All updates to pay, and pay reviews, are on hold temporarily while the price of ETH remains low (currently: $220). As our reserves are partially in ETH, the market value affects our spending power.
Core contributors that joined on or before December 2018: Our intention is to return all core contributors to their previous pay amount if/when the ETH market recovers AND we've been able to secure a sufficient financial buffer. As there are a number of moving pieces and a timing element affecting this - the price of ETH, when a high enough price of ETH will be reached, and how our ETH reserves and headcount look at that point in time - it's difficult to commit to anything concrete without running the risk of promising something we can't guarantee (which is a situation we want to avoid).
As a ballpark, ETH being at a sustained 10% margin above ETH price at raise could potentially return us to a point where we have enough funds to reinstate contributor pay cuts, however, we need to still prioritise ringfencing a sufficient amount of ETH for user acquisition activities once the app is ready for mainstream adoption.
If/when pay is reinstated, the quarterly additional SNT amounts agreed with each contributor that came into effect on 1 January 2019 will stay in place - we want to recognise all the loyalty and hard work everyone has shown.
Core contributors that joined after December 2018: the salary/fee rate that you agreed with us when you joined will remain fixed for the foreseeable future.
We don't currently have any scheduled routine or periodic pay reviews. This is something we want to work towards once user acquisition and fundraising is complete after 2020.
Core contributor contractor services agreements will be renewed at the same terms and rate at the end of the 12 month term.
Hiring is currently very limited - we are looking to maintain but not increase our current salary burn rate of ~$600k p/m. We will be adding new core contributors in the near future in the following circumstances:
- As replacements where an existing core contributor leaves Status
- To increase a team's headcount where there is a growth or strategy fulfilment requirement that justifies any team increasing its size. These types of decisions require the most planning as they'll require re-purposing funds from elsewhere.
- To add a new skill to Status that's critical to the project's future success and that wasn't previously included in any headcount projection. In these very limited cases the salary budget will be increased to accommodate adding that new skill.
Our compensation packages are lightweight and straightforward - we don't offer traditional benefits like medical/dental insurance - we'd rather pay competitively and give contributors the freedom to select their own benefits, on their terms.
We've evolved our compensation philosophy over time. One change that we have implemented for more recent hires is increasing the SNT component of total compensation - to give meaningful equity in Status's success, and align how we pay with how typical tech startups structure their compensation packages (more accent on long term incentive versus base pay).
One element we've optimised for is simplicity in processing contributor payments. As such, most core contributors receive monthly flat rate stipends in exchange for output not input.
Paying for output means that we're not interested in the hours/times worked. In exchange for commitment and accountability, we offer flexible working and unlimited vacation.
The SNT component of compensation is typically paid out quarterly, over a period of 3 years, and starts in the quarter 18 months after the start date. Quarterly SNT payments are discretionary, meaning they're not guaranteed and subject to individual and business performance.
The earnings or sourcing period for each quarterly SNT payment is the date of the payout. This means, e.g. that if you leave Status on 1 July 2020, you are not eligible to receive the Q3 2020 SNT payment on 1 July, as it doesn't relate to services you have provided in Q2 2020, it's considered earned on 1 July 2020.
Global v Local
Our salaries are benchmarked:
- Against peers at a similar level of experience and output in Status
- Against market value in global tech salaries
- With a cost of living indexing (either adjusted upwards or downwards for high/low cost locations).
When a new contributors joins Status, the process for determining their pay is:
- Ceri puts together a review of the points mentioned above, as well as a proposal for a base salary/fee and SNT component
- The proposal is reviewed by the People Ops & Finance team, as well as C&J. More eyes = fairer decision making. Everyone is invited to give comments and debate the offer.
- Once happy that the offer is fair relative to Status peers and is in line with market value, an offer is made to the new core contributor.
Our salary framework and algorithms weren't well defined in the past, which left us open to inequity and inconsistency. In future, as and when market conditions allow for us to award merit-based pay increases and regularisation adjustments across the board, we'll build out and share a more transparent compensation framework.
Generally speaking, we don't require core contributors to relocate for Status purposes. As such, we don't adjust compensation in either direction when someone moves abroad (beyond a basic currency conversion to the new country currency), unless:
- There is a major cost of living increase in the new country (defined as 20%+ difference in Cost of Living index [e.g. Numbeo or Expatistan].
- There is an additional social security/tax cost to Status of someone's move (e.g. into an employment location from being a contractor). In these cases, the base salary will be reduced by the amount of the additional costs so that the cost to company remains constant.
- For the purposes of calculating any change in salary, a contributor's total cost to Status will be used as the basis for consideration (i.e. base plus social security/taxes).
Status will only provide a basic relocation stipend (for temp accommodation) and provide visa application support (costs and external provider assistance) in cases where there was a business requirement for the relocation.
Self-initiated relocations don't attract any financial support from Status (only basic courtesy support in drafting employment/contract verification letters if this is helpful to the individual relocating, or anything else that's cost neutral that may be helpful).
Our aim is always to avoid exceptions wherever possible and apply guidelines consistently.