Open-source cannot be monetized
Opensource as such was born, in fact, from the hacker culture of the 80s. They wrote programs and exchanged them with each other. But this idyll could not last forever. At some point, software development became commercialized. Corporations began to use open source software, giving its developers nothing in return, but often requiring them to fix bugs and add features. It was discussed here recently monetization of open source. People have written a lot, but in the end they have not invented a working and non-controversial way to get paid for open source. So why are leaders, whose technologies are used by a huge number of commercial firms, sitting on the bottom line without money?
Let’s start with the psychology of the open source developers themselves. When they see a repository with a lot of stars, an associative series is formed in their brain, in which content creators from YouTubestreamers from Twitchclip-makers in Tik-TokScabbards from PornHubcreators of pissed off shit horrors with a monster on Unity with Steam and, finally, open source creators. Developers think, “Hmmm, people get likes on social media. But many of them also receive real money. So, the maintainers GitHubThey also receive money, apparently.” Yes, agree, it is tempting to create and maintain something for the rest of your life, which will then teach you how to study dozens of frameworks yourself. Another reason is the opinion that employers look at open source projects and evaluate candidates in relation to them.
I will debunk the second one first, because everything is simple with it. Employers DO NOT CARE what you did there GitHub‘e. By the way, they are also interested in your articles, your participation in conferences, and even if you buy books on software development have been written, they will sneeze at it. They have their own ways of screening out candidates, by which they can do it very quickly. Example, LeetCode-Task. No one wants to look at open-source projects, etc., when there are hundreds, if not a couple of thousand, of vacancies, and everything is like a selection with experience, regalia, etc. I had only one case when someone who was conducting social security managed to look at my open source project. He praised my repositories, but that’s about it. I still had to go through a standard interview. Well, what is the point after all? Yes, agree, it is unlikely that there will be anything breakthrough, worthy among the Johnsons who claim the role of a shape-shifter or racer Hopper Prize. And if you are legendary personalities of the industry at the level of Guido van Rossum, Rob Pike and Ken Thompson, then you can safely knock not on the HR aunts, but on someone higher.
It is more difficult with the first one. First of all, it must be said about content makers that they themselves are to one degree or another unique individuals and their creativity is also unique. Even if a bunch of Letsplayers shoot and shoot the same challenge in Minecraft‘e, and the internet template crowd makes erotic cosplay 2B with NieR: Automata, They still do it differently. And none of them can be replaced so that it turns out to be equivalent. What I cannot say about the authors of open source projects. You see, open source that has the right license, anyone can fork it, start making changes to it, and they can do all these things no worse, if not better, than the original author, lol. Developers are interchangeable. Moreover, if someone gets smart and starts demanding money for their work, refusing to continue releasing updates, there will definitely be some lo… VOLUNTEER who will agree to continue working for the author.
In addition, I advise you to remember the texts of any open source licenses there. In short, it includes the absence of any guarantees from the developers. That is, if your open source code does not work, or works with failures, or in general reveals vulnerabilities in your system, none of the authors is obliged to fix anything, or even more so to compensate you financially. Anyone who has the audacity to do something out there demand from open source, wrong a priori. Even if the bastards from ISIS (a terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation) put this code somewhere in their missiles, the author will not be sent to prison. So, for example, none of the developers OpenSSL did not suffer punishment for Heartbleed. And this vulnerability was critical. In other words, when a commercial firm uses open source code in its own project, it does not pay anything for it, but does so at its own risk. But when money comes into play, that’s when responsibility begins. It’s fair, there’s not much to say. Now imagine that the authors core-js and faker-js All day long, they were engaged in deciding the prices, the money for which, in fact, they received not themselves, but the users of their libraries.
We also do not forget that IT is a service industry. The code written by the developer does not bring profit by itself, because is not a final product for the most part. The profit comes from deploying the program on the infrastructure (which requires the work of devops) and attracting an audience to it (the work of a marketer), which will generate income by calling from advertising and paying transaction commissions. By creating open source code, you are essentially providing a service to someone for free. Demanding after being paid is a little weird.
Finally, the real purpose of open source right now is for big companies to work together on the code they depend on.
There is, for example, Linux. Intel releases new processors and wants Linux to run efficiently on them, and Google wants to release updates to the Android OS, which is based on Linux, and since Intel processors can be intended for mobile devices, Google and Intel cooperate on Linux. In addition, there may be several other players in this arena with their own interests in Linux, and here they all work together so that no one gets hurt and Linux is effective for everything. In addition, a bonus with this approach will be the disclosure of bugs and contributions from crocodiles.
Someone will tell me that there are open source projects that are successfully monetized, for example, the same Linux mentioned above. I will say that these are isolated cases. Unlike YouTube videos and PornHub pornography, there is no known monetization method for open source. Everyone solves this issue in their own way. If something worked for Torvalds and the GNU Foundation, it does not mean that it will work for you, even if you achieve some similar parameters in your project (popularity, for example). In addition, it is often not the source code itself that is monetized, but something related to it. So, for example, CockroachDB and MongoDB sell cloud versions of their open products, i.e. infrastructure. Nginx sells individual support. Well, here are the rates on Patreon of one open source developersupported by the desktop application:
Someone else suggested selling access to the documentation separately (absurd, you won’t even gain popularity then, and they can write it for you too), taxing commercial users with some kind of bribe (you’ll just screw up everything and you won’t prove anything anywhere), sell extended commercial version of the library (nonsense, again, the open version can be written for you). There is also a proposal to embed a miner into the closed, dynamically linked binary that comes with the open source code. But here you will have to strain yourself a lot. To obfuscate it, to make it so that it does not particularly burn at the same profiling, for example. Plus, somehow legally organize all this, so that if you are detained at the scene of the crime, you cannot be subjected to anal extermination. In general, the head. And in general, the conclusion is the same: the listed methods of monetization go beyond the scope of open source only. He is, so to speak, just what you need to dance to. By the way, it seems to me that monetizing a particular library that connects to the project and does not use any third-party Internet services in its work is the most difficult, if not impossible, task. Donations? Well, that’s just a formal name. Microtransactions in online games were also called “donations” for a long time (to avoid taxes?), but in fact, players paid for very specific in-game things: for experience multipliers, to increase character articles, sometimes even for clothes or skins. Streamers will donate not just for nothing, but to get an answer to a question of interest, to light up their nickname on the screen, and then in their old age show it to their grandchildren and say: “Look, kids, I was the one who made Papich cry!” Open source is generally close to the concept of so-called free good These usually include air and sunlight. In reality, you cannot access sunlight at night or clean air in a polluted metropolis. And you can view or edit the open code at any time, as long as you have access to the Internet. This good is even freer than those given to us by nature, but economists will disagree with me because human resources were spent on writing the code.
I will say this: at some point there comes a time when you should say goodbye to your idealized childhood dreams and think first of all about yourself, your loved ones, and about your loved ones. If you just like to look at the like counter increasing, that is, there are much easier ways to come to such a thing, and then monetize it. So, for example, I once made a clip in Tik-Tokwhich gained 415k views and 80k likes (more than stars in core-js and faker-js combined) in a couple of days. To do this, I just needed to take someone else’s video, cut it a little and make a short caption. That’s it, that’s it. People love those who entertain them, and the rest, whether it is even saving their lives, they take for granted.