Hi Rosario,

Thank you for caring enough to write in. I volunteered a bunch of time (mostly this past spring) doing project management and design; I'm currently slightly out of the loop (the semester is in full swing). That is to say, Aaron is much closer to the project than I am. I just want to give info/my thoughts on a few specific things:

On Wed, Oct 19, 2016 at 2:41 PM, Rosario Suarez <rosario.sua...@yandex.com> wrote:
You've already spent probably more than 10 grands as well (I even donated to your campaign!),

You can see our full accounting here: https://wiki.snowdrift.coop/operations/accounting
You're working on [Snowdrift] as a spare time hobby.
[...]
I want to use and support Snowdrift just because there isn't anybody else out there that cares about freedom of software and art works.
[...]
But goddamn, you guys don't know how to manage a project! [...] You could already get hundreds of free developers if only you chose a language other than Haskell.

Patreon was conceived slightly after Snowdrift.coop. We'd probably have launched before them if we'd also received $1m in venture capital. But then we'd also be beholden to an investor whose bottom line might not be freedom. One reason launching has taken so long is that we've only made one technical compromise to our ethics (using Stripe's proprietary js, which is limited to a single page).

Snowdrift is more than a spare time hobby, but volunteers have full time jobs; the only time they can spend is their spare time. Those who work or have worked full time are making tremendous sacrifices to do so. Aaron decided not to pursue a PhD. The $2500 I spent on rent and food last spring came out of my own savings account, not any income I earned at the time. David alone has donated over $40k.

That level of funding doesn't go that far. The ~$25k/year that Bryan has received is *far* below the going rate for development work. Was picking Haskell a choice that delayed our launch? Definitely. Did we suffer from the sunk cost fallacy with regards to starting over in another language? Probably. Given how close we are to launching now, though, that would only delay us further.

Besides, if you don't know how to get this "snowdrift" idea going, just quit this bullshit and start with something simpler, for example classic, traditional donations and work your way to the "snowdrift" on a later time.

We already accept traditional donations; if they truly worked, we'd have gotten enough money to launch a long time ago. Although, if traditional donations worked in the first place, funding public goods wouldn't be a problem and Snowdrift wouldn't need to exist.

You should realize that I don't care about your project because the "Snowdrift" is any revolutionary idea; I just care about it because it's free, because I know the people working on it understand what freedom is, and because there is nobody else doing the same thing. And I feel most people feel the same.

I can't speak for others, but I care about the project for the same reason you do... but I give my time to it only because I think it may succeed at funding public goods at a scale where many, many projects before it have failed.

Please stop the talking, the postponements, stop telling people what you want to do and just do it ffs. Start with something simple, do a prototype, get feedback, stop wasting time. If you don't, your project will be a huge waste and you'll be dead as soon as some other person who cares about freedom decides to start a similar donation platform. And let me tell you, when that happens people won't give a glorious damn of your revolutionary snowdrift idea, they will just care of a free platform that works (and if the "snowdrift idea" turns out to be any useful, the cost of adding that for them would be minimal compared to your cost of fixing a broken platform).

There's two things going on here.

First off, there's actually a limited window for projects to launch. Hype tends to die off after around 2 years, and if it takes that long to get from our initial launch to a full, public launch, we've lost a lot of momentum needed to get people interested. That's really important to a platform that needs a large base of patrons to succeed.

Second, none of us are in this for personal gain (although we will all gain personally from more high quality free software). If someone who understands freedom managed to provide adequate funding for free software and other public goods, we'd probably all rejoice, nix the snowdrift.coop project and lend our efforts to the project that has found success.

If someone had the skills to make a crowdfunding platform work, the ethics not to sacrifice freedom for profit, and the inclination to spend enough time and effort to see that project launch, then why haven't they come forward to help whip us into shape and actually get launched?

So we come to this: a small group of people with little project management expertise spending whatever time they can spare to try to see this to completion. And -- while far more slowly than any of us would like -- we're making progress! As Aaron said, we're planning on launching really, really soon. The last tentative date I remember hearing was a Nov 12th announcement with our first crowdmatched donation happening on Dec 1. Although I'm totally out of the loop right now, unexpected roadblocks always come up so I would not be surprised if that got pushed back a few weeks, but I would be very surprised (and, like you, disappointed) if our first crowdmatch happened any later than Jan 1st.

Cheers,
Stephen


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