Victor Ronchin in  
Data Scientist  


Would you contribute more to open-source if it paid like freelance work?

I've noticed there are only donations available in open-source and I think some people may be incentivized if companies were paying for fixes and features.


662 participants

qwertyCoderSoftware Engineer  
Money is a strong motivator, probably one of the strongest. Companies paying for open-source contributions could definitely attract more developers. Just gotta find the right balance between paid and volunteer work.
ShoManagement Consultant  
The claim that money is one of the strongest motivators has been disputed and even debunked in many experiments.

However, the amount of money is a strong incentive once the (work) interaction or exchange is placed in a financial / economic plane.

And, if life is organised in a hyper cutthroat environment and an environment (political, economical, cultural) in which "homo homini lupus est" (a man is a wolf to another man), where propaganda creates a narrative that money is a measure of success and that money is a measurement of human value and fulfilment, then yes - money becomes to be seen as the main motivator.

But in environments in which humans find fulfillment and joy not in trying to emulate psychopaths but by being creative and humane, then those environments and societies create different social systems in which the provision of the most of the important human needs is already included and paid for by the whole system, which then incentivises individuals and collectives to nurture such a system and to help it grow.

For example, in a system in which all education, housing, healthcare, holidaying, etc. is provided for free (funded from the joint purse), hoarding money individually makes no sense - what do you need it for in such an excess amount?

A CEO needs not be paid in millions, a CEO can be one among many smart and knowledgeable and able to do the job - not primarily motivated by an exorbitant amount of money and/or by being a psycho.

A billionaire is a foreign concept - similar to being obsessed by hoarding some other random item in billions: what do you need it for and why do YOU get to HOARD it (why would you prevent others from enjoying the accumulation of benefits that humanity got from decades or centuries or millennia of scientific and cultural development?

When you enjoy a family gathering or a gathering of friends, money is not a motivator. Motivator is something else.- your want to be there, your need to be there, your desire to feel fulfilment from being part of that group and that ongoing relationship of some kind.

Money is a motivator when human beings are reduced to cheap labour and financial existence (survival) only.

Some studies have shown that, say in the US, on average, money makes a difference between $0 and approximately$70,000 per year. Above $70,000, if the basics are covered (food, shelter, etc.), other important needs are at play. Working more hours to earn more money usually decreases the satisfaction with life, except in cases in which individuals find fulfilment through their work (when work is a form of play for them, or they do something noble and fulfilling).

Working 15 hours a day in an investment bank, shuffling money and making mostly rich enough people even richer, is hardly fulfilling, is very stressful, and leaves hardly any time to actually enjoy daily life. Some try to justify it by buying a bigger TV, bigger house, more expensive car, more expensive time-teller (a.k.a. watch), more expensive pieces of tribal expression (a.k.a. rocks, a.k.a. jewelry), more expensive schools and tutors and hobbies for their children, more nannies and helpers and drivers to take their children to all those activities, and, perhaps, holidays in some faraway exotic destinations.

Those with more time find many more ways to enjoy their EVERY DAY, their life, activities spent with their friends, parents, spouse, children, hobbies, contribution to others and to higher goals.

Money may be a strong motivator for some, but is a poor master.