Aragon Flock proposal: Aragon Black

agp

#1

Hi everyone !

Our team - behind pando and now the apiary app - is officially running for Flock!

Check out our PR and give us as much feedback as you’d like. We also plan to organize an AMA soon, so stay tuned :slight_smile:.

Long live Aragon :eagle::eagle::eagle:


#2

Awesome! Very happy to see this application.

I was wondering if you could provide more color on:

  • I01,
    Experimentation. Experiment using pando to host non-sensitive Aragon repositories: documentation, Aragon Monthly, etc.

Even tho it’s listed in the 2019 deliverables, it’s not really clear what the deliverable actually is and how it could be evaluated.

Also, regarding I04, is there anything planned for 2019?


#3

Great to see the Aragon Black proposal!

Here goes my questions… :slight_smile:

I01 - Aragon Development Infrastructure
Pando. Keep on developing and enhancing the pando protocol and all related DAO templates for mainnet launch.

Can you be more specific on some of the possible additional features/enhancements?

I03 Fundraising
Fundraising app. Develop an opinionated but ready-to-use fundraising app - based on the previous library - implementing the Apiary scheme designed by @lkngtn.

The team was recently awarded a Nest grant for Apiary. Can you describe the difference in features as far as what you intend to accomplish in Nest vs. Flock?

I04 - Generics | Aragon Stack
Work closely with all the other Aragon team to allow Aragon apps to handle multiple contracts.

What timeline are you thinking as far as when the team would be able to contribute to this effort? E.g. would a resource be able to help starting Q3?

I05 - Generics | Aragon Community / Ecosystem
On-boarding. Help on-board common-driven organizations [political organizations, artistic organizations, cooperatives, etc.] into the Aragon ecosystem to develop real-world use cases.

As part of this, are you envisioning creating wikis for non-technical people to get started with creating a DAO, how to use Aragon, when to use Aragon, guidance on difference governance models, etc.?

Team

It looks like the team has 4 full-time equivalent non-developers, and 4 full-time developers + 1 part-time developer contractor (Billy). Some questions regarding this:

  • Can you justify why there should be roughly 50% non-devs and 50% devs as an early stage Flock team?
  • Who from the team is going to be responsible for the roadmap and product management?
  • Who from the team is going to be responsible for UX/design?

Reviewing the two demos you have available (Pando / Apiary), it does not seem like there has been attention to detail on the UX design, so I am concerned that this isn’t addressed in the current team composition.


#4

Hi @stefanobernardi,

Here are some precisions.

I01 - Experimentation

The idea is to start using pando in production conditions on non-sensitive repos [like it’s not going to be a catastrophe if an error happens during the code merging process]. Non-code repositories - such as the documentation repo - sound like a perfect match for such an experimentation. What we have in mind is to provide a « compile a static website from pando / publish over IPFS » toolchain to enforce a fully decentralized publishing workflow for Aragon’s documentation. However, we can’t make any detailed promises for now because such an experimentation would, of course, require a consensus from all Aragon teams [and thus does not only depend on us].

I04 - Generics | Aragon Stack

The deliverables related to this initiatives are tricky because they don’t entirely depend on us either. However, we have a pretty clear idea of what would like to achieve.

Monolithic app. Monolithic apps are an important and awaited step in the evolution of the aragonSDK. Autark has already initiated research in this direction and we’d like to coordinate with them starting Q3 2019 to help re-architecturing the sandboxing mechanism. Moreover the way apps are declared, delivered and exposed in the Aragon wrapper is linked to how the aragonPM [package manager] works and how it handles the arapp.json and manifest.json files. Taking responsability of the aragonPM being part of our proposal, re-architecturing it to reflect the new definition of what exactly an app is [by opposition to a simple contract / frontend couple] would be part our tasks.

CLI. We would like to bring the lessons we’ve learned designing the pando CLI - and studying closely the git CLI - to the aragonCLI [and the underlying aragonAPI] though we don’t propose to take full responsability over the CLI [a dedicated team being more suited to that task]. More precisely, we would like to work with the maintainer of this CLI to provide more flexbility and extensibility. Experience has shown that the CLI is a really powerful tool when it comes to deploying custom DAOs with specific needs [such as the Aragon Coop]. We all hope 2019 will be the year when people start using Aragon at a larger scale for real world use-cases with custom needs. Our plan is thus to propose a re-architecturing of the CLI offering the ability to extend it with extra commands provided by third party devs to interact with app, deploy custom DAOKit, etc.


#5

Hey @stellarmagnet

I01 - Aragon Development Infrastructure
Pando. Keep on developing and enhancing the pando protocol and all related DAO templates for mainnet launch.
Can you be more specific on some of the possible additional features/enhancements?

The feedbacks we received after AraCon made us re-orient our short-term roadmap to provide git compatibility [turning pando repos into git remote repos]. Most of the work would thus consist : a. in re-architecturing the contracts logic to fit this new direction [though this should be done by the time this proposal would go to the ballot] and b. enhancing the front-end to turn pando into a credible alternative to GitHub: offering a per-file diff view, etc.

03 Fundraising
Fundraising app. Develop an opinionated but ready-to-use fundraising app - based on the previous library - implementing the Apiary scheme designed by @lkngtn.
The team was recently awarded a Nest grant for Apiary. Can you describe the difference in features as far as what you intend to accomplish in Nest vs. Flock?

Sure. The short term goal would be to end up through Flock what we would have started through Nest. But the Flock timeline would also allow us to provide more features on the medium-term: polish the UX experience as much as possible, provide additional off-the-shelf fundraising patterns [basically ready-to-use curves configurations] and start working on a network wide apiary platform allowing users to discover Aragon DAOs to invest in [based on token-holders correlations and probably ANT staking for signaling].

04 - Generics | Aragon Stack
Work closely with all the other Aragon team to allow Aragon apps to handle multiple contracts.
What timeline are you thinking as far as when the team would be able to contribute to this effort? E.g. would a resource be able to help starting Q3?

Yes :slight_smile:

I05 - Generics | Aragon Community / Ecosystem
On-boarding. Help on-board common-driven organizations [political organizations, artistic >> organizations, cooperatives, etc.] into the Aragon ecosystem to develop real-world use cases.
As part of this, are you envisioning creating wikis for non-technical people to get started with creating a DAO, how to use Aragon, when to use Aragon, guidance on difference governance models, etc.?

Not exactly. What we have in mind is to support already existing and new organizations on their journey into the Aragon ecosystem. We are already in touch with several organizations - some coming from the political landscape, some coming from the artistic landscape, some coming from a more traditional economic landscape, some smalls, some pretty big, etc. - that we help onboard into the Aragon realm. Most of our job for now has been to guide them into the choice of a governance / economic model, study their need and analyze how to meet them in the current state of the Aragon stack / app ecosystem, help them deploy custom DAOs through the CLI, etc.

  • Can you justify why there should be roughly 50% non-devs and 50% devs as an early stage Flock team?

Actually this 50% non-devs / 50% devs repartition was roughly the distribution of the Aragon One team when they spawned this amazing project :wink: More seriously I think we need to make a step forward in the DAO / governance landscape. The foundational technical layers are there. Of course we do need to improve it / extend it. But we also need to start having people actually using it. And using it outside of the very-small crypto-savvy people. That’s the issue the non-dev side of our team intend to tackle.

  • Who from the team is going to be responsible for the roadmap and product management?

I will.

  • Who from the team is going to be responsible for UX/design?

Deam Hansen. We are also looking for a contractor designer [a full time designer would probably not make a lot of sense for now regarding our team size].

  • Reviewing the two demos you have available (Pando / Apiary), it does not seem like there has been attention to detail on the UX design, so I am concerned that this isn’t addressed in the current team composition.

The front-end was actually not part of our initial proposal for the pando grant. In the end, we decided to integrate it [because it made sense at that time] but thus had very limited resources [basically one man for one month]. Hence the result. Regarding the apiary app, it was just a PoC for the sake of the grant so …

But to answer your legitimate concerns, Deam will be helped by Xavier who should join us in May, and has a strong experience both as a fullstack dev and a react dev :slight_smile:


#6
  1. So then would you say that the non-dev team is primarily contributing to I05, and hence this initiative is taking up close to 40-50% of the budget then?

  2. Re: “theorization experimentations” from the proposal

  • What do you mean by theorization experiment?
  • Why you think theorization experiments are one of the best strategies for extending the Aragon ecosystem?
  • How would you measure the success of such experiments?
  1. Can you describe in more detail how the onboarding plans:
  • Approximately how many organizations per month are you targeting to onboard?
  • Beyond personal contacts, blog articles and Twitter, can you describe the outreach strategy to attract more organizations?
  1. What is the partnership strategy? I see Partnerships in Alexandre’s title, but I did not see any mention in the proposal about the types of partners or approach.

  2. Who from the team will be responsible for synthesizing the feedback received during the onboarding processes into product/feature recommendations?


I’m asking these very detailed questions because it seems like a considerable amount of capital is being requested with regards to I05 and I believe it is important to have a more strategic plan proposed.


#7

First a generic answer / precision. While the team distribution is roughly 60% dev / 40% non-dev [two of the non-dev being half-time employees] the payroll distribution is not identical. I won’t disclose everyone’s planned compensation here for privacy concerns but non-devs only account for 20-25% of the overall payroll budget. This is not a statement on the value of non-devs’ work but simply a consequence of the market: skilled web3 devs are expensive.

Regarding I05 we believe this initiative is critical to our mission and commitment to the Aragon project. Our non-devs members are [already] spending a great chunk of their time on-boarding potential DAOs to use Aragon in general as well as specific apps such as Apiary, Pando, the Planning Suite, etc. This work entails lots of different things: describing Aragon’s core features to interested projects, co-designing fundraising bonding-curve, guiding external dev team in their discovery of the aragonSDK, etc. This work goes way beyond the scope of I05 as this constant dialogue acts as a powerful lever of feedback to help us recalibrate, improve and iterate on the other deliverables.

More generally we believe that becoming an Aragon team is not only about development [even though dev tasks will account for most of our work] but also about monitoring and facilitating the evolution of the ecosystem, reflecting upon strategic decisions regarding Aragon’s future, etc. This is a very time-consuming and hands-on process that cannot be entrusted [only] to developers already spending 40 to 50 hours a week implementing apps or core Aragon features.

Thanks for noticing the term, something is lost in the translation from French to English and we will be editing the proposal accordingly. What is meant by this term is a range of theoretical writings by philosophers, economists, sociologists, anthropologists etc… that are willing to translate the vision we share with non-crypto audiences and generate [potentially critical] discourse on the topic of DAOs in terms that are freed from technical jargon and shine a light on often overlooked aspects.

None of our team member cames to the blockchain and DAO landscape for the sake of blockchain and DAOs alone, but because we have a hope these technologies may help turn the world into a better [or less terrible] place [which is also why we feel very aligned with the Aragon Manifesto]. It happens that there is a long history of theories, experimentations, movements, etc. heading in this very same direction outside of the crypto world, but to which, for some reasons, the crypto landscape is mostly hermetic [and vice-versa]. Our goal through this initiative is to establish a dialogue between these two [or more] worlds.

On one side, our past experience writing in the media, being part of activist groups and participating in social movements has been marked by a striking lack of comprehension by a substantial chunk of the public of what blockchain and DAOs can bring to the table. We believe this is a important problem: as evidenced by previous AGP votes and the overall use of DAOs, only a small number of crypto-savvy people are currently using these platforms. To convince the wider world is to depict a vision where DAOs aren’t just the last mutation of capitalism, tax evasion vehicles, or conduits for terrorist activities… This does not mean convincing everyone in one fell swoop but targeting a high brow audience that is typically part of the early adopters so they themselves can mobilise wider masses as the tech matures.

On the other side, we believe such an openness could also benefit the crypto / DAO landscape in their ability to think about their own practice. Except through very orthodox [and limited] economical and game-theoretical frameworks, the crypto-ecosystem has not shown a huge appetite, until now, to think about its own practice and the possible political consequences of its platforms [mostly because most of these platforms are already pretty busy buidling, which is a good thing!]

I think it would be tricky to rely on a narrow metric to quantify the success of this initiative. Click-driven capitalism is [part of] what blockchain technologies are trying to free us from so let’s not use the same KPIs as Facebook :slight_smile: Given the high quality we are aiming with these publications we believe quality should prevail over raw quantitative metrics. Let’s just say, for clarity’s sake, that the current agenda features six publications [one per month] with more to come as we secure funding to support this effort. As an [out-of-scope] example you can read this text a philosopher has been writing for the exhibition of a crypto-based artwork we built a couple of months ago: https://gist.github.com/osarrouy/85022ecaec36a70edc4de26a14ac6c17

As the mainnet of our core deliverable is only slated for Q3 and the Planning Suite and other Aragon milestones are critical in onboarding organizations that will not just open a DAO and play with a few features but truly adopt it as a core tool of their community a KPI metric for end Q3 would be premature. But to give you a rough estimate of where we are going we have already started engaging in dialogue with multiple prospective organizations (20+) interested in using these various Aragon apps within the next year. We are also utilizing the DAOIncubator initiative [as one of the founding members I’d love you to take a look at it you find the bandwidth] to on-board DAO curious communities and organizations. Overall, the strategy is to create/facilitate experiments to 1- generate learning, iterate Aragon’s products 2- create use-cases which can be used to set examples for further adoption.

The reason we have omitted these details is that as the AGP has not yet been voted upon and we are not yet “Aragon Black” it would be wrong for us to annonce or tease partnerships on behalf of the Aragon community. Which does not mean we lack prospects in the pipeline…on the contrary, here a few examples of organizations we are speaking with:

  • Creating the DAL in conjunction with academics, members of Creative Commons and other like-minded organizations

  • Collaborating with legal scholars and organizations in order to turn legal contracts into a signable and hashed version for the purposes of the Decentralized Autonomous Licence and Apiary.

  • Several Layer 1 blockchain protocols willing to use Pando to manage their code base/ governance/improvement proposal process

These are again pre-AGP vote and we expect many more partnerships to come once we have the means to sustain ourselves, travel to partners and conferences and officially bear the Aragon flag. To be precise, although this is Alexandre’s title and responsibility, we are all partaking in this effort as a team.

Personally I will be passing the next 3 weeks on the road in the U.S to attend Radical XChange in Detroit, Computational Law and Blockchain Festival in NY/SF and Code X @ Stanford as an attendee and/or speaker as a representative for Aragon, Pando, Apiary etc… (I will post on the forum our meetups once confirmation and timetable is confirmed).

The process of feedback for product/feature recommendations will take several forms:

-planned feedback sessions in the form of product/vision interviews which I started conducting since ETHCC and will start posting on our internal channels as transcription and editing gets done.

-planned feedback sessions at regular intervals after on-boarding is complete (for example 1 month and 3 months after a project has been on-boarded) to monitor increase or drops in activity levels, potential pain points, bugs and feature requests or observations that arise from using a DAO protocol such as the emergence of new processes, new customs and workflows.

-spontaneous feedback by on-boarded organizations when they are addressed to us in the form on feature/change requests, bug signalling, delightful occurrences or horrific mistakes that could not remain unshared…

I (Daniel) will be the team member responsible for synthesising and distributing these feedbacks to the appropriate channels however I’d point once again to the collective nature of the effort and the fact that feedbacks are collected by any team member within their purview.


#8

It is exciting to see this team apply for full time funding. I have been looking forward to trying Pando once it is ready.

I don’t have any comments on the specific proposal right now except to point out its effect on our runway as I did for the Aragon One Flock proposal. It’s important that, as excited as we may be about a proposal, we be aware and realistic about our capacity to fund it.

In ANV-1 ANT holders approved 6,370,000 DAI worth of expenses (Aragon One + Autark + Aragon Association + Nest + ANSP + Community Funding DAO). If we extend the ANSP budget to the rest of the year then at $8k per week and 1 DAI = 1 USD that brings total current annual expenses to 6,666,000 DAI.
Additionally, 2,525,000 ANT worth of grants were approved by ANT holders in ANV-1.

Adding the Aragon Black proposal to our current budget would bring the total estimated annual spend to 7,566,000 DAI + 3,125,000 ANT per year, a 13% increase in DAI expenses and 23.76% increase in ANT expenses.

What effect would this proposal have on our runway?

I see one 185,000 ANT transaction leave the Aragon multisig since the vote. Assuming this is part of the approved ANT grants, this brings our remaining available balance to 4,671,094.15 ANT (7,011,094.15 currently held in the multisig minus 2,340,000 allocated but not yet transferred).

According to the Transparency Portal we also have 176,299.02 ETH (worth approx. 24,518,371.65 USD), 1,500,000 EUR (worth approx. 1,695,000 USD), 14,500 DCR (worth approx. 288,840 USD), and 1,000,000 DAI (worth approx. 1,000,000 USD) for a total of approx. 27,502,211.65 DAI worth of assets on hand.

Since the vote approx. 520,000 DAI worth of ETH plus 750,000 DAI has been transferred out of the multisig. Assuming this is for the grants approved in ANV-1 that leaves us with 22,402,211.65 DAI worth of non-ANT assets available to allocate to future proposals (27,502,211.65 minus 5,100,000 allocated but not yet transferred).

Taking our remaining available non-ANT assets (22,402,211.65 DAI worth) and dividing this by our annual spend if we include the Aragon Black proposal (7,566,000 DAI worth) would bring our runway to approx. 3 years. If we add in the value of our remaining available ANT minus the 600,000 ANT allocated in the Aragon Black proposal (approx. 1,956,567.78 DAI worth) then that brings our runway to approx. 3.2 years at current ANT, DCR, and ETH prices and assuming enough liquidity to liquidate at current prices.

What conclusion can we draw from this?

In the grand scheme of things, Aragon Black has a noticeable, but not outsized effect on our runway. We go from having about 3.8 years of runway to 3.2 years, a 15% decrease. At 4,000,000 DAI per year, Aragon One still has the greatest effect on our runway. That said, every extra DAI we spend reduces that runway.

Something that ANT holders have to ask themselves when they consider approving this proposal is: will the addition of Aragon Black lead to either enough revenues that we begin to extend our runway before it runs out in 3.2 years OR give us enough traction before our runway runs out in 3.2 years that the price of ANT (and/or ETH, if we’re optimistic) goes up enough to extend our runway?

I have to go over the proposal in more detail to answer this question myself. I encourage others to do the same.


#9

Thank you for your detailed reply, @DanielS. I just want to preface this by saying that I do not doubt the team’s dedication and passion to upholding the Aragon Manifesto and to the ecosystem in general.

My responses below may be very blunt, but I hope you understand that as someone who has been working in product management for 10+ years, I have a lot of thoughts and opinions about priorities and execution. It doesn’t mean that my opinions or insights are right, but this is the context of why I am digging deep and probing.

I am a “non-dev” myself and understand the importance of such work. In fact, one of the reasons I was questioning who from the team would be responsible for product and UX is because I was hoping that it would be from the “non-dev” side, and not one of the four developers.

“monitoring and facilitating the evolution of the ecosystem, reflecting upon strategic decisions regarding Aragon’s future, etc.” is something that I believe is traditionally in the hands of a product manager.

The current issues that I am personally running into is that the original proposal is vague and it’s a bit unclear to me what the “day to day” is like for each of the non-devs.

Since the majority of Aragon Black is non-devs, I think it will important to supply: a bio and general responsibilities per team member (since it’s not very clear based on the titles).

As a Flock team that is potentially requesting $1m/year in operations, I think there needs to be a way to assess whether a philosophical media initiative is a better use of time vs. some other media/writing project (like media to educate more people on what Aragon is, what it’s capable of – so many people in crypto don’t even know – creating how to guides, etc).

This isn’t about KPIs and capitalism, but about being the most effective with the requested capital and understanding the analysis that goes into place for whether/when one would shift priorities in relation to media efforts.

I think onboarding activist communities onto Aragon is needed and necessary, but I have doubts on if philosophical/theorization media is the best strategy, which is why I am asking questions to see if my mind can be changed.

I wasn’t looking for a name of the potential partners, but I was trying to understand the qualities and purpose more, like: we are beginning to research potential partner organizations that have backgrounds in / are experts in [x, y, z] so we can be successful with [initiative A / activists being onboarded / etc]

Some of the partnership details you have disclosed seems to be more focused on publishing, vs. activist communities. I see now the previous DAL proposal and seems that is focused on content-DAOs.

I think that the two user groups have quite different needs [artists/writers vs. political groups].

Do you think artist collectives who publish media can benefit from DAOs more, or political activist communities? I’m asking this because I think catering toward publishing communities is niche; whereas activist communities are more general. For example I think some of the most important features for activist groups will be internationalization and privacy. But these features are also useful for almost any other type of organization – including artists.

I understand that the Pando/Aragon Black team has a particular bias toward publishing/media, but as @anteater mentions, there may only be about 3 more years of runway left, so I think it’s important to be thorough when a strategy may be catered toward a niche market.

Sounds like a great plan. I think this is one of the most important tasks for us all to focus on this year. I have already learned a lot based on just three user interviews I have conducted recently. I’m looking forward to reviewing what you have learned from your recent research and onboarding processes as well.


#10

Thank you for raising the issue of financial sustainability of open-source projects and blockchain networks since it cuts straight to the raison d’etre of this proposal. The criteria you mention are crucial and should apply to any AGP proposal in order for the Aragon project, community, and vision to remain viable for the foreseeable future. I encourage every one of our readers to take the time to fully read the proposal and make up their own minds but I will condense in this reply my own thoughts on this matter.

From an adoption and revenue generating perspective we must ask ourselves: what value does Aragon Black bring to the Aragon ecosystem?

By integrating the Pando protocol and app into the Aragon client we are targeting the most crypto-savvy users in the world: open-source developers. The use cases we will be supporting next are targeted at artists and activists. In other words risk-taking, early-adopter demographics who are enthusiastic and open minded to actually implement new governance mechanisms.

Pando enables the transformation of any object oriented collaboration into an Aragon DAO. This opens up an entirely new way of working collectively (decentralized maintenance by collectively validated pull-requests) and offers a whole range of economic opportunities for the world of software development (assessing the value of each contribution - even the small ones - in the form of tokens issuance and distribution) while ensuring the security of the published code through the use of IPFS. Three phenomena that the web2 addressing system is currently unable to solve and for which there is strong demand.

Considering the fact that each repo equals a DAO, Pando will act as a booster not only for the number of DAOs running on Aragon, but also the spaces where the Aragon Network Jurisdiction can exercise its potential for disputes resolution which directly ties in to the primary utility of ANT: governance.

In other words: larger collaboration surface = increased demand for arbitration.

Among the other deliverables that would support Aragon’s long term financial sustainability and attractiveness objectives:

  • The Apiary fundraising app: enabling any DAO to conduct fundraising operations in a few clicks. There are a few scenarios out there regarding how the Aragon Network could « monetize» this feature. This, of course, should be an Aragon Network wide decision and won’t be integrated in the first version of Apiary whose mainnet launch is expected Q3 2019. But here are some possible scenarios:

a) The Aragon Network could potentially charge a network maintenance fee. A rate of 3% applied on 1 billion dollars raised per annum would generate 30 million dollars which is in excess of the total amount currently in treasury. 1% on 100 million fundraised (where the fee could also be applied on each transaction and not the raised value, thus leading to higher % levied) in a conservative scenario would already cover this team’s currently projected yearly budget.

b) Another (or complementary) strategy would be to encourage ANT staking along these curves to power a network-wide DAO signaling mechanism. ANT being staked would reduce the amount of ANT in circulation and would thus positively impact its price.

  • The Apiary app enables DAICO and Continuous Organizations implementations on Aragon and we believe this represents a huge opportunity to increase the number of users and tokens in Aragon DAOs

  • Curve bonding integration to the Aragon stack would enable the emergence of multiple use cases in the form of Aragon apps: curated marketplaces, news, batched auction decentralized exchanges etc… All of these could bring in fees or require staking ANT, and the treasury itself could generate revenue by providing liquidity for these apps.

  • PandoHub. Pando is being developed as a public and open-source protocol free of any monetization / token concerns. This will never change. Though, we can’t exclude the possibility that at some point, an integrated platform built on top of Aragon and pando, dedicated to open-source collaboration / publishing / sustainability and providing specific features [think of it as the decentralized GitHub of pando providing indexation of contents, tokenized cross-repository reputation, open-source commons funding system, private repos etc.] could be built. It’s way too early to draft (and moreover commit to) any plan regarding the « monetization » of a yet non-existent platform, but the possibility of it relying on an ANT derivative is not excluded. Once again, it’s way too early to commit to anything regarding this eventuality (or even the exact form of a possible PandoHub) but such a path could organically drive the price of ANT and the long term sustainability of the Aragon project as a whole.

  • The Decentralized Autonomous Licence/Contributive Commons Licence whose early draft you can read here:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bWEO8Z8jMPv5GAoJG0M7R3c7b-Yu5qKAWx4tob0Qn1E/edit?ts=5c678ede. It’s a dynamic commons licence that permits reuse of open source content but requires a fee to be paid to the content-DAO only in case of commercial re-use. Any Flock and Nest team could in the future be covered by the terms of this licence and meet its financing needs.

From a cost perspective:

Given the size of the team, we have made sure compensation per headcount to be in line and even slightly less than in the rest of the flock teams. Considering the high number of deliverables and the partnerships pipeline, we will also be requiring a few contractors, mostly focused on UX and design, bonding curves and tokenization of legal contracts. All in all, considering the user-facing features Pando is enabling in the Aragon ecosystem and the cost effective team make-up, Aragon Black AGP has solid prospects for RoI from a financial perspective.

Without brushing aside your concerns I would like to comment on a few details of the runaway calculation. There are 40,000 ETH locked in a CDP in exchange for 1 million DAI : at the time of this post this CDP position has a collateralization ratio of 560% and is alone worth 5,1 million USD or 11.3 times the amount we are requesting in this AGP proposal (net 4,1 million if ethereum price matches the approx 110 usd at the time of opening the CDP).

The subtracted provisioned amount should also add to the runway one year of funding for A1 team+6 months of Autark. With all of these in mind, the impact of this proposal is substantial but not as dramatic as portrayed and represents for the next 6 months 1-2% of Aragon’s budget (450k/28-33M USD equivalent assets).

I’m not superstitious but we could do without a 666 at the beginning over there :smiling_imp:


#11

My final round of feedback…

Re: I01: Pando Protocol
Essentially, from a product perspective, I think it needs to be made clear what the top priority product focus is for the pando protocol, as it will be super hard to deliver a compelling experience in 6-12 months that is optimized for every possible use case. I have identified three potential focus areas:

  • Open source software development incentivization tool
  • Decentralized content management tool (w/ tokenization sometimes)
  • Decentralized task management tool (w/ tokenization sometimes)

I am skeptical about the open source software development focus because I think the longer term deliverable of “PandoHub” / “AragonHub” - the platform to fully replace GitHub – may take a tremendous development effort. To fully migrate will require a robust commenting system, issue management, email notification, code review, and continuous integration tools. Additionally, based on the user research interviews I have conducted or the ones that Aragon One has, I haven’t seen much mention about needing tooling to incentivize open source software development. What you do hear more of is a need for decentralized task management tools.

What I do think is that the pando protocol may be a better if it was focused on the use case of decentralized task management (similar to colony) as the top priority, and then content management as the 2nd priority. This simplifies efforts, as the roadmap for a task management tool is easier to take on than a full on Github replacement.

I gave it more thought and do realize content management is really critical, but it’s not necessarily all about the incentives around it for me. But since Github is also not the best tool for wikis/documentation, the original intention of pando being focused on content is starting to make a lot more sense to me. To accomplish this vision will require developing a robust content management system with a really great user experience. From a product perspective, I think the most lucrative features will be replacing google docs with token based version control – blogging tools can easily emerge out of this codebase as well.

In Pando’s original Nest proposal there was supposed to be an integration with the Projects app. But issue management has not yet been built into Pando, so there is no clear integration point yet since the Projects app is issues-based. In my opinion, I would direct about 1-2 months of FT dev work toward completing an MVP of issue management, the git-based solution, and integration into Projects app. Then:

  1. We release two versions of Projects app on mainnet: the Github version and Pando version
  2. We gauge adoption before focusing any more dev resources on both implementations.
  3. Based on adoption, feedback, and feature requests we can then determine the roadmap for each respective implementation and work in collaboration to execute.

By completing decentralized issue management in pando, you can leverage the Projects app front-end and that also reduces development efforts. This would also require some close coordination among our teams so we can hash out a roadmap that makes the integration seamless.

Re: Apiary/Fundraising
I am probably not alone in thinking that this is one of the most important initiatives. But I think we need to not go “all in” on bonding curves, and also be sure we include other types of fundraising like traditional fixed rate token price for initial sale - then a market oracle to sell additional reserves, dutch auction, subscription/membership based model.

I’d prefer we do community polls from potential early adopters and see which funding method they are looking for, to help inform the post-Nest roadmap.

Re: I05 initiative: media / partnerships
I really like the onboarding processes presented earlier in this thread.

I have added a lot of thoughts about this initiative already on this thread, but to further clarify: I think we need to operate with a more “startup mentality” when it comes to content, media, outreach, and partnership strategies.

For example, if I were to propose a partnership initiative it would be focused on gaining adopters from the crypto ecosystem as I think many organizations may already be “warm” to using Aragon but need a nudge to get them to try it out. Hence the primary prongs I would focus on are: getting Aragon DAO votes integrated into popular wallets; establish relationships with (centralized/decentralized) that have ANT liquidity; and find ways to partner with coinmarketcap and/or etherscan to expose DAO votes.

My content focus would be: education, onboarding, how to guides. Videos and blog posts about the benefits of Aragon, overview of each app and the features, blog posts about upcoming apps (from all ecosystem contributors), case studies.


I have now officially completed my analysis of the Aragon Black proposal. I am looking forward to hearing more what everyone thinks about my feedback. Since I feel like I have already added a lot in this thread and I don’t want to completely dominate the discussion, I am going step back with respect to any additional replies in the near-term. But I will be reading and reviewing any future comments!

I hope to see Aragon Black come to life as a Flock team, and am very interested to discover how strategizing over product rolls out as a DAO.


#12

I think you have raised a key point here, which is that ANT holders should value whether Aragon Black brings the whole project closer to sustainability. But before sustainability, it comes product-market fit.

I think that Apiary will shape to be one of the main components to reach product-market fit for Aragon. Therefore, I would like to see some feasible way for the Aragon Network to profit from that. So if Apiary is delivered and working a few months from now, we would still have a couple years to roll out sustainable funding models.

This is of course keeping in mind the current status quo. Which is that 2 years ago the project conducted a token sale, and would still have money for another 3 years. Other sustainability mechanisms like protocol inflation or subsequent batched sales could be implemented to fundraise as well (maybe we can use Apiary to raise money for the Aragon Network itself? :rofl:).

I have to say that I’m tremendously excited about Aragon Black, given my close experiences meeting the team in multiple occasions, and advising them on Pando when they were Nested.

Also Pando and aragonPM seem like good hedges into different market segments, in case Apiary and other use cases didn’t work out. A question I had: will the whole team work on Apiary first, make sure to deliver it and get people using it, and then focus on Pando and aragonPM more as mid-term deliverables? I think getting Apiary to fly should be the #1 priority to gather traction and users.


#13

Thank you for the extensive feedback. Concerning these three focus areas a bit of background on Aragon Black: we started over 2 years ago as WESPR which was a decentralized content management and collaboration protocol. However as the team started developing the contracts it was clear that such a system required a decentralized VCS and the rest is history :slight_smile:

Regarding the Pando/AragonHub vs GitHub dilemma the feedbacks from AraCon showed potential users were indeed attached to their git tools and extensions. Thus in the last weeks we have developed a git-remote-helper which allows a user to still use their favorite git features and tools while using pando as the remote layer for merging commits and governing the repo. For the 6 months of this proposal the priority on the Pando deliverable is getting to mainnet, optimizing and introducing the lineage tokens system. Any Hub project would come later and only if if is clear there is clear product/market fit.

Whatever happens it’s obvious that won’t be able to « fully » compete with GitHub in the next coming months (we don’t really have the same budget nor the same workforce). Still, we’ve already had lots of feedback from people willing to use pando to host the development of their web3 project in a more web3 way (including important projects and even layer 1 blockchains …). By the way, for those interested, we’ve been invited to present pando at Protocol Labs next community call next monday! Come and join the call!

More generally, I think that pando does not have to compete with GitHub - in terms of features - for people to use it. The advantage we now have with the latest version of pando being based on git - though it comes with some drawbacks - is that people we’ll be able to use both GitHub and pando in parallel and sync their changes between both of their remote repos. This will allow them to keep using GitHub features we can’t compete against for now - issue management, etc. - while still leveraging pando’s features they will never find on GitHub: decentralized governance, PR rewards, censorship resistance, etc. Regarding the decentralized issue system we have already conducted lots of research in the direction of Orbit DB. This is not on our short-term roadmap but will be for sure in 2020.

On the issue of task management through our work talking to potential on-boarded projects we can confirm this is an important feature. Which is why we are so enthusiastic about the work being done on The Planning Suite. Integration can start from github issues before developing a link to the future decentralized issue system.

Once we have a solid Pando implementation content management and collaboration could indeed be a priority in a future proposal (but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves).

Apiary as such has been thought and designed for a long time (especially by @lkngtn) and we’re are following this reference design for now. Actually, Apiary is the #1 priority for the next months and we have already shifted resources towards delivering this (@luis thank you for the kind reply). The architecture that is chosen is general enough so that anyone who wants to implement a funding model can simply code or import a contract (this also opens a future issue about curation where somebody could add flawed sales contracts).
We ourselves have plans to provide new / enhanced funding schemes in the future though this kind of works comes with lots of security and token economics issues and thus needs to be carefully designed, reviewed, etc. Though, one of our top priority once the Apiary app is out is not to provide new curves but to develop a network wide Apiary platform to help people discover and invest in DAOs. We believe such an initiative is key to the long-term sustainability of the Aragon project. Of course community feedback will be critical on this matter once we have a first working prototype.

Agreed with the points about convincing people in the crypto space, this is why we have included a modest travel budget to reach out to the community and get such partnerships running.

To note that Apiary+Pando are also highly requested features from potential on-boarded/partner crypto project and could be used as a “trojan horse” for adoption of Aragon.

Regarding contents we have and will be coordinating with other groups in the ecosystem to help bring these to life.

The areas covered by product and UX would generally fall under the scope of Cem, Cory and Deam. This organization is aligned with how we’ve worked so far: cross-fertilization instead of a single vision (c.f below).

It is important to precise that in line with our political philosophy, we don’t view the act of reducing hierarchies and concentrations of power as eliminating project and product management considerations (which we are familiar with from our past lives) but deciding on these in a more distributed way.

More generally, this is something that we should have explained more in depth, but, as already pointed out, we believe that decentralization and autonomy should not be perpetually postponed to a ought-to-come future, but on the contrary, experimented right now in the very process of engineering this future. Hence our team relies on collective feedbacks and decision making. Day to day operations are, of course, run by each member with respect to their particular focus inside the team but almost all strategic decisions are taken through collective discussions. This method allows us to balance everyone’s bias (too technical, not theoretical, too utopianist, too pragmatist, etc.) to head - we hope! - in the right direction.

That being said we will update the proposal with non-dev bios (and, for equity concerns, with dev-bios too).

In the meantime, here is the general organization and skills division of the team that I hope will prove a better description than the proposal titles:

As already stated in the proposal document and previous replies, two of the early co-founders of Pando have decided to go half-time on Aragon Black, precisely because they are already busy building links between activists and Aragon, and don’t want to be paid full-time on that to give more space to the dev team in this new adventure.
With Billy as a contractor working with us on the Apiary / Fundraising initiative, we should end-up being 4.5 full-time dev vs 4 full-time non-dev. And once again, this distribution does not account for the payroll distribution which is roughly split as 75% dedicated to dev vs. 25% dedicated to non-dev.

To be clear the budget of this initiative represents roughly 5% of our overall budget and only a fraction of the work to be delivered by the team.

95% of the operational budget we request is NOT going be dedicated to this initiative but to technical initiatives [fundraising app, pando, aragonPM, aragonCLI upgrades, etc.] or more general on-boarding tasks.

Regarding the contents of the initiative, we are not claiming that philosophical / economic / etc. writings are the best way to on-board people. To be honest, we don’t even believe that such a best way exists. We are stating that this is one way, amongst others, to reach people outside of the crypto-ecosystem.

Most of us having spent lots of time in political activist groups / movements, and we are quite confident theorization is a “crucial lever” (we will prefer that term to “efficiency”) in our chance to drive crypto-adoption in general and DAO-adoption in particular. We have already conducted inquiries [in Western Europe, at least] regarding the question of using DAOs, and the perception in these social groups towards crypto is terrible: it’s all tied to terrorism, money laundering, tax escaping, neoliberal politics, etc. Now, it happens that people belonging to these social groups [or at least the ones somehow « driving » these groups] are keen to reading theory, philosophy, economics, etc. and can be rationally convinced that crypto has much more to offer if we provide them a way to understand it outside of the game-theory framework.

That being said, it is obvious that a couple of breaches in the theoretical field won’t suddenly convert millions of people to the promises of crypto and DAOs, and that freeing us from the pain to install Metamask, KYCs on exchanges, and paying gas fees each time we wanna do something would be of great help too, though outside of our scope :wink:

But I also believe that we must face the truth: freedom-driven crypto-adoption is going to be a long journey [Facebook-coin adoption will probably be shorter but who cares]. Not only because of our ecosystem’s current [technical] limitations but because freedom-driven crypto-adoption requires a shift in the way we perceive society, economy, politics, etc. Such a shift obviously takes time and can’t be fixed only by technical means. It will take discussions, experimentations, critiques, political struggles, etc…

I understand the concern about allocating budget to this long term effort. But I also think that short-term ROI considerations should not prevent anyone to undertake hard-to-quantify-roi long-term initiatives [otherwise no one will ever undertake it] especially considering that the budget dedicated to this initiative is very low. We all have a long history of political institutions and private companies prioritizing short-term initiatives over long-term initiatives and we can all witness the result of such a strategy is a disaster. We don’t expect that dedicating 5% of our budget to this task will solve this issue or shorten time. But we expect it could be a start: one initiative amongst the thousands it will take to achieve this goal. And we believe Aragon, being one of the few major crypto-project explicitly stating its values and ethics, is the best ecosystem to initiate and support such an initiative.

We moreover share your concern over a lack of documentation and on-boarding material and a push to increase the number of these items would prove a powerful booster for adoption, especially towards crypto-curious but non technical people. This happens to cross-over perfectly with our onboarding objectives. Of course this will require extensive cooperation with all Aragon teams (for example the client team for an interactive tutorial) but especially regarding technical documentation where each team is best able to write on the subject matter they deal with on a daily basis.

We are looking for any group, association, company or political movement where the Aragon Stack can be used to solve problems they face in the traditional world. The objective is to hit wherever there may be interest for Aragon. For example, we will constantly invite foreign developers to the crypto-sphere to use Pando for collaborative development, which obviously involves a broad scope of work of informational monitoring, targeting, publishing guides and so on. We also want to help publishing houses we know to use Aragon to decentralize the process of selecting works by involving their readers in this process. We are also in touch with people willing to co-define standards and norms on top of Aragon / pando. We plan to help people in using Apiary to present their ideas to the community and potentially find a way to fund their projects.

This is a long-term task but it’s a necessary step if we want to see Aragon gain recognition and usage. Part of the roles of the non-devs of AragonBlack is therefore to be open to the problems and political or economical desires of others and to accompany them in understanding and using Aragon Stack. Some of these experiments will fail, but others may take root and thus set an example for others without us having to be there. In this field there is therefore no ready-made method but we well know that the transmission of informations and knowledges is an important step in the creation of network effects.

Our targeting of artists and activists is a result of both who we are and where we come from, but also is an adoption strategy: as stated in the above post, artists and activists are some of the most risk-taking, early-adopter demographics out there.

Regarding the DAL and content-DAOs there are a few things.

The focus on “content-DAOs” should not be taken as an indication this concerns a niche as we do not use the term in the limited sense of “publishing-media” but to design any kind of activity (or open source repo) which can fit into the collectively-produced-content framework. This entails publishing of course [in a large sense: documentation, news, etc.] but also software, music, video games, patents, etc. which are far from being niche-markets [especially aggregated].

This reasoning is a strategic long term choice on our part given certain facts describing the world we live in: 45% of U.S GDP and 80% of the balance sheets of multinationals is today in intangible assets!

The crucial question of our times is how to self-govern and extend to a larger group of stakeholders the value produced by such intangibles.

With algorithmic governance and A.I on the rise this is mission-critical for humanity. So DAOs should not aim to just host tokenized “real assets” but actually bring value in protecting and sustaining goods that today fall under the notion of “intellectual property”.

As you may have read the Nest proposal you mention, DAL and content-DAOs do not only address content as such. They work as a legal strategy to provide an isomorphism between DAOs and nation-state jurisdictions through the mean of Intellectual Property instead of corporation laws. The idea behind this initiative is that it would allow a lot of DAOs to circumvent the quite cumbersome organization-related right in favor of the much more straightforward Intellectual property right.

Secondly, it would drastically lower the barrier for new entrants in the crypto-space by providing them a set of standard, human-readable and easy to use - though highly parametrable - licensing / governance scheme. Thirdly, the use of such a standardized license / governance framework would radically ease the interoperability - and thus the possibility of much more complex cross-interactions - between DAOs.

Finally, it would allow DAOs and content-creators to immediately profit from nation-states’ legal framework. Also note that this DAL initiative is still a work in progress which is in the hand of the non-dev team for the moment. It require a lot of discussion with lawyers and the ecosystem to see what suit best for our needs and to see what is feasible or not.

That is great! I have also found these to be super useful and the pain points for adoption show up quite fast. Looking forward to reading your research.


#14

This is great to know! I truly believe Apiary will be the next big thing in crypto.

Also, I had a question about DAO Incubator. For those that don’t know, it’s an initiative in which part of this team is involved too. Do you intend to use the exposure you will have to early DAOs as a way to collect feedback and direct users towards Aragon? I think it could be helpful, but just wanted to make it clear so community members know what’s the upside, and they don’t think you are just working part-time on many things.


#15

BTW your organizational chart with the amount of focus each person will dedicate to each activity is :ok_hand::ok_hand:


#16

Thanks for mentioning DAO Incubator! <3

For those that are curious about the initiative you can check out this introductory article and join our channel via the following links:

Tl;dr: The main goal of DAOincubator is to generate experiments / empirical learning in the form of self-governance implementations.

The starting point for this initiative was to create a flexible organization analogous to a laboratory / DoTank, positioned at the focal point of the DAO ecosystem.

This means: interactions with proposals, coordination of ecosystem resources, leading and assisting research initiatives etc…

This website was a very first iteration and a fresher look with additional information is coming up sooner than later!

As you have noted Cem and myself are only human and have limited time, so what’s our plan? Well since publishing our introductory article the DAO Incubator membership has gone through the roof and we are phasing the organization and administration to other members of the DAO to be able to focus the greatest part of our time to:

  1. Aragon Black (strategy, research, community and communication cf. the org chart)
  2. Advising incubatees DAOs that wish to use Aragon, Apiary, Pando, TPS etc…
  3. On-boarding
  4. Iterating with user feedback
  5. Creating templates for recurring use-cases

Yes!

Upon completion of the self-incubation process, DAOincubator will be well-positioned to be a source of learning, a channel of feedback and user research and a powerful use case development channel for Aragon.

We are already reviewing and advising multiple projects which will appear in Aragon’s pipeline soon. Therefore creating a direct communication channel with the business development roles in Aragon can highly contribute to the efficiency of this process.
We have already had productive conversations with Maria and Paty in that direction and we will be able to provide a PoC for this collaboration very soon. In iterating the product, guiding/advising the implementation and in cases where it makes sense, helping bootstrap initiatives, Aragon’s help will be instrumental.


#17

Thanks! I think this makes a lot of sense.

Also, I was thinking about the needs of the project in general during the upcoming year. We are obviously short on dev resources, but I think we are even shorter on user onboarding and ecosystem development. We have built an amazing technology stack, but we could do way better in terms of awareness and mindshare. And, in general, onboarding actual users that couldn’t live without the product.

So basically I think the team split makes sense.