Bountysource: Continuous Crowdfunding for Open Source Projects

More than ten years ago, David Rappo and Warren Konkel met in an IRC chat room to figure out ways to incentivize open source software development. They built a solution called Bountysource, sent it into the wild, and moved along.

But in the way that projects find a life of their own, Bountysource never died — in fact, it kept growing. So last year, Warren and David gathered all their contributors together, and brought the band back to San Francisco. Once a project, now a full-time startup, Bountysource is the continuous crowdfunding marketplace moving open source forward.

The platform-agnostic service adds a financial incentivization layer across major open source repositories — GitHub, SourceForge, and so on. Through Bountysource, companies and individuals place “bounties” to fix bugs, solve features, and start new projects, ranging from a few dollars to a few thousand.

Popular not just with engaged end users and open source geeks, companies like Facebook and Mozilla place bounties on important bugs to drive attention to them — generating fast, low-cost solutions that would otherwise languish or consume the time of an in-house developer.

Bountysource is for more than fixing bugs — it’s a fundraising platform for entirely new projects. They helped fundraise a campaign for NeoVIM, the modern take on the popular text editor — along with HabitRPG, the open source task management system with gamified RPG elements. Unlike platforms like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, Bountysource offers continuous crowdfunding, with a funding model that supports the continuous lifecycle of product development.

Some developers love Bountysource because avid users posts bounties on issues that matter to them most. When dealing with dozens, if not hundreds, of potential projects at once — when figuring out what problems to solve can be the biggest problem of all — bounties help developers identify issues that mean the most to their users, while giving users direct input and influence over the direction that a project takes.

The Bountysource team will be showcasing at the BCV Open Source Startup Summit on April 22, and more information can be found at http://bountysource.com

Naval Ravikant: Keynote on Open Source, Bitcoin, and Cryptocurrency

Such investor! Very founder.

Wow! Such visionary. Very founder!

We’re thrilled to announce our newest keynote at the Open Source Startup Summit: Naval Ravikant, serial entrepreneur, blogger at VentureHacks, and co-founder of AngelList. Naval’s keynote will focus on open source, BitCoin, and the future of cryptocurrency.

In his Wired article, Bitcoin: The Internet of Money, Naval presented his vision for the future of the digital currency, pointing to a number of features and distinct advantages provided by the new platform:

Bitcoins are scarce (Central Banks can’t inflate them away), durable (they don’t degrade), portable (can be carried and transmitted electronically or as numbers in your head), divisible (into trillionths), verifiable (through everyone’s block chain), easy to store (paper or electronic), fungible (each bitcoin is equal), difficult to counterfeit (cryptographically impossible), and can achieve widespread use – many of the technologists that brought us advances on the Internet are now working overtime to improve Bitcoin.

So why not just use Pounds or Dollars? One can use bitcoins as high-powered money with distinct advantages. Bitcoins, like cash, are irrevocable. Merchants don’t have to worry about shipping a good, only to have a customer void the credit card transaction and charge-back the sale. Bitcoins are easy to send – instead of filling forms with your address, credit card number, and verification information, you just send money to a destination address. Each such address is uniquely generated for that single transaction, and therefore easily verifiable. Bitcoins can be stored as a compact number, traded by mere voice, printed on paper, or sent electronically. They can be stored as a passphrase that exists only in your head! There is no threat of money printing by a bankrupt government to dilute your savings. Transactions are pseudonymous – the wallets do not, by default have names attached to them, although transaction chains are easy to trace. It has near-zero transaction costs – you can use it for micropayments, and it costs the same to send 0.1 bitcoins or 10,000 bitcoins. Finally, it is global – so a Nigerian citizen can use it to safely transact with a US company, no credit or trust required.

Silicon Valley knows a platform when it sees it, and is aflame with Bitcoin. Teams of brilliant young programmers, entranced by the opportunity, are working on Exchanges (Payward, Buttercoin, Vaurum), Futures Markets (ICBIT), Hardware Wallets (BitCoinCard, Trezor, etc), Payment Processors (bitpay.com), Banks, Escrow companies, Vaults, Mobile Wallets, Remittance Networks (bitinstant.com), Local Trading networks (localbitcoins.com), and more.

To hear Naval’s keynote live, join us at the Open Source Startup Summit on April 22, and follow us at @sfbeta for ongoing updates.

Inside the Yammer Platform

Last year, Yammer launched its developer platform to the world. Broadcasting live from Yammer’s San Francisco’s headquarters, we meet with Drew Dillon, Director of Platform, to talk about the revolutionary new platform and the opportunities it offers for developers to reach a social enterprise audience via freemium, third-party apps.

Yammer is the world’s largest enterprise social network, with a userbase of eight million and counting. With the advent of the platform, developers can reach these users as they would through an app distributed through Facebook or Salesforce.

The platform drastically reduces the costs and barriers for startups to build software for the enterprise, skipping the famously arduous IT sales cycle by appealing directly to end users, who can install apps in a single click.

Learn more about the Yammer platform and watch the live interview on YouTube (and embedded above).