The $25 club

The CS-Cart community is growing everyday, and new mods are coming out almost daily. Most impressive indeed. :slight_smile:



Some mods are free, some have a price. What’s been most impressive is how people come together to share the cost of development, which results in an increased capability at a very reasonable price. This started with the Dynamic Tabs mod, and contributions have far exceeded the cost. Most people contributed $25, some even more. What’s been really cool is that nobody asked for their change to be returned, opting instead to pool the money to be applied to future projects.



So yesterday, the thought occurred to me to form something I call the $25 club. Here’s what I think:



• CS-Cart customers contribute $25 for permanent membership in the club. (Voluntary of course).

• Mod authors submit their mod’s to the club for distribution to club members. (Again, voluntary).

• Proposed mods having a development cost, from either CS-C or private, can be submitted to the club for funding consideration.

• ALL mods submitted to the club, or funded by the club will be available to ALL club members for download.

• Any author contributing a mod for distribution to club members will have permanent membership to the club.



My thinking is this; There will be enough candy in the coffers to entice the majority of CS-C users to join the club. This should keep a fairly decent amount of cash in the bank for funding new mods on an ongoing basis.



On thing I don’t want to do is take away from the spirit that’s made CS-Cart and the forum community so special. That’s why I want membership to be permanent. But I also believe there are mod’s that are complicated and require allot of time and effort to develop. It’s not unreasonable for these folks to get paid either.



The particulars will need to be ironed out, but I would like to hear what everyone else thinks about this idea.

mike i think its a nice idea… i proposed it the idea of sharing the mods in another thread but i have to admit i didnt think of this one combined.



as i proposed the fact that the modules created are available for cscart dev team or other members who would like similar mods so that the new releases increases version turnover for cs-cart and at the same time exploit ideas that other have to improve the functionality.(i think cs-cart lacks the turnaround time of new features added eventhough i prefer more time for quality)



the key is to have a reasonable structure that allows economy of scale but enough control that there is no abuse either. i think it would be something i could consider joining as im sure i would not need all the modules but im sure some modules would create me some ideas to offer on my site.



chahine

Mike,



I think it’s a good idea and if implemented (once everything is worked out) I’ll join.

I also think it is a good idea, and given that there is such a small buy-in I’d probably join as well. But for me, the jury is still out on whether cs-cart will be a viable long term shopping cart solution. The turnaround time for new releases is too long for too little. Im sure the guys are working really hard, and they’ve always been responsive to my technical support questions, but in the end, the cart lacks the features I need/would like (especially in the marketing area) and the critical mass on this board to have a community that can drive that sort of development. I’m hoping things turnaround.

yea this is a good idea and I thought awhile back about making my own paid subscription forum where you could sign-up for a yr subscription for like $25 and you’d have full access to all mods and everything, plus when people asked questions a solution would be provided instead of the free for all nature of the forums now…

Setting up the $25 Club



The way I see it, the most important thing is to iron out the details on how to handle and account for the money. As far as membership is concerned, that’s pretty straightforward. You contribute $25 or a mod and you’re in for life. Members can download all submitted mods for free. Authors can elect to submit their mods or not. If they don’t want to distribute their mods through the club, they can sell it or give it away as they see fit.



Money

The easiest way to handle the money is to use PayPal. They can act as the bank, and their reporting is first rate. Nobody can make a deposit or a withdrawal without a detailed record being created. That keeps everyone honest. I think it should be mandatory to have two people authorized to administrate the account, receive and make payments, and publish a record of activity on a monthly basis. Admin’s. would not be paid. Ownership of the club would be with its members.



I can take care of setting up the PayPal account and a domain name to register the account to. (I checked and CSC25Club.com is available). I don’t think we would need a formal website, just a place to handle the mail. We’ll also need to figure out a way to keep protected content separated from the public stuff.



Let’s have some discussion:

I’d be more than willing to host something, say a members only CMS site for it and/or the mail system.



Just a thought.

Hi Tom,



Thanks for the offer. I can put it on my server as well as we do web hosting and just about everything else, including domain registration.



Good idea about a CMS. I didn’t think of that. It would be a great way to keep everyone up to date on current events. I can setup a Joomla site very easily.

Some form of “donations” table would be required

Automated is quite easy, basically when a donation is made by a user it is “publically” available for all to view, when I say public I mean all members.



This would certainly keep a trust element going, so everybody could see an account of whats in the pot…



i.e

-----------------------------------------

dontation from user A + $25

dontation from user B + $25





dontation from user J + $25

Mod purchased nice n cheap - $25

dontation from user K + $25



Mod Share Balance $25.00

------------------------------------------



A one off fee off $25 wont get very far unfortunatly if only 30 people signed up thats only $750 worth of mods… basically 2 or 3 max



Thats my 2 cents (or 2 pence)



Regarding who runs it, well a public vote is required, A forum poll should easily cure that one, depending who wants to nominate themselves

initially…

Okay let me just chime in on some thoughs here.



What if Billy were to deposit $25 to the club. Once the club has enough money to get a mod done. Billy wants his mod. But Bob here wants another mod… so what mod to make? Would Billy pay for Bobs request or vice versa? What mod does the money goto?



Would YOU want to pay for a feature that you don’t need?





A better solution in my opinion is to donate per project. As it is now. But maybe a bit more controlled.



The mods need proper specs. Info on required amount, how much donated, who donated. Then those who are interested can donate to the mods they want, and not donate to a full pot and have mods made they have no interest in.

Gents,



First, I support any way possible to insure the money is safe and available for what it was intended for. I think that has to be written in stone. That’s why I suggested PayPal. It’s literally updated to the minute.



As to how far your $25 will go, I think the one thing that you didn’t factor in was that there will always be new people joining. I don’t have any way of knowing this for sure, but I’d bet CS-C is selling more than one license a day. I’d bet that it’s a lot more. But what if it’s only 4 a day. I think it’s realistic that ¼ of the new customers would join the club. So now you have 30 new members a month. That’s churning out 2-3 mods a month. Unless something drastic goes wrong, I think the future is very bright for CS-C and they will be increasing sales on a daily basis. If they start selling 10 a day, and we get the same 25%, that 4-6 mod’s a month. At some point, most of the badly needed mod’s will be developed, but enrollment in the club will still get its 25% of the new customers, the funds will just grow, with less to spend it on. That will enable us to tackle some of the more expensive projects like syncing with accounting programs, CMS programs, etc.



So someone joins today. Well, there’s not very many mod’s right now. But the few that are there are good one’s, any of which is worth the $25 on its own. So, if someone can use the Dynamic Tabs mod, they join the club and get it. 10 years from now, when there’s hundred’s of mod’s available, they can get them all without costing a red cent.



If you use the dynamic tabs mod as an example, we all contributed WAY more than what it cost. I don’t know how much is left over, (Sno, can you shed some light on this), but I know how easily we covered the initial CS-C quote. Nobody asked for a refund either. People are still kicking in to this day. So why not join the club and get the rest of them for free.



So how do we choose which mod to fund? Well, we have to work that out amongst ourselves. It will always come down to a ‘business’ decision. We’ll weigh what we want against what we have. I don’t think it should be a decision left up to a single person. We managed to have quite a bit of debate on what’s next without anyone getting upset.

Guys, I am a member of the canadian forces and their thousounds of club!!! And I pay 35$ a month and never benefit from anything exept cheap beer when I go, but the spirit of a club is not to make Bob happy!



It is to push progress foward in an ordely fashion so that everybody knows what is going on and have access to it.



Polls, what are those for, any next mod can be polled to be acceted by majority, either by price or by efficacy (unless you function as a communist it is the justest way to agree on this type of stuff). Once the mod is accepted, minutes on how it will be done can be posted as news and released into the CMS for all to access.



Simple, but effective, I would join for sure and is willing to go up to 50$ if need be. For all I will gain from it, this BARGAIN is very cheap…



CHEERS GUYS!



Note: A logo can be done and posted on every site of the club’s member… just so we all feel included!

Theres one big question, especially with CS and their terms and conditions…



I know they have read this, but I wonder what they really think about it ??

I think serious consideration needs to be given to the process for allocating money. Because what I think we are going to find is that a not so insignificant number of mods (relative to the money the groups has for allocation) are going to be submitted for consideration. And if the $25 club isn’t prudent with the money, its going to find that all of its money will be used in 2 or 3 or 4 weeks. Perhaps the group should set some sort of priorities or come up with some very specific criteria for what the group is looking for in a mod.



Secondly, I am resistant to any system of voting that is purely popular. When I pay $25, I have absolutely NO IDEA what type of mods will be submitted for consideration and what type of mods the group is going to vote for. If there are 4 members of the club and 3 of them own a online grocery store, one might submit a mod request that is specific to a grocery store. And there you have it, 3 members have benefited and one has lost out. All the money was used to create the mod and the one who didn’t have the grocery store just subsidized the cost of a mod which was not at all useful to him. I dont think members plan to game the system, but it is easy to imagine a scenario where members were paying for mods that had no use to them. I dont think anybody would want this. Dissatisfied members will not be good if the group is looking to grow. Mods submitted for funding requests must be beneficial to the general membership and be of such a priority to the general membership (perhaps judged by utility? something else?) that would justify allocating the groups resources for that mod.



Perhaps, later on, club $25 creates sub categories for more specific types of mods for marketing or visual layout or security enhancement that users can buy into with another $25 or something.

tbh… providing we have someone that is willing to read and act on our rants relative to a modification, where we discussed requirements into prior to development I don’t the benefits of such a club. Again imho.



Good premises however it’s kinda like communism, someone’s going to be left out somewhere.

Good points.

[quote] I think serious consideration needs to be given to the process for allocating money. Because what I think we are going to find is that a not so insignificant number of mods (relative to the money the groups has for allocation) are going to be submitted for consideration. And if the $25 club isn’t prudent with the money, its going to find that all of its money will be used in 2 or 3 or 4 weeks. Perhaps the group should set some sort of priorities or come up with some very specific criteria for what the group is looking for in a mod.[/quote]Money management is important. I’m not so concerned in the beginning because it’s basic economics. If development is going to cost $500 and we only have $300 in the pot, we ain’t getting the mod. I don’t think there will be a foolproof way to set criteria for funding approval since everyone will have different needs.

[quote]Secondly, I am resistant to any system of voting that is purely popular. When I pay $25, I have absolutely NO IDEA what type of mods will be submitted for consideration and what type of mods the group is going to vote for. If there are 4 members of the club and 3 of them own a online grocery store, one might submit a mod request that is specific to a grocery store. And there you have it, 3 members have benefited and one has lost out. All the money was used to create the mod and the one who didn’t have the grocery store just subsidized the cost of a mod which was not at all useful to him. I dont think members plan to game the system, but it is easy to imagine a scenario where members were paying for mods that had no use to them. I dont think anybody would want this. Dissatisfied members will not be good if the group is looking to grow. Mods submitted for funding requests must be beneficial to the general membership and be of such a priority to the general membership (perhaps judged by utility? something else?) that would justify allocating the groups resources for that mod.[/quote]Well I suppose I’d be ticked off if I paid for a mod only to find out it isn’t going to be made and I can’t get a refund. That’s not what I had in mind for the club, but it is the reason I think membership should be permanent. You might not get the mod you’re looking for today, but can you say that membership would be a bad investment if you had access to all of the free mod’s and quite a few of the paid ones for as long as you’re using CS-Cart? I’m absolutely positive we won’t be able to build every mod proposed, but I am just as positive that the ones members will have access to are collectively worth a hellofallot more than $25. As the customer base increases for CS-C, there will be a higher likelihood that proposed mod’s will be useful for a larger group of people. If the money is there to do some of the smaller demand projects, we’ll do it. If it’s not, then maybe later. There will also be times when someone needs something so unique that the club couldn’t possibly approve it. In these cases they would have to pay someone to do the custom work. It would be up to them if they wanted to contribute the code to the club afterwards. If not, they’re free to keep it for themselves, or sell it to any takers.



The club shouldn’t be considered as a sure fire way to get the perfect mod. It sure shouldn’t be thought of as an alternative to the natural evolution of CS-C either. I want CS-C to keep doing what they do so well. But a club having hundreds of members will probably be an important resource for CS-C to listen to for future development ideas.



Well it’s midnight here and it’s bedtime for Bonzo. I hope there’s lots more discussion.

we discuss simular ideas about a club of Russian CMS TYPO3 developers for making some R&D, comparison, patches etc

The conclusion:

it must be month-to-month subscription (not one time fee).



It the case of CS-Cart I think $25 for 6 month is good.



How it will be:

a user need a mod. He pay $25 and get access to mods repository for 6 month

and download all resent mods.



If he make own mods and upload it, he get memebership for free.

MikeK: If you think about it for a second. Don’t you think this sounds very much like an MLM scheme without the referral fee? :smiley:



You get more dependant on getting new members because money runs out.



Eventually the club will be saturated and no more money will fall in, or at least not in the huge amount as in the beginning. Thus capital will stop growing. It’s unrealistic to think that new members will be joining in every day adding to the pot. There is a huge difference between subscription fee and one time fee. Where the first actively builds capital to buy new mods on a regular basis.


[quote]At some point, most of the badly needed mod’s will be developed[/quote]



Thats the problem I was talking about. What is a badly needed mod for you? Is it the same for me and for Billy?





The only true way to build capital is subscription fees IMO. One time fees do not work on an ongoing basis. It’s a very hard business model by all means.

My $.02.



Why not charge an entry fee, say $50 a year to enter (subscription). and then if you want a mod, you chip in for that specific module above and beyond the 50 subscription.



The 50 bucks could be used to get information , such as tutorials, guides, maybe some free use icons, some free template addons, etc.



and then if say 20 users want XYZ mod, those 20 users then have to chip in to pay for it.



Then maybe the user community as a whole can develop their own free modules, skins, images and just share amonst themselves.



Just throwing out ideas.



I could forsee a knowledge base being built, as well as guides, template hacks, etc. and that only paid users can use.

like I mentioned previously I’ve always wanted to do this myself but there has only ever been a select few individuals who have actually created an addon though there has been a significant increase in many hacks contributed by alot of people, the support issues that go along with addons/hacks is too much of a headache to deal with to be honest…we’ll really have to iron out the details if this is too happen…



I think the best thing going if we create “club mod” is too focus on teaching members how to make their own addons that we will all share as a result instead of a take, grab, leave and complain scenario which I know will happen. I’ve already put together a pretty comprehensive module development manual that teaches you how to create your own very basic module from scratch which could be a starting foundation of this club ect…more ideas appreciaited…