I am Bob Jiang (bobjiang.com) , a new guy in open source software. I started to know and learn open source since 2018 when I joined blockchain area. At that time I founded HiBlock community, my goal is to promote blockchain technology in China. So I start to learn Bitcoin, Ethereum, smart contract etc.
In blockchain, the open source is standard. The famous quote is:
Don't trust, verify it!
Verify means verify the source codes. You can find Bitcoin and Ethereum source codes on github, and many many open source repos on github.
pain points in open source
But over time, I realized there are some key problems in open source software. One is incentive (or reward). There is no clear revenue for most open source software, which is only maintained by the owner for free. Here are some thoughts in 2019 about how to make money from open source software (Chinese version).
There are 4 types of revenue for open source software:
- pay for plug-in
- SaaS (cloud based)
I would not introduce it again here, you could find more details in above post.
solve the problems
Although there are 4 types of revenue for OSS, this problem is still not fixed, or this is not a good market-problem fit. Until blockchain (in special Ethereum came out), many experiments emerged. The solution I like the most is Gitcoin. The first vision of Gitcoin is to fund Open Source Software.
Gitcoin's mission is to build and fund digital public goods
Open Source Software is a huge market with about 4 billions dollar a year, which lack of effective reward system.
Let’s dive deep to understand what Gitcoin does.
There are 6 major features on Gitcoin:
As Open Source Software, it’s hard to get fund. But on Gitcoin, you can create a grant to get fund from the community. (Discover and Fund Extraordinary Public Goods) There are over 60k funders who are public goods support on Gitcoin. So I encourage OSS project, prepare your new grant on Gitcoin to get support.
Bounties connect the open source project with buidlers with rewards. The features help the projects to find the talent developers to solve the hard problems. (Gitcoin is the easiest way to leverage the open source community to incentivize or monetize work.) So as an OSS developer, you could find a bounty on Gitcoin to get reward.
Hackathons are a bunch of developers to build a bunch of cool stuff, learn new tech, support the open source ecosystem, and earn cash and prizes! Have fun together. Join Gitcoin Hackathons!
Quest, Kudos, and Kernels are other cool features to help builders/developers/funders to learn web3.0 and build cool stuff together.
Except open source software, there are other potentials for open source. For example,
- open source organization (which is Decentralized Autonomous Organization, aka DAO)
- open source knowledge (Open Writing)
- open source law
- open source …
Why open source matters?
It’s all about collaborations, collaborations, collaborations!
What is the key when collaborations?
The information transparency!!!
So it makes information transparent in open source, which might lead more collaborations.
Why not open source?