Here's how it works on sourcehut:
You pay us the subscription fee of your choice and you get access to our services. We spend it on maintaining and upgrading the hardware, and paying for staff to handle development, operations, support, and on-call.
Because we don't take money from investors, we're only accountable to users, and if we aren't working in your interests, we lose our revenue. We are incentivized to work for you, not to generate a return.
Because we're running 100% free software, we're held accountable because anyone can take our shit and run it on their own servers, or even bootstrap a competing company using our own software. We've made it easy to run out out of business if we lose your trust.
@sir if ice would publicly acknowledge running an instance would you do anything about it?
@druide yes, and I encourage them to do so. We could help hold each other accountable and share improvements to the software with each other (it's AGPL, so they'd be required to publish their changes).
But I don't think that would be a fatal blow for sourcehut, because we would still have the trust in that situation. We have assets you can't easily reproduce, like a few tens of thousands invested in server hardware, plus human resources like development expertise and familiarity with the systems, and the demonstrated ability to provide a performant and reliable service.
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