Ben Gimpert ben at somethingmodern.com
Thu Mar 30 10:10:24 BST 2006

At this early stage in OSM's development, I'm incredibly sceptical of
"design by committee" and tyranny of the majority.  Further, since Steve
already "walks the talk" of benevolent despotism, the foundation model
sounds best to me.

Personally, I would happily give the typical 5-10 GBP per month if:

* The total pool of funds is made transparent, as well as the
  proportional contribution of those funders who do not choose to remain

* At least 50% of the funds are spent directly on OSM development,
  ideally in the manner of an auction, initially with most of the
  auctions being Trac bugfixes probably won by Steve and Mikel and Imi.
  Development pay should be on a "contract" basis, with the foundation
  being the final authority on determining when a contract is

* No more than 35% should be spent on OSM server hardware and hosting.
  Note that none of this money should go to buying cool GPS toys to
  encourage grassroots-ness.  It would then cease to be grassroots.

* The remaining money could go to "publicity" or "outreach" or whatever
  else the foundation thinks is supplementary to the real effort.

Though I would debate adjusting the percentages, I think it critically
important that real development effort be prioritized *explicitly* in
the foundation's paperwork.

Oh and I would not give a single pence if I have to go to meetings,
voting boards, pow-wows, peace rallies, etc.  All I want is the ability
to accurately monitor -- *without* a mandate to control -- how my money
is being spent.

		Hoping to be hands-off monetary OSM angel,

On Thu, Mar 30, 2006 at 04:34:15AM +0200, Lars Aronsson wrote:
> SteveC wrote:
> > And yes, the F stands for foundation.
> > [...]
> > So, let's build something.
> The key issue for me is this: Will it be a closed and dictatorial 
> foundation (Stiftung) or an open, transparent and democratic 
> membership association (Verein)?  Since you sound so enthusiastic 
> over the "F" word, I don't believe we have the same understanding 
> of this issue.
> If you have a lot of money and want to ensure that it is used for 
> a purpose that you alone decide, put the money in a foundation. 
> The board of the foundation can appoint its own members, so there 
> is no need for democratic influence or control.  Andrew Carnegie, 
> Alfred Nobel, Bill Gates, and Jimbo Wales have all gone this way.
> If you want a lot of people involved, start a membership 
> association.  Anybody can pay a fee and become a member and have a 
> vote at the general assembly for who's going to be on the board 
> and what to do with the money.  And the board reports back to the 
> general assembly.
> Both kinds of organizations can ask for donations, so the founding 
> capital or the membership fees don't have to make up the whole of 
> the economy.  The foundation is the closest thing to the way you 
> currently run OSM, all on your own.  I'm not sending any money to 
> you now, and I'm not sending any money to a foundation.
> -- 
>   Lars Aronsson (lars at aronsson.se)
>   Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se
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