Funding update: You are amazing!
On Thursday I turned to you with a plea for help, as the financial support for my work on OctoPrint had been dropping over the past years and I was starting to get worried about the future of the project.
I was overwhelmed by the immediate outpour of support I received. My inbox was flooded with messages of encouragement and support, and the support numbers themselves also started to climb immediately.
Frankly I’m still overwhelmed, and I’m still trying to catch up with all the messages I received. Most importantly though, I’m also relieved. From the current looks of it, we totally turned it around and as things are now I should be able to continue to work on OctoPrint for the foreseeable future! 🥳
I didn’t realize how heavy the weight on my shoulders had become until it was lifted off of them again. Thank you so much! You are amazing! ❤️
I also noted some recurring questions in the messages and comments that I received, so I wanted to take a moment to address those here:
What’s the best way to support you?
I’ve been asked this a lot, and the answer is: Whatever works best for you. I’m not going to tell you what to do with your money. If you want to support me, you can do so in a number of ways which are listed on the dedicated support page.
But since many of you wondered where I get the most out of it, the answer for that is: GitHub Sponsors. It’s the platform with the least fee overhead (actually zero for private sponsors, and only the payment processor fees for sponsoring organizations), and thus the one where I get the most out of your contribution.
And I guess it’s no surprise that a small recurring contribution gives more long-term stability than a one-time contribution, so if you can afford it, please consider that. But again, I’m not going to tell you what to do with your money. I’m just happy that you are willing to support me at all.
Why don’t you provide some additional paid services around OctoPrint?
I’ve been asked this a lot as well, and I’ve also been asked why I don’t just start selling OctoPrint itself.
Let’s address the latter one first: OctoPrint is Open Source. Yes, I could start selling it, but that would really not make a lot of sense given that everyone could just take the source code and build it themselves for free. And I’m not going to stop providing the source code, because that’s what Open Source is all about (and even if that wasn’t the case, I’m bound by the terms of the license myself since I accepted external code contributions). So that’s a no.
And additional paid services around OctoPrint? I’ve been thinking about that again and again for a long time, but I’ve always come to the same conclusion: That would take away time from working on OctoPrint itself, and I already don’t have enough of that (yes, even working full time on it - this project is big). So OctoPrint itself would suffer, and that’s not what I want. I want to keep working on OctoPrint, not on some additional paid service around it.
In the end it boils down to the simple question: Can we just acknowledge that maintenance and continued development of a project like OctoPrint is a full time job and worth funding on its own? I’m not saying that paid services around OctoPrint are a bad thing, but I’m also not saying that they are the only way to fund it. And I’m not going to go down that path if it means that OctoPrint itself will suffer from it.
Why didn’t I know that I could support you?
That one’s on me. I always felt weird about asking for support, and I guess that’s why I never really made it a prominent topic. I always mentioned it in the release announcements, and on the home and download page, but in general I’ve been more of a “if you want to support me, you’ll find a way” kind of person and thus didn’t put that too much into the spotlight. Frankly, I didn’t want to annoy people with it.
But I’ve learned my lesson now, and I’ll be making this a more prominent topic in the future. I’ve already started work on some changes for OctoPrint 1.10.0 that will put options to financially support my work on OctoPrint more into the spotlight, and I will also be making some more changes to octoprint.org and the forums to make it easier to find the support options. All of that of course without being too obtrusive. I’ll make sure to find a good balance there.
Last but not least, thank you again, from the bottom of my heart ❤️ It’s amazing to see how much you care about OctoPrint and my work on it, and I’m so happy that I’ll be able to continue to work on it for the foreseeable future.
- 30 Oct 2023