|A few years ago I started a relatively successful open source project (https://autospotting.org) designed to save its users a lot of money on AWS bills while being lightweight, easy to use and adopt.|
I had a full-time job and I worked on it countless nights and weekends, developing it entirely in the open and not asking for anything in return. Hundreds of users started to use it and a few even contributed significant amount of code and it matured to eventually become production-grade.
A couple of years later my child was born and I had a hard time justifying spending time on it instead of spending it with my wife and son. I thought about it a lot and eventually decided to monetise it on Patreon and treat it as a mini-job. I'd be spending on it roughly as much time as I get from it on a monthly basis, considering my usual hourly rate, hoping to one day ramp it up enough to actually become a full-time job (currently at $450/month, so still quite far from this goal).
In order to give some additional value to to my patrons, I decided to start testing selected builds that I only announce as stable releases in private to my patrons.
So I keep developing it in the open, I just don't create public releases of the open source code.
I've recently seen someone say this about my project:
"For somebody who works in OSS software, incl. commercial OSS, it is painful to see such an blatant, unethical approach to monetisation https://autospotting.org
'Our code is really shit, but if you give us money, we'll give you a less shit version'
This is not the spirit of OSS"
So what do you folks think about this?