Deploy Friday: hot topics for cloud technologists and developers

#18: Funding Free and Open Source Software

April 02, 2021 Larry Garfield, Otavio Santana, Pia Mancini, Hugo Guerrera, Season 1 Episode 18
Deploy Friday: hot topics for cloud technologists and developers
#18: Funding Free and Open Source Software
Chapters
Deploy Friday: hot topics for cloud technologists and developers
#18: Funding Free and Open Source Software
Apr 02, 2021 Season 1 Episode 18
Larry Garfield, Otavio Santana, Pia Mancini, Hugo Guerrera,

The internet economy would not be what it is today without the influence and the value added by open source software. As software development in general has become more sophisticated, complex, and time-consuming, maintaining open source software has, too. Today we talk about the importance of funding open source software sustainably with Pia Mancini, Co-founder & CEO of Open Collective, and Luis Villa, Co-founder of Tidelift.

Time vs. money in open source

Open source software is not exactly “free”. As Pia Mancini explains, “It's free in the sense that you do not have to pay for it in hard cash. But someone is paying for it with their time.”

And as open source software has gotten more complex, it takes more time to develop and maintain it. Luis Villa adds, “When I first started, you could hack something useful and put it out there in a weekend. But now it can take decades or centuries of effort.”

As Luis points out, having that time is also a function of privilege. “Part of why open source is even less diverse than software as a whole is because for a long time, it required a lot of economic privilege to get involved.”

The current imbalance in the open source world

Pia says the current ubiquitousness of open source is the result of a successful “battle” to convince companies of its value. But winning that battle has come with a cost. She explains, “There’s a huge imbalance between those who are using and profiting from open source software, and those who are creating but not profiting from it. And the lion’s share of the burden falls on the side of the maintainers.” 

Braiding sustainability into open source’s future 

Luis and Pia have a few ideas on how to remedy this imbalance and work towards a more sustainable open source future. For one, we can start thinking about sustainability more holistically. Pia says, “Sustainability is as much financial sustainability as it is sustainability of the community.” To make sure your project thrives as part of a sustainable community, Pia suggests:

  • Good onboarding practices to make your project inviting to newbies
  • Engaging with others who regularly contribute and maintain open source projects
  • A well established core team to help you make decisions on governance of the project

Try Tidelift and Open Collective on Platform.sh today to bring sustainability and open source together.

Platform.sh
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Get started with a free trial.
Have a question? Get in touch!

Platform.sh on social media
Twitter @platformsh
Twitter (France): @platformsh_fr
LinkedIn: Platform.sh
LinkedIn (France): Platform.sh
Facebook: Platform.sh

Watch, listen, and subscribe to the Platform.sh Deploy Friday podcast:
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Apple Podcasts
Buzzsprout

Platform.sh is a robust, reliable hosting platform that gives development teams the tools to build and scale applications efficiently. Whether you run one or one thousand websites, you can focus on creating features and functionality with your favorite tech stack and leave managing infrastructure and processes to us.

Show Notes

The internet economy would not be what it is today without the influence and the value added by open source software. As software development in general has become more sophisticated, complex, and time-consuming, maintaining open source software has, too. Today we talk about the importance of funding open source software sustainably with Pia Mancini, Co-founder & CEO of Open Collective, and Luis Villa, Co-founder of Tidelift.

Time vs. money in open source

Open source software is not exactly “free”. As Pia Mancini explains, “It's free in the sense that you do not have to pay for it in hard cash. But someone is paying for it with their time.”

And as open source software has gotten more complex, it takes more time to develop and maintain it. Luis Villa adds, “When I first started, you could hack something useful and put it out there in a weekend. But now it can take decades or centuries of effort.”

As Luis points out, having that time is also a function of privilege. “Part of why open source is even less diverse than software as a whole is because for a long time, it required a lot of economic privilege to get involved.”

The current imbalance in the open source world

Pia says the current ubiquitousness of open source is the result of a successful “battle” to convince companies of its value. But winning that battle has come with a cost. She explains, “There’s a huge imbalance between those who are using and profiting from open source software, and those who are creating but not profiting from it. And the lion’s share of the burden falls on the side of the maintainers.” 

Braiding sustainability into open source’s future 

Luis and Pia have a few ideas on how to remedy this imbalance and work towards a more sustainable open source future. For one, we can start thinking about sustainability more holistically. Pia says, “Sustainability is as much financial sustainability as it is sustainability of the community.” To make sure your project thrives as part of a sustainable community, Pia suggests:

  • Good onboarding practices to make your project inviting to newbies
  • Engaging with others who regularly contribute and maintain open source projects
  • A well established core team to help you make decisions on governance of the project

Try Tidelift and Open Collective on Platform.sh today to bring sustainability and open source together.

Platform.sh
Learn more about us.
Get started with a free trial.
Have a question? Get in touch!

Platform.sh on social media
Twitter @platformsh
Twitter (France): @platformsh_fr
LinkedIn: Platform.sh
LinkedIn (France): Platform.sh
Facebook: Platform.sh

Watch, listen, and subscribe to the Platform.sh Deploy Friday podcast:
YouTube
Apple Podcasts
Buzzsprout

Platform.sh is a robust, reliable hosting platform that gives development teams the tools to build and scale applications efficiently. Whether you run one or one thousand websites, you can focus on creating features and functionality with your favorite tech stack and leave managing infrastructure and processes to us.