In “Gittip, Year Two,” I concluded that Gittip works, but not yet for Gittip. We know that it’s possible to use Gittip to make a sustainable living. We know that Gittip can enable amazing work. The question is, can we sustain Gittip itself through voluntary payments from our users? Can we fund Gittip on Gittip? So far the answer is, “No.” Gittip makes about $470 per week, which is about $2,000 per month, or $24,000 per year. We are not a sustainable business.
Wikipedia is the best example of an organization that successfully funds itself by asking its users to voluntarily pay for the service, through their familiar annual fundraiser. Taking a cue from them, we’ve added a Wikipedia- style appeal to Gittip. Here’s what it looks like:
We show this message to active users of Gittip who don’t give to Gittip. You won’t see it otherwise. The specific dollar amounts are scoped to your usage of the platform; our suggestions are also reflected on our new Pricing page. Feel free to choose a different amount, or to opt out if you prefer.
We hope to encourage active users to pay for using Gittip, so that we can survive and thrive as an open company. If we can figure out the formula for ourselves, then we can help other open companies building open products to be funded along the same lines. Eventually, we want Gittip to be a place you can go to find a whole range of open companies to work for and make a living from. Our mission is to enable an economy based on gratitude, generosity, and love, where we all share our work and wealth and lives with each other voluntarily and abundantly. From what I can tell so far, it’s really fun! :D
Will you help us?
Chad Whitacre is the founder of Gittip.