From OVN wiki
(Redirected from Contributor)
Jump to navigation Jump to search


A contribution is an addition to a value stream of something to which we attribute value.

The NRP-CAS records activity of network affiliates in different types of processes, in a context of work (a venture or a project). The recording is done through a process called logging. Logs are claims for contributions, which are used in benefit redistribution algorithms, providing access to benefits. A log becomes a contribution only under certain conditions. A log can be rejected for being a lousy or lossy use of time or resources, or simply for being fraudulent. This is how abuse or gaming is avoided.

Kurt proposed the following principle: A log of activity in the NRP-CAS is considered a contribution if it increases the probability to create something valuable.

We need to distinguish contribution from mere participation or attention (lesser modes of involvement).

Contribution vs exchange

In a collaborative process we can have contributions and exchanges. Working for a company, in a traditional setting, means that labor is exchanged for wages, thus the products of labor belong to the company. Working within an OVN means that labor is seen as part of a co-creation process, risk is shared, giving rights to future benefits (including revenue) generated for the lifetime of the venture or product.

Contributions map individual assets. The main idea behind the OVN model is to allow individuals to invest with whatever they have, thus reducing the dependency on financial assets. This is the essence of commons-based peer production. Another way to see it, is that an OVN uses an IT infrastructure (OVNi) that integrates crowdsourcing functionality, including crowdfunding. We can say that almost everything is crowdesourced in the context of an OVN.

Basic principles that govern the validation of claims

Kurt proposed the following principle: A log of activity in the NRP-CAS is considered a contribution if it increases the probability to create something valuable.

A transferable contribution is something that can be shared and others can build upon.

See also Contributions log and Validation.

Contribution scope

from Yasir

There are three types of contributions: venture / project-contribution, network-contribution, and commons-contribution. Venture and project-contributions are those contributions that are applicable to the scope of the venture or project; the governance of these contributions is defined at the venture level. For instance, perishable or consumable materials could only be a part of the venture. Network-contributions are those contributions that are applicable to the scope of the network; the governance of these contributions is defined at the network level. For instance: a physical tool can be shared across ventures. Commons-contributions are those contributions that are applicable across networks; the governance of these contributions is defined at the global governance level. For instance: use of standards, legal framework and knowledge.

See more in Open Value Network: A framework for many-to-many innovation

Contribution at the venture level

The aim of a venture can be of a different type:

  • create exchange value: a product or a service, addressed to the market
  • create use value: a tool that network affiliates can use, or anyone else, which becomes a shared asset within the network
  • create social value: help the unemployed, help with environmental issues, etc.

These contributions are activities that increase the probability to create something valuable, in the context of the venture.

  • add a new piece to the solution, or advances the process closer to the solution
  • improve the process through which the solution is obtained or distributed,
  • improve the solution (extends the functionality or the desirability of a product).
  • improve capturing mechanisms
  • increase the market exchange volume, or simply that help sustain the market exchange processes

These contributions can be of different types, defined by operations like development, office work, outreach (marketing), sales, service, etc..

R&D is a venture-level activity.

Some activities don’t leave material/tangible traces. For example, if someone spends time reading a book he gets all the benefit, even if the book is related to work activities, unless he/she produces a summary and shares it with others. So the act of reading the book in itself should NOT constitute a contribution to a venture. Some can argue that by increasing ones knowledge one can become more efficient and will be able to add more value to the network. Hence, this activity should be rewarded within the value network. Therefore, the act of reading should constitute a contribution. But in that case, the gain in knowledge one gets from reading will pay off later when this knowledge will be turned into a concrete contribution, which would lead to double a reward. What if this individual ceases to participate in the value network immediately after reading the book? If this someone decides to write a summary and shares it with others he provides real value to the network. Someone save time absorbing the essential from the book by reading this summary. Thus, the summary clearly has value, because it allows others to absorb the same knowledge faster and to turn it into tangible value for the network. Another example would be a literature review on a particular subject. A documented synthesis of all the material read represents real value for the network. But if nothing is shared by the individual who performed the literature review no contribution can be claimed, because others cannot build on this work. The same applies to information mining.

Contributions at the network level

These are network support contributions to sustain the network

  • They improve internal processes (for innovation, etc.),
  • They improve the image and the visibility of the network (branding, communication) and its power of attraction
  • They improve and/or maintain the physical and virtual infrastructure
  • They support other processes: administration, accounting, ...

From the contribution accounting system perspective, network support contributions should be rewarded from all ventures that use the OVN platform, including the physical and virtual infrastructure, the OVN brand name, etc.

Contributions with respect to venture cycle

Tibi proposed a way to structure contributions with respect to venture cycles during the launch with Daniel of the FabMobile project of Sensorica. The example below was applied in the case of a service, which doesn't require R&D or large sunk costs.

  • Startup contributions
    • Investment $ or material to allow the initiation of the venture.
    • Investment in time to set up the venture. Example, work done by all on website, initial outreach, etc..
{The results of startup contributions will be recycled in the life course of the venture.}
  • Support contributions
    • Time and expense throughout the life time of the venture that helps the venture continue. these contributions are not specific to sales/exchange cycles. Examples: general outreach, administration, accounting, etc..
  • Rolling contributions
    • Time spent to enable every sales/exchange cycle.
    • Spendings in $ and materials for each sales cycle. Example: consumables and equipment to manufacture and deliver a product or a service.

At the value equation level, startup contributions can be transformed into "debt", i.e. the venture will pay the equivalent market value of the work plus a % to cover the risk. The payment would be made gradually, throughout multiple sales cycles, until the total amount is paid. See more on Examples of Past looking value equation

Support and Rolling contributions would be paid from every sales/exchange cycle, depending on the contribution.

NOTE: a similar structure can be proposed for research intensive ventures, where R&D activities give fluid equity and are part of Startup contribution.

Properties of contributions



Daily, regular work that can be divided into tasks and sub-tasks, which piles up over time adding value to ventures or to the entire enterprise. No clear deliverable, or deliverable is far in the future.

Ex. doing office work.

Continuous contributions are evaluated at a later time, after some accumulation, in the context of a venture.


A tangible contribution, something that can be easily recognized by others as valuable. A discrete contribution can be evaluated at the time it is made, based on apriori knowledge.

Ex. someone contributed with a new technology, invests cash money, shares an equipment,...



Def: something that we can identify and evaluate using some sort of metrics.

Time: some invest their time, using their skills to produce value. Time contributions can be described by

  • timestamp: the date and time when the contribution was made
  • duration: amount of time spent doing something
  • type of activities: ex. reading, writing, transporting, doing manual labor, doing R&D, programming...
  • associated venture: the venture is the context in which the activities are performed, and some ventures have a path to market, which relates to potential revenue.
  • description: information giving more details on activities, in order to allow subjective evaluation in context.

Financial: some agents make direct financial contributions by purchasing materials used in ventures, for example, or to build/maintain the infrastructure (paying rent for a space, ...). It can be described by:

  • timestamp: the date and time when the contribution was made
  • amount: face value
  • currency: currency type, ex. USD, CAD, EURO...
  • associated venture: the venture is the context in which the spending is made, and some ventures have a path to market, which relates to potential revenue.
  • description: information giving more details on the spending.

Material: some agents donate materials that are used in ventures or as part of the infrastructure. This type of contribution can be described by:

  • timestamp: the date and time when the contribution was made
  • amount: in the first implementation of the value system this contribution is quantified by using the market value (price) of the material contribution.
  • currency: currency type, ex. USD, CAD, EURO...
  • type: tool/instrument, equipment, consumable materials, etc.
  • associated venture: the venture is the context in which the spending is made, and some ventures have a path to market, which relates to potential revenue.
  • description: information giving more details on the spending.

Agents can make material contributions by renouncing to ownership. In this case the material becomes part of the pool of shareables. The agent can also decide to share the material, for a limited time, under specific conditions, retaining ownership.

Space: Some agents share a physical space, to be used for ventures as part of the physical infrastructure. Sharing a section of a website for outreach efforts for distribution of products is an example of a contribution with a virtual space.

Agents can decide to renounce ownership to their estate. In this case, the space becomes part of the commons, part of the physical infrastructure. The agent can also decide to share the space, for a limited time, under specific conditions, retaining ownership.


Conceptual: some agents contribute with new concepts, ideas, opinions... These contributions can come as a punctual advice, in a timely manner, related to specific ventures, or related to the value network in general.

Social capital: some agents can contribute by connecting the networks with other individuals or groups that will in turn contribute to the value network.

Information propagation: some agents can propagate information about activities through their own social networks.

Propose others...


Transferable contributions

A contribution that leaves something behind that can be shared and that can can be used by someone else.

Non-transferable contributions

A contribution that increases the capacity of the group/network working on a venture/product. This is creating latent value and can manifest itself into a more stimulating environment, better and larger network, etc.

Contribution modulators

Temporal aspects

It is important to understand how different aspects of the temporal distributions of contributions, extracted from the contributions log, can influence value creation within the value network. If a given aspect is found to influence value creation, we then need to design a set of incentives to favor the proper behavior.

On Mars 23, 2012 Tibi sent an email to SENSORICA proposing to extract 3 parameters from the temporal distribution of contributions, and add them as modulators of the value equation: seniority, regularity and commitment. This proposition generated a discussion and we realized that further analysis was needed.

Kurt proposed to change the name of seniority, we’ll render the concept more explicit and chose a different name [added by Tibi August 26, 2012].

The seniority factor was first advocated by Francois. Ivan was also in favor of it. Tibi was against it in the beginning, advancing the argument that seniority is naturally favorable to members (no need to formally take it into consideration), because the more time one spends within the network the higher the reputation, the greater the capacity to influence, which translates into a greater ability to generate and extract value. The concepts of regularity and commitment were introduced into the discussion by Kurt, I think.

Kurt proposed to define this parameter as continuous “membership” and maintained that seniority is not the proper term to use. He also pointed to a problem: “...people contributing early then taking off being credited with seniority””

We are now exploring:

  • earliness (related to the level of risk taken is investing early or later in a venture),
  • homogeneity (a measure of consistency of contributions over time),
  • regularity (related to a stable pattern of contributions over time),
  • commitment (a measure of the density of contributions over time),
  • etc.

Contributions and access

The OVN model prescribes openness, which means free access to contributions (to processes of an open venture). This is also called permissionless collaboration.

Hybrid models also exist, cording to different types of ventures.

Ideas for development

See article


In the current NRP-CAS used by Sensorica a contribution is an Economic event.

See discussion about how to further structure contributions in Loomio.

From contribution to energizing

Moving away from the Marxist view on economic activity as labor / work.

We understand contributions as work in the traditional mind frame.

We can look at people's activities within a holon, which is the locus of activity as energizing a flow of co-creation. The holon is the minimum organizational framework, it is impermanent.

Adopting this view, changes people's perspective on their activity, it's a mind shift, a different way to see the co-creative dynamics. Activities are not seen as work / labor, in the Marxist sense.

Within this mind frame activities and compensation are not linked through a metric (number of hours worked).

We are moving towards the conception of creation, co-creation. Artists see their activity this way, not as work or labor. One cannot apply the Marxist theory of value, to put a price on a painting based on the labor that the artist put into the painting.

Vini calls this peer energy.

People are not automata. We allow ourselves to be programmed, we have that plasticity, but we also have the capability to modulate our plasticity. We are able to drive our own interactions. There is this idea that people are constantly changing, but they are afraid of change, we resist change or better, ignore the change, which is paradoxical. The framework of the industrial evolution wants to standardize humans, mold them into a set of skills, which can be commodified.

      • Complete with Douglas Rushkoff analysis of our relation with time.

With respect to benefits, within this new mind frame you are not getting paid for work, you are accessing what you need. There is no metric that links benefits to activities. In TaoDAO people evaluate their own activities as E2C tokens, which are issued.