The micro-consulting platform known as bigSmall.io was founded in 2016 by Michael Cole, an engineer and entrepreneur.
Michael originally started bigSmall.io because he wanted to offer a sustainable option for individual open-source contributors to continue supporting projects they believe in.
He was the full-time volunteer for a project used by thousands of developers worldwide. He contributed months of effort in a way that was ultimately unsustainable, and couldn't pay his rent. He learned many things from that experience, but the most important lesson was the concept of idiot compassion.
“It refers to something we all do a lot of and call it compassion,” says Buddhist nun and author Pema Chodron. “In some ways, it’s what’s called enabling. It’s the general tendency to give people what they want because you can’t bear to see them suffering.”
Compassion is a creative act. It’s seeing the opportunity to share a colorful experience, then acting upon it. But we all have limited energy to spend before our inevitable end, and time is a nonrenewable resource. It’s our discrimination that lets us put our energy where it is most appreciated and useful, and to do so in a sustainable way.