Crowdfunded bounty tracker
The crowdfunded bounty tracker is a web-based tool to enable funding of solutions with the following set of attributes:
- A relatively small number of people (possibly as few as one) can devise the solution.
- A relatively large number of people stand to benefit from the solution.
- The amount of benefit to any given individual, or even a small group of individuals, is not enough to justify resources (payment) which would be sufficient to justify the resources (mostly time) necessary to create the solution.
While the process has the potential to solve other types of problems (e.g. social problems, infrastructure) from whose solution there is no clear "profit" to be made, the most obvious application is in the development of open-source software:
- designing/writing new applications
- designing/writing new features
- fixing bugs
I'll continue to use software-development terminology when discussing this tool, but this should not be taken as limiting its utility to software development.
- Users enter software bugs they'd like to see fixed and features they would like written (aka "issues").
- For each issue, any user may pledge a bounty, to be paid when the issue is resolved.
- When one or more developers believes they have resolved the issue, they post it for user approval-vote.
- If enough of a majority agree that the issue has been resolved, then the pledgers pay up.
- What constitutes "enough" should be made clear before pledging begins, and non-adjustable on a per-issue basis.)
- Developers split the proceeds.
In this way, developing open source could become much more profitable.
If you want to prevent money from ruling the process, then some degree of hiding could be done -- let users vote on the most important issues and let the pledges (or some percentage of all pledge money) be apportioned accordingly, rather than directly assigned by the pledger.
The voting module from InstaGov could be adapted for this; an additional module would be needed to handle the pledging process.