I’m not really big on defeat. It’s not something I dig.
So when I think something is a good idea… I tend to just continue hammering away until it becomes a reality. Case in point:
Step 1) Bryan wishes Jos Whedon would make an Avengers movie.
Step 2) Bryan wishes for it really hard.
Steps 3 through 7,394) ?
Step 7,395) Bryan watches an Avengers movie made by Jos Whedon.
No matter how unlikely it is, if I am convinced it is a good idea that could make the world a bit more awesome, my soul demands that it must happen. [Not trying to take anything away from Mr. Whedon’s hard work here, all I did was get the ball rolling with the first two, obviously critical, steps.]
This applies to me believing in the fundamental awesomeness of Open Source (and, for those who feel persnickety about the wording, “Free Software”).
Which is why I Open Sourced such a huge amount of my applications and games under the GPL license. And, as you can probably surmise, that changes the business strategy a teensy bit.
I opted to go for the “Open Source funded by donations” route. Because I believed in its viability. Still do, really.
Just not now. [Maybe in the future. Maybe in the near future. Perhaps a bit farther out. I, honestly, have no clue.]
Donations started out fairly strong. Not off the charts… but steady enough to suggest a bit of predictability. Which, for anyone looking to earn an income from an endeavor (aka “a job”), predictability in paychecks are a good thing.
Then, within a smattering of weeks, things dropped off. Donations fell to a point where it would be hard to pay a part-time intern with the monthly totals.
Which leaves me with three options:
- Close up all of the software and begin selling it again (which is a proven way to support this specific software).
- Leave the software Open, keep working on it full time, and hope magical unicorns fly out of my posterior and begin conjuring money with their Rumpus-Unicorn-Magic ™.
- Leave the software Open… but stop working on it full time. Thus free up time to focus on endeavors that provide better revenue.
Option 1 sounds like defeat. See top of this post for more information on my thoughts about defeat.
Option 2 sounds awesome. But unicorn-based. Never go into a situation where you are reliant on unicorns. This would be about as dumb as messing with a Sicilian when death is on the line.
So Option 3 it is!
Luckily, for me, I’ve got my writing to fall back on and give my focus to. [For those of you who read that sentence and thought “REEEEALLY?! YOU?!” — and then proceeded to look over the current post for grammatical and spelling errors… all I have to say is this: Crazy, right? People pay me for these words. It’s a nutty world we live in.]
Here’s how this is going to work:
- Source code remains available for Illumination, App-Make-inator, etc..
- Donations are still accepted on the Download Page.
- Those donations fund the development in the following month. (ie. Donations in January fund the development that occurs in February.)
- Only a few donations = Only a little development.
- Lots of donations = Lots of development.
Simple, right? This lets development continue, in a focused way… just (probably) a fair bit slower than before.
With all this in mind, I have removed the donation goal progress bar from the site. It just doesn’t make sense anymore.
And if I, say, release a new game in the future (which has been known to happen)… will it be Open Source?
Honestly that really depends on how things are going. If the funds are there to support it? For sure. Otherwise any new piece of software will likely be released as closed source in the old-school Shareware style.
As an aside, I just want to say this:
I am extremely proud of the community we have here. Many of you put your money where your mouths were… and that resulted in some excellent Open Source software. All of you deserve to pat yourself on the back.
I am also a fair bit humbled (about as humbled as I get, anyway). You donated your hard-earned money based, in part, on your belief that what we were doing was worth while — and that me working on these projects was worth while.
For that, I thank you. Quite sincerely.
Okay. That out of the way, time for me to prep the next issue of Road-Sign Hank and the Aliens. That comic book has sat idle for far, far too long.