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Crowd-sourced bounties as a business model on online collaboration platforms

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jan 25, 2021
The aim of this session is to improve/salvage a miss-directed business model.

Several platforms have been proposed (1, 2, 3, etc) that incorporate crowd-sourced bounties as a business model and incentive for high-quality contributions. These are open-information platforms that aim to maximize the pace of humanity's advancement through intellectual collaboration.

When money enters the equation it changes the dynamics from collaborative to competitive. The main objective switches to winning the bounty rather than maximizing progress by pooling collective brainpower.

When winning the bounty becomes the objective, other people are seen as rivals rather than partners. To assure fairness and let "the best person win", the contributions have to be temporarily hidden until the deadline for submission has passed. This, in turn, makes it impossible for people to build upon each other's contributions until the time is up. It defeats the main purpose of such platforms, but it does incentivize high-quality contributions and helps the platforms survive.

The ask: Can we come up with a reward model, that meets all of the following criteria:
  • retain intellectual collaboration at the core
  • retain open-information at every step of the process
  • financially incentivize high-quality contributors
  • avoid making it a workload nightmare for reviewers
Creative contributions

Crowd-sourced rewards for collaboration

Michelle Christine Feb 18, 2021
To promote collaboration over competition and reduce the burden on the reviewer --

-Pass the burden onto the competitor/collaborators to reference/group eachother's ideas into a "final submission" which is what the reviewer would be responsible to review. Criteria defined up front based on what the reviewer wants to / is willing to actually review.
-This would also be incentivized by increasing the total reward with the number of ideas collected and incorporated along the way (there could be a certain set minimum and/or maximum)
-Reward is shared among all contributors whose ideas are incorporated into the final winning submission
-Maybe separate rewards for the number of times your idea is picked up
-Combined analytical approach to reward ideas that likely contributed to final submission but weren't explicitly referenced
-Incorporating someone's idea could mean combining it with your own, changing it a bit, or even completely disagreeing with it if it still helped lead to a better idea
-You can build on any idea or group of ideas or groups of ideas up until the submission deadline
-You don't even need any of your own new ideas if your best value is connecting, combining, simplifying, explaining others or posing new challenges (emphasis on "that could only work if..." or "what would work better than?" over "that would never work")

Ideally the challenges and solutions are useful and democratic and accessible so that any unrewarded contributions will not have been wasted time or energy anyway. A bit of a shift in mindset in that you "want" your idea to be stolen, it's a good thing if it's stolen, and the goal is to share the ideas that will help yourself and others assuming they will be stolen. You contribute not just for the potential financial reward (that does help too!) but because you want your ideas (or something even better) to exist.

Darko Savic
Darko Savic3 months ago
Hi Michelle Christine ๐Ÿ––

Great insight. I borrowed some of your words for a tweet:) I will take some time to think about how this could be translated into software. These are some of the problems I don't yet see solved:

- the more we leave to personal interpretation, the more we increase the potential for conflict (followed by resentment towards peers, the platform, the sponsors)
- the more people are involved in the decision, the more we increase the potential for conflict
- leaving things up to people's honesty ends badly when sociopathy and various other personality disorders enter the equation

Psychology of money

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Mar 06, 2021
Priming is a technique in which the introduction of one stimulus influences how people respond to a subsequent stimulus. Priming works by activating an association or representation in memory just before another stimulus or task is introduced.

Money priming experiments (totaling 165 to date, from 18 countries) point to at least 2 major effects.
  1. Compared to neutral primes, people reminded of money are less interpersonally attuned. They are not prosocial, caring, or warm. They eschew interdependence.
  2. People reminded of money shift into professional, business, and work mentality. They exert effort on challenging tasks, demonstrate good performance, and feel efficacious.
Introducing a bounty primes people to start competing rather than collaborating. Yet we are aiming to overcome this.



Person-to-person "thank you" tips

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jan 25, 2021
Provide the ability for people to tip each-other as a sign of appreciation for amazing help/insight

  • Bounty = promise of potential future reward for quality contribution
  • Tip = gratitude for voluntered quality contribution

Nightmare for reviewers

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Jan 25, 2021
Since every submission and comment is timestamped we could let people post openly and bounce off each other's ideas. Then a panel of reviewers would sift through all the content, consider who said what first, and nominate winners based on that.

In practice, this could turn out to be very difficult since a high-interest session could end up creating books worth of content. To be fair, all the reviewers would have to read every submission and every comment. Doing this for many sessions might be infeasible.

Sure, whoever decides on the winners would have to actually read the submissions anyway.

A side-bounty for the most valuable supporting ideator

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Mar 01, 2021
To reward and incentivize collaboration, every bounty could have a fixed portion set aside for "the most valuable player" (MVP) - the person who maximally helps advance the thought process of others. The kind of person that goes out of their way to help improve other people's ideas rather than just their own.
Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni2 months ago
I like the idea. But I think we need to make it objective. Here are some objective criteria to help define a "valuable player":
1. The player replies to other people's suggestions/ comments, which makes the player a good collaborator. The number of words a person writes on other's suggestions/ comments can be the measure. A cumulative collaborative writing score can be calculated.
2. Improves other's ideas more than criticizing them: The number of comments spent in the improvement of other's ideas divided by those spent in just criticizing them.

Any other measures?
Darko Savic
Darko Savic2 months ago
Shubhankar Kulkarni a well-meaning criticism can be just as valuable. The next person can use it as inspiration to solve whatever the criticism defines as the problem.

The value of MVP's contributions would probably have to be judged in a similar manner as the main bounty. Someone might post encouraging spam and wiki articles all over the place while someone else can add a single sentence to an "almost perfect" idea to make it an amazing/winning entry.
Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni2 months ago
Darko Savic So you are suggesting that the decision should lie with the panel and/ or the sponsor?

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