Thoughts on Bountysource and bounties


Just came across

Has snowdrift studied them at all? I’d be curious to see how the current system of bounties could work with / transition to crowd matching .


On your other thread I linked to one part of our research that also links to which discusses BountySource and the majority of all other platforms. So, you can easily get a full view of the market.

We’ve done all the reseach. BountySource is, along with something like Patreon, one of the main references we can use for technical or legal questions (how do they manage concern X…? and so on).

I don’t see any strong tie-in or transition from bounties to crowdmatching. Bounties are not currently anything substantial. In terms of amount of money, they pale in comparison to campaign crowdmatching and sustaining-patronage (which are themselves inadequate still — else we wouldn’t need to develop crowdmatching).


I’m not saying you haven’t done the research.

As for transition , it seems to me that most of the flo community shuns patronage sites and is bounty focused. Depending on which projects snowdrift launches with first, a large funding source may be the flo community and therefore serve as a transition target. While bounty isn’t a primary competitor on the amount metric , it may be a large competitor on the attention metric.

It’s critical to keep timeline in mind , crawl walk run. Different competitor focus at different points along the timeline. While you ultimately want to transition folks away from patronage sites , earlier on you may wish to focus on bounty displacement as a sort of bridge / POC etc.

If snowdrift wasn’t a coop / non profit (say a benefit Corp or not for profit LLC or something ) I’d advise a straight run against patronage sites. Or if you were a for profit taking a cut of the revenue , you could be well capitalized (as you’d be a far better sustainable cash flow prospect for investors ). However none of that applies , hence my suggestion to think of a phased approach to competition.

It’s an interesting space and somewhat both red and blue ocean.


I don’t agree at all. I think that almost all of what you’re seeing is people speculating about bounties being great. Nearly all of those speculating have neither offered or claimed any bounty ever. Neither have they even looked into the issue. It’s just like if you walked into random tech company and asked some programmer, “how could we better fundraise for FLO?” and it turns out a lot of them say, “hmm, maybe there could be bounties…”

Look at

Their service “Salt” is a patronage service. So, the only notable bounty site gets more funding from patronage than from bounties. From my skimming, it looks like they pay out ~$5-10k monthly in bounties across all projects. So, their entire bounty service across all projects is funding the equivalent of 2-3 full-time programmers (at a below-market, FLO-dedicated salary level). It’s not nothing, but that’s not the market we’re looking at. And we’re happy to just refer people to BountySource if they really want to do bounty stuff.

The closest thing to bounties we might do ever: integrate with some sort of votes on issue-trackers where developers could identify when a vote comes from a patron and give that more weight.

Most of everyone has not engaged in patronage either. It’s almost all people just seeing that their is a funding problem and then speculating publicly about solutions.

Bounty sites, BountySource included, get very little attention in the FLO world. Even Patreon, used as little as it is, gets more. The majority of anyone who has ever donated to FLO projects has done so through either Kickstarter-style campaigns or plain old Paypal-style “donate” buttons. Most people don’t make the jump to donating ever.

We are a patronage site. And we’re much more interested in growing the market than in capturing it. If we just capture the same donations that currently go through Patreon, that’s not enough, even though that’s a possible start.

I already know that some of the people who have pledged or donated through us even at our alpha testing state have never donated to anything else in FLO. But yes, patronage is our category, see our wiki link above.

Sure, but I encouraging you to read our research. Our wiki page on different platforms has been the most popular thing we’ve published. It’s not just an internal planning document or proof of research, it’s designed to be informative to anyone who wants to understand the market.