title: Zed Shaw on Twitter
I’m going to make a bold statement:
Github having a [Buy A License] button would be the equivalent business move that Adwords was for Google. It’d turn the company from barely making it to a giant in the software world.
The reason is the same as with Adwords:
The real money is in helping other people make money and skimming off the top.
Facilitating developers making a living off their projects would turn FLOSS into a viable career option rather than a stressful non-hobby begging for survival
The simple buttons break down to:
Buy A License: Purchase a commercial license and long term support. This is MRR for the project.
Buy Support: Get help on a single problem or bug you need solved now. This is a one time payment.
And if you’re worry about money killing the soul of open source remember this:
You’re expected to act professionally just like a business, but for free. If people want you to act like a business and not an art project, then you should be paid like one.
That means the contact changed. It used to be you make something you feel like making and maybe people help but you have creative freedom.
Now you’re expected to be professional, but still paid like you’re doing a hobby. That’s wrong.
You want professionalism? You need to pay.
However, I believe that the reason github doesn’t enable this and even works against FLOSS devs getting paid is because their investors realize that’d raise the cost of their nearly free startup ventures. The stupidity of this is staggering given the insane money possible.
It also comes down a perception of self-worth. Currently, and this is a weird California values thing, but developers are cultured to feel their value is only in giving things away for free and making money is “dirty”.
But, corporations are totally allowed to make money.
Not only are corporations allowed to make money, but they’re allowed to outright steal resources from lone developers and then abuse the developers for not treating the corporation “professionally”. Devs put up with this because they feel their aren’t worthy of their value.
I believe that now programmers are sick of having to beg for scraps while corporations make TRILLIONS of dollars on their work. They can’t even get a job after 40 let alone a piece of the Google/Amazon/Apple pie.
In fact, the rallying cry can simply be:
“Pro Fees for Pro Support”.
You want me to deal with your bugs professionally like I’m a business? Well, professionals get paid for their work so time to pay up.