Request for Funding, @lehnberg: Jan-Mar 2020

tl;dr

On Jan 5, my funding from the previous campaign will expire.

This is a request for a 3 month extension (Jan - Mar 2020) in order for me to continue to be able to support Grin with the type of contributions I’ve been doing in 2019.

As part of this request, I’m proposing:

To change the rate paid from USD 2,500/month to GBP 2,500/month. This means that in USD terms, the new rate would (as of Dec 23 2019) be $3,231.80 according to Google which amounts to a raise. See the FAQ below for more details.

I’m adding this request to the agenda for the Jan 14 Governance meeting.


Motivation

The original motivation still holds true today:

Beyond work on the main grin (node/wallet/miner) repositories, work on the admin side of the project has evolved over the past year. The /grin-pm repo is now a place where we track general project management issues, meeting notes, event presentations, financial data, and more.

I think this work adds value and is important for the project’s health, for it’s good governance, and for progress to be made faster.

Grin would get reliable and consistent support for the non-development related tasks, that would help achieve its potential quicker.

Evaluation of previous period

My own assessment

Some of the past 12 week period’s efforts worth calling out in particular:

  • grincon1:
    • Worked to secure $20k in fundraising from two donors
    • (Minimal) Website design
    • On the ground work & speaker relations
    • Video & Slide publications
  • Grin 3.0.0 communications & planning process.
  • Grin Roadmap 2020 initiative
  • PR work as part of the response to the “Breaking MW” article
  • Work on /grin-pm, including transparency report
  • Donor liaising

What went well?

  • All the scope as outlined in the funding request was carried out as intended.
  • There’s been consistency in quality and delivery, with no missed deliveries (although note that I am taking a break from the newsletter over the coming holiday period as it will be low activity in any case).
  • Grincon1 turned out to be a nice event. I’m happy for the support I was able to offer personally.
  • The planning feels as though it’s been greatly improved ahead of 3.0.0, and I will be thinking about how we can make it even better moving forward.
  • I think I’ve become better at managing my personal grin/life balance. I’m more focused in the time I spend on the project, and “disconnect” more frequently. Aside from the full on madness days that ensued after the “Breaking Mimblewimble’s privacy model” article, it’s felt more like the part-time effort it should be.

What could have been improved?

  • Prioritization of tasks.
  • I think grincon would have benefitted from even better planning and more lead up notice. It ended up feeling a bit rushed.
  • While I think we provided a decent response in the few hours of turnaround time we had to produce the reply to the “Breaking MW privacy Model” article, I feel we could have done an even better job here, and in the PR interactions that followed with journalists.
  • I’m worried about the degree of centralisation in the project. We’re not seeing many contributions from a wider group of community participants. I don’t have a good response to what’s needed here, but it’s something I think about.
  • I’m still too slow at turning around meeting notes.

What have I learned?

  • Keep the long term view.
  • Things will go wrong, there will be chaos and panic. Let cool heads prevail when the shit hits the fan.
  • Never provide a written quote to a journalist that can be taken out of context and completely misconstrued.
  • There will always be more work. Continue to work on time management and focus on the contributions that will have the most impact.

Community feedback

Feel free to raise feedback and/or suggestions in the thread below, or in private, my DMs are open.

Specific tasks in-scope

Same as last:

Funding request

  • GBP £2,500/month
  • 3 months, Q1 2020, jan-mar.

Role

  • Part-time
  • Ring-fenced around admin tasks

Next steps

The intention is to raise this as a discussion point in the next Governance meeting and ask for the request to be approved.

FAQ

Why are you changing from USD to GBP?

As I primarily live and spend in London (United Kingdom), GBP is my main spending currency. By being paid in USD, I’m exposing myself to exchange rate fluctuations. This is the same (but on a much smaller level) as being paid in BTC: As the exchange rate moves, you end up being paid different amounts when you convert it back to your home currency. By being paid in GBP equivalent directly, this disappears. I also just now discovered that this is apparently in line with the project policy, so should have been done for the previous two campaigns: https://grin.mw/funding.html#developer-funding-campaigns

Why are you keeping the rate at 2,500 and not converting 2500 USD to GBP, which would be something more like GBP 1,932.64 according to Google?

In my last funding request, I proposed 1/4th of a yeastunit, i.e. 10,000/4 = 2,500. I’d like to keep that measure as I think it makes sense. The yeastunit is not necessarily denominated in USD, yeastplume for example is paid in EUR equivalent.

At today’s rates, this equates to ($3,231.80-2500)/2500= 0.29272 = 29.3% more in USD measures. Why are you not asking for a 29.3% raise instead?

The whole point of this is that I shouldn’t be paid in USD in the first place, as a gallon of milk for me is priced in GBP. A change in the USD exchange rate does not affect my day to day expenses, and I think £2,500 makes sense whilst being based in London, United Kingdom.

Will you always ask in GBP from now on?

No, not necessarily. If I move country, I would change to a different home currency.

Will you always ask for the same amount from now on?

No, not necessarily. At the moment, this is the amount I feel comfortable asking for, based on the work I’m doing for the project. This could change in either directions.

What happens if the price of Bitcoin changes?

Nothing. The price of Bitcoin is completely orthogonal to this funding request.

I don’t think this is right, I think you should receive some different amount. What should I do?

You can DM me with suggestions, or you can write here in the forum or on keybase. Or, you can attend the governance meeting when this will be discussed and make your own proposal.

Changelog

Dec 22:
First version

Dec 23 #1:
* Added changelog section
* Changed 12 weeks into 3 months
* Clarified that the GBP x-rate switch will lead to a pay bump

Dec 23 #2:
* Clarifying the tl;dr section
* Adding FAQ section based on the questions and feedback received
14 Likes

If you want a 30% raise just ask for it. You get X BTC and convert to the fiat of your choosing. You’re getting paid 1923 pounds. Since launch the GBP/USD rate hasn’t changed much, from max to min only 12.5% but you’re asking for a 30% raise. Since you’re a smart guy, I’m sure you’re aware of what you’re asking for so this seems like a disingenuous way to ask for it.

1 Like

I obviously want to see you get funded again, but I tend to agree with @johndavies24. This proposal feels deceitful, first by not pointing out the 30% difference due to current GBP/USD exchange rate. But also, the previous requests have all been for 3 months, not this cleverly re-defined 4-week “month”. This means your previous funding actually shouldn’t expire until the following week (12th or 13th).

Between the 30% increase from GBP/USD exchange rate, and the change from month to 4-weeks, you’re actually asking for a ~41% raise. It’s always difficult and uncomfortable to ask for a raise, so I understand the desire to mask intentions, but I don’t think that’s the kind of standard we would want to be setting for community funding proposals. I strongly recommend rewording to better highlight the changes vs last proposal.

2 Likes

@johndavies24 Thanks for including that chart, I think it illustrates my motivation quite well! It’s a lot of fluctuation in the USD/GBP chart (just look at the past three months for example). I’d rather get paid in GBP as I live in the UK.

But yes, you’re right: £2500 != $2500. I don’t think I was suggesting that it was, but I also didn’t mean to be disingenuous. It’s good that you’re raising it, I take your feedback onboard, and will clarify the request. :+1:

2 Likes

Hi @David, thanks for your support and for the feedback. I feel privileged that both you and @johndavies24 think highly of my intelligence, but I would urge you both to consider Hanlon’s razor when dealing with me: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. :expressionless:

The 12 weeks switch happened as part of the intro to my weekly progress report for the last period, and I made the naive 3 months * 4 weeks calculation without realising that by doing so I was shaving off 4 weeks of the year (!).

I’ll just go with months instead, and is what’s being done everywhere else. Thanks for pointing this out! :+1:

2 Likes

It illustrates a max 12.5% change… If you didn’t want a 30% raise you’d ask for (let’s just round up) 20k GBP. Did you intend on asking for a raise? If not you should ask for 2k GBP for 3 months. I’m comfortable with using my lense of interpretation, I believe you were aware of the difference. But there’s no point in arguing your intentions, either correct to 2k GBP for 3 months or be forthright about the raise you’re asking for.

1 Like

In fact, the max 12.5% difference is rare and much less than the 30% difference. The majority of the year the exchange rate has been above the yearly average. Here’s the average for the last 4 years
|December 31, 2016|1.355673|
|December 31, 2017|1.288611|
|December 31, 2018|1.334801|
|December 22, 2019|1.276204|

Please don’t switch back to USD when brexit hits either.

You do a great job, lehnberg. You should not be shamed to ask more revenue for your job

2 Likes

He just got a 67% raise 3 months ago ($1500 to $2500). Now he’s asking for another 30% (equivalent of $3250). That’s 3250 vs 1500 (216%) in 6 months. That’s unheard of. I don’t think it would be asked for without the “I’ll acknowledge that USD and GBP have a fluctuating exchange rate but I’m going to pretend I don’t know that it’s averaged 1.3x for 4 straight years” tactic

He did get ask for and was gratefully granted a raise since his previous ‘part-time’ role project managing Grin quickly became an all-consuming uncompensated full time job when Igno suddenly left. He also left a comfortable full-time role (with a newborn on the way) to focus both on Grin and other ideas intended to promote Grin.

We’d be nowhere near where we are today without Daniel’s tireless contributions, both in keeping us organised and in willingly making himself a target for tons of mean-spirited, undeserved and unnecessary flack from the wider community to allow the development team to remain focused. If he says he made an error earlier, he made an error. And I hope I’m not alone in saying he can have whatever the hell he wants if it means he can keep contributing in the way has thus far.

7 Likes

You are correct, he just got a 67% raise. A deserved raise, which is rare when it’s 67%. But 116% in 3 months is unheard of. I can’t help but imagine you’re passive aggressively directing some of your comments at me. But far greater than doubling your salary in 3 months is incredibly unusual and worth emphatically pointing out and pointing it out isn’t mean, undeserving or unnecessary.

I don’t believe one can be aware of the fluctuating exchange rate and unaware that it was 1.3x for 4 years straight… For example, at the very least he certainly was aware that he was averaging 2000 GBP per month… So the only error that was made was the effort to pretend he was unaware that he was getting ~2000 GBP (and unaware of the 1.3x exchange rate). I truly hope you don’t find this a reasonable scenerio

1 Like

I fully agree.

…and I am hoping at one point in the future Daniel might be working full-time on Grin as he is doing a great job.

I had the opportunity to talk to him at Grincon1 in person and know how much work and effort he is putting into this project. We should support his request.

As for the request itself its a fair if you consider the time he spends on the project in comparison with the other full-time project members.

2 Likes

Hello, Yes you deserved an increment for the great job done but please do not let such an increment demand swift you focus.

1 Like

It all would be much more palatable if he wasnt so willing to pretend that he was unaware that he was depositing ~2000 GBP and unaware of the 1.3x exchange rate. He continued such behavior for some time in this thread here and on Keybase. Then when he could no longer pretend he wasnt asking for another raise, he snidely wrote that “according to Google this amounts to a raise”… On top of that, he got a 67% raise literally the last cycle. This is bull shit and this is not how the real world works, this is how it works when you are in a centralized community of key holders who can do whatever they want without concern of question or reprocussions.

It would still be cool if your approach was more polite instead of doing accusations from the start. He’s been very important to the community. So what if he gets a raise, it’s not like he’s getting clearly too much money. I know a lot of people that do less and get way more. I don’t think what he’s asking is unreasonable.
Sure, I agree, he could be more transparent about that, but I find your “I’m a know it all, everyone listen to me I’ve got real world experience” approach worse. Calm down, he’s not a scammer.

3 Likes

#1 he got a raise, 67%, the last funding. He is asking for another 30%, that is 2.16x over 3 months ago. He had the opportunity to fix the $1500 he was getting, he took the opportunity and ended up with $2500 (~2000 GBP equivalent). It is not appropriate to ask for more the immediate next cycle. At least if he had the integrity to just ask for it upfront it would be much different than this BS attempt of pretending to not know. The fake virtue signaling, fake SJW, passive aggressiveness, fake community when it’s really a centralized council is nonsense. If their interests were aligned with the community they wouldnt behave this way, they would have funded Grin++ audit, they would have David apart of the council, they would have hired a cryptographer, they might have functional repertoire of reference wallets, they might have more devs interested in contributing.

1 Like

Ideally all of us have some kind of real world experience. I dont think ANY of us would have the nerve to ask for a 67% raise and another 30% three months later. Not unless we had the keys to the bank and had little concern with how the community might perceive you.

Calm down. Go read the last 5 posts from you… it’s like listening someone on a repeat loop. You can say you don’t support him and that’s fine. I’m not familiar with the situation around David, but I think you’re oversimplifying the audit situation.

If he worked for free, then asked for 200$ then 400$ then 600$, would you blow up the way you did now? I hope not. Stop talking in percentages and instead ask yourself if the value he is asking is too much. That’s all that matters in the end.

3 Likes

I am not over simplifying it. They denied funding his audit and provided no funds towards it. They would not hear my request of nominating his appointment to the council and pointed me to governance documents that indicate that they solely determine council membership and do so in private with no concern of community. David produces the best functioning node/wallet that is cross platform, so that shows you what they care about non-core devs and the community…

As I stated, I am concerned with the behavior and the precedence it sets. Key holders can increase their own salaries 2.16x in 3 months because they say so. Not only that but he did so in a very shady way. He was given the opportunity to be genuine and either ask for 2000 GBP for his stated reason of stabilizing the expected pay in GBP, or to ask for a raise to 2500 GBP. Rather, he decided remain disingenuous and keep it at 2500 GBP and still pretend he isnt asking for a raise but snidely note that google says this amounts to a raise. This behavior, along with other council issues, extends my concerns with their centralized governance and their use (or lack thereof) of funds to better the community.

Sure, these are all fair topics to discuss. David is indeed one of the most important members of the community and should be a part of the decision making. We can and should discuss these things.

Regarding auditing, it would set a precedent if they did donate. What if someone else builds a wallet/node and asks for audit funding. They should be focusing on their client implementation IMO (and this comes from someone that likes Grin++ more than anything else out there).

We are going offtopic here. I suggest if these things bother us we continue or start a new discussion in another topic.