On February 8th, the beta version of opengift.io, the platform offering a new business model for custom software development, went live.
‘Today, when a company needs a custom software tool, they usually invite in-house developers or vendors to customize open source software. Such approach is inefficient, since many companies need same features rather often. With OpenGift, they will be able to request changes done by open source developers in the very software the developers have developed or maintained, and fund it by donations jointly with other companies’, explains Yegor Maslov, OpenGift Founder & CIO.
OpenGift emphasizes that such model could work only in the combination with well-designed reputational system. The project roadmap implies OpenGift platform collects and displays many options for different metrics. It will help potential backers assess their donation risks for a particular project, and estimate the time until the release of the desired feature.
OpenGift team believes that for open source projects, to compete successfully with the proprietary software rivals, they need to offer similar level of service. This is where the second part of OpenGift’s solution comes into play: smart contracts as the basis for open source organizations.
According to the smart-contract design, a share of the donations each project participant receives is proportional to the share of the project’s tokens they hold. By transferring tokens, project owners can offer monetary incentives to their contributors and participants who provide additional services, such as technical writers, field experts, marketers, etc. By offering a share of the future income to the investors, opens source projects will obtain early-stage funding.
The alpha version of the platform was released in the beginning of January 2018. Since then, more than 75 open source projects have joined OpenGift platform.