Tidelift reaches milestone of one million dollars committed to pay open source maintainers

September 18, 2018
  • Top contributors partnering with Tidelift to get paid for their open source work
  • Select maintainers in the JavaScript, Java, Python, PHP, and Ruby ecosystems to receive at least $10,000 each
  • Professional development teams get a single source for open source maintenance, security, and licensing assurances

BOSTON—September 18, 2018—Tidelift today announced that it has surpassed one million dollars committed via its platform to pay open source software maintainers to provide professional assurances for their projects, as momentum behind this new approach to professional open source continues to build. Over 100 packages are already on the Tidelift platform, with maintainers getting paid to provide support for their packages through the Tidelift Subscription. Top packages featured today include Vue, Material-UI, Babel, Gulp, Fabric, Active Admin, Doctrine, and StandardJS.

With Tidelift, software development teams receive assurances around maintenance, security, and licensing from a single source. By bringing together maintainers with a global market of customers, Tidelift is making open source work better for everyone.

“Reaching the one million dollar milestone for paying maintainers at scale shifts us into a whole new gear for open source,” said Tidelift Co-founder and CEO Donald Fischer. “And it is only the beginning. We’re creating a balanced model that rewards maintainers financially for their hard work, while solving real and immediate problems for professional development teams, speeding up the rate of innovation and increasing the reliability of the software that society depends on.”

Tidelift invites maintainers to start getting paid

Tidelift invites all open source project maintainers to start earning by signing up to offer professional assurances as part of the Tidelift Subscription. The company also has pre-approved a select group of open source packages for guaranteed minimum payments of $10,000 each. There is no cap on earnings. As these packages add subscribers through the Tidelift Subscription, payouts will increase.

Participating maintainers keep full control of their packages and technical roadmaps, and provide maintenance for their software, not helpdesk or consulting services. Tidelift pays participating maintainers when subscribers use their packages. Maintainers can also get referral bonuses for each subscriber signup, with no cap on referral income.

Check out the list of pre-approved packages and learn more about how Tidelift helps open source maintainers get paid for their work at https://www.tidelift.com/about/lifter. Signing up takes only a few minutes.

Professional development teams need assurances, maintainers get the incentive to provide them

Most of the hundreds of thousands of open source components that software development teams in corporations, government agencies, and educational institutions rely on lack any form of professional support. Meanwhile, the maintainers who work on these projects are rarely paid directly for their efforts. This can limit the time they devote to critical maintenance and innovation.

Tidelift surveyed over 1,200 developers and users to understand current and predicted demand for professional support for open source software. Based on that feedback, Tidelift is initially focusing on support for packages in the JavaScript, Java, Python, PHP, and Ruby programming language ecosystems. Most packages in these ecosystems have no other professional support options available. Tidelift will continually add support for new ecosystems in response to customer demand.

“While open source has made dramatic gains in share within the enterprise, and is used heavily at all layers of the stack, a relative minority of that open source software is commercially supported and professionally maintained,” said Stephen O’Grady, Co-founder and Principal Analyst at RedMonk. “To date, most efforts at funding development outside single ecosystem models have been inconsistent and difficult to scale. What enterprises and open source alike would benefit from is a model which provides businesses with high quality, dependable support for a much wider range of products and developers with the incentive to provide it. This is exactly the opportunity Tidelift is focused on.”

Supported by leading project maintainers

Top maintainers are already working with Tidelift to verify the security, maintenance, and licensing of their packages. Any maintainer can sign up to join them at https://www.tidelift.com/about/lifter.

“Tidelift has a really interesting approach to funding open source work. It’s a pretty simple concept: maintainers get paid and the organizations who use their projects get the support and dependability they need in return. I believe that this model helps us move closer to a future where many more maintainers like me can afford to work on their projects full time.”

—Evan You, founder of Vue

"I believe Tidelift's model has a lot of promise. I signed up because I want to help them prove the system works and to give feedback from the perspective of a multi-package maintainer."

—Jeff Forcier of Fabric, Paramiko, Invoke, Alabaster, Releases, Invocations, and Patchwork

"Over the past few years, many people have acknowledged that there is a pressing sustainability crisis in open source. We joined up with Tidelift because they are one of the organizations actually doing something about it. The Tidelift model works because it benefits both maintainers like me and the professional development teams who rely on our code."

—Matthew Brookes of Material-UI

“There are a vast array of open source projects out there, and not all of them are at the same quality level. Tidelift helps people make a more educated decision when evaluating an open source project. This helps alleviate the pressure—and stress—of choosing the best components and libraries when a big, corporate project depends on it.”

—Olivier Tassinari of Material-UI

“I’ve been working on open source sustainability for a long time, specifically for gulp. The group we couldn't effectively target was professional software development teams needing support and assurances, due to all the logistics involved. Tidelift handles those aspects by providing a one-stop way for professional development teams to pay once and get support for many of the open source packages they use.”

—Blaine Bublitz of Gulp

“After meeting with the Tidelift team, it was very obvious they were very passionate about open source software and I was confident they had my best interests in mind."

—John Leider of Vuetify

“Open source sustainability is new and complex enough that it warrants many different approaches, and continuing to try new things like Tidelift that help address this critical issue is important to me. I'm happy to be a part of it and provide feedback on the model along the way.”

—Henry Zhu of Babel

About Tidelift

Tidelift makes open source work better—for everyone. Through the Tidelift Subscription, we professionalize open source software, giving software development teams a single source for purchasing and maintaining their software, with professional support and maintenance from the experts who know it best.

Tidelift gives open source maintainers and project teams a way to get paid for doing the work they love. We provide the tools and audience necessary for them to deliver a professional and financially viable software experience.

Tidelift is making the space for open source to thrive, so we can create even more incredible software, even faster. For more: tidelift.com

Media Contact

Chris Grams
Head of Marketing, Tidelift
Email: press@tidelift.com
Phone: 919-523-2388

2018 open source survey results