Here’s a really nice Powerpoint going over what we’re going to do while making Hackaday the best it can be.
Here’s the skinny: if this campaign is funded, the writers and editors of Hackaday will keep doing what we’re doing. If we’re successful, we’re going to write up more hacks than we are right now, hosting an awesome community, and expanding our custom builds. You know how [Caleb] built Thor’s Hammer? If we’re funded, we’ll be doing more stuff like that, only with a bigger budget. It will be awesome.
But wait, there’s more!
The community is going to be the main focus from here on out. We’ll visit hackerspaces, do proper interviews, hold contests, and coming up with some giveaways. We might even do a few hackerspace/builder grants; sometimes we see a really cool build that’s constrained by custom or handmade parts (this spray etcher comes to mind) that need a shot in the arm and a little bit of funding to bring them into the ‘buildable by everyone’ level.
[dynotronix] in the comments suggested we do a Hackaday scholarship. That’s an awesome idea. At the very least we’ll buy some O Chem textbooks for students. They’re taking O Chem anyway, and having to buy the book is just rubbing salt in the wound.
But wait, there’s problems!
Half a million dollars is a lot of money. A ton. You know when you see the ‘briefcase with a million dollars’ in movies and TV shows? That briefcase couldn’t hold a million dollars. It would probably be something like $200 – $300k. We’re going to need a lot of help from the Hackaday community.
It’s been suggested many, many times that we offer some sort of equity or shares in Hackaday. This is illegal, and even though white collar prison seems cushy, we’d prefer to keep things above board here. In any event, this is exactly the problem we’re facing right now – the possibility of an unknown business having undue influence over Hackaday. Too many cooks, or something like that.. We’d like to keep this in the family, with the same content (but expanded), and the independence to do what Hackaday should.
[Jason] did offer a revenue-sharing plan for the community to buy Hackaday, something along the lines of $300,000 up front, and $10k a month for 30 months. We don’t want to do that. That would actually decrease the revenue available to the writers and editors for two and a half years. Yes, with this plan, the community would ‘own’ Hackaday, but it would be worse – no projects, no really cool stuff – for a fairly long time. We want to hit the ground running.
In the interest of fairness…
This is not the only ‘lets crowdfund Hackaday’ project out there. [Logan Collins] and [Brett Diedrich]
have their own Indiegogo campaign running. Edit: never mind, they shut theirs down.
If the Hackaday community doesn’t like this Indiegogo campaign, I encourage you to start your own. This is a community driven site, and we’ll be more than happy to support anyone who comes up with a better crowdfunding campaign.
And that’s all she wrote
So there you go. We’re crowdfunding Hackaday so we can be independant forever and do really cool stuff. The owner of this site has assured me he’s on board with this plan.
This post is going to be stickied for the duration of the campaign, so if you have any questions, ask them in the comments. I’ll update this post with an FAQ shortly.
So who would actually own it? / If the funding is successful, who will really own the company? / Can you comment on who inherits this asset?/ What will happen in 2 or 3 years if you want to leave?
We’ll be setting up an LLC with the current writers and editors as the managers. Then we’ll go for non-profit 501(c)(3) status. If I die or leave in two or three years, Hackaday will still have other editors and writers.
Here’s the best reason why setting up an LLC is the best option.
It has been brought to our attention an L3C might be better than an LLC. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
What about shares / equity / No ownership of stock = no donation.
This is what we’re trying to get away from. Right now, the revenue from Hackaday is being used for other unrelated startups. We already have too many owners, and some weird dividend or sharing scheme would only keep us (financially) where we are now. This is publishing. Think of it as a subscription. Donate a buck or two and keep enjoying Hackaday as it is, but cooler.
For everyone who wants ownership of Hackaday, read this comment.
If that doesn’t convince you, it’s also illegal.
If this is funded, what’s stopping you from buying Hackaday, then selling it and keeping the money?
With non-profit status, this would require the agreement of all the writers and editors of Hackaday. That’s simply not going to happen.
The same could also be said if Jason sells to someone else. At least with this plan there’s some accountability.