Alternative revenue streams

can you not lodge a dispute with Apple? Apple - Legal - iTunes App Store Content Dispute

And regarding “only monetized aspect of Anki (AnkiMobile) that pays the bills for the main full-time developer and also the free AnkiWeb service” I personally think that another revenue stream could be obtained by looking at Anki for education.


I know nothing about this rip-off, so this might be an inappropriate place to offer this suggestion. However, it has been on my mind for some time and I feel a compulsion to voice it.

Please do not take this the wrong way. I, for one, am extremely grateful for all the hard work you’ve contributed to anki, rely upon anki heavily and don’t want to do anything to jeopardize anki’s future.

I genuinely believe, with a high degree of certainty, that your role in creating this amazing tool will ultimately be as important as that of Linus Torvald’s role in creating Linux; probably more so. I say that because I believe, with a high degree of certainty, that anki will become much more than it is today in the very near future.

My gentle suggestion …

I recently started paying a monthly patreon fee to Glutanimate because I very much appreciate his (1) image occlusion and (2) overlapping cloze add-ons for Anki. I rely upon these heavily and my life would suck much more if these innovations had not been created so I am very grateful to the creator and want to support his work.

I certainly feel the same way about core anki development and would be more than willing to pay a monthly patreon (or fee to support that as well.

I suspect that many others who are very grateful for the many years of hard work you’ve contributed would be willing to do the same.

My strong intuition is that this type of crowdsourced funding is the future and forward thinking people should give consideration to that model of funding.

This funding could lessen the reliance upon selling the ios app as a source of revenue.

Why is that important?

I see anki today as being very similar to the linux kernel in the 1990s. An extraordinary invention with amazing potential.

But, for Linux to reach its full potential, it was necessary to allow “distributions” to innovate and compete against one another.

For example, I remember using the Slackware distribution in the 90s. I remember how painful it was installing software from tarballs. Installing one package would break several others. The system was very fragile. Then the Red Hat distribution was released with the rpm package manager. This innovation solved the pain that many were experiencing and changed everything. By allowing people outside the kernel development team to contribute these innovations, Linux really took off.

The lesson?

In general, dividing up a complex system into subsystems with well defined interfaces and allowing different teams to innovate on how each of those subsystems is implemented can accelerate innovation. Division of labor should always be defined by architecture IMHO.

Note that ecosystem expansion creates the conditions for innovation which, in turn, creates the conditions for more users, which, in turn, creates the conditions whereby the number of people willing to contribute to crowdsource funding should increase as well. Linus Torvalds does not have worry about $ today.

I hope this suggestion does not offend.

I am genuinely grateful for the years of hard work contributed and my only intention is to help resolve the conflict between (1) the need for the core development team to be funded and (2) the need for more rapid innovation outside of the anki kernel by other teams of developers.

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Re their dispute process, my understanding is that Apple pass on the contact details, and expect you to resolve the issue directly with the other developer, via legal means or otherwise. It would not be prudent for me to discuss the legal side of things further here on a public forum.

Re pursuing alternative revenue streams, they will take time to set up and administer, and I’m already stretched at the moment. I’m also not sure that increased income would translate to faster development in the near term - bringing more people into a project takes time, even more so if they’re not already very familiar with the codebase, and in some cases it can do more harm than good: The Mythical Man-Month - Wikipedia. I think slow and steady is required here, and if you look at Anki’s change notes over time, I think we’re on the right trajectory.

I’m not sure how many parallels we can draw from the Linux kernel - it’s something that underpins the service offerings of companies making billions of dollars in revenue, and a large amount of its development is financed by said companies. Linus delegating work to other trusted maintainers does allow the load to be spread out more, but that goes back to the previous point.


What about launching a decentralized crypto currency for anki?

It could be used to not only give value to those who code but also those who create content.

I think it would be great if anki decks could be put on a blockchain where people could work together on content.

What about launching a decentralized crypto currency for anki?

To draw even more energy from Anki development?

I think it would be great if anki decks could be put on a blockchain where people could work together on content.

AnkiHub (AnkiHub - Coming soon) might help here as a tool in the future. IMHO a more relevant hurdle for working together – offline and online – is to establish a shared goal and conventions on how to present content.



Re: funding

If you create a patreon account, I will be your first supporter.

Here is Glutanimate’s:

Re: Anki’s potential growth vs Linux …

It is my belief that exponentially accelerating innovation is creating the conditions whereby everyone is feeling the pressure to
1: Learn more faster and
2: Retain what we have learned with less investment.

Anki is the natural solution to this problem

I believe that Anki decks will be offered by educators to help students to commit what they have learned to long term memory because this meets the need that students have to (1) learn more faster and (2) retain what they have learned with less investment.

I also strongly suspect that a decentralized system of anki deck sharing is the best solution to the problem of censorial centralized narrative control which hinders innovation. I believe the new version of Wikipedia, for example, will be a decentralized AnkiPedia where each Wikipedia page will be available as a browsable filterable anki deck and where access to different perspectives will be available.

I have reached out to Larry Sanger with this idea because he is already working on trying to solve this problem.

Why will Anki be bigger than Linux?

Elon Musk says that a value offering can either (1) meet a big need of a few people or (2) a small need of many people.

I believe that Anki will be much bigger than Linux because it has the potential to meet a big need of billions of people. In the process of doing so, I believe it will create the conditions for the emergence of the hive mind which will further accelerate innovation to solve big problems (cancer, alzheimer’s, COVID-19, etc,) which plague us all.

More details here:

Re: The Mythical Man Month

Re: Brook’s Law: “adding manpower to a late software project makes it later”.
This was true when IBM was building OS/360 in the 1960s, but the subsequent emergence of the Linux OS a few decades later seems to have disproved this. Linux today has many thousands of developers committing to many repos concurrently.

What changed?

Better tools and processes certainly helped, but I would argue that the most important innovation is that of architecture.

Specifically, the discovery that the optimal architecture of any system is the one that breaks the system down into a set of subsystems such that (1) cohesion within each subsystem is maximized and (2) coupling between subsystems is minimized.

Why is this important?

Because minimal coupling between subsystems creates conditions more favorable to innovation within subsystems.

Stated more plainly, if the change you want to make is likely to trigger a cascading set of bugs - due too high coupling between subsystems - you will be less likely to make the change.

By contrast, if the change you make is unlikely to trigger a cascading set of bugs - due too low coupling between subsystems - you will be more likely to make the change.

Lower coupling = Higher innovation

For example, one of the problems I’ve run into using the Cloze Overlapper addon is the inability to alter sibling-spacing rules on mobile platforms because this requires changes to the scheduler which requires addon support which mobile platforms do not have.

One solution to this problem might be to refactor the architecture to extract the scheduling subsystem so that innovators could compete against each other with internet-based schedulers. i.e. If the scheduling code resided externally to the app, the same code could be used by implementations across platforms. Innovators might subsequently compete against each other by offering superior scheduling and/or feedback to users on how to get a better return on their investment of time and effort in spaced repetition practice.

I’m not suggesting that this is the best solution to this problem. I’m just giving an example of the kinds of concurrent innovations by the community which refactoring to “reduce coupling between subsystems” makes possible.