What would be the benefit for either side, if, for the time being, funding / financing is all set and not an issue?
Interesting idea. I am just starting to use Nextcloud for a very small company, to small for even the small support packages. However, I am using it and I hope to keep using it as alternativ to dropbox etc and would be willing to give some hundred euros to support nextcloud going into the future.
The benefit would be for both sides:
Even if the company is funded now, more money means longer burn time, or the ability to contract more staff, if needed.
To the community, being allowed to invest provides a stake in something they feel committed to, in something they are investing their time/effort into. It would not be a free ride (after all this would be an investment, not a free gift)
To the community it also represents self interest. Investing in Nextcloud also means that you can add your little grain so the software you depend on has a better fighting chance to succeed. If one day Nextcloud becomes the “Next Big Thing”, you also have get reward for your early commitment and support.
Ah, I get it.
While I personally doubt, that buying shares is really an option / a way to go, as there is a sh*tload of judicial strings attached, I see how 1500 € pa is to steep for small companies.
It might be an idea to have some sort of smaller “Fundamental” support plan for small companies and/or large families, which does not buy you unlimited support for specific features but probably xx hours of general mail support.
While I’d personally like the idea, I would guess that NC staff has spent dozends of hours in the think tank before coming up with the three support plans they have now, so chances of another plan are very limited I’d guess
I see of course the obvious benefits of commitment (and in return in “having money”) and while everything you say is true, it sort of ignores one of the main reasons this fork needed to become reality: Independency. Independency first and foremost from people funding the project and having a vote of whatever.
But in addition to what I said above it might be an option, to create the possibility of donations - and probably get a special Icon or title here in the forum as external sign of ones commitment.
Just my 0,02€ …very privately and by no means related to the Nextcloud project or its staff
Like in my case - i can not afford a 1500$, let alone reoccuring. However I have a hard time even setting up NextCloud (as one can see from many postings here), and i´d love some help with it for a small fee - for owncloud staff, it would probably be just 1-2 hours of work, because they know their way around.
And once later questions arise, i would be happy for paying a smaller fee regulary to have somebody look into our installation in the worst case. Think of it this way: i am trying to move to Owncloud/nextcloud for weeks now and i have come to a point where I am thinking about going with 600$ yearly fee of dropbox just to avoid the long wait until i get the server going and configurated - its just that dropbox has no calendar option.
If I invest 200-300$/euro for somebody to perform a complete setup on my webhoster and maybe guide me through first user setups or something like this, i think it would be a fair deal.
I guess it’s time for NC associated forum members to have a look here
Alas: here goes my spitting image of “mention_bot”
Do you think there is room for a smaller “family/small company” support plan? Perhaps something along the lines of 25€ pm / 300€ pa for 10 hours of support (pa) on core features of NC
@enoch85 and others offer Hosting for nextcloud so if hosting by a Nc provider would be a solution there are quite some.
Well, people like me don´t really need the hosting because we allready have webspace and domains etc, but now its an extremely tedious process to get it running on our webspace, it doesnt really work. sad. continue to run into problems.
Hmm, that is strange @lex, I run Nextcloud 9.0.53 on a cheap webspace with PHP7 and a MySQL database. Without checking the forum, did you already post the Problems you ran into?
EDIT: Nevermind, I found the thread with the discussion.
It is certainly an interesting idea. We’ve been discussing a foundation and we will talk about that more publicly soon, but in general we’d like people to be able to have a stake in Nextcloud through the foundation rather than the company. We have not had super much time for this subject lately but I hope during our hackweek we will make progress.
That’s good news!
I’m a great fan of cooperatives (as Genossenschaften).
Perhaps you might consider this option instead of a foundation. Genossenschaften can be created quite flexible and have some good principles (e.g. 1 member = 1 vote). I think it’s worth considering this tpe of entreprise in the FOSS-field.
In case you’re interested in developing this scenario give me a hint. I have some experience in founding and running e.G.s (in the energy field).
While I obviously encourage everyone to support the NC team first, Is also like to remind everyone that for support issues that don’t fit the NC teams business model, like one off installation, that there are loads of people on places like Upwork who would gladly help out for a one off fee. Yes, not all of them know what they’re doing, but there are plenty who do.
The co-operative model seems to me a very good compromise between a no-profit foundation and a full-fledged for-profit company. Very, very interesting proposal.
I would favour this model over the two alternatives. It combines the “benevolent” aims of a foundation, with the useful bits of a private company (resource allocation attraction of funding, etc.).
I believe this difference is important, because one who may send 100€ as a donation to a foundation, may be willing to put 5000€ as an investment in a company or in this case, a co-op.
However, in order to assuage any concerns by the Nextcloud leadership, I think we should consider “golden shares” or alternative ways so that the co-operative does not prevent effective leadership of the project.
This is potentially one flagship project for the FLOSS community, and I think it would be good to take time to reflect and not to fear experimenting with alternative ways of governance.
In my opinion, leading by assembly does not work for day to day decisions.
What @bugsbane said (regarding support for smaller structures). There is a network of consultants and partners which can be approached with specific requests. People who contribute code to the project should have the required level of expertise and would probably appreciate the extra work.
Investing in a company is very different from buying services.
The OP wants to enable users to support Nextcloud in order to get their preferred features realized. Not everybody can write code or has the time to learn it but they would be happy to contribute some money. ownCloud used bounty-source, they keep 10% of the money and benefit from all the money hanging on unsolved topics. For users, it is not clear how much money is needed to implement a feature.
The Nextcloud foundation could directly raise the money, people could vote on projects or features to be realized. Installation parties, funding the internship of a student to implement a feature, …
Tiny disclaimer: this is my view and not that of my employer.
First of all I must say I find it good that people seek support even for smaller installations. You want your data to be safe and admitting that you miss the know-how to set it all up it very wise. But it is important to keep the bigger picture also in mind. You need to upgrade your Nextcloud. Have good secutiry settings on your general system. Keep the rest of the software up to date. Have a decent backup system. etc.
Now as said there are providers that offer this. But then your data is at their servers.
I don’t think Nextcloud GmbH can offer those services for all small installations. Because there are just to many variables that can change that this would easily take up a lot of time. But I think there is potential here for people with Nextcloud know how to create a service.
I think this is a point other institutiones/organizations can cover.
I’m right now in the process of founding a non-for-profit (gemeinnützig) entreprise to offer individuals nextcloud accounts (and other FOSS-online software9 on the principles of solidarity economics. The preparation of How-Tos etc. is part of the concept.
Insted of bonuty-source: I learned that a free & open crowdfunding software is available. Why not use it for nextcloud as an independent (and cost-free) way to get features paid by the community?
Which crowding software are you talking about? There’s a few. Probably the best known one though is tilt.
Indeed! We as Nethesis (the company behind NethServer) had already created such service, currently we support (tx to our partners) 350 small installations (users average is around 20) of OwnCloud and very soon NextCloud. This number is related to installations with commercial support (thanks to our partners!) as we have many installations of NethServer community version as well.