Defining a solution provider and the expectations

So, for anyone who isn’t active in the Telegram, there was a bit of drama over the solution provider Foldit. This brought up some important questions as to what should be considered a solution provider and how they should be rewarded.

One - I think it is important that a solution provider should be treated equally whether they are open or closed source. No ideals allowed here. Only businesses are going to be interested in doing this and we can’t restrict that. TF can have their morals, but they cannot be imposed on others. Closed source does prevent the public from ensuring it is safe, which then requires the solution provider to provide the code to the team. This of course must be done under an NDA. But what if the solution provider does not wish to share that even? Then they should be responsible for having their code audited under their own expense.

Two - Some of the hesitation internal to the team and leading into point 3 is what exactly is a solution provider. I think it was intended to be someone who built a non TF service on top on the grid, such as Zonaris. Foldit did not add a entirely novel service but instead made their own easy to use version of existing TF tools. This is just as valuable IMO, BUT it does take that 50% solution provider bonus that normally would go to the TF foundation to Foldit…for a service that TF already provides.

Three - I don’t have any proof, but I do believe the idea of lost revenue to the foundation for any solution provider, no matter the degree of complexity of the solution provider, has become unplatable. The 50% TFT going to the solution provider as written in the docs is being walked back. I get it, that makes sense and it should be adjusted depneding on the service. However, I strongly believe it should be honored up to this point. And hey, beggers can’t be choosers. Times are tough and we should be thankful for our 3rd party devs. In the future, this can be an amount adjustable to the provider, perhaps including aspects from Drew’s deep dive into types of solution providers. I would also like to pitch the idea of the percentage being based on income brakets just like the US tax system. Providers can get the full 50% up to a certain amount and decrease once they make a certain amount so that their start up costs can be better handled.

Thought’s on the future on the solution provider program?

Mandatory reading: [GEP] Expanded Solution Provider Model

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Thanks for this post Nelson.

That’s a needed discussion.

We need to settle down exactly all the details for solution providers.

You have a great basis there. I’ll try to summarize and add some more:

  • Solution provider
    • Code
      • Open source
        • readable by anyone
      • Closed-source
        • provide the code to the team, OR
        • have the code audited under their own expense
    • Solution provider rewards
      • up to 50%
        • must define what would merit 50% or how to find the proper number
    • Type of solutions
      • Novel service or product
      • Improvements on existing service or product
      • If a fork of existing solutions or existing TF service/product
        • how can we define if it’s worth being a solution or not

Also, I think what wasn’t clear with Foldit is that we didn’t vote for the % of utilization rewards (up to 50%). We should have a discussion on this. There is no denying Foldit is great and that it is approved as a solution provider. I think details need to be settled. And of course we need to improve the overall process so it’s easy and clear for everyone.

For example, should we have first a vote on accepting or not a solution, and then having a vote on the % of rewards. Or have this all voted at once, with the users being able to vote for % and other modalities?

The discussion goes on. Let us know, you reader!, what you think.

Another thing, the solution provider should also state how they will market their solution.

It’s a way to know how the new projects will reach new audiences.

The main concept is that a project that has a clear and strong marketing strategy, or way to reach users, would merit more % of the utilization rewards.

I don’t remember who said that but the idea was that the solution provider could be seen in two parts:

  1. offering the solution
  2. promoting the solution

As the two parts are important.

please check Our solution provider concept is not clear, we need to improve. What can we learn from Foldit