Organizations can get incomes via Contracts, budgets, or products

It’s a spectrum of how discrete the pieces of funding are:

Contracts have more or less fuzzy deliverables. You need to do some sort of sales to get a contract. Contracts have more or less fuzzy deliverables. Grants are a form of contract funding with fuzzy deliverables.

Products are something where you build the thing and then people pay you for them. In a way, prizes are a form of ‘product funding.’

The line between contract and product is not always well-delineated.

Budgets you just get money from someone else that you’re in a relationship with. Everything is implicit. Budgets for organizations are analogous to salaries for people. Budgets are fragile - if you have a budget you have a steady source of income … until you don’t. Organizations with budgets can be defunded at any time. They generally don’t have any buffer.

At the end of the day the knobs that get turned are

  • Direction setting
    • In a contract system the funder sets the direction
    • In a product system the fundee sets the direction
    • In a budget system the fundee sets the direction
  • Tightness around deliverables
    • In a contract system the agreement is tight
    • In a product system the agreement is loose
    • In a budget system the agreement is tight
  • Explicitness of the agreement
    • In a contract system the agreement is explicit
    • In a product system the agreement is explicit
    • In a budget system the agreement is implicit

All the possibilities

  • Funder direction + tight deliverables + explicit agreement Contract
  • Funder direction + loose deliverables + explicit agreement Bad contract?
  • Funder direction + tight deliverables + implicit agreement Prize?
  • Funder direction + loose deliverables + implicit agreement Grant call
  • Fundee direction + tight deliverables + explicit agreement ??
  • Fundee direction + loose deliverables + explicit agreement Product
  • Fundee direction + tight deliverables + implicit agreement ??
  • Fundee direction + loose deliverables + implicit agreement Career Grant

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