Thinking about Kickstarter/Crowdfunding campaign


I think this raises a good point.

Being able to find documentation, and that documentation be accurate, is important. If people cannot use your product or find information to get it working, then they will neither use it or develop for it.

If money is to be spent on marketing, perhaps a good place to start is targeting c++ devs to encourage them to join and contribute code. The more sustainable the development team, the quicker the improvements, the more users we can attract, and the more likelihood that in a years time there’ll be one or two devs with the time to be funded by a kickstarter project.


This is a good point and I agree with that. Personally I would prefer to contribute to this kind of campaign but I’m already in the community and I already use Haiku (on bare metal, finally!!). You can milk the community from time to time, but one day you should start thinking about expanding the community with new users at first place and/or raise money contextually.

But as I said before a KS campaign is not an option now. It could be in a future if we start working on a good marketing strategy. Nowadays, with no budget, it will not be easy, but It’s worth the try. I don’t think the board would spend money on this, so we must work on organic (0€) plans for now.

I totally agree

So pls let’s not discuss (only) about KS and start talking about marketing, as this is a long-term milestone.

I think we can bake a small “marketing” team from the community already (at least, as I say, it’s worth the try) BUT…this hypotetical team needs to have a commitment and an authorization to operate.

Volunteers could start to work on, but what about if someone higher in grade one day says “No way more, a Facebook strategy is no go because Zuckenberg is evil” or “No, this is a useless waste of time”

(btw Facebook IS evil. But it’s probably the place where our 30-40 yrs old potential target actually lies atm. And we have a page, there. It needs more love, but we have one)

Don’t want to be rude or noisy, but we’re all volunteers here. Some are smarter and more important than others, ofc. I don’t want to say that everything has the same importance. We’re just trying to help when we see there’s something missing (even minor tasks), thats’all.


Maybe that’s really the best course of action. Instead of a doubtful Kickstarter campaign, concentrate on wooing devs to establish the new marketing team’s reputation.

It’s a bit of a chicken and egg problem. You need commitment and authorization and the project needs to see the plan/strategy before giving it…
I guess the plan/strategy, at least in a rough outline, has to come first.

BTW, I only state my layman’s opinion. I have no idea how to attract developers. I’m not a developer and have no idea of marketing.


@TheClue you seem to have some good ideas and know what you’re talking about, moreover you seem to have the drive to be the person to spearhead the marketing effort? (Which has always been a conspicuously vacant position). If so, perhaps (and this is a long shot) it might be an idea for you to attend BeGeistert in Hamburg next month and speak to the devs in person?


Tnx @Munchausen, I would definitively like to try to do something good here. I’m going to spread a bit the voice to bake up a small team of volunteers (no budget means more we need more hands to perform an organic campaign).

Unfortunately I cannot attend to BeGeistert this year for logistical reasons (I’m still recovery from a surgery). Next time I’ll be there for sure :slight_smile:


As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I think this is an excellent idea. I wanted to have something like a Gigabyte Brix, Intel NUC or Compute Stick to run Haiku.

So I bought one with that specific purpose onto to find to my horror that it’s locked down to whatever THEY want us to put on it. Even a modern Linux didn’t work (beyond booting to live mode). BSD core dumped before it even got out of the gates.

This really is a disgraceful attempt at squashing the little guy.

Google is at it with those Chromebooks which are (to me) little more than a Linux shell wrapped in Google’s spyware and they can insert that where the sun don’t shine!

A generic (Atom x4) machine with a couple of gigs of RAM and an eMMC sounds perfect for a PERSONAL computer - you know how they used to be? I think this is something that a Kickstarter could fund - and it doesn’t have to be “locked” to Haiku, just badged and styled officially with the Haiku logo and come with it pre-installed and ready to run.

The sort of machine you can give Granny for Xmas and you won’t be eating it by the same time Boxing day!


What is going to be your main selling point for Haiku? Because although it’s an open sourcce project it’s not fully open in one sense. Compare it to Linux:

If people want to develop for Linux they can grab the kernel, userland, and apps and make their own distro, website, forum, and attract their own community.

But in Haiku, the OS is still tied to BeOS compatability until post R1 (about 10 years time?). So all of the code is in a sense under control by the dev team. To submit code you have to send it to the devs for approval. So programming for Haiku is equivalent to programming for the Linux kernel (where your submitted code also needs to be approved). You could grab the code for a fork, add your own code, make a website, etc - but look what happened to Poem, it got stuck on compatability issues between alpha4-GCC2 and beta1-GCC4 and could not progress.

So to guage success of a Haiku kickstarter campaign, you could ask if a similar kickstarter campaign for programming for the Linux kernel would attract money or new devs?


A fork means serious investment. I agree with your point about Linux - in fact, I’ve hit some real brick walls with the “not invented here” attitude over there. So much so that I’ve been openly and frequently critical of Linus and his lieutenants. Of course, you can’t do that to a cult… and I get flamed for pointing that out which exposes the sheer hypocrisy. One guy suggested that Linux was everything and every thing else (presumably excepting MacOS and Windows) were just projects or experiments.

Seems he hadn’t heard of the *BSD family - some of which have split into numerous directions.

Yes there are experimental OSes out there like Minix and there are closed source OSes (QNX being about the best known outside of the main sphere).

I believe that we’ve lost some track of what it’s like to have a personal computer that’s not controlled by some mega-corporation.

Google controls Android and its derivatives - and is even dropping the Linux kernel so it can be even more odious with what happens behind the scenes! The cult of Apple/Mac is bad but holy moly, Google is like The Thing!

Apple control MacOSX and the Darwin kernel for iOS. I don’t think the open source version has got anywhere.

Microsoft need no introduction…

But in each case, we’re looking at an OS which runs a lot of proprietary software and often installs all manner of crud that we don’t want or need.

The Hurd (GNU’s kernel) is still years away largely because Linux drained or lured huge swathes of developers away from that.

Linux in general on the desktop suffers from a number of antiquated features tied to X. I love XFree86 for server/thin-client work but as a single-user system it sucks terribly. In fact the very idea that you have to log in as a root user to install software can be a real bind.

I get that you have to protect SOME bits of the system so you don’t screw it up (or the kids don’t when you’re not looking) but the delimter is badly defined in Linux.

Most of these things don’t see to be an issue in Haiku, but if this project doesn’t have legs, I’ll have to see if I can find a Linux distro that might suit and that’s not something I want to do.


I smiled when you mentioned Poem. :slight_smile: Thanks for that… but it wasn’t gcc compatibility issues that killed the project. It was a lack of quality and testing for the releases, missed release dates, a series of project resets, and a buggy 1.0 launch that killed the project. It taught me many lessons on what not to do with a software project. :slight_smile:


A personal note first: french law means that to work for Haiku I had to set up a personal micro-company. Since that means paying extra taxes, I could not keep it in “sleep mode” while I joined another job. I don’t really want to get into all the paperwork it needs to do this as a “between jobs” things. Moreover, my employer already pays me in the unlikely event that I find myself “between jobs”, and they make sure to keep me busy with different customers. So, don’t count on me for a contract for the next few years.

I’m however part of the Open Source task force at my employer. We are working towards sparing ourselves some work-time to work on open source projects. If our customers finds some open-source stuff we can do for themn it will fall under this. Otherwise, the time will go to Haiku in my case (it may be a half day per week or something like that). No official decisions made on this yet, so I’ll keep you all updated.

We were at the GSoC summit today and discussed this with other Haiku and non-Haiku people. As you may have noticed in the financial report from Haiku inc, currently we have $65000 available. That would be 26 months of work at the usual “friend rate” of $2500 a month (which is quite low once you subscract all the taxes), or 6 month at a $10000 rate as was suggested above. So that would already be a good start, and we know if such a thing happens, people would likely start donating more money and we could likely extend the contract. The problem is not really the funding. The problem is finding someone who wants to do the work.

As a result, we have been considering other options. One of them is Outreachy. This is a program similar to Google Summer of Code except we have to fund it ourselves (it’s backed by the SFC, not by a big company with lots of money). Outreachy is open to non-students, and tries to improve diversity in open source projects. We’ll discuss this with the Inc but I expect we’ll be trying to get at least one contributor from Outreachy. We already considered this in the past but we didn’t have the funding, now we do.

Another good news is Google is considering a “season of documentation”, basically like a summer of code but to involve tech writers in open source projects. We could have someone working on the Haiku Book and finally documenting all our APIs, or improving user guide, website contents, etc. This is an early idea from them, so we’ll have to wait until they are ready to open applications.


Wow this is nice! Never heard about this kind of initiative. Italy is light years behind this way of making thing, I’m afraid.

I think I could propose to my company in the following months (now we’re damned understaffed). Can you pls provide more details about how it works? In PM if you prefer? Although we’re not in c++ dev, we could find something good for Haiku anyway. The website for example (I work for an advertising agency)

Pardon me, I’m a bit lost. Are you talking about SoC? The volunteer must be a student? Im involved in several academic activities atm, perhaps I could find a prof to spread out the idea to some students (again, no C++ here. C, maybe). I don’t know how the program works actually, no idea if it’s feasible.

What about DigitalOcean’s hacktoberfest? Perhaps we can activate it for very low-skill activities like cleaning the code, adding unit tests, translating something, bumping some ports (again, no marketing, no workforce here)


Well, not much to say about that Open Source thing. The company I work at uses a lot of Linux, iptables, etc in our customers projects. Over the years they hired people with skills in these areas, and of course some of them are open source project contributors (including myself). We made them aware that open source projects often need more support and funding than one would expect and that they can help.

They are now sponsoring a local conference about open source, in the hope to raise awareness that they are involved in it and hire more people. And we are now trying to find ways to “give back” something to open source projects. It turns out giving developer time may be easier than giving money for many reasons.

No, I’m talking about Haiku, inc hiring someone directly as they did for my Web+ contract, or for Barrett’s work on media stuff. We have the money to do more of this, but at the moment all Haiku contributors are busy with other stuff (full time jobs, raising a family, …).

By design Haiku inc is passive about this (they won’t put up job offers or anything like that). So it’s up to the community to find an interested developer and offer him to work on something. Then the inc can fund it. We don’t need money, we need workforce.


This is very useful to know. This means that the marketing efforts could start targeting developers with - I suggest - a lead generation campaign. Still hard, with no budget, but less hard than a fundraising campaign targeting general (Linux) users.

Some channels are totally unaffordable, with no budget, but some are less.

The real problem I see is the lack of knoweledge of Haiku software kits in the wild. Volunteers should need to learn how to program under Haiku first, and this could be discouraging without a proper engagement strategy.

On the other hands, “old” developers back ethe BeOS days (those who has not into the Haiku community already) are difficult to awake back, as they’re probably into the 40-45 age and being out from BeOS scene since then. This audience seems difficult to regain.

A good analysis on what we have on our social network channels would really help here. And which content ppl enjoy more on the website even more…but I’m quite sure I took this topic already :smiley:


A very rough idea of google paid search monthly campaign (better to open on a new tab): no CPC adjustments or tuning, just to give some numbers…



Personally I’d hold off on this general style of advertising until Haiku boots on more computers OOTB. Otherwise we’re directing people - many of who may not be developers - to a route to trying Haiku before it is ready, and where they are 90% likely to fail.

(I’m still waiting to see a post from someone who installs from USB first time on brand new hardware with no issues. Some issues fine for developers, but as we’ve seen in these forums, general users will complain LOUDLY if it doesn’t work).

After all “You only get one chance to make a good first impression”.

Also by using ‘Haiku’ as an adword you’re only targetting people already searching for it. Perhaps ‘Windows Alternative’ is a better phrase to use. Even better ‘open source projects that need developers’ or ‘contributing to open source’.

We should really aim at driving new people to the project IMHO.


I’ve just performed a white label analysis to highlight the average audience.

As I said, I think that a lead generation to recruit c++ developers musth be the first step.

This is something to care about a lot but, yes, Haiku is indeed targetable ad ‘alternative’. But alternative to what? Windows? Maybe. (An easier but still free alternative to) Linux? Probably. OSX in Hackintosh flavour? Definitively IMHO :slight_smile:

I agree.
Some malfunctions have to be addressed before thinking about making a wider audience. Installation procedure - expecially EFI - is really too geek-oriented (even more than in Linux I mean), XHCI issues hit weak point (regular users perceive USB devices as a friendly stuff) and the browsing experience (although with huge potential here, as Web+ is really a good browser by design) to name the firsts.

So I’ll definitively target C++ devs. Expecially after having read what @PulkoMandy has said about funding as not a primary concern atm.


On the topic of funding developers and documentation students, in my copious spare time I instruct at a youth group. One of my students there is a programmer, but nothing too serious, and would be interested in writing technical documentation in something like a student job - he likes the idea of having a part time job where he could learn something relevant to his future career.

I’m not sure if this is something that would be of interest to the team, but thought I’d bring it up. Advantage being I could point him in the right direction of people if he were stuck, as I see him twice a week anyway.


Good news: we are aware of this and they are part of the TODO list for beta2 (along with fixing/improving intel_extreme and fixing HDA audio drivers). There is currently no install procedure for EFI, this is still work in progress :slight_smile: .


@PulkoMandy Is the current state of EFI and all the missing work/pieces documented anywhere? I’d really, really like to help get this working. Just bought a new laptop and currently running Linux Mint as I can’t directly install Haiku. Please point me in the right direction to help out with this.


The bootloader itself works. There is some work to be merged (or recently merged?) which completes the integration with the build system (the image for the beta was built manually). And the missing part is integration with Installer (to copy the loader to the target drive’s UEFI partition) and maybe a Bootman for UEFI?