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Gittip is a site that lets you “tip” people who contribute to open source. We really like it. Here’s why:

The speed at which new things can be built, deployed, and adopted, when compared to the speed at which those things happened just a few short years ago, is simply astonishing.  It’s not because we’re smarter than the folks that came before us (though we’d probably like to think so).  It’s because our tools are better.  We owe A LOT of the credit for that improvement to the people who contribute to open source.

That’s one of the reasons we’ve just added a Support Me On Gittip badge to every Work for Pie user’s profile.

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But it’s not the only reason.

Commerce is currently in the middle of a sea change.  Marc Andreesen wrote about it, and companies we admire, like Github, buy into it completely.  Not too long ago, it took a lot of money, a lot of time, or both, to build something new.  Companies at the top tended to stay there because barriers to entry were so great.  Now, things are a little different. Disruption of entire industries is possible in years (and in some cases months) rather than decades, and in many cases it’s possible to do so with a relatively small amount of investment capital.  

Why do we care?  We care because these kinds of changes make business better.  And making business better makes all of our lives better.  Companies at the top have to work harder to stay there.  They have to treat their customers better and they have to continue to make outstanding products.  If they fail in that mission, their position at the top can be threatened much easier and much quicker than ever before.  Disruption is a good thing.  It keeps us all honest, and it ensures that companies at the top of the heap truly deserve to be there.

This kind of disruption wouldn’t be possible without open source development, and indeed won’t continue to be possible without the continued contributions of people who write software not for personal gain but for the good of the community at large.  That’s why we’re supporting Gittip.  We think you should too.

Oh and one more thing.  We’re putting our money where our mouth is.  Starting now, Work for Pie will contribute its own money to Gittip.  We’re working with the Gittip team to figure out how we can match tips made by others, and once that’s ready we’ll be doing so. It’s not much, but it’s our way of saying thank you to all the amazing open source developers out there.

We hope to start a little movement with our pledge.  Maybe we’ll do a proper website once the matching piece is officially in place, but for how, if your company wants to get involved, why not tweet about it with the #gittippledge hashtag?  Maybe with your help we can start something awesome.  

Thank you,

The Pie Guys