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Offline AdamBLevine

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How come? – the AGS account shows huge balances and very little expenses. If you have already dedicated most of the funds you better have a way to show them on the open books. If you have dedicated say 100 K PTS already and you gonna show them only after spending them (sending out the funds) those open books do little to no good.

I will not talk about how those AGS funds could have been much bigger - I have posted long enough posts on the topic before…

Good point, right now the AGS funds are being documented on a cash basis rather than accrual.   The funds have been mostly reserved to keep a development team going for 1 year with some margin for Bitcoin price falling further.

This is the first I've heard that the majority of AGS funds are now intended for internal use at Invictus?  Can someone from Invictus please confirm this is true?

If it is, can we please get transparency on what you think your burn rate is and where you're spending it.  Transparency please.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2014, 02:04:12 PM by AdamBLevine »
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Offline toast

I'm not an invictus employee, and I'm pretty sure many of the other dev team members are not either.
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Offline AdamBLevine

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Only because you don't need to be, but you're working on their projects at their location being paid by AGS funding and if you were working on a project they didn't already want to do, you wouldn't be. 

Forgive me if I'm not seeing a meaningful distinction here, but you're working with them because you made friends, went and visited and jumped onto a project they didnt have time for but had already decided they wanted to do.  That is "Invictus", you're the contractor until they decide to hire you or you decide to spin off.
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Offline AdamBLevine

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That said, it's not really my point.  I don't necessarily have a problem with the funds already being allocated, but that was not what I thought was the case since the accounting shows that the vast vast majority of funds are unspent and are not indicated as committed.  As an investor this concerns me, and I would appreciate clarity.
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Offline bytemaster

Quote
All BTC and PTS donations are put in a trust that will use funds in a manner that it feels will grow the bitshares industry and secure the right to life, liberty and property for all mankind. A public transaction ledger that outlines how we are allocating the funds given to the trust will be maintained. That said, these are no-strings-attached gifts and should not be construed to place any legal obligation on anyone to provide anything in return. You should only give if you believe this is a good cause and you trust us to use the funds wisely.

Right now that means hiring developers for the purpose of developing the bitshares toolkit.  It also means giving development grants to 3rd parties who operate autonomously to build some DACs.   Right now we have given 2 such grants, Toast for DNS and Hackfisher for Lotto.   

We will not be granting large portions of the funds to 3rd parties nor act like some kind of middle man between funders and innovators.   We requested donations to help fund the vision of bitshares AS WE SEE FIT. 

I know this approach is different than many collectivist, allocate-by-committee (or vote) folks would like.   In my opinion centralizing funds to be allocated by committee is the worst possible approach to take.    (Not suggesting this is what you meant Adam, merely addressing some opinions I have seen)

So the conclusion is that 100% of funds are used to support Invictus operations, legal, marketing, development, and partners. 

Anyone with solid skills and a passion can join the team contribute in the open source development and if we have funds available we tip and hire. 

Right now funds are being allocated to the following developers:
Eric Frias (C++)
Dan Notestein (C++)
Toast
Hackfisher
Nikita (web)
Vikram (C++)
Me
Arlen
Brian
Nathan
Syncad (Polish+Indian Devs/Testers)

On the operations side:
Pam (books), Stan, Arlen, Brian + Accountant + Legal Consulting + Travel

So we have about 17 full time individuals and many part-timers and misc expenses.     If you divide up the AGS funds among those people you see that we are operating with less than a 12 month runway (PTS funds are not liquid).  So if  you would like us to fund other parties then it will have to come at the expense of some of these individuals having job security for a minimum of 6 months. 

If we are successful in the short run and our PTS balance grows then we can expand, until then we need to focus on the core team or die.
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Offline toast

I should have mentioned me and vikram have DAC plans that aren't "invictus approved" we plan to do but want to work on the toolkit atm anyway.

I see your point about not having funds marked as preallocated. As always I'd prefer dan/stan have more freedom with how to spend but then again they probably gave me money because I agree so much :p

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Offline Stan

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Since the BitShares Trust charges no fees to distribute donations to developers, what difference does it make whether those developers choose to be paid as employees, consultants, contractors, bounty hunters, or grant recipients?  Thus, the whole notion of "internal use" has no meaning.

The BitShares Trust treats all donations like an endowment that it must manage carefully so as to never spend it faster than it grows under careful investment.   This provides a mechanism to continue to grow the industry sustainably for the long term benefit of the industry.

It takes a long time to get good talent on-line and productive and it would be irresponsible to create a situation where we might run out of funds to keep them focused on productive work producing more wealth for all industry stakeholders.

It is especially important to manage the rate of burn to ensure that some of the shares in round 1 of DAC releases are captured to fund round 2 in an endless cycle of growth.

You can transparently see every expenditure made on the public spreadsheets associated with the trust and from that estimate the current burn rate.  This burn rate is periodically adjusted as the market value of the assets varies to meet the objectives outlined above.

« Last Edit: June 07, 2014, 02:45:35 PM by Stan »
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Offline AdamBLevine

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Thanks for the info, If you have internal allocations that are already decided I think they should be public.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2014, 03:41:45 PM by AdamBLevine »
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Offline amencon

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Shouldn't all these details be included in the "Fund Usage" google docs on agsexplorer.com?

I was also told the docs would be upgraded to include running balances a while ago but haven't seen changes there either.

If your current book keeper is too busy with other work that isn't transparent to investors would it be that hard or cost that much to give her some help with transcribing the more pertinent transaction and crafting public release plans for future expenses that investors can view?

Even if more meticulous records were published monthly, that would be an improvement, bring in someone to concentrate on it for a day or 2 each month and at least you'll have better records to build on when you have the resources/infrastructure to publish these changes more frequently.

I'm mainly pointing this out because from the investor perspective (mine at least) it seems like low hanging fruit that could easily garner good will for current and incentivise future investors.  Hiring competent developers to contribute in the Bitcoin 2.0 space is hard and in most cases likely expensive, not so much for this job.

I'm assuming of course that those google docs are still the primary way investors can check how the AGS funds are being spent, apologies if there is a more detailed source I'm not aware of.  I'm also assuming that there are more meticulous records kept behind the scenes of every penny going in and out of any owned accounts/wallets for Invictus for legal and tax purposes.

Offline Stan

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Shouldn't all these details be included in the "Fund Usage" google docs on agsexplorer.com?

I was also told the docs would be upgraded to include running balances a while ago but haven't seen changes there either.

If your current book keeper is too busy with other work that isn't transparent to investors would it be that hard or cost that much to give her some help with transcribing the more pertinent transaction and crafting public release plans for future expenses that investors can view?

Even if more meticulous records were published monthly, that would be an improvement, bring in someone to concentrate on it for a day or 2 each month and at least you'll have better records to build on when you have the resources/infrastructure to publish these changes more frequently.

I'm mainly pointing this out because from the investor perspective (mine at least) it seems like low hanging fruit that could easily garner good will for current and incentivise future investors.  Hiring competent developers to contribute in the Bitcoin 2.0 space is hard and in most cases likely expensive, not so much for this job.

I'm assuming of course that those google docs are still the primary way investors can check how the AGS funds are being spent, apologies if there is a more detailed source I'm not aware of.  I'm also assuming that there are more meticulous records kept behind the scenes of every penny going in and out of any owned accounts/wallets for Invictus for legal and tax purposes.

We are working on it.  Angelina and Pam and I meet weekly to discuss how to improve our documentation while adapting to the new decentralized corporate architecture.  As these improved spreadsheets are validated they will be made available to the public.

In the mean time, most of operational expenses lie in paying people who we have already announced are on our team.  Other than that, we handle routine business expenses as they occur.  If there were to be a new big project undertaken, we will, as always, enthusiastically announce it as soon as it is finalized.  As for marketing, as Brian lines up promotions, he documents them in the Marketing spreadsheet. 

In general, you know when we know.  We are always eager to notify you of our latest thinking and we document it here on the forum in near real time.

That said, we are also aware that announcing things prematurely and then changing them as our thinking matures is guaranteed to raise an outcry.  Thus we are trying to strike a balance between giving the community near real time insights and not appearing to "change the deal" as we give things further thought.

So, you are not likely to get us to lay out a long-lead plan, because experience has taught us that people don't like to see those plans change. In this industry we are innovating too fast to expect any long term plan to survive first contact with tomorrow.

 :)

« Last Edit: June 14, 2014, 04:14:16 AM by Stan »
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Offline NewMine

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Are you guys using both BTC and Bitahares-PTS to pay the employees? Or just BTC?

Offline liondani

Are you guys using both BTC and Bitahares-PTS to pay the employees? Or just BTC?

Bitshares-PTS also, just check here:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AqTwk-e7yzJydFZ3bVVWT0o1OUwzXzdESHFBY0FkUWc&usp=sharing#gid=0
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Offline Amazon

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In general, you know when we know.  We are always eager to notify you of our latest thinking and we document it here on the forum in near real time.


It was like this before, but apparently no for recent. Community has many questions about AGS fund using, and not been notified until someone raised a question with anger, like travel to St. Martin, name changing to Hysteras, shareholder transfer by Li Xiaolai.
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Offline amencon

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Shouldn't all these details be included in the "Fund Usage" google docs on agsexplorer.com?

I was also told the docs would be upgraded to include running balances a while ago but haven't seen changes there either.

If your current book keeper is too busy with other work that isn't transparent to investors would it be that hard or cost that much to give her some help with transcribing the more pertinent transaction and crafting public release plans for future expenses that investors can view?

Even if more meticulous records were published monthly, that would be an improvement, bring in someone to concentrate on it for a day or 2 each month and at least you'll have better records to build on when you have the resources/infrastructure to publish these changes more frequently.

I'm mainly pointing this out because from the investor perspective (mine at least) it seems like low hanging fruit that could easily garner good will for current and incentivise future investors.  Hiring competent developers to contribute in the Bitcoin 2.0 space is hard and in most cases likely expensive, not so much for this job.

I'm assuming of course that those google docs are still the primary way investors can check how the AGS funds are being spent, apologies if there is a more detailed source I'm not aware of.  I'm also assuming that there are more meticulous records kept behind the scenes of every penny going in and out of any owned accounts/wallets for Invictus for legal and tax purposes.

We are working on it.  Angelina and Pam and I meet weekly to discuss how to improve our documentation while adapting to the new decentralized corporate architecture.  As these improved spreadsheets are validated they will be made available to the public.

In the mean time, most of operational expenses lie in paying people who we have already announced are on our team.  Other than that, we handle routine business expenses as they occur.  If there were to be a new big project undertaken, we will, as always, enthusiastically announce it as soon as it is finalized.  As for marketing, as Brian lines up promotions, he documents them in the Marketing spreadsheet. 

In general, you know when we know.  We are always eager to notify you of our latest thinking and we document it here on the forum in near real time.

That said, we are also aware that announcing things prematurely and then changing them as our thinking matures is guaranteed to raise an outcry.  Thus we are trying to strike a balance between giving the community near real time insights and not appearing to "change the deal" as we give things further thought.

So, you are not likely to get us to lay out a long-lead plan, because experience has taught us that people don't like to see those plans change. In this industry we are innovating too fast to expect any long term plan to survive first contact with tomorrow.

 :)
Yes I certainly understand any hesitance to lay out public plans that may or may not actually materialize, as going back on those could undermine investor confidence which would be opposite to the desired effect of publicizing said plans in the first place.  As far as future planned spending I think for most your best effort will be appreciated and enough.

Look forward to seeing the new and improved documentation sometime in the future.

Thanks.

 

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