Most (h)apps can be developed in a week, at max a month, given the developer has the required skills. Moreover, most (h)apps don’t need a ton of developers to develop them; in fact, I’d go so far as to say that the costs of distributing work in this space are more than the marginal benefits one might get out of doing so. Or put simply, one man is enough!
Developing (h)apps is a positive externality. A positive externality is kinda like a profit that goes un-privatized. Think of the benefit a man gets from the passing by of a beautiful woman; LOL!
So is science; pursuing scientific endeavors is a positive externality. So is art; composing a symphony is a positive externality. One should, for all economical purposes, categorize open-source coding in the same category. The solution for any one of them is the solution for all. The thing that is common in them all is the fact that one cannot privatize them effectively; the profits (including the mental profits that others get out of it) cannot be internalized (at least with our current set of technologies). An open-source protocol becomes usable to all; kinda like a non-excludable resource.
Now, of course, I do not advocate for giving up on profits; those who do so and pretend to be a creative-genius are just that – pretenders. Heck, even Beethoven cared for money like hell! Though one should not forget the difference: it’s one thing to want to earn from one’s work; it’s a whole different thing to work for earning.
As for how to do so – how to privatize/economize (h)app development – one does not need to look far. Just look at how artists these days monetize their work: through issuing NFTs! Now, of course, art these days is anything but art. Though who are we to judge…
I expect that (h)app developers who develop lovely (h)apps that their users love to use would be in a position to issue thank-you notes that say something like this:
Thank you, dear beholder, for purchasing this token.
You’ve had a big contribution in the development of the (h)app with the DNA Hash: xxx.
Without you, developing good apps would cease to be profitable.
Yours and yours alone (LOL!),
They’d announce to their users that this token is indeed theirs, and issued by them.
They would be free to choose any sale strategy they like.
My favorite is to announce a date, signing every message with your private key, and then on that date issue as many tokens as the purchase orders come, but for every purchase order, issue another token and transfer it to their own account (or wallet, whatever you like calling it). This way, the artist (the developer, the scientist) keeps 50% of all tokens issued. After the sale event, hold your tokens for price appreciation. Pretty cool, no?
The best thing is, this way, the donator has his own incentives: he wants to buy the tokens because he expects their price to increase, due to increased demand in the future. Perhaps he’s too optimistic of the artist; perhaps he thinks these “9th symphony tokens” would one day sell for millions. Not only does the artist not end up feeling like he’s been donated money out of charity, but also that the artist gets to rise above mere subsistence. No award, no trophy, no charity can truly give an artist that which he/she deserves; only the market can.
Moreover, another side effect of such a scheme to earn money from one’s work is that mass entertainment would finally cease to be that profitable. Think of the top 10 listened songs of all time; I’m pretty sure you’d loathe all of them (at least I do). But under the current scheme of things, the revenue an artist collects is a function of the art’s popularity.
[There’s a word for it: the top 1 percenters on any platform are responsible for 80-something percent of the platform’s revenue… Can’t recall the word.]
That is due to the fact that under the current scheme of things, advertisements are the source of revenue for such stuff. Pretty silly, if you ask me. Under the new scheme of things, even if one person on the planet appreciates a piece of art, and values it more than his life, that artist would be well rewarded, perhaps even more generously rewarded than the one who produces for the masses, whose art people view/listen/use but once, never to visit it again. It’s a disgrace to the modern civilization that mass media makes money!
It’s great that you care about funding developers’ work… Very few people do… Most are just content in using it without paying any tribute to those who developed it. [Including Holochain; it also is an open-source project; it also needs appraisal. If there were such a token for lauding Holochain, there’s no doubt we’d all buy them like hell! Though the founders are not so positive about NFTs and speculation… So sad…]
Anyway, the best way to contribute financially is to make it easy for developers to code (h)apps (which the low-code zone people are doing), let them think of great and useful ideas, let them code them up, take part in testing sessions, use their developed (h)apps, and if one loves it and finds it useful, buy them tokens up and HODL!