I am glad you started this discussion and you touched most of delicate points. And I am directly very interested in continuing this discussion.
I agree that we should transition “out” of our initial contractors terms and shift towards shareholders “approved” contracts.
long post, so I’ll make a TL;DR
Fully decentralising HR is a very bad idea under every angle : shareholders, contractors and resulted efficiency. We should clearly come up with an hybrid model where we define responsibilities. I envision a model where Shareholders elect and pay one or two HR managers (workforce custodians) responsible for coordinating the workforce. The HR manager has responsibility over contracts and manages all the aspects of it. The HR manager respond directly to Shareholders and must publish periodical reports (anonymized) over spenditure and performances. A clear separation of roles : day-to-day decisions are carried out by HR custodians, while shareholders can intervene on important matters with spontaneous motions or when queried by HR. Shareholders can vote on bonuses for performances or penalties and the overall budget, but shouldn’t engage in the details of each contract.
Implementing the above terms will be already a huge shift from today’s model and it is the next logical step.
Long post :
I also need to make a short preamble:
Working on this network so far, was one of the most professionally and personally intense activity I have done. Beside the development work, being a small startup, we often had to wear different hats and adapt to the ever changing surroundings.
Nu is innovating in so many areas that is impressive : a distributed organisation that maintains a stable token via elastic supply, online democracy, human/protocol hybrid decisions, market maker bots, liquidity pools and acting as a financial organisation by setting interest rates in a context that transcends national boundaries. … Well, wow, is all I can say. Startups generally live in complex and uncertain domains by nature, but this one, o boy, this one is without doubt one of the most uncharted territory I can think of.
Now back to contracts, I don’t think we should try to innovate too much there : while I think Shareholders must have a word and also a veto on contracts, I have mixed feelings on fully distributing all the responsibilities. Estimations and evaluations in software are one of the most complex and controvert HR problems and the whole industry. Defining a quantitative metric to evaluate the knowledge worker is still something up in the air : hours, task density, lines of code, number of commits, team velocity, milestones, value delivered, an non-linear combination of all of them… You name one.
If you chose a single pay-metric , no matter what, a poisonous environment will emerge over time, where the competition on the metric becomes unhealthy (developers spending time writing scripts to maximise the number of commits). There is no silver bullet in software engineering and Nu shouldn’t attempt finding one. We should stick with the classic worldwide model used pretty much everywhere :hourly rates.
Despite contractors, especially developers, are often seen as code monkeys paid to generate code, this is very far from truth. Good developers can write 10 Lines of code a day and make a difference for a software project. In the future you’ll have AI writing codes for you, now you have human beings carrying out a whole bunch of activities that are hardly bounded to quantitative metrics. For mental sanity the whole knowledge work industry agreed that a “fair enough” metric is the manhour. That is something I hardly see changing in the near future, unless the nature of the task itself is non-creative.
I’d send my manhour detailed report to HR manager, which has the duty of verifying it and periodically compensate honouring whatever agreement has been defined in the contract.
Moreover for HR there are an increasing number of software platform that can be used nowadays to manage automated or semi/automated payments and simplifying invoicing and reports.
Answering Tom’s questions :
- Should classifications be created for different roles?
I don’t think so.
2)Will all contractors move from hourly-based submissions to salaried contracts of a fixed duration?
A fixed monthly salary vs. per hour basis compensation should be up to the contractor and the HR negotiation. For Shareholders what matters is the final value delivered and they will put their trust in the custodian to do his job.
Personally, to provide more certainty to shareholders I will attempt a mixed approach with pre-approved packets of hours/month. Id set a min and max number of hours committed per pay-period and set penalties/bonuses for doing less/more than agreed upon.
A fixed salary doesn’t belong to remote contractors, I believe, unless full-time and exclusive commitment can be achieved and verified (see question at the bottom about nu foundation).
Work for equity, NBT or BTC , also is an open question, and an important one.
- Do shareholders have the capacity to individually assess the performance of each contributor?
Do americans have the capacity to individually asses the performance of each public worker paid with their tax money? I personally don’t think a single person that is able to fairly assess performances of all kind of public workers exists on earth. However people still (should) have the power to vote for someone to supervise on their account, and can decide to protest in case something goes wrong. The same is true for shareholders imho: not all shareholders are able to asses each contribution (and that shouldn’t be their task anyway). However they can elect someone they trust to do the job for them and fire him/her in case something goes wrong (without waiting the 5 years election terms(?) or the quarterly shareholders meetings of traditional corporations.
But I believe that it must be now everybody concern answer to another question.
How can Nu develop a sustainable strategy to afford paying contractors?
Now that the initial investment and the proceeds from NSR sales are running low, this become the most important open question. Because if there are no money to offer, there are no contracts.
And ,no, the answer cannot be “just do a custodian grant” because that alone is not sustainable.
Another final question I want to ask : what is the Shareholders opinion in respect of having a Nu Foundation registered somewhere? We have seen this happening already with Ethereum (Switzerland) and now NeoCoin (Isle of Man). Their project is grounded to one or more foundations/legal entities in some country. They can have proper employees and make invoices with a legal validity. Without that, life of contractors will be forever confined in grey/dark areas and won’t encourage long-term commitment.