3000% funded !!



  • On Kickstarter, I’ve seen various campaigns that were funded by 3000% or more. The first question that pops up in my mind is 'why is it that the ES crowdfunding project is only funded by 101% ?'
    The most logical explanation to the question is that the project is only interesting for a small group of people.
    However, I think there is another explanation.

    When you support a ‘product’ campaign there is a clear incentive to do so. You get a 30%, 40% or sometimes even 50%
    discount on the product (depending on the perk and how soon
    you buy a perk). And when the campaign is over you will have to pay the full price for the product.

    With the ES crowdfunding project, this was not the case.
    Once the campaign is funded the module will be released for free. So there is no incentive to fund the campaign once it is 100% funded. So people who do want the module, but don’t want to spend any money can wait and see if the campaign gets funded without their support. If the campaign doesn’t get funded they always can decide whether or not they will fund the campaign.

    I really think crowdfunding can be a valuable option to bring the TB project to a higher level. Therefore I really hope there will be another crowdfunding project for another module (a good review module for example)

    I would like to make some suggestions for another way of crowdfunding a new module if they ( @mdekker and @lesley )decide to do so.
    Firstly I would set a minimum amount in order for you to be able to contribute e.g.$ 15. (Fifteen dollars for a high-quality module is very cheap). I also would create some perks as they did the last time for people who are willing to support more.
    Secondly, I would set a larger period before the campaign ends (e.g. 2 months).
    In this period people can support the project even if it gets funded 100%.
    And the third, and I expect, for some a controversial/unacceptable, suggestion:
    After the campaign has ended I would NOT release the module for free for a certain period (e.g. 12 to 18 months).
    During this period people can buy the module in the store but at a higher price than when they would have funded the project. After this period the module will be released to the public and can be downloaded for free.

    Why this third suggestion?
    People will have a clear incentive to support the project by not releasing the module for free for a certain period of time.
    By supporting the campaign people will get the module for $15.
    If they did not support the campaign but decide they want the module after all the can either wait till it is released for free or the can buy it in the store for let’s say $40 (still cheap for a quality module).

    Why is this good for TB?
    I think this is good for TB because it is likely the campaign will be overfunded. Not by 3000% but still…
    The extra money could be used to enhance the module with extra features or to enhance TB project as a whole.

    P.S. According to the service Grammarly, there are 29 ‘advanced issues’ in this text. I could have bought an upgrade package so the text would be better, but I rather spend the money to support TB. So my apologies for my bad English.



  • On Kickstarter, I’ve seen various campaigns that were funded by 3000% or more. The first question that pops up in my mind is 'why is it that the ES crowdfunding project is only funded by 101% ?'
    The most logical explanation to the question is that the project is only interesting for a small group of people.

    The simple explanation for this is that the 30bz community is still very small, and it was even smaller some months ago when the ES module was being funded.

    I contributed to the ES project for several reasons:

    1. I wanted to support 30bz.
    2. I believe that having an ES module available for 30bz will attract more users to the platform and help it grow.
    3. I wanted the module for my own sites.

    I’m fully aware that there are many people who didn’t contribute who will also benefit from the module. However we all benefit if 30bz as a platform grows. In fact if it doesn’t grow it will die, so releasing the module for immediate public use is very important.

    I hope there are more modules that are developed in the same way and I will happily contribute to most if not all of them. 30bz is an open source project and while I can’t contribute high quality PHP code I can contribute a bit of cash to various development projects to help 30bz grow.



  • @dynambee
    As @Traumflug mentioned in another post: "but people have to learn that “free” no longer means “zero money” " I totally agree with this.
    Free as in ‘don’t have to pay for it’ doesn’t bring bread and butter on the table of @mdekker and @lesley .
    I think the suggestions I mentioned in this post can bring at least some bread and butter on the table.

    Als also would like to address the following:
    I think it is fair to say that the 20/80 rule applies to the crowdfunding of the ES module. In this case: 20% of the contributors funded 80% of the project.
    I’m a strong believer in crowdfunding TB modules. The reason I invested the amount I did is that I really need that functionality. Secondly because of the great perk and thirdly importantly because I was financially able to that at that time. I don’t think I won’t be able to do that again. I will support future crowdfunding projects of TB but likely not for that amount of money.
    If other high contributors also decide to support with less money that I wonder if future projects get fully funded.
    Creating an incentive to fund can help to get the project funded. My proposal is such an incentive.

    Added:
    A large user base of people with the with the mentality of ‘free as in don’t have to pay for it’ will not prevent TB from dying. TB needs a large user base that is willing to contribute by contributing code, bug fixing AS WELL AS money in some sort of way.



  • Generally speaking only a small percentage of people will contribute their time or money to open source projects. I suspect that everyone here is guilty of this, myself included. How many open source / free software projects do we all use? Linux. BSD. Apache. Elasticsearch. Firefox. PHP. MySQL / MariaDB. Redis. Varnish. Squid. Nginx. The list could go on all day and the Internet wouldn’t exist without many key open source / free software projects. When was the last time any of us contributed to any of those? I’ve contributed to the FSF in the past but not recently and I don’t think I’ve ever directly contributed to a project before 30bz.

    The key to getting more people to contribute to future projects is having a larger community. It will always be only a small percentage of people who will contribute to any given project but if the community is 10x larger than it is now then funding modules will be much easier. 100x larger than now and nearly any project should be funded within hours.

    The more high quality free modules there are, the faster the community will grow. The more the community grows, the easier it will be to add more modules. Delaying the release of future modules will slow down growth, which will slow down the release of additional modules, which will slow down growth, ad infinitum.



  • @dynambee said in 3000% funded !!:

    The more high-quality free modules there are, the faster the community will grow.

    Exactly. The problem is how do we get more high-quality products?
    If the developers have to do other projects in order to provide in their living than they can’t devote that time to TB. Crowdfunding can be a solution and my suggestion can bring more contributors. I see it as a win-win for everybody.

    Furthermore, a 100x larger userbase doesn’t necessarily mean 100x more contributors. In fact, i think it will be far less because people will think ‘there as so many contributors, so I don’t have to contribute’



  • @vincentdenkspel said in 3000% funded !!:

    @dynambee said in 3000% funded !!:

    The more high-quality free modules there are, the faster the community will grow.

    Exactly. The problem is how do we get more high-quality products?

    That’s easy: By having a larger community.

    How do we get a larger community? Time (30bz is already excellent and is already growing), further recognition within the existing PS community, continued product/performance/stability/compatibility excellence, promotion/evangelism, and by offering free modules that are not available elsewhere or that would be very expensive elsewhere.

    The ES module was never going to be funded at 3000% or even 300%. 3000% would’ve been $750,000 of funding, an impossible amount for a community our size. The goal was to fund the development of the ES module, and that succeeded. There were just enough generously offered rewards to reach that goal and there were no stretch goals or additional rewards added. That’s absolutely fine, 30bz is a small team and developing complex modules like ES is challenging and time consuming. Developing one module at a time is the perfect rate for 30bz today.

    If the developers have to do other projects in order to provide in their living than they can’t devote that time to TB. Crowdfunding can be a solution and my suggestion can bring more contributors. I see it as a win-win for everybody.

    Crowdfunding is useful for one-off projects or to fund the establishment of a new business. However it’s not a stable source of income for a business, especially with a small community like ours. What 30bz actually needs is the add-on store to go live so all 30bz users can buy modules from the 30bz store. Right now 30bz is driving business to the PS store and that not only removes income from the project but it’s helping fund the competition. The store will go a long way to providing a stable income for the project.

    Furthermore, a 100x larger userbase doesn’t necessarily mean 100x more contributors. In fact, i think it will be far less because people will think ‘there as so many contributors, so I don’t have to contribute’

    Sure, a 100x larger userbase may only result in a 20x increase in people who are willing to contribute to any given project. That would be a disappointing improvement-to-user-ratio (and seems statistically unlikely) but it would still result in modules being funded in a short period of time.



  • @dynambee, Of course, i understand that the ES project would not get funded 3000%. I only choose this title to start a discussion.

    It turns out that the ES crowdfunding project takes way more development time than anticipated because of the complexity. I seriously doubt if the project would have been funded if the project price was 2 to 3 times higher than it is now.
    I still do think that in order to get larger module projects funded there must be a clear incentive to support the project. A ‘delayed free release’ of the module for non-funders could be such an in incentive.
    Let’s say the next project will be a feature rich review module. If you can get such a module for $15 by funding the project than that is a steal.

    " However it’s not a stable source of income for a business, especially with a small community like ours."
    I’m not saying that. I do think however it is a way to get high-quality modules developed much sooner and as such make TB much more attractive for potential users. This willdistinguish TB from other ecommerce software.



  • @vincentdenkspel said in 3000% funded !!:

    It turns out that the ES crowdfunding project takes way more development time than anticipated because of the complexity. I seriously doubt if the project would have been funded if the project price was 2 to 3 times higher than it is now.

    I don’t think there was a problem with the estimate for the ES module. The trouble is that as the module progressed it became clear that in order to make it compatible with as many different types of shops as possible it would take more time. Since the owners of the project benefit from the module being as compatible as possible it makes sense that extra time was spent in the development process. If the goal had been to develop the module for one store or one type of store then I suspect everything would be finished already.

    I still do think that in order to get larger module projects funded there must be a clear incentive to support the project. A ‘delayed free release’ of the module for non-funders could be such an in incentive.
    Let’s say the next project will be a feature rich review module. If you can get such a module for $15 by funding the project than that is a steal.

    From a purely short term financial perspective your idea makes sense. However if the goal is to grow the overall size of the 30bz project then it doesn’t make sense. Sure, one can encourage people to donate by only allowing limited release but then for a year after the module becomes available it contributes nothing to the growth of the overall 30bz project. Also, what about all the people who arrive at 30bz after the module is complete? Should they have to wait for the module to become generally available even though they had no opportunity to contribute to it?

    I think the most important thing is to gather a larger userbase, and to do so quickly. This is especially important as existing PS 1.6 users consider their options going forward. Eventually 1.6 users will all migrate to something (1.7, 30bz, different cart) and that potential source of new users will dry up. That doesn’t mean no new users of 30bz, just that it will be harder to get new users than it is now.



  • @vincentdenkspel said in 3000% funded !!:

    TB needs a large user base that is willing to contribute by contributing code, bug fixing AS WELL AS money in some sort of way.

    I’d exchange this ‘as well’ with an ‘or’. The traditional open source model worked with many people contributing, contributing with the community in mind, and that worked well. It still works in a couple of projects, like e.g. Linux or Git.

    With many code contributions coming in, maintainers just have to sort all the solution, review and apply them. Much less work, code contributions certainly have as much value as money, perhaps even more.



  • @dynambee said in 3000% funded !!:

    The trouble is that as the module progressed it became clear that in order to make it compatible with as many different types of shops as possible it would take more time.

    Whatever the reason, the fact remains that the ES module takes much more time than anticipated.
    Also, @mdekker mentioned to me in a chat that is was clear upfront that the ES module would cost more than the current campaign price but that they thought if the price would be twice as much the campaign would not succeed.

    Sure, one can encourage people to donate by only allowing limited release but then for a year after the module becomes available it contributes nothing to the growth of the overall 30bz project.

    Of course, it does. People get a high-quality module for free for which they would have paid otherwise large amounts of money. In case of ES module, which has as least the same functionality as the advanced search module from Prestaaddons, you need to pay €299,99 with one year support.
    So I don’t understand how you can say it won’t contribute to the overall growth of TB

    Also, what about all the people who arrive at 30bz after the module is complete

    Simple, they wait until it is released for free or they can buy it in the store for let’s say $30 until it is released ( in case of ES module still much cheaper than the € 299,00)

    I think the most important thing is to gather a larger userbase and to do so quickly

    I think my suggestion will do exactly that.
    Every month $5000 is needed for fixed costs etc. In case of the ES module campaign, $2000 was raised, so $3000 to cover the cost for that month. The developer had to take on other jobs for that.
    If the campaign was funded by 150% the developer had to work less to cover the costs. That extra time he could have spend on TB.
    So I definitely think my suggestion can benefit the TB project as a whole.



  • @traumflug I did not say money is more important than code contributions/bug fixing. I only say that with the extra money the maintainer can provide in their living and/or hire extra developers for the project



  • @vincentdenkspel said in 3000% funded !!:

    Whatever the reason, the fact remains that the ES module takes much more time than anticipated.
    Also, @mdekker mentioned to me in a chat that is was clear upfront that the ES module would cost more than the current campaign price but that they thought if the price would be twice as much the campaign would not succeed.

    It’s possible that if it was priced at $5000 that it would not have been fully funded with the very small community we had at that time (and have today.)

    It doesn’t surprise me to find that @mdekker knew it would take longer to develop than the funded price would justify. Most experienced devs know to take their expected time estimate and double it, especially for a project involving technology they haven’t worked with much in the past.

    So I don’t understand how you can say it won’t contribute to the overall growth of TB

    If the module is not available to people for one year after it becomes available to contributors then for that one year the module would not contribute to the growth of 30bz. I think my post was pretty clear about that. (“for a year after the module becomes available it contributes nothing to the growth…”)

    Simple, they wait until it is released for free or they can buy it in the store for let’s say $30 until it is released ( in case of ES module still much cheaper than the € 299,00)

    Waiting for it to be released to the general public leads us back to the module not contributing to the growth of the project for the time that it isn’t generally available.

    As far as selling the module in the store is concerned, 30bz has been very clear that they will not sell the 30bz-developed modules. They do not want to head down the road of PS where it becomes tempting to withhold core features to make money from module sales. Maybe you can convince them to make an exception in the case of these crowdfunded modules but I suspect not.

    I think my suggestion will do exactly that.

    Based on what 30bz has said about not selling their own modules your suggestion would mean the free modules would not contribute to the growth of the project for one year after they become available.

    Crowdfunding is not a perfect solution but I think it’s a good solution to fund key modules at this stage of the development process. I’m happy to contribute $ to these modules and will continue to do so.

    Every month $5000 is needed for fixed costs etc. In case of the ES module campaign, $2000 was raised, so $3000 to cover the cost for that month. The developer had to take on other jobs for that.
    If the campaign was funded by 150% the developer had to work less to cover the costs. That extra time he could have spend on TB.
    So I definitely think my suggestion can benefit the TB project as a whole.

    Yes, as I said before from a short term financial perspective your idea has merit. However from the longer term goal of the modules being helpful in attracting new users and growing the overall 30bz community it would be counterproductive.



  • @dynambee said in 3000% funded !!:

    I think my post was pretty clear about that

    It is, but I disagree with you. In that year it can be bought for a small fee.
    That fact that I have another opinion doesn’t mean you weren’t clear.
    And as I said, I rather pay $30 than € 299,99. To me, that would be a great incentive to switch if that is a module I really needed.

    However from the longer term goal of the modules being helpful in attracting new users and growing the overall 30bz community it would be counterproductive.

    That’s your opinion. Mine is different but that doesn’t mean mine is less true.
    The problem is that one year it is not available for free. After that, it will definitely contribute.

    Based on what 30bz has said about not selling their own modules…

    I forget about this. However, sometimes one needs to reconsider their initial thoughts. There are many examples of companies that stuck to there initial business strategy and don’t exist anymore.

    We have definitely a different opinion on this matter and think we will not agree about this. And that is alright. However, since we are the only two who have posted here I think it is better to end it. Thanks for this discussion. I found it valuable.



  • It’s really not a matter of opinion as there are two key facts:

    1. 30bz has been very clear that they will not sell their own modules. Even the crowdfunding was a bit of a stretch for 30bz, though I’m very happy they decided to try it and I hope they allow it to continue.

    2. If a crowdfunded module is not available to the general public then the general public won’t see that module as a reason to use 30bz. Only once the module is available will it help attract new users.

    The only matter of opinion here is if short term financial benefit is more important than modules being available to help grow the community.

    You believe that short term financial benefit is more important. I believe that attracting new users is more important.



  • @dynambee

    You believe that short term financial benefit is more important. I believe that attracting new users is more important.

    I this case I do. @mdekker (and maybe also @lesley) have to take on other projects in order to have an income. That time they spend on other projects can’t be spent on TB. So yes, in this case in think the short-term financial benefit will also benefit TB in the long term. The sooner they can focus completely on TB the better it will be in the long-term.



  • @dynambee
    I just had a chat with @mdekker. Had had to work on PS projects. Het told me that because of the many bugs and problems these projects make him tired, pithless and drain all the energy out of him (these are his own words translated from Dutch)
    That time and energy he could not spend on TB.

    So I don’t think my suggestion is not only a short-term benefit but also a long-term one.



  • My own actual personal opinion on this is that the crowdfunded modules should never be released for free to non-contributors. The modules should be sold for a reasonable amount, $20 or so perhaps. This money should be set aside to fund the upkeep of the modules as that is going to become an issue eventually, especially as more and more modules are released. Development is expensive, both for new projects and for maintenance & upgrades.

    If the amount of money coming from these module sales exceeds the cost of the upkeep then it can be used to fund new modules, or the price can be lowered. $5, $10, whatever it actually costs for upkeep.

    I wrote quite a long post about this at one point during the earlier ES discussions. However 30bz has made it clear that their core beliefs are that anything produced by 30bz itself will be open source and will not be sold.

    If 30bz can find a way to be flexible about this situation for the crowdfunded modules then charging a small amount for the modules for a period of time, or even charging a small amount in perpetuity, is something I would certainly support.

    However if there was no way for non-contributors (new users, etc) to obtain the crowdfunded modules for a period as long as a year I think that would be harmful to the overall project and fundamentally unfair to those who didn’t have a chance to contribute during the funding stage. Not that my opinion matters, but I would be very strongly opposed to such a plan.



  • @dynambee I don’t want to be rude or offend you but I don’t see what the value is of having a discussion and express an opinion that is not your own.
    A discussion can change the mind of someone. The crowdfunding of the ES module is a good example.
    I contacted @mdekker almost a year ago about crowdfunding modules. At that time he and @lesley were against such an approach. Look where we are now. The crowdfunded ES module is about to be released in the near future.

    Having said that it looks like we, to some extent/almost, think the same about crowdfunding with this exception that you think a crowdfunded module should never be released for free and I think it should/could be released for free after a certain period of time.

    I wrote quite a long post about this at one point during the earlier ES discussions.

    I’ve certainly have read about it, but I can’t remember it.

    My own actual personal opinion on this is that the crowdfunded modules should never be released for free to non-contributors.

    and

    Not that my opinion matters, but I would be very strongly opposed to such a plan.

    Maybe I don’t understand you but it looks like these two statements contradict each other

    and fundamentally unfair to those who didn’t have a chance to contribute during the funding stage.

    I don’t think so. The module can be bought for a fraction of the costs of what the price would be if the module was ‘commercially’ developed. Or one can wait till it is released for free.
    I don’t see why this is unfair or harmful to the overall project.
    If I really would like buy a product on Kickstarter or so but heard too late about it I will have to pay the full price. Just a matter of bad luck

    However 30bz has made it clear that their core beliefs are that anything produced by 30bz itself will be open source and will not be sold.

    The ‘problem’ with the statement is the word ANY.
    There could rephrase it in something like 'anything that is produced by 30bz itself AND is not funded through crowdfunding will not be sold’
    I don’t think with this alternative statement they harm their core beliefs.

    added:

    However if there was no way for non-contributors (new users, etc) to obtain the crowdfunded modules for a period as long as a year

    I did not say that. The module can be bought but only for a slightly higher price than during the crowdfunding period.
    During the crowdfunding, the price will be $15 or so. During the waiting period of a year, the price will be $ 30.
    So it can me bought for a very reasonable price/



  • You seem to have badly misunderstood much of what I wrote in my previous reply, and you have quoted parts completely out of context in a way that makes little sense. Please go back and read my previous reply again, but more slowly and more carefully.

    I’ve certainly have read about it, but I can’t remember it.

    Here is my post from July 2 that talks about selling the crowdfunded modules. It also talks about various issues with licensing and trying to stop others (PS in particular…) from using the 30bz code in a commercially sold module, but those parts are not important our current topic.

    The ideas were somewhat more complicated that what is being discussed here but many of the same points were also covered. Covered points include selling the module to non-contributors, using the money to fund module fixes & updates, and the idea that selling the module would encourage more people to contribute to the crowdfunding projects.

    Following my post you can see further discussion between @lesley and myself. In particular @lesley said:

    @lesley: Selling it would be against what we have said we are going to do as a company, I don’t think that is something we are going to do.

    and

    @lesley: The whole point in the beginning was to make an open source module. Having paid or closed source modules is a conflict of interest with our companies principals.

    and

    @lesley: One thing that we are trying to guard against with not selling modules that we create is the idea that we leave features out, so we can charge for them. Basically like a freemium type software. That is something we are fighting against. I have seen other packages do that and it is not something I want us to get tangled in. If it means we make less money and grow slower, so be it.

    These are not my ideas, they are statements from one of the owners of 30bz, and as far as I am aware the stance of 30bz on the idea of selling modules has not changed. This is why I say that 30bz is unlikely to be willing to sell the modules.

    If we as a community want to sell crowdfunded modules then the crowdfunding and development would need to be managed outside of the 30bz project, as also mentioned by @lesley in the earlier discussion.

    So, unless something has changed within 30bz (and I would be happy to find that is has) then the modules will not be sold.

    In the end I think none of this actually matters. The 30bz community will grow, and as the community grows it will become easier to fund new module ideas because there will be more people to contribute to each project. If we find that I am wrong and that even with a 10x larger community it is difficult to fund module ideas then perhaps the topic can be discussed again.


 

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