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Obtaining Grants for Open Source Projects?

Cliff posted more than 8 years ago | from the other-options-for-funding dept.

57

Michael Chisari asks: "Does anybody have any leads or information about where and how to apply for grants for open source projects? I've been working on an open source social networking software called Appleseed for around two years now. The goal is to be a free, distributed alternative to MySpace or Friendster where users on separate Appleseed websites can fully interact with each other. The project is huge, and while relatively far along, I've had a hard time keeping up while maintaining the full time job necessary to pay the bills. Ideally, I'd like to get funding so that I could focus exclusively on development. I'd prefer a grant from a foundation as opposed to corporate funding. Individual donations are nice but can't always be counted on. I'm not sure where to find organizations which provide grants for free software or social networking."

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Distributed P2P Social Networking You Say? (2, Informative)

szyzyg (7313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122615)

Sounds like imeem [imeem.com] - any other slashdotters out there using imeem for connecting and sharing?

Re:Distributed P2P Social Networking You Say? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15122630)


Imeem isn't open source, is it?

Re:Distributed P2P Social Networking You Say? (2, Informative)

szyzyg (7313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122653)

No but they do contribute heavily to The Mono Project, and they're released Open source code - such as their 'Dumbarton' project which bridges Objective C to C#. So, not open source, but certainly contributing to the community

Re:Distributed P2P Social Networking You Say? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15122700)

That's great, but these projects don't seem comparable if one final package is open source, and the other isn't.

How can it be truly distributed if you have to run proprietary software to use it?

This appleseed project seems really cool, especially since it's web-based. It seems to solve the problem of what happened when everybody jumped from Friendster to MySpace. It'll be interesting to see if it catches on.

Re:Distributed P2P Social Networking You Say? (1)

szyzyg (7313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122924)

'How can it be truly distributed if you have to run proprietary software to use it?'
Huh? You should look up the meaning of the word 'distributed' - but I understand you really want to run Appleseed on your talkie toaster and that commercial companies are unlikely to port their software to the platform (unless it's toastmaster 2006) ;-)

Sure, imeem is mainly interesting in this context because it's innovative, compared to those monolithic websites like friendster/orkuts/whatever. It's clearly solved a lot of the problems that Appleseed will face so it's probably worth a very close look by anyone who might be interested in appleseed.

Re:Distributed P2P Social Networking You Say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15123050)

Huh? You should look up the meaning of the word 'distributed' - but I understand you really want to run Appleseed on your talkie toaster and that commercial companies are unlikely to port their software to the platform (unless it's toastmaster 2006) ;-)

I meant distributed in the sense that you don't have a single point of distribution.

Appleseed seems like more than usenet than anything else.

Re:Distributed P2P Social Networking You Say? (1)

szyzyg (7313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15123292)

'Appleseed seems like more than usenet than anything else.'

I hope that AOL doesn't create link to it then......

FOAF (2, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122738)

Sounds like imeem

Or like FOAF [foaf-project.org] , the XML (RDF) dialect for describing social networks that really shows the power of Semantic Web concepts. FOAFNaut [foafnaut.org] is a good example of how by combining these simple RDF descriptions with visualization technologies, one can easily create a easily and pleasantly navigable source of information. (There's some other cool examples in Springer-Verlag's Visualising the Semantic Web [amazon.com] ). FOAF files are a cinch to create--there's already a couple of user-friendly generators--and I have no idea why the concept hasn't caught on. Well, Orkut, MySpace, and Friendster obviously won't export FOAF files so they can lock users in.

Re:FOAF (1)

szyzyg (7313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122784)

Yep that data in FOAF or any other format is an asset of those commercial organizations, they'll happily provide you tools for importing data in FOAF format, but they're not going to let you take that away from them.

You can build FOAF data by scraping those sites, or I guess in the case of Imeem you could exploit its distributed nature and pull the data directly from the database on your client, but that'd probably require more work than just writing another website scraper.

Re:FOAF (1)

dominion (3153) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122849)

More probable than not, Appleseed will eventually support FOAF.

It's an open standard, and from what I know about it, there wouldn't be much reason not to.

Need funding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15122642)

Lets Ask Slashdot!

Some further information. (5, Informative)

dominion (3153) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122818)

I'm very glad Slashdot posted this. I've been looking for sources of funding for a little bit now, and I'm at a loss for where to go from here. We've had a trickle of individual donations, which are great and have really helped a lot. But what I'd like to be able to do is take a few months or even a half a year and focus exclusively on Appleseed, especially since it's really starting to come together as a project.

Most of the past two years have been creating an API. Although I probably could have already found the pieces I needed already built, the advantage was that I had a consistent and custom API to work with. And the API has served me pretty well, for instance, the messaging system was written in around 3 days worth of work. Other sections were similarly rapidly developed, but there's still a lot to be done. The final product will combine photo sharing, journals, messaging, and friends list into one package.

Somebody metioned imeem as another distributed social networking project, but I don't think we're particularly in competition, since imeem isn't open source. The purpose of appleseed is to create a network of websites that all work together, and open source is a big part of making sure that anybody who wants to set up an appleseed node (even if it's just for them and a dozen friends) can do so and still maintain full interaction with everybody in the appleseed network.

This is really a project I'm very excited about, and the possibilities are endless. At some point a module architecture is in the plans, which will add the possibility of IM, P2P/torrent filesharing, social bookmark (ala, del.icio.us), social calendars and more. For me, this is where I want the web to go, and at the same time it seems like it's more of a return back to the early days of the internet, when the focus was on distributed networks which inter-communicated, as opposed to a single, monolithic location where all interaction occurs.

Re:Some further information. (2, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15123018)

I'm very glad Slashdot posted this. I've been looking for sources of funding for a little bit now, and I'm at a loss for where to go from here. We've had a trickle of individual donations, which are great and have really helped a lot. But what I'd like to be able to do is take a few months or even a half a year and focus exclusively on Appleseed, especially since it's really starting to come together as a project.

I invest about US$20K a year in new projects and businesses, but all of them require a business plan, a personal statement of intent, and a matching investment by all the principals of the business. In 2006 I have not found any places to spend my money. I also reinvest in all my businesses, but all of them have plans and hard workers to back them up. You'll find it VERY hard to sell a product even to people with grant money if the long term goal of the product is ethereal. Make some CONCRETE plans and post them. I'm a fan of open source, but only if there are enough people willing to spend their time on the project. Money means nothing if you have hundreds of co-developers each putting in their 2 cents (or 2 hours).

Most of the past two years have been creating an API.

Wouldn't your time be better spent promoting the basic plan and finding a dozen people willing to help on the API? Diversify!

The purpose of appleseed is to create a network of websites that all work together, and open source is a big part of making sure that anybody who wants to set up an appleseed node (even if it's just for them and a dozen friends) can do so and still maintain full interaction with everybody in the appleseed network.

It's a great idea, but where is the profit in it? Profit is not greed, it is a sign that someone is willing to compensate those working on a project for a viable product. Donations are great, but is there a "need" for the final product, or are you in a chicken-and-egg situation where no market exists because no product exists because no market exists?

This is really a project I'm very excited about, and the possibilities are endless.

Great ideas are never enough, in fact, great ideas have no value without the idea actually adding value to the products already out there. Consumers are fearful of free projects because they know that there is no money to continue them. If this is to be an open API, maybe you need to work on foundational support before raising money to build the house?

For me, this is where I want the web to go,

The best second step is to review your first step. Get others to love the idea, and there's your source for funding and co-development time. A grant isn't going to get you much, and if you want others to invest their time and money in you, you should do that first. Save a ton of cash for a year (work 3 jobs). Then take a year off and live cheaply while focusing on the marketing aspects. Show other people you're putting your money and your time where your mouth is, and they'll jump on once you are committed.

Re:Some further information. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15123291)

I've implied it before and I'll imply it again - taking business advice from dada21 is like asking a prostitute for advice on love.

A look at the guy's web site shows that he's just a self-aggrandizing, pop-business hack with an inflated sense of importance.

Oh, and when I have mod points I have a lot of fun modding him down!

Re:Some further information. (2, Insightful)

charlesnw (843045) | more than 8 years ago | (#15124935)

While I agree with what you say I don't think the way you said it is the most effective. I have seen posts from dada21 on how he pays employees etc. I don't agree with the way he operates and the majority of /. doesn't seem to either. However lets be a bit more intelligent in the way we disagree shall we?

Re:Some further information. (1)

jdavidb (449077) | more than 8 years ago | (#15131316)

I have seen posts from dada21 on how he pays employees etc.

Be aware that almost everybody misunderstood what he meant when he was talking about that the other day. Everybody thought he meant minimum wage plus 80% of minimum wage as a bonus, but what he actually said was minimum wage plus 80% of the PROFIT. In other words, work for Adam Dada, complete a $200K project, and get minimum wage plus 80 percent of $200K!! (I dunno if he has any projects that big, and of course he means net profit, not gross.) You might want to go back and reread some of those posts, in that light.

Re:Some further information. (1)

jdray (645332) | more than 8 years ago | (#15124483)

Mod this post up, it's straight to the point.

Realize that what you're asking for is free money. You're pretty clear about it, I will say, as you are asking about "donations" and not "investment." An investment implies a future return (hence the acronym ROI). Free money is hard to come by. Investments are easier, but require some assurance that the money, plus some other money to go with it, is coming back.

MySpace generates revenue primarily through ad revenues. With around 70 million subscribers, I can't imagine the number of impressions they get daily, but at $25 per thousand impressions (a reasonable rate for web ads), they're raking in the dough. If you had a site with even a small fraction of that type of income, you'd have a line of investors ready to help you become the next MySpace.

Developing software to put up a site, particularly software that's going to be distributed free of charge, makes it more difficult for investors to be interested. Two methods for an income stream, and therefore investor interest, come to mind: Support contracts and royalties.

Open Source Software companies survive on support contracts. Use the software for free if you want, but if you want to have your phone calls answered in the middle of the night when your site's down, pay up. It's a tough row, and you have to have a MySQL or JBoss type of fame to generate any significant revenue, or be the only player in your domain.

Now on the royalties side, if your business plan said that you had some software that everyone was going to want to use to set up a web site, and you had some other software that served ads into that first piece of software, generating revenue for you, you'd have an obviously viable income stream potential. If your plan was to share the ad revenue with the people hosting the sites as a method of encouraging them to set up sites, therefore encouraging adoption of your software, you'd have a viable method.

But in the end you need a plan to communicate your method. Like the parent said, write it down. When you get your first draft done, go ask your tightwad uncle if it sounds like something he'd invest in, and when he tells you, "No," ask why not. Polish and repeat as necessary until you've got it right.

One other piece of advice: If you can't clearly state your idea and why it's worth doing (usually in financial terms) verbally in 30 seconds or less, you don't have it right yet.

collaborate with academe (2, Insightful)

ecklesweb (713901) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122864)

The only way I've personally seen open-source projects funded by traditional non-profit foundations has been when that project is part of a larger academic initiative. I'm working on a project based on open-source archive software; it's being funded I believe by a major non-profit foundation as well as a few corporate foundations and private donors because it's part of a larger civil rights project. I'm aware of another project involving learning modes that had as a major component an open source "virtual tutor" system. It too was funded my some major grants.

My suggestion to you would be to find an academic whose research interests intersect with the functionality of your open source project. Find a way to establish a joint project, and then apply for funding. I would also point out that obtaining funding can be a full-time job itself, don't short-shrift that position.

Re:collaborate with academia (1)

Shirlockc (916165) | more than 8 years ago | (#15125444)

It would help if you had an educational component to this ie., how can teachers, students use Appleseed as a forum yadda yadda or how can academic groups collaborate to use this system. Then definitely hook up with academia to write a co-grant. Currently NSF funding isn't so hot but it's possible that someone already has a grant or need a component like yours for their current grant. All NSF government-funded research projects are supposed to set aside 10% of their funding for educational outreach purposes. If you can spin your component as a vehicle for such then you may be able to get some of that money. Otherwise, try the computer companies. They all have "charities" and ways to submit projects. As someone else mentioned, finding $ and grant writing is a fulltime job in itself. Good luck. Shirley

Family, Venture Capital, Grants, Family (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122953)

My subject above lays out the process I've seen for business ideas and how the funding is runs in cycles.

The best way to raise capital is to find family and friends to invest in you. If your idea is profitable and you are original, you can probably come up with enough cash to take a few months off work to focus on your dream.

The dotcom boom brought a ton of venture capital, but much of this new money was created by the Fed out of thin air -- it was "easy" money, so it was invested unwisely. Since most VC'd companies never had a profitable product to begin with, the market took care of the problem of unwise investing.

Now that no investment house will throw good money at a bad problem, at least not in the number of the dotcom days, people are looking to grants to help further technology. I'm no fan of grants, especially public ones. I don't want to finance anyone without looking at their business plan.

Grants will eventually give way back to family, as every cycle seems to be.

Me? When I want to run a new business, I work my rear off for a year saving so I can take time off to focus. Rather than looking to use OPM, why not go get 2 or 3 jobs, work VERY hard for 12 months, and then take off for 12 to focus the same hours on your dream? No business will succeed without tender, loving care. Free ones need even more time than profitable ones.

Good luck.

Pssst! (2, Insightful)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 8 years ago | (#15123304)

Not everything is for-profit.

Re:Pssst! (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15123366)

Actually, all profit means is that you put in time and others were willing to give you some of their stored time ("money") in exchange for time you saved them. The best way to prove that your product or service has value is when people either put their time into using it or they are willing to give you some of their stored time to help you make it better. The word profit is NOT equal to greed by any means.

For an open source project to be successful, it either has to be built once and never touched again (people use it as-is), or it has to raise money for people who want to see it made better (that money is given because the people realize that the money/time-storage they give up will hopefully save them time in the future).

Re:Pssst! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15123519)

Actually profit is value added to a product by workers that is not paid out in their wages. Profit is greed and exploitation.

And if you think profit is necessary to make a project succesful, you must be living under a rock because you obviously have never heard of Wikipedia.

For an open source project to be successful, it either has to be built once and never touched again (people use it as-is)
This is idiotic. An open source project that is built once and never touched again is a failure.

Re:Pssst! (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15123847)

Actually profit is value added to a product by workers that is not paid out in their wages.

That's very Marxist of you. Every employee that earns a wage is earning a profit themselves for their time spent. Everything we do is about gaining something for the transaction we make with another person. It doesn't have to be financial, profit can be a gain in entertainment, a gain in emotional intercourse, or a gain in a physical product or a store of wealth.

Profit is greed and exploitation.

No, profit is compensation for the time someone spends. Some people are great managers, sales people, laborers or artists. If their time is spent properly and efficiently, other people will pay them in exchange for saving the other person time -- money is just a store of time passed from one person to another as both parties profit from the exchange. Also, some profit is used to cover the costs during a financial dip, this allows businesses and individuals to overcome market adjustments. I call it savings. Is it greedy to save money for when you are sick or on vacation?

And if you think profit is necessary to make a project succesful, you must be living under a rock because you obviously have never heard of Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is another form of money -- a store of time. One person gives their time to Wikipedia in exchange for gaining information from one source -- a savings of time for them. This is how the free market works. Wikipedia is not free by any means, it requires that people give some time in exchange for what they gain. Not everyone gives time, though.

For any project to be successful, it has to save people time or give them entertainment value. Doing it for free means YOU have to plan for how you'll live, there is no such thing as altruism in the world.

Re:Pssst! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15124062)

Wikipedia is another form of money -- a store of time.

Everyone, don't even bother arguing with somebody who is so completely lost to ideology that this statement makes sense.

Re:Pssst! (1)

avronius (689343) | more than 8 years ago | (#15124308)

Technically speaking:
Profit comes after "breakeven". It is the amount that is left over after costs have been covered. In theory, profits are achieved by reducing costs or increasing revenues.

For the zealots in the audience, I must point out that seeking profit is not a bad thing. Profits are often used to fund alternative product development. They are used to improve the quality of life of the business owner(s).

None of this helps the original poster to locate funding for his/her project...

Get local information first!
Your banking institution and your regional government representative are good starts. An employment or immigration office will also have this kind of information close at hand. It will not be as simple as asking for the "grants pamphlet", but these are people that provide this sort of counsel on a daily basis.

Be prepared!
There are a number of things that you will need to resolve before you leave the house with your hat out.
  1. Am I willing to sell the rights (or a portion thereof) to my product in exchange for this funding?
  2. Can I successfully explain this product to someone that is not familiar with this type of product?
  3. Do I have a solid business plan? You will be expected to account for the effort & money that you've invested to date. You will need to clearly explain how you will use grant / seed / investment money.
  4. You will need to show that you have a clear understanding of your market, your competitors, and how your product can generate revenue in that market.
  5. You will need to have a plan for sustainability that extends beyond the period that you expect to develop in.
  6. And a bunch of other things that I don't have enough to type right now...

Be patient!
It may take a couple of years to convince people to give you money. If you are not successful within the first few months, analyze your business plan, revise and re-submit

Be open-minded!
A good product can still fail to garner enough support to get startup money. Perhaps a grant for open source isn't the answer after all - maybe you need to look at selling the product outright.

Proviso: I don't follow my advice, so it won't hurt my feelings if you don't either.

- Avron

Re:Pssst! (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15124529)

Profit comes after "breakeven". It is the amount that is left over after costs have been covered. In theory, profits are achieved by reducing costs or increasing revenues.

True. Profits are also a way of gauging if your market is interested in your market or services, and if you are competitive enough to stay in business. For me, if profits dive and I can do nothing to modify my business, I will usually sell to the business that beats me and move on.

Profits are often used to fund alternative product development. They are used to improve the quality of life of the business owner(s).

Right. To extend this, though, sometimes people see profits as bad. When Katrina happened and gas stations raised prices (what zealots call "gouging"), the gas station owners KNEW that there might be a supply issue. They raised their prices to best allocate funding for the near-term to make sure they'd have money to keep their businesses open and their employees paid even if they had no gas to sell. If you know you'll be out of your product to sell for 8 weeks, and so will everyone else, you'll raise the "profit" of your remaining stock to cover those 8 weeks of zero sales. $2/gallon might rocket to $8/gallon, but if you sell it at $2/gallon and run out, you might not be able to pay rent, pay employees, and pay utilities. Something to consider.

I don't follow my advice, so it won't hurt my feelings if you don't either.

You should, it is excellent advice.

Re:Pssst! (1)

jdavidb (449077) | more than 8 years ago | (#15131579)

You know, I occasionally get the opportunity to preach, and I've actually preached about the evil covetousness that causes people to make up false "crimes" like "gouging." I explain the true economics of the situation, and explain that such "gougers" are doing exactly what they should do in order to follow Biblical commands such as providing for their own (I Timothy 5:8). At least two churches have heard me do this. So far, I have yet to hear any complaints.

This piece of understanding was passed on to me by another Christian, long ago (even before I was an anarcho-capitalist).

Re:Pssst! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15132287)


The bible has been used to justify everything from slavery to war to genocide to capitalism to charity to state communism. And now it's being used to justify price gouging.

Great.

Re:Pssst! (1)

jdavidb (449077) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140768)

Learn economics [google.com] .

Re:Pssst! (1)

dominion (3153) | more than 8 years ago | (#15144330)


I know quite a bit about economics.

Anarcho-capitalism is an absurdity amongst economists.

Re:Pssst! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15145982)

Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." But when the young man heard the saying, he went away sad, for he was one who had great possessions. Jesus said to his disciples, "Most certainly I say to you, a rich man will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven with difficulty. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God." --Matthew chapter 19

He also said to the one who had invited him, "When you make a dinner or a supper, don't call your friends, nor your brothers, nor your kinsmen, nor rich neighbors, or perhaps they might also return the favor, and pay you back. But when you make a feast, ask the poor, the maimed, the lame, or the blind; and you will be blessed, because they don't have the resources to repay you. For you will be repaid in the resurrection of the righteous." --Luke chapter 14

But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will tell those on his right hand, 'Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; *for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in; naked, and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me.*'
"Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you a drink? When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in; or naked, and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?'
"The King will answer them, 'Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.' --Matthew chapter 25

Re:Pssst! (1)

jdavidb (449077) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148461)

Thanks for sharing. I love receiving lectures on Scripture from people who don't believe it. (Assuming this is the case here, because you're anonymous and so I can't check your history, and because that is usually a safe bet on Slashdot.)

Jesus also said "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever." (I Timothy 5:8) If you'd actually go read some of the articles I linked to, you'd see why in some circumstances what is called "price gouging" (and there is no mathematically rigorous criterion that can distinguish "price gouging" from "responding to market forces") is sometimes necessary in order for a man to provide for his family ... for example, the case when a man runs a gas station and suddenly has no idea whether or not he'll receive a shipment of gas tomorrow, or for the foreseeable future.

The exact balance between what a man should own and keep from his income and what he should give is a matter of personal choice for which he is accountable only to God: "While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men, but to God." (Acts 5:4, where a man loses his life not for giving all but for lying about how much he gave; the apostle Peter affirms that it had been up to the dead man what to do with the money and he could have kept it) "Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver." (II Corinthians 9:7)

And interfering with a voluntary transaction between individuals is completely unChristian. It's one thing to run up and say, "Hey, didn't you know you can get gas at a cheaper price around the block?" It's another to restrict a man's liberty to pay more in order to obtain the gas he needs when the market cannot otherwise provide it. You have no idea how much he needs it, and it's none of your business. Christians are nowhere in Scripture empowered to exercise that kind of force over other people. And when such maximum prices are imposed, shortages are ALWAYS the result. Always.

The important thing is for a man to work to feed his family: "For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone will not work, neither let him eat." (II Thessalonians 3:10) Such infringements of liberty prevent some men from working in order to eat and provide for their own, and permit other people to obtain something for nothing, without having to work for it.

Re:Pssst! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15150467)

"But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever."

Which means that the bible contradicts itself. Which means that you choose ideology in order to reconcile scripture. Which is fine, but your ideology is not in line with the spirit of the bible or Jesus' teachings.

In a time of crisis, price gouging weighs survival towards the economically fit. Which is an inherently un-Christlike thing to do. What if price gouging means that somebody can't afford necessary goods to survive? Price gouging for necessary items during crisis means that the poor die and the wealthy survive. If you feel that this is somehow compatible with Christ's teachings, then I guess we'll both find out at the pearly gates, won't we?

Not to mention the fact that, in times of crisis such as Katrina, all rules of civility go out the window. If somebody needs $500 for a bottle of water, and can acquire a gun easier than acquiring $500, can your ideology stop bullets?

Re:Pssst! (1)

jdavidb (449077) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151110)

Did you provide a mathematically rigorous criterion that can distinguish "price gouging" from "responding to market forces"?

In a time of crisis, price gouging weighs survival towards the economically fit. Which is an inherently un-Christlike thing to do. What if price gouging means that somebody can't afford necessary goods to survive? Price gouging for necessary items during crisis means that the poor die and the wealthy survive. If you feel that this is somehow compatible with Christ's teachings, then I guess we'll both find out at the pearly gates, won't we?

I guarantee that Christ's teachings do not require me to use force on the wealthy to make them do right toward their poor neighbors. I'm ordered to do certain things, and given zero authority at all to make other people do those things.

Re:Pssst! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151872)

I guarantee that Christ's teachings do not require me to use force on the wealthy to make them do right toward their poor neighbors.

I don't think you really have an interest in Christ's teachings. I think you're more interested in your ideology than anything else. Christ's teachings seem to be a sidenote.

Re:Pssst! (1)

jdavidb (449077) | more than 8 years ago | (#15152035)

I don't think you really have an interest in Christ's teachings.

Then I imagine when you came to that conclusion you were glad to realize we had something in common.

Re:Pssst! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15152095)

Then I imagine when you came to that conclusion you were glad to realize we had something in common.

We have nothing in common. I care about people, and you care about markets.

We'll let God determine which one of our perspectives is favored.

Re:Pssst! (1)

Heretik (93983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15146474)

Uh.. yeah. You're "providing for your own" by raping and murdering for profit too, aren't you? So raping and mudering for money is now okay! Teh bibal said so!

Dumbass.

Re:Pssst! (1)

jdavidb (449077) | more than 8 years ago | (#15148488)

Oh how I love being lectured about the Bible by a man named Heretik.

You provide for your own by working, and by not taking from others. (II Thessalonians 3:7-10). When you interfere with people responding to market forces through prices, YOU are actually stealing from both them and from their customers. Maximum prices cause shortages. Always.

Re:Pssst! (1)

Heretik (93983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15153337)

Your weird biblical spin on libertarianesque rabid free-market-ism doesn't make it any less retarded and unrealistic.

Price gouging is not "responding to market forces", it's intentionally eliminating the market by leveraging your resources (cash reserves) against the weaker competition. Markets don't magically solve all the problems when there is no market left, now do they?

Monopolies happen, and your idealistic philosophy (lovely as it may sound at first) does not make them go away - even if you manage to come up with silly arguments that Jesus said so.

Re:Pssst! (1)

jdavidb (449077) | more than 8 years ago | (#15155832)

Price gouging is not "responding to market forces", it's intentionally eliminating the market by leveraging your resources (cash reserves) against the weaker competition.

Quick question: how many of the links off that Google search that I linked to did you read before responding? Read this one [mises.org] and tell me if Jason McBride managed to eliminate any markets. Can you provide for me a mathematically rigorous definition that distinguishes price gouging from responding to market forces?

Anyway, this thread is days old, and I'm pretty much done unless you have something spectacularly new and interesting to offer me. I'm sure we'll cross paths again with another chance to discuss the same subject.

Re:Pssst! (1)

Heretik (93983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15156383)

Ah, I see, proof by one specific example. I stand corrected!

Man you knee-jerk fundamentalists are annoying.

Re:Pssst! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15123575)

For an open source project to be successful, it either has to be built once and never touched again

There are many more definitions of success than the two you present here.

Re:Family, Venture Capital, Grants, Family (1)

twkrimm (802775) | more than 8 years ago | (#15130838)

>> Why not go get 2 or 3 jobs, work VERY hard for 12 months
Many companies force you to sign an overly restrictive Intellectual Property Agreement, where the company owns all of your thoughts 24/7.

Are you willing to invest your time and money in an idea that your employer might have claims on?

Before I spend alot of time and money on a major purchase like a house, I would at least like to have a "clear title". I want to know that I am the owner. I do not have that "clear title" to my ideas and inventions when corporate IP agreements are involved.

Thanks for asking this... (0)

vinn (4370) | more than 8 years ago | (#15123064)

I've been wanting to know about this for years! Please, someone share your knowledge of writing grants and potential sources.

Step #1 seems to be getting non-profit org status (probably meaning a 501c3 filing). Step #2 is to start the begging process.

Personally, I'd like to get some $$$ for the Wine project. I want to apply to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Association for Free Software (1)

albalbo (33890) | more than 8 years ago | (#15123144)

The AFFS (http://www.affs.org.uk/ [affs.org.uk] ) have a limited amount of money that they are able to use to fund Free Software projects. Some preference is given to UK-based projects, and to those projects which contribute something unique to the community, but all are welcome to apply for money.

We're not talking megabucks, but certainly enough to fund certain tasks/milestones.

subject (1)

JeremyALogan (622913) | more than 8 years ago | (#15123163)

You don't need a grant for your project. Grants are to give you funding while you develop a project (lets not debate it's merit here) so that you can aford the costs of development. It sounds like you've already developed it, so what you really need is advertisers for when you launch. Giving that you're going up against MySpace I'd have to advise you to find a time machine and go back and warn yourself to spend your time on a different project (seriously, what could you have spent that much time on? I could best MySpace in 2-3 weeks of semi-serious coding.). Several better alternatives have come up and subsequently died. Not because they weren't vastly superior, but because of the power of word of mouth. A few million 14 year olds is a powerfull marketing force.

Re:subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15123264)


That's some really brilliant advice.

It all comes down to (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15123355)

How much hype you can build up surrounding your open source project and how you can sleep at night knowing your ripping off people developing software that will never earn profit.

Open source = hobby. Good luck getting paid for a hobby, unless you can get a pro-golfer to reveal his secrects.

Re:It all comes down to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15123653)

How can you rip people off with free software? Are you an idiot? Why are you even on slashdot?

Some sources of "grants".... (1)

aminorex (141494) | more than 8 years ago | (#15123779)

Now let's see... There's doubleclick.net, and Google, and...

Government Grants.. (1)

Thomas Charron (1485) | more than 8 years ago | (#15123908)

Generally, you have to hunt for the grants. The grants are generally to provide research and development twards a specific goal.

    Take a look at grants.gov as a good starting place. From there, search. Find a grant that MAY be considered relevant. Bear in mind, you'll need a buisness and commercialization plan as well. It isn't just 'free money'. But do your homework, and you could get upwards of 100k.

Re:Government Grants.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15124689)

Yeah, if you don't have what it takes to make money selling your software, you could always use the government to force other people to foot your bill.

Re:Government Grants.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15124860)


And then give it away for free so everybody benefits...

Why would someone give you a grant for this? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15125368)

Not to be mean but what value does it have to the world at large? A grant is pretty much a gift. Why should someone give you a dollar that could go to Moodle, or AIDs research, or the local homeless shelter?
Being really cool isn't enough.
The other option is how could someone make money with this?
If you really love the idea and enjoy working on it then do it.
You are the grant giver.
It does sound interesting and I could see it as a good grad student project but I don't see how it is worthy of a grant.

Grant Money??? Go to the Expert! Just.. ask..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15126176)

....LESKO! [governmentgrant.com]
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