Interview: Humble Bundles – Behind the Bargain
Humble Bundle is a project that was recently launched by Dinh Viet Hung of JoomlArt. Anyone who knows Hung, knows his enthusiasm is always on hyper-drive and his ideas are endless. We sat him down long enough to ask him about his latest venture...
What is the Humble Bundle, and how did you come up with the idea?
The idea came to us by chance. We were brainstorming ideas for our next promotion for Christmas. One idea from my team was "Why not do something for charity?". I thought "Why not do it hand-in-hand with and in support of the Joomla community?". After searching some ideas on the internet we came across this, "Pay what you want. Support charity. Get cross-platform". This is the tagline from the creators of the humble (indie) bundle. It matched our idea and the result is our Joomla version. To acknowledge the Humble Bundle project, I recommend you visit their website. Maybe you can find a suitable game bundle ;)
Why are you doing it?
All of our businesses are founded on Joomla and sometimes we need to give something back. The Humble Bundle project is a way in which I, and other active CEO & Founders like Steve Burge from OSTraining, Gary from CloudAccess.com, Ronni K from REDcomponent.com, Azrul from JomSocial, Steven from corePHP, Robert Gavik from Gavickpro, Andrew from Stackideas can have a chance to contribute to the community.
What is your vision of a "stronger Joomla Community"?
My vision for a "stronger Joomla Community" comprises the increase of world wide Joomla events, so we can reach out to more users in each corner of the world. In 2012 there were about 30 Joomla Day events around the world. Wouldn't it be awesome to have in the future 60 or 90 events per year?
How many bundles have you sold so far, and how much have you raised?
After the launch of the 7th deal, 1127 bundles have been sold out and $16,365USD has been raised for the community so far. These numbers will increase as more deals come.
Can I really name my own price? How does that work?
Yes, definitely you can. Check-out the bundle page. Buyers can adjust the price bar and determine who will get the money and how much they get. All-in for Joomla, or the deal partners, or just divide it among the three parties. However, there is a fixed minimum price for each deal and the minimum price depends on the total value of the deal. We always keep it very attractive and usually it is about 70-80% of the total value. I think this is a very good deal!
Where does the money actually go? How much control do I have over who gets it? Does the provider and the project gain on every sale, or can I decide to give all to one or the other?
Well, my previous answer already addressed one of your questions. Each provider potentially gets a piece of the sale. It all depends on the person who purchases the bundle. This is the interesting part of it. It is all up to the buyer. Theoretically, we or another provider could get nothing and Joomla gets it all ,or vice versa. As Joomla is not a legal entity, all the money will go to OpenSourceMatters (OSM) which represents the Joomla project in legal matters. I believe OSM will use this fund to promote and develop Joomla all around the world, as it is one of my personal wishes to see that we can double the number of Joomla events.
What is your goal, and when do you think you will reach it?
The goal is to reach $1 million fund for the Joomla Community. So far we have reached three milestones:
- Make this project happen
- Connect and get most big Joomla companies on board
- Reach the first milestone $10,000 for the community
I honestly can't commit to a specific date. It might be months or years until we reach that goal. While running the Humble Bundle we have came across some challenges. The most important one is, our (including our partners) Joomla products are limited. Just imagine if we run the bundle for one year. Assuming we have five products, we can run five deals with other partners. This works at the very beginning. You can do the math to see that it is hard to fill in one year with deals.
We need to get more people involved outside of the Joomla market as long as they have the spirit to support the Joomla Community. This way we can tackle the challenge. What if different OpenSource CMS and projects were to work together?
I would appreciate it if there would be more support from OSM to spread the word about the humble bundle project.
How do you choose which products to offer in the bundles? How can I contribute my extension/service?
There is no specific criteria to work with us. I just started with my network and let them know what the Humble Bundle is all about. I shared with them the conditions which are simple:
a) willingness to contribute to Joomla!
b) offer should be of high value for the users
c) your payment system can generate hundreds/thousands of coupon codes.
If any online business can live with those conditions, just drop me a line and my team will take care of the rest. We guide you and set up the technical part. I intend to open the Humble Bundle to everyone who wants to run these kind of deals on their own domain without JoomlArt branding (eg: http://humblebundle.joomlashack.com; http://humblebundle.cloudaccess.net/) so we can target a broader audience for the Joomla! fund. Thus reach the $1M goal faster!
Who is buying bundles? Is it for small freelance website builders, or bigger operations?
I observe that most of the buyers are among our and our partner's existing customers. Those are freelancers, developers, site builders, agencies, etc. Basically anyone who needs a website or develops websites. To address more users beyond our network we need to spread the word outside of our market. I hope with this interview we can get some attention from start-ups who use Joomla as one of their distribution, communication and service channel, e.g. components, modules, and plugins which interact with their API. So guys, if you read this, get in touch and help Joomla!
Well, that's all I want to say, and I want to conclude it by a quote from Nick Vujicic "there is no goal too big, no dream too far-fetched. It's as big as we can dream it".
For more info and to follow the Humble Bundle project:
The live report of this project: http://bit.ly/joomlahumble_livereport
Why we have this project: http://humblebundle.joomlart.com/why