Micro-pledge scheme released to fund software

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Debut a funding scheme that lets software users team up to fund software. The users pledge funds, spreading the load of development costs between them. The funds are held in trust to provide security for developers.

Christchurch, New Zealand, August, 2007 “microPledge releases world’s first micro-pledge scheme for online software funding. It’s an open-source software house, a contract developer website, and an online auction all rolled into one. Users collaborate by pledging funds to the software projects they like. The funds are held in trust for the developers’ security but they receive payment only after a negotiation with the users on their level of progress.

Put simply, a user plugs in say $10 and gets an email client out the other end. How? Because 1000 other users also put in $10 and together they paid for its development. The service allows users to fund the software they like, but only pay when they see results.

Founder Berwyn Hoyt says, “The unique appeal of microPledge comes from its secure trust fund. This gives both the pledgers and developers the security of knowing the money is safe. Pledgers get their money back if progress is not made, and developers can be sure they’ll get paid for work done.”

“It’s like Grandma putting in $5 to help buy a truckload of oranges and the volume discount gets her a huge box of oranges at 10c each,” says Director Geoff Shaw, “except that we’re doing it for software. And for software, every buyer gets the whole truckful.”

There’s a lot in this little nut. microPledge fills several market gaps: funding, market testing, IP protection, and a sales channel. Let’s elaborate a little:

To achieve the features mentioned above, the site has combined highlights from several popular online services. From micro-payments comes micro-pledges, from escrow systems comes trust-account security for both users and developers, from online auctions comes the bid-based developer quotes, and from Web 2.0 comes user-generated tags, Ajax voting via a slider bar, and heavy user participation.

For additional information on the funding, market testing, IP protection or sales services, contact Ben Hoyt or visit micropledge.com.

About microPledge: Founded in 2006, microPledge aims to use collaboration to provide high-quality low-cost services to as many people as possible.

Ben Hoyt, PR officer microPledge Limited +64 3 981 8049 micropledge.com

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14 August 2007 by Berwyn    7 comments

7 comments (oldest first)

Greg 15 Aug 2007, 05:35 link

Is this a press release? Will it be picked up by the media?

A couple questions:

How is the IP protection part equivalent to a patent pending status? Or am I just being lazy and I should look for the answer on micropledge?

You mention market testing. So I could propose a project, and if users pledge says $1000, I could take that as market demand, and go and develop the product independantly of Micropledge? Would the users be mad that I only used them for testing the market and never intended to give the software to them for $1000?

Berwyn 15 Aug 2007, 06:56 link

Yes, this is a press release. In answer to your questions:

  1. Our Incubator service is what projects your IP. See our two points on the Incubator service which lets you establish prior art just like a provisional patent application.

  2. That is correct, someone could post an idea and develop it elsewhere. But, besides it being rude, there are a couple of practical considerations that we figure will prevent most people from doing it:

    • Firstly, you’re missing out on the $1000 which you won’t get if you develop the product elsewhere.

    • Secondly, you’re effectively giving up that project and encouraging someone else to develop it on microPledge – and you may not desire the competition.

Ben 20 Aug 2007, 22:28 link

Update from microPledge: Turns out there’s nothing new under the sun — we only thought we were the first micro-pledging scheme. DonationCoder has done something like it for about two years now. Not exactly the same, and perhaps a different focus, but similar nevertheless. Our bad — sorry, DonationCoders.

See especially section 5.5 of their thoughtful When do Users Donate? article. Here’s to working together!

Crosbie Fitch 29 Aug 2007, 06:58 link

Check out this list for a glimpse of what else is under the sun:

I’ve added microPledge to the list – feel free to reposition and repeat it as appropriate.

recepti 6 Dec 2010, 01:16 link

Hi. I read a few of your other posts and wanted to know if you would be interested in exchanging blogroll links?

Berwyn 26 Mar 2013, 20:41 link

The site is now in demo mode and has moved to micropledge.brush.co.nz

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