microPledge looks like the most interesting effort to provide a platform for funding creation of public goods through donations that I’ve seen in awhile (which isn’t saying much). Their projects could be thought of as assurance contracts — you either get the software or your money back. Would be interesting to see them attempt to offer dominant assurance contracts — … or your money back, plus. They also have what looks to be a reasonable approaches to payments to creators while a project is in progress and quitting creators.

But the amounts pledged so far are micro.

Via Erik Möller and Jeff Bone.

2 Responses

  1. Very nice. Very good to see this ‘crackpot’ idea grow in plausibility.

    Incidentally, I’ve been thinking about DACs in the back of my mind for a while. I’m beginning to suspect the compensation for unfruitful decision cost is offset by a hidden cost that would render it less appealing than it might at first appear.

    It’s a bit like TechDirt’s micro-consulting: http://sensorymetrics.com/2007/08/20/techdirt-the-blog-that-pays-for-micro-consulting/

    You can no doubt make money from it, but I wonder if offering money to micro-consultants obtains less good punditry than if no money was involved at all, i.e. there was still a careful vetting process, but all responses were published for all to see. The moment money is offered, people start biasing their response toward what they feel will appeal to the client rather than what they would do if they were the client. Moreover, what kind of business advice can you obtain from people who need the money? No doubt many more subtle consequences.

    I’m thinking there are also subtle consequences for DACs vs ACs.

    As with any interchange between monetary commission and goodwill. Some people may prefer the brownie points obtained by sticking their neck out in support of a favoured cause vs easy pennies from failed projects in which they had little faith.

    But hey. Nothing like the free market for naturally selecting the best characteristics. DACs may still win the day.

  2. […] month another site for aggregating donation pledges to open source software projects […]

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