/3 Why Revive the BTC Tip Jar?

Now, any good system design isn't satisfied with sustainability alone, but aims to position itself..

/3 Why Revive the BTC Tip Jar?


Now, any good system design isn't satisfied with sustainability alone, but aims to position itself for true scalability — so we need to consider justifiable budgets and a return on assets & investments.

Luckily, I have a handy-dandy ‘Justification Calculator’ for the job [a tangled web of google sheets, obviously]. The ‘JC’ simply needs a few data points to get started — ie. the team involved, the percentage of their time spent on this initiative, relative to their time-value, the funds & otherwise unseen expenditures or opportunities [Bastiat FTW], etc.

So let’s start with a simple, testable MVP here, where we can take an educated guess at what externalities, positive and negative, this system might produce — with a manageable set of variables to isolate, swap around & hone with.


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Let’s say we’re aiming to make the smallest business able to compete on remuneration with the larger fish in the enterprise sea. So, assume the internship wage is $15/hr — the NY minimum wage — where a performance-based incentive system [whimsically codenamed here, 'tip jar'] could really, impactfully, not only supplement a competitive wage, but also incentivize the kind of sweat and innovative work of a vested early employee.

Now, the highest paying internships cap out around… $40/hr [assuming a 40hr work week]. So, $27/hr+ for 3 months = … about $13,000.00 per intern for the Summer. Let’s say we’re taking in a couple growth interns, a dev, a UX, and a couple data interns — so a team of 6, at around $78,000 we’d like to have on hand for the tipping system — at the high end.

So, let’s say we instate a point-system to positively re-enforce behaviors and achievements — and let’s say that point system… Yeah, so we’d have to take, say $75,000 as the total allocation of the chosen currency base at the start of the Summer [always $75k current value, to incentivize people joining sooner — while the buying power to...oh say...Satoshi is likely higher [opinion not investment advice].

Let’s say that gives us…1,449,122,807,020,000 Sat. Let’s then divide that by the 90 days of the internship, and get… 161013.645224 Sat per day [209317.738791 Sat per business day]. Let’s say we expect an excellent intern to achieve 20 points per day, then that’d be…adjusting across 6 interns…1341.78037687 Sat per point.

The beauty here, is that all interns exceeding these baseline expectations, means that the organization’s growth, product and operational goals are being buoyed beyond our and our investors’ expectations — and, with an OKR driven point system that is built around achieving multiples on our HCVA — it’ll always be worth paying for.

Also — In case it needs to be said, the reason we’re not just assuming USD for points here, is to leverage, not only, the transparent, trustless ledger and accounting system of cryptocurrencies — but also to engage in some early-days excitement of value for money over a speculative bent, ideally.

Nothing better than an organization that eats its own dog food.

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Let’s step back and consider the difference between OKRs and KPIs — particularly to which you’d want to tie a performance based digital asset reward system.

Objectives and Key Results. [I] Think of OKRs as mission statements — the lighthouse[s] towards which the venture navigates. Profitability and market penetration thresholds — milestones that either define sustainable scalability — or trigger the next lead-investors’-defined terms for an additional round of funding — whatever the goal for existing is — and whatever keeps the lights on.

Key Results, eg.

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Revenue : +20% y/y

Market Saturation : 10%

User Retention : 85%

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CLTV : +1000% CAC


Velocity : 15pts/wk/team member

IPS : +150%

ROI2 : +500%

Rework Level : -30%

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HCVA : +200%

CUR : 90%

DIFOT : 80%

Team Churn Rate : -15% y/y


Key Performance Indicators.KPIs are the tools used in the venture’s navigational path towards its OKRs. Pulse checks — data points and listeners for those data points.

Where 12 enterprise sales this month may not be the OKR — 80% y/y retention and 20% y/y growth are more appropriately those overarching, long-view OKRs. Snagging 12 sales per month may achieve that trajectory, but if the quotas become myopic towards means over ends — then you might see some high churn in usership, or even your ability to retain talent.

Say your team has been unintentionally incentivized, via an operational culture that confuses KPIs — which check health & test assumptions — with OKRs — which define the healthy organization, to take shortcuts to hit large quotas, fast.

Your sales team may operate here with a kind of tunnel vision to achieve short-sighted quotas, their commission — potentially by overpromising services, thereby shortly losing their clients, burning out, bailing, and permanently damaging your organization’s reputation on both sales and recruiting fronts.

Between the two, it’s clear that what we don’t want is to confuse pulse checks, our KPIS, with health, our objectives — or to optimize for targets that are meant to triangulate where you are, your pace, your ability to judge healthy pace, discover corollaries for success and failure —in order to achieve your OKRs.

As economist Charles Goodhart would warn, “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.”

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Keeping the peace.

Culture strength and stability are some of the largest looming concerns when devising a performance based remuneration stream — I reckon.

One cultural bar I appreciate, wherever I see it being set, is — we don’t work for one another, we work alongside each other, and we work for the mission. CEOs have certain domains for ultimate decision-making & accountability — and so does every intern. We all own certain tasks, responsibilities, and attributable contributions.

In that vein, incentives should speak to the health of the organization, directly, synchronously pushed-towards. You can start by attaching basically cash rewards to things we want to see happen — so, kind of the opposite of a tax aimed at curbing certain behaviors.

This may have terrible unintended consequences, but it’s a testable variable, and, with weekly KPI-checks and honing — nothing should get too far out of hand.


  • Completing Assigned Tasks : .1
  • Participation in a meeting [max meeting duration 30min] : 0.1
  • Approved contribution to documentation : 0.1
  • Flagging Problems : 0.25*
  • Verifying Problems : 2**
  • Killing a Project : 5***
  • Pitching Solutions : 0.25****
  • Verifying Solutions : 1*****

*Submitted in fully-fleshed format in project mgmt board [defined, categorized, tagged, assigned, weighted, prioritized, etc.]

**ie. Run through Justification Calculator

***Problems verified resulting in decommissioned project

****Submitted in fully-fleshed format in project mgmt board [defined, categorized, tagged, assigned, weighted, prioritized, etc.]

*****Solutions verified result in fully realized project, prioritized in backlog


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The bottom line.

This whole idea was revived the other day, when discussing how to attract the best interns, without having to bash on the single lever of upping our burn-rate alone.

So, how can this operation at least pay for itself?

Initially? I’ll just front the fund for the first batch. Prove or disprove ROI for the concept.


Short term : Incentivize contribution to growth goals

Long term : Invest in retention

Eg. REWARDING VESTED ACTION. Pointing in ratios.

  • Referring Users : 0.25*
  • Referring Users that are appropriate & convert : 5**
  • Signing an offer letter : 50***

*Traceable [email intro, affiliate link, etc.] & accounted for

**Tracked from referral to sign-on via CRM

***Must receive full time offer letter in order to sign — can’t just write & sign your own.


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Proof of Work.

This is pretty simple. Tasks are entered in our project management board, TipJar tasks [TJT] are tagged as such. Team leads review and verify the work, as part of the regular project management protocol.

For accepted TJT tags delivered, and we use, oh, I don’t know, Segment or Zapier + MongoDB or Humongous.io, + etc. etc. to send the entrees and verified TJTs to a public ledger [even a view-only google sheets would do here, any edits can be attributed tracked, reversed, etc.].

Verified tasks are pointed according to type, automatically. We can eitherthen have team leads manually purchase tokens at the end of each day — orspend one afternoon rigging up a simple chron-job to automatically trigger transactions in real time.

The latter is likely preferable-in order to tie a real sense of urgency to the work — to take advantage of crypto-market timing [not in any way insinuating investment advice or alluding to likelihood of any growth in returns over time relative to the purchasing or use of any digital asset.]

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Betting on your own success, and the success of your team. You could use a simple Slack integration, like Polly, to conduct polls, where we quantify our ideation, and attribute votes to participating team members. If each vote costs, say, 1 point — then we can create a idea futures market for plotting where our strategies come from, how they can be better self-edited, and implement voting-to-find-the-most-successful-solutions, vs. voting-to-be-nice.

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If team leads select a pitched solution, then those points-staked are matched by our TJ reward pool — ideas not accepted go back into the TJ pool. All must vote once per team-relevant poll.

Eh, could be worth a shot?

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Points to tokens.

BTC is just too expensive for microtransactions right now.

There’s really only one cryptocurrency appropriate for a culture-centric reward system such as this. Let this friendly game of ÐogeBall begin.

About the Author


Venture Partner, Send moonshots 🚀 web3, new data (ai, zkp, fl), metaverse, healthtech, insuretech & climatetech