You know those little bits of code which are too small to be a project but too big to just throw online?
How would you like to make money from that code? Or from your code-writing abilities?
Peter Burris wants to help you. His IPSwap, a San Francisco start-up, wants to make a market in small units of digital goods and services, the kind that might enhance a social networking page, make your mobile experience really cool, or just make your blog more blogilicious.
"My experience talking to open source developers is the movement is losing some steam. People say, 'I contributed this, where's my money?' he told me today.
For instance. "One of our members had a Blueooth phone and Bluetooth TV. He thought they should communicate. He requested a little piece of software he could use on his cellphone to make it a remote control. Someone built it and sold it to him." Now that guy can re-sell the code on IPSwap.
IPSwap can be used by programmers seeking small freelance gigs (the equivalent of magazine articles) or to build much-larger systems out of pieces, Burris said. The company presented this year at Demo.
What distinguishes IPSwap from older markets like eLance, RentACoder and Guru.com is this emphasis on small bits. The home page lists categories like MySpace mods, Game mods, Mobile mods, and ring tones.
Burris says of these new markets, "The notion of exchanges is familiar. The markets for many mobile phone enhancements are closed. But we're also seeing a set of breakaway markets which change that. There are sites devoted to ringtones making a pile of money. It's starting to open up." As it does, IPSwap hopes it can help you profit.
So, will the open marketplace replace open source? And if not, how are you going to get paid?