On Mon, Aug 16, 2010 at 10:31 PM, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell@xxxxxxxxx>
This is neither fair nor reasonable.
When Wikimedia broke into the top _10_ most popular sites, with
something like 100 million unique viewers in a month the annual income
was comparable to the tor project. It only broke 1m in fundraising at
the very end of 2007. It takes time to scale up an organization so
that it is able to spend large amounts of money in an efficient and
The Free Software Foundation 2008 990 reflects 1m in income and the
FSF has been around for 25 years and supports many initiatives.
Mozilla Foundation's 2008 990 reflects 1.2m in income (this isn't the
whole story, Mozilla's finances are greatly complicated).
Wow. This is news to me, which I probably should have reviewed before my post, to get more perspective. Thanks for offering it up, Gregory.
However, I see that there is a fundamental, relevant difference here between the Tor Project and Wikimedia, FSF, and Mozilla Foundation. Who needs them? What is their value to the institutions who have money? Governments, law enforcement, military, enterprises, media, and others. I would speculate the Tor Project (and you) probably thinks of itself as similar to these 3 other organizations. But why not think of themselves as much more than them? That's my controversial point here.
They are much more than a homeless shelter too, for example. They are much more than a friggin database, and yet what was MySQL bringing in before it sold for $1B to Sun about 3 years ago? Tor is much more than an operating system, and yet how much has IBM and Oracle and others poured into Linux over the years?
I apologize for hurting feelings on this point. But this issue is much more important than that as well. I have listened to and followed Roger and Andrew and Nick and others over the years, enough to know they are all top quality guys.
But from an organizational, big picture view, I think it is clearly time for them to bring in some evangelical fundraisers to move the Project forward. There is a great base to build on. There is a great story to tell. But think about it this way - how far is the Project going to go, how successful will it be, with the inspirational leaders spending most of their time fixing bugs, doing commits, living in the code, and such.Â
Also if you are challenging me to speak up, well here I am, and here I will continue to be. Personally I am also looking at what part of the Tor software I can work on myself as part of my upcoming thesis term at school ...