The Lunduke Experiment

I tried to follow the whole open-sourcing of fellow podcaster Bryan Lunduke’s software. In short, BL asked for a certain amount of recurring monthly donations, if he got to his goal of 4,000 USD (which he did) he would then open-source his current software offerings.

While some found this method controversial, I found it refreshing. It’s indeed a very crafty way to leveraging his current fan base which proved more than loyal.

Sadly, I don’t think this is a big win for OSS as some make it out to be, it might make for an interesting case study, but that’s it. Not every software developer out there could have pulled it off. He picked the right time (with the kickstarter fever that is still going on) and had the right resources at hand (a large loyal listener base).

I have to admit, I’m a bit envious of his success though, who wouldn’t like to be paid to work on OSS software.

Cheers to you Bryan! G

About the author : gamaral

Incredibly handsome open-source software engineer, gamedev and trekkie. I also draw comics in my spare time; they aren't very popular.

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  1. Tom

    Good post, but is it now technically FOSS software as it is free for people to download, despite some people having to pay a re-occurring “subscription” to use it?

    1. Author

      Yep, that’s the idea. Some of his apps should show up in distro repositories any time now I bet. I don’t doubt he might update them to reflect his new donation model, perhaps a tasteful donate button in the about dialog or something to that effect.

  2. manny

    Actually I believe that not only his model has good potential but also this “kickstarter fever” is just in its infancy.

    So, If crowd-sourcing is doing pretty well within a Recession , am sure it will do even better once the economy gets better.

    We can say crowdsourcing is kinda “recession-proof”.

    Anyway I agree with you that not any “lone dev” can pull something like this of. But if the projects are worthy am sure they will get the necessary support when they ask for it.

    For example kdenlive using indiegogo got a few months worth of dev work for their re-factoring:

    But this is just for a small time frame of development, so what happens later ? fall behind again or ask for more funds every few months ?

    Maybe they should Just go the monthly donations route like Lunduke or linuxmint have done, which is probably better than going on kickstarter or indiegogo every 2 or 3 months..

    I mean not every project should do this, but there are a lot of important ones that keep falling behind or are in bad shape and full of age old bugs, stability problems, etc., so we really need to get sponsors for those!

    My 2 cents :)

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