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Arpit Mohan
Arpit Mohan

Posted on


What do you think of Open Source Sustainability?

First of all, thanks to all the people who've made OSS possible. The fact that development is easier today is thanks to the years of efforts that you've put into making this possible.

In the recent past, I've been researching the various ways that OSS projects try to achieve sustainability. I've realized it means different things to different people. To some, it means that they can quit their full-time job and support their families through their work on OSS. To others, it just means continuity of the project after their eventual burn-out or disinterest.

Time and again, I've also heard that funding is the biggest source of pain for OSS projects. Initiatives like Patreon, OpenCollective, BountySource etc seem to be the main platforms that are leveraged to raise funding.

I'd love to hear from the community and especially OSS maintainers, how they think of this? If you've raised some funds, how'd you go about it? How was Patreon or OpenCollective?

Top comments (2)

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Two great models that come to mind for me are Vue.js and Webpack. Webpack has done a brilliant job drumming up support through OpenCollective thanks mostly to great work from @thelarkinn and Vue creator Evan You has a well-funded Patreon.

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Sean Larkin

"If you've raised some funds, how'd you go about it?"

So I'll preface the answer to this question with a very important statement: If your first goal is to make money, you'll fail.

What you really want to be focusing on, is creating trust, partnerships, lasting relationships with users, companies, contributors, and other relevant parties (like Browser Vendors, other open source projects, etc.).

These are all things that we focused on first and let funding become the dividend from the creations and sustaining of these long term relationships.

I won't go through our entire process, however I can share a transcript that was recorded from me presenting on this topic at a webinar: