Develop a Compensation Structure for Core Devs & Core Contributors

As discussed in the #general discord forum…

There are concerns that the Core Dev team and Core Contributors (team members beyond devs), are not being properly compensated.

A few of us in the general channel thought, rather than create a compensation proposal, we should begin by gauging interest in creating a compensation proposal.

There is massive differentiation of opinion, and knowledge, about appropriate levels of compensation for the Core Devs and Core Contributors. However, there is significant agreement that team members should be handsomely compensated for their efforts.

In the comments below, please indicated YES or NO.

YES = Create a compensation proposal.
NO = Do not create a compensation proposal.

** Posts have to be 20 characters. So just copy and paste the full YES or NO sentence above.**


Yes… (post must be 20 characters, not sure how we can fix that)

Oh weird. I did sort of game the system b/c I don’t have the ability to post polls. That’s core team.

Here is a poll :

  • Yes => Let’s work on a compensation proposal
  • No => Do not create a compensation proposal

0 voters

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Absolutely there should be a compensation model put in place. As a large holder of Sushi and a senior engineer at a large US bay area software corp, I would be happy to be part of the team that develops the model.


We should reward the Sushi team that works so hard to continue to be a cutting edge protocol in the space.

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We’re going to need people with your experience in creating a compensation structure and proposal.

Do we have full transparency as to what they are currently paid?

If the individual who allegedly exploited Miso was paid $70/hr how much are the core team currently paid?

I think a conversation that we also need to have is to create an incentive structure that is linked to the token’s price.

But before doing all of this we also need a clear understanding as to each individual’s responsibilities and what they “Own.” Own as in the projects.

My point is that we need accountability and clarity as to what each member is doing so that we can make sure they are commensurately compensated.

I also think that we should have an ethics board. I’m sure people will have some issues with this but to achieve multi-billion dollar sustainable valuation we need the team to actually buy into a culture. Right now there seems to be culture clashes and different behaviors that may start to become detrimental to growth. But my biggest concern has to do with security and tactics. I have no idea how the Miso exploit was allowed to happen, but the concern I have is that there could be grounds for unethical behavior to promote a project at the expense of Sushi. I’m not accusing anyone in particular but it’s just an example at the top of my head because what happened with the latest exploit was absurd and did bring publicity to the strange “Dona” initiative. I say strange because I found it to be a very odd initiative and I’m not even a boomer lol

I don’t think being somewhat professional, holding people accountable and having full transparency is a bad thing, it’s a good thing and people should be fairly compensated. But if people want to be compensated they need to actually deliver value.

I also think we should consider compensating Maki and retaining him on an advisory basis, but compensated as an advisor not retroactively unless of course he comes back in a full-time leadership role, then we can talk about something more substantial. Though I don’t know what he was even paid in the past.

Point is that throwing money just to throw money is a losing proposition, let’s do it the right way and show the world what sushi is capable of.


Agreed. This is just to see if others think we should create such a structure. If we should, then we’ll need volunteers to create a raid aimed at developing a proposal.

During that time frame, I believe we should try to understand how current core contributors are paid.

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agree[date=2021-09-20 timezone=“Asia/Shanghai”]

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This could give you some idea about how some of the core team are paid: Snapshot

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This is helpful, thank you!

I’m happy to help on this if it gains traction. I have experience developing incentive and compensation schemes.

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Awesome. I think we’re just gauging for interest at this point. I’m honestly not entirely sure how we will proceed, but thus far it seems like there is interest and it is worth pursuing further. Maybe creating a Compensation working group.

Get the best people you can and pay them properly - I’ve been working in DeFi for a while now and I can promise you it is almost a 24/7 job. The core team are definitely pulling crazy hours to keep up with everything that needs to be done. There are hundreds of tiny tasks to be completed and I can tell that the Sushi team has barely scratched the surface (still no TOS or Privacy Policy on the main site? :wink:)

I’d be curious to hear what the annual budget is - if it’s any less than 6 figures per core dev and a total budget in the solid 7 figures in USD, then you’re out of the market and folks will be poached. That’s happening already. I took a look at the Snapshot poll. Was there any market research done for the salaries?

Compensation is not the whole picture however. Some strategic thought is needed regarding comp plans and overall HR strategy. So:

  • The current leadership team should also distinguish between core devs and key personnel - who is replaceable and who isn’t. It might not be a pleasant conversation to have in public (and probably shouldn’t be held in public) but it needs to be had.

  • There should also be consideration paid to succession planning. I know that sounds boring and uncool but it needs to happen. It takes 4-6 months to bring a new person up to speed. That’s lost productivity and extra downtime which can be mitigated.

  • And maybe get a internship program going - that’s a long term play that benefits Sushiswap and the broader DeFi ecosystem. This industry needs to generate its own network effects to train the devs of the future. It’s going to need a LOT more than the handful of OGs trying to spread themselves thin.

Sure this will cost money - but as they often say in the Tour de France: no one ever won a bike race by hitting the brakes.

One last piece of advice (as if it’s not already widely known): solidity devs are highly sought after. If you find a good one, pay them handsomely and build a strong team around them so they don’t get burnt out.

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Excellent feedback. Definitely we started the idea of compensation structure, but I agree the entire “business operations” plan needs to be addressed. It is not fun and not sexy, but the planning needs to begin.

As to the intern program, I actually think this already exists. There is a Sushi Intern: Certainly bringing on some more trusted interns would be good.

Deleted post? C’mon, I’d love to hear your feedback.

This post isn’t a proposal. More like taking the temperature and getting input from those who believe in the project and want to see it succeed by appropriately supporting those building it.

Plus, we need folks will to join and help create a good compensation structure. Lots of talk in the general chat, but didn’t see a lot of people getting the ball rolling.

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