On September 14th we participated in the French event “Journée du patrimoine des Start-ups”, basically hundreds of start-ups opening to the public to let them know what a start-up is about. On that occasion we organized an event called How free software changed my life. We had there two great speakers who did awesome presentations, that we’ll summarize here.
How free software changed the life of Plee, the bear
Stuffomatic is a video game studio, launched in 2012. They developed 2 games:
Julien started long time ago using proprietary software. But he was facing a dilemma: either pay for expensive software and all the upgrades or counterfeit. At some point, it became clear:
I’m a software maker. I wouldn’t like people counterfeiting my software. Let’s do free software.
And it made a lot of sense. Free software enabled him to know more people, share, contribute, get improvement from others. And evolve in the free software ecosystem without barrier, stay up-to-date for free. Code is accessible but we stay author, so others cannot claim ownership on it.
But then came the business model issue. The crowdfunding was the natural solution. And at this point they discovered Open Funding.
On Open Funding, we fund the software step by step, with limited amounts each time. It enables us to limit our communication effort, and to move forward without explaining the whole thing in only one step. It helps us keeping our agility.
They learned with Andy’s Super Great park that making great software is not enough. They now know they need to complete another essential task: communication. This is also true for crowdfunding. So they communicated on blogs, forums and sites dedicated to free software or video game. And Communication is a long term process: they need to build a community to support them and to help Plee the bear grow. And that’s what free software is about.
How free software is changing the world
Stample is a distributed social network. It is built on the new standards that are about to change the web.
To us, social means contribution. At Stample, we think that we’re switching from a society of consumption to a society of participation. We’re moving from public to actors.
Current social networks are organized like a panopticon. It is a prison in which noone sees each other, but the Panopticon sees everybody. On your social network, you can prevent others from seeing your data or your pictures, but you cannot prevent the network to see them. Stample offers security through distribution. If you control your data, you can use it freely. You can share what you want with whoever you feel like.
Free software makes sense on the distributed web
Free software offers 4 basic freedoms:
- to study
- to transform
- to use
- to distribute
Those four freedoms were published by Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation in 1986, before the Web even existed.
At Stample, we think that we should add a fifth freedom relative to Social Web: to control one’s information and identities.
People associate Open Source with geek. Open source would certainly be nothing without the geeks, because geeks initiated a lot of projects. But these projects wouldn’t exist without their users. And they’re not only geeks, they are everybody, so the end user is the destination of free software. Some free software are very well designed.
Open source is not to be associated with geeks. It is rather a way to move from this society of consumption to the society of contribution.
There does exist a design issue with some open source projects because people are often not enough professional. These software are made by developers and no designer participate. But when the software is backed by a company, it can become beautifully designed. There are many examples of that.
Stample offers a secured way of sharing your data with your network. It is secured because it is distributed, and it is secured because it is open source. They fit together well.
I finished the day by presenting Open Funding to the assistance, trying to convince them that we’re all concerned about software, because our society runs with software. Your phone, your television, your factory. Tomorrow even your car will be driven by software. It seems a major issue to us. And we think everybody should be concerned. We should all contribute. That’s what Open Funding is here for.