Resourcing Open Source

Updated July 2022

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.