Subject: Re: Bug Bounties. Making $ from bugzilla.
From: "Forrest J. Cavalier III" <mibsoft@mibsoftware.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001 10:25:18 -0500 (EST)


> If someone wants to give this a try again, start by being just a matching
> service, something that *can* be done by one or two people and doesn't
> have high overhead or complexity.  Let the developer and sponsor work
> out terms between each other, perhaps provide them some templates but
> don't mandate anything except your listing fee.  Then go from there.
> 

hellobrain.com seemed to have this model at first, and now they
are doing something different, which I take as an indication that
it didn't work.  (More below.)

I wish we could get someone from HelloBrain, and someone from 
cosource to do the summary that Brian did.  (I really like
post-closure analysis. Thanks Brian!)

I know India (et al) are working hard to commoditize software
development.  But in the end, aren't most real-life projects still
"sold by handshake" informally, BEFORE the details are formalized
in RFPs and proposals?   Is software development ever going to be
treated as a commodity when there is such a huge variation in
software developer productivity?

The informality at the front cuts down on the risk of the work it
takes to request and propose.  But informality means it is done as 
old-fashioned personal exchanges between the already acquainted or
acquaintences of the acquainted, where reputation is already
partially known by both parties.  

sXc was trying to cover the overhead of that informal introduction, 
plus do the sale of the open source concept.  Wow!  Good 
introductions themselves are hard to come by.  Doing both
was really attractive to me and other developers who want to work
exclusively in open source.  I wish it had worked.

I think being "just a listing service" like HelloBrain and cosource
tried, requires a "just right" mixture of site traffic, plus
well-organized and well-written RFPs.  You need RFPs that the
capable bidders find, which don't get too few or too many bidders.  

The lengthy proposals required by sXc ensured that the buyer had to
evaluate only a few capable bidders. The downside is that doing the 
RFP and doing the proposals were considerable work (A day's worth 
at least.)  Most buyers probably would have done something close
to the RFP anyway, but bidding was expensive (another reason you
will not have a commodity market.)

HelloBrain was less formal about bids, which meant hundreds of bids
for the simple projects.  The evaluation cost is on the buyer.

Low site traffic for both sites means not enough listings (leading to
even less site traffic), but also means the complex projects are not
seen by people who could bid on them.

Because someone at sXc would actively go out and get projects of
the right size that were likely to be successfully bid, I thought that
sXc had a better chance at that fine balance.