The curse of big open source initiatives
how to finance big improvements in Drupal and make them sustainable in the long run

Janez Urevc | @slashrsm |

Photo by: Dasjo

Janez Urevc (@slashrsm)

  • senior engineer at MD Systems
  • in Drupal community since 2009
  • D8 media initiative lead
  • ex
  • media all the way :)

- top contributors

  • our CTO (@berdir) is one of top 5 D8 contributors
  • D8 expert
  • D8 media expert - lots of media clients
  • 20% of every project to the community
  • Full projects, audits, bootstrap weeks, consulting, architecture, ...


  • What are big initiatives?
  • Why we need them?
  • How much do they cost?
  • Funding models

What are big initiatives?

ongoing - last for years

important and big changes

best minds of the community

"officially" announced

a lot of "side" activities
(blog posts, mentoring, ...)

everyone is watching the progress

Why do we need them?

years of work
need for structure

complex systems
hard to understand

important for the future of the project

access to
experienced contrbutors
and outside experts

need for

"easier" funding

How much do they cost?

  • Example: Media initiative in 2013 -> present
  • ~1 man/year of initial development
  • MD Systems: another ~1 man/year
  • Acquia: MAP ~3 man/months
  • At least 5 major focused sprints (10-15 pers.)
  • Travel and accommodation
  • Blog posts, sessions, communication, ...
Graphic by: Perfect Hue (CC0 - public domain)

> 1000 BTC

~ 1.002.990€

*Based on the exchange rate on Feb 18th at 10:39:49 UTC.

Somebody will do the work in their free time!


...not really.

Cost of leadership?

How to finance?


* we're still relying too much on it


One major commercial backer

Distributed corporate funding

Media initative tries to use the latter, MD Systems, Somedia, Gassmann Media, Ringier, Acquia, NYC Camp, Hubert Burda Media, Ueberbit, ...

Contributions need to be driven by business

Drupal businesses need to be responsible

And the winner is...




... a little thing!

Don't wait
"until it's ready"

Thank you! Questions?

Janez Urevc | @slashrsm |