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Re: Donations, was: Re: [Openvpn-users] Bridging Fun


  • Subject: Re: Donations, was: Re: [Openvpn-users] Bridging Fun
  • From: AthlonRob <AthlonRob@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2004 15:21:35 -0800

On Thu, 2004-01-15 at 11:52, James Yonan wrote:

> I would really encourage all who are deriving significant utility from OpenVPN
> or especially setting up OpenVPN for paying clients to consider making a
> donation.  

I, personally, feel a bit guilty taking advantage of a product like
OpenVPN that isn't already receiving the necessary funding to survive to
make money without sending at least a little bit of it back towards the
project.

I never really make any significant amount of money with these kinds of
things; this bridging contract was the most I've ever made off of a
single project before, and it is really not very much.  Then again, I
don't actively seek these kinds of opportunities very frequently.

So, don't expect very much money coming back from me, personally...  :-)

> I think John Locke set a good precedent with his open letter
> pledging to donate a percentage of revenues he gains from setting up open
> source solutions for clients.  This is the kind of commitment we need to get a
> viable open source ecosystem to survive and thrive.  

See above; I think it just makes sense when you're making money off of
somebody else's hard work to send at least a little bit back to them so
the can maybe take the wife out to McDonalds or something one night. 
You do like McDonalds, right James?  ;-)

> Remember that in the open
> source world, only the "big" projects like the Linux kernel, Samba, KDE,
> Gnome, etc. get the kind of corporate funding that allows developers to focus
> on writing great code instead of how to pay the rent.  Up-and-coming projects
> like OpenVPN must be supported by the user community, otherwise they risk
> becoming another headless project on sourceforge.  

I realize with a situation such as your own, privacy is an aspect of
these things... but it may or may not be helpful to share what kind of
state OpenVPN is in, in the financial realm.  Since you are essentially
OpenVPN right now... are you fully employed?  Is OpenVPN a full-time job
or is it a spare-time project where you devote but an hour or two a day
towards?

Have you looked for such commercial contracts as the likes of KDE,
Gnome, and the kernel project have obtained?

> What is needed is for a higher percentage of users to support the project
> financially.  Consider these statistics:  Right now the sourceforge stats page
> shows that OpenVPN has been downloaded 72,666 times.  Since its inception, the
> project has received 17 donations.  That comes to only one donation per 4274
> downloads.

Well, in fooling around with OpenVPN, I've probably downloaded it a
hundred times before... and I think many, if not most, of the OpenVPN
users are using it completely for personal 'play' use.  I could be
mistaken, however.

> So please consider making some kind of donation if OpenVPN is important to
> you.  And if you are business-oriented person, I would love to hear any
> suggestions you might have on how some kind of business model could be
> constructed around OpenVPN to ensure its financial survival.

If you/OpenVPN are really hurting for money... you may consider
soliciting donations through advertisements in the program itself... but
I don't know how people other than myself would feel about such a thing.

If you have the time (which it appears you do not)... consulting for
companies wishing to deploy VPNs could be a source of income.  Actually
setting up solutions for them, utilizing OpenVPN, could be a decent
source of income if the demand is there.

Rob



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