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