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Friday, April 27, 2012

"Open Source is Not Sustainable and What We Can Do to Fix It."

You have no right to expect me to send you back to Kansas unless you do something for me in return. In this country everyone must pay for everything he gets. If you wish me to use my magic power to send you home again you must do something for me first. Help me and I will help you."  
"What must I do?" asked the girl.  
"Kill the Wicked Witch of the West," answered Oz.  -L. Frank Baum – The Wizard of Oz
Not too many years ago the music industry found itself in trouble.  No one wanted to buy music on traditional media. Industry executives were convinced that the fault lies with the evil Internet where music was exchanged for free.
Steve Jobs created a marketplace.  It turns out that people DO want to pay for music, as long as you make it convenient.

Open source is a wonderful thing, now let’s make it better.
Help me build a marketplace for open source software.

This is my manifesto.

First, don’t change a thing.  Yes you heard me, let’s not change a thing.  Keep writing open source software and keep posting it on Github for all to see, download and use, for free.  
Other programmers are on your team.  They are contributors and business partners.  You need to keep track of them and nurture their contributions.

It’s the business owner that can profit from the open source software you write and you should get your share, and so should your contributors and partners.

The marketplace is a website where business owners can post stories of functions they would like programmed.  The story becomes the test for software that needs to be written.  The tests are broken into iterations that represent less than one day of work.  Then you or your team, collaborators or partners bid on what you would charge for that iteration.  The business owner approves and pays for the iteration.  The marketplace holds the funds in escrow until both parties agree that the iteration is a success, and then the funds are released to you and your team in percentages that you control.

Then iterate again and again.

We can test the process by building the marketplace with the same tools we want our customers to use.

The website should;
        •  Keep track of users, owners, developers and admins
        •  Allow owners to write stories of features  
        •  Allow developers to edit stories into tests and iterations
        •  Allow developers to bid on iterations
        •  Allow owners to choose and authorize bids
        •  Handle payments
        •  Allow a two-way sign off on the iteration
        •  Dispense funds    

Future features will improve communication and make it easy for owners to see the results of the iterations, and for developer to collaborate.

Let’s do this.

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