| ||Founding a Non-Profit FOSS Company|
8 points by linguae 9 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 3 comments |
|One of the dreams that I have is to found a non-profit software company that develops and provides free, open-source software for the public good. I am passionate about personal computing and how it has empowered users for nearly 50 years. I am also increasingly concerned about market trends that serve to take power away from users and give it back to platform owners, such as subscription-based software, restrictive app stores and notarization requirements, adware, and surveillance. I believe that these market trends are not the result of malice, but are the result of market incentives; companies stand to make more money with today's business models than with the business models of the 1980s and 1990s. However, I feel that the notion of user empowerment has become not only an afterthought, but rather antithetical to today's business models, which encourage a sharp division between user (which is increasingly thought of as a consumer versus a producer) and programmer instead of some type of combination, such as the Smalltalk environment and Hypercard. I would love to found a non-profit company that is dedicated to the continued development of personal, desktop computing as an empowering tool rather than as a media consumption device that serves as a vehicle to serve ads and sell subscription services.|
However, since I'm not wealthy, I need to consider how to procure funding to start such a company. Writing a competitive desktop and suite of applications is a major effort that will take many engineers. Assuming they are not volunteers, this is millions of dollars in salary alone. I'm also concerned about the viability of a non-profit FOSS company, given worries about the future of Firefox. I wonder if there are successful examples of non-profit FOSS companies, or if I would be breaking new ground by pursuing this idea?
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