Manyverse has an Open Collective page where people can donate to the project. This page explains what we intend to do with those funds, and how we are planning for the future. The goal is to use the funds to move the project forwards responsibly and transparently.
We want to enable non-commercial, off the grid, neutral, and fair mobile communication for everyone.
This a non-profit free and open source sofware, and must not become a for-profit product, despite it being branded as well as for-profit products are. Manyverse is fully intended to depend solely on donations and grants.
Off the grid
Off gridness is not about avoiding the grid (the internet), it's about independence from the internet, so that internet connection is a bonus, not a requirement. This is important for two purposes: data ownership, and to support usage in internetless communities.
We're committed to plurality of cultures and individuals, and to restoration of humanity in the internet era. For that reason, we believe we should be free from growth-and-engagement pressures that are typical in VC-funded startups and publicly listed tech companies. These pressures have proven to cause side effects to individual psychology and collective discourse. We want to create spaces that are free from such influence, and provide a blank canvas on which people can express themselves through their native cultural lenses and background.
We're primarily interested in building mobile communications, first on Android, then iOS, and hopefully on laptops. Mobile is better suited for off the grid and wireless circumstances, as well as being more accessible to people in regions with unreliable internet connectivity.
The financial strategy to achieve that mission is about securing the core team and gradually expanding with contracts. This should be a feedback loop, in the sense that contractors may one day join the core team.
Secure adequate annual salaries for the core team
Responsibly use the remaining funds for savings and for select contracts
Contractors have the prospect of joining the core team, going back to step 1.
To illustrate how that would work, here are some milestones that describe how the funds would be used in the upscaling scenario:
Milestone 0: part-time core dev
< 36k€ annually
With annual funds under 36k€, this project can sustain one core developer working part-time.
Milestone 1: full-time core dev
With annual funds at 36k€, this project can sustain one core developer working full-time. Note that this is a humble pay, matching the lower end of developer salaries according to this StackOverflow survey.
Andre Staltz would be the first such core developer, and believes this is an adequate salary for his current living standards. As the core team grows, this might be a difficult standard to maintain, as other core developers may have different living standards. But for the time being, the goal with this is to show that this financial plan is about making the most out of people's donations, not about greed for money.
Milestone 2: full-time core dev, plus short contracts
< 80k€ annually
With the excess budget, Manyverse could offer short development projects that freelance developers could work on and get paid through Open Collective.
Milestone 3: two full-time core devs
Two full-time core developers could be sustained by the project, where individual salaries could be negotiable considering living standards and inflation, but no more than 44k€ for a core developer.
In the case of downscaling funds, the first core developer should have the decision power to revise the financial plan, either converting their full-time salary to part-time, or downgrading the second core developer to a contractor status.
Milestone 4: drafting an association
With annual funds at "hundreds" of thousands of Euros, we believe Manyverse could exit the Open Collective format and become its own non-profit association or organization focused on the same mission described in this document. The specifics of this milestone are too blurry at this point, but the direction is to continue the work in the same spirit but through a new organizational structure.
How you can help
To help boost our financial plan, here are a few concrete steps you can take, ordered from most impacting action to least:
Reach out to organizations and companies willing to donate large sums