Background - Rising interest in working groups via on-chain proposals
At present, we have a number of existing (Ocelot, CCF 1) and upcoming (Climate Collective, CCF 2, Governance Working Group) independent groups. There are of course other initiatives too (for example Proof of Deposit), and indeed others I’m unaware of or forgetting. I see this as very positive for Celo.
Background - Strong Market for Jobs and Startup Funding
As a backdrop, there is a strong market for jobs and startup funding, particularly in crypto. Salaries and equity/token compensation are high. Startup valuations are also high.
This provides a high competitive benchmark for getting the best people to work on CELO.
A Dilemma for On-chain proposals
At present, the baseline for working groups is to pay contributors on an hourly basis at some agreed hourly rate. Clearly this does not present the same upside as token or equity compensation offered in the broader crypto (or non-crypto) markets where pay is more closely (though never fully, and certainly never perfectly) aligned with the value of contributions.
My Recommendations on Compensation
Despite the controversies that would ensue and feelings of over and underpayment that are inevitable, I would like to make the suggestion that:
- We as a community be open to approving performance based payments to working groups.
- We consider structures that include added compensation in the form of vesting CELO (using CELO release gold contracts - as would have been the case for CELO founders originally).
I think that performance based pay is always controversial and problematic, but I fear the alternative is that we handicap ourselves by limiting projects to hourly rates and fixed spending budgets (btw, I think fixed small budgets are great for small early stage grants. I’m talking about larger contributions here). If people/groups can’t find upside in working for an on-chain proposal, many (though certainly not all) will move to find upside elsewhere than an on-chain proposal. Ultimately, this may be at the community’s loss. To be clear, performance compensation may be inappropriate in many cases. My argument is that it is a tool for us to consider.
A specific (imperfect) example
Perhaps, for certain on-chain proposals, grantees may request a spending budget and also an equal amount of CELO that vests over time (i.e. unlocks over time), as a means of providing aligned upside.
My motivation in this thinking (and I’m not suggesting there needs to be a CGP or anything formal, this is just philosophy) is to ensure that we get the best people contributing on-chain on CELO.