Is this a for-profit or non-profit?

We didn’t realise at first but this is quite an interesting question to answer. Such terminology is predicated on the idea that an organization (and we use that word in its broadest sense here) can only be one else the other.

A for-profit organization maintains financial accounts and aims to distribute at least some of the difference between income and costs (ie, profit) to its shareholders as dividends or have its share price go up in value by reinvesting that difference. A non-profit also maintains accounts but doesn’t aim to increase the wealth of any shareholders; rather it aims to sustain its finances to pursue its objectives.

The hi:project is a decentralized community delivering a decentralized service built on a decentralized platform. Not being a legal entity in its own right it doesn’t maintain financial accounts, and there is no central entity to receive or pay out money.

The hi:project is completely open-source, decentralized and autonomous.

If we decide it’s advantageous to raise funds to make faster progress here, then the corporate body that would be required would play its part as a member of the decentralized project. Such a corporate and such financial investment will be entirely open and transparent and align the motivations and responsibilities of directors and the finance provider(s) with members… the investors will just be bringing a different and complementary kind of value to the table on equitable terms to help create mutual value faster than otherwise for members. Funds would, for example, facilitate our developing software sooner than later.