I have been developing since when I was 18 years old and have always seen the importance of open source software in my work. Let’s be honest: without the many open source libraries, plugins, frameworks and apps, the life of developers would be so much harder. Using the awesome work of so many contributors comes easy, contributing further requires more. That’s where I saw a lack: Time, resources and opportunities to grow and expand my open source ideas.
I have long struggled to find a solution that would let me dedicate more time to contributing, as well as a place for me to connect more and do more. Open source has been, almost exclusively, an arena for developers. The many benefits, both personal and collective, have only been available to us. I felt there was room for a change: A one-stop-shop for open source collaboration that would empower more digital professionals — developers and beyond — to contribute and reward the awesome work of these innovators. This is where the idea of Utopian came from.
It was Sept. 2017 when I have founded Utopian as a proof-of-concept platform, to explore the needs of projects and contributors in the open source ecosystem. The concept was simple: Create a platform that would enable project owners to connect with a greater variety of digital professionals to finally make open source innovation accessible and inclusive. As soon as the PoC was launched, the response from the community was amazing. Professionals who never contributed to open source projects before started realizing the benefits and the potentials of open collaboration.
In a little over a year, Utopian was able to facilitate over 70,000 contributions to over 9,000 repositories and embrace a community of more than 5,000 contributors.
One of the many things I have discovered running the proof-of-concept was that content creators, translators, graphic designers and many other digital professionals are eager to connect and collaborate on open source projects. The data was clear, only 7% of the all contributions were code related. There was a huge potential of giving open source innovation in the hands of many more contributors.
The journey was full of successes, as well as tough times. One thing was evident, however, Utopian was ready for the next step.
On May 2018, with a great team and many lessons learned, we decided to deprecate our proof-of-concept platform and continue to maintain operations with our dedicated users through many partner apps on the Steem blockchain. With a greater vision in mind, and with the knowledge acquired collaborating with dozens of open source projects and professionals, we have started the development of a scalable solution: Utopian Colony.
Utopian Colony is the result of a year of learning and experimenting, aimed at solving the needs of open source projects. We have been working tirelessly to bring it to life. Thanks to the efforts of our team, we are ready for the release by Q3–2019 and give early access to our supporters by the end of Q2-2019. Utopian Colony will include a set of key features necessary for project growth and community participation:
- Personalized Profile & Project Pages
- Bounty Marketplace & Tipping System
- Incentivized Knowledge Sharing
- Tools for Collective Financing of Project Development
- ..and so much more