Mycroft Core will be released soon. As part of Mycroft Core we are providing users with access to external APIs, STT solutions and centralized data management.
After the fiasco at Revolv this past month, we are hyper-aware that we are going to need some form of monthly revenue to ensure the continued availability of Mycroft to users. Cloud services aren’t free and we are going to be processing a lot of data.
We are also hyper-aware of the open source ethos. Developers and users are contributing to the Mycroft platform and we have an obligation to provide them with unencumbered use of the software. That means no monthly fees.
After conversations with our advisers in the open source community we’ve decided to provide premium services to paying supporters in exchange for a small monthly subscription fee. We realize that the vast majority of Mycroft users likely don’t want to pay a fee, and we respect that. The Mycroft platform can, of course, be used free of charge. Users who want to support the project will be rewarded with some perks.
We have been brainstorming as to which premium services to offer, but we would like feedback from the community.
With your input, we can be sure to include premium services that the community will find relevant in a way that is palatable to our community.
Here are a few of the ideas we’ve come up with:
- Premium Voices – Users will have access to several additional high quality voices.
- Early Access to New Hardware & Expansion Modules – Users get the opportunity to buy new hardware before we make it available in our store.
- Advertising Free Audio Feeds – Some of the audio sources (the NPR news feed, for example) have a short advertisement before or after the content. We’d eliminate these ads by negotiating access with the audio provider and sharing a small portion of the revenue with them.
- Perfect Privacy – We respect your privacy. We plan to strip personally identifiable information from incoming data before using it to train the AI – making all queries anonymous. “Perfect Privacy” will add an additional layer of privacy to this process by immediately deleting all queries. No data will be stored – not even anonymously – and no data will be used to further train the AI.
Before we implement this premium model, we want your feedback. How do we support the project’s ongoing financial needs while still respecting our community? What do you think of our ideas, and do you have any of your own?
It is very important to us to earn the respect of our community, so we are bringing these questions to you. We’d love to get your feedback. Please weigh in on these issues in our community forum so we can better understand the community’s position.
Kris is a serial entrepreneur and co-founder of Mycroft. She helped develop and executed on the social media strategy for the Kickstarter and continues managing social media in her role as Social Media Manager at Mycroft today.