Grain Vesting

Right now, I worry that the link between one’s cred and their weekly compensation is too tight. This is especially true when people have been “overcompensated” according to the long-term payout component, at which point their weekly Grain is directly proportional to their weekly cred. This will encourage a short term mindset where contributors feel they need to “sing for their supper” every single week.

Therefore, I propose a new mechanism: “grain vesting”. Here would be a simple implementation:

  • Every opt-in contributor has a regular grain balance, and an “unvested grain” balance
  • Every week, we distribute unvested grain to opt-in contributors
  • Every week, a fixed %-age of every contributor’s unvested grain vests into regular grain
  • We guide attention towards the flows of regular grain moreso than to unvested grain

The result would be that:

  • Contributors initially see only small flows of grain, while they “spin up” on the project
  • Once a contributor is spun up, their flows of grain will be lower-volatility, and less correlated to their week-to-week activity

I think that damping down the volatility will be psychologically better for contributors, and be decoupling weekly cred from weekly reward, we’ll have more space for intrinsic motivation. Also, we’d avoid situations like this:

Note that in this proposal there’s no way to “lose” unvested grain. So it’s not a mechanism to try to force contributors to stay engaged long term, it’s just a way to decrease their volatility, and make the rewards more indirect.