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Blender Foundation Annual Report 2020 [pdf] (blender.org)
75 points by Tomte 46 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 19 comments

I'm just a casual Blender user, but to me the Blender Foundation (run out of the Netherlands) is obviously a dramatically better model on how to run an open source foundation compared to the Bay area equivalents (e.g. Mozilla and Wikimedia).

There's so little nonsense! So much focus on the essentials. It's incredibly refreshing.

I hope they can keep this focus as they grow. I suspect that not being located in the Bay area may help here.

A CEO salary of < 80K also goes a long way to attracting the right type of people for this role as well. My biggest complaint about many leadership roles where the #1 goal is not financial (i.e. government and NFP) is that it attracts the wrong types of motives. I don't believe the typical defense that "we need to compete with for-profit for access to the best people".

The future of organizations like this sure seems to be distributed, so global talent recruitment should be a real advantage.

> My biggest complaint about many leadership roles where the #1 goal is not financial (i.e. government and NFP) is that it attracts the wrong types of motives.

Stone cold, unapologetic capitalist here. I had never questioned that line of thinking until this minute. And,uh… I agree completely! It can’t be a coincidence that Tom and the rest of the Blender people are doing such a spectacular job.

I reccomend watching this interview with him - at least the parts where he talks about money. It's incredibly refreshing to hear someone at the top of their game in the tech sphere say they're not interested in money except as a tool to help them create.


It's unfortunate that a salary in that bracket can rule out some of the "right type of people" because they may have prohibitive living expenses. If you've got kids to look after or expensive medical bills suddenly that number ends up being a lot smaller, and if you're not living in the mountains your housing may eat the rest of it.

Thankfully for the Blender Foundation this is less likely to be an issue, since based on the data they appear to largely employ people in countries that have a healthy social safety net. If expenses like health care don't come directly out of the employee's pocket you can pay lower salaries no problem.

Personally as an American with health issues, I could never consider a job at that salary, no matter how much I wanted the job. Maybe if it came with a work visa so I could live in another country with functioning social and health services (but in some cases, non-citizens pay for that out of pocket).

Well that made me read the report, which I had no intention of doing. You’re right, it’s a model of its kind. And it really is refreshing.

Why exactly is it obviously dramatically better?

My intuitive answer is that the foundation is precisely focused on its mission and way less of a drama queen. Zero public politics, apparently far less focus on fundraising and raising of awareness on nonessential issues. Wikipedia, for example, has a huge war chest but continues to fundraise. That raises questions.

Blender is a lean, mean fighting machine and it’s hard to question a single Euro in its budget. That’s pretty impressive, and comforting to those of us who have contributed.

while i have almost no use of this software, it's one of the most powerful open source tool around. i wish there was a similar effort to make Freecad more reliable (my bad not helping btw).

also this has already been discussed and seems technically hard to do, but if the UI toolkit would be standalone that would be gold .. rarely seen sth of such quality

Great report, with very personal note from Ton. Watched Ton at https://archive.fosdem.org/2020/schedule/speaker/ton_roosend... for who like moving images.

Happy user here. Thanks to everyone involved! Blender is getting so much better with every release, the magnitude & quality of new features is unbelievable. Looking forward to 2.93.

That’s reminded me to check back in to see what the story is with Apple Silicon support and it’s in Alpha! Just given it a go and it seems to work really well.

I’m totally novice but being able to tinker with Blender on my laptop without it burning up is going to be amazing!

How do you generate a pdf like this? It’s pretty.

You can do it with Adobe Illustrator and/or InDesign.

Bold move suggesting Adobe products on a Blender thread.

Heh, well, PDF was Adobe's creation

I am a big fan of LaTeX for tasks like this, like the sibling suggested, but this looks more like something done in Scribus or similar software.

You need to hire the highly skilled Mike Newbon to design your reports.

Presumably LaTeX

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