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Author Topic: Bid for Fix  (Read 2221 times)

wraith808

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Bid for Fix
« on: October 26, 2012, 02:48:42 PM »
Has anyone used Bid for Fix (http://www.bidforfix.com/)?  I was examining ShadowExplorer and saw the link there.  It looks like a good idea, but I was just wondering if anyone had any experience with it.

(from http://www.bidforfix.com/introduction/)
Quote
1. Bidding - User offers some money to developers to fix a specific issue. User doesn't pay immediately, just expresses his intention to pay after the issue is fixed. User can choose any amount.

2. Bid accumulation - Other people with the same need also bid for the same fix.

3. Developer decision and fix - Developer prioritizes possible fixes taking into account all kinds of motivation including the bids. If an issue rises high enough in priorities of the developer it eventually gets fixed.

4. Delivery and review - A new version of the project is made available free for everybody as usually. Developer claims the fix delivered.

5. User Review - User reviews the new version with regard to the fix and decides how well did it meet his expectations. After the review the user has two options.
(A) Payment - In case the user likes the fix he pays the money offered in the first step. The payment is processed by PayPal and received directly by the project developer.  The user gains the fix and its advantages, good feeling he supported the project and motivate developer to keep up the good work.
(B) Cancellation - As this is an experimental service the users can opt-out and cancel their bids. They are only required to leave feedback.

I see some problems with that flow, but it seems like a good idea...

40hz

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Re: Bid for Fix
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2012, 04:17:41 PM »
To really make it fair, you'd need some way to collect the bid(s) in advance and put them in escrow before the developer started work.

Once completed, you'd also need some mechanism (possibly a vote or impartial reviewer?) to determine if the fix, as submitted, met the criteria specified. And then you'd need a mechanism for releasing the collected bids to the programmer. Sort of like how EBay operates.

Without some neutral and trusted party in the middle holding the money - and ultimately signing off on the actual delivery - it's much too easy for either side to default on their side of the deal.

But acting as an escrow agent also incurs certain legal responsibilities. And expenses. It's not the sort of thing that could be handled with nothing more than a handshake since there are state and federal statutes governing that sort of thing. And it certainly couldn't be done for free since expenses will be incurred, both for administrating it, and to comply with the law...

This is the problem I see with many of these really good ideas. They try to handle an essentially formal business arrangement on an informal basis. Most times it doesn't work long-term. It's only a matter of time before somebody breaks the covenant and the whole thing falls apart. Or they get into some sort of legal or regulatory trouble. (Look how the FTC and SEC are now paying serious attention to crowdsourcing in the wake of Amanda Palmer's spectacular $1.2 million Kickstarter success story.)

But hope springs eternal.

I wish them the best of luck! :Thmbsup:
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 04:27:27 PM by 40hz »

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Bid for Fix
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2012, 08:14:21 PM »

It's not completely clear if the developer is trying to stockpile multiple user's worth of payments for a single fix. The language on the cancellation of the bidding user after the fix has been delivered is a little strange.

It could lead unscrupulous developers to purposely leave big holes in their code (such as gmail integration, borrowed from that other thread as a rough example) just to get lots of user bids to fix it. Theoretically if the users can't see each other bidding, the developer could make a killing with psychologically alluring bugs left in his code.

And unlike Kickstarter, the user doesn't even get anything nice for his money, and this is money we're talking now, not "The developer gets X ad impressions at the user's site". So knowing in general (though is it changing!?) how much internet users don't like to fork out actual cash, it should be the developer's job as is to fix nasty bugs based on his original motivation to create quality in the first place, not sit back and Dollar-Dime it.

If we change the word from "fix" to "new feature" then I think it changes. But then I'm always the only one who wants X feature so I'd lose. Then you get into the meta where the users need a forum to thrash out their requests, re-empowering them from what looks initially like a developer-empowered system.


wraith808

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Re: Bid for Fix
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2012, 09:50:33 PM »
If we change the word from "fix" to "new feature" then I think it changes. But then I'm always the only one who wants X feature so I'd lose. Then you get into the meta where the users need a forum to thrash out their requests, re-empowering them from what looks initially like a developer-empowered system.

If you look at what's already on the site, it shows that it works for fixes and features.  I think that Fix was an unfortunate choice of words.

app103

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Re: Bid for Fix
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2012, 02:12:20 AM »
Wouldn't this be better of an idea for open source projects, where any developer could volunteer to create the fix or feature, and claim the reward? Almost in a similar way that coding snacks are done here?

Each project could have a page where people post their wishes and bid on them, with other users also posting theirs, and being able to add to a bid to give it an up vote. Original developers could also post bids to solicit help on their projects.

Developers could browse the site and see which features, fixes, and open source projects they would like to contribute work towards.

Sounds like a feature that would fit in well on the Sourceforge site.

wraith808

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Re: Bid for Fix
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2012, 12:11:16 PM »
There's someone that came to this site a while ago that had this same concept on his site for his software- but I don't remember who it was.  He was also very open about his financials in regards to the software... hmmm...