My name is Vagelis Antoniadis (aka vanton).
I would like to express my interest in contributing to the Grants Committee. My main motivation for applying for such a position is the following: I am one way or another involved in the space of blockchain/ web3/ crypto almost 10 years now and I constantly see the same pattern again and again. Either trivial ideas that solve nobody’s problems or very ambitious ideas that are (intentionally) designed to fail and to burn a ton of money. I feel that one of the reasons this happens is that those who decide where the money will be invested don’t really care or are so biased that they shouldn’t have this role.
In the opensource world grants are a way to move things forward and can be a valuable tool when they are used the right way.
My background is around software engineering. I am the CEO and co-founder of a 20 years old software house focusing on the telecoms industry. The last 10 years, I have worked more and more on product development rather than the technical side of things. I lead people to develop new software products and at the same time I mentor teams to learn what product development and management is, helping them discover this magical world. I have developed with my teams a number of successful and not so successful products and I continue to do so. Currently I lead three teams to build totally different products in totally different industries, the first in the sports industry, the second in the tourism industry and the third one in education based on blockchain technology. My contribution is mainly about business strategy, product vision and roadmap building.
You can find my LinkedIn profile here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vanton/
I know Radicle from my company’s involvement as a grantee for the Radicle Jetbrains IDE plugin ([Application] Radicle Jetbrains IDE Plugin - Implementation Phase 1). This grant has already produced working software that can be found here : https://plugins.jetbrains.com/plugin/19664-radicle
I am also trying to be up to date about the discussions that take place at Radicle’s discord channels mostly about Drips evolution for grants and the work around governance and DAO.
I am interested to get more involved with Radicle as I understand that there are good intentions towards a solution for problems that are common to many web3 products and teams like funding, governance, DAO’s relations with the real world etc. Another reason is I realized from my little experience with people working on Radicle, that they are hard workers with vision and ethical ideals. These two things make a huge difference to me and it’s the main reason I decided to apply for the position although my time is limited.
Regarding the question about opensource funding let’s take a step back and think who funds OSS today? As far as I understand there are three sources of funding:
Individuals via crowdfunding or donations
Big companies and private organizations
The state and public organizations
On the other hand, funding has two or more layers. The first layer is the funding of the OSS project/product and the second one is the funding of the initiatives of this specific project.
So the problem has two different aspects, first how to bring the funding in the project and second how to distribute the funding to the different initiatives and contributors. Currently an elegant solution to this problem is implemented through the notion of the Foundation. A foundation like the Linux Foundation or Mozilla Foundation has all the tools needed to get the money from all the different types of funding sources and at the same time distribute it to the individual contributors or companies. Foundations are supported by the legal and taxation framework of most countries, they can be audited by the State and take advantage of all the mechanisms the system provides like courts of law, accountants, business contracts etc.
So opensource funding from the process point of view is already solved? Not really. There are many many projects that cannot take advantage of this solution which is based on setting up a foundation. The reason is that even medium-sized projects in terms of contributors haven’t the resources to maintain such an organization or haven’t the knowledge to build one or both or don’t want to go under the umbrella of a bigger foundation.
The problem becomes even bigger when we add the Web3 world in the mix. Open source projects supported by DAOs or just teams who don’t have any connection with the legal and taxation system and need to get funded in a transparent way and at the same time distribute the funds to the individuals who do the actual work. To make the long story short, I think that one of the major issues about open source funding is the acceptance and distribution of funds in a legal, clear and transparent way. The solution is not 100% clear to me and as far as I know this problem is not solved efficiently or completely today. My proposal is that we work in cooperation with other open source projects and organizations both in the web3 area as well as in the more traditional world to find a satisfying solution that works in a number of countries.