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Show HN: Get Paid to Build Your Next Side Project (demandrush.com)
1100 points by hackerews 215 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 451 comments

Photoshop license costs $348 a year. If 1000 people get together and put $400 each, you'll get $400000. That money could be used to leverage a Gimp to be more Photoshop-users friendly. Then you don't have to keep with the subscription model. You have a great piece of open source software available for everyone to use as long as they want. You can do another round to get more features added.

This solves the issue that you get with subscription based services, which is that if you stop paying every month/year you loose access to the tool to do your work.

Instead of building yet another SaaS wouldn't be smarter for users to gather and pay for a software libre solution?

$400k pays for 3 people.. maybe a couple of more if you hire from a cheaper country.

If all GIMP needed was a few more developers to be competitive against PS, that would have happened by now.

You're seriously underestimating the amount of work GIMP needs to do.. and/or the amount of work that already goes into GIMP.

This reminds me of the joke about the economist who refuses to pick up the $20 bill on the ground because surely someone else would have already picked it up.

Sounds like the Alinsky bit in "Rules for Radicals" about working inside and outside of people's experiences:

"....In a similar situation in Los Angeles four staff members and I were talking in front of the Biltmore Hotel when I demonstrated the same point, saying: "Look, I am holding a ten-dollar bill in my hand. I propose to walk around the Biltmore Hotel, a total of four blocks, and try to give it away. This will certainly be outside of everyone's experience. You four walk behind me and watch the faces of the people I'll approach. I am going to go up to them holding out this ten-dollar bill and say, 'Here, take this.' My guess is that everyone will back off, look confused, insulted, or fearful, and want to get away from this nut fast.

From their experience when someone approaches them he is either out to ask for instructions or to panhandle — particularly the way I'm dressed, no coat or tie."

I walked around, trying to give the ten-dollar bill away. The reactions were all "within the experiences of the people." About three of them, seeing the ten-dollar bill, spoke first — "I'm sorry. I don't have any change." Others hurried past saying, "I'm sorry, I don't have any money on me right now," as though I had been trying to get money from them instead of trying to give them money. One young woman flared up, almost screaming, "I'm not that kind of a girl and if you don't get away from here, I'll call a cop!" Another woman in her thirties snarled, "I don't come that cheap!" There was one man who stopped and said, "What kind of a con game is this?"...."


I lived off handouts for a year while I writing up my research results. Finished it and got a job through a friend. When I got my first paycheck, I went to an ATM and took out a $100. I was so disorientated about actually having some money in the bank that, when I removed my bank card, I left my money behind. I walked about 15 meters before I realised what I had done. I naively returned to the bank and went inside to explain what had happened. (I mean did I really expect the teller to believe me or be able to do anything about it?) There were two young guys at the bank's information desk handing in the money. I said "That's mine", took it and walked away. I wanted to give them a reward, but thought their good deed would have to be its own reward.

given that there are a lot of scams that start by giving the mark something in order to create a sense of obligation, it's not an unreasonable response

The trick to those is to take the thing and then not feel obligated to do anything whatsoever.

That's good in theory, but in practice the con men will ask for what they gave back and might get violent if you refuse.

I'd give up on ten dollars if it means not having to fight/argue this way on the street.

oh obviously don't get into a fight, but I see no problem in being annoying to con men if you can do so safely. It's not like you're gonna get decked straight away if you refuse to give it back. As always use your own judgement.

Some people have the human social impulse wired too strongly to do that.

Agreed. I don't believe you are implying this, but neither Saul nor I intend to state their reactions are unreasonable. Merely to indicate how divergent reactions can be in different populations and how this can be utilized.

I tried this and got exact same results in Budapest many years ago.

I am literally laughing imagining the Hungarian reaction to this. (Wife is Hungarian, and I lived in Bp for a few years.)

Well, get this. The first guy who took it was a well known politician, Deutsch Tamás now responsible for "the internet". You can't make this up.

The day trader who picked up the $20, ecstatic from his arbitrage win, puts down on the ground a $100 hoping for larger gains.

Or the high frequency trader who spends $20,000 on a machine to try to find all of the $20 bills on the ground before someone else does.

Yeah, this joke sums up just about every arbitrage situation I think I've found. I think, naw, it must be an illusion, because the market is so efficient...

Means I end up paralysed around starting new endeavours.

Yeah the market for open source is shit. You have tons of corporations deriving billions in total profit off the back of open source that contribute maybe a million back and feel that they have done some great great deed... like say Google. You could easily make the Gimp much much better with a few million in funding. The beauty of capitalism is exactly that it locks out this sort of behavior because of the way that corporations and consumers behave with their money... and how people relegated at to the lowly level of employee is forced to behave by the rules of working for that corporation and the small amount of money it pays for work which may deliver up to 10x its value, value captured by the shareholders.

And I think copyleft licenses offer a solution here: if you are worried that corporations (or rival corporations) might monetize your product (or derive any profit from it indirectly), licensing it under a copyleft license would make their lives very, very hard. It's near impossible, for instance, to keep an AGPLv3-licensed product within a walled-garden, hence good luck while trying to build a *AAS on that.

The issue is not to deprive corporations of profit. Profit is good. The issue is how they behave with the profit once they get it. They lock it up in the hands of the very few rather than distributing it far and wide so good stuff can get done all over the world. The concentration of capital or the good is the problem. The more it is concentrated, the more good that gets done is on the terms of the corporations rather than a scrappy hacker or an individualist or anyone else. That shuts down freedom to do, which is bad. That limits choice and freedom, to live how you want because you are providing a good. Rather than live on the terms dictated by those who hoard the capital. Which happens all over the world the way the current system is architected.

Who is profit good for?

For everyone. Who is profit not good for? Someone has chosen to pay the company for the good, that's their decision to do so. The company has provided the good. The consumer is better off because of it. And he or she has paid for the good. So yeah it's good for everyone.

> Who is profit not good for?

The wage slaves.

Profit is good for wage slaves. People may not agree that the wage slaves get their due share of that profit, but without profit, the wage slaves would be in a sorry state indeed. Their employer needs to be prosperous so they can be comfortable accommodating the employee's needs.


AFAIK this was the original intent of the GPL as well, but due to the common interpretation that "link" and "distribute" refer exclusively to their meanings within the context of traditional binary building and distribution (that is, they do not apply when a program is "distributed" such that its back-end is accessed through a web-based front-end), the AGPL was necessary.



what's bullshit? That the GPL was written with the same aims as the AGPL? I fail to see any bullshit in the post you're replying to…

I wonder if anyone has ever thought of a law that would allow for large corporations to repatriate some of their overseas dollars tax-free, or defer corporate taxes they'd otherwise have to pay, provided they went toward altruistic purposes, where one of those altruistic purposes could be contribution to broadly used open source libraries.

Obviously a lot more of the details would need to be worked out to try and minimize how much companies try and game that to simply fund their own research tax-free, but I wonder if the type of behavior you're looking for could be economically incentivized given the right corporate tax legal reforms.

The problem is a lot of those "altruistic purposes" tend not to be so altruistic, when you look into why they do them. Take for example, when Google recently chose to donate a bunch of hardware to schools instead of giving their employees an annual gift.

Google gifted schools Chromebooks, which seems like an incredible act of charity. Except for the fact that you have to pay a subscription to Google to use them. Which means they really just managed to get a tax write-off while picking up more customers.

How do you ensure a company is doing something in the best interests of society or the charity or organization they are donating to, rather than in the best interests of themselves?

For an educational environment I would be hard pressed to name a more appropriate device than a chromebook. From a hardware perspective the Chromebooks are cheap, practically disposable. ChromeOS is open source, but also secure and easy to manage. And there is no subscription or license cost for the 'G Suite for Education'. Even if that were true, the schools would be under no obligation to accept the gift, so it's hard to see that this is some sort of problem with the state of the law.

Generally speaking, it's pretty difficult to tell if charities are actually being charitable, and there is no way to ensure it -- we can't mark each dollar's fall. But we do have laws that cover those sort of 'hidden catch' scenario; you can't trick people into a financial obligation. Is there some other loophole that you can identify?

ChromeOS is not open source. We need to stop spreading the misleading claims that Chrome or ChromeOS, as distributed widely is open source, because it is not. They are not particularly secure given how poorly policed the Web Store is (malware which can exfiltrate your browsing data is rampant).

And of course, as my source demonstrated, there is definitely a license cost to use Chromebooks in a managed environment, and it is not free for educators.

As the situation is _right now_, the law is probably fine, but I'd be against the parent's suggestion of allowing a loophole for them to get to repatriate cash tax-free for this sort of usage, because it's likely just going to work out in their favor, and not in ours or the public interest.

> Google gifted schools Chromebooks, which seems like an incredible act of charity. Except for the fact that you have to pay a subscription to Google to use them.

Do you happen to have a reference for this? G suite for education is free as far as I know and I wasn't able to find anything else that you might be referring to.

Check out this page for a start on Chrome device licenses: https://support.google.com/chrome/a/answer/2717664?hl=en

You can see an educational portal listing the cost of the management license at $30 here, which isn't really a complete picture, but demonstrates that we aren't talking about something they give schools for free: https://edu.google.com/products/devices/

Note that this is kinda of well-hidden, but that last link cites the "total cost of ownership" of a $149 Chromebook over three years as $588, which should give you an idea the difference between the hardware they give away, and the eventual cost of everything you need to deploy the suckers.

Schools is definitely big money for Google, it's just well-disguised as an altruistic endeavor.

> You can see an educational portal listing the cost of the management license at $30 here, which isn't really a complete picture, but demonstrates that we aren't talking about something they give schools for free

You need to show that those licenses were not included in the gift. And let's just assume that they're not that stupid.

> Note that this is kinda of well-hidden, but that last link cites the "total cost of ownership" of a $149 Chromebook over three years as $588, which should give you an idea the difference between the hardware they give away, and the eventual cost of everything you need to deploy the suckers.

For a budget windows laptop or tablet the hardware cost would be higher and the support cost unlikely to be lesser.

> Schools is definitely big money for Google

Schools are a tiny segment for Google that would not hurt them in the slightest to lose. The margins on low-end hardware are not exactly the stuff dreams are made of, and they really are making peanuts on ChromeOS. We can and should contrast this to Microsoft, who has been playing the "loss leader" pricing game in educational circles for far longer with far more success.

Also worth mentioning how iPads work in an educational setting. So many schools were so ecstatic to get iPads for students and embrace the future that they didn't stop to consider just how quickly an Apple iOS device can start to feel slow from OS updates designed for newer and more capable devices. The difference is pretty stark compared to a regularly imaged workstation which can last 5+ years.

Google doesn't need to charge to make a profit. Don't forget their primary business is advertising, so by getting more people to use their services, they gain. Also, by extending their reach to inside the schools, they effectively set up a way to "educate" kids to use their services.

Wouldn't this already be effective as long as the project was under the umbrella of an appropriate 501(c)3? Not necessarily the repatriation bit. I'm not a tax expert by any means so I am legitimately asking.

From a quick search, it looks like the IRS does sometimes allow businesses to make deductible contributions to a 501(c)3, but that it first attempts to determine if the business expects to receive a "substantial return benefit". [0]

The IRS seems to already have specific rules around "qualified sponsorship payments". [1]

[0] https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/corporat...

[1] https://www.irs.gov/publications/p598/ch03.html#en_US_201701...

One easy way around this is to do what all the NYC foundations do. That is, give to other people's charities, and they in turn will give to yours. That is only small potatoes compared to donating to a political campaign and taking the money you don't spend on the campaign off the table tax free. A lot more things make sense through that lens. I could imagine a situation where Google who doesn't benefit from every OSS project, gives to project that Facebook benefits from, and Facebook to one's that Google does ad infinitem.

I see the myth of the poor developer being robbed of the value it delivers is alive and well around this community.

Here's the thing, in corporate devs are as essential as people toghtening nuts in a factory.

The value one produces there is multiplyed by the internal know how, customer base, marketing reach and tight focus management, none of which it's brough by the developer.

That value is stripped from developer work just to be pocketed by management and sales is a myth, besides, if it werent there'd be plenty developers going solo and the median salary would be in the millions.

Edit: and lo and behold, instant downvote. No wonders the tech community is so blind and guillible when it comes to the value argument, from the extraction myth to the stock options gambling.

I don't disagree with this, but it isn't universally true.

Some developers are just writing code to satisfy a spec and really could be replaced by any other developer; others are uniquely valuable and significantly increase their employers value, without necessarily being recognised for it.

Good software acts as a multiplier, so it's not equivalent to tightening bolts. It's more equivalent to finding optimisations that reduce the number of bolts which need to be tightened. A relatively small amount of software can drastically increase the value of a company/process

Tru but the few of us that really push the envelope are few, are pulling serious $$$ already and hardly move the mean.

Internal knowledge is not held by the company it is held by individuals within the company. At best what you are arguing for is that there are enough people that for a given salary you can use to replace your existing people and can pick up what they are doing quickly enough that they are replaceable. That is not the same as your disrespectful assertion that your average dev is the same as a person who tightens bolts. Even the most simple development tasks require a significant amount of knowledge and at least a few years of experience that only a small number of the population can actually perform.

It's true that an individual can't do the same things a company can do. That's not some profound assertion. It's however impossible to go from that and assert that is because they are incapable of doing those things even if they had the funding to do so. That is to say that the marketing issue is more or less an issue of funding or money. That is what keeps that individual devs from capturing more value that is instead captured by companies or by managers, marketers, etc. As well as hiring additional people to form an actual company that performs the functions of a company. However a significant number of founders are developers, many of them including Paul Gahram and Mark Zuckerberg average developers that went to found multi-million to billion dollar companies because of funding. Now after the fact maybe you can argue that there was something special about them, but that's a post-facto assertion. They were average devs and if they had not gotten the funding would be relegated to your nut bolt tighteners not having been able to express their "true" potential.

Yes, people love to laugh at this mythical economist, but seriously, when's the last time you saw a legit $20 bill just lying on the ground? I've never seen this even once in my life. Perhaps this mythical economist is the one having the last laugh.

It's probably happened to me a dozen times that I can actually remember. The first time I can remember was a $20 on the floor of a Blockbuster Video. Most recently I found a 50 euro note on the ground in La Reunion about a year ago. But I guess that's technically not a $20 bill, so maybe it doesn't count.

If you allow for faux currency exchange, keeping your eyes aimed down at a renaissance fairground is pretty much guaranteed to turn up enough food tickets for a turkey leg.

I've once found an 5000 HUF (18 USD) bill on the floor in a pub. I picked it up and wanted to ask "who lost this?" then I realized that everybody would answer "me!" so I just kept it.

My father taught me a trick. It's not foolproof, but it's better than your version.

You ask if anyone lost any money. If someone says they did, you follow up with "how much money, and how big were the bills?"

Then they have to know an amount, how many bills, and what denomination.

You can imagine that it's hard to fake, and anyone being genuine will have a pretty good idea of what you're holding.

Now that's a good trick, thanks!

I have a friend who is notorious for always finding money on the ground. He has found a lot of money just lying around.

Once, while eating a pizza with canned mussels, he felt something hard. It turned out there was a pearl in his pizza.

I found $315 blown against a street curb on my run with my wife one morning. It was roughly 7am and nobody else in sight so we just took it... Admittedly, when people ask the ethical question of "do you report it to the police?", I suppose my answer is "no". I gave myself solace in thinking it might've just been a drug deal that went wrong. ;)

My anecdote: I picked up a £20 note on the sidewalk in London two weeks ago.

"Woman who found £20 note on floor convicted of theft"


I found a handful of money on the sidewalk once walking back from class, about $12. More recently found a $100 bill in my sister's front yard (not her money, presumably blown there by the wind).

It happens.

> Yes, people love to laugh at this mythical economist, but seriously, when's the last time you saw a legit $20 bill just lying on the ground?

1996 (±2 years) in an arcade, actually.

I found a $10 two years ago in a field.

It was really ragged, so much so that the bank wouldn't take it. So I still have it.

That was just about the same timeframe when I found one as well (on a college campus in my town).

Actually, I did a few months ago. Found a twenty on my lawn. Then found more, blown up against the hedge - ended up being a total of $180, plus the bank withdrawal slip. We took it back to the bank to return to the owner.

But it was neat, finding money just right out there on my own lawn.

Just last week I put a 20 euro note on ebay and the highest bid was under 5 euro. I guess everybody was thinking like an economist.


As a counterexample, I regularly lose cash money...

Sometimes money literally falls out my pocket when I fumble out a wad of cash while i'm inebriated.

Other times I carelessly leave my wallet somewhere stupid and the money "walks off."

Over the past 2 years, I've probably lost over $1000 this way.

As a kid I once missed out on a few hundred in cash on the ground at our local golf course. My friend walking behind me was paying more attention to the ground and spotted it after I had just walked past...

What are you trying to proof? How the fact that you or people that read your comment here have not seen any bill changes the probability of a $20 bill sitting somewhere on the ground?

It's an n=1 comment. Take it for what it's worth.

Also, "proof" is a noun. You meant to use verb form "proove". "Proof" as a verb means to "proof-read" (to read with an editorial mindset).


Three months ago while swimming in Miami Beach I found a $20 bill lying on the ocean floor.

Laughing a sinister laugh as I super glue a $20 to the sidewalk...

Classic Candid Camera from the 60s: "Bill Under Tire" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zP8V53_YdMI&t=1m08s

The last one is the best.

I find coins on at least a monthly basis. I once found a $10 bill.

Happened to me two or three times in my life so far.

I found a fiver not to long ago...

I found a $10 a few months ago.

Realistically though, how many twenty dollar bills do you find lying around on the ground? Zero so far for me in this life... Maybe a quarter here or there.

I've found a couple 5 dollar bills. My ex found a twenty in the pocket of some jeans at a used clothing store

I found 2000 in the pocket of a thrifed suit jacket

More like they pick it up and it turns out to be a 20 peso bill, because they've never seen pesos before and don't understand it's value.

LOL. Hadn't heard this one before.

That depends where you are hiring from, even within the US. You're also reaching out to people who may be okay taking a lower salary to work on a project they are already passionate about or already donate their time to.

Chris Webber, for example, took less than a $40k salary without benefits to work on MediaGoblin full time for a year:


> You're also reaching out to people who may be okay taking a lower salary to work on a project they are already passionate about or already donate their time to.

The games industry gladly takes advantage of this.

Yes. Many people new to the industry don't understand that the glamor of working for a game company almost always translates to bad working conditions and low-ball pay. Games are hard, but there are just so many people who want to be involved in making them, that there is a pretty excessive supply of prospective developers. Game companies take that as a license to burn people out, because they know once that crew finally tires of the beatings, there will be a fresh crop of bright-eyed devs anxious to replace them.

CRUD apps may be tedious, but getting a job at a local medium-sized company working on them is usually much more pleasant than working for a game developer.

Oh but it is? Do you use the GIMP?

Photoshop's content-aware fill first appeared as a third-party open-source plugin for the GIMP.

While one certainly can't equate the two I have found GIMP works well for a broad array of digital imagery tasks... just like Photoshop.

Much of Photoshop's dominance has to do with the network effects of Adobe's ubiquitous ecosystem as much as the comprehensiveness of their tooling.

> Photoshop's content-aware fill first appeared as a third-party open-source plugin for the GIMP.

Indeed it did, and that plugin was hard to configure and hard to use. I remember installing GIMP just to try that plugin out, and it was not fun, it involved a lot of manual steps to get it working, and I never quite got the hang of it.

In contrast, when I got my hands on a version of PS that supported content aware fill, (which admittedly ships in the box, skipping the installation step) I was able to figure it out in a few minutes and start getting good results in half an hour. I am pretty sure I spent more than half an hour trying to get the GIMP plugin installed.

I still can't get the GIMP resynthesis plugins to run on most of my machines...

Last time I tried the lack of Adjustment Layers and Smart Objects was a dealbreaker for me. Maybe that's changed but those are things I use daily (I can deal with lack of content-aware fill).

I find Photoshop v Gimp akin to Android v iOS.

You mean other way around?

This comparison also ignores other products in the market which already fill this gap. Yes, GIMP could be improved with a bigger budget, but in that time frame would it be better than Pixelmator which only costs $30? And if it is better, would that type of customer value it at your proposed $400 vs $30 for a product which already works right now?

[1] http://www.pixelmator.com/mac/

Lol - you can get 6 senior devs (3+ years experience/independent), or a 4/4 split senior/junior devs depending on what skills you're looking for (in East Europe)

The bigger issue is if you can pull a 400k Kickstarter and manage such a team why the hell would you be wasting your time on GIMP dev - you could do waay more profitable and interesting stuff.

Seriously, how much work goes into Gimp nowadays? I seem to have the same version today as 5 years ago. I'd love to help kickstart a new beginning (run a kickstarter with a specific proposal?) but I'm afraid they're stuck with bad UI decisions and the bad decision workflow which lead to them.

My biggest complaint is how painful it is to change brush size and brush opacity.

I agree. Gimp will need just as many developers as Adobe employs, and just as much money as Adobe makes, to be more 'like' Photoshop.

I think they are also underestimating how much Adobe spends on developing photoshop.

When you load up PS, you see a list of people involved. It's a lot more than 3 FTEs.

I wish my company spent 400k per 3 employees.

It very well may after you factor in office space, benefits, vacation, unemployment insurance, FICA, etc.

I was assuming non-sf salaries... but yes, even then, it's really pushing it to say it would pay for 3 people in the us. I was being generous.

What senior dev makes less than 100k in the USA these days?

Who said anything about senior devs?

If you're really hung up on whether 3 is the right number, I think you've entirely missed the point of my post. Adobe has far more people working on photoshop.

Plenty, outside of the usual suspect locations (SF, NY). A six figure salary for devs, senior or otherwise, is unusual outside those areas. It's not unheard of, but it's not typical, either.

I'm not convinced the $150K+ salary figures I see sniffed at on HN as "bare minimums" are quite as common even in SF/NY/etc. as people imagine they are. Startups and (some) "star name" tech companies in those areas hit those figures, but even today I still see more technical jobs than one might imagine in the $80-120K range. I'm aware a lot of software engineers insist that when they're only making $140K they're underpaid given all the Amazing Stupendous Value™ they bring to their companies, but I have some doubts about how sustainable such figures are going to be at most employers as the VC markets tighten (which is definitely happening now).

I don't work at a "star name" company, but it's in the Bay Area. $150k (+/- a few percent) is the typical base for Senior and Lead Engineer positions here. I don't know if that's typical for "not star name" places, though.

And most developers are definitely underpaid relative to the value we provide. From shabby CRUD through deep machine learning research, we're generally underpaid. Partly it's our own collective fault, though: as a group we're told constantly that passion for the product and satisfaction at "being paid [anything] for doing what you love" should be enough, and enough of us buy that crap that it effectively depresses wages.

> $400k pays for 3 people

Yes, but it is three full time people. Don't underestimate the difference being able to focus on a codebase for an extended period makes...

Also, knowing that you will be able to continue that focus carries it's own benefit.

I am not sure if GIMP is truly the competitor for PS. I do almost all of my editing with a handful of apps. Back then I tried doing it all with PS and the results were a lot worse as it was way to complex to understand all its features.

Yeah ~3 FTE sounds about right. But if offered as grants for students to work on over internships or something, it would go a bit further. But I don't know enough about the GIMP codebase to know how feasible that would really be.

The question isn't whether 400k would make gimp replace PS. The question is whether 400k could get the users who contributed the features they want. It still is a gamble but it's more attainable.

400k is plenty if you can hire people from developing countries.

From my experience, you can hire a good developer from Vietnam for approx ~2k per month; which is 24k per year.

The time that went into Photoshop cost a lot more than $400k, I would guess between two and three orders of magnitude more. Even given that you would not have to start from scratch and that you know your target pretty much exactly and don't have to go through almost 30 years of evolution, $400k would not get you nearly close enough to Photoshop to make switching worthwhile. Also assuming starting with GIMP is a good idea in the first place, I know almost nothing about its features, architecture and code base.

While it would almost certainly cost more than 400k to build a replacement photoshop, the open source community would already be profiting off the fact that a commercial photoshop already exists, and has years of product professionals spending large amounts of resources to understand and cater towards their users.

and if you're building on Gimp you're WAY past "from scratch". The bulk of it is already there. Mostly Gimp just needs usability / human interaction changes.

> and if you're building on Gimp you're WAY past "from scratch". The bulk of it is already there.

This could be a good thing or a bad thing if major changes are needed. A project of GIMP's size is a big ship to steer.

There is a neat feature of large fundraiser campaigns in free software you can take advantage of, in that if you do get 400k and hire 5 devs and have them work a year on a wide range of features for some software, it doesn't really matter what upstream says if the users want those features. You just fork if upstream isn't "on board", work on your own separate branch for a year, and then when all the users start downloading and using the fork the upstream will have to work with you to merge all the work done since 8000 hours of work on their project is not something they can discard.

As long as you wrote useful features then GIMP, for example, wouldn't be able to argue semantics on the patch set and tie up merging for a long time on politics. Their users would demand the features.

Surely the big problem with this (and the wider site concept, much as I generally favour it) is that the donating users who say they also want GIMP to be as good as Photoshop don't all have the same idea about what constitutes better UX. So you get a high proportion of dropouts from the funding subscription, as well as disagreements with GIMP's existing user base and team about whether they forget their original roadmap in favour of merging your patch, assuming you can still afford to finish it.

(Key difference with Kickstarter etc is that people are pledging for a specific solution rather that for people to solve a problem, and the cash is paid up front rather than a promised monthly commitment. And still there are issues with execution of many projects, particularly once third parties with different goals are involved. "I also need GIMP to be as Photoshop" on the other hand, is basically asking for a "nice unicorn" and hoping both that unicorns can exist and that everybody else involved - especially the unicorn-breeder - shares your definition of "nice" ones)

Affinity already has great Photoshop and Illustrator alternatives: https://affinity.serif.com/en-us/

The opportunity with Photoshop may not be to create another Photoshop clone, or add more features, but rather create smaller, specialized editing apps, that each target a subset of the Photoshop user-base, with perhaps less features.

Look at how Adobe Lightroom cherry picked a few Photoshop and Bridge components, to create a more specialized app that does a specialized job that Photoshop might have done in the past.

Or how Adobe's iPad Pro apps again deliver just a small subset of the total available features from their parent apps, making them more specialized for specific use-cases.

Photoshop's massive fragmented user base is ripe for the pickin' for sure. Could you tear down Gimp like that? Or would it be better to start from scratch?

Where is the source code or even just Linux binaries? Otherwise Affinity isn't really relevant when discussing GIMP.

wasnt the question about replacing Photoshop?

Hate to break it to you, but not one person who uses photoshop uses Linux.

>but not one person who uses photoshop uses Linux

Not true: I use photoshop (albeit, not professionally) and have a subscription for it, but am writing this from linux. Dualboot exists, you know.

That's absurd.

FYI Photoshop doesn't work on Linux.. so not so much absurd, as factual

PS CS6 runs well in WINE.

And iirc, Google sponsored the patchset that allowed CS6 to run on it. So someone out there wants Photoshop to work on Linux, and is even willing to pay for it.

You're technically right

But I would still say Linux support isn't what's holding back any photoshop replacement

I'll be the negative Nancy here - you'll never get 1000 people to pay $400 each for any OSS software, no matter the price of the competitor.

The reason is a simple value estimation. It's open source (and so free to get) therefore its price is $0. Any product that is free signals that the product has correspondingly low value. I think it's simply unrealistic to expect people to put forward $400 for something with such low value perception and whose fair market price is $0.

This is especially true when Photoshop has such a high value perception (in part because it is better, and in part as a justification for shelling out the $400).

Ask yourself this - Have you, or will you, paid (donated, ...) $70 for using Vim (atom, neovim, emacs, VSC, ...) to support development? Have you paid $200 to Debian, Ubuntu, or Redhat for your Linux OS? $5,000 for (open|libre)ssl? $13,000 per core for PostgreSQL/MySQL?

If I could count on the 999 other people, Kickstarter-style, I just might.

I think something more limited (like get GEGL out the door, if that isn't done yet) along the lines of the Django migrations kickstarter would be more realistic: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/andrewgodwin/schema-mig...

Well... Set it up

He'd also need the GIMP devs to cooperate: to provide tangible feature sets with timelines, part time PR for updating and managing the Kickstarter campaign, and an part time CFO for managing the sudden influx and management of $360,000 (minus Kickstarter and the payment processor's share), dev salaries, taxes, and such.

I would be curious if the GIMP dev team could reach usability parity with Photoshop on only that money. It seems a bit on the low side frankly (about a year's time of a good developer and UX designer, plus support staff).

he could always fork it and pay for other developers if the core team didn't want to participate in this. You'd rather the core team's approval and participation, but you don't NEED it.

Call it Pimp.

I would say that I'm in too, but I also need a quality Illustrator alternative that works well on Mac.

To cacarr: Inkscape is not at its best in Mac. It's clunky because you have to use control instead of command, can't zoom with the trackpad, can't go fullscreen.

I use it and love it and it's one of my favourite programs, but really it's better in Linux.

A key mapping function sounds like one of them more easy things to add into a piece of software

I assume you've tried Inkscape?

If you don't get their support, then that $400,000 has to go a lot further (or you have to work towards a branch reconciliation at the end of the work). Ongoing maintenance is not free.

I'm in.

> you'll never get 1000 people to pay $400 each for any OSS software, no matter the price of the competitor.

Yes and no. I'm doing that right now...

The key is that I don't charge for the software as such. I charge for services, etc. around the software.

People are happy to pay for value-add, even if the underlying software is free. You just need to show value-add...

Sure - but then you're not really charging $400 for the software. You're charging $400 for the services associated with that software, and a (typically significant) portion of that money will go towards funding the service, not the OSS software.

This change in how the money is allocated is a subtle, but important, distinction. Monetizing a service means you now have a minimum of two products to manage, and from my time at a company which did exactly this I've found that the OSS software development is the product which absorbs any shortfalls. It's hard to watch the budget for OSS development shrink constantly; to watch developers passionate about the OSS software being reassigned to grow the service instead.

It's probably still the best way to handle a crummy situation, but it's not what the OP described.

> The key is that I don't charge for the software as such. I charge for services, etc. around the software.

Yep. Matt Mullenweg & his crew at WordPress have been doing the same thing, and are wildly profitable at it.

It's not just about profit. It's about lifestyle.

I don't know. 1000 is [ed: not] that large a number of people. But it might be easier to get 40 from 10.000 people, than 400 from a thousand.

I'm reminded about the kickstarter for Django migrations: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/andrewgodwin/schema-mig...

Most backers gave 5 or 10 pounds, but on average ~500 people gave ~35 each.

You might be half-right about perceived value though - I think anyone that is a serious Gimp user see value in the software, but might still think 400 is too steep, given that it is free now. But I also think many users would be willing to pay for getting some features in/some polish done - personally I'd say my current limit would be around 100 USD for any one OSS project.

Now one one hand, Debian does much more than any small project, but I also think it's more likely that 10 000 USD would do more for something like the Gimp, than for Debian (assuming we had a developer or two on standby that could take the opportunity of devoting a month full time on getting some pain points resolved, say).

Also, Free software, creates a large tree at $0 that will kill everything that tries to grow under it, like a $5 decent alternative (nothing grows under large trees).

Yeah. This is a classic free rider problem. Game theorists have known about it for decades. See Mancur Olson, The Logic of Collective Action.

Crowdfunding open source seems like a good idea in general (in fact I could see a platform built around that specifically), but you may be underestimating the amount of money/effort required to build something comparable to Photoshop. So I like the idea in principle, but not in this particular instance.

For what it's worth, I think Sketch is much more user friendly and is $99 one-time. Certainly not OSS, but a better deal than Photoshop for most things, and a much more user-friendly interface than Gimp (though I suppose that's subjective).

The logistics themselves are already giving me a headache. You have $400k, but are Gimp's developers (and they exist, right?) ready to just get an infusion of somewhere on the order of three years of salary and get to work? I assume the roadmap would change with that amount of funding.

I've seen some cases where patreon.com is used to fund open source projects. Vue.js is founded there for example [1].

1: https://www.patreon.com/evanyou

It's probably attainable if those 1000 people manage to confine their feature requests to something 400k can fund.

There are crowdfunding sites that either just happen to be used for these things or are focused on them, the issues are complex. Here's a run-down (that needs a couple updates like including Open Collective): https://wiki.snowdrift.coop/market-research/other-crowdfundi... (on the wiki for a still in-progress platform designing a new funding approach around the specific challenges of free/libre/open projects)

Sketch is 99 dollars a year. After the year you can still use it but you won't get updates. If you work on a team you'll pretty much be forced to always have the latest version.

Still, 99/year is a drop in the bucket. Even 50/month for all of creative suite isn't all that much considering many of us will just add it to our business expenses and write it off.

No Linux version.

Paying $400, even once a year for 10 years for something that works is probably cheaper in the long run than paying $400 once with a high likelihood that you get a bunch of garbage for the next 10 years.

The Photoshop license is $10/mo according to Adobe's site. $120/yr.

Also, $400k is, like, nothing in developer time (compared to what Adobe puts into their software, at least).

You have many hackers already donating their time to work on free software projects, that might be able to do more if they were compensated to do so. $400k is a lot of money to partially compensate people who are already donating much of their time, especially when you consider that you don't have to worry about paying for benefits.

A lot of people's open source work is mainly limited by competition for time -- namely, their job, spending time with family, chores/housework, other hobbies, relaxing and sleeping.

More money may help entice more time to be taken from some of those other things, but some of those are more or less fixed (job, chores), not sustainable to give up for long (sleep, relaxing) or simply not worth a small (or any) amount of money to give up (family).

Enough money and stability that someone can give up their day job -- that's a different story. But that's a very big jump, and suddenly even $400k doesn't really go that far, assuming you can even get that money. There's a reason very few open source projects have a full-time developer being compensated by the community.

Pure Fantasy.

And GNU/Linux will never take off.

As far as casual user is concerned, it didn't. Large corporations instead enjoy a very nice free ride (all the servers).

Chromebooks are already outselling Macs. A lot of (most, even?) American schools are buying Chromebooks for students to use because they're simple and work well.

ChromeOS uses the Linux kernel.

I'd add that to the list of free rides for large corporations.

Students getting Chromebooks aren't sucked into the Linux ecosystem and open source community that encourages you to improve parts of the system yourself. Instead, it leaves system maintenance (and learning experience) entirely to the administrator and really only provides Chrome as the operating system, with all implications.

Control your data locally? Why not upload it to Google Drive instead. Learn git commands? Better find that hidden Developer Mode switch, because crosh isn't going to get you very far. Get involved in improving Linux or Chromium? Nah, better edit some JavaScript in a web view with someone else's proprietary online code editor.

Google can (and will) swap Linux out of Chromium whenever they want to, because none of the interfaces and none of the community overlap. When Fuchsia gets swapped in, neither you nor the students will notice, and it won't have made a difference other than Linux having helped Google's locked-down, centrally controlled platform to succeed.

Sure, then I'll get a different laptop. Or maybe by that point free software on other devices will be far enough along that I won't need a laptop? The future is networked, inescapably. It's fine to advocate for local data, but don't expect that to mean data on a drive in a box on my desk.

If we can make a future happen where I can control software and data on a remote device, in a way that works for students, then sure. Otherwise, I wouldn't count pure access to the internet/web as actual victory for GNU/Linux. (Maybe as victory for education opportunities, productivity, etc., but tying that back to Linux is a very indirect connection.)

Either way, ChromeOS doesn't contribute to taking (co-)ownership of any of the above and encouraging the freedoms commonly associated with the use of Linux. Neither does it sustainably establish even the Linux kernel as pillar of the OS, it's just an implementation detail to be hidden and potentially replaced later. So why exactly should we look at ChromeOS as GNU/Linux having taken off for the casual user?

If you're defining Linux as the free-for-all open source community product, you're inherently defining why it will never take off for the casual user. That's not who that's for and that's not what the casual user does.

It took off thanks to the efforts of professional paid programmers.

The year of the Linux desktop is always ten years from now ;-)

You're right. I googled for "photoshop license price" and Google gave me old information from this page https://www.cnet.com/news/adobes-new-pricing-plan-ouch-users...

I pay $10/mo and that includes Lightroom, which is impressing me more every time I use it. In fact I'd probably pay the $10/mo just for Lightroom, and then I could say that Photoshop is free. :-)

If you're using Photoshop instead of GIMP, you're probably a business. If you're a business and $348 a year is a big deal to you, you probably aren't going to remain in business for long.

Hey if you can find 1000 people to pay $400, I will make it.

But it's hard to convince people to hand over their money. SaaS works because the profits are reinvested into marketing.

I think the photoshop vs gimp is a bad comparison, mostly because throwing money at gimp to make it better is a bad idea. It would be better to start from scratch.

Now if you wanted to throw $400 for a photoshop like system to start from the ground up and work across all three platforms, I think you've got a great idea. You'd avoid the cruft, you could do subscription/pay-per-use cloud based filters, you could start with 32bits per channel from the start, instead of the slow transition to GEGL...

What's wrong with GIMP? I use it every day and find it pretty good. On the MAC now it has lots of weird glitches but they seem pretty fixable...

GIMP is perfectly fine (for many use-cases), but its not what you or I think that matters.

Perhaps the best person to ask is a photoshop user who actually paid for it?

I pay for creative suite. GIMP is very far behind. There are many significant core features missing, and many tools missing that make it difficult and time consuming to use. It would be more accurate to call it 'advanced paint' than photoshop.

CS is expensive and I use a small part of its features... if GIMP covered just 25% of what photoshop could do, I would use it. But I think the only people who think GIMP is close to replacing it are those that have never used/learned photoshop.

Do you really use GIMP? Because I don't think you use it very much if you think that it is a quarter of Photoshop.

Adobe regularly copies features from the GIMP, like content-aware fill

I'm well aware of the status of GIMP. I first used it 15+ years ago. I used it for many years before buying PS. I last used it maybe 6 months ago. I like to check it out occasionally when my CS subscription is up for renewal.

I actually pay, not just for CS, but an entire Windows computer to run it. The rest of my computers run Linux, and I use open source software everywhere.

I would absolutely love to switch to GIMP, if it were at all possible.

Well, GIMP's interface is definitely different from PS. And I wouldn't argue better...

But PS is the only program I have ever had to take a class in to be productive in, as it was clearly built to be familiar to people with very clearly-formed ideas about workflow, e.g. old-school photography and design folks.

And switching to GIMP is possible methinks, you just have to learn the interface. Just like Photoshop...

GIMP does not even have a circle tool, and I don't think working around pointless limitations like that counts as "learning the interface."

The commenter above you used the software for 15+ years and specifically cited that lack of feature parity is the only criticism keeping them on CC. I have used both as well and do not follow your opinion about Photoshop, maybe because I never used those old school design tools. To me it looks like an Adobe UI.

Overall I just don't understand how you read the comments above and determined the solution is to learn the interface - honestly, the most tired and uninformed defense of GIMP there is. Especially when your primary criticism of Photoshop was... The interface. I guess the argument could be made you eventually get used to working around inexplicable deficiencies like above, but switching to GIMP is not possible if you need the features only included in Photoshop. There's not some random cosmic reason Blender and Inkscape are considered healthy competitors in their respective domains but not GIMP.

I like how you use more words to explaining (what you think) I think than I spent writing the original opinions. I don't have strong criticisms against either... Photoshop did take a while to learn -- I remember struggling to complete tasks when I first started with it because my frame of reference was Paint Shop Pro -- and GIMP also takes a while to learn.

Why do you feel so strongly against 'learning the interface'? That "tired and uninformed defense" is also... what you must do. Why is everyone so afraid of learning?? Fucking wimps. You have a problem, you google it, repeat til you know the product. SO HARD!

Because, again, learning the interface does not replace what the software cannot do. People who have both learned gimp and who need photoshop for their jobs are tired of hearing these lecture points.

I write a lot because I want to clearly explain my points on the Internet where there's no verbal nuance. Sorry if it was too much. Are you really criticizing me for thorough explanation on a discussion forum?

Edit: I should probably qualify that in the capacity I use photoshop it's kind of a moot point anyway, since I depend on illustrator just as much and the convenience of smart objects and the interoperability with stuff like libraries are more than worth the price of admission for me.

People have said that, but they can only mention the one feature. That, from what others have said, didn't work very well on GIMP, but worked well on Photoshop.

There was nothing wrong with Windows 95.

1. It took forever to get to more than 8 bits per channel. 2. ...

I could list 4 other points, but really it's just about that one. Photoshop has had 16 bits per channel since 1992 when version 2.5 was released. That's what... 25 YEARS!

Gimp is FINALLY 16bit per channel now in 2017 with their latest beta.

Why would spending money on a brand new system with no proof of success be better than a matured application with plugin support?

Because GIMP has a lot of baggage: a very particular UI, a community of active users (many of whom probably like it exactly how it is thanks), and a terrible name.

So fork it. New name, new UI.

Seashore was a try at this a decade ago.


I think the gp's point is they'd rather rewrite than fork. If you fork you lose the other devs esp as you diverge greatly. But you get all the baggage.

A lot of coders doing side projects do it for fun and to learn and that often means making their own architecture decisions (and mistakes) so they can practice that process and learn

Sure. I was responding to the suggestion that the key problems with GIMP are the UI and name. The image manipulation code is surely pretty mature by now.

The name was "terrible" right after the film "Pulp Fiction" was released. Decades later, is that still true?

That word existed well before Pulp Fiction.

From Dictionary.com:

>> Usually Disparaging and Offensive. a term used to refer to a person who limps or is lame.

>> Origin

>> An Americanism dating back to 1920-25; origin uncertain

>> Usage note

>> When describing someone who is lame, gimp is used with disparaging intent and perceived as insulting. But within the disability community, it is sometimes a term of self-reference.

Yes. "Gimp" in UK English is not a word you say in polite company, like calling your software "slut". Sure, it's fine to speak of with a close friend but difficult to even mention to people in certain circles. I don't know what's wrong with calling it "The [GNU] Imp", an imp being like a fairy/pixy (but with a sense of mischief too), like Puck. The mascot could be kept as it fits the description imp as well as it fits anything (I've no idea after c.20 years what it's supposed to be, though I recall looking it up once).

Maybe "Imp" is offensive in other languages? (Nothing other than alternate English meanings shows on Wiktionary).

This GIT thing is never going to take off because it has a lot of baggage: a very particular CLI and grammar, a community of active users (many of whom probably like it exactly how it is), and a "terrible" name.

You could ask the same question comparing your project with Photoshop.

Photoshop has a lot of engineering/product work going into making it better. Unless the price of it were totally absurd, it's always going to be a worthwhile expense if it's the most efficient piece of software to use, because software is typically much cheaper than labor. "Good enough" isn't the goal in this regard.

In this case, Photoshop will continue to dominate (unless they get lazy/give up) because they have recurring cash to reinvest.

Probably many people would be happy just using an open source version of Photoshopp 6 an they would be ok missing some of the features released in the last 10 years (like painting 3D surfaces or automatically fill a region of the picture that you delete). Sometimes companies forcing you to update your software to get your money it's not a good thing (Windows 10?). With open source there is always the chance of forking as what happened with OpenOffice and LibreOffice.

The issue of having to pay to get access to your tool it's a big issue.

For big companies having to pay for 100 workstations yearly the monetary incentive is big.

Once many people is aware that in the long term it's a better deal to put their money into software libre projects, maybe different companies could compite to get your money.

> they would be ok missing some of the features released in the last 10 years (like painting 3D surfaces or automatically fill a region of the picture that you delete)

Content aware fill was in Gimp before Photoshop. It was an open-source PhD project.

Photoshop version 2 was given away for free on the adobe site a year or so ago. It works great and does most things fine.

Note to OP.

1) You need a 3rd button for each submission that says "Already Solved". People can post links to SaaS products that already solve the exact problem the users are posting...

Example: Following 2 Submission have several products that solve the exact same problem.

- Gamify budgeting so I save more money => https://www.demandrush.com/problems/gamified-savings-app

- Community chat on my website => https://www.demandrush.com/problems/onsite-community-chat

2) You also should introduce some sort of flagging or curation, because quite a few "Problems" read like 1 off specific requests, and some descriptions are also really vague and too broad

3) Might also wanna provide Upvote (only, and no downvote, like ProductHunt and Facebook "Likes" :) button to assess popularity, because not everyone might be mentally willing to commit to monthly payments, but might really "like" the idea and think it deserves to be solved.

These are great suggestions. Thank you!

Rather than "Already Solved" I'd prefer "Potential Solution."

Just because a solution exists does not mean that it's a suitable one, or can't be improved upon.

I find Krita to be a more user-friendly program than The Gimp, though it's more painting-oriented: https://krita.org/

My question is, what is preventing GIMP from tapping into their existing userbase?

I get they are FOSS. But, they could still add in their GUI options that don't exist; then prompt donations that would go towards the features development.

For example, Image > Rotate, triggers a pop-up, "Sorry, Rotating image is not currently a feature but with your support we'd love to add it to GIMP! We expect it will cost $10,000 and we've already raised $4,235 from users like you. Contribute now..."

I can't quite tell if you're serious, but I don't think users would like that sort of bait and switch tactic. It would make GIMP feel like shareware that tries to trick you into paying money.

I'm serious but I don't use gimp so what do I know. I'm posing it more as a theoretical question of why can't the collective we be asked to pay for features we want. What I know of Gimp is that it has majority of the features of PS so why would the power users not be willing to pay for advanced features that probably only they use. The answer in my mind is that they are willing to pay but they pay adobe because gimp doesn't ask for money.

You could avoid the bait-and-switch feeling if the non-implemented features were grayed out to distinguish them from the ones that were already available.

What if I told you that the non-user friendly aspects of GIMP were by design? I belive there was a battle a decade ago to get rid of odd floating side bars.

Well yeah, there was a battle, and they added single window mode like 6 years ago. Solved the floating bars.

FWIW there is the Photography plan which is $120/yr instead-- http://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/photography.html, but point taken.

You should be using adobe xd or sketch for any app/web work, photoshop is best for photo manipulation and raster images. And yes it is needed for stock heavy websites...

The problem is that as soon as you start paying for something you demand support and OSS often completely lacks this. It even says so in license files.

GIMP is a steaming pile of shit. It's not 400k away from being a Photoshop competitor. Maybe it is less so now, but when I last used it, I said never again. If you need Photoshop to actually get work done, the $120 it costs ($120 gets you both Photoshop and Lightroom) is well worth your money. Many people charge more for one hour of contract work than Photoshop costs to buy for an entire year.

But there are very good Photoshop competitors that don't cost a lot of money. Pixelmator is $29 and a better program for many users. It's lightning fast to open and use and it requires less computing resources.

I remain deeply unconvinced that any software that requires an elite UI and interaction model will ever come out of a software libre solution. In addition, most software libre solutions are simply copies off of someone's else's ideas and hard work. It can't exist without paid software to copy first.

What are we even doing in tech and software if we are arguing that people should copy other people's work and then make it free, causing people to lose their jobs?

> GIMP is a steaming pile of shit.

Hyperbole much? GIMP is high quality software and I'm sure I'm not the only one who prefers it to Photoshop.

I second that. While I can't realistically say I prefer it over Photoshop since I've never used the later, I can certainly state that GIMP meets ALL my graphics editing requirements (which are not many, but that's besides the point).

Blender, Krita, and Inkscape are all excellent in their domains. What is this nonsense about free software can't have good UX?

> copy other people's work and then make it free, causing people to lose their jobs?

Wikipedia is a fully free project and the foundation employs ~300 people funded mostly by an annual donation drive. Free software != no jobs.

And I really don't want to get into it, but for a lot of free software advocates extorting money from people for licenses using legally granted artificial monopoly of scarcity on software you don't even have to disclose for the cost is highly unethical.

There as several affordable and easy-to-use Photoshop alternatives around these days. My personal favourites (on MacOS) are Affinity Designer and Pixelmator. I'm sure that there are others which save you the price tag of Photoshop and the learning curve of Gimp.

The freebsd foundation gets over a million dollars a year. That isn't enough to beat out Windows or even linux. (I know linux has a foundation as well and I presume has a larger budget, I just don't know the numbers off hand)

AFAIK, for most tasks GNU/Linux is already good enough. Look for example, at a successful project in Munich to replace Windows for public employees https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LiMux.

The main problem is people do not want to learn a new interface or have programs running only on Windows.

companies pay for photoshop licenses, not people, and few hundreds companies can easily put together way more than $400k - if only "cooperation" wasn't such a taboo concept.

For simple drag + drop design needs, have you tried Canva?



Kickstarter or Patreon would seem to be the kind of thing made for this problem. Maybe those that donate more get their pet issue moved up the queue.

What about you pay to get hours of work (HoW). Then people put their HoW into the issues that they want to solve. Example: Having different keymaps scheme support in Gimp would take 100 hours. So once people put enough HoW into that issue the team can start to tackle it.

Keymaps being sets of shortcut keys? GIMP used to have that with dynamic update and easily​ shared keymap files.

This 4chan thread is pretty illustrative of Gimp's UI shortcomings: http://boards.4chan.org/g/thread/60884056

Oh wow. No wonder my mom switched from trying linux back to windows after I tried to tell her "you can just use gimp for basic Photoshop stuff"

It doesn't even have a circle tool and the best "solution" seems to be ellipse select with shift -> fill -> shrink selection -> delete

What a dystopian ux nightmare.

Sorry Mom, for inadvertently inflicting gimp on you.

Er, no. The best solution is to use the circle (select) tool, convert the selection to path, then stroke the path.

I don't think it's that far from how one goes about drawing bezier paths in PS (although it is a little more convoluted).


I loved the reply where they opened Python inside GIMP and draw the circle with "import turtle".

ugh. thank you for reminding my why i never visit 4chan


> Choose a problem below to get started.

Get paid to build _my_ next project or _your_ next project?

This is clearly a two-sided platform, but the messaging seems conflated: the headline speaks to builders and the instructions speak to end customers.

It appears to me that this is a tool to identify a market / need that is not being met.

There are people who simply want a product/service, no desire for ownership. They post what they'd be will to pay for it, as a customer, and you decide if it is worth your time to build it.

Anyone? Am I understanding this correctly?

I think also it's possible that by chance you already have something that is a solve and this connects you to people looking...

That's right!

First, I think this is a great idea. People have problems they think might be solved / automated. But I agree it definitely needs some language clarity.

Businesses: have a problem you need solved with software? Post your problem!

Programmers: looking for a challenging project with identified customers? Apply to solve a problem!

Oh, so you own it, in an open source way. Is that correct?

No. You own it in a business way.

Yeah it's a little confusing, I agree. "Your next side project" out of context sounds like you get to pick the project. Might be better to explain it as: "looking for a side project to work on that's worth money?"

I suppose you could post your project idea on there, and see if it takes off. Although it's not clear who makes the decision of who "officially" gets to tackle it, there's really nothing stopping you from tackling it anyway.

The whole point of this site is to find problems that are worth solving. Not, to build yet another useless yik yak app, that nobody needs, wants or isn't willing to pay for.

Except there is no guarantee that you will build anything that anybody is willing to pay for.

I immediately thought the developer would post what they are currently working on (or intend to work on), and businesses would encourage more rapid development by funding it.

But a dev can solve that themselves: apply #lean principals and launch a marketing site cheaply and start taking advance subscriptions using one of many tools that solve that white-label Kickstarter need.

It's a market, so it clears when my next project and your next project are the same project.

This is a shallow equals, though. I can guarantee that we will differ in implementation specifics.

This sounds like a good idea on paper, but the reality is that most of the value of a project is in the implementation details. There are countless meetings for each individual feature.

I'm pretty sure the above description is how a lot of the end users (clients) are seeing this. Their contribution amounts are also insanely low (orders of magnitude lower than I would dare to value some of their projects).

I don't know how contracts or SLAs (if any) apply here, but this just seems like a good way to get yourself on the hook for getting paid (I'm guessing) a tenth of minimum wage.

Source: I do this sort of contract work for a living.

There are a lot of posts on programming forums about "I want to build something but I don't have any ideas". This is meant for those people.

> Industry-specific deep learning interviews and walkthroughs

> 1 customer paying $5/mo

Sounds about right.

I agree about that specific example, but I think a lot of people are missing the point.

> Developers own the products they build for customers, and charge a monthly fee for access.

So, what you're seeing is what a single user is expecting to pay. This is not like a contracting / free-lance website where someone hires you under contract to do some development work.

Instead, you create the SaaS or whatever, and then you have at least x number of people that are willing to pay $y/month for said service; your market is not limited to the people who use this website, too.

I think it's really just a way for people to find what projects people want, and what a select few are willing to pay for it.

So in essence the product's growth will depend on how well I built it, how much marketing I put into it and lastly how many more people will want this in the future? Nothing new there.

Yeah but at least you have some ideas laid out for you. I'm always looking for a side project, but I never know what people need.

Yeah I had to laugh about that one as well. Especially the part about ImageNet being too general. If they knew anything about deep neural networks, they would understand why these base models are important and necessary for a candidate to understand, because they can be used to form a foundation for the solution.

In many cases, you can use the model as-is (and likely pre-trained) for a use case outside of "match label to an image", with only some additional training with your specific dataset - which may only be tangentially related (or not even that!).

These models (and the surrounding tools) have become for many problems more like Lego in my opinion - which is a good thing! It means they are more approachable for everyone, rather than being something mysterious and complex. Ok - if you dig, things become complicated quickly, but for many problems, you don't have to worry about these internals.

Are there problems which don't fit neatly into using a modified ImageNet or LeNet or one of the other "standards"? Certainly. But I think a candidate who understands the standards and basics well is likely a better one than one who only understands a specific subset for a particular industry (if there even is such a thing, which I am sceptical of).

Furthermore - it would be even better when a candidate can say "you know what - your problem doesn't need a neural network of any kind, let me introduce you to <insert standard statistical machine learning method>" - because there are tons of problems out there which can still benefit, and be a robust, easy to understand, and fast (to implement, to maintain, to execute - whatever).

I love neural networks, certainly - but there's been so much hype in the news, everyone thinks they need one, which will probably lead to many investing money into worthless (or expensive) solutions, where simpler (but less "sexy") ones would have sufficed.

The candidate who could know and tell the difference would be even more ideal - being able to interview/walkthru that might be a way to get a better candidate.

Every single one of the projects that are on this site right now are super underpaid...

It's sad that even the highest bidding project is $500/mo.

I don't think that's the bid to build it. The site's premise seems to be that multiple people would commit to being customers of a new app/service - pre-validating the market, in other words.

In which you have to "provide your own accountant"

To the now 9 people who said they want this and the rest like me who didn't enter your information - do you want industry-specific (but of course company-agnostic) code examples or are you amply satisfied with audio walkthroughs, as in once or twice a week you get a free podcast, and your $11/month could pay for, e.g., transcripts of the conversations?

Some zeros are definitively missing.

I know a company which paid around 1M euros to get such data ( and some software ) for just one industry.

Do you think the management who made this decision would pay for this service in an industry-specific but company non-specific form on a subscription basis?

I think this has the potential to introduce an interesting auction model. People might want to join in, but not at the initial price point. What if everyone proposed wanting in on project stated their maximum price point, and the winning application to solve would get the price they bid at for everyone above that level. In other words

customers_offering_prices = [1,1,4,15,30,30,40,80,100,150,175,10000]

winning_applicant_price = 40

winning_applicant_revenue = [40,40,40,40,40,40].sum

The last 6 customers receive the product and they all pay 40. Essentially a modified Vickrey auction. Everyone has an incentive to bid exactly what the product is worth to them.

Edit: >Everyone has an incentive to bid exactly what the product is worth to them.

Actually not true if applicants see the bids. In my example, the the best applicant would want to bid 10000 because that would maximize revenue, but exclude everyone before that. Customers would adjust their bidding as a result. But applicants should know much they can expect to receive if they win so they can bid correctly.

Is that fair though? If something is only worth 5 to me and 40 to you, and the cost of development is 45 - neither of us along can afford the feature, but if we put aside out different contributions the total is enough to make both of us happy, or neither of are. Your model both of use get nothing when we both could be happy on a different model.

It is equitable, but it is not efficient. At least this is better than a Vickrey auction though, where you would only get paid $5.01 and spend $45 (net loss) rather than see the bids and do nothing. (Or see the bids and lose, but get paid $40 rather than $5.01)

Yes, it's fair. If you're not willing to pay what's being charged, you don't get the thing.

sounds like an approximation of a demand curve, which if opened up the developer would give them the option to choose how to segment their market quite nicely.

Wish there was a way to ask people for clarification.

> https://www.demandrush.com/problems/fantasy-scifi-subscripti...

> I'd love a Netflix-style platform, website or app that, where I'd have a selection of high quality books to choose from.

Amazon has a 'unlimited book rental' subscription model (I know not all books are in there).

"What systems has this person already looked at, and why were they rejected?"

That probably needs to be a base question.

This looks like such a cool idea, but already you see that the problems presented seem to be seriously underestimating how complicated what they're trying to do is. For example, detecting specific text in an image? 10 minutes in OpenCV. Detecting any text at all in any format in an image? I don't even know where to start. Maybe 10 minutes in OpenCV if they constrain the kind of text, otherwise ML? It feels like an unboundedly complicated problem.

It's also not clear how it will be used later. It could be used to crop/remove watermarks or copyright messages, and I wouldn't develop it if that's its purpose.

I have to assume that this is exactly what this would be for. 9gag or some similar site stealing content en masse from elsewhere and wanting to remove any sort of identifying marks.

Also my first assumption. When I read that task, being a retired professional photographer who made a living for 15 years with camera, my blood pressure rose.


Captcha solving is expensive for spammers.

I can assure you it is not. It's about $0.001 per solved captcha with 97% accuracy rate and refunds on failed ones, from the service provider I know of.

I've even written one, it's not complicated and not expensive.

It is still the same rate. 2.2 ish for new recaptcha, too.

Yeah I was able to beat that "Robot check" checkbox by Google using some fuzzy bezier curves and random mouse movements/scrolling to simulate a real user's behavior.

Unfortunately Google has some other metrics to detect bots (such as no cookies showing they've seen you before, etc), so it wasn't 100% reliable.

you don't need 100% reliability, that's the good side :)

Can confirm, it was very cheap 5+ years ago when I was in the business of needing them solved en masse. I doubt it's gotten more expensive.

are you sure? What's your source?

Google's Vision API extracts text in any language or format from images: https://cloud.google.com/vision/

There are a bunch of SaaS opportunities like this that could be made just creating wrappers for various cloud apis and selling to people who don't know they exist.

Yep, this. Basically leveraging the knowledge difference between developers on the edge of what's available with Cloud ML API services, versus people with business problems that are not aware of same. Throw in some customization and nice marketing / design for niche use cases, and you've maybe got a business.

I can't speak for the site, but I think the idea is that you sort of get this continuous funding to keep working on and improving your solution. (Makes it kind of different from bug-bounty type approaches, which I like.)

I think it'd be nice to gauge the interest of such a project. There is one person pledging right now, but if more do and the demand clearly seems to exist - maybe it's worth investing in.

there is a pretty substantial gap between '$75 for at least one month' and 'something that will make enough before someone else does it too to make it worth the time'

There is already an API available to do this today. The Microsoft Cognitive Services computer vision API detects words, phrases, and lines and included bounding box information indicating where the text was found. See https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/cognitive-service....

OCR excels at picking out digitally generated text, but it's not so great at "real world" text unless you help it by zooming in.

For example, it can't tell there's text in this clear image of a VIN:


But I bet if you took a closer picture (like you would if you were using an AR app) it'd work

In terms of ML you could probably load a pre-trained image classification convolutional model and fine-tune it a bit and get quite a reliable if not superbly exact "here is some text" classifier without too much effort. Perhaps not 10 minutes, but maybe a weekend to allow for training.

E.g [1] trained for 20 * 10^5 iterations at 2.1 seconds per image, coming out to 48 days (!) in total. Maybe the 2.1 seconds also include the post-processing to get bounding boxes, though. Anyway, you need lots of training time.

[1] https://arxiv.org/abs/1604.04018 "Multi-Oriented Text Detection with Fully Convolutional Networks"

Looks like they only used a single GPU for training though - you could trivially get that time down a lot if you used one of the cloud ML platforms (and were prepared to pay)

Amazon Rekognition can almost do it. It doesn't seem to detect text, specifically, but it'd be able to detect whether or not a bird is in the image, or similar.

That's not what the project is asking for, but it's very close to being a very doable hobby project.

The problem is what birds look like is very well defined compared to text. As in, there are many types of birds, but each type has a "consistent image" but there are infinite variations of text

Fair enough. You could certainly still do it with Mechanical Turk then, although the delay in response might not meet the requester's unstated requirements.

Relevant XKCD: https://xkcd.com/1425

Love it! I'd specifically highlighted this concept in the thread for Oppslist (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14469317): maybe there's an opportunity here to handle both sides of the market, both soliciting ideas and driving work to the ideas?

Still not sure how you handle avoiding imposters: for things like the accounting solution that's on the top of the site I think there is huge potential for abuse in either direction (either devs phishing for data or companies refusing to pay for solutions). Good luck!

Does anything like this exist for putting bounties on small scripts / extensions?

I just posted these questions yesterday, in the hope of finding solutions to a couple common annoyances I have with Google search:



I don't want the overhead of "hiring a freelancer" to do the work. But I'd definitely pay a bounty if someone came in with the answer / script / extension / app that solved the problem.

I'm curious: In your mind, what is the difference between 'hiring a freelancer' and 'paying a bounty to someone who comes with the answer'?

I'd suggest to you odesk.com, but that is a site for hiring freelancers. Although I've seen it used many times for 'here's what I want, deliver it and the money is yours' rather than a .. 'work for me at X/hr and I'll direct you' kind of thing.

- I don't want to own the resulting code. Open Source delivery, or a link to someone else's extension that accomplishes the goal.

- Payment on the order of $10 for some simple script, not $300+. They can make up the difference via multiple bounties, selling to multiple people, etc.

- Public question that can be found by others with the same problem (who can upvote or add to the bounty), as well as people who are able to deliver the solution. Stack Exchange, but with payment.

- I don't want anything to do with reading resumes, selecting the worker, scheduling, payments, etc. This is what I think of when I hear "freelance".

I understand what you're getting at, but the price is an issue.

I do something similar: I write very small programs for embedded systems: simple timers, sequencers, alarms, etc. for around $100. In some cases, we're talking 15 minutes of work, tops.

If I could charge just $30 and instead sell it to multiple people, I would, but the odds of that happening are so slim, I have to have a $100 minimum. The problem is that even for well-defined problems, what people need tends to be so different that the best you can do is have a common framework for similar problems. The code itself is rarely even close to identical

I definitely understand the price issue. It might not be a lucrative or attractive business for existing freelancers.

BUT... people already do this stuff for free. Create free Chrome Extensions to make some tweak on a website. Spend hours crafting a script for an answer on Stack Overflow, only to get fake internet points.

I asked the questions above on SuperUser, a website that theoretically does exactly what I'm asking. Someone will probably eventually post a solution, someday. It just takes too long. The site doesn't get enough traffic because no one is getting paid to do the work.

The thing is, the motivation is different when it's fake internet points than when it's actual money. The relationship between the people is different, too. The way it works now, the relationship is a cordial, friendly, familiar relationship (even though the people don't actually know each other in many cases). Throw money into the deal, even the paltry $10, and now it becomes a business relationship, with all that entails.

Maybe. I think if a site like GitHub or Stack Overflow added bounties they'd do it in a way that kept the spectrum more on the relationship side, rather than the employee/employer. And the bounty is an extra perk.

Stackoverflow does have a bounty system . you can only pay with your fake points though , allowing ppl to pay with real cash is ripe for abuse.Their points economy is very carefully built, just like any successful in game economy, hyperinflation is major problem is a problem all of them have to worry about.

...and that's exactly what prompted me to do it. I would hang out on hardware sites, offering free help, fixing people's firmware, doing simple hardware design and writing short programs for the fun of it.

Then I realized I could do the same thing and get paid. It's just a matter of shifting the context. You've no doubt seen any number of sites where people post sample code to help someone, but disappear if it doesn't work, or there's a minor detail left off, etc.

The only change I made is that by paying me, I guarantee you it will work and I'll be around for future changes, extension, etc. A surprising number of people are willing to pay for the assurance over just getting free help.

> I don't want anything to do with reading resumes, selecting the worker, scheduling, payments, etc.

at the end of the day you need to validate that the person is going to be able to write this code and that you are going to follow through with payment. Either way it opens up one party to risk. A developer risks putting in the work without payment and the financial backer risks non completion after they pay. For instance, I wouldn't mind writing that extension for you for a hundred or so but I also wouldn't want to do the work before getting paid.

Preauthorize the card or use whatever strategies that Kickstarter uses. Wouldn't be a problem for $10 payments in the same way it would be for freelance contracts.

Version 2.0 would hook payment up to a successful pass of the test hook!

Personally, I went through a similar scenario wanting little small scripts, feature requests or tutorials without having to fund the whole thing myself.

What I thought was that those request/tutorials could potentially be popular and others might be willing to even pay a little bit for it and once the sum is enough, someone would do it and get that pot of money.

For this reason, I made this little site and put some of my "nice to have" needs on there, but unfortunately, not many people go to the site.

Don't really want to promote it, but you could check it out here https://hackermake.com/

Not to be "that guy," but...

unfortunately, not many people go to the site


Don't really want to promote it

are probably related!!!

Google Search's keyboard shortcuts are so bad. I hope they learn from DuckDuckGo's. At least give users the option to navigate the search results with 'j' & 'k' like Gmail.

j and k are from vi where those were the arrow keys. h(left)j(down)k(up)l(right) are used in a lot of apps for the reason that a lot of programmers use vi keybindings.

Replying to my own comment:

Just independently saw a link to Bounty Source today. This appears to be very similar to what I'm asking for, although more designed around adding bounties to GitHub issues for features/bugs on existing projects.


"Subscribe to news without paying $30/month per website"

I don't think there is a legal way of actually doing this.

Yeah, I've personally been wanting something like that as well, but I wouldn't want to implement it. It would be something like 10% actually writing the system and 90% dealing with news outlets to actually get them on board.

There is, if you are willing to restrict yourself to monthly/weeklies: Texture app is $14.99 and includes a dozen news magazines (and a couple hundred other magazines.)

Of course, to set up a new service like this with different sources is going to be a huge up-front cost in negotiating and building integration with content owners, capital to subsidize costs until your user base is big enough that you can negotiate low per-user licensing based on the volume you bring, etc. It's not a realistic side project.

https://launch.blendle.com/ kind of gets there; though it's based on microtransactions per article instead of an overall subscription fee.

Well, a "Spotify for news" could be made. I know of several attempts.

https://blendle.com/ seems to be the most promising one from what I've seen

This looks very, very cool. Thanks for posting.

Had to think of this right away.

Actually that has kinda been solved already by http://blendle.com

Yeah, that one isn't a programming task at all. It's a business problem, and not one that's likely to be solved anytime soon.

It happens any time the same class of content producers expect to get paid for their content. It gets channeled through brokers, who inevitably end up with the power. People find it annoying to pay 10 people $10 every month; they just want to pay the Content Person $100/mo instead.

In TV land, this is called "cable". Many people apparently do not realize they have re-invented this for websites.

We need a platform that facilitates payments easily and transparently _without_ seeking to bloat itself to extremes. Then content authors and content consumers can still interact more-or-less directly and we won't have the problems that are typical with big content brokers.

Yup, kinda like the massive undertaking Steve Jobs did to make iTunes a reality (getting the content from competing Music Corps.). An 'iNews' seems as much of a Herculean job of convincing competing news outlet to lay out their content piecemeal alongside their competitors content... tough sell!

But I do like the idea and would also gladly pay for it!

Ironically, Apple has something along the lines of what you're describing. It's just not available outside of iOS.


Google has something along these lines that not many folks seem to know about:

https://play.google.com/store/newsstand and https://newsstand.google.com/

Also a task of finding what already exists.

Seems like a "Classpass-for-journalism" model to me. It's getting the content providers to agree that's the hard part.

I've been sitting on a paywall-killer browser extension I wrote for a while... concerned about a potential CFAA violation from a big org, especially if I were to charge for it.

Make the extension generic and give away "rules" separately for specific sites. For instance, if it's just a "referer" header injector, just release it as that. And no, unless it's novel, don't try and charge for it.

I made an extension that does just that: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/xray/dgkdfehohjdbm...

I mean, you are essentially charging others for access to something that's not yours to provide access for (paywalled news).

I think the word you were looking for was "Stealing".

Oof, mea culpa - let me be clear, I would not charge for a circumvention tool, on moral /and/ legal grounds. That sentence was intended to allude to the original post's entry calling for "a more cost effective way to never see a news paywall again."

"Copyright 2017 DemandRush" - I'm always surprised when I see these types of statements on US based websites.

In Europe, this would make no sense. A website is not a legal entity, so it can not be a copyright holder.

Does the statement make more sense in the US, or is it just a common misconception among people who build websites?

The terms page says "Welcome to DemandRush, a website and online service of Grafly, Inc". So I would expect the real copyright holder is Grafly Inc?

IANAL etc. but I do think it's a common misunderstanding / wishful thinking in the US (where I'm from). In the US you can just "be a company" if you want (with no liability protection), that's between you and the tax man... but if you want to give the operation a name other than your own, you have to register that name (they call it "DBA" for "Doing Business As")[0].

But at least as far back as the early 90's it's been common to put "(c) MyCoolDomainName.com" on a web site, and I'm pretty sure most people mean "copyright ME until/unless I get around to making a business out of this, and if I do then copyright whatever business ends up owning the domain name." And I would assume, though again IANAL, that's not quite what it really means.

Unlike, say, Germany, the US has no requirement for anything like an "Impressum" for a web site. Nor could it, really, due to the constitution. (But I Am also Not A Supreme Court Justice so my interpretation of the constitution may be less sticky than others'.)

[0]: https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/choose-register-your-b...

Copyright is an automatic right however, so AFAICT it makes no difference legally if you claim it or not or under what moniker. At best it serves as a reminder to the reader.

I would strongly suggest that there be an option to list existing solutions. A sustainable model means identifying real needs, not duplicating products that people are merely ignorant of.

excellent suggestion. OP, please include this feature.

Great idea.

I find it a little funny how unrealistic people can be when evaluating the cost of their problem. Take this one for example: "We have hundreds of images uploaded to our app each day. The issue is some of these images have text that we want cropped out." -- willing to pay? $75/month. Baller!

Chances are this is a problem for a data-mining / ai-training platform that wants to create a better image set. They are charging clients tens of thousands of dollars, and yet willing to pay $100/month to improve the data. lol

On the other hand, it can also go the other way. Non-technical customers don't actually care how hard something is to build, as long as it solves their problem. So it often surprises engineers how a 1 day script can make lots of money for them.

Freelancers often make the same mistake--charging by what it costs to them, plus a little bit more. You should charge how much value it brings to the customer, not how much it costs you to make. Easy to say, hard to do.

Yeah like replace Quicken for $500 a month, maybe if I was living in a place with no infrastructure I could pull that but then I would never see the site or the post.

My guess was actually that this would be for some sort of image site, to crop attribution information out of images. :/

Sounds like a project for Mechanical Turk.

It's just 1's and 0's, how hard can it be?

For reference, the site CoFundOS.org (which is now something TOTALLY unrelated) used to be a bounty service just like this where people all added their pledge to fund the start of some new project if someone came along and accepted the task. Not sure if there's any reference available anymore. They focused on Open Source, whereas DemandRush seems to focus on services, many of which could qualify as SaaSS even, see https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/who-does-that-server-really-s...

Anyway, the big issues here are those all bounty-type sites face (which seems, for some reason, to be the thing everyone keeps trying over and over and keeps thinking is a new idea). See for reference, https://wiki.snowdrift.coop/market-research/history/software...

Too late to edit, but it might be worth adding that while CoFundOS got a good handful of projects listed and handfuls of people pledging, my memory is that none of the projects ever amounted to anything.

There's a lot of reasons why this sort of approach may seem promising but never really take off. It's also possible (though I'm skeptical) that it just takes a certain amount of design, promotion, and right-place-right-time…

I love the idea and initiative!

My only concern is that this is a little "race to bottom"; most if not all the entries are along the lines of "I already have X but I'm paying too much!"

I guess this is great for solo entrepeneur/developers, hell, if I know for certain I had 100 people waiting to pay me $50/m for X, I would definately consider building it :)

So would everyone else on the site. Thus the problem.

Right, once you build X for group of folks, then the next submission will be "I need a cheaper version of X" -- where X is _your_ app! :D

A few of these can be solved with a comment.

"Need to see revision history for View-Only Google Docs" - Don't use a shared Google Doc as the agent of record. Email it to each other as an agreed contract.

"Can't find good replacement for expensive accounting/bookkeeper service" Have you tried literally anything else? You're paying $500/month for this solution, have considered just getting an accountant and emailing him spreadsheets?

"Monthly subscription for science fiction and fantasy books" "Subscribe to news without paying $30/month per website" - Existing solutions already exist and require a supply chain and distribution rights negotiation more than they do a developer to slap it into a webapp.

"Email it to each other as an agreed contract." - But this makes it super hard to find the particular version and to be on the same page. This really leads to multiple versions of the same document and thus it is easy to lose work and information; common to work on an outdated version; difficult to know who did what and when; hard to track comments and versions.

Just signed up with our solution on demandrush: Tuiqo, simple document versioning - https://tuiqo.com. We just graduated from YC Startup School Founders track.

actually they still could use google docs, as it keeps revision history for every document automatically.

I actually need the first item listed there (InDinero replacement), but I signed up and am sort of confused?

I would very likely pay for this feature, but I'm not willing to commit to much unless it works. I would pay a nominal amount to "kickstart" it I guess, and have the option to sign up later.

But it's a fairly nasty problem - porting your books a proprietary platform to QuickBooks seems full of traps.

Just signed up to "solve this problem", since we've been building ~the exact thing that post describes: an accounting service built on top of QuickBooks Online, with really robust integrations for services startups use (e.g. Gusto, Stripe, Expensify, etc.)

Like inDinero or some of the other options out there, we're a service that takes care of your books for you, so you don't need to think about them. But with a few key differences:

* We're built on QuickBooks Online, so you're not locked into a system that no one else knows how to use. (It's still a proprietary system, but it's the industry standard.)

* We take a hybrid humans + software approach. Most of the work of keeping the books updated is tedious data entry, and when humans do the work (no matter how talented they are), it's super-error-prone and frustrating. Our attitude is: computers should do the tedious repetitive work, and our talented team of pros should focus on (a) doing the tricky stuff, (b) understanding the specifics of your business, and (c) answering any questions you have.

* We're startup people, so we've had these problems ourselves. This is our third startup — our previous companies were Ksplice (acq. by Oracle) and Zulip (acq. by Dropbox), so we're definitely not strangers to building software.

(Incidentally, we've done a bunch of migrations from inDinero before.)

Basically, our thesis is: humans + software each doing what they do best. (Or, if you like, we're building an Iron Man suit for our people to do your books with higher quality.)

We're in private beta today and have been doing the books for a bunch of tech companies (all the way from newly incorporated to well on their way to their Series B). We're actively taking on a steady stream of new customers, so if you're interested, send me a note: waseem@zapgram.com

I just signed up to 'solve this problem' as it's something I'm currently working on.

Is there a particular reason why you're looking for an InDinero replacement?

In short, service quality has gone down. I feel like for the amount I'm paying, I could get a lot more value somewhere else. The problem is that it's very expensive and risky to switch accounting packages.

When we started with them, we paid about $400, and they did payroll, accounting, and taxes, plus Stripe integration for a DE C corp. We had a monthly meeting with a bookkeeper. We'd get responses to all requests within a day or two.

Now, we pay 3x that (our revenue has grown) they've eliminated payroll, they've outsourced our bookkeeping to somewhere else, and often don't respond for many days. They delay filing taxes until Sept always. I don't really feel like they understand our business particularly well.

They've quoted me nearly double to switch to accrual accounting, and I suspect it's even more expensive than that. I can't really use it for management purposes or cashflow forecasting, which are my two biggest pain points.

I'd rather be on Xero or QB which are industry standard. I could then work with experts who could help solve specific problems (accrual accounting, revenue recognition, etc) on an industry standard platform.

I'm not interested in moving to another bookkeeping software however, unless it's QB or Xero.

This is such a great idea. And you nailed the marketing and message.

It's like a democratized efficient tender process driven by the market. Brilliant and beautiful! I really feel you shall be able to capture a lot of value and create alot of value from this. Well done!

This looks like an idea/market validator posing as a job listing market. Brilliant.

This reminds me of what assembly was doing where people would list startup / app ideas then teams would form and build the idea and I think a few businesses came out of that.

Shame that they had to shut down.

Super cool idea, but there's a ton of potential for misunderstanding. Example:

User: "I want {A}."

Winning developer: builds {a}

User: "This is useless to me. I wanted {A}, not {a}"

Developer: "But you never said you were case-sensitive!"

It can easily go the other way, with the user saying "Well i said {a}, but I meant {A}. {a} is useless to me." Who pays when nobody is clearly in the wrong about some ambiguity? The FAQ hints at an "initial 3 month subscription." Am I missing more info on the process?

First I absolutely love the idea, and even more the execution, of this site.

Several questions about where could this go post 1-day HN buzz:

1. How are existing solutions being presented to the ignorant "wannabuy"?

2. How is this list sorted?

3. How are duplicates managed?

4. Where is the "discussion" required to even minimally spec the ideas and bring them to a buildable form?

>Monthly subscription for science fiction and fantasy books

Isn't that the public library?

I'd suggest magazines, such as Analog, Asimov's, or Fantasy & Science Fiction. Each issue will give a mix of short stories, novelettes, and novellas, and they also serialize a novel or two a year. Mix of newer and established authors.

I suppose technically Analog and Asimov's no longer meet the monthly requirement, because they recently switched to 6 issues per year, but each issue is now double-sized so it is the same amount of material as they published before the switch. (That wasn't actually quite monthly either. It was 10 issues a year, with two of them double-sized).

Subscribing to two of these magazines would be under the $8 month people said they would pay (that's for the ebook edition...paper I think is a little more).

I think that the curation aspect of it is also a big thing. Think of this as a "loot crate" for but for books.

I think the service should also have _two_ services. One is for great sci-fi fantasy books of all time-- obviously that's going to be cheaper. The more expensive service would be for books that have come out in the last 2 years.

For myself, I often look at the winner & nominees for the Hugo and the Nebula for the last two years: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Award_for_Best_Novel#Winn... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebula_Award_for_Best_Novel#Wi...

Keep in mind that media mail is like, $2.60? If I was making this service, I would want to ship 3 books quarterly, rather than 1 book monthly.

There ought to be economies of scale by buying hundreds of books from a publisher. What do book retailers pay for books anyway? One benefit is that you also won't be returning books, like brick-and-mortar bookstores do.

An additional awesome feature would be if it connected to your GoodReads account and never sent you duplicates.

> I think that the curation aspect of it is also a big thing.

The librarians at my public library are great at making suggestions. They also have themed book displays that they rotate every week (eg. physical fitness one week, high fantasy another etc.)

I agree curation is value-add. A good librarian is probably as good as it gets.

Also, the internets are filled with curated lists. Book lists have come up here on HN a number of times [1][2][3], even Sci-fi specific[4].

But I get it, push button services are very appealing, and can save a lot of time. Just click subscribe and get a constant supply of books you'll love at a reasonable price. It's a business model that can work surprising well[5].

1 - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13117521

2 - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11229312

3 - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12556160

4 - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9056319

5 - https://www.dollarshaveclub.com/

In that case, something that works with your local public library's catalog might be just the thing (and indeed something I've wanted for a while). You set up a reading list and it orders/puts on hold whatever books or movies you want one after another. You return one, the next one is ready to go. If the library doesn't have it, it will request an Inter-Library Loan for you.

Unfortunately my local public library doesn't expose any sort of API to allow this sort of thing. Only way to do it seems to be by writing a screen scraper.

I think the path to take would be to add this feature into the library CMS systems out there. Sell it to libraries as an add-on plugin as a way to drive engagement with the library.

The problem with that is there is a large variety of CMSes out there. It may not be cost-effective to write plugins for every CMS. Some of them may not not have documented plugin APIs or may not have the ability to have plugins at all. Libraries may not necessarily have the budget to buy plugins or, depending on their CMS licensing agreement, might not be allowed to install 3rd party plugins.

It might still be a cool little system to build though. I might try pitching it as a new (volunteer) project to my local library and see what they say.

That's an interesting idea. Some quick googling and I found there seem to be a number of CMS systems for libraries, some open source, some vendor/closed. That got me thinking that another angle on this would be to write the curator part (e.g. some ML model trained on reader preferences), and provide that as a SaaS to end-users. But I see that something similar already exists[1]... of course.

1 - http://www.whatshouldireadnext.com/

Came here for this comment. Agree 100%. Also to suggest that DemandRush allow people to comment on projects (maybe moderated by the original poster) so that they can say stuff like this.

Or, http://www.booklender.com for those who want delivery, a wider selection than many public libraries, etc.

Or Audible if your public lib doesn't have an inflow of new audio books.

Interesting concept, if the balance can get figured out right (making sure customers or devs aren't getting screwed).

There should also be a discussion section.

For example, I see: >Can't find good replacement for expensive accounting/bookkeeper service

I'd love to recommend Bench.co (use it and love it) and avoid someone wasting their time. It's much more affordable than 500/mo.

I do love the concept though. @OP: I'll share this with the https://turtle.ai/ developer community and see if there is any interest.

These customers/RFPs are way below market rate for software development. Given the reality of working with clients, these proposals are likely to result in developers taking a bath.

This isn't developing a product and giving it to a client. This is for developers to see clients saying "I would pay $X/mo for Y," developers to build it and then be able to charge those clients for it.

Anyone who's pre-launched a SaaS knows you're lucky to get 50% of people who said they would buy to actually buy. People lie all the time. But this is a good gauge. Think an app that does Y is worth $50/mo but there's a dozen people saying they'll pay $100/mo for it? Great! A dozen people saying they'll pay $10/mo for it? Not so great.

> Identify location of text in an image ...for... $75

This is what my doctor charges for a flu vaccination.

I guess I've chosen the wrong profession.

You don't pay your doctor $75 for sticking a needle in your arm, you pay him for his knowledge not to stick the needle in the wrong place.

Looks like we've got full circle considering this same logic was applied to devs for ages.

Except that for doctors the circle somehow doesn't close upon itself.

Youtube is full of videos showing how to inject oneself.

Writing a text-detection script can be done perhaps with some help from Google/Stackoverflow, but requires still some intellectual effort depending on requirements.

And when you screw up and stick it in the wrong place?

Just have them put "LolToad69 Said It Would Work" on your tombstone.

No way man.

If you solved that problem you would be rich.

This analogy is driving me crazy, heh, but I can't resist:

Flu shots are generally intramuscular, you literally just jab it into your bicep. A layperson can do it with high probabilities of success just by reading the instructions on the box.

Indeed, pharmacists administer these all over the US.

Please don't jab a needle into your bicep. That sounds painful and unnecessary.

Tricep is the way to go here.

> We have hundreds of images uploaded to our app each day. The issue is some of these images have text that we want cropped out.

So... they want to chop out watermarks?

1. You should just start getting them at a pharmacy then, they're usually more like $20.

2. This is why flu vaccine is not inexpensive: First, the CDC and WHO need to identify possible strains of flu that will be prevalent during the next flu season. Then flu vaccine has to be created by incubation (in an egg I believe), then killed, then transferred to a sterile container in suspension, this must be done for each strain of flu you are vaccinated against. The container must be transferred within certain temperature and time boundaries. This container must then be moved into a sterile syringe, which is inserted under your skin, preferably by someone who knows what they're doing.

The only reason that the vaccine is so inexpensive is that the CDC and WHO receive outside funding, and the process takes place on a massive scale.

75$ is too expensive for something that costs 0$.

Also most developers in SV are paid more than physicians (internists/family-medicine) who prescribe flu-shots.

That's $75/mo. Gotta think like a SaaS ;)

It really depends on the text and the images.

It is likely a lot more difficult than they are making it out to be. If it were that easy, why wouldn't they do it themselves? If they just don't have any technical employees able to do it, then they probably don't know enough to outline what they really want with a technical person, anyway.

Relevant XKCD: https://xkcd.com/1425/ Relevant comic: http://johngushue.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83451f25369e20120a5138...

I guess I get it (maybe ?):

There are already many, many marketplaces for tech development of all shapes and forms.

For this one I guess it's:

Hey, people who want some tech developed: If you can formulate your problem as an interesting side project you will (1) be likely to find someone actually willing & able to do it cheaply; (2) you are likely to be able to aggregate your buying power with another buyer; (3) you pay a subscription so it isn't a large up-front cost.


Hey, tech developers who like to do interesting side-projects: Here's a bunch of interesting side projects that you might have done them anyway, except here you will (might) get paid to do them!

One way to look at it is in comparison to kickstarter. In kickstarter, a producer runs the campaign by championing an idea and setting a funding model and the consumer can choose to buy in by providing dollars. Here, the consumer champions the idea and sets the price, the funding model is a subscription, and producers can choose to buy in by providing work... and also more consumers can buy in by subscribing with dollars.

I guess for this market to work, it has be be more efficient at satisfying the demand for X-aaS development than existing markets, though I don't know how it might be.

For "Automated time tracking from Google Apps/Slack":

Toggl is a great service, works in the web or as a desktop app, and has slack integration: https://toggl.com/slack-time-tracking

I like the idea, but I find the site a bit confusing. What is a "pre-subscription"? Are people paying their suggested monthly fee up front? It says that the site makes money from the first three months, so when you sign up are you already subscribing to a nonexistent service?

And as for "solving", what if they fail? Is it no commitment? Is any of the funding up front, or is it just built on the promise of possible future subscriptions?

I think the idea could work, but directing the balance between both sides is going to be the problem, a lot of the "buyers" are wanting to pay an amount that will work at scale (like $5/mo) but not really if someone is trying to bootstrap a solution.

Same idea than Opps List with a different perspective: https://www.oppslist.com/

The idea is good but it's difficult to use because you can't reach the people.

Isn't this exactly how Freelancer/odesk/whatever work now?

My impression was that existing services focus on freelancers advertising their own services.

This is more along the lines of Nugget or OppsList in website form, where folks with product ideas request freelance work to bring those ideas into existence.

Good question. The big difference is you own the products you build here, and charge a monthly fee for access (for up to X customers). It's a bit like kickstarting a SaaS business.

Versus with contracting/freelancing, you get paid 1x and the product is owned by the customer you work for.

But who makes all of the minute feature decisions? E.g. one of the projects wants a bookkeeping service. That's a pretty vague description. Especially if they want to tie it into their other systems.

If I get final say in what goes in, then it seems very likely they wouldn't be on board with this (especially not after going through a project). If they get final say, then this is just contract work.

The other issue is liability. In the bookkeeping example again, who is liable in case of a data breach? If there is payroll info or client info in said service, who is responsible for compliance? They couldn't pay me $500,000 a month to get me to take on that kind of responsibility, much less $500.

I know I'm harping on one example, but a lot of projects would have similar issues come up.

I guess my point is that sometimes I don't actually want ownership of a project like that.

> you get paid 1x

That really depends on a lot of factors. From what I've seen on the site, it's more like the other way around is true.

Another question for you: who determines when a project is done or that it has met the requirements for MVP?

For example, say I pick up one of the projects and the subscriber picks me to work on it. Okay, great. I go and work on it and consider it done. As it turns out, there was a lot of miscommunication and they wanted something different.

Do I still get paid? It seems like either way, there is a huge avenue for somebody to get screwed.

This is a great start! There is a huge demand for more opportunities like this. Entrepreneurs and businesses are so tired of building yet another useless app, out of sheer lack of problems to solve. But, with a site like this, you can find problems that are actually problems. The site just needs more customers and more problems.

It's interesting how there are more comments and votes here in HN post than the projects posted and voted on the app.

Good point. Right now we're making sure only vetted projects go up - eg we chat with each person to confirm it's real problem and they'd pay.

Interesting. I think it would be good to have just 'upvotes' so you can tell general interest with the idea. Its always good to know for creators whether there is interest from other users.

The title is misleading. In none of the listed projects do you "get paid". I often do "glue things together with APIs" types of projects (you could argue that all software is basically that) using modern cloud services which make it relatively easy. But doing anything takes several days and therefore costs a couple thousand dollars - the activation energy for a project. I'll always do the projects where a client is willing to pay that activation energy before doing something which is "speculative".

Having said that, I think the idea of doing something like "Upwork" but with client aggregation and monthly pricing is a great idea - but still speculative, so a great idea for somebody else to pursue.

A few of these can be solved other ways or need more deets. The Google doc one for instance really just should go to am esigner. Or if this is a more light weight internal thing then Google docs needs mutable git like tags.

To me this is almost begging for a s/o style comment section.

For the top two requests, Bench exists for book keeping and Blendle for news

So this is similar to crowdfunding except that we can ask what we want to be built ?

What I'm willing to pay for but cant easily develop myself is to add features from OSX to linux. Not too many, I'd start with:

- a graphical browser like Finder where I could color tag files.

- UI/UX: do something about easier configuration of the trackpad. Even when I installed linux on Macbook the trackpad does not work the same or does not have all the tapping actions instead of clicking. I cant even drag files/links to file-browser-sidebar/dock or such things.

>> Identify location of text in image. We have hundreds of images uploaded to our app each day. The issue is some of these images have text that we want cropped out.

There you go [1] originally from [2]

[1] https://github.com/AKSHAYUBHAT/CTPN/blob/master/demo.ipynb

[2] https://github.com/tianzhi0549/CTPN

Nice idea. A bit simplistic in its current form, though.

One thing that would be really nice would be some kind of discussion thread for each topic. What does the customer really need? If there are ten interested customers, do they want the same thing? Which alternatives were considered? Which tradeoffs would be acceptable?

Also, IMHO, it would be cool if the site could handle the mundane details of hosting and billing. But I guess that there are probably other sites that do that kind of thing already?

Just not enough money...

Adblocker for podcasts - HEARTLESS

In this specific case, they might be "attacking" the wrong side of the equation. For example, KQED offers a pledge-free stream for donors, because they know the subscriber and are the origin of the content (or at least a gateway to it, for upstream NPR content). I think it would be absolutely magical if I could get an ad-free feed from the podcasts I donate to already.

That said, there is no way that ads in podcasts inflict $15/mo worth of suffering upon me. The "skip ahead 30 seconds" button is absolutely perfect for not hearing yet another Squarespace ad

Cool seed for a community! Seems to lack a place for discussion about submitted ideas, so I'll follow others' lead and discuss here.

The "industry specific deep learning" project is similar to something I'm working on right now. Though I'm not planning to charge for it.

To any folks here interested in this: Are you looking for a tool to get started in ML or for a resource to apply existing ML knowledge to a specific (possibly new) domain?

Damn, this was literally a project I started working on.

Although, I had a slightly different way of going about it and different way to charge, I love the idea!

Gratz to OP. I'll definitely be submitting, and maybe I'll still come out with mine at some point.

Can you switch it up to a specific niche? For example "Get paid to build your next video game"

Surprisingly there's one in here that I'm already starting to work on. That at least confirms to me that I'm not THE sole person who wants this service. Applied. I'm interested to see how this process works.

Can only one person "apply" to solve it?

I'm thinking of the kickstarter problem: vaporware.

If, over 6 months, 5 people apply to solve a problem, who gets the subscribers?

The first one, I hope not.

Each subscriber chooses?

P.s. Very interesting idea. Something in this direction will be useful.

From the FAQ:

> Q: I submitted a problem - what happens next?

> A: Over the next 14 days, developers will be able to apply to solve your problem. You'll get a list of applications and a recommendation of who to choose.

So, I guess the answer is "subscriber chooses, and if there are multiple subscribers, they (or the one that paid the most) make(s) an agreement."

shouldn't it be " Get paid to build someone else's project"?

This is pretty cool! I found myself reading through all of the entries I can see and even cook up some solutions on the spot. However, how do you make a profit off of it? Do you take a cut of the end cost?

Blocked by my work's filter under the category "malware".

Same, tells me it's the security certificate.

Your connection is not private. NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID

I think you might need to vet some of those customers for ethics. Some of the things being asked for are inherently illegal.

On the other hand, it seems there is a ton of money to be made on the site!

This is a great idea. I'm curious to see how it evolves.

Same here!

Just thinking, but it could be cool to add a comment feature, in order to discuss publicly about implementation details, constraints and quick solutions.

On the way!

Awesome !

The site is down right now for me. Is this like Patreon but for open source projects? If so, I would love that.

It's reverse patreon.

Awesome. Over $1k MRR of opportunities up in last few hours. Looking forward to see these products built!

The amount of dev needed to get that $1k MRR is probably in the hundreds of thousands if not millions. I wouldn't get too excited yet.

You're dangling 100 dollars for problems that is solved could be million dollar solutions. Come on.

Service that allows me to get paid for my next side project [451+ customers, each paying $XX per month]

What about intellectual property? Can the kind sponsors of a side project get to claim the result?

No - the developer/startup that builds each project owns the product they build. Good question.

The devil is in the details. The items are so open ended that they could just about anything...

This is a really good idea! You need to force ppl to upload some graphics, though.

I would be curious what the business plan for this site looked like.

Feature request: RSS feed, so I can see when new projects are added

This wants to send me email, which I then have to aggregate myself whenever I want to look at that type of information. An RSS feed would be much more beneficial since I could subscribe to it, let the aggregator take care of it and when I want to look at that type of data I'll see a global view of those feeds over time.

Not a exactly a solution... you can use iftt or zapier kind of services to easily convert the email to rss

Love the idea, especially for quick and interesting side projects.

You missed a great chance by not putting a newsletter onto it.

clearly not prominently enough placed.

I can't access the site.


Very cool! Will be watching this to see how it evolves.

why is there no search feature on this site? perhaps they should start a bounty for that first before submitting to HN .. smh

not enough problems yet for search. hopefully soon!

Awesome. Great idea, nice execution.

How is this different from Upwork?

Submitted projects, if developed, could be, potentially, for many customers. Also, the developers is who owns the software.

It's not exclusive; it's just a way for people to express what services they wish existed.

I wish these weren't all subscription-based, because this could work for the exact thing I want:

I will pay $100 - $500 for an Arq Backup[1] clone on Linux, with the same UI polish as Arq for macOS or Windows, optional encryption, deduplication and supporting all the same backup locations, including:

* AWS S3/Glacier

* GCP Nearline/Coldline

* Backblaze B2

* Dropbox



* Google Drive

If you're absolutely going to force monthly subscription pricing down my throat, I guess I'll pay up to $20/month. I want this badly.

I know about rclone, Duplicity, Duplicati, that awesome rsync/cron workflow you have, etc. I want Arq (or something just like it). Arq works flawlessly - it is absolutely superlative when it comes to backups on Windows and macOS.

I use an Ubuntu workstation as my daily driver at home and I have a MacBook Pro. Through very careful configuration I have gradually made Ubuntu about as enjoyable to use as macOS (with the exception of 1Password, which has to run under Wine). But I don't want to use the command line, or handle an API myself, or keep track of cron. Duplicati was the closest thing to what I'm looking for, but it's cludgey and started not working for me recently.

I know polished UI isn't exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Linux. But if you're the kind of person who makes "Ask HN: What is your pain point?" posts or who is looking for a problem to solve, this is a burning problem I am willing to throw money at.

EDIT: I'm adding a bunch of HN comments to demonstrate the interest I've seen for this.[2][3][4][5][6][7]


1. https://www.arqbackup.com/

2. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14403321

3. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11742226

4. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9185632

5. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5718015

6. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13360604

7. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13011339

Post it to https://www.demandrush.com! We're getting great feedback from folks needing products/services that don't yet fit into the initial structure we set up. Happy to help.

Do you really need it to support all of these different backends? I bet this would more likely come to exist if the authors knew they could focus on a subset of these.

As a developer if I knew you would need to support a ton of backends i will spend significant time building a abstraction layer which is backends agnostic and a framework to add backends easily. It would then be much easier to add new ones, even if I don't want to support them immediately

Alternatively i would add support for one or two services directly, rewrite many times and come to the above model and add support slowly.

Knowing you would need all of the backends would help immensely in the initial design

It would be acceptable if it only existed for AWS and GCP at first. But ideally yes, it should aim to support a variety of them for freedom of choice and redundancy.

Cool idea, but it seems like some of these are beyond the realm of a "side project". Like the News Aggregator one (https://www.demandrush.com/problems/news-aggregator-paywall). That one you couldn't really do without getting a lot of license deals with content providers. That already puts it out of the league of what most are able to do as hobby projects.

Love the concept, just submitted my side project now waiting for response Thumbs Up

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