In the area of bounty-based open-source funding, we see a number of problems and a lot of room for improvements.
Current bounty platforms are “isolated”. If you don’t know them already, you’ll never hear about their bounties. As a developer you need to keep an eye on a confusingly large number of individual solutions with different mechanics and entry barriers, while projects struggle to reach out to developers in an efficient way. Effective promotion is a cruicial factor other plaftforms lack.
Octobay builds on heavy social media integration and incentivizing a network of influencers to promote bounties, by monetizing the visibility they can provide on different platforms. Projects in the Octobay ecosystem are also interconnected based on their dependencies to each other, inviting developers to not only help their favorite projects but also those other projects that it relies on, increasing the network effect.
Current platforms require manual action to release bounties. Contributors are waiting unnecessarily to receive their payment and maintainers have additional work.
Contributors are also taking the risk of providing working code, that a project might then simply copy and implement, without actually paying the contributor but cancelling the bounty instead.
Octobay automates the process, whereever possible, in favor of the contributor. If not specified otherwise by the project, the contributor will be able to withdraw funds as soon as the work done is merged into the project. No additional manual process is required.
Also, in order to place bounties with a higher trust-level, projects can stake funds on the Octobay platform, as a form of collateral. In any case of conflict, managed by our internal governance system, projects can get slashed for misbehaviour. An automated plagiarism-check provides additional indication for missbehaviour.
While established projects already have the neccesary trust, this way also new projects can show their commitment.
Other platforms don’t hold up with modern standards of user experience. It’s of significant importantance, to be efficient with the user’s cognitive bandwidth and lower the entry barrier. We feel that many bounty platforms (as well as many other apps) are made “for developers, by developers” and that’s the problem. Technical experts should not be responsible for the user experience design.
Octobay works with experienced UX design experts and focuses on simplicity and easy of use, while providing “everything you need and nothing you don’t”. Our current prototype already makes a huge difference in these terms, compared to other platforms, and impressively demonstrates how “less is more”.