant feature to an existing open source project. What if popular open source projects started creating Kickstarter projects to raise funds to push the projects forward? Say a major significant rewrite is needed in some area but nobody can afford a 2 week break from work to complete it? Maybe it requires more than one dev? Maybe devs are from different parts of the world and if significant funds are raised, they could even afford to travel and work together on-site somewhere for 2-3 weeks?
Just imagine how much more progress could be made when most open source projects are maintained with love and spare time alone!
Theoretically, it should even be possible for any dev (or devs!) to fund his own work on some important feature that he thinks needs to be done, on a project he doesn’t even own! He’d just get funded to contribute back a major feature to the open source project.
I can even envision some cool rewards:
- Watch him/them code live via web (Hangouts, GoToMeeting, whatever)
- Watch him/them code live on-site (you travel to their place)
- Have him/them code live at YOUR place
- Pair program with him/them (for a day, week, duration of the project, etc.)
- Include x hours of couching for your team (when having dev/team at your place)
I’d certainly be backing way more projects than I’m doing now (I did back Ghost which looks very promising).