See-through bounties

I have been thinking lately, Polkadot Fellowship members that have been excelling in contributing to Polkadot should be rewarded with the ability to create their own bounties as they see fit to benefit the network.

Properties of the see-through bounty. Fellowship members should:

  • not have to defend the amount needed for the bounty (should be built into rank)
  • have full rights to approve the bounty
  • have the right to create a bounty for whatever they can possibly imagine under the blue sky

Additionally, the amount available to fund their bounties should be tied to their rank in the Fellowship.

Having see-through bounties eliminates blockers for Fellowship members who want to hit-the-ground running with an idea without any friction. This would uncap a different category of innovation. For example, perhaps a a high ranking Fellowship member sees the need to fix a specific aspect of the protocol, they use the see-through bounty to contract a few engineers to achieve this.

Ultimately, I could see open, transparent, permissionless companies built with these see-through bounties.

Open for feedback

Like part of the Treasury (a sub-Treasury) managed by the Fellowship?

It is definitely in-line with this and yet one level further, on the individual Fellowship member level.

You can think of it as a “frictionless” Treasury allocated spending amount tied to Rank. It is a perk and also a facilitator because one of that Rank most likely has work that they could use help on or that they would like to see become a reality but do not have the time to go through the traditional means of defending why or what that work is. It could be as simple as a bounty to fund an extra developer or as complex as a bounty to fund an idea that they would like to experiment with. It should also be optional. It is there as a privilege of their contribution to the network.

So in essence, if you are Rank Y in the Fellowship you have the ability to use treasury funds up to Y*X amount without any middle-person/entity/process - that is why I call it a “see-through” and it should have some metadata and that is why I see it as a bounty.

Well, can be an RFC, but seems a bit too much individual power to me. Things like approving an RFC require a Fellows origin vote to pass, merging PRs even by Fellows requires approvals (i.e. no PR author is above having their work reviewed). I think using some budget to fund things like the implementation of specific RFCs or even experiments without a massive barrier is reasonable, but there should at least be some indication of buy-in from peers.

Perhaps Bounties is too much for Fellows which are often in the midst of core development. Perhaps what we need is the ability for them to “spin-up” developers. They can indicate that they will tackle a Github Issue or an RFC and say that they will need X additional developers to get the work done. We would need onchain logic to have a pool of ready developers that are available to work.

It seems that you’re starting to feel the pains of the Polkadot Accounting department. I have been preaching this myself, supporting teams like Virto and Seun. Their asks seem ridiculous to anyone who’s never built out a team before. It’s absolutely critical that the fellowship members get the funding they need to build out their teams and hopefully, hire more developers, spreading their knowledge to others.

I feel like we as a community are too nit-picky over-all and don’t really appreciate the efforts of others. Instead trying to get everything for bargain pricing which has impacts on speed and quality of development. This is pretty similar to VCs who may pressure teams to execute as fast as possible for the lowest possible cost, sacrificing long term gains for short term profits.

Couldn’t we just take a portion of inflation to directly fund a pot much in the same way society is done? Payments to fellowship members can originate from this pot and have some model of requesting and approving funding internally within the fellowship (aka a collective?). If the need is more immediate as a stop gap until collectives are online, just request a bounty on OpenGOV and assign fellowship members as curators.

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how do you guage this? peer review?