What should money be spent on?

I have recently been thinking about how different software projects make money, specifically those aimed for file sharing, as DC is. Some projects have ads, banners etc, but what interested me the most was what the money was actually spent on. I couldn’t find any solid information on what the authors of e.g. different BitTorrent clients spend money on, and I began thinking about a parallell with DC and an old blog post, that I think is still quite valid; Is Money Useless to Open Source Projects?

I started a discussion in the development hubs, and the following is what people suggested when I asked “What would you spend money on?”

  • Domains
  • Web hotels; allowing use of HTTPS (among other things)
  • Code signing (via Comodo, VeriSign etc)
  • Dedicated servers for hubs
  • All of these things aren’t specifically costly per se, so it’s not important what they actually cost. Also, I think it is important to note that a question in the form of “what do we need” (or, rather, “what could we spend money on”) rather than “how much do we got” is more just, since the former doesn’t fluctuate as much.

    I have also thought about shelving out money to developers and contributors, but most DC contributors have never had a monetary incentive and probably won’t be any more influenced to contribute if they received X for doing Y. Also, any type of system where developer A gets money when developer B doesn’t get money will be hard to establish. That leads to me to think that paying any contributor is less valuable than spending money on ‘fixed’ items, specifically items that require less and less intervention than had any contributor set them up.

    So, this brings me to the question I asked previously; what should money be spent on? I want you to ignore how the money would arise (people donating money, selling merchendise, ads etc), so just pretend that the money is there already.

    (Do note that my question isn’t specifically pertaining to DC++ or ADCH++ or to specific software. As long as it’s associated with DC…)

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