How to raise money for open source projects


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How to raise money for open source projects
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Lindinger, Elisa
Kloiber, Julia
Meredith, Dan
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Encrypted communications, online participation, anonymous browsing – there are many open source tools that help to maintain our freedom online. But despite the importance and relevance of such tools it can be hard to fund their development, make them sustainable and grow communities around them. Next to this Discussion, there will also be a Meetup with the Panelists.
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but what about the sort thing but the the the the the the
world hard to build it but to 2 the chart together a list of
suggestions that that whole fully will help you to write a more engaging proposal and
and we crowdsource this list because phrase in reviewing 800 proposals in the last couple of months and yes will pick up with a quick introduction of ourselves this is so low I and then with the Open Technology Fund a node has been water demand is my parents made me really quickly open technology fund is a uh technology-centric of fond that recently we write it the US
government gives us money then we regret that back out to other projects the of developing open source technologies and particularly those the of supporting free expression and free speech so I'm a little bit more narrow compared to what will to discover what they're doing but a lot of the same principles as far as the kinds of technologies in the nature of the technology us all stop right there there are 4 5 years and we've got thousands of applications that we reviewed as well so the clue and and where these
lands you you have from the printed funds and program from Germany
focusing on the tag data security data literacy and infrastructure so in the next cell that we supporting people and projects that were gone and to is softer that public goods and we give we we grant sums up to 30 thousand here is for 6 months and at the present time and the money comes from the Ministry of Education and Research and we started the program because of the very frustrated how hard it is how much bureaucracy it takes to submit a proposal as an individual and they are not really any programs out there for individuals to access at public grants it it's I was started the fans and yet the Act on
wants you to get the funding and for this reason we'd like to share some of the insights on how you can tweak your project idea and how to make it better
and maybe which traps to avoid so we put together our 7 most favored insights that we can together by reading through the for you'd was more than a thousand 4 as it was several hundreds and of proper proposals and any so it was quite a change of perspective to not being the person to write proposal but to be the person to read through a proposal and it really agreed yeah makes you understand and the aspects of a good proposal there so we want to share with another process
so here is the number 1 and this is a quote I know this is something you not supposed to say but for this project it's true the user is simply everybody I mean this is such a
tempting traveling where comes from of course I want the whole world
to be my user and use my solution but allow unless maybe you're and our plants that produces oxygen and your solution will never fit everybody there just is no 1 size fits all of your treasure of
slots and especially not in tech tools so tools that try to suit everybody tends not to work very well for any so here's our 1st bit of
advice the know the user and put
some effort into getting to know them and
what exactly they need and they answer might actually surprising being carriage of projects to follow a human-centered approach in every step of the work so we really want people to start with the proper use in research and go through user centered design a US and and end up with the user experience design and the status our experience the I and this is a and you'll you'll get the rhythm here is of the form provide an anecdote every time as 1 of these things that comes up from more experienced milk right so of its reverse so you know from the Open Technology once and where you we do this is we
1st and foremost stick to folks that are dealing with some sort of repression of the spike
freedom of expression of free speech and the most ideal project for us and we ask people this all the time is 1 that is being developed by those who are most affected by that situation but if you try more of a civil society situation you know if you got an idea to stop popholes make sure you like actually experiencing like the problem of particles like you have a car it's really troubling a bicycle and you know it's like a really personal thing for you that's the most ideal sort of application in your folks on just those specific people not everyone's gonna care but the most affected will and here at Trent number 2 in politics nobody ever listen I want to change that and I know this feeling we on this feeling bad as a statement a funding proposal
it might be too much of a feeling and way to generate unless it's yet he to grab attention than its great backs and
with experience that in a lot of proposals people make assumptions and then never lake conclude or to tell us how they came to this assumption so we all know let knows the ideas that have this cat
feelings that it has to get some evidence to prove their point any other helps to check your point right he cannot make to better that with men this and it's probably not as
true as you you might have thought and and it's really not area case we have like a sentence like seeing that this 1 in probably 1 of the all soul's that are now same so here it is it's it's it's 1 of those situations where especially dealing with technology and mostly technologists there's a sort of like a building and they will come because I have a really great idea creates surpassed everyone is known that this idea can tell you why but it's my good idea in you know it's a related the first one in in a lot of the proposals and in particular the ones that are very strong again come up with a a not
necessarily like a large data even if it's just anecdotal and as and you know you you know this is true for a few people and this is what it is and you can sort of document that a goes a
long way to strengthening of what it is you're proposing but if you're doing something where the people using the technology or other softwaredevelopers were then engaging with people and so it's removed from those and users as fine just go and try to demonstrate and show how your code is being used by other developers they're engaging with people and just do a little bit of that thing goes a long way a converted to chime in with that
several times that the chairs that important point so this is a statement and there is no usable humankind for Android of the corresponding so as a group of workers union of the people in their own little little quote
things didn't get money from us so yeah so this is a trap number 3 and just getting it wrong and I understand also read where this comes from so when I have an idea I want to get started immediately and I wanna work through with it and I don't wanna do research and what other people have done because you know I think I have this
is my problem and dissolve it right and so that's it it pays off to take some time and put some research
into finding out what other people have done so far and if you are open source of developments especially I don't need to tell you this but still this comes up very often open source is all about collaboration about 4 in and redeployment so please and do the research and which similar the tools already out there and I'm sure you idea is valid but then tell us what makes your ideas special and why it's better or different and more more focused than the existing solutions are out there and if you
find that actually and and honestly it would be enough or maybe even better to contribute to an existing project that you might consider doing that yet
this year for our application in C in there there's a section that says you have to know something about what's complementary competitive and to the ecosystem that you trying to get involved in this idea that you're especially unicorn no sorry it's probably a good idea but it's definitely not so wholly unique that no 1 else has thought about it or that that someone else is not a new strength in yourself by talking about the ecosystem that's that you're in and higher complementary or competitive that what your your value but everyone standing on the toes of giants here in in some of the stand on your toes you stand on someone else's so I'm just coming to that knowing that that's true will will strengthen your your chances often I will build a
platform that will that's an odd and plastics and sometimes it seems a bit like softer development and as this variation of software development is building platforms and build 1 and then it will magically like make things better and but yeah that's the
track number 4 because platforms by themselves do not solve problems right they do not magically bring people together they and do not magically let the brings solutions and problems together so if you build it they will not be a guarantee that anyone will become so a lot of times building that technology and I think that's true for a lot of projects building the technology is not the hot pot the hot pot is to engage with communities to figure out the communications strategies and to and yet not only focus on your
tech solution bad like what comes after the tech solution and before it and like how does it what's the context and how does it fit into the context here of
subsamples laughing at all these because I'm guilty of every single 1 of them so far I've done and they all these statements of different points of my life making technology so we can have a dog but does exactly the same thing so this is just a the out of the this is it
over we weren't would obviously besides the human centromeres of this over and over and over again on the ubiquity of actual platforms you're building technology on and how accessible the art everyone can be overstated so again like the novelty what you think you're doing technologically verses how all like the uniqueness of about helping people for like engaging people that's where the real sort of novelty is at least for us as folks who were literally saying thousands of applications a year for technology they're they're not as is you know you need is you might think and 1 of the things that they were both committed to just add a little side this is making them much more transparent accountable so you can see what it is that we see in a responsible way and no sense realize how where the special things are where the special things on the solution so 1 this
astronomer 5 which is like a lots I built on the but for our xyz I'm and you can replace tender there with every
other tech high we've had in the past 500 years I guess so people of one's been saying that right I but I mean that's a no-brainer but a mechanism that works in 1 context doesn't necessarily work in another and so this is 1 of our mantras you know although the saying that of form follows function right so our mantra is method follows problem and should be that way round and on the
other and so I know that sometimes 1 of the playful yeah
there's a good for the beer I mean a lot but as the 1 and different so yeah I know that's sometimes you just wanna try it you know how this works you wanted to analyze it from a technical way but and if you want a developer helpful
to look at this not a helpful give against different from rejected and then you should work the other way around you should analyze the problem 1st and then find a fitting solution and choose the method accordingly and and not the other way around and this is really something that would like to stress I
don't yeah I mean I think it again just as you can see on our website the project so we supported and when you go look at some of these projects in particular I'm thinking about some of the really big ones like signal or poorly supported so you'll find in their community a lot of people that are thinking in like the challenge
space and and constantly themselves having to really convinced that the thing that they're working on is the thing that solving the problems that they care most about as a sort of a you know a cognitive dissonance they don't they don't what they always trying to recommence themselves every time a condo choir look for things like that so it's you know again these are some of these really good things it is keep you out of your own head assuming that like the thing that you're building is a festival of dogs don't trust yourself and and and always be put in the community of the and sometimes it works out right like
building leg a blank this method to something very unusual might work out it's not we're not saying that it's not working at
all that legs to think about it next at commandments who
checking SQL statements said from the geeky how and and it is that the data that is not necessarily the bad thing about and this statement of the
problem is that it's really just for a tiny group of users I call to was a proposes that is the proposals for that 1 % and by 1 % owning billion S and I'm aware that this too is can be important that and please help us understand why they're important what the leg larger impact of these tools is because otherwise like our friend this money is basically tax money that were handing out so it's
difficult to find was but the 1 % we actually don't wanna like we we're looking for stuff that really has impact the yeah I I I totally
get is a little bit of it toss between the 1st of
which is like focus on a narrow group but at the same time not so narrow and in the EIT I think that that's again but it it's going to come back to know you know you're no you're you're tool that you look at you have all these call myself up some really bad decisions we made it like 5 years ago so the 1st fully supported were definitely in this category are women we learned in realized how that's not good for a people in users and have since learned with colleagues like this hot ask the questions to make sure that you find the right balance so from the US Army perfect or at the end of
the last piece of advice nothing in in basically explains itself and so my tools that have a low level start landslide while they're there have at the bold statement right and as bold
statements go this is definitely not the only 1 that we're at so
ensure it's it's good to be confident but well not too much is too much and it could be a realistic income as you are and it also doesn't have to process and with this salesmanship with bold because content and it's there we know this so focused on the content and on the X. situation we believe in your idea and there is no need to exaggerate that much your proposal will be more convincing if there is a realistic assessment of the success of its impact then I'm also just 1
recognize that for most folks you're trying to get money from the really lovely at which the sounds unrealistic in and even though they mostly know that that's not what they're looking for as well but but I will tell you the projects at the scene of the most successful whether it's a social acidic or large mineral-based your goal those projects that know exactly what it is that they want on a free to convey that a very honest in realistic terms and essentially at the cost of getting money the money they you get from the fund residue from them is much better monitor is somewhat better monitor because you're not seeing the reasoning in someone realistic thing we use because you pitch someone already got really excited you working was on a totally gets what it is that you're trying to do with realistic timelines realistic constraints so I just can can overstate on portals to
know know yourself image should be we're working with understand you as well and there's no 1 realism about and helium making a Catskills after lecturing you on like how to
and yet make your proposals and better and more per effect and again this right great guilty of all of this to link with Britain
proposes that in the 4 x of that formula it might be a helpful checklist and if you write a proposal to run through this slides and they figure
out of letters that that that helps me to get my and proposal better and yet and saying perhaps because now we going to talk about next staff that did not work out or elects where we live not that
that has not worked out for us on leg where we have to link where we made that big mistakes and the thing is that we're we're not interested in lining up mistakes our main interest in 1 of the biggest challenges is it to create a culture in which it is allowed to make mistakes in which it's good to make mistakes and to talk about mistakes and to and tell oscillate what the programs are not legs doing good what they could do better so here too fails stories and assessed when it's really great to be over half there's
so many fill stories about its fighting in mind at I would know where to begin and so I sort of I want to take a decision that we made that
wasn't a good from a product standpoint but if we we uh there's a very well known messaging at for example you all are probably user very familiar with or using even right nonsingular occasions your farm and we have this opportunity and uh it's not open source projects are and we are only support open source the we've never supporter criterion for semantic and knows many good case for it to a set of but the back in my 2012 edition before was really well known there was an opportunity for us to do something to introduce and an encryption so that it had off the record messages before it's much more what it wasn't as widespread as it is now we don't all have an what's happening and what other other applications and they know they they they're like sort excited about it but it was a really within the remit so they said well the cost that you know you 100 thousand dollars a couple hundred thousand dollars very small amount of money right criteria project who's really gonna use this application the ones using and how the 1 is going to with someone use of replacement free e-mail like heresy was like this and he's this application so we see this we quietly declined and said now we don't we don't see how it's going to be used for a year and a half 2 years later were not only only what we're using it everyone is using everyone is all over all the time we go back to my age you think maybe we could come back to to give a couple of thousand dollars to begin and then encryptor right on on on now in our dog analogous you know seven-figure high number to do this Reston shot will have much money and so all despite all this rhetoric even in our experience of thinking that we got good regret for knowing what's realistic what users are going to use the the word a mass of a whole bunch and at the end of the day and you know your applications in information you give us is how we learn when were failing and how we can be better and so that's this 1 and a mixture of as much as I last week made 20 of the states of the stability of absolutely and what we haven't had 1 of these
and contents fails I would like to call that because we just beyond the young so take again next year at Republican and we have probably some sources tell them and that's and have failed and technical ways already which are especially embarrassing for as an because you want to fund privacy tools and um we claim that protecting your privacy is
greedy reuse portending crucial in these days so here's the story of of of my biggest embarrassments of fire and i didnt realize that our SSL certificates and use shower 1 and somewhere the chain and then it wasn't the search for own just plain info website but for the submission form where we ask you to submit all your personal data and private information so luckily for us and facts and at the time when we opened the submissions and most browsers and especially those that are not the agent explores the stuff displaying websites like ours and there was just a big warning sign there so this was not trustworthy you don't go there and um we but it very immediate and direct feedback from people who wanted to you and submit their ideas and and so we have things to us and they have the sorry things you really telling us that this doesn't work and this is not OK and we're not going to submit any content for that is not secure and just and give gave us the possibility to improve and to check on that and yeah without you we wouldn't be able to fix it so fast so again this is how
we we also need you and and to work together to improve the of the this versus to talk more about that but I can't tell you how that are the sign of this is true both of our programs to revoke the open that last point be stressed is that where nothing without AD applications
that you submit doesn't were different in like a traditional stop and then you know we have we would open call it's very competitive and were supporting open source technologies without actually seeking a return on any of the successes or money that you might make that's the 1st step the 2nd step is I can't tell you how much we change just on the conversations at work in all we have later and in the 3 o'clock were there just to answer any the questions you have on every my laptop on the 1 and a website and you point out something as I'm wrong about that to make that change right there that I've done that 5 times and said that this conference in last 2 days were someone's like you're saying a thing it is making sense to me and I usually right when I say that out loud it doesn't mean since me I and then we changes in it makes sense and so the the the the community feedback the pointing out what they were not doing good enough for you and being accountable and showing you how we changed in empowering you keep doing that over and over and over and faster again is is the only way that were relevant and useful here and we can't we can't say wanna know how or how we can be better on something you know to supporting that culture we were were trying to make it true work or and the the
I 0 yeah right OK so here's a deal we had a little bit we got 2 minutes and were not gonna do QA now and we don't like that we want I like to ask your question that we got this whole other me up at 3 PM or interested in doing right now is if you have questions and we would love for you just
to make it a he really really quickly states and no no comments please now unless you got a question but just so you walk in here what everyone else is thinking and also for the light recording that's being being done here if you wanna really quickly ask your question just for the record we will answer those questions at 3 PM and if you come we will we will we will be yours for as long as it is you can stand to be around us but it's a really quickly who's got questions that they want OK we don't 1 anybody else cannot study more than 1 thank
you real quickie you also support open hardware projects was a just software not yet not just don't like this question not yet where like other questions but there's a long answer to that so come to me that really like OK OK since we've got another minute you can also make a comment on made a really quickly no comments the we left your presence and you and that is all that few I think you all think agreement you would think but it is and they just the please can you tell us a meter bread in her universe romance and I or me or brothers I think we did when yes to be in the relaxed cell and now it's somewhere close to the stage for what does anybody know so that's all kind of together and meet their at the red at 3 o'clock right in the thick of scavenger hunts for someone knows it applies if they have a bunch of should know what they think I also called for
my paying


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