Some technology companies had large revenues, but they were often based on hardware (Sun, HP), professional services (Oracle, Price Waterhouse), or both (IBM).Hardware does well, but has a small fraction of the profit margin of software, and professional services -- brains by the bucketful -- is very difficult to scale.The "market" doesn't care about individuals like Koch, and he chose to continue despite his efforts not being reciprocated/acknowledged.
Companies which do well at the latter almost always have a distinctly mafia-like reputation (IBM, EDS, Oracle, PWC, Accenture, etc.).
Werner's situation is unfortunate, and I really do hope he finds a way to survive.
Or, would have another organisation/individual funded someone else to maintain and develop it? It's an important project and Werner Koch needs to be rewarded.
In the last hour or so (I think since this hit the front page) there have been approximately 2000 of donations added to the drive at https://gnupg.org/, nudging it over 40000. I feel that we, as a community, are really bad at supporting some of the opensource projects that powers our infrastructure.
Most of us are coloured by the experience of Microsoft from 1980 - 2000 or so, but what is generally not recognized is that Microsoft as a seller of "shrink-wrap" software was exceptionally anomalous.
Most other pure-play software firms were nowhere near as profitable as Microsoft.Meanwhile, since our story was posted, donations flooded Werner's website donation page and he reached his funding goal of 7,000.In addition, Facebook and the online payment processor Stripe each pledged to donate ,000 a year to Kochs project.I'm really glad Pro Publica picked it up, but I also think we need to change to way we think about critical software like GPG. If not even the most technical people (that actually know what GPG and openssl are without looking it up) don't hear about this, how are regular people going to find out where to throw their donations at? I'm going to send this guy 0 and consider it a license fee, because he deserves it.The GPG Tools team (GPG for Apple Mail) recently stated they need to charge for the tool in the future because they simply can't handle to amount of work anymore (it's still GPL) the response from us was nothing but outrage.// I just realized all of this is mentioned in the article. I had no idea this project (and others) had so few contributors. I wonder sometimes if this is the legacy that RMS was thinking about.enough to live on, if not extravagantly) retainer to be available ~10 hours a month to consult on encryption matters (or something like that).