Last week, I wrote about how free software has to break out of the customer-vendor mindset. The customer-vendor mindset doesn’t work with free software because users don’t pay and developers don’t provide customer service. The free software community works on a build-what-you-use model. I ended by saying that the build-what-you-use model is not enough to sustain hero developers—people who contribute at a level that cannot be sustained by their own use of free software.
I was able to spend some time in the DrupalCon Community Summit yesterday. One of our topics was how a paid ecosystem could align with Drupal core values. We have developers who are not getting paid for the work they do to support their projects, and users who complain about the support they are given as if they had paid for it. Developers feel like users are bad customers because they don't pay, and users feel like developers are bad vendors because they don’t provide support.
Today I was listening to Talking Drupal #168. The topic was how to ensure that open source project developers can afford to provide updates to their users. As an open source developer myself, I have to disagree with the premise that we should support a distinction between users and developers. The projects that I develop for are the projects that I use. As a user-developer, I do not care how many users a project has. I care how many user-developers it has.