@elavoie thanks a lot for the hard work putting this together. I really appreciate it.
I'd like some clarification on the budget set aside for Patchfox, just so that I'm clear in my understanding. I requested a minimum of 8k GBP and an ideal of 13k GBP, and provided how the project could go with the minimum and ideal amounts. On the really nice table — I wish I knew how to do tables here — I see 7500 EUR set aside for Patchfox, that is about 6.4k GBP with is ~2k lower than the minimum I requested (about 25% lower, right?)
I'm not contesting anything, I just want to understand why the funded amount was not at least the minimum requested value. London is a very expensive city and UK taxes are quite high, when I calculated those amounts I took care to consider how that impacted the funding I was requesting. To see a proposal to fund that is 25% below the minimum value I requested was a surprise.
Don't get me wrong, I will accept this funding and work to the best of my capabilities to fulfil all the items in my proposal. 25% lower is better than no funding, but I'm still wondering why Patchfox funding had to go down by such large amount.
Thanks for the update. Let's move this forward as I don't want to be a blocker, and I rather reduce scope than add more friction to this process though I disagree with some of the reasons you presented.
I feel that if I don't comment on them, it will look like I agree with all the comments, which I don't. So I will write addressing them, but please don't take this as a reason to delay this process. Take this as a discussion that could inform a future funding round instead.
one ssbc-grant (5000 USD, worth ~4200 Euros)
The SSBC Grant of 4200 EUR was for a single month of work, and I was not living in London, I was living in Brazil at the time. These are very different circumstances. The current grant proposal covers six months of work living in London and it is only about 78% larger (did I do the math right?).
one Handshake Grant from the original Budget (~2000 euros)
In that original thread, we can see how much was allocated for each client:
Patchfox is the client who received the lowest budget allocation. Actually Patchfox budget was lower than the money set aside for mugs, stickers, and camps at festivals.
I'm very grateful for all those budget allocations. They allowed me to work on Patchfox more than I would be able to without them. You and everyone else associated with this process are amazing people and I really like you all very much. But, 6200 EUR in four years in not really that much money compared to the amount of work that has been put into it. The current proposal was made so that there would be enough funds for me to be safe working on it and move Patchfox to the next level.
In the grant spectrum, Patchfox is probably positioned towards the clients that received the lowest amount of money.
For many reasons I could expand on later, I think the long-term prospects of this project will be much better if we maintain incentives for (funded) contributors towards low-cost-of-living lifestyles. I also derive personal satisfaction in rebalancing money flows towards regions that have been historically stripped-down to prop up Western standards of living. So I will maintain the current budget repartition.
Yes that is great. It is just that this could still be done and follow the minimum amount in my proposal, there is enough money available for that. If the minimum amount in my budget request was about ~9300 EUR (8k GBP), why not pay the same to the other projects? I'd still be able to do all the items scoped in my minimal project, and the other projects would receive more money. That would use just a bit over half of the available funds, and would feel like proper fair rebalancing.
That is what I feel a bit salty about. It is not that there is no money for everyone, and Patchfox budget was reduced to make space for the other projects — which is something I would totally be onboard — it is that it felt arbitrary.
- I made a proposal, I was the first to make a detailed proposal and kinda kickstart this new funding round. I did that because I really want to devote more time to Patchfox in a manner that is safe for me.
- Then, it was asked that I submitted a minimum and a desired proposal, which I did, very detailed.
- And in the end the final budgeted amount is 25% lower than the minimum. Makes me think: "Why calculate a minimum amount then?"
I also derive personal satisfaction in rebalancing money flows
Well, this doesn't feel like rebalancing to me, it feels like asking me to make a proposal and then ignoring part of it because I live in Europe.
@erick, I'm sorry, but I feel like you're acting like a gatekeeper here, not an enabler. I do not understand why you stick to 1000€/month, we are not asking for more funds, we're just asking for a different schedule. My suggestion post got 5 likes, it seems there is support for that schedule, why are you creating obstacles?
The disbursement rate intentionally matches current realistic monthly donation rates.
That is not true, Manyverse donations are approximately 1900€/month: https://gitlab.com/staltz/manyverse-site/-/blob/d1008f94226cebea2024d24d06ae7bfb3d234c30/src/data/ledger.csv#L165
I don't understand why people are flocking to present new alternative schedules and budget allocations, when all the projects who submit proposals went through the job of actually preparing proposals with both schedules and budget requests.
What is the challenge in letting those projects set their own schedule and budget allocation?!
For example, I presented a schedule for six months of work and a budget for it. Manyverse has a different schedule, different amount of people working on it, different workflow, and a different budget. I trust Manyverse developers to know how they want to work, and that their proposal was done with care. I think the same of Luando and Nico proposal as well. We all planned how we wanted to work, and sent out proposals.
I really don't understand what is going on here. Why did all of us went through the process of writing proposals, and schedules, and budget allocations if they're just going to be ignored and altered?!
I'd understand if people would ask us to resubmit or rework our proposals because there was no money or because the funding round had a different timeframe than what the proposals were contemplating, but this is not the case.
If all projects were awarded grants in the amounts they budgeted for, we still would have money for another funding round later. If the projects were left to work in the schedule they set, we'd have MV Desktop in less than six months, Patchfox working as a viable main client in six months, and P2P Access Point by early 2022.
The disbursement rate intentionally matches current realistic monthly donation rates.
This does not work for my project. As you can see, our estimated annual budget is 728 Pounds, yes, that low.
Having 1250 GBP per month guaranteed, is not even enough for me to pay rent. What it means is that I get money and can devote some hours to the project but since it doesn't cover enough, I still need to find work elsewhere and multitask which makes the project suffer because makes me focus on many things. And that is without counting taxes, which will probably take almost half of it.
When I made the proposal, and I'm not talking about the minimum budget proposal, I'm talking about the all features full proposal, I took into account all those factors and how I work, and where I live.
I find it a bit distressing that phrases such as:
For many reasons I could expand on later, I think the long-term prospects of this project will be much better if we maintain incentives for (funded) contributors towards low-cost-of-living lifestyles.
I also think it may work as a good incentive for developers to figure out low cost-of-living situations.
Which is just wrong. I find it distasteful that cutting 25% of my minimum budget request is phrased as something positive, as an incentive. This is not an incentive, this is disrespectful to the time I spent crafting the proposal. This is also insensitive to my own agency over where I live, where my family wants to live, and the struggles I face as a South American immigrant in London.
I make on average 22k per year. I'm not western euro tech bro swimming in money and oppressing the rest of the world. I'm a writer and developer who struggles to find time to work on FOSS projects because there is not enough funding.
The current budget proposal gives you a guaranteed 1250 Euros/month for 6 months, which is higher than any level of monthly donation Manyverse has received up until March 2021.
That phase about receiving higher money than Manyverse is artificial because it doesn't consider what other funding they've got, what is the socio-economic situation of the team members, and their cost of living.
I suggest that we disperse 6k euro grants, for 7 total, and each group provides a timeline of how long that can sustain their work.
Or, you can simply let each project follow what they proposed. We all wrote detailed plans. We can simply execute the plans we set ourselves to do.
What is the problem with our proposals that require people to offer alternatives? That is what I don't understand. Why offering alternatives for alternatives sake, or alterations because it seems cool. If there is something wrong with the proposals, we can rework them.
That is the crux of the situation here, there is nothing wrong with any of the proposals. No one here is complaining about any aspect of the schedules, plans, etc. People are just trying to alter budget and schedules without providing a reason on why the original proposals are not good enough.
Or more specifically, about what is wrong with Patchfox proposal that merits this whole discussion, because the other project's proposals were not changed. It feels personal.
@elavoie, I understand and sympathise with you and all your ideas, and I'm sad to have brought tension here. You've always do great work handling all these very complicated tasks. I may have strong disagreements with some things on this thread, but they are not about your person, which I'm very fond of. It is the nature of these things that they are hard as you probably understand better than I do.
The way I see it, the proposals were accepted for voting. There were no constraints on the funding round, proposals were not told to adhere to some specific schedule, nor was there a ceiling for budget. Each project worked on and sent their proposals.
@elavoie did a wonderful job facilitating this and coordinating a voting thread. I think the voting thread was great. Erick set the threshold at 20 votes, which was a very good number, and off people went voting.
I think that if there were needs for proposals to be changed, that that should have happened before the voting started. From my point-of-view, once the voting started, the proposals are accepted in their current form. This is mostly because the community is voting on that specific version of the proposal, to change it afterwards is not fair to those who voted, unless there were unforeseen circumstances of course.
And for me that is when it went a bit wrong. What I expected was that after the proposals accrued enough votes to pass the threshold, that a disbursement schedule would be created that matched the schedule in each proposal, and that they would receive the amount of money they asked for. That is usually how these things go.
Instead there were changes to the values voted upon and tentative changes to the schedules. This is the key issue we've been discussing here, and the main thing I've been complaining about. What I would like to see is that the projects get what they asked for and work in the schedule that feels best for them, just that. Which is actually what people voted for, and what we all set out to do.
The one I wrote was organized around the idea of matching the flow rate and dynamics of recurrent donations, i.e. smaller recurrent funds based on voluntary donations by backers, to collectively learn how to better work with that source of funding, which I think is the main source of sustainable funds for SSB in the long run. But the constraints I have suggested appear to be artificial and unacceptable to enough of you, especially the developers that will have to live by them, that I don’t think it is workable anymore.
I understand, and I think that your matching idea is a good strategy. I understand that you're at the same time worried about sustainability, and wanting to foster an environment that incentive developers living in low-cost-of-living situation. I think you have a great heart and you're doing good.
A funding round with these principles set out from the start would probably have run without issues. I hope you understand that is not that I disagree with your ideas, it is just that this was not part of writing those proposals and of the voting, this happened later in the process.
For now, I have hit my limit of how much collective tension I can hold around money issues.
I understand, I'd feel the same.
Yes, I have been tense lately and it is not because of anyone here.
@elavoie, I'm sorry about my tone in previous messages.
@nanomonkey yeah, I was overly defensive. My bad. Sorry.
Thanks a lot for all the work here. I know the emotions have been hard here, and I'm sad that I brought too much tension to @elavoie. These stuff is hard.
I'm happy with the proposal you just made. Doing this kind of funding rounds is a process that requires us to be able to adapt and compromise as well. As you and others mentioned, my source of frustration is due to my understanding that once the proposals were up to voting, that they were accepted in their form, and changes after the voting felt wrong. I would have reworked the proposal until people were happy with it before the voting without discussion. But that boat has sailed already, and here we are and I think we should move forward. Maybe I should have let all this go earlier in the process as I feel I'm only adding noise.
I've already added too much confusion to this thread, and I wish I could sit down with @elavoie over tea or coffee and just chat to help clear things up.
As you mentioned, 6k in 3mo is enough for me to be able to focus on Patchfox. It might not be enough time to solve all the things I planned, but we can try.
Sorry all for being so distant, I've been mostly offline working at the Kalunga territory. I'm finally back home now. I've been following the conversation but haven't had much energy to spare until now.
My proposal is that each of the three groups get 6,000 euros for three months of work, at the hourly wage that they requested. The next round of funding would therefore happen 3 months later, instead of in 6 months time.
This works for us. As @nanomonkey beaultifully put:
This covers a little more than what Luandro and Nico asked for, they can donate the difference or put it to good use as Elavoie initially desired.
We can commit that in case we end up using less then 6k during this first 3 months, we will find a way to put it to use, maybe by using the remaining as part of the a second round for another 3 months. How does that sound?
Nonetheless I still think we need to collectively practice long-term focus, regularity, and persistence if we want to build trust with an eventually large enough base of backers.
Toally agree, and I think we can commit to that, as it's already part of what we do.