I have an idea for a patreon like system for software devlopment.
Suppose a software takes $10,000 to develop.
Then you set a minimum amount like $100 per license.
Then once 100 people buy it, the price of the license reduces to $10,000 ÷ 101. The difference is credited to all the original buyers. So as more and more people buy it, the per license price keeps dropping and the differnce is credited to all buyers.

I'd love to see someone implement this idea. Boosts appreciated.

I forgot to mention this, that people who already bought are incentivized to not pirate because as more people buy the software they get their money back.

Also, to incentivize people to buy a software in the early phase, ie for first 100 buyers in the above example, we can tweak the formula a bit so that the initial buyers get say $125 back.

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@farseen if you're giving back more money than invested initially, it might be a ponzi scheme. 🤔

@NicolasConstant No I mean those who invested later won't get all of their money back... Only the initial investors

@farseen interesting, because it maintains cash flow for maintenance.
IANABP (business person 😅) but I like it.

@farseen what happens when the price approaches 0 ? Do you consider that a feature or a flaw ?

@trashheap a feature right? Most widely used, which usually means widely needed softwares like a browser for example, become highly accessible to unrpivileged people.

@farseen I like it too in that it sort of solves a long term criticism w/ most proprietary software.

After companies recoop R&D costs on software, they rarely ratchet down the price of the license. Even though distribution is cheap and getting cheaper every day.

@farseen Though it also does require new versions or sequels to keep the income treadmill going. Which some are going to see as a flaw.

@trashheap Yeah. It also discourages working on updates for just the sake of it without any new major features.

@farseen though that in theory includes bugfixes and security updates.

Though maybe you can offset that with a side fund of people who are in high need of those.

Sort of like the companies who ban together and do extended security support for Debian releases.

@trashheap that's a really good idea. But it has this problem that now the people who bought old versions will stop receiving money. Hmm.. we should think of some way to merge the new version's and old version's income?

@farseen @trashheap you can set a minimum price. Once that is reached any surplus received goes in an innovation fund to be invested in software improvements.


Other than the lack of profit, how is this different than the standard proprietary software model?

@farseen So ongoing development is supported by major version bumps requiring new licenses? It's an interesting idea in that it reflects how costs per unit of software actually work, more or less

@farseen I'm planning a smart TV web browser for which that'd be a tempting way to crowdfund...

@farseen I'll certainly try crowdfunding it!

Might just use an existing platform though. Even if I do manage to get more money than I need, there's plenty of related (and upstream) projects to throw excess money at...

@alcinnz still it isnt feasible for an indie developer to put in place all the infrastructure to keep giving back money to the old buyers.
We need a company or a cooperative of some sorts.
We can say something like 0.1% of the developer's money need to be given towards maintaining the project. I'd love to meet anyone good with business stuffs to help implement this idea.

@farseen somehow similar to "crowdmatching" like does it, but different.

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