I want to emphasize that funding is a BIG issue. If we could sabotage the funding or otherwise existence of proprietary software, it might be less.
See, IRC exists, XMPP too, etc. And everyone could be at least functional using them. But they lose potential users because Slack and other proprietary stuff has both some nice features and a strong marketing budget. If we could eliminate the proprietary competition, not only would the software libre options get more use, they probably would also get more funding.
But in practice, we have to better out-compete the proprietary competition. That’s been the issue since the earliest pre-GNU days of RMS working to reverse engineer proprietary software to keep people from moving to it. It helps that we have the freedom-selling-point but that’s not enough on its own for most people, unfortunately. It’s simply easier sell if we also compete on features and usability.
To out-compete, we need funding. And it’s not merely whether software libre wins. We also want it to be better and to be as user-friendly as possible.
Now, when people get into HOW to get funding, I see a lot of repeated ideas that aren’t that effective (e.g. bounties or shaming of users for not donating).
Funding has been a crisis for software libre projects since the beginning of the movement. Change is needed for us. However, I am against commercializing the concept of software libre. I believe it’s wonderful to make money using software libre but making it a commercial concept just like how Open Source has been is wrong, I believe.
I believe we should use marketing techniques to tell people about their digital rights and freedoms they should have but making it (software libre) another form of proprietary software is absolute mistake.