Feature Auction?

by pieterh on 24 Sep 2009 17:38

Here is a question for thought. A lot of the signatures I see are people asking for (lobbying for) specific features. The one thing we have in abundance in Wikidot is demand for new functionality, as well as fixes and improvements to existing functionality. Our shortage is the supply of skilled brains able to make those changes.

So, here is a random idea. We match demand to supply. For any feature you particularly want or need for a project, attach a dollar value. Literally, make a promise to pay Wikidot a certain amount if we make the feature. Increase the amount if you think it is worthwhile. Reduce or cancel it if you no longer need the feature. When many people 'vote up' a feature by covering it, the feature gets pushed higher up the list.

This gives us a list of top needs, ranked not by votes (which cost nothing and represent interest, but not value), but by how valuable people actually consider the feature. Then, we at Wikidot (always motivative, like all individuals, by economic reality) will see that particular features are really valuable. We can judge whether it's worthwhile or not, whether the proposals are realistic or impossible.

Perhaps this is an unconventional way to fund the development of a large product like Wikidot. It also means that people using Wikidot for non-profit projects will be outvoted by those who aim to make money from their Wikidot sites.

Tell me what you think… a sensible way to prioritize, or a reprehensible and greedy attempt to extort our users?

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