Diversity and competition among projects

Prompted by this exchange:

Continuing the discussion from Mechanism re-proposal: Preshold:

My views:

  • Probably better to have one great project vs several mediocre ones
  • But better to have several great partially-overlapping projects than only one great one.
  • Freedom to fork enables creative evolution and diversity and is a check on the power of a project, but it’s negative to have pure quantity of forks for no good reason
  • Curation is an important part of the ecosystem
    • Within a noisy diverse mix of resources, projects that help review, curate, highlight, guide attention… the curation efforts themselves are worthwhile projects to fund

Whenever we are discussing a zero-sum trade-off, I lean against supporting diversity of projects as an end in itself. But the hope is to grow the public domain enough to reduce the cases of zero-sum trade-offs. Diversity of projects is at least correlated (if not an essential factor to) resilience and dynamism and covering the needs of diverse people.

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I agree with this. I got into a debate about a11y that basically landed there.

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I forgot to add my primary thought on this topic: due diligence around existing efforts.

I want a norm where people feel some responsibility to figure out whether it is worth helping existing efforts before starting new ones. People should investigate the state of things before presuming that the solution is to start something new.

We did this with Snowdrift and continue to watch the competing options. We don’t want to make something just to be the ones to do it. We just want the problems solved. In each case where we think helping other efforts is the better path, we do that.

P.S. Not saying this in regard to anything anyone else said that this topic was sparked by, just posting to collect relevant thoughts in one place.

I see it as a real problem when people reinvent wheels

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