December 30, 2005

Show me the care

I’ve been releasing my software as Careware for years now. It’s not freeware – there is a price to pay. The price is that you care about the people around you and lend them a helping hand whenever you can or make somebody’s day just a tiny bit brighter by doing something as simple as smiling. However, I don’t know how many people are actually aware of this and how many actually read the text in the Help dialog in my applications which always talks about Careware. I’ve only heard from a handful of people over the years about the careware concept. They all think it’s a good idea but is anybody actually following through? This is what I wonder at certain times.

I’ve been thinking about that and other stuff recently when I started the search for a cover artist. I spoke to quite a few very talented artists but most of them wanted money, lots of it and up front, before they would do any work. Now considering how talented these people are, I don’t blame them at all for wanting to be paid. But what I question is, do they only care about the money? Or is it that everybody is being hit by scammers left right and center that trust is fast disappearing? People have often told me, even urged me, to sell my software. I don’t want to. As a matter of principle, I don’t feel right about doing that. I enjoyed writing the software, I like using it and I want other people to have the same joy too. So I give it away.

Of course, just because I do that, I can’t expect everybody to give their work away now can, I? I wasn’t though. I was offering to pay as much as I could – just not up front since I don’t have that kind of cash. However, I did offer each artist I contacted, the option to be paid in a share of the profits and I was totally serious. I don’t want to make oodles of money, I just want to be able to make enough to be able to give up working for a living and concentrate on writing full time. So I don’t mind sharing whatever profits I make at all. But then again, when you’re unproven quality, you really can’t blame the other person, can you?

Of course, it’s not all gloomy 🙂 I’ve found a few people who didn’t care about the money as much as the satisfaction of doing the work or who were just all around nice people. They’ve offered to do the work and let me pay them whatever I could. I just wish there were more such people around – not because it benefits me personally but because the world would be a much nicer place if everybody cared just a little bit more about the things that mattered ….

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Tags: Reflections
Posted by Fahim at 7:34 am   Comments (1)