Incentives are well aligned with the success of the open-source projects, as the more popular the projects are, the more companies will be interested in retainers, providing more resources to meet the increasing maintenance load. The workload also scales sub-linearly with the number of clients: for each additional client relationship I need to keep track of a new set of relevant interest areas and concerns, but managing multiple stakeholders is already a core skill of open-source maintainers, and the main task is still the day-to-day maintenance work which is shared across all clients. Platinum clients also have marginal cost in terms of providing dedicated advice, but again the bulk of the job is remaining an expert, and that doesn’t require extra effort for every new client. Of course, a lot of this is new and there isn’t much precedent to learn from, so I’m aware I’m probably off in some of my estimates and I am proceeding cautiously. After spending the past four months recruiting clients, I am now slowing down those efforts to learn more about capacity, bandwidth, and the marginal cost of additional clients. I’m still talking to a few prospects I would love to work with, and holding space for them in capacity planning.

I’m Now a Full-Time Professional Open Source Maintainer
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