Got a question that’s been bugging me.
Let’s say you create a new framework/language and accompanying tooling that saves time and money for dozens of developers all over the world.
How do you balance openness and monetisation?
Do you open source the framework/language but charge for the tools?
Do you keep it closed source?
Do you do self-hosted/SaaS and community/enterprise split like Gitlab for example?
If you open it, how do you earn money to let you work on it full-time? If it isn’t hugely popular immediately, you will have a hard time balancing earning money to live and working on it.
But if it’s closed, adoption will probably be low so customers/developers will be wary to use it.
08/08/2020, 5:52 PM
These are questions I have myself as well. In my situation I currently get a subsidy for my project which comes in the form of "discount on taxes" which helps me to be able to spend more time on it but not full-time. In the (near) future I hope to find a customer who wants to use part of my project in such a way that I earn money by implementing there project with the help of my product. In this case you will need to make good agreements on which parts of the code are yours and can be reused/shared and which part of the code is theirs and will not be shared . But I am not sure this approach will work. A bigger problem for me is finding the right market focus, I can multiple ways. So I probably need to get that sorted out first
08/09/2020, 9:03 AM
what kind of software are you guys talking about? The answer of the question comes case by case right? I'm thinking of examples like, say, Adobe Acrobat vs the open PDF standard, or open source databases like MySQL vs consultancy on companies like Percona. In one case the format is open but some specific tool make const $$$, in the other the product is open but the consultancy costs $$$ too.
Other examples I can think about: I paid money for both the Cursive IDE for clojure and the https://www.linqpad.net/ tool. I'm not really worried these particular tools are paid / propietary.
sublime text costs $ but is extensible
one more example: REBL is a gui app that's distributed as a "closed source" jar file. Under the honor system, if you use it in a commercial setting you need to contribute to cognitect's patreon https://www.patreon.com/cognitect
Are there people here who have experience with crowdfunding a FoC project? When would that be a good fit?
This is definitely a tricky thing to balance, and I have not yet seen what I would consider a "great" answer. For my own projects of this shape, I am planning to use an open, self-hostable model, as I think it's critical for user control to be able to host it all yourself if you want. A subset of premium features would rely on a hosted service, which people could pay for or host themselves.
Here are some useful resources related to this:
* Social vs. market norms: https://github.com/feross/funding/issues/11#issuecomment-524609870
* Premium features: https://agenda.community/t/get-all-features/21