Resourcing Open Source Software

Open source software projects have become akin to public utilities, utilized by more than 90% of software applications1. But these projects are often fragile, passing along security vulnerabilities, suffering “bit rot,” and abandonment by maintainers.

We believe that the root cause is a lack of project sustainability—stakeholders lack the necessary resources (time, money, and skill) to adequately steward the project for the long-term.

Read more about our analysis of the problem here.

A Way Forward: Maximize the Impact of Developer Hours

We believe that the rivalrous good in the creation and maintenance of open source software is not the software, i.e. the bits, but rather the production process itself. That leads to a tangible goal:

Pioneer new economic systems that maximize the impact of developer hours in the production of open source software.

At a high level, we are interested in solutions that explore one of four strategies:

  1. Increase the total number of available hours.

  2. Increase the efficiency of existing hours.

  3. Eliminate wasteful hours.

  4. Redirect hours to higher priority tasks and projects.

A Think and Do Lab

The SocioTechnica approach is to think and do. The process has three broad phases: exploration, theory-building, and experimentation, which proceed in an iterative manner. We build towards live economic systems informed by real-world tests. The lab is designed to produce working systems, not merely to capture and disseminate knowledge.

Process

Who We Are

SocioTechnica is a Danvers Fleury and Jess Martin partnership. We’ve been working together on projects at the intersection of people, systems, and technology since 2008.

Jess Martin - I've been shipping software professionally for nearly 20 years, alternating between early-stage startups and consulting, playing most of the positions one can play in tech from developer to CTO. I believe that computation represents a fundamental shift in human capacity, similar in scope to the creation of spoken language or writing. There are innumerable opportunities to improve upon the primitive, yet amazing machines that we spend hours with every day!

Jess's User's Guide

Danvers Fleury - During the first half of my career, I contributed to 4 startup exits and co-founded a successful regional digital marketing agency. These days, I am trying my hand at deeper, more transformative work.

Danvers' User's Guide