BTW, if you’re a tech worker and you feel a vague obligation to learn how to negotiate but it’s kinda aversive and/or you’re not sure how to go about it...
...even just bothering to do it at all can net you $5k - $10k a year. Like, just saying “hey, that seems a bit low, can you go higher?”
There are various more complicated or effortful things you can do, but “negotiate at all even slightly” is surprisingly effective.
I think that makes sense but in practice is something that makes more sense to handle through their day jobs. (If they went the route of hiring someone for whom managing the fund was their actual day job I’d agree that generally higher salaries would be good, for mostly the same reason they’d be good across the board in EA)
Part of my thinking here is that this would be a mistake: focus and attention are some of the most valuable things, and splitting your focus is generally not good.
I’m familiar with good things coming out of those places, but not sure why they’re the appropriate lens in this case.
Popping back to this:
What do you think about building a company around e.g. the real-estate-specific app, and then housing altruistic work in a “special projects” or “research” arm of that company?
This makes more sense to me when you actually have a company large enough to theoretically have multiple arms. AFAICT there are no arms here, there are just like 1-3 people working on a thing. And I’d expect getting to the point where you could have that requires at least 5-10 years of work.
What’s the good thing that happens if Ozzie first builds a profitable company and only later works in a research arm of that company, that wouldn’t happen if he just became “the research arm of that company” right now?
Is there a particular reason to assume that’d be a good idea?
I have a weird mix of feelings and guesses here.
I think it’s good on the margin for people to be able to express opinions without needing to formalize them into recommendations for the reason stated here. I think the overall conversation happening here is very important.
I do still feel pretty sad looking at the comments here — some of the commenters seem to not have a model of what they’re incentivizing.
They remind me of the stereotype of a parent who’s kid has moved away and grown up, and doesn’t call very often. And periodically the kid does call, but the first thing they hear is the parent complaining “why don’t you ever call me?“, which makes the kid less likely to call home.
EA is vetting constrained.
EA is network constrained.
These are actual hard problems, that we’re slowly addressing by building network infrastructure. The current system is not optimal or fair, but progress won’t go faster by complaining about it.
It can potentially go faster via improvements in strategy, and re-allocating resources. But each of those improvements will come in a tradeoff. You could hire more grantmakers full-time, but those grantmakers are generally working full-time on something else comparably important.
This writeup is unusually thorough, and Habryka has been unusually willing to engage with comments and complaints. But I think Habryka has higher-than-average willingness to deal with that.
When I imagine future people considering
a) whether to be a grantmaker,
b) whether to write up their reasons publicly
c) whether to engage with comments on those reasons
I predict that some of the comments on this thread to make all of those less likely (in escalating order). It also potentially makes grantees less likely to consent to public discussion of their evaluation, since it might get ridiculed in the comments.
Because EA is vetting constrained, I think public discussion of grant-reasoning is particularly important. It’s one of the mechanisms that’ll give people a sense of what projects will get funded and what goes into a grantmaking process, and get a lot of what’s currently ‘insider knowledge’ more publicly accessible.
Just wanted to say I appreciate the nuance you’re aiming at here. (Getting that nuance right is real hard)
Reasonably. That does sound like it’s at a comparable scale.
(I ask because there’s a big difference between a community of 10-50 people and 200-300 people. I think at the latter scale, you actually need more infrastructure)
How big is the London community?
True, but from what I recall that was largely for reasons that I expect not to apply to EA Hotel.
Thanks. That was indeed much easier.
BTW, I just tried to donate $100 (not much but about what I feel comfortable impulse-donating), and the trivial inconvenience of finding and typing in a credit card through me off. A paypal moneypool link would probably have been lower friction for me (not arguing it’s lower friction overall, just that having a variety of easy payment types is probably useful to getting marginal donors)
Relatedly: there already is reasonable infrastructure (and continuing to be more) oriented towards getting EAs to live in a few hub cities.
This is good, but it leaves open an alternate path (living in a cheap place, not optimized for being near silicon-valley money or Oxford respectability), that is currently very underexplored.
Mild formatting note: I found the introduction a bit long as well as mostly containing information I already knew.
I’m not sure how to navigate “accessible” vs “avoid wasting people’s time”. But I think you could have replaced the introduction with a couple bullet links, like:
Building off of:
– What to Do With People?
– Can EA copy Teach For America?
– EA is Vetting Constrained
The EA community has plenty of money and people, but is bottlenecked on a way to scalably evaluate new projects. I’d like to start a platform that:
provides feedback on early stage projects
estimates what resources would be necessary to start a given project
further in the project’s life-cycle, evaluating the team and idea fit.
Or, something like that (I happen to like bullet points, but in any case seems like it should be possible to cut the opening few paragraphs into a few lines)
Relevant posts by Zvi Mowshowitz.
Prediction Markets When Do They Work?
Subsidizing Prediction Markets
Very rough reply … the bottleneck is a combination of both of the factors you mention, but the most constrained part of the system is actually something like the time of senior people with domain expertise and good judgement
This makes sense and leads to me to somewhat downgrade my enthusiasm for my “Earn to Learn To Vett” comment (although I suspect it’s still good on the margin)
I think this is basically accurate. As I mentioned in another thread, the issue is that the scaling-up-of-vetting is still generally network constrained.
But, this framing (I like this framing) suggests to me that the thing to do is a somewhat different take on Earning to Give.
I had previously believed that Earning-to-Give people should focus on networking their way into hubs where they can detect early stage organizations, vett them, and fund them. And that this was the main mechanism by which their marginal dollars could be complementary to larger funders.
But, the Vetting-Constrained lens suggests that Earners-to-Give should be doing that even harder, not because of the marginal value of their dollars, but because this could allow them to self-fund their own career capital as a future potential grantmaker.
And moreover, this means that whereas before I’d have said it’s only especially worth it to Earn-to-Give if you make a lot of money, now I’d recommend harder for marginal EAs to join donor lotteries. If a hundred people each put in $10k into 10 different donor lotteries, now you have 10 people with $100k, enough to seed fund an org for a year. And this is valuable because it gives them experience think about whether organizations are good.
There could be some systemization to this to optimize how much experience a person gets and how the org(s) they funded turned out to fare. (Maybe with some prediction markets thrown in)
(Btw, alternate titles for this post were “you have about 5 words”, “you only have 5 words”, and “you have less than seven words.“) :P
Nod. My motivation to write the post came in a brief spurt and I wanted to just get it out without subjecting it to a review process, so I erred on the side of wording it the way I endorsed and letting you take credit if you wanted.