Patreon for R&D?

(Kevin) #1

Would anyone be interested to pay for a subscription where you get weekly video updates and free development hardware as it becomes available?

I could sell the dev kits, but then I have to guess how many to make ahead of time. I could crowd fund them but it seems excessive for what would probably be a small group of people. Also there could be several iterations, so I wouldn’t want to fund multiple times.

It could have the advantage of giving subscribers the ability to influence the design by access to a subscriber only section.

Thoughts?

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(Sam) #2

Me: Y E S
If you did a dev kit run for subscribers that would be cool.

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(Kevin) #3

Need more thoughts on this, let me know what your brain feels.

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(Jared) #4

I would happily pay $10 a month if it was something like bitluni and others. I’ve had fun watching tutorial and update videos along with kits and such to make each month.

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(Jean Charles Lebeau) #5

I can’t atm but i would do in some months after having sold my house…

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(Erwin) #6

I would never pay for anything like that, but my own skills and latin blood are bad combinations for this kind of stuff.

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(Kevin) #7

Ok it sounds like maybe 10 or 20 people would do this I don’t know.

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(Pharap) #8

If you want a more accurate number, make it an anonymous poll.

People who have seen the thread but aren’t interested are probably less likely to make a comment,
but if there’s a button that says “not interested” then they can just click without worrying about coming up with a comment.


Personally speaking I have a mixed opinion about the idea.

On the one hand I appreciate that it needs funding,
but on the other hand I can see a few downsides:

  • It’s going to mean more time/work because you’ll have to regularly come up with new content
  • There’s no fixed timescale, so people might be expecting to only be paying for a few weeks/months and actually end up paying more than they were expecting if the project ends up dragging on for whatever reason (e.g. unforseen problems)

Personally I wouldn’t sign up because I can’t really afford subscriptions,
and because I’m not a big fan of Patreon (and subscriptions in general) for various reasons.

I think a donation-based model would be better than a subscription-based model because those who can afford to fund it would be able to give the amount they want and the people who can’t afford to could still benefit from the videos/information but wouldn’t have access to the prototype boards.
Unfortunately I don’t know what the best technical solution for that would be.
(And there’s probably laws involved somewhere.)

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(Kevin) #9

Yeah I guess my feelings are kind of the same. I do want to feel motivated (compensated) to do more content but at the same time it would be a big time investment.

The no fixed time scale to new hardware might be the biggest issue as you might be waiting a month or two, and then what to do about people who just sign up a day before?

Maybe I could just do the dev kits on a pre-order basis, keep the pre-orders up for a while then I can build that quantity. That would work more like a donation anyways. I guess people also know more or less what they are getting, but the timescale might shift as always. Then I could make a few extra dev kits and sell those off, with the understanding that each batch is limited edition.

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(Pharap) #10

This sounds like a better idea to me, but I’m just one person.
As I said before, it’s probably best to do a poll to check beforehand.
I.e. gauge the audience to reduce the amount of guesswork.

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(Josh Goebel) #11

I think unless you were a large company it might be really hard to deliver meaningful resources/hardware on a schedule that would keep the average person happy with a consistent monthly payment.

I understand the sourcing/quantity issues, but still I’d rather be informed in advance if there was a new development device and offered an opportunity to purchase it for a fixed amount. Rinse, repeat.

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(Kevin) #12

Someone said a long time ago that not having a donation button on the site is a mistake.

I feel a bit like it’s the digital version of standing on the corner with my hand out which is a bit strange when there is a storefront right behind me that I run.

Donations are welcome if you felt so compelled, I mean please do reach out. I suppose if anyone wanted to make an investment that’s actually how I would prefer to structure it.

I’m not really in a position where any of this is a problem yet, but it’s been 5 years I don’t expect this gravy train to last forever, and there are costs associated with running the site.

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(Josh Goebel) #13

Are the costs of running the forums exorbitant? I’d think in the day and age of $5 VPSes that the cost in time would be more than the cost in money for something like this.

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(Kevin) #14

Oh, sure yeah I could just let the forum go, I meant the whole site and the store, along with my time in fulfilling and customer support.

The idea is to continue Arduboy as a project with new hardware that’s why I’m so interested in development.

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(Jean Charles Lebeau) #15

bateske, maybe i say something stupid but if you need some time maybe you could have a contract with a manufacturer as the Makerbuino’s compagny or the Gamebuino’s compagny if it’s don’t increase the prices too much ? (It’s an idea to have one of my favorite makers working together, but it’s maybe not a good economical idea)
(I moved my post - i posted it in another discussion by error)

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(Pharap) #16

If you need a post moved you can just flag it and ask for a moderator to move it.

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(Kevin) #17

I have actually reached out to the other developers at the time but they were very focused on doing their own hardware.

What would probably be ideal is if I had a lot of money to buy the other companies and join forces. :smiley:

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(Jean Charles Lebeau) #18

Yes, your’re great it’s could be so cool to join creativity and forces but it’s hard to do, i imagine that and i imagine the complexity to make profits and keep it alive. I hope you could all find solutions to make a group dynamic and be able to have a larger community with more creation power but mainly i hope you’ll be able to continue to make your hardware progress and i like your system of compromise between hardware and price :wink:

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(Scott R) #19

@bateske if or when the time comes please reach out and allow the opportunity for someone else to take on the forum. I’ve lost count the amount of times admins have pulled the plug with little to no notice.

A little more on topic I’m not into the subscription thing, recently I looked into doing this for my 3D printer firmware. Whilst I’m all for donating and supporting developers where possible the last thing I want to do is add to my monthly outgoings.

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#20

I think with Patreon the focus will be more on entertaining your subscribers and you’ll have less freedom for your R&D.

I’d say make use of social media and the forum. and do pre-orders / limited editions to fund your R&D. Like selling some engraved backplates for some popular games and share a small profit with the creator?

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