Earning money as a Free Software Developer
Speaker: Frank Karlitschek
If the free desktop wants to grab a bigger market share from the desktop market, we need more full-time developers. Framework developers and also 3rd party application developers. We need thousands of them.
But, how do the thousands of developers pay their rent? They can´t all be sponsored by Linux companies. So we need a way 3rd party developers can earn money for their hard work. I want to present and discuss different possibilities in this talk.
1. Marketplace: At the moment Linux companies sell binaries of free software to consumers and companies. The consumers buy the binary distributions because they don´t want to compile the software on their own. We created an marketplace and App Store for software and artwork on openDesktop.org. The idea is that free software developers and artists sell binaries of free software for a very small price directly to the consumers. So we create a revenue stream directly from the consumer to the developers
2. Jobs Board: We launched a free job board specialized for free software developers. Openskillz.com is integrated into the openDesktop.org network. Job offers are free for companies and job seekers. We hope to bring developers and companies closer together.
3. Support: At the moment Linux companies sell support for free software to consumers. Is there a way for developers to sell support for their applications directly to the users? What kind of infrastructure do we need for this idea?
4. Bounties: Many users would like to pay a small bounty for the specific feature. Is there a way for free software developers to earn some money with implementing a user wish?
I will give an overview over the different possibilities for earning money in this talk. And I would like to start a discussion in the community how we can pay more full time developers in the future.
Frank Karlitschek was born 1973 and lives in Stuttgart, Germany. He is a KDE contributor since 2001. Frank worked in the artist team and is the maintainer of KDE-Look.org, KDE-Apps.org and the openDesktop.org network. At Akademy 2008 he presented the vision of the Social Desktop.