MGRC Update 10-15-2020 and Meeting Minutes

Hello Zcash Community!

Welcome to the second MGRC update.

Previously we had decided that we will meet every two weeks but since schedules did not allow for the first meeting on time we had this second meeting one week after the last. The two week cadence for formal/synchronous MGRC meetings will continue from here forward and we will continue asynchronous communication via email, Forums, Docs, and Discord throughout the weeks.

The big takeaway from this weeks formal meeting was that we heard the Zcash Communities questions with regards to Marios involvement with the MGRC. We know that Chris and Mario represented that they would be working together to support the MGRC in their applications however out of an abundance of caution and respect for the Zcash Community MGRC wants to set the precedent that one seat on the MGRC represents one person. We felt that this is an important precedent to set now because of the possibility of multiple persons running for a single seat in the future. Mario will recuse himself from formal interaction with the MGRC. This does not exclude Mario and Chris from working together informally but when it comes to official MGRC matters Chris will be the seat as elected by the Zcash Community.

We are exploring options to replace Mario with an administrative assistant for minute taking prior to our next formal meeting. @mlphresearch and @cburniske will also be making follow up posts here on the forum to clarify their thoughts and to answer questions from the community.

MGRC Zoom Meeting: October 14th, 2020

Pre-meeting agenda:

  1. D&O insurance (update from Chris)
  2. Target metrics from ZF (update from Shawn)
  3. ZF grants platform (update from Shawn)
  4. Outreach and communication channels
  5. Grant process and supplemental ZIP draft
  6. Renaming MG
  7. Next meeting details

Meeting minutes:

Attendance:

  • Hudson Jameson
  • Sarah Jamie Lewis
  • Shawn (aka mineZcash)
  • Chris Burniske
  • Holmes Wilson
  • Mario Laul (left the meeting after agenda item 7)

Confirmed the following agenda:

  1. D&O insurance
  2. Key metrics from ZF
  3. ZF grants platform
  4. Outreach and communication channels
  5. Grant process and supplemental ZIP draft
  6. Renaming MG
  7. Next meeting details
  8. Mario Laul’s involvement with MGRC

1. Discussed D&O insurance

The topic is still under discussion with ZF. Decided that Chris will seek professional legal opinion on the status and potential liability of MGRC members.

2. Discussed “Key Metrics” from ZF

Shawn had contacted ZF: ZF stated they will provide MGRC with target metrics and key performance indicators after its October 20th board meeting.

3. Discussed ZF grants platform and Grant process

ZF is willing to give MGRC full access and control over the existing grants platform. After learning of the ongoing month costs of the Grants Platform, Decided that, before committing to using it, the MGRC should compare it with other, potentially cheaper and lower maintenance options (e.g. Google Forms combined with Zcash Forum, Github, or other freely available platforms). Decided that, prior to the next meeting, Shawn will arrange a walkthrough of the features and admin of the existing platform with Hudson for deeper evaluation, and Chris will draft a tentative Grant application flow for Grant applicants that can be used for an informed comparison.

4. Outreach and communication channels

No actionable decisions. Prior to finalizing the grant administration process, MGRC will restrict its communications to the Zcash Forum and Discord channel.

5. Supplemental ZIP draft

Decided that MGRC will continue working on a supplemental ZIP draft, prioritizing items that are essential for MGRC to be able to start administering Grants. Holmes will follow up with ZF to discuss options for administrative support via the ZF.

6. Discussed Renaming MG

Discussed methods to decide naming of MGRC (ie:polling) Decided that it should be kept internally until ready for official announcement to secure URL and other outreach channels. Decided to finalize a list of potential names prior to the next meeting and make a decision shortly thereafter.

7. Discussed Next meeting details

Decided that the next meeting will take place in two weeks’ time.

8. Discussed Mario Laul’s involvement with MGRC [Mario left the call at this point so these notes taken by Shawn]

Decided that Mario will recuse himself from further direct interaction with the MGRC. Chris and Mario will follow up on the forum with explanatory posts. MGRC will need to replace Mario as a minute taker for meetings. Mario will likely continue to help Chris informally.

8 Likes

I’m offering myself as minute taker.

I don’t have much to add, except that I’m glad the initial lack of clarity around my involvement has been cleared up. I look forward to seeing the MGRC in action and remain available to help out in any way I can. Onward!

6 Likes

Why not be available to take meeting minutes?

According to the original post, the MGRC is exploring options for hiring administrative support. I suppose we’ll learn about it soon, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the job entails a lot more than just minute taking.

Similar to Mario, not much to add.

Going back in time, we declared that Mario would be helping me out of an abundance of caution, transparency, and respect for the Zcash community, but in retrospect that may have been oversharing.

In retrospect, the precedent of one seat, one person was an important one for us to set, and so we optimized for that.

Anyway, onward!

6 Likes

@jmsjsph

The MGRC has to have these “Key Metrics” as defined by ZIP-1014, before it can define a plan for how to fund Grants.

ZF SHALL strive to define target metrics and key performance indicators, and the Major Grant Review Committee SHOULD utilize these in its funding decisions.

“SHOULD utilize them”

Despite the fact that you are the most pre-approved by the mostly insider ZCAP as a part-time ZF employee as you wait for ZF’s directive,

Assuming the true goal of a separate dev fund is to decentralize decision-making,

I would like to see what an independent body comes up with in terms of Target metrics and KPIs, if one even exists:

One MGRC member down (minutes) and looking to hire admin (for minutes) despite zero action items, standing back and standing by for ZF instructions… Got it!

You are correct, SHOULD does not mean mandatory. However, as a team the decision was made to see what these are before moving forward with our own plans.

Edit for clarification: “Moving forward” with our own plans does not mean we currently do not have a plan in draft form. Just that we cannot finalize it until we see the ZFND metrics.

1 Like

We are not a member down, Mario was not part of the MGRC, but you already know this.

“Action items” are clearly discussed in both the minutes from last week and this week:

  1. Get a grants platform/website up ASAP to begin accepting applications.
  2. Define a new name for MGRC
  3. Define a process of evaluating grants (key metrics needed)
  4. Investigate if D&O insurance is needed
  5. Draft supplemental ZIP
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Now, we know!

I assume the paid administrative assistant will perform duties outside of Mario’s original stated purpose?

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We discussed KPIs in a ZF board meeting this week and I’ll have a blog post discussing them to offer in about a week

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@amiller Not to rush you, but would it be possible to get these before our scheduled Wednesday MGRC meeting on the 28th?

If its alright with @antonie I’ll share whatever draft i have by then sure

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go for it.

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Oh no. IIRC, the idea that the metrics+KPIs guiding the MGRC should be defined by ZF is a leftover from early iterations of ZIP 1012, where the Major Grants were more like a specialized track or organ of ZF.

Later in the drafting and polling process, things converged to a view of MGRC as an independent body whose decisions are implemented and funds are custodied by ZF. So I’m not sure this language in ZIP 1014 is consistent with its current spirit.

I don’t expect great controversies on the actual metrics+KPIs, given that the missions are so similar, but I would support clearing this up in a future revision to ZIP 1014.

Alternatively, the following preserves both the new spirit and the old letter: I suggest that the MGRC will draft proposed target metrics and KPIs for itself, and submit them to ZF for ratification. This doesn’t require any ZIP changes, and would also help the MGRC and ZF ensure they are on the same page to minimize the chance of ZF having to exercise its veto over grants.

2 Likes

Thanks for the background @tromer,

We do have a rough draft Grant process and some KPIs sketched out but have been holding off on deciding/ratifying them until we got the KPIs from the Zcash Foundation due to the text of ZIP-1014.

I will share your suggestion with the other MGRC members.

2 Likes