Octotreat: Allowing github donations for specific issues

Hi there. We are creating a platform that allows you to donate (and receive) money for github issues. We call them treats, because that shows the gratitude towards the maintainer.
We are well integrated with github and currently in the phase of validating our idea. You can find the phoenix prototype here: https://octotreat.com. But bear in mind that we are in early development. :grin:

If you have any questions, remarks, comments, ideas or want to contribute otherwise, feel free to reply.


Is this in its spirit the same as bountysource? If not, what makes you special? Why should I choose your service over bounty source, which is already established and well trusted in the market.

Excellent question. Right now, nothing. However, with feedback from the community we want to chose from a few ideas that would make us different.

  • Workflow. By integrating only with github, we can have a much simpler workflow. (e.g. offering a bounty is one click, we also heavily rely webhooks.)
  • Bountysource takes 10%. We aim for 1-2% + payment provider fees.
  • Bountysource has 257 open issues. That personally gives me a bad feeling.
  • We believe that merging a PR is work and therefore divide the treat / bounty between the person that made the PR and the owner or the repository (current idea is 80% | 20%)
  • Since OSS is not all about money, we plan on making an additional virtual currency like stackoverflow. This way, people can show their gratitude without financial cost.
  • [insert your idea here] :slight_smile: We really want that feedback.

Multiple bounty platforms might be able to coexist… At least I hope so.


Oh, I forgot the most important one. We specialise on small amounts per person. 20 people offering you a beer for one issue can get you through a whole month :stuck_out_tongue: Think like “issue crowdfunding”.

As you I do believe in diversity and how it may make things better for everyone. I’m eager into looking deeper into your service. I really like the maybe feature of a community currency.

But as we are talking about currency. Which currencies do you support? And to which countries are you supporting payouts? Is a cc required or do you use cc-less payment providers?

Cool :slight_smile:
We start out with https://stripe.com/. It currently supports a few currencies and 25 countries (for payout). You can check if your preferred payout is supported here: https://connect.stripe.com/oauth/authorize?response_type=code&client_id=ca_32D88BD1qLklliziD7gYQvctJIhWBSQ7&scope=read_write

Bitcoin is also a good fit, because we don’t need synchronous payments, but we have not started to implement that yet.

Since the internet never forgets, I just want to update anyone who reads this:

We gave up the project because we were not ready for it. Creating a startup is hard. This one would have been very hard for the following reasons:

  1. Shift in culture would be needed: Currently many people contribute to open source because they enjoy it. (learning, collaboration with great minds, feeling of achievement etc.) Financial incentives can suppress those incentives (psychological fact).
  2. Back then 6 startups had tried it and failed. One of them received a few hundred thousand $ from IBM. Still failed.
  3. We had no popular open source project on our side.
  4. Quantity vs Quality. There’s multiple ways of fixing an issue. Again the incentive shift.
  5. How to split the financial reward based on the contribution? That’s a hard question. Leaving it up to the contributors could theoretically lead to fights.
  6. We had almost no financial pillow to support us and the project.

Nonetheless I feel like this is the right path for open source software. It’s the missing puzzle piece of why modern software is open source at its base (languages, kernel, …) but then stops. So if anyone wants to tackle it, feel free to contact me and bounce back a few ideas.