Guide Pay: June 2019

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What should the terms of Guide pay be?

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Alex

Factoshi
Three months have elapsed since we last reviewed Guide pay. Therefore, we need to review the terms of Guide pay in order to give our Guides an indication of whether they will be paid and how much that payment will be. The period under review is from 2019/06/07.

So far, the terms of Guide pay have remained unchanged since the beginning of M3. Those terms are:

- 600 FCT per month
- 3 month period

The purpose of this discussion is to define the terms we wish to vote on so that i can craft a poll that represents the full spectrum of the standing party's views.
 

Chappie

Factomize Bot
This thread is a Major Timed Discussion and I am designed to help facilitate efficient communication.

Guides and ANOs may take part in this discussion and vote. Unless this discussion is ended early or extended, it will end in 8 days after which a vote may take place. After 18 hours from the start of the thread or any point up until 24 hours are left in the discussion, you can make a motion to end the discussion immediately or extend the discussion beyond it's initial time frame by selecting the pertinent button at the top of this thread. If someone "seconds" your motion, a poll will take place and if a majority of voters vote yes by the time the discussion is scheduled to end, the time period will be extended for 72 hours.
 

Michael Lam

Core Developer
I believe the 3 month time frame is reasonable. I am also in support for these positions to be paid. I haven't heard any reasons (good or bad) to change the amount paid, but would be interested in others opinions on whether the compensation for the amount of time/work done is fair.
 

Michael Lam

Core Developer
Perhaps this can be automated in a better way. There are certain agreed upon guide expectations and time committements, based off of those expectations, its easier to assign a dollar tag to the compensation. Then when we vote on new guides, we take the agreed upon dollar compensation, divided by the 3 month average price of the FCT to obtain a targeted FCT compensation for the next 3 months. And that will be how the process rolls forward unless there is some significant change in guide expectations. The specifics could be debated (3 month average price or 1 month average price used?), but at least the compensation is known and pay is easily calculated so everyone knows where it stands.
 

Mike Buckingham

Cube3
Website Committee
Governance Working Group
I think that the guides do a great job and are absolutely vital to the health and direction of the protocol. I also think that at current FCT prices they are underpaid for the service they perform. I would not object to keeping the reward and review period the same but consider that it would be useful to get a better understanding of what the reward covers. My understanding is that it covers the guide meetings, guide meeting administration, ad-hoc governance development, operating a number of the Factom processes such as the grant round etc. For example does it cover playing a moderator role on Discord?
 

Matt Osborne

Go Immutable
Exchange Working Group
Legal Working Group
Not to complicate things, but should all Guides be paid the same? I am not sure the output is the same.
 

Mike Buckingham

Cube3
Website Committee
Governance Working Group
Perhaps this can be automated in a better way. There are certain agreed upon guide expectations and time committements, based off of those expectations, its easier to assign a dollar tag to the compensation. Then when we vote on new guides, we take the agreed upon dollar compensation, divided by the 3 month average price of the FCT to obtain a targeted FCT compensation for the next 3 months. And that will be how the process rolls forward unless there is some significant change in guide expectations. The specifics could be debated (3 month average price or 1 month average price used?), but at least the compensation is known and pay is easily calculated so everyone knows where it stands.
Hi Michael, if I understand you properly you are proposing setting a fiat rate per week/month that matches the payment made for similar roles and simply translating that into FCT at the current exchange rate. Am I correct? If so it would create an interesting precedent with implications for grant payouts and ANO rewards. All FCT recipients currently live and work with the risk that FCT value may change. This in itself is a real incentive.
 

Nic R

DBGrow
@Samuel Vanderwaal -- Hey Sam, definitely a fair question, and one that is not super simple.

I can say that some weeks have been fairly intense. The ANO Round, itself, was not just scoring, but involved a lot of facilitation, announcements, coordination, and internal understanding of every step of the new ANO round process. For me, when looking back on how much -time- I've spent, I factor in the following tangible work items:

- Creation of this Doc (CRWG paper)
- Co-scoring the ANO round and posting the results with Nolan Bauer (as it was too late at night for the European Guides to score the round)
- Testing, familiarizing, playing around with all the ANO Round spreadsheets and docs, and communicating about all of this internally with the other Guides and Mike, of Cube3.
- Led 3 Guide meetings, performed secretarial duties for 2 Guide meetings, and admittedly, I have missed 2 Guide meetings.
- Verified the scored/ranked data for the Grant Round.
- Tested the emergency alert system and its contact information for all the ANO's with Nolan Bauer in #Operators-Alerts on Discord

Overall, it is difficult to assess how much time is spent each week, due to the variable nature of the priorities in time, but I would say I spend about 14 hours a week on Guide duties as of this time. I believe that this can scale upwards or downwards relative to the timeline of what we have going on.


@Matt Osborne -- Also a fair point, and on that note, I admit that Tor has really led the charge on all things Guide-related, and likely should be considered as of this time for differential pay, in my opinion.
 

Andrew Young

Kompendium
Not sure that total "output" is the right metric though, as it can be very subjective. It seems to me that they should be compensated the same because while some will be contributing more at times, this will dynamically fluctuate over time. A better metric might be the general duties and responsibilities of a guide. I believe this is articulated in our governing documents.
 

Tor Paulsen

The Factoid Authority
I'd like to see the @Guides provide rough estimates on how much time the job is requiring on a weekly or monthly basis to give us some kind of metric for discussion about the appropriate pay level, otherwise it's very difficult for us to assess the appropriate amount.
As I have stated before I do not think this is a "job" in the same way flipping burgers is; where you get compensated for how many hours you flip. The guide position is more akin to a board member; where you the pay is based on things like:
- In dept knowledge of the subject matter
- Being available close to H24
- Associated legal risk
- Connections
- Experience
- Opportunity cost (i.e what could one spend these hours/energy on instead)
- Renumeration level in comparative positions
- The fact that a lot of tasks are done ad hoc, triggered by external stimuli or require's to be executed at highly specific times.

With the above in mind, it is of course imperative that the entity chosen to perform the task is actually spending the necessary time and energy on executing what is expected. For the Guide position I personally believe the necessary tasks could be completed in around 10 hours per week when "nothing" special is happening in the community. For us guides none of the past 13-15 weeks have been "ordinary", as we have worked through a lot of stuff related to the Grant/ANO-rounds and governance document.

I haven't kept time but I would expect that I have spent 15+ hours a week on guide matters on average; and some significantly more.

I do however agree that there should be more oversight week to week in regards to if the Guides are providing the necessary and expected output and return on investment for the protocol or not - but I don't think this should be tied to hours worked, but be more performance based.

In each guide meeting we are providing a list of what we are working on the next week, and the week after we discuss these items and report on our progression. I'd like to see the ANOs and the community challenge us on both what we plan to do (prioritization), as well as if we have managed to actually do the work when we provide a report the next week.


Regarding the remuneration I would prefer it to stay at the current level. Anton mentioned that it had gone up since last review, and this is correct but the increase is from $6.46 (when the poll closed last time to keep it unchanged to $7.07 (current price).

In the previous grant rounds when renumeration was paid out the price varied from $4 to $14, so at the current price of $7 I believe it is quite close to the mean over the past year.
 

Michael Lam

Core Developer
Hi Michael, if I understand you properly you are proposing setting a fiat rate per week/month that matches the payment made for similar roles and simply translating that into FCT at the current exchange rate. Am I correct? If so it would create an interesting precedent with implications for grant payouts and ANO rewards. All FCT recipients currently live and work with the risk that FCT value may change. This in itself is a real incentive.
Not exactly. Our current payout is a monthly payout (or at least as quoted above will be 600 FCT per month). We can set a flat dollar amount total for serving as a guide per month for the three month period they are elected to. Then each cycle, you just take the dollar per month figure and divide by an average FCT price (to be determined in some manner) and that is the FCT / month for 3 months that the guides would get. Its locked in every starting point of the guide election.

This isn't that much different than how the grants work. People say, it'll cost me $X to implement Y functionality, therefore, at today's price I need Z FCT for the project.

I'm not sure paying the guides differently is a good idea. Its too difficult to set the criteria, and you typically won't know who did more work until the end of the cycle, so unless you want to give 'bonuses' at the end of a cycle for extraordinary work. But I think everyone is incentivized already to be working towards improving the protocol.
 

Reid McLeay

RewardChain
I think we're all dealing with the same kinds of issues here, and I believe strongly that one's wealth is always rooted in ones' health, as I think most of us do.

One could liken this concept to an ANO receiving Factoids, and then choosing in which ratio to distribute said FCT within the decentralised protocol.

I feel that what we're all looking for here is a balanced equilibrium for everyone 🙂
 
Last edited:

Tor Paulsen

The Factoid Authority
Not exactly. Our current payout is a monthly payout (or at least as quoted above will be 600 FCT per month). We can set a flat dollar amount total for serving as a guide per month for the three month period they are elected to. Then each cycle, you just take the dollar per month figure and divide by an average FCT price (to be determined in some manner) and that is the FCT / month for 3 months that the guides would get. Its locked in every starting point of the guide election.

This isn't that much different than how the grants work. People say, it'll cost me $X to implement Y functionality, therefore, at today's price I need Z FCT for the project.

I'm not sure paying the guides differently is a good idea. Its too difficult to set the criteria, and you typically won't know who did more work until the end of the cycle, so unless you want to give 'bonuses' at the end of a cycle for extraordinary work. But I think everyone is incentivized already to be working towards improving the protocol.
We had these discussions at length previously.

IIIRC doing it in FCT won that argument as:
- Grants and ANO renumeration is paid out in FCT so its done in a similar vein.
- The price fluctuates wildly.
- It's less overhead and requires less oversight .
- The 600 FCT amount was initially set when the price was around $15. The price dropped and stayed at $4 at a lengthy amount of time. Then it was suggested that the renumeration should be increased to account for this high loss of value, but we guides said no due to the fact that the guide remuneration would take way too much out of the grant pool.
- It aligns the guides' and the protocol interests.

So having it set in a FCT amount that gets revised every three months provides both the grant pool and the guides with predictability and protection, while it can be easily adjusted via a vote by the ANO's (and soon other standing parties) every 3 months.
 

Matt Osborne

Go Immutable
Exchange Working Group
Legal Working Group
If the price stays really low, Guides (or whomever) could also put in an additional grant under the "back pay" approach. Just something to keep in the back of our heads.
 

Niels Klomp

BI Foundation
Core Committee
Governance Working Group
Tbh I think a discussions about individual guide performance should be held. Might get ugly, but I am seeing a lot of frustration right now. People were worried for instance I could not put in enough hours because of my (pre-announced) absence in dec-feb, which I answered with me not thinking this would be an issue. I currently make 10-20 hours, but it fluctuates weekly.

I am not advocating for higher FCT, but people have to be aware that price might be a factor for some with regards to the amount of effort they put in. But in all honesty if people feel the need to differentiate I think it would be better to have discussions about performance and what people expect from guides.

For instance I am currently working on representing Factom soon at blockchain-expo europe (presentations etc), as I have been at the Odyssey hackathon, have been doing FIP and now FIS (Factom Interoperability Specification), CI for client drivers, Token-holder discussions, besides the "regular" discussions about ANO, Grant elections etc. If people do not want that or see that as something outside of the scope fine. It fits my profile best and if somebody else likes to do that, be my guest.
 

Mike Buckingham

Cube3
Website Committee
Governance Working Group
I repeat that I think the guides do a great job. There are some very interesting and valid points in this thread about ensuring guides get appropriately rewarded for the effort they put in. I question whether, instead of the community challenging the guides, we should consider some self policing in the same way we try to do for ANOs. I am suggesting we consider a guide efficiency whereby each guide sets their efficiency and justifies that to the community in much the same way as ANOs do today.
 

Chappie

Factomize Bot
We are now 18 hours into the discussion. You may now make a motion to extend this Major Discussion by an additional 72 hours or end this conversation by selecting the pertinent button at the top of this thread. This option will end when there are 24 hours left in the discussion.
 

Reid McLeay

RewardChain
I repeat that I think the guides do a great job. There are some very interesting and valid points in this thread about ensuring guides get appropriately rewarded for the effort they put in. I question whether, instead of the community challenging the guides, we should consider some self policing in the same way we try to do for ANOs. I am suggesting we consider a guide efficiency whereby each guide sets their efficiency and justifies that to the community in much the same way as ANOs do today.
Couldn't have said it better myself.
 

Michael Lam

Core Developer
I am suggesting we consider a guide efficiency whereby each guide sets their efficiency and justifies that to the community in much the same way as ANOs do today.
This is a lot of beuacracy for a 3 month position. If the community believes someone isn't doing their job, then they won't get elected the next round. If we waste a partial amount of money for 3 months, that's the cost of business. This is the nature of elected positions. I think simply setting up better channels for the guides to explain what they've been doing, just like politicians, will go a long way to having the community feel engaged. Let's not go overboard on processes and make things complicated when they really don't need to be.
 

Mike Buckingham

Cube3
Website Committee
Governance Working Group
This is a lot of beuacracy for a 3 month position. If the community believes someone isn't doing their job, then they won't get elected the next round. If we waste a partial amount of money for 3 months, that's the cost of business. This is the nature of elected positions. I think simply setting up better channels for the guides to explain what they've been doing, just like politicians, will go a long way to having the community feel engaged. Let's not go overboard on processes and make things complicated when they really don't need to be.
Hi Michael, I know we can elect for a 3 month position but doesn't our experience show that having guides in post for longer is generally better given the learning curve? In which case simply chopping and changing may not necessarily meet our real needs. Given that this debate revolves around the value we get from the guides doesn't it make sense to have a mechanism whereby the guides themselves can contribute and be rewarded differently? As an example just by looking at Niels post above it can be seen that he is doing very valuable but different things.
 

Colin Campbell

Federate This
Marketing Working Group
I think Guides are a critical part of the protocol and want to see them rewarded for the time they are required in the protocol.

There’s still some work to do.

With the fragile state of FCT - it’s a good compromise to stick at 600 for now, but I’d support increases in the future.
 
Like Colin mentioned above, I believe the Guides are a vital part of the ecosystem and think that the current terms and FCT pay is appropriate for the next three months. Thanks Guides!

I would like to add that in Governance Doc 001, section 2.2.1 states:
"Guides will make themselves available to the community.”

I agree that most of not all have accomplished this. I have had several direct messages out to one Guide... that has not responded in over 1 year. I would like to see this change.
Thanks!
 

Niels Klomp

BI Foundation
Core Committee
Governance Working Group
Dan you can call the guide by name. It is me. With all due respect, but I make myself available to the whole community every single day. If something does not get answered remind me, like you did today.

Reason is that you had 2 remarks and 1 question during that whole year. And that one didn't get answered no. That is not good, but you also did not remind me. So mention me by name next time please and do not exaggerate what is going on. Some people have better relations with others and have more convo with each other, simple as that. Especially if you know that the person has been talking about you without mentioning it to yourself.
 

Matt Osborne

Go Immutable
Exchange Working Group
Legal Working Group
My backpay suggestion to help smooth out some of the FCT price volatility didn't seem to click with people (which is fine). I am concerned though that 600 FCT at current prices ($5.60) is too low considering the 24/7 job requirement. We'd support a bump up to 700 FCT.
 

Tor Paulsen

The Factoid Authority
There have been some mentions of raising the Guide pay or a solution for backpay.

My stance is the same as the last time we discussed raising the pay above 600 (back when FCT was 4-5 USD); I don't think that is a feasible solution as the grant pool is so small at that FCT-price point.

I'd prefer that we stick at 600FCT/mo as the maximum amount we pay Guides.
 

Alex

Factoshi
I have now created a poll which I think reflects the opinions expressed so far. Please check it out and let me know if you want me to add/change anything before the discussion period ends.
 
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