Take the 2-minute tour ×
Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Currently there are a few OSS projects that I would like to create and then use, but I just don't have the time to put into the creation of them, or in the case of some projects (e.g. Emacs packages), don't have the experience with the language.

I would be happy to pay someone else to do the development, but probably not to the tune of the whole development (assuming the minimum someone would work for is ~$5000). However, whilst discussing one of these projects with another programmer they expressed interest in using it, leading me to believe that there would be others similarly interested in the successful creation of one of these projects (or possibly not, but for arguments sake assume that the project would be useful to more than just me).

It seems like the kind of thing that something like a cross between gun.io and Kickstarter would be suited to, in that it would both attract developers and allow others interested in seeing the development occur to suggest projects and put money towards the effort.

Is there a platform that exists for this sort of crowdfunding to occur?

NB. Kickstarter and its ilk seem more suited towards discrete products (like CMS systems and various applications), but maybe that is the best marketplace for it.

share|improve this question

closed as off topic by Jim G., Glenn Nelson, gnat, Martijn Pieters, Dynamic Mar 2 '13 at 13:15

Questions on Programmers Stack Exchange are expected to relate to software development within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
This would be quite interesting to see implemented, if it does not exist already. –  DC_ Mar 2 '13 at 3:32

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Others have thought of this business model; the term I know for it is bounty. That is the idea of a user or coalition offering a sum of money for a feature, and developers accepting that offer and developing the feature. Or the developer could set a price for developing a feature and releasing it as free software, then collecting bids until the bids cover the price. The term reverse auction is also used for this model.

There is a brief article on Bounties in the FOSS Wiki. They point to two actual bounty sites. One, BountySource.org appears to be active. One, BountyCounty.org, appears to be out of operation now.

I've heard about bounties and reverse auctions especially in the Drupal CMS community. There is a project PatchRanger which brokers bounties for fixing Drupal issues (bugs).

Another buzzword for this activity is crowdfunding. A search for "free software crowdfunding" finds entries like Cool International's Directory of Crowdfunding Platforms, with links to a few crowdfunding sites.

So, yes, there are several platforms that exist for crowdfunding of free software development. In fact, the problem might be that there are too many, each competing for both funder and developer mindshare.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.