I have a few questions for the Aragon One team (specifically @luis and anyone else who can / wants to answer) after reading through the proposal:
What KPIs will you use to determine success for each of the initiatives and projects that Aragon One will be dedicating resources to? I assume for I01-I08 the outcomes are binary: you either complete the deliverables by the end of 2019 or you don’t. But what about “increase awareness of Aragon” or “increase developer mindshare”? Do you have KPIs in mind to measure progress towards these objectives? And what if you don’t complete the deliverables on time? Is there a penalty of any sort?
The proposal says you plan to expand the team to 25 in 2019, hiring mostly additional software engineer/developer roles. How do you see this squaring with the goal of “decentralizing development”? By that I mean, if Aragon One has 25 employees, how many more full time teams can the project financially afford to support, and how large can each of those teams be? It seems to me that, perhaps unintentionally, Aragon One’s large team could crowd out other potential Flock teams.
A more general comment about the Flock process, at least at this point in time: it feels right now like a bit of an “all or nothing” system. If we reject funding for Aragon One, the project will more or less die. So maybe the Aragon DAC will put forward a Flock proposal too, ok two teams to choose from is better than one. But I haven’t seen much work output from the Aragon DAC, and they don’t even have a proposal published yet to consider. So I don’t feel like there’s much of a choice: if I want the Aragon project to continue, I have to vote to approve the Aragon One proposal. But 4 million DAI is a lot of money! Related to the last point, what if I prefer to spread that money around the ecosystem more? To keep the Aragon One team size where it is now (or even shrink it - no offense to anyone on the team) and use some of that 4m DAI to fund more teams? Is that even an option at this point?
Thank you for the opportunity to comment. Overall I think this is an interesting system compared to the completely centralized, “take it or leave it” type of governance that some projects in the space have.
One way to look at work output is to check out the #check-in channel in Aragon Chat to see what the DAC team members have been up to. You can find a list of them in their recently published proposal (which answers the second half of your critique).
The DAC will definitely be submitting a proposal. We are still finalizing the scope and the numbers. @anteater You are more than welcome to review our current version:
Feel free to comment directly into the document.
Warning! Its a very paragraph-y It is being trimmed down into a skimmable document once we get feedback from the Association and the Greater community. It will be all bullet points when it hits github (with a link to this doc).
Also, I know there are other teams that have drafts, I think everyone is putting together the best proposal they can and will submit them in 2 days.
Exactly, dev initiatives are very easy to measure compared to more abstract ones like awareness or mindshare. In terms of KPIs for those two, I think they are very subjective too, but I do have some on my mind. For awareness: minutes read on the Aragon blog, watch count on the Fight for Freedom video. For dev minshare: aragonCLI installs, minutes read on the Aragon Developer portal, conversations on #dev-help. The Flock program leaves all the rating power to the Aragon Association for now, so it is up to the AA to decide what metrics to use, those were just a few ideas. Teams don’t incur in financial penalties if they don’t deliver, they will just be cut funding. What the AA could do is either revoke the ANT vesting if things are not working out, or make it last longer (which means revoking it my making it infinitely longer).
The idea for Aragon One is to cap the team at 25-30 people, with the intention of stopping the growth of the team and decentralizing development. Of course the capacity that the project would have to fund more full-time members depends on the market as well, so this will be up to the Association and the ANT holders to decide. I hope Aragon One doesn’t crowd out other Flock teams, since we want to remain small and are doing so on purpose in order to not crowd them out.
Right now I’d say this is a potential issue with all AGPs – their outcome is binary. However, in Flock, there are two stages where proposals are WIP and subject to discussion, so the community can voice their opinions. If they are meaningful, I expect that teams would incorporate that feedback into their own proposal. On funding more teams: I’d love if both are compatible, expanding Aragon One and funding another Flock team. Shrinking Aragon One would hurt the whole ecosystem right now (the team is reaching its productivity plateau, so not a good moment to shrink). On the other hand, looking at the project’s treasury, providing seed funding (instead of series A, which is more of Aragon One’s stage) to a couple teams wouldn’t pose a threat.
Thank you for going through my questions @luis I understand the process better now.
I still think that 25-30 people is a lot for this stage. “Series A” funding as you refer to it is generally reserved for growth-stage companies, while it seems more like Aragon One (and the Aragon project as a whole) is still searching for “product-market fit”, to use the startup term. Therefore the funding at this stage should be seen as a “bridge round” to extend runway long enough to attempt to find product-market fit before ramping up to growth-stage funding and activities.
Given the current assets the project has and the budget, 6 million DAI per year (Aragon One + Aragon DAC + Aragon Association + Nest) gives five years of runway if prices don’t change. That’s probably long enough to find out whether there’s a market for the product (and find product-market fit if there is) but doesn’t leave much room for growth of any of the Flock teams or adding new Flock teams.
I know there’s a tension between growing the team to try and cover more ground and get to product-market fit faster, while being mindful of runway. This tension seems to be compounded by the desire to fund more teams, and I’m afraid the Aragon project can’t “have it all” at this stage given the state of the crypto market and current sizes of the teams. Just my feedback on your proposal, I will probably vote yes to approve it but I hope you keep these concerns in mind.
@GriffGreen thank you for sharing your proposal I have taken a look and am excited to see the team hitting its stride. I will also probably vote yes for your proposal. As per my comment above, I just hope we can keep costs under control across the board so the teams have as long as possible to find the holy grail of product-market fit and reach the point of financial sustainability before running out of crowdsale money.
I completely agree on not getting crazy growing teams and hiring new ones. There is a balance that needs to be kept. Aragon One’s commitment is to stay small and focused, and we will try as hard as we can to be very capital efficient.
I do think there is a gem in this discussion, that may be interesting to go down and explore in the future.
The current A1 Flock proposal is based on what the team aspires to grow towards, not where it is currently. In that regards, it requires voters to be optimistic about their track record, and how well they can maintain it.
It could be interesting to have Flock proposals be voted on by a range vote from 0 to 100% on the amount of money they asked for (but likely only with bucketed granularity like 0-25%, 25-50%, 50-75%, 75-100%), or give several funding options (like absolute minimum funding, normal funding, stretch funding) that the community could vote towards (in a survey-type vote).
It would mean Flock proposals would likely need their own separate Voting app instance, and a meta track proposal could be created for this in the future.