Open Source and Money

How to get paid for open source: Day Job

  • Employers are seeking folks to participate in FOSS ecosystem

  • Experience with OSS

  • Track record of contribution

    • Github
    • Large project commit logs, which sometimes are GitHub fork
  • Understanding of OSS ecosystems

How to get paid for open source: Contractor/Consultant

  • Usually with expertise in a particularly hot FOSS tech

  • Generally need 2× pay to break even

  • May be a side job

  • Keep options open

How to get paid for open source: Nonprofit

  • Set up a nonprofit organization dedicated to your project

  • Fund with

    • Social funding e.g. Kickstarter, Patreon
    • Grants, sponsorship
  • Never 501(c) yourself: use an umbrella such as Software in the Public Interest

How to get paid for open source: Entrepreneur

  • Do this earlier rather than later

  • Big upsides

    • Full control — upside money potential
    • Gives a great distribution channel
    • Partly free workforce
  • Some downsides

    • No "IP assets" makes funding harder
    • Business models tend to be complicated
  • Talk to someone if you want to do this

How corporate views Open Source

  • Used a lot for in-house dev

  • View free licenses as good, viral as bad

    • Keep their mouth shut about the latter
  • Pretty essential to everything now

Last modified: Monday, 3 August 2020, 9:55 PM