dallas at dreamhost
Mar 13, 2012, 11:19 AM
On Mar 13, 2012, at 3:52 AM, Dave Neary wrote:
> On 03/12/2012 07:06 PM, Dallas Kashuba wrote:
>> On Mar 12, 2012, at 2:45 AM, Thierry Carrez wrote:
>>> Tiered structure: this is the current proposal, which is well balanced.
>>> The only issue is that the board grows by 3 people when (if) a strategic
>>> member is added.
> One board member per highest-paying sponsor is better than 3, I think.
>> This is another thing I was wondering about. Will there be a limit on the number of strategic members? I don't see the foundation wanting to turn away someone waving money around, but then you have to deal with board growth.
> What the Linux Foundation does is have a maximum number of Platinum member board seats - once there are more than 10 Platinum sponsors, there are annual elections for the 10 Platinum board seats, and someone misses out.
> Similarly, for Gold and Silver member seats, there are annual elections to elect 3 of the 16 Gold members and 1 of the 120 or so Silver members to the board. And so on for the other board seats.
An approach like this sounds reasonable to me.
>>> Pay-to-vote: you have two classes: corporate seats and individual seats.
>>> Individual members elect the individual seats (which represent 25-33% of
>>> the total). Corporate seats are also all elected and corporations get a
>>> vote for every ?$ they put in. One drawback is that large corporations
>>> which are no longer guaranteed of getting a board seat will probably pay
>>> less under this model.
>> Also agreed that large corporations will likely pay less without a guaranteed board seat.
> That all depends on the value the foundation is offering - and that's an important question. If big corporations will pay less without a guaranteed board seat, that means that being on the board is important. Why? And if that's the case, why would anyone pay to be an associate member, where they're very unlikely to get on the board? I'd like to think that the Foundation will provide value to its members above and beyond providing board seats.
I agree with this, but the Foundation doesn't yet exist and its value to any given company is not yet established. There's a lot of expectation of value, but no guarantee. If a company is asked to provide some money as an investment they will want to make sure they do everything they can to ensure that investment pays off. A board seat is the most tangible mechanism for that the Foundation has to offer currently.
After the Foundation has been established and has proven itself as a great shepherd of the project, more companies with the financial ability to be strategic members will likely loosen their desire for a direct board voice. A cap on the platinum/strategic member board seats would then come into play at this point as the size of the membership class grows.
dallas at dreamhost.com