I’m super intrigued by stellar.org, on a number of different levels.
Interesting to create a new way to transfer money, interesting that they’re starting as a non-profit foundation.
But also very, very interesting how they’re compensating employees:
"As of July 31, 2014, approximately 2.5% of the stellars have been granted to employees and consultants of the Foundation under a 4-year vesting schedule, meaning 0.625% of the initial 100 billion stellar endowment of the nonprofit will be earned by employees and consultants working at the Foundation each year until the total 2.5% is earned in 2018."
So they’re establishing a new store of value & currency (stellars), and in the initial establishing grant, setting aside some for early compensation of people involved in creating it and making it more valuable — in other words, they’re creating a self-funding mechanism that is wholly aligned with the value of the currency.
Super, super interesting idea, and I’m not sure I’ve seen anything quite like it before. (One question I do have is whether you really want the stewards of the foundation incented to make the currency as strong as possible, rather than to take a more balanced approach, but at this early stage, it’s probably not that relevant a question.)
Also very interesting how they funded it:
The Foundation received a loan of $3,000,000 from Stripe which was subsequently repaid with 2% of the stellars. The Foundation is allowed to use up to 5% of the initial stellars to fund operations (including the loan repayment).
It takes a lot of enlightened self-interest & foresight for the folks at Stripe to do this — again, not sure I’ve ever seen anything quite like it from a new company (or even an established one).
Being involved in Mozilla, then pculture.org, and now Code For America, I’m super, super interested in how to make non-profits (more properly tax-exempt, but in this case the high order bit is the mission orientation rather than the tax status) durable & self-sustaining. This is going to be a very interesting organization to watch.
Also, huge praise for the straightforward & open way they launched & are talking about what they’re doing. Kudos.
A couple of months ago, I did something that I’d never done before — walking in San Francisco between meetings, I lost my glasses. I was wearing my sunglasses and just completely lost track of the ones I wear every day. As anyone who knows me a little bit IRL knows, I’m more or less useless without my glasses — very high prescription, and everything I do is visual, basically.
So I wore my sunglasses to my next meeting (awkward!) and tweeted about the experience (as one does).
As usual, lots of helpful suggestions came as a result (this is my sincere experience of Twitter, not snarky at all), but the one that surprised me was from someone named Jon Schuller, who works for VSP, offering to help. That seemed a little odd, since I’ve known VSP as an insurer previously (and not someone we use at our place now), so I kind of ignored it, but Jon was persistent, found my e-mail address online, and sent a note there, too.
Turn out that VSP has become more than just an insurer over the years, and now owns many of the frames lines as well as a bunch of optical lens labs around the country.
Anyway, Jon offered up VSP’s resources to create not just 1 pair of new glasses for me, but also a pair of sunglasses. They turned out great, and I’m very grateful to Jon and VSP, plus Dr Gold here in the Bay Area, for taking such good care. I have a complex prescription, and they were patient and careful and at the end of the day put together a very good product for me.
Jon was incredible in his persistence and follow through, even when I exhibited, shall we say, less than ideal responsiveness.
I learned a lot, and ended up with a pair of great glasses, and appreciated their generosity immensely.