Generating revenue for TB and "What do we need money for"

Anne-Marie Bourcier abourcier at mozilla.com
Thu Oct 4 15:19:51 UTC 2012


Hello,

The discussion about money around Thunderbird is not closed yet and time 
flies. By consequence, I've tried to regroup the questions/discussions 
to help moving forward on this particular topic.

The major question stays _"What do we need money for?" _and until we can 
answer this clearly, we will not find any straightforward directions 
amongst revenue sources described below.

Once we have collectively figured this out, there are 3 potential 
revenue sources:

A) In app: the Community could generate revenues directly _within_ 
Thunderbird and options are:

  *      do a crowd-funding campaign leveraging Thunderbird property
    with a dedicated tab or from the start page
  *      doing an engagement campaign on Facebook, Twitter, our blog,
    via press announcement....
  *      or both

=> not that difficult to implement but where the money should go? 
Mozilla Foundation or external organization... Community will have to be 
clear upfront about the usage of this generated revenue in order to 
craft the right crowd-funding message/commitment.

  * Develop partners opportunities/affiliation programs ala YouSendIt

=> we know that the money goes to Mozilla Corp and will be allocated to 
future TB Engagement programs accordingly, but we don't know WHO will be 
the lead on this biz dev initiative.

B) Outside funding (revenue or resources): we can address large 
organizations like French Government (leveraging the recent Prime 
Minister commitment to help Open Source initiative) or IBM in Germany 
that have equipped large part of public organizations with Thunderbird...

  * either we will get $$
  * or we could get "sponsored manpower"

=> This option might bring significant resources to the Community but 
will require patience and dedication. If contribution is money, the 
question of what will it be used for has to be determined now. If this 
is manpower, we should avoid that it will only be manpower that will 
address specific large organization topics but rather work on Community 
agreed projects.

C) Facilitating some contributors long term engagement: the Community is 
thinking about funding its own efforts by getting revenue from its work

  * Get revenue from add-ons: it means setting-up a different market place

=> it should be do-able, solutions can be evaluated in a reasonable 
timeframe.

  * Get revenue from features development, support or specific QA test
    tools development: Community could set-up a developers' market place
    that would be accessible to large organizations.

=> it should be do-able, solutions can be evaluated in a reasonable 
time-frame but the question of "what kind of features should be funded, 
when to release, level of quality required to pass the drivers test...." 
all of this has to be determined asap.

Let me know if you see different forms of money generation but it would 
be nice to start focusing on the "what do we need money for" then moving 
forward on one or two solutions will be easier...

AM

-- 
Anne Marie Bourcier
Mozilla Thunderbird

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