Contributing to Open Source projects makes any developer feel good and with a purpose. Seeing how your help is solving real-world issues is certainly a good feeling. In return, Free Software has given us ridiculously good tools but, above all, it has opened the gates to the world of open and universal knowledge.
Although most of the larger (let’s say “corporate-y”) projects can frequently be funded through the backing of large corporations, that is not the reality for the immense majority of projects out there. Most of Open Source projects survive solely on voluntary work or donations from the community which can be, in the best-case scenario, capricious. Yes, people helps out of passion, but voluntary help is not enough. RealLife™ is there and bills are a big part of the day-to-day. Look log4j, an underfunded project that nobody thought about, but was used pretty much everywhere. It took everyone by surprise, and even woke industry up.
With the above in mind (and in our hearts), anyone can see challenging & troublesome raising funds for Open Source projects and many ends up giving up. After some thinking, I believe I want to try something a little bit out of the ordinary.
THE IDEA: Funding Open Source projects by using geeky NFTs. Clearly geeky NFTs. 314 (π) of them.
Contributing to Open Source projects is a big part of what I do, specially during my free time. The Free Software community has given us ridiculously good tools but, above all, it has opened the gates to the world of open and universal knowledge. One cannot think how much Free Software shaped the world as we know it. Giving back feels like the right thing to do. Reporting bugs, proposing changes in code, updating documentation… every single bit helps.
BUT: People must make a living.
I’ve always wished I could financially help projects and make a difference. We can’t really expect people to work for free all the time. At some point, people have to cover costs, pay the bills and… well, earn one’s keep without falling into the so-called “maintainer burnout”. Let’s face it, even if you love what you do, getting paid for it is always welcomed.
My Response For This Imbalance
NFTs! But NFTs with purpose. The whole idea behind this is to promote Open Source development. This will be accomplished by donating 50% of the profits from the sales to Open Source projects and keeping the other 50% myself to be able to spend more time contributing to the community.
About transparency, all the information about donations and Open Source contributions will be publicly available on my personal website monthly once this kicks off. Also, I’m using Ethereum, so all actual activity around the NFTs will be public by default.
TL;DR: You get a cute profile picture to use in the metaverse, the community gets donations and I’m able to contribute more on Open Source projects. win-win-win.