But I strongly object to the tip amounts. Without going into too much detail, $0.25/week is not something I'd really consider a tip for a barista making my coffee, my dry cleaner, or any of the other myriad service folks I interact with on a regular basis. $0.25 will get you about 10 minutes of on-street parking in many cities; it might take longer to get your coffee. I'd guess that my attorney, physician, or my lawn guy would not consider $0.25/week a genuine "thank you" gesture as much as "hey, I have this quarter in my pocket." Personally, I think programmers are worth a lot more than most programmers think they themselves are worth.
Every other day, there's a HN post about some clueless business guy looking for technical co-founders. The HN community rages about how business people always undervalue their technical contributions. And then here's a project where programmers will tell you that a good project is worth $0.25/week. It that's true, maybe the "clueless" business guys are right to devalue technical work.
So while I really like your idea, I really do wish you'd reconsider the worth of programmers who contribute to these projects. I'm trying to be as constructive as possible here, because I think good things can come from what you're doing if you don't advance the notion that good programming in any meaningful quantity is worth $0.25.
Note that we already raised the rates significantly (max used to be $1.28 instead of $24), and I'm personally looking for $2,000 per week. So I don't think Gittip understates the value of good programmers.
Here's the thinking behind the current tip amounts:
See the comment below about raising the minimum to $1, which has been ticketed here:
The other gripe I have is that you match expected tips for a "top open-source programmer" with an average salary for a "mid-career engineer". Why shouldn't a top open-source programmer be able to make top engineer money (read: a lot more that $160k) with Gittip? And why is there a max tip amount? What if my business wants to "tip" someone more than $100/mo? (I know, it's insane to think that code would be worth that much but to some it may be.)
So I guess I would ask you to reconsider:
1) The signaling issues around the idea that a quarter or a dollar is a reasonable amount to contribute for good programming. How do you explain to non-techies why your work is worth so much more than that?
2) The expected top end of the range for super-successful devs probably shouldn't be in the range of what recent grads are making at top firms.
Again, I'm trying to be constructive, and I think that if you want to meet your goals of helping programmers find a living building open source software, you could do a lot worse than asking folks who choose to tip to do so in amounts that are commensurate with the education, training, and thought required to build useful open source software.
Anyway, good luck with your project.
That said, I appreciate people who want to make even more on Gittip than I do. Go for it! :-)
And if the minimum were $1 or $5, I don't see how that's a problem. Your bartender doesn't have global reach and his/her services don't have infinite scalability. The bartender/dry cleaner/barista examples were to illustrate lower bounds and not the maximum.
There's no reason to place artificial ceilings on how much developers can make with something like Gittip.
To maintain "no strings attached." No one person or entity should unduly influence donees.
That way, the service remains simple and manageable and won't end up being a money laundering operation for some terrorist.
Who are the players here?
The basic Gittip roadmap is to get the full circle working once with the most common case (credit card in, ACH out), and then iterate from there.
We can't have it both ways. Either programming is worth something (we hate the idea of the quarter) or it's not ($13/yr is sooo expensive!).
$0.25/week is not something I'd really consider a tip
But what about the person whose Emacs config files I read at GitHub and found somewhat informative? And what about the person whose personal wiki (e.g., Org Mode files) I read at GitHub and found somewhat informative? Should I give these people good one-time tips instead of small weekly tips? Maybe I should, but I think I'd like to have the option to give them small weekly tips. Or is there some reason I shouldn't have this option?
I mentioned this before (I think, or somebody did) and Whit's response was that he wanted to be able to shore up the 'regularity' of the revenue stream, but I think that does the whole service an injustice.
I am likely to tip small amounts that recur, and larger amounts for, pardon the analogy, 'good service' or for someone who went out of their way to help me, or did something awesome. I might tip a $1 a week to the Apache Foundation, for example, and/or $10 to the guy who helped me figure out why Apache kept crashing.
As for the 'regularity' of the income, I see no reason why you couldn't just represent the values separately on admin panel... "You are 'earning' $200 a week on GitTip, and also got $50 extra in your tip jar this week."
Add to that the ability to integrate a 'tip jar' into websites, Trac, FogBugz, Github issues or anywhere people interact with other people who help them, and you've got a more rounded system (IMHO).
Right, this is how we would do it. I've reopened this ticket:
But (crucially) I still think a quarter is way too small a floor. If I don't value the project enough to make a one-time contribution of even $1 (ideally more), wouldn't everyone be better off with me just sending a nice tweet and/or email? The quarter doesn't really help the developer much more than that. If I were mailing a shareware payment in the olden days, a quarter would barely cover postage.
I sympathize that devs want ways to get paid for developing software, but they exist, and they start with charging money for developing software and not futzing about with sub-latte level payments. Since you cannot meaningfully improve a dev's life with sub-latte payments, you will not successfully create a business on top of them.
Re: creating a business: My goal is to find a living on Gittip directly, not by taking a cut. See:
Making a living on Gittip is an implementation detail, not the goal itself, unless I'm greatly mistaken as to your internal calculus. Your goal is to make a living writing code with some X-factor about freedom or project selection, right? There are far better ways to do this. For example, you're currently looking for 50 hours a month of contracting or $2k of donations. This (and gittip) strongly, strongly suggest that you're undercharging for contracting, probably by a factor of 2x to 5x or higher. You can make a huge impact on your standard of living and job satisfaction just by raising rates, and the execution risk of that strategy is absurdly easier than hoping you hit the multiple independent dominoes you need to do to make the gittip plan work.
There are other product offerings you could make as an OSS dev which would complement your desired lifestyle and be orders of magnitude more efficient that gittip. One such product offering is online training material, such as e-books, screencasts, etc. $2k a month is 40 copies of a $50 ebook, which is very achievable. Or it is a one-day make-your-employer-even-more-money-with-Python training session that you run every six months. Or it is... there are a lot of options here and they're all better than competing with baristas for tip money and losing.
B) I want to make the X-factor of freedom available to as many as possible. I think Zuck won the startup game. How are you going to top him? With an even more bloated IPO? Time to rewrite the rules, IMO.
The workflow, as I understand it, goes something like that:
1) There's an issue on a project you use that's getting no love.
2) You go to freedomsponsors register that you'd like some issue solved, so much that you'd be willing to put your money where your mouth is. Also, you'll probably want to put a link to freedomsponsors on the project's issue tracker.
3) When one or more people solve the issue, the sponsor pays them (if more than one person has worked on the issue, the sponsor can distribute the money in anyways).
I look forward to seeing what happens when people start promising money to the various bikeshed construction crews...
I would sponsor someone fixing moving selections in gimp. I cannot figure out how to do it. There has to be a more intuitive method.
Hi everyone. I'm Tony, creator of FreedomSponsors.
You're absolutely right @ebswhat. Sorry about that. The layout and webdesign still have major room for improvement - we're working on that. Functionality is pretty stable though.
To sponsor an issue, just do like @reginaldo said.
Gimp is not registered yet so you'll need to fill in more details about it: "Where does the bugtracker live?" and "What's gimp Home page?"
Would you please let me know about you usability experience in the Feedback section?
First you'll have to click the tiny "Login with google" button in the upper right corner, then the "Sponsor new issue" button. Then you paste the link to the original issue. After that, the site will guide you a little bit better.
I'm not a big fan of owning users' passwords, so unless people really really ask for it, we probably won't add a "create login/pass" functionality.
Also, there is the concept of reputation - Sponsors that pay their offers as promised will have good reputation.
For reputation to mean something, we need to know something about the user, and I believe linking with a social account is our best option for that.
Anyway, talking about FreedomSponsors on GitTip's thread is probably not good for MY reputation here on HackerNews (right? I don't really know, I just signed up). So I'm gonna create a new topic and answer questions there...
Thanks for your insterest!
So if Mozilla's Persona doesn't offer a way for the user to publish some sort of online profile, then we probably won't add it as a primary form of signing up on FS. Linking an existing account to authenticate later is ok. But we do want to make it more difficult to create completely "anonymous" profiles. At least that's our thinking today anyway.
Am I being excessively whiny? Are there any plans to not require a GitHub account to give people a little money?
Really neat effort, I hope it continues to take off.
Yes. But I think the parent comment is saying that also requires that the money is given BY people on GitHub.
Scenario: I don't have a GitHub account because I work for someone that is not doing open source work. However, my own work greatly benefits from a project I found on GitHub (a PhoneGap Library, a Python script, etc). I would like to tip the people responsible for those projects.
You probably won't log out, and chances are you'll end up on GitHub again sometime soon. You'll discover the wonders of social coding now that you have an account, and soon enough, you're a paying customer.
But the point is not how easy is it to sign up for a free GitHub account. The point is that it seems like an unnecessary requirement to tip someone on Gittip.
Trying to get the payment flow nailed first.
- dont focus so much on the individual developers, focus more on getting money in the system. You want to know how best to help an individual developer? It's by having lots of users, and lots of money.
- first way you can help do this is by having a minimum monthly charge. I pay $150 a month on a database. I pay 4 digits worth of EC2 bills. I can afford a $10 minimum.
- 2nd way is to strongly focus on enterprise plans. For $1000 a month, you get a big giant banner add on gittip, that everyone else sees every time they add a tip or receive one, or play with their settings.
- dont make people spend the whole thing - distribute the excess to the developers that others have chosen, in proportion to how popular they are. Or use it to highlight projects you like, or projects for people who contribute money, or something like that.
Stop focussing on the low end - bump up that price, and who cares if it's too expensive for some people. Giving $0.25 isn't charity - its actually costing you money.
> minimum monthly charge
Newly ticketed: https://github.com/whit537/www.gittip.com/issues/185
> strongly focus on enterprise plans
Existing ticket: https://github.com/whit537/www.gittip.com/issues/106
> distribute the excess
Similar existing ticket:
Week 1: $24.80 / 12 people
Week 2: $4.24 / 7 *
Week 3: $30.08 / 19
Week 4: $110.64 / 44
Week 5: $379.56 / 71
Week 6: $615.66 / 98
Week 7: $600.99 / 110
As you can see, we slowed this past week, to be honest. Looking for advice on getting back to ~doubling each week. :-)
* In week 2 our payment processor died. We were expecting $55 / 26. See also:
I'm afraid you're probably going to be looking at a plateau until you can get the payments thing straightened out permanently so that recipients can depend on getting an ACH every Friday (or Monday, whatever). Closing that loop will instantly motivate every open source hacker to put a "Help fund my work @ Gittip" button everywhere. Bummer the BalancedPayments option didn't pan out.
It's panning out; we're in the process of helping him with the integration.
Also, the "once a week" payout period is unique to Gittip's model (maybe because Stripe requires a 7-day wait?). With Balanced, a marketplace can pay out as frequently as it's earning: even daily. So that's an option Gittip can consider in the future.
By contrast, Balanced stepped forward and contributed the bulk of the integration with their service:
To be honest their product isn't as tight as Stripe (had to work around a few library bugs and deployment hiccups), but they have been super open and supportive and respectful of Gittip as a community.
The fact that these other solutions MAY be better - your experience is with Balanced is going to be what sets them apart and gives them your business.
I'd be willing to bet that the Balanced folks have experience working as contractors. Contractor work is founded on features and capabilities, but their work is kept alive and well through the relationship and support they give their customers.
This is the failing of many "rock star" developers - you may have an incredible resume, but if you're an asshole who would want to work with you.
I would prefer if I could reward people for specific repos, though. Otherwise people, myself included, will probably be clueless why I am receiving money, and as a result it won't create an incentive to improve a particular product.
The text could read.
Hey, I just met you,
And this is crazy,
But here's my money,
So keep working on django-registration maybe.
+1 added here:
For the sub-dollar charges, keep in mind that the fees are levied for the sum of your tips (assuming no one tips you). So if you only tip one person $0.25 then it's highly inefficient, mostly a 'tip' for the credit card companies.
At 1x$0.25 tips, this structure has an effective overhead of 124.9%; at 10 tips its overhead is 15.9%; at 100 tips, it's 5.1%; and at 1000 tips it's 4.0%.
Edit: Also, if I understand correctly, if I am getting tips, that would also go into the same wallet. So in theory the tips I receive would extend the amount of time between auto-bumps. Or not at all if I'm getting more than I am giving.
I've added some +1's there.
Original: "After 7 weeks, 100+ people are funding open source devs $600/wk on Gittip.com"
Long answer: Trying to figure out the best way to do that. See: