Why Kickstarter is probably a bad idea.

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dark
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:40 pm

Why Kickstarter is probably a bad idea.

Post by dark »

I read it constantly that ReactOS should try Kickstarter for their funds, but no one seems to look at the fine print on their site at all.
1. Funding for projects only. A project has a clear goal, like making an album, a book, or a work of art. A project will eventually be completed, and something will be produced by it. A project is not open-ended. Starting a business, for example, does not qualify as a project.
You can only raise money for something with a definite end, CFI all over again. Even the Google code projects tended to drag on because the underlying support was missing.
2. Projects must fit Kickstarter’s categories. We currently support projects in the categories of Art, Comics, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film, Food, Games, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology, and Theater.

Design and Technology projects have a few additional guidelines. If your project is in either of these categories, be sure to review them carefully. View Design and Technology requirements

Kickstarter requires additional information from Design and Technology projects so backers can make informed decisions about the projects they support. These requirements include detailed information about the creator’s background and experience, a manufacturing plan (for hardware projects), and a functional prototype.

Additionally, not everything that involves design or technology is permitted on Kickstarter. While there is some subjectivity in these rules, we’ve adopted them to maintain our focus on creative projects.

Projects, projects, projects. As in all categories, Kickstarter is for projects that can be completed, not things that require maintenance to exist. This means no e-commerce sites, web businesses, or social networking sites. (Yes, this means Kickstarter wouldn’t be allowed on Kickstarter. Funny, but true.)
D.I.Y. We love projects from the hacker and maker communities (weekend experiments, 3D printers, CNC machines), and projects that are open source (hardware and software). Software projects should be run by the developers themselves.
Form as well as function. Kickstarter is a place for products with strong aesthetics. Think something you would find in a design store, not “As-Seen-On-TV” gizmos.
I've bolded the important statement "Software projects should be run by the developers themselves." While there are a handful of software projects on the site, the vague wording on this one would allow them to reject any project proposals from ReactOS.

PurpleGurl
Posts: 1788
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:11 am
Location: USA

Re: Why Kickstarter is probably a bad idea.

Post by PurpleGurl »

1. We could just get them to help with some crucial pieces. Modules and sections of code do have ending points. Sure, they may need updated, but once you have it created, the rest is fairly easy. All of Microsoft's products are built on top of something else. Microsoft Executive yielded to Windows 2.x. Windows 2 yielded to Windows 3. Windows 3 yielded to WFW and Windows 95. They also simultaneously started NT, which shared a lot of Win 95 code I am sure, but used a different kernel and underlying structure. 95 evolved into 98 and ME. NT became 2000. Neptune would have been the first NT version to be marketed to a general, non-business audience and was based on 2000 code, but it was scrapped, and they released XP instead. Then there was Server 2003, Server 2008, Vista, Seven, and now Eight. My point is that they all had to start somewhere and that a good starting point makes it easier to make derivatives. We can get Kickstarter and similar to maybe help with parts of projects, since they would have definite end points.

2. A functional prototype could get us, unless we include all of ReactOS. It works on some hardware and can work on most suitable systems with an emulator. It would be harder to have functional prototypes of modules. If we could get that far, we wouldn't need much help.

3. We actually do have an ending point for the whole project in terms of achievable goals. Sure, updating will be a life-long task, but the "ending point" for 1.0 would be when it runs stable on real hardware on most systems and can stably run most existing software that will run on XP (32-bit).

4. Projects being run by the developers themselves makes sense to me. That is what we have here. We don't have a 3rd party which calls all the shots who knows nothing about the project. That is a problem in the private sector, where you have 2 tiers of staff, with each not knowing what the other is doing. The ones with a knowledge lack the power and those with the power mostly lack the knowledge, though some at the top do get there by working their way up the ladder and thus know what the manufacturing process entails. What Kickstarter seems not to want is for funding to go into overhead instead of the project. Charity groups are bad about that, where maybe only 10% of the funds actually goes to the designated cost. The rest goes to lavish facilities and perks, paid staff, expenses, and 3rd party experts who tell them how to run the organization. We don't have any of that. Except for necessary web-related expenses, we don't have that kind of overhead. So this stipulation is so the funds will go directly to the R&D team so work will get done and not to those who may oversee them nor through any red tape.

dark
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 9:40 pm

Re: Why Kickstarter is probably a bad idea.

Post by dark »

I'm saying reactos tried essentially the same thing with http://www.reactos.org/wiki/Community_Funded_Ideas and it didn't work out at all. The only difference is that a kickstarter fundraiser would be a little more visible to outsiders, but the results would likely end up being exactly the same. And of course, since this is purely a software cause, they are unlikely to except any projects from reactos to begin with and another crowd funding site would probably be a better choice. And things like "Hire a developer for x amount of time" certainly do not meet their criteria for acceptable projects.

SomeGuy
Posts: 586
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 9:48 am
Location: Marietta, GA

Re: Why Kickstarter is probably a bad idea.

Post by SomeGuy »

For the short of attention span like myself, let me try to summarize.

From what is posted above, a kickstarter project would require:

-A well defined, fully detailed implementation specification document in advance.
-A definitive completion end date / consumable amount of time.
-The above prevents inclusion of maintenance.
-Project creator(s) should be the developer(s).
-Project creator's background/resume.

This implies it is likely a project would be rejected if it is perceived to be part of a larger project.

-

I hate to add to idle speculation, but it sounds like the only kind of project that might be acceptable would be if an experienced developer independently proposed to write a relatively small, and standalone component such as a desktop accessory, small utility, or simple device driver.

A "piece" of a larger library or component would not be acceptable. Maintenance on existing libraries would not be acceptable. In the case of ReactOS related software, the end result in its entirety should probably be usable under Windows XP/2003.

The creator/developer would have to comfortably say that they could complete it by X date or using Y hours. And they would be held directly responsible for delivering on time.

So the vast majority of the type of work ReactOS really needs wouldn't fit in this.

It's a little vague how much detail they want in a specification document. Sometimes these can take as long to write as writing the software itself. :)

PurpleGurl
Posts: 1788
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:11 am
Location: USA

Re: Why Kickstarter is probably a bad idea.

Post by PurpleGurl »

SomeGuy wrote:For the short of attention span like myself, let me try to summarize.

From what is posted above, a kickstarter project would require:

-A well defined, fully detailed implementation specification document in advance.
-A definitive completion end date / consumable amount of time.
-The above prevents inclusion of maintenance.
-Project creator(s) should be the developer(s).
-Project creator's background/resume.

This implies it is likely a project would be rejected if it is perceived to be part of a larger project.
Only problem I see is number two. The specifications and outcome desired are definitive and already exists. I never mentioned including maintenance. All we want is to get to 1.0. All the maintenance after than would be on our own dime or that of other donors. The biggest problem is getting to 1.0. The problem is not knowing what that entails. So we would do new work to get the project to where it is fit for the public to use. It doesn't have to be finished in the sense that it never will be, but finished enough to put to full regular use. Where we go from there would be irrelevant as far as initial funding to get to 1.0 goes.

As for project creators being the developers, they mean who submits the project to them. Their use of the term project means something that is submitted to them for help. So the people setting it up would have to be developers. Besides, even if you use the word project in the more general sense, then the only ones who could have created Reactos to this point is our developers. So if Alex submits the request to start a project, that will not be a problem. And the developers here surely have a curriculum vitae to submit.

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