My initial thoughts…
WRT Fundraising + DAOJones
I think the emphasis on Fundraising in the short term is incredibly important.
Being able to get capital into DAOs in a straightforward AND importantly accountable way is a really critical piece of the puzzle that is lacking in all of the existing Aragon templates available today. The launch of fundraising on mainnet will make it much easier to bootstrap DAOs, I’m personally planning on launching at least one shortly after it launches.
I also think that the creation of a discovery platform is essential and is imo core to the “fundraising” experience. I would even go so far as to say that even after fundraising is released on mainnet we should not communicate that as the Launch of fundraising until we launch the discovery platform. (Also quite happy to see that daojones as fun as it is, is only a placeholder name).
I’m not sure it makes sense for this to be a decentralized site from day one, I think that it would be sufficient and more likely to provide a good UX if the architecture was centralized but easy for people to host their own instance. I would tend to prefer this route, and perhaps there would be opportunity to collaborate and improve upon the Apiary codebase.
I also think that curation could be done using a basic tagging system operated by a DAO or leverage the Aragon Court for curation. I would generally prefer this initiative to leverage and integrate existing work in the aragon ecosystem than come up with something completely novel.
WRT Aragon Stack
I think that aragonJS “lite” is incredibly high leverage initiative. There are many cases where the best UX for interacting with a DAO is not within the context of the client, and I think this can help address that and make the Aragon Stack much more accessible to developers, and also enable teams and projects to have more control over the full user experience. I highly support this effort, but also want to better understand the timeline for when this effort would begin, how it would be managed, and how it can be coordinated with aragonJS and the rest of the stack?
WRT Build up Aragon’s Development Infrastructure
I’m highly aligned with this vision and have been a vocal supporter of pando for a long time, however, I think that it may not be the highest leverage thing to be working on right now.
I think that open source communities may be some of the earliest and broadest adopters of DAOs and it makes sense for them to eventually also do their code collaboration in a secure and decentralized environment, but I think we need to address scalability and ux challenges before it becomes broadly compelling to average users that don’t already care about blockchain.
If we want to focus on open source communities, I think it may make sense to try and plug DAOs into existing tools like GitHub as an initial step, providing communities with better tools to reward contributors and maintainers and also tie into things like fundraising to improve their ability to attract patrons.
Open Source Sustainability is a really important problem, and one of the hardest parts is actually governance… as soon as you put money on the table the collaborative / volunteerism that drives many open source communities can actually be disrupted or evaporate entirely. People that felt good about contributing voluntarily, may feel like their contributions are being marginalized because donations and even grants are not sufficient to pay market rates that they could earn in private industry.
Then once they have been onboarded to web3 and are using a DAO anyways, making the additional leap to a more secure and more decentralized code collaboration platform should be easier.
This section feels a bit difficult to follow for me as there seem to be two disparate threads…
One is related to legal integration, which is interesting in and of itself and possible should be broken out into its own section. I think the DAOs as IP angle is interesting (though I’m not a lawyer and don’t really have a full grasp on how practical it would be, or what the properties or expectations of participants would be under such an arrangement) but it seems like it could provide an interesting legal structure for DAOs that are focused specifically on producing ip (software, books, and other forms of content).
I also think integration with OpenLaw could be broadly useful for those interested in pursuing legally linked organizations. Have you spoken to Ross and the OpenESQ guys about this initiative? Are you planning to work or contract with them here?
The other on-boarding efforts seem more focused on user education and supporting user with DAO ideation and creation, which I think is valuable (atleast right now). I think long term we need to get users to the point where they are self-serve, or we need these services to become independent sources of revenue for teams. Do you guys have thoughts on the future/direction of on-boarding efforts? Alternatively, do you have thoughts on how we can measure impact of these efforts as drivers of adoption?
WRT Black Blog
I threw a bit of shade at the Black Blog earlier this week because when I originally reviewed the proposal it seemed like it was 15% of Team Effort, its now listed at 4.5%.
I haven’t gotten confirmation on why the effort has changed, but my guess is that since part of the focus of the Black Blog is on creating user onboarding content and publishing it, some of that effort has be shifted there, which makes sense. So my initial concerns related to the scope of the effort relative to things like fundraising have largely been addressed by the AB team .
While I’m not completely sold on the blog, I do think it has merits and potentially can help Aragon connect with an audience that would never engage with other blog properties that exist in the ecosystem. One of the advantages of having different teams working on Aragon is that each can cultivate its own identity and build a relationship with external communities in a way that the project as a whole may not be able to.
Based on the proposals 1.3M is allocated for payroll, for a team of 8 (current) and planned growth to 11. That works out to 118k to 162k depending on team growth per person, not accounting for different roles, experience, time commitment or location this seems relatively high. In addition, there is also 200k in planned expenses and 800k ANT has been included in this proposal, which would vest over 4 years, but which replaces the ANT grant request from the initial flock proposal.
I know the ANT grant was adjusted based on a conversation about standardization of ANT grant packages for flock teams. As far as the payroll is concerned I’m curious how these numbers compare to other flock teams, and to the overall market, what process was used to determine them, and how that process compares to other flock teams and general best practices? Would be great to have other Flock team members who are responsible for compensation also chime in here as well.
Also I noticed that there is also no designer on the team and no open positions for one. Is this going to be a problem? Is 80K sufficient budget for both legal and design contractors, especially given the initiatives proposed?
WRT Team Composition
Aragon Black Team currently lists 9 people, 4 of which are technical roles and 5 which are not. One of the Technical roles is a contractor (billy), who I’m assuming is not part of the 8 members of the team listed in the proposal. The additional hires will be technical roles as well, so when the team reaches 11 people it would be 7 technical to 4 non-technical roles.
I think that for the given proposal the team composition is okay (i’m a bit concerned that there is no designer on the team), I think if we were to just look at and possibly focus the proposal on the highest priority items (imo fundraising and aragonjs lite), it would be more optimal to have a higher ratio of technical members than there exists today. But I think if the team grows to 11 members the ratio will be better, and as it stands I think the less-technical initiatives at least have the potential to pay off.
I’m supportive of this proposal, despite being generally very much of the opinion that monolithic year long proposals are bad for Aragon and bad for flock teams (because it makes approval binary and increases the risk and stress if a proposal were to not be approved). That being said, the flock program thus far has adopted this strategy and I think teams have been encouraged to follow the pattern set by other flock teams so far and I don’t think it makes sense to fault this proposal specifically for adopting those same norms.
I also want to highlight a bit of history that I think can help provide some context and tie this whole proposal together, before Aragon Black (and before Pando was Pando) there was Wespr.
The goal of wespr is to offer a distributed cooperation, distribution and valuation infrastructure to Commons Creative Contents (CCC)/i.e./ any kind of content produced through an open process such as - but not restricted to: Open Source Software, Books licensed under Creative Commons, Music licensed under Creative Commons, etc. wespr thus intends to be the cultural infrastructure of the distributed web. To do so we plan to provide: a. a distributed cooperation and versioning infrastructure; b. a distributed governance infrastructure; c. a distributed publishing infrastructure; d. a distributed valuation network.
The Wespr/Pando/Black team has been working towards this vision for a while, and I think must have had to struggle with the fact that underlying infrastructure wasn’t ready and needed to be built, so they started building. The core components that were originally proposed by the team are taking shape within Aragon and should be approaching launch in one form or another.
My hope is that as some of these components start to mature a bit more and become accessible to users outside the blockchain bubble the Aragon Black team can bring this original vision back into focus, and when they do and they start to engage with potential users with a very specific use case related to content and publishing the team will really shine.