Major Grants Review Committee Candidates MEGATHREAD

I think this would be reasonable, but I am biased since I am one of the community members wanting to join. I believe @tm3k is another longtime Zcash supporter not on ZCAP, and there are a couple others. Maybe raise the bar to getting the endorsement of 2 or 3 existing ZCAP members?

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vast majority of candidates haven’t answered this very important question yet

little over a month from elections. ZCAP voters absolutely need to know the availability of candidates we’re voting for. hope ZCAP voters pay attention to how responsive different candidates are.

believe MGRC should be a proactive organization that aggressively seeks to grow zcash’s user base/fund projects that will increase the value of the zcash ecosystem. don’t think MGRC should just sit around, and wait for proposals to be offered.

are there any @MGRC-Candidates that disagree with this statement?

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ZCAP voters have little over a month to analyze 15 candidates for a very important role with MGRC. MGRC has the ability to skyrocket zcash, or completely ruin the project.

@souptacular

@dontpanicburns

@sarahjamielewis

@decentralistdan

@lawzec

@tm3k

@alchemydc

@ml_sudo

@cburniske

@LizBoomLiz

before hiring anybody for a position on MGRC; ZCAP voters have to know their availability. personally, looking to vote for hard charging rhinos, not candidates looking for a part time gig/hobby.

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That’s a interesting question, the title “Major Grants Review Committee” kind of implied that the committee would be reviewing grants for Zcash development but there is nothing saying that the MGRC can’t take a more active approach.

The key is how to balance the outreach for new opportunities for developers while the committee itself remains impartial.

I could see something like a bug-bounty style system where a particular project is posted for applicants to take on and the committee picks among the best applicants, but we have to be careful that the MGRC members don’t become the creators/directors of thier own projects that could potentially bring up major conflict of interest issues.

I think a more active (bug bounty, project wishlist, outreach, etc…) style approach would attract potentially more applicants than a “wait-and-see what others present” approach.

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I agree. However, ZEC is in a difficult position where initiative by the committee will be required for the project to be successful. However, if they do this it seems inevitable that they would be criticized for it (conflicts of interest, perceived favoritism, etc.). To work around this diversification in regards to how funds are awarded to projects would be helpful, like what Shawn said.

There’s no easy answer but if everybody acts with sincerity it won’t be a large problem. Unfortunately I do have reservations about this and other items given the small community but I don’t see that changing in the future.

Mount the stars or sink lower than the pummet ever sounded.

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Part time for me.

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I strongly agree with the contention that the MGRC positions should be fulltime compensated roles.

I believe at all of the roles should be full time the occupying member should not have another employer, they should be compensated in ZEC-and-ZEC-futures.

Since the roles (all 5 would be full time) there won’t be a need to hire many-or-any-administrators, the Reviewers will administer their grants (at least initially) until they are familiar with the process.

The idea of part-time-and-or-volunteer MGRC members is terrifying.

After re-reading the thread, I’ve changed my mind. I think the case for collaboration with other compatible projects is compelling. I think it’d be great if some MGRC members had skin in those other games as well.

If the ZF and ECC each get a member elected that pretty well guarantees 2/5’s of the board would be more-or-less focused on Zcash above-all-else. In that case the other 3 having split-by-still-honorable loyalties does seem like a good (even great!) thing. (A curse on me for not reading more carefully before speaking.)

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Please explain the conflict.

Where can I see a list of ZCAP members?

ZCAP

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The ZFND cannot pay salaries to people who don’t work for them, the MGRC is sovereign and the ZFND will recieve and administer funds, “These funds MUST only be used to issue Major Grants to external parties that are independent of ZF. They MUST NOT be used by ZF for its internal operations and direct expenses.”
Y’all should re-read the zip
(Point of fact 501c3s are charities and technically aren’t required to pay the people who DO work for them)

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part time for mario and myself, no pay needed.

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If MGRC members begin running thier own projects with MGRC funds don’t you think there is a possibility of a COI when it comes to competition (if others apply for grants of similar scope) or bias with regards to which projects get funded and which do not?

I think MGRC members should be impartial and agnostic when deciding where to spend the communities ZEC. Only spending where the ecosystem needs it, granting to parties that are most qualified to do quality work.

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Hello! (Be kind, this is my first post).

On August 18, the Foundation is hosting a Community call to discuss the Q&A around the structure and process of the MGRC, moderated by @amiller . You can sign up for the call here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdXECdHO3sD2HVmi6gZ14Q_qU14EYfNTutKlaqkUzWEKXig7A/viewform

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Welcome @antonie !!

Good to have you posting on the forums :slightly_smiling_face:

Added a link to the Foundations Q&A to the top post

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Andrew, I envision that MGRC should use the second paradigm, providing oversight and review. The other model, in which MGRC becomes an ‘execution team’ itself, is IMHO biting off more than 5 individuals can achieve (in a single year), despite a steady stream of funding. Hiring contractors and managing coordinated execution is far more difficult than most people think it is.

The latter model, in which MGRC provides oversight and review, should not be a passive endeavour. The committee won’t simply sit around and wait for applications from qualified contributors to trickle in. I draw upon my experience as a volunteer mentor at Techstars to inform this perspective. Each year, the managing directors of (my local Boulder) program do a tremendous amount of active outreach to find the very best candidates from which to select the class. They solicit hundreds of applications, and then perform a collaborative vetting process to whittle this list down and eventually select about a dozen companies to participate in the class. From a sourcing perspective, I see MGRC members as serving a similar role as Techstars Managing Directors, encouraging inspiring applications from a diverse set of qualified individuals and teams from all over the Internet.

It’s my belief that the individuals and teams should do the execution, with mentoring, guidance and oversight provided by the MGRC members.

Once the applicants are selected, I believe that MGRC members are responsible for providing ongoing guidance, mentoring and oversight to grantees, with MGRC ultimately being held accountable to the community for the effectiveness of the funds distributed.

I am also naturally very suspicious of committees and bureaucracy. I noted that @Mikerah voiced a concern that MGRC was at risk of creating nested bureaucracy, and encouraged MGRC to explore DAO-like capability. I’m also moved by @_eric 's suggestion that we explore adhocracy over bureaucracy. For those MGRC candidates that have served on grant committees in academia and other domains, I ask that we come to the MGRC table with a solid understanding of what’s broken in those other areas, so that we can address those deficiencies from the genesis of MGRC, and avoid repeating mistakes common in other similar governing bodies.

We are working on a decentralized revolution, so let’s be open minded about the tools, tactics and processes that we leverage (and build) to maximize the impact on Zcash and the world that MGRC will be creating. Grants? Sure. Prizes? Yes! A DAO? Perhaps. Let’s work together to model MGRC on organizations that we admire and respect, and question all assumptions along the way.

DC

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It would be fun to model the structure of MGRC after DARPA, a good example of adhocratic organization. DARPA was founded in 1958 “to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies” and is responsible for the precursors to the internet, AI, virtual reality, graphical user interfaces, ballistic missles, etc. DARPA keeps a skeletal crew among 6 offices, each specializing in a particular area, and they award short contracts/grants to scientists and project managers to do r&d or develop a specific technology. If you look at the technological progress they’ve made, it seems to have worked.

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Folks, I’ve been thinking a lot about the assertion by some in the Community that MGRC members should be full time employees. I believe that this is the wrong approach. As I mentioned in this reply, I believe that MGRC members should be responsible for sourcing, mentoring, and providing guidance and oversight. I don’t believe that MGRC members should be responsible for execution (shipping software or other deliverables).

As it relates to compensation, I believe that MGRC members should have “skin in the game”, and receive ZEC, similar to how independent directors in early stage companies receive stock options. Fred Wilson at USV succinctly describes the parameters for this style of compensation in private and public for-profit companies, and I believe that his formula can be adapted appropriately for MGRC with some minor adjustments. We want MGRC members to be dedicated to the project: working hard to attract, develop and retain the very best applicants and recipients, while being good stewards of the funds that the community has entrusted to the committee. I believe that vesting ZEC over time is a great way to encourage long term thinking in MGRC members, and discourage short-term cash grabs and/or lazy bureaucrat behaviour.

I do believe that MGRC represents a material investment in Zcash on behalf of the community, and as such I think it makes sense that a singular full time employee be hired to work 100% on major grants, providing project management, administrative support, as well as muscle to help with the hard work of sourcing candidates, deciding how to allocate funds, and how to support and provide oversight for recipients over the life cycle of the fund. Spinning up an entity that can provide the necessary G&A functions to support full time employees is non-trivial, and as such I recommend that if the elected MGRC members agree that a full time PM/admin for Major Grants is appropriate, that that person be hired into an existing entity (such as the Zcash Foundation) rather than spin up a new entity.

DC

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