For most of my adult life I have been disillusioned with what I consider to be a "normal" life. I see people, working at some job that they really don't like for a great portion of their lives due to social demands and I have always been determined not to live my life in that fashion. I desire to do something that I enjoy and I do not want to work for "the man" or for anyone else. My dream is to be able to do what I love to do and make a living at it. Not to be rich or anything but to have enough to get by with the bare minimum.
That was 2011'ish, so it's been awhile and although I still get a rush when I am able to fix something, that, at first seems all but impossible to fix, my view of the community has changed. I thought that the forum I had discovered would be a group of like minded peers with which to collaborate and confer. My experience tells me that is not the way it is really. I continued learning on my own, after all, the vast majority of information needed to learn the skills of the "Developer", can be readily found on the internet. One need only read. There is and was, a steady progression of learning which continues even now, to my work on The Huawei P9 Lite.
The time came however, when users became too demanding, too pushy, and they pushed me too far. I was going to stop doing this altogether because I was not enjoying it at all but I considered those who had contributed a donation to support me. It did not seem fair to them. Most people contributed nothing and I didn't care about them but my "Sponsors" had contributed, either to get the project started or simply because they where pleased with the work. They didn't have to, they wanted to. I decided to honor them and continue the work just for them.
I did not anticipate what followed. I began to receive countless donations. Day after day they keep coming in. You see, it was my intention simply to continue for those select few who had already donated. I guess I did not anticipate that people would want to, now, donate to become a "Sponsor", just so they could get these new builds or perhaps I underestimated the "sleeper" users who quietly downloaded an used the ROMs. There is, of course, nothing wrong with that. I just forgot about them.
There are some who say that "Android is an opensource project and therefore, you should be opensource." To that I say yes, Android is an opensource project but the code which I have written is mine and I may do with it as I like. The Linux Kernel is under the GPL and I have promptly posted all of my kernel source in my Github account. I have also released my entire source for LineageOS 13. I personally would like to see someone duplicate my work on LineageOS 14.1 on their own, just to spite me but alas, no one has risen to the challenge but at least there seems to be a few who are doing some new kernel work.
Where opensource is concerned it seems that "money" is a bad word. People associate "open" with "free" and everybody loves to get something of great value for free if they can. Honestly, I was content to do it for free, until, n00bs started making demands as if they were entitled. When I am getting something of great value for free, I know enough not to rock to boat. It's one thing to work on a ROM for free for the benefit of all but quite another to give a gift to all and have indignant users complain and harass you for it. So, now I will only do it for those who show they will appreciate it, by becoming a Sponsor. It was either that, or quit altogether.
There are, as of this date of this post, 100+ Sponsors of Meticulus Development. I take that as indication that I made the correct decision. Another indication is that I have not had to deal with panicky n00bs who have bricked their device because they can't read ( there is nothing more annoying to me than a "HELP PLEASE!!!" post ) , ridiculous requests, or complaints. The members of the Sponsors group are vested in the project and has even worked on the ROM by contributing translations to the "Parts" app. All in all, I am pleased with the new direction my work has taken and that makes me that much more productive.
So, if you'd like "Sponsor" Meticulus Development, you need only be a good host, offer me a coffee from the download page and have some maturity, patience, and respect. Otherwise there are still plenty of ROMs here that do not require sponsorship.