Crowdfunding is generally a great way to get projects that have no access to the normal sources of finance off the ground. Fundry.com has a crowdfunding element to it without doubt but it also has far too many grey areas to confuse both developers and potential funders let alone a reviewer!
Let’s kick off with its stated mission. The site aims to act as a platform for software developers to get funding for developing additional features suggested by the Fundry community. The community pledge amounts, the developer does the necessary and everyone’s a winner according to the site.
It sounds good but let’s look at the mechanics. As a funder you will need to sign up (for free) and then deposit hard cash via PayPal before you can actually make a pledge to your chosen feature. PayPal fees apply of course.
From a developers point of view these "pledges" don’t appear to provide an awful lot of comfort as far as financial security is concerned. For a start they can be withdrawn at any time before completion and secondly, once the feature is completed, the Fundry members who pledged money get to vote on whether they like it or not. If the majority say no then the majority of the money stays where it is.
The whole voting system is a bit convoluted but basically runs like this; if you’re in the YES camp but the majority say NO your money goes to the developer. If you’re in the NO camp but the majority say YES your money still goes to the developer, minus the site’s 5% fee of course.
It’s all a bit unsatisfactory really, the developer is never really sure if he’s going to get paid for his work and a community member could end up paying for a feature that bears no resemblance to what they thought they were getting.
Win-win could become lose-lose!
I think I’ve said enough already!