Letter from the founder

Welcome to the world of Gitcoin.

Our mission is to Grow Open Source. We want to enable YOU to be able to work for open source, for the open internet.

Gitcoin is a bazaar where you can find funding for your code, or code if you're a funder.

While this dream is lofty, it is important to stay grounded in real results. In January 2020, Gitcoin facilitated $333k in value transfer. That's about $463/hour, for every hour during January ($2085/business-hour). See our results

Finally, Gitcoin is your project too. Eric Raymond once said that "Treating your users as co-developers is your least-hassle route to rapid code improvement and effective debugging.".

I hereby welcome you to co-create a better world for open source developers with us.

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How to use this Guide

This guide is written for two different readers.

  1. I just want an answer, and I want it now.

  2. I want to read more about the ebb & flow of the Gitcoin community.

If you are in camp 1, you likely want an answer quickly. Skip here.

If you are in camp 2, you are treating Gitcoin like an MMORPG -- a rich immersive world of software developers like you + projects that are foundational to the future of Open Source... You value immersion of yourself more deeply into the value creation funnel of Gitcoin, the design space of open source + blockchain, and the creation of value for the Gitcoin network..

If that is you, read on..

Vision for the wiki - 2020

There's a lot to master in the world of software engineering these days, and i think gitcoin is becoming a bit of a microcosm of that. there's a lot going on in the bazaar of gitcoin; but that's because there's a lot of diff ways people can monetize their careers as software engineers.

People have accused us of juggling too much at once. i can see that argument, but i also think that those criticisms miss the point; in a new design space (web3 + open source) there are a lot of possibilities, and throwing spaghetti at the wall is how you see what sticks. there's also some fun cross-pollination opportunities when it comes to having multiple products that serve very different audiences but for the same mission (gitcoin.co/mission).. (side shill: have you checked out our products: https://gitcoin.co/products ??? )

I've been thinking a lot about the cathedral and the bazaar ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cathedral_and_the_Bazaar ) specifically the maxim "Given a large enough beta-tester and co-developer base, almost every problem will be characterized quickly and the fix obvious to someone". I sure hope it's true... because i spend a lot of time explaining how X little do-hingey on Gitcoin connects to the Ethereum mainnet, which then connects to your Gitcoin profile. somehow we've ended up in a situation in which a lot of that information is just in my head and otherwise not well documented or explained. it'd be super cool to figure out a way to rally the community around itself and understanding / explaining how everything fits together. this has a side effect benefit of bubbling up things that are cludged together or just dont make sense, which can then be solved.

Even if 'all problems are characterized quickly', I'm still not sure the exactly right way to distribute the work to help us solve these problems (and thereby the mission together is).. hopefully we can design these RPG mechanics to help us climb the follow this progression:

  1. build usefulness into gitcoin's product marketplace
  2. how do we handle exceptions in these products? how do we handle customer support? how do we self-correct when something goes wrong?
  3. how do we make the interface between the community and the core team completely & entirely pourous such that there is a spectrum of commitment to the project starting with 0 - just discovering it to 10 - dedicating a solid chunk of your career to it. how do we reward people who climb to 10? and how do we make said interface completely NON-judgemental such that people can come and go as their life (and interests) ebb and flow along with it?
  4. how do we source, select, evaluate, and execute what strategic bets our rogue little mission-driven pirate ship should make? how do we allocate resouces to making the right bets payoff bigtime for each other?