Monetization via Paid Support

AKA: Paid Maintenance, Paid Quality Assurances, ProServ

Payments by companies to check security issues in their OSS supply chain, ensure specific SLAs, or ensure quick fixes for business-threatening problems in the OSS. Sometimes hidden behind a third-party company (middleman) that handles the bureaucracy, quasi-employs the maintainer, and pays him money.


Variants & Options:



Characteristics Value Note  
Effort to set-up Weeks Contracts require more time to define (one-time) and negotiate (per company)  
Effort to maintain Low If companies or middleman is still interested only maintenance work is required  
Cost to set-up None    
Cost to maintain None    
One-time Income Low Recurring is more common - one-time payments for emergencies maybe  
Recurring Income Medium Middleman typically caps at salary level. Direct contracts are similar to building a startup/company to meet SLAs  
Income Predictability High Companies or Middleman will pay for a longer time. If Middleman breaks away whole income might vanish. If multiple contracts exist one cancelling company will not endanger full income.  
Full income Threshold 1 10+ One middleman or several companies;
Recipient I    
Additional Work High Extra work to fix bugs, develop feature, etc. - might be covered by “standby” time  
Visibility None Companies or middleman seek out and select OSS projects  
Necessity to pay Medium Might be necessary for companies using important projects that are essential to the business-model  
Entry Threshold Medium Companies need contracts with many OSS projects or one Middleman  
Countervalue Work Middleman will probably pay quasi-salary or by the hour; Direct contracts can enable selling the service multiple times  
Scalability Medium Contracts with multiple companies possible. Middleman probably limits at one salary.  
Effort for marketing Low Middleman will do marketing; Direct contracts might need more  
Competitors None Other maintainers might be integrated  
Software types All Esp. essential software that is essential to the business-model of companies