The musings of an insecure technologist

Kenneth Reitz Should Be a Millionaire

or “Introducing the Dollar Store”

tl;dr: Like the apple store, we should have an easy way to pay $1 to use a piece of software. I think Github should help us do that

I went to a really greate Python Meetup last night where Kenneth Reitz (@kennethreitz) did his Python for Human’s talk. Really interesting talk, worth watching (link).

@kennethreitz is, among other things, the author of the requests library for python. On one of his slides, he mentioned that his open-source requests libary has been downloaded 4MM times. I that got me thinking …

Kennenth Reitz should be a millionaire

Now, maybe he is. But I doubt it. But he should be. Here’s how …

So I pose a question to you developers out there:

Whould you pay $1 to use the requests library? Whould you pay $1 to use Flask? Rails? etc …

I know for me, the answer is Hell Yes! if (and here is the important part) it is really easy, and headache free.

Here is my proposal …

GitHub should open the “Dollar Store”

There are a lot of details that need to be worked out. But here is the general work flow:

  • Kenneth clicks a button on his requests project and says — “Enable Dollar Store” (note: that the project can still be downloaded for free as normal)
  • I go to my github account, and click ‘support the Dollar Store
  • Now the first time I pull down a project from gibhub with my ssl_key or what have you, if that project is in the dollar store GitHub charges me a dollar and gives it to that project owner

Organizations as a whole can also support the dollar store. I can have all of ZEFR support the Dollar Store.

Pretty soon, Kenneth will be a millionaire and will be able to afford the laptop of his dreams.

I know this open a can of worms (Haters gonna hate):

  • How do you allocated funds among many commitors?
  • Copyright(left) issues (This is probably the biggest hurdle now) — But I believe surmountable

But I think these are all details. Fundamentally there is money out there that wants to go into smart engineers pockets — and we should find a way to greese the wheels, and make it easier for that to happen.

I really think that something like this will be great for innovation. It will spur more people to contribute to “OpenSource”

In the meantime there are some alternatives to support projects like these:

  • Gittip (right know Kenneth makes about $4,000 year for this work)
  • And you can also pay for “enterprise support” for $25/year