Geary crowdfunding: A perspective from Bytemark

Earlier today Bytemark’s Managing Director Matthew Bloch posted an incredibly encouraging blog post on why his company supports Geary and wants it to succeed.  Some key points that are well worth considering:

Facebook and Twitter continue to use their muscle to wind internet messaging back to the 1980s. That was a time when sending a message between big commercial networks was a privilege and not a right. So you had multiple addresses, or people you had to pay to talk to, or people you just couldn’t talk to because those big networks wanted to lock people in. We’re getting back to that state again now.

All of this bad news means hosting companies lose business. Users see a better experience with one of the big guys, moving towards them and their proprietary platforms. Among many other things, we all need to see a better free email client, and the prospect of anyone starting afresh seemed pretty remote.

Yorba simply want to put beautiful, functional, software out there, for free, with no strings attached, and with no plans to lock away the best features for paying customers.

Here’s a video of Matthew Bloch and scene-stealer Blue personally making their case for everyone to support Geary:

We’re reaching the last week of the Geary crowdfunding campaign.  Have you given yet?  If not, please consider donating.  We’re running an all-or-nothing campaign, meaning we must reach our goal of $100,000 to receive the money.  Please give today!

11 thoughts on “Geary crowdfunding: A perspective from Bytemark”

    1. When we discussed crowdfunding in the past — particularly at least year’s GUADEC in Spain — many users recommended against Kickstarter. Apparently the issue is (or was?) that Kickstarter’s use of Amazon for payments was unfriendly to donors in certain countries.

      There isn’t any one payment system that’s perfect for everyone, but our research suggested IndieGoGo was better for both donors here in the US and internationally, since PayPal is used in more countries than Amazon.

      Maybe we would have been better off with Kickstarter, maybe not, we’ll never know. We wish the choice of crowdfunding platform weren’t so divisive since we want to focus on software rather than fundraising.

      1. Not so much divisive as influential on your success: projects on Kickstarter are far more successful both in the average and best cases.

        1. @Anonymous: Kickstarter projects are curated while the ones on IGG are not.

          The numbers released by Openshot are interesting, however: a significant portion of funding came from existing KS users who discovered the project while browsing the listings.

          It has already been proven that self-hosted kickstarteresque crowdfundings can be wildly successful and in the near future we will see, if solutions like Selfstarter/Crowdhoster will become more popular.

  1. What I don’t understand is why the fundraiser page doesn’t explain the advantages of Geary over Evolution and Thunderbird. I use Evolution daily myself, I do think it needs quite some polish but it gets the job done. Why would Geary be better than Evolution or Thunderbird? Why not contribute to Evolution or Thunderbird instead of developing a new e-mail client from scratch?

    1. If you’re curious, you can download Geary and give it a try. See our Geary page for more information: http://www.yorba.org/projects/geary/

      As far as contributing to the other projects, we wanted to try a fresh design from the ground up. One vital part of our design — conversations rather than threaded messages — would require a significant redesign of Evolution and Thunderbird. What’s more, we heard directly from the Tbird dev crew (when there still was one) that they were absolutely against a conversation model, meaning you had to use a plugin. We feel conversations should be a core messaging model, not an add-on.

      We also wanted to make a lightweight email app that did that and only that — email. We couldn’t do that to Evolution, which is an integrated app.

      I could go on, but ultimately I feel it’s best to try Geary. It has its problems, but we’re working hard to correct them and make it a great app for everyone to use daily.

  2. LOL. Just realised the donation was on Indiegogo. Kickstarter and Indiegogo are starting to look the same to me :-[
    If I remember right. Kickstarter does not use Amazon in the UK. So I don’t know how they process things in different countries. If Indiegogo fails then would it not be worth giving it a go on Kickstarter? I typically see a lot more discussions in forums over Kickstarter projects than Indiegogo though I have no idea why?

    Anyway thanks for putting the effort into a good email client. Currently I use Thunderbird and as mentioned, with Mozilla pulling back on its development its future looks shaky. So hopefully Geary can fill the void should Thunderbird truly go down.

  3. Hi, first of all, I wish you best luck in your trying to find a sustainable development model — having many good e-mail clients which pay attention to standards cannot hurt.

    I have a question anyway, though — I’ve read your responses on why you didn’t contribute to some existing e-mail clients like Thunderbird and Evolution. It looks like the biggest reason was that you were afraid of huge changes to the existing architecture of the code, and that these changes might not have been received well by the existing project maintainers.

    Have you considered contributing to Trojitá (http://trojita.flaska.net/) instead? I started that project back in 2006 or so and one of my biggest motivations was to deliver a client which will be fast, reliable and would get into your way in the smallest possible manner. Nowadays I am pretty sure that the list of supported features is pretty impressive already, and have managed to attract a few people who now contribute patches. Even despite that, I am first to admit that our UI leaves much to be desired, and that there are many rough edges which might put inexperienced users off. So, when you started Geary in 2011, have you looked at Trojita, and in case you did, have you considered building on its code base and its advanced IMAP features?

    1. We didn’t look closely at Trojitá, but we are a GNOME shop and wanted to build a GTK application. We also were thinking of the mobile space when we developed Geary and wanted to make sure the back-end engine could be ported to mobile devices in the future.

      We have nothing against Qt, but our primary target was the GNOME desktop. And, again, while you might be welcome to UI improvements, we really wanted the ability to rethink the email client as we developed it rather than attempt to shape an existing code base (with existing prenotions) into what we were looking at doing.

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