In another thread about ZOMG grant decisions I made the point that all grants funded by ZOMG this winter make up a small fraction of a single month’s (ZOMG share) of the dev fund. And that while ZOMG is doing a great job of diligence, I want to live in a world where, at least temporarily, they’re prioritizing writing checks to worthy recipients rather than ensuring that every penny of funding is spent in the most optimal way.
This is not a criticism of ZOMG, but rather a proposal for the community to tell them how to operate going forward. I want to explain my reasoning here and see if the community is on board with this approach. So here goes:
A basic problem Zcash has is that it’s hard to get developers to join us and stay with us. Some of this is due to lack of features in the core protocol (it’s hard to get consensus upgrades onto the roadmap) but another part is that Zcash governance discussions are cordial, reasoned and absolutely interminable. I know there were people who left the community rather than stick around and wait for us to make a decision on funding.
In the face of this, ZOMG is one of the best tools in our bench. We need to encourage the excellent developers we have in our community, and we need to bring new developers into it. ZOMG has the budget and the nominal authority to write a whole bunch of checks and make things happen. Done right, this could create a virtuous cycle where money granted begets more and more exciting applications and so on. This obviously can’t go on forever. At some point we’ll hit a limit where funds have to be allocated more carefully. But I think that point is a ways out right now, and as long as ZOMG doesn’t allocate more dev fund than they receive over the next few months, we’ll have plenty of time to change course.
But a problem right now is that ZOMG quite rightly don’t feel comfortable just giving out money to worthy participants. Like any responsible grant review committee they’re being prudent, asking applicants to change course and trying to avoid duplicate work and inefficiency. If I was in their shoes I would probably do the same thing.
What I’m asking for in this thread is for the community to give ZOMG its permission to put some serious spending out there for the very near future. This does not mean wasting money, and it doesn’t mean investing in random unrelated projects. It just means being optimistic about funding projects that are plausible, and doing so generously and without major conditions. It may even mean writing up some RFPs for things that they would like to fund (I have a big list) and being willing to take some risks on the proposals they get. Basically: establishing that Zcash welcomes contributors.
I may be alone in my feelings on this, but I think Zcash development could benefit from a more aggressive spending approach right now, and I want ZOMG to hear from the community how we feel about that. What do you think?