Valuation & Rewards re Shared Resources

Anecdotal story, broad contentious topic (maybe tangential to some ongoing conversations), and some suggestions:

While I put over 80 hours into the gitbbok in June (arguably 1/4 of which was getting myself up to speed on using gitbook) this was before the POCWG was established. As such, this was marked ‘other’ on my rewards sheet, and for all of my ‘other’ efforts I received $250. For arguments sake let’s say that was all allocable to the Community Handbook, and let’s say that only 75% of the time spent was truly productive . . .

So, $250/60 hours = $4.17/hr for that effort (making some conservative assumptions). The IC standard for non-tech FT contributors is $8k/mo w/ a 30hr/wk expectation, translating into roughly $64/hr.

Factors to consider:

  • While POCWG is now funded, @Pepperoni_Joe has already stated in the first meeting that there isn’t much money
  • Despite The Handbook being a ‘community’ resource, all WGs benefit
  • There is an appeals process for rewards that are not perceived to be in-line with community benefit, however both Treasury and several WG leads have stated that this type of work is not going to be compensated.

I subsequently contributed along with @BigSky7 to this article. I linked to the Handbook and not only did the author reference it, but provided a screenshot and link to it in the article. I would posit that the community finds these things significantly more valuable than Treasury.

I don’t plan to go back to the well knowing that the result will be more unincentivized time spent trying to navigate a broken reward system, but I encourage this community to think about the following questions:

  • Why, as a contributor run DAO, is the general feeling that rewards are not consistent with effort?
  • Are we OK with a few salary people controlling the purse strings when speculative efforts are standard?
  • Are we OK with the challenge-process being run/decided by the same people that make the initial decisions regarding rewards? (aka, how is this really challenging the process?)
  • Given the tone of WG leads and Treasury being that only WGs can provide rewards, should we make a clear statement (in new joiner calls, forums, handbook, discord) that WG unapproved speculative work will likely not be rewarded? (aka, get approval before working on anything)
  • Should we allocate a budget for community resources outside of the WG structure?

I think all of this is to say that I believe there is a disconnect in how work products are valued by the community at large, and those trusted to lead and compensate the speculative contributors to this DAO. I also think that salary contributors have an expectation that speculative Owls be active in unincentivized ways. I have some basic standalone suggestions:

  • Add columns for time and expected reward to the contribution sheets (doesn’t solve the problem, but knowing that contributors expected XX overall and got YY on a monthly basis is useful)
  • Allocate funding to specific resources and adjust as necessary over time (e.g. XX INDEX per month to keep the gitbook updated); divvy up by participants (value the resource, not the contributor)
  • Generally squash the idea that WG leads should have domain over rewards (other than their funded mandates)
  • Provide transparency to the reward process: If rewarding contribution is being pushed to WGLs, what is the role of Treasury? Why isn’t there clear written guidance on how things will be rewarded? (the process is a dark forest, and contributors don’t feel like they have input or understanding)

All in all, if we want people to contribute at a high level we need a clearly visible path from result to reward; if we want a strong DAO we need to incentivize those things that fall outside of a WGs mandate but benefit the whole community, and not just with applause and thanks.

***To be clear I’m not looking for another bite at the apple on my rewards here; advancement of this topic is the desired outcome. I also think that Treasury contributors a good job of trying to be fair - I’m taking issue with the concepts and process, not any individuals.


Hey @mel.eth I agree with the sentiment and think this is why implantation of the POC working group is important right now.

Let’s also keep in mind the adjustment to contribution distribution (as allocated by WG leads) was retroactive from the initial announcement.

At the end of the day I think most of the issues we are experiencing comes down to a lack of trust and transparency within the community.

I look forward to working to address the above in the coming month(s). For me, I will continue to push a bit more, but motivation is most certainly waning.

Anyone else care to chime in? Would love to hear other viewpoints/opinions…


Thanks for taking the time to share these thoughts Mel :pray:

Given the depths of insights offered in this post - I will endeavour to address each of your points raised.

I agree that historically the Coop has not been very good at rewarding effort which doesn’t directly contribute to particular WGs objectives - or isn’t seen as a “high impact” as determined by the Funding Council.

However, this last month we have seen a significant step-change in how rewards are allocated:

  • WGs are now responsible for budgeting for, and allocating rewards to, contributors progressing activity in their area.
  • The formation of the POC WG now provides a budget that supports initiatives that are cross-functional in nature or are Coop wide enablers (such as the Gitbook).

This was done exactly to address many of the challenges raised in your post - and to make our funding Working Groups accountable (as cost centre) to deliver high impact with a predefined budget.

We have always maintained that rewards should be consistent with impact. This is now determined by Working Groups with a community-led mandate to drive impact in their respective areas.

Presently we have 9 elected members (WGLs) and 2 Funding Council members determine rewards. I am okay with this, especially if we start to reconsider how the Funding Council members are appointed (election?).

If they are budget holders - then I think so?

We do this! More than that, we go into detail to explain how the contributor rewards process works and how WGLs are the ones to determine rewards. We use this to reinforce the point to New Joiners that they should make WGLs aware of activities they intend to tag to their area.

Generally, I am in favour of budgets and rewards being tied to specific Working Groups, or even individuals with specific mandates. For example, much of the activity you have referred to above is captured by the POC budget. This budget also broke down, in detail, what we expect to pay contributors for the completion of key POC related activity.

This budget received pushback on the amount dedicated to community activity - so I am unsure how spinning up a separate budget focused on “Community” would provide a solution (are we not then just asking the same question twice?).

I am in favour of this suggestion as it would provide better visibility to WGLs of the effort that has gone into the tasks they are rewarding. @Hammad1412 can we consider this for the next reward round.

Reflecting on this @mel.eth, I agree with many of the points raised. However, they are challenges raised looking backwards at the now discontinued rewards approach. I would be interested to know if any of your views around contributor rewards have changed as we start moving forward with the new model.