[Recruitment] - New Grants committee member wanted

We’re looking for 1 additional member for our Grants Committee.

We are especially interested in someone with technical chops.

Notes on responsibilities:

  • In summary, review grants, provide feedback, vote on multi-sig votes, and participate in governance (monthly community calls, ad-hoc meetings, etc.)
  • It is part-time (likely <5 hours per week for the next 3-6 months)
  • Full details here

Some of the things we’re looking for:

  • Someone with a high degree of technical experience, especially systems architecture, P2P products, product design, and/or open source software. Ideally, you’d be comfortable reading and judging technical specifications from the types of grants outlined here.
  • Someone who is genuinely interested in helping guide the future of the Radicle ecosystem, web3, and Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).
  • Someone who is willing to fully commit to the small amount of time that is required of the work.

Notes on pay:

Please apply by replying to this post with the following information:

  • Name: real name or pseudonym
  • Previous experience: can be a CV, simple bullet points, links to previous work (GitHub, website, etc.)
  • Answer the following: what’s something you’d do to improve the funding of open source work? Can be anything: a new process/framework, a new tool, etc.

There is no hard deadline for this.

The successful applicant will have to reach quorum on our multi-sig in order to be added. So until then, we will keep this page open.

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.

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Introduction

I would like to throw my hat into the ring, as a potential candidate for the Grants Committee. I recently completed the Package Management Research Grant and I’ve been asking myself how I can continue to contribute to Radicle. After reading the responsibilities and traits listed above, I feel that I am a uniquely good fit as a candidate.

Qualifications

Here is a list of experiences that I feel uniquely qualify me as a good candidate for the Grants Committee:

  • My GitHub Profile contains a summary of my professional work over the last five years. I have focused my work on blockchains, blockchain communities, and DAOs. I am first and foremost an engineer, and the application pointed out a desire for a candidate with a high degree of technical expertise.

  • I’ve been passionate about open source software my entire life. I discovered Bitcoin in 2009 and fell in love with blockchain technology. In 2017, for better or worse, I decided to shift my career into the nascent cryptocurrency industry. When I discovered Radicle, the ideas behind it immediately resonated with me; both the technical implementation and the clear need to free code collaboration from centralized services.

  • Dog-fooding: I was so motivated when I first discovered Radicle, I wrote this guide on backing up GitHub repositories to Radicle, for which I later received a retroactive grant. That then led to my work with the Package Management Research Grant. I actively use Radicle infrastructure, and I am now familiar with the Radicle grant process because I’ve been through it. Taking the next step to help Radicle further refine its grants processes feels like a good fit to me.

  • I primarily make my living as a freelance software developer. I have a handful of clients and projects that I maintain. As a result, my schedule and time is very flexible. The time requirement for this position fits in nicely with my existing schedule and routine.

Improving the Funding of Open Source Work

The application requested that I answer the following question:

Answer the following: what’s something you’d do to improve the funding of open source work? Can be anything: a new process/framework, a new tool, etc.

To answer this question, I would refer the reader to the Token Economics section of the PSF governance documents. On the subject of funding open source work, I’ve spent a lot of time studying the work and thoughts from Mikeal Rogers and Nadia Eghbal. In Nadia’s latest book, Working in Public, she draws a clear distinction between intrinsic (creative) motivation, and extrinsic (paid) motivation. Viewing open source work through the lens of those two types of motivation provides an important insight on how to structure funding.

I like to visualize these two motivations as loosely coupled flywheels. It’s important to harness both at the same time, and not focus on one at the exclusion of the other. As she explains in her book, it is often detrimental to financially fund intrinsically motivated work. And at the same time, it’s critical to identify the work that requires extrinsic motivation.

So how would I improve the funding of open source work? I start by viewing any request for funding through these lenses of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Once the work requiring extrinsic motivation is identified, it can then be prioritized and the cost estimated. There is also long-term maintenance to take into consideration. Work identified as intrinsically motivated does not necessarily preclude it from financial reward, it just needs to be handled carefully. Often out-of-the-box approaches to rewarding intrinsically motivated work is more appropriate, such as social recognition, NFT badges, leaderboards, etc.

Further explanation requires descending from these high-level concepts into a great deal of nuance. Nadia points out many examples and facets of these concepts in her book. I have applied these lessons to my administrative work at the PSF DAO over the last two years. As a member of the Grants Committee, I think my contribution of this knowledge and nuance could be quite valuable to Radicle.

There is so much more I could write here, about the nuance of funding open source work. There is the whole concept of ‘free as in free-puppy’ to consider. I love exploring these ideas and look forward to having deeper conversations about it with the Radicle community.

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Intro

My name is Vagelis Antoniadis (aka vanton).

I would like to express my interest in contributing to the Grants Committee. My main motivation for applying for such a position is the following: I am one way or another involved in the space of blockchain/ web3/ crypto almost 10 years now and I constantly see the same pattern again and again. Either trivial ideas that solve nobody’s problems or very ambitious ideas that are (intentionally) designed to fail and to burn a ton of money. I feel that one of the reasons this happens is that those who decide where the money will be invested don’t really care or are so biased that they shouldn’t have this role.

In the opensource world grants are a way to move things forward and can be a valuable tool when they are used the right way.

About me

My background is around software engineering. I am the CEO and co-founder of a 20 years old software house focusing on the telecoms industry. The last 10 years, I have worked more and more on product development rather than the technical side of things. I lead people to develop new software products and at the same time I mentor teams to learn what product development and management is, helping them discover this magical world. I have developed with my teams a number of successful and not so successful products and I continue to do so. Currently I lead three teams to build totally different products in totally different industries, the first in the sports industry, the second in the tourism industry and the third one in education based on blockchain technology. My contribution is mainly about business strategy, product vision and roadmap building.

You can find my LinkedIn profile here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vanton/

I know Radicle from my company’s involvement as a grantee for the Radicle Jetbrains IDE plugin ([Application] Radicle Jetbrains IDE Plugin - Implementation Phase 1). This grant has already produced working software that can be found here : https://plugins.jetbrains.com/plugin/19664-radicle

I am also trying to be up to date about the discussions that take place at Radicle’s discord channels mostly about Drips evolution for grants and the work around governance and DAO.

I am interested to get more involved with Radicle as I understand that there are good intentions towards a solution for problems that are common to many web3 products and teams like funding, governance, DAO’s relations with the real world etc. Another reason is I realized from my little experience with people working on Radicle, that they are hard workers with vision and ethical ideals. These two things make a huge difference to me and it’s the main reason I decided to apply for the position although my time is limited.

Opensource funding

Regarding the question about opensource funding let’s take a step back and think who funds OSS today? As far as I understand there are three sources of funding:

  1. Individuals via crowdfunding or donations

  2. Big companies and private organizations

  3. The state and public organizations

On the other hand, funding has two or more layers. The first layer is the funding of the OSS project/product and the second one is the funding of the initiatives of this specific project.

So the problem has two different aspects, first how to bring the funding in the project and second how to distribute the funding to the different initiatives and contributors. Currently an elegant solution to this problem is implemented through the notion of the Foundation. A foundation like the Linux Foundation or Mozilla Foundation has all the tools needed to get the money from all the different types of funding sources and at the same time distribute it to the individual contributors or companies. Foundations are supported by the legal and taxation framework of most countries, they can be audited by the State and take advantage of all the mechanisms the system provides like courts of law, accountants, business contracts etc.

So opensource funding from the process point of view is already solved? Not really. There are many many projects that cannot take advantage of this solution which is based on setting up a foundation. The reason is that even medium-sized projects in terms of contributors haven’t the resources to maintain such an organization or haven’t the knowledge to build one or both or don’t want to go under the umbrella of a bigger foundation.

The problem becomes even bigger when we add the Web3 world in the mix. Open source projects supported by DAOs or just teams who don’t have any connection with the legal and taxation system and need to get funded in a transparent way and at the same time distribute the funds to the individuals who do the actual work. To make the long story short, I think that one of the major issues about open source funding is the acceptance and distribution of funds in a legal, clear and transparent way. The solution is not 100% clear to me and as far as I know this problem is not solved efficiently or completely today. My proposal is that we work in cooperation with other open source projects and organizations both in the web3 area as well as in the more traditional world to find a satisfying solution that works in a number of countries.

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Hey @bordumb would love to learn more about this! Mind shooting us a DM? (or DM @PennBlockchain on twitter, can’t send you a message for some reason)

@bordumb mind shooting us a DM? Juanbugsun on telegram or @PennBlockchain on twitter! Have a few questions.

@bordumb following up here! Mind shooting us a DM?

@christroutner and @vanton

Thanks for the thoughtful responses and patience on a response.

Please expect to wait we have our Grants Org design finalized. You can read more about that below:

This is part of the larger Transition to the DAO, which you can read about below:

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@FranklinDAO No. We will not have private discussion on this. We will only engage on this topic publicly.

If you need some back-and-forth conversation, feel free to ask anything on our Discord below:

Hey there, I’m Jenny Pollack, currently the cofounder of exonumia, a product strategy and research firm that works with open networks.

I’ve previously worked at Microsoft, MetaMask, Dapphub and Aave/Lens.

As part of my work at Dapphub, we performed an audit of Rad Governance and the Registrar and I’ve been following the project since the early OS coin days.

My GitHub is here and my website is jenny.lol

Over the years I’ve transitioned from engineering to product as I deeply believe that helping to steer projects towards focusing on solving problems for real people is the most impactful way to bring about the adoption of self sovereign technology. In order for this technology to be successful and freedom preserving, I believe that we have to consciously make an effort to support the underlying libraries, packages, dev tools and frameworks that we use to build good products.

@Bordumb and the current committee have done a great job identifying grant worthy candidates that are working closely with the existing Radworks projects, and I would like to focus on helping to expand the scope of the grants program by creating closer connections with more traditional internet organizations that are also working on sustainable funding for open source projects. I am also interested in focusing on organizations / contributors who work on universal standards to improve the surface of the internet as a public good.

I think that this complement nicely the Foundation Org’s transition to the Better Internet Foundation so that we can start to support the creation and maintenance of resilient technologies including but not limited to the existing Radworks projects.

Free and open source software is a huge component of what makes technology impactful, we all stand on the shoulders of giants. Thanks for considering my application, happy to discuss further!

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hire jenny

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