Open Source Developers: What incentivizes you?

I’m writing an organization governance platform for the Cardano blockchain, targeted first and foremost at open-source development projects. It helps define project/organization ownership and operation. The main problem I am trying to tackle is how to provide stability to open source projects. I see many of them break down due to the following issues:

  1. Political disagreements
  2. Lack of funding
  3. Losing developers

As of now, I have some proof-of-concept code running to record and transfer ownership. The question I am faced with now is how do you incentivize developers to stick with an open source project and hopefully promote more involvement?

So I’d like to hear from you:

  • Why do you choose to contribute to open source projects?
  • Why do you choose to leave open source projects?
  • What would incentivize you to increase your participation in an open source project?

If you want to read more about what I’m trying to accomplish, see the repo here:


“Only wimps use tape backup. REAL men just upload their important stuff on ftp and let the rest of the world mirror it.” to quote from Torvalds.

It seems you are not familiar with the Open source community at all. Most of the people developing Open Source Software are well paid on their day job by their company and they doing it as hobby or to share knowledge. The reason behind why they doing ranging from boosting their ego to actually believing in the projects. At the end we will all share the same fate, it’s your choice if you contribute something or not.

We are going forward open source and open data even large corporations like Microsoft understands this.

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In that case, am I at least right that many open source projects tend to languish due to contributors running out of spare time to contribute or that they break down due to internal politics? One example of the internal politics issue being the various Node.js forks where many devs disagree with the leadership.

IMO, the fact that most of the people developing open-source software are paid to spend most of their time working on something else instead is evidence of a broken incentive system. Wouldn’t it be better if we could figure out a way to pay them to work on it full time?

There are lots of ways you could approach it: offer them equity in future profits earned from enterprise support, establish some kind of barter system, use it as a type of social networking where you prove your worth and are grouped with other like-minded people who might want to start a business, etc.

None of them are proven of course, but somewhere in that space there are probably improvements to be made on the status quo.


@x3haloed have you looked at gitcoin?

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Yes, I agree completely.

I like your ideas on the topic. I’ll think about it for a while.

Thanks for your input!

No I hadn’t. Way cool!