[maemo-developers] [maemo-developers] bounty program?

From: Daniel Stone daniel.stone at nokia.com
Date: Thu Jan 11 12:18:55 EET 2007
On Thu, Jan 11, 2007 at 10:45:37AM +0100, ext Quim Gil wrote:
> Not that I'm against or in favour of bounties (depends on the context
> and particular circumstances, I guess) but...

Indeed, conceptually it seems okay, but it seems that very limited,
targeted, bounties should be offered, instead of a larger program.

> On 1/11/07, Andrew Flegg <andrew at bleb.org> wrote:
> >Looking around for off-the-shelf software we could customise shows up
> >GNOME's Bounties programme (the bounties are vetted by committee):
> >
> >    http://www.gnome.org/bounties/
> This programme was discontinued, it's worth knowing why.

Ditto Ubuntu's.

> >... and Nat Friedman's thoughts on what I've just described above:
> >
> >    http://nat.org/2005/january/#bountysystem
> Let's not forrget Luis Villa's research on the same topic, far less 
> optimistic:
> http://tieguy.org/blog/2006/06/18/crowding-out-of-intrinsic-motivations-aka-the-bounty-problem/

I don't know that this was the exact problem.  Ours wasn't analysed
quite so heavily, but it semeed that[0]:
  a) for motivated, talented, community members, either the small
     amounts on offer weren't enough to have them able to leave their
     job for a while and throw large amounts of time at it, or they'd
     already do it for the love of it;
  b) so you got a lot of random ring-ins coming in, which isn't
     necessarily a bad thing, but the code was often not great quality,
     and usually didn't comply to the community norms, meaning it took a
     great deal of work to fix anyway;
  c) most of these people didn't seem to stick around: they took their
     bounty money and simply disappeared.

So it was more of a community-building problem, but quite an alarming
one at that.


[0]: Speaking from my POV, not Canonical's, Ubuntu's, Nokia's, etc.
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