Why is it important that Mind the Gaps has zero running costs?

We believe it can become a useful tool for citizens, for local governments and for charities. We think we can achieve this Mind the Gaps is open and exists in the commons.

If some costs are associated with running the project, there are two main problems for us:

  1. The projects dies at the end of this round of funding.
  2. Its shape may be influenced or nudged by funders.

How do we make this happen?

We rely on free and simple features of widely used products. We mostly use GitHub, Google Drive, Slack, Typeform, Netlify for collaboration and for our infrastructure.

Doing an Open Source project within a not-for-profit company removes a lot of barriers by unlocking premium features of the above listed products.

Co-Design with Communities

Involving Bristol and Bordeaux City Hall, community leaders and citizens in the design and development process right from the start means the project can spread naturally, without paid promotion.

The toolbox is being built with them and for them.

The domain name (mind-the-gaps.org) is the only running cost. It is a yearly fee of Β£6 – even if we do not manage to get additional funding, it is affordable to renew it with our personal or company money without much trouble.


People we met and talked on the field trust us because we are independant, non-commercial and open.

We are sustainable by being free and by having no operational cost. It enables us to talk to people with no commercial intent. Being a non-commercial product makes people at ease, they are usually happy to participate in our project. We were happily surprised to see them giving us time and information. Being commercial was a real barrier to people sharing with us.

From a design perspective, not paying for anything makes free to evolve to whatever solution works best for our needs. We are not locked into services we have paid for.

Project pace

We can embrace the fact that good things take time to be built.

As we are not locked in to a product plan for a set time period, we can go and work on other projects to sustain our lives. When the next funding opportunity arises, we can continue working where we left off, without wasting money.