Crowdfunding is definitely a trend these days, no doubt there, but it looks like more and more open source software developers seek money for their supposedly “free as in beer” projects, and this is the case of Birdie, a promising Twitter client for Linux.
We ask ourselves, “Why does someone who starts a project as an open source software, using open source libraries and development tools, seek money all of a sudden?”
The answer given by Birdie’s developers is that “all of a sudden” they don't have time to develop the project, that they need 5,000 EUR (6,636 USD) to boost the application with the “missing” features.
Don't get me wrong here, it's a wonderful idea, but just like Ubuntu Edge's $32 Mil Crowdfunding, raising 5,000 EUR (6,636 USD) for an average Twitter client in one month seems like an impossible goal. Right?
Geary is yet another example of failure when talking about crowdfounding an open source project.
The e-mail client failed to reach its goal of 100,000 USD (approximately 75,000 EUR), simply because there are other mature applications out there (see Mozilla Thunderbird or Evolution) that just work and don't ask people for money.
Who knows, maybe one of the developers needs the money for some urgent or personal matter. But, that's not for us to judge, as all we care here is the future of the Birdie application.
If you ask me, the best way to obtain money from a piece of software is to sell it. Make a great and powerful app that anyone will want to have, and sell it at small prices. In time, you will get your money!
Today's biggest question is: will the Birdie development continue if they don't reach the 5,000 EUR goal? Because with four days left and only 355 EUR (473 USD) raised so far, it's a total disaster. Go and pledge for Birdie on Indiegogo.