The essence of the situation is that neither NEM Foundation nor NEM Labs are ready to reduce their staff or budget even after they’ve both got funded and most of their budgets now duplicating each other. We’d love to see all those proposals implemented but do we have a right to gamble now? Why there is no proposal to fund ONLY development of Catapult with zero overhead and flexibility that ensures that we do survive through XEM low price times with more than enough to succeed in the long term? That’s the main reasoning for this proposal. Our first and most important goal is to provide financial support for those few who are already contributing directly to Catapult release and expand that team as much as possible within a reasonable budget.
NEM.team is a group of individuals that see top priority in the development of Catapult and it’s release on public mainnet.
NEM technology and release of Catapult on public blockchain mainnet. By default, it’s not an organization, legal entity or some additional structure, its first of all specific people. All these supportive elements are optional, and core value is in specific people contributing with the sole goal of successfully releasing Catapult on public net ASAP. NEM.team came into existence almost 2 years ago with a goal of joining the NEM core team to speed up the Catapult development and it worked firstly with Jeff McDonald and later since the end of 2017 with Kristof Van de Reck. During this time we’ve met with them in person multiple times and did our best to join the NEM core team. We’ve got to know about NEM Europe plans to expand development team since Sep/2018 and worked extensively through multiple meetings and other forms of communications with them. We did a lot together to formalize role descriptions for over 28 positions in Catapult technical talent team, formalized project management, various setups and workflows, development processes, carefully form criteria for choice of candidates, filtered candidates, worked with them to ensure that they meet requirements and collected their background, CV’s & code samples.
Why we are publishing this separate proposal:
Unfortunately, both NEM Foundation and NEM Labs are following multiple priorities other then development and from communication with them and the Core devs we know that it is possible to get talent to release a richer Catapult ecosystem faster if additional funding this allocated for development.
The hiring timeline for both NEM Labs and NEM Foundation is quite slow; we see that there is both the need and a possibility to speed up development faster.
The most important factor is communication with the core devs. We see that both initiatives didn’t adjust their proposals in spite of numerous specific requests from the core devs. Most significant is obvious - NEM Labs and NEM Foundation are separate proposals that are self-sufficient with almost identical goals, so their scope has a great intersection, yet there was no clear answer on why in case of funding both initiatives work within this intersection have to be funded in both organizations. No actions on this after YES vote on both of proposals is especially worrying as total amount requested in XEM came to significant double-digit percentage of the total of ecosystem reserves and there is literally no plan for the scenario of XEM price going down, just plans to cut down something and limit cap requirements a specific XEM price. An insignificant downside move of the XEM price might bring us to reducing development efforts even further and as a consequence could move the Catapult release schedule dates further into the future.
The most important reason for publishing this proposal is that it’s now apparent that funds are not allocated yet after as no funds movement is happening on a blockchain. The reason for this is that the early team members who sign for fund transfers have their reasons not to allocate funds immediately. While we hope that both NEM Labs and NEM Foundation will adjust their proposals and add all measures to satisfy all requirements and will receive funding we see that it is a dangerous moment when we may start to lose extremely rare talented team members due to lack of funding.
It’s important to quote Jaguar’s post again and at least remember it’s final words:
Finally, we should note that two types of funds were created in the nemesis block:
Community Funds: These funds are owned by the community and deployed with a simple community PoI vote. In the past, some questionable projects have been funded in this manner, and NEM Ventures was created to perform more due diligence over candidate investments. Just because these funds are harder to obtain, does not mean it’s a free for all for the other funds.
Ecosystem/ Development Funds: These funds are owned by early team members to deploy as they see fit to help NEM. Community PoI vote for the deployment of these funds is non-binding. It might be helpful to form a more structured process for the deployment of these funds.
There is a misunderstanding by the majority of the community that the POI vote opinion or even to some extent the NEM Foundation itself has control over the reserve funds. The foundation does not hold core funds, and the public vote is a mere expression of the community support towards proposals. The public vote isn’t binding and the funds allocation is not guaranteed now after the community expressed opinion via POI vote. As we see, there is a gap between approval and funds allocation, and there is a possibility that this approval may take longer time or may not happen at all for one or both of proposals depending on communication from NEM Foundation and NEM Labs and their readiness to adjust their proposals and funding terms. We want to keep paying all of those who are contributing now to Catapult and to give them a guarantee that there will be no break in payments.
NEM Foundation currently doesn’t have sufficient staff of full-time senior developers with significant experience of developing Catapult ecosystem critical elements and pivoting is taking time and will take the majority of funds being spent on things other than development.
In spite of our support for individuals behind it, NEM Labs is an effort in the same direction, to keep people on salaries when we have to fire them. In case if only NEM Labs proposal received funding, each penny in their budget would be worth spending - but we know from our communication with them that they didn’t request enough for the fastest possible release of Catapult. We’ve been communicating with leadership of both NEM Labs and NEM Foundation and all of us see that with current proposals being approved Catapult release date is still not very clear and definitely won’t happen as fast as most of the community members expect, so there is a space for improvement and Catapult release schedule can be compressed even more if more developers are involved then what NEM Foundation and NEM Labs have proposed.
Liquidating huge portions of reserves can “catapult” the XEM price into a death spiral, especially now when it’s less liquid than ever. Based on these concerns, we’ve worked on our approach to rather fund only development.
First of all, we know that the early team members own the funds and we ask them to fund this “NEM.Team” proposal only in case if the community supports it. This vote is merely to check if other community members share our vision.
All specific terms and conditions of allocating this funds can be discussed both in public in this forum thread and later on refined with early team members who are taking a final decision.
We see that there is a need to keep the essential development team that was (before this proposal) projected to be funded by the NEM Foundation and NEM Labs (former NEM Europe) plus at least CTO and CEO roles. We are proposing a monthly budget of only 1,750,000 XEM for this team (the equivalent of less than US$ 85,000 at today’s price). We propose to allocate funding for 12 consecutive months, totaling to 21 million XEM - which is more than an order of magnitude less then what existing proposals combined ask for and is 0.61% of current reserves. We see it reasonable to spend such minor fraction of reserves to ensure that development of Catapult happens as fast as possible down even in the worst case scenario. We have good options of not only selling such amounts OTC but also in a time-locked multisig contract to ensure that the price of XEM is not affected.
Scenarios of funds usage
At the moment of favorable allocation of funds for scope described in this proposal, funds will be used in the following ways:
In case if both proposals are funded, we will proceed with the process to hire developers, starting with running candidate selection process by providing complete info on candidates to core devs. If those won’t be enough, after refining the specific requirements with the NEM core devs Gimre, Bloody Rookie and Jaguar, we will activate our network and approach HR professionals to get more candidates.
In case if NEM Foundation and NEM Labs proposals are both not funded by that time, we will get in touch with the developers who work for NEM Labs and the NEM Foundation and arrange ongoing payments for them until the final decision on other funding options. Communications and project management will be coordinated with NEM Foundation and NEM Labs to ensure that there is no duplication of work, budgeting, and on other aspects to make NEM successful. If funds allow, we will appoint a few critical roles like CTO and CEO following the process of coordination with core devs described in the 1st scenario.
In case if only one of the entities (NEM Foundation or NEM Labs) is funded by that time, we shall coordinate with both entities to ensure that those developers who are not getting funds from an entity that gets funding get the same support as in second scenario and remaining funds are used as in the first scenario (for hiring more developers).
Conclusion, Terms and Requirements
We see a need to move as fast as possible as we are all aware of no funding reserves in the NEM Foundation and NEM Labs accounts. We encourage the community to express it’s support for this proposal by first giving feedback and then participating in POI-vote.
We are open to expand the scope of this proposal at later time further as we undergo the experience of applying the same lean approach to marketing, business development, strategy, branding, monetization and more. We’ll continue to share and refine our vision here whenever applicable. We want to collaborate with everyone in NEM community and beyond to make NEM successful and ensure success of NEM powered projects - in order to protect the interest of the community. Nevertheless, at the moment we shall focus on the most crucial step - the fastest possible public chain release of NEM Catapult (sometimes called NEM2).
- Minimum of 3% POI voting (includes 3% of TOTAL of YES POI votes only)
- 65% majority of ‘YES’ votes out of total vote count.
Both requirements have to be met in order for the funding proposal request to be successful
- The process of discussion (no voting allowed) will go on for 10-days from the moment when this is published on NEM forum to 6 March 2019 6:00AM Central Standard Time (CST).
- During the first 5 days of discussion, the NEM.team would like to be able to make changes after hearing feedback from the community.
- For the second 5 days of discussion, there will be no more changes made to the proposal but the discussion can continue on.
- The POI vote will begin for 5 days starting on 6 March 6:00AM CST and end on 11 March 2019 6:00AM CST, all community members are encouraged to vote. No more changes shall be made in order to give the community a firm proposal to vote.