BD Learning Experiment - Laying the foundation for the future BD Guild

Proposal Summary:

The core mission of this proposal is to conduct a business development-focused learning experiment with the goal of helping the Aragon network accelerate growth. The users we are looking to interview and assist are some of the 184 existing inbound leads that reached out in Q4 2021, as well as the net new inbound leads that reach out to Aragon in Q1 2022.

The output of this learning experiment will be a report of the qualitative and quantitative data gathered during 15-30 minute meetings with potential users trying to create a DAO using the Aragon stack. Our hypothesis is that this experiment will help Aragon better understand, qualify, and onboard high-value DAOs in the future.

The output of this experiment will help us:

  1. Determine the need, role, and possible impact of an Aragon BD Guild
  2. Improve the conversions from inbound lead → onboarded DAO
  3. Identify ideal users and potential reference implementations for future products

Proposal Description:

There is an inbound interest of ~200 requests submitted by potential Aragon users and/or community members through two Typeforms on the Aragon website. Those fall in roughly 3 buckets:

  • Interested to create a DAO
  • Curious about DAOs
  • Misc - offering services, partnerships, “partnerships” (listing intermediaries, cross-promotion), general spam

AA currently does not have the bandwidth to engage those “leads”

Objectives:

  • Categorize requests to rework the Typeform for pre-qualification
  • Understand timeline requirements of prospective DAOs
    • If immediate direct to Aragon Client and/or Tech Support Guild
    • If they can wait, direct them to the future product early access Typeform
  • Identify potential reference implementations for future products
  • Qualify and introduce partnership-related and high-value leads to AA
  • Track and share:
    • Metrics - categorize types of organizations reaching out, # inbound leads → % to onboarded DAO → # of users added to the network, manage pipeline
    • Findings - share insights/user feedback from meetings with inbound leads

Requested Resources:

We’re requesting $15,000 USD from the ESD (50:50) to fund this effort from January 17th through March 31st.

In addition to the financial resources stated above, we’re also requesting limited access to key AA members within the Product and Growth & Ecosystem teams. The more aligned we are with the strategic objectives of the AA through 2022 and beyond, the more value we’ll be able to deliver and collectively extract from this learning experiment.

Proposal Rationale:

In Q4 2021, Aragon received inbound interest from 184 potential users. The AA currently doesn’t have the bandwidth to engage those leads, which means that we are:

  1. Losing potential DAOs/users that need a little hand-holding as they launch their first DAO
  2. Failing to capture feedback that could help us improve our DAO onboarding experience
  3. Failing to capture feedback that could help us better understand the needs and challenges of first-time DAO creators

In short, we are sitting on a treasure trove of valuable user insights that we currently are not collecting or organizing. Systematically capturing, categorizing, and sharing these insights could help us build better product experiences, create content relevant to the needs of our users, and ultimately deploy strategies that will accelerate the growth of the network.

Limitations and risks:

Lack of responsiveness - Depending on volume, which is hard to predict, responses might take longer than we would hope. We can mitigate this risk by recruiting and incentivizing help from the broader community if needed.

Infrastructure - Part of this experiment is managing the inbound leads pipeline. Other web3 projects that have experimented with using a web2 CRM as their “DAO-Relationship-Management” tool have failed (e.g. BanklessDAO BD Guild). This shouldn’t be an issue for us for this initial learning experiment… but it is worth noting that whatever tool/system we use to track this data will not scale.

Duration, deliverable/s, and expected outcomes:

  • Duration: January 17th - March 31st (2.5 months)
    • ESD can cancel the experiment at any point if the expected value isn’t being delivered.
  • Expected Outcomes/Deliverables: Bi-Weekly BD Pipeline Calls, Monthly Progress Reports on Aragon Forum, BD Q1 2022 Learnings Report, Grow # of DAOs/Users on Network
  • Potential Future: **Upon successful completion, we’ll lean on the findings from this experiment to design and launch the first iteration of the Aragon BD Guild. Ideally, this guild would report into and receive funding directly from the AN DAO.

Team Information

Mateo Abondano / Teo Vibras#1702 - Steward
Ivan Fortunov - AA Sponsor

Additional community members that have expressed interest in contributing in the future with BD efforts:

Spectra CV#6148
anson parker#4296
shawnzywonzie#4546

Strategic Alignment

This initiative has been aligned with members of the Product and Growth & Ecosystem teams. Notably, it aligns with the objectives of AA to better understand the DAO creator journey to identify opportunities for in-demand products and services as well as improve its onboarding experience.

This initiative is covering tasks and functions the AA does not have the internal resources to pursue, while as mentioned above being well aligned.

Funding Information

The ESD will make direct transfers to this proposals steward in the following cadence and under the following conditions:

  • $5,000 USD (50:50) paid out February 15th~
  • $5,000 USD (50:50) paid out March 15th~
  • $5,000 USD (50:50) paid our upon delivery of Q1 BD Learning Report
9 Likes

Thank you @Teo!
A few points:

  • As I am the AA patron of this proposal I will abstain from voting (although in an optimistic governance framework, this doesn’t really make a difference I guess)
  • For the clarity of other ESD members “direct to Aragon Client and/or Tech Support Guild” means that those leads will be actively supported to become users of the Aragon stack, it’s not a “go there and speak with those people” situation
  • “Findings - share insights/user feedback from meetings with inbound leads” - once the proposal is approved the Growth and Product teams of AA will coordinate with Teo the exact insights that will be extracted and consequently included in the final report. However the specifics are not critical for the ESD to make a decision

Leaving it to @lee0007 and @daniel-ospina to weigh in on the proposal

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Thank you @Teo & @fartunov for an excellent proposal with a clear focus, objectives and identified deliverables. This proposal has my 100% support.

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Overall, the proposal seems well structured and delivers good value.

One clarifying question:

  • how will the funds be used? I’m not requesting a penny by penny breakdown but from reading the proposal, I can’t say whether the funds are used to reward AA members or community members, interviewee gifts, etc.

And a request:
Given the limited bandwidth of the ESD, it would be appreciated if the proposal included a reporting deliverable to the community (ideally a short progress report 5 days before the next tranch of funding). As otherwise, the ESD would bear the full cost of tracking and auditing the initiative.

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Great points to bring up, Daniel.

How will the funds be used?
The funds requested above will be used to compensate this proposal’s steward/community-lead (aka. me / Teo).

In the beginning, I had in mind adding bounties for other community members and perhaps even interviewees… but the consensus we landed on was leaning on Galls Law as much as possible for this initial learning experiment as it would reduce operational overhead significantly for me and the ESD.

Can this proposal include a reporting deliverable to the community to reduce ESD tracking and auditing overhead?
The ongoing reporting deliverable that’s built into the proposal is the Bi-Weekly BD Pipeline calls. The exact structure and agenda is still TBD (planning on defining this alongside AA Growth and Product once/if this proposal is approved), but what I have in mind is having that call be a mix of metrics and insights (how many inbound leads reached out by category, how many we talked to, common themes/challenges, etc.). Essentially it’s a bi-weekly update on the progress we’ve made.

…

So, a question for you. Would the bi-weekly call suffice as the ongoing reporting deliverable to the AA + community or would you like to see some sort of monthly executive summary/one-pager recapping each month’s progress added to the proposal as well?

We’re aligned on the importance of having a frequent reporting deliverable to the community. Happy to follow your guidance and add a short monthly “progress report” to the proposal if you think the bi-weekly calls will not be enough :slight_smile:

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Good call @daniel-ospina A monthly summary here in this forum post as a new comment would work for me @Teo and would also serve as a consolidated public record of the project from proposal to completion.

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Thanks for the clear proposal and looking forward to seeing this progress

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Hello Team. I just updated the proposal above and added monthly progress reports under expected outcomes/deliverables.

@lee0007 & @daniel-ospina - Does this update mean that this proposal is officially approved by the ESD given that @fartunov is abstaining from voting?

Let me know. Happy to collaborate on any other edits that the community feels could improve this proposal.

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Yes, it has my approval.

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Love it!

@Teo
I may have missed the last Bi-Weekly BD Pipeline Call. Where is this being scheduled?

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Hey Team. Apologize for the delay in getting this post out - had to focus completely on the web2 gig last week.

Recap of progress to date:

Of course, this is ultimately up to the community to determine… but I think January was a productive month for this BD learning experiment. Here’s the good, the bad, and the opportunities for improving in month 2.

The Good – In January we met with 15~ teams trying to launch a DAO on Aragon and had great discussions. About 5~ of those signed up for the upcoming product beta, 5~ we’re still in active discussions helping them make progress towards launching their DAO, and the other 5~ ended up moving forward with another tooling provider. (This is good because at least we are tracking this and know why - more on that in the last section below)

  1. Prospects deeply appreciate being able to talk to a human as they are building out their DAO creation strategy. Here’s a quote from a lead: "As personal or public feedback, I think it’s fair to say that without a human in the loop the infinite menu of possibilities to set up new organizations is impermissibly complex to navigate for someone new in the space. Especially if Aragon wants to attract new use cases outside of crypto, from cause areas to academic institutions, having a competent human advisor lowers the barrier to entry by a lot. For us, it made the difference from putting it off, to trying it now. "
  2. Challenges around legal structuring, over-engineering the initial “features” needed to launch, and a lack of understanding of community building (and the role that community can play) were the biggest themes.
  3. Set a foundation for a great working relationship with many internal ecosystem stakeholders <3

The Bad – Lack of bandwidth and subject-matter-expertise resources in order to best support the unique needs of each project.

  1. Lack of bandwidth - This wasn’t a particular issue until last week, when due to my full-time job I wasn’t able to respond to leads and schedule calls in a timely manner. Some leads shared their frustration in Discord related to not being able to have someone from Aragon to talk to as they were trying to evaluate our tooling.
  2. Lack of subject-matter-expertise - Leads reach out to us because they need our help. Typically those challenges are something along the lines of: “How are other DAOs solving the “legal” problem? Can Aragon tooling support “X” functionality (technical validation)? How did “Y” Aragon customer do “Z”?”

So, for technical validation, we are lucky to have @brent and the tech guild to lean on… but as it relates to challenges that are not tech-related, we don’t have existing partners, enablement resources, or a system built in order to help prospects. I know everyone here agrees that there is a lot more we can be doing in order to enable DAO creators.

Opportunities for improvement –

  1. I had communicated to Ivan that my bandwidth was going to be constrained last week, but I failed to communicate that to the community as a whole. That led to frustration across the board when I wasn’t as responsive as I could have been.

The big takeaway here for me is that I need to communicate with the community about this in the future, not just 1 person. In retrospect, it’s clear that the frustration of prospects could have been avoided if I leaned more on the community to step in on my behalf for the days that I wasn’t going to be able to respond to leads.

  1. It would be great if we invested in building out case studies for some of our existing reference implementations. How did they structure legal? How did they think about the role of community? How did they figure out the features needed to launch (DAO MVP)? How are they progressively decentralizing more functions/workstreams and moving more data points on-chain over time? etc.

DAO’s are still nascent… and social proof seems to be extremely important for new creators.

…

Last comments:

Back to the comment up top related to why we “lost” some “deals”.

  1. Projects got some type of funding/grant and therefore decided to build their DAO on that ecosystem’s tooling providers (NEAR, Solana, etc).
  2. InvestmentDAO’s that decided to go with Syndicate because they make the process of launching easier.

Now, ultimately we may not care too much about winning in the investmentDAO vertical (that’s up to the community to decide), but the lesson here is that projects will choose to go with the tooling that they are incentivized to use or the tooling that makes it easiest to launch.

What use-case/vertical do we want to own? How can we make it as easy as possible for those types of DAOs to launch on our tooling?

…

@lee0007 @fartunov @daniel-ospina - not sure if the write-up above is aligned with what you all had in mind regarding monthly updates. Let me know if I can expand on anything!

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This is excellent @Teo imo you’re already delivering beyond what I hoped for with this project. Your proactive leadership and all these shared learnings underscore the immense value of community contributors. The talent, experience and expertise you bring to this role is outstanding. I hope moving forward we look to develop the tools resources and team you need to pursue these opportunities. Feedback is clear that having a person in the loop is key to proactively growing the Aragon Network.

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Something I think would be great I have been considering for the TSG, a monthly AMA with the community / AA to ask questions and give feedback. This keeps everyone in the loop and people have a chance to ask questions instead of pondering. Maybe could be a part of the All Hands meeting or Friday Socials which I don’t always make myself and I personally don’t know who schedules the topics on those meetings. (Ping me if thats you and are reading this)

Between scheduling calls, taking calls, following up and processing data it will be impossible for you alone to conquer the mass interest it seems we have. I think there is some focus already happening on setting up a structure that can help you out is in the process.

One last thing I will note. I myself was wondering what data you were seeing and any output. It was not until later I discovered much of this data in Notion… so it is there for anyone who wants to take a look. Maybe you should link to that in your monthly report?

Looking forward to what comes next month.

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Thank you for this work Legend! Post ETH Denver can sync in-depth on scope adjustments if needed

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I have been a part of Aragon too short to be able to express my thoughts about the overall proposal. However, I find the idea very promising. One of my ogranizations, UFOstart, aimed to set up their DAO on Aragon, we are all big supporters of the Aragon and it was very sad to see that the system is not responsive and as a result we had to give up setting up our project on this platform, so let’s say this is a confirmed case of the issues Aragon is facing. Looking forward to seeing the outcomes.

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Thanks for the update Teo! Let us know if you need to request additional funds or support.

We have been unable to reach @Teo since ETH Denver and hence will consider the work on this proposal discontinued. No further payments related to the proposal have been made after the first monthly payment. Teo’s work has substantially helped the AA/AL shape future initiatives to further the proliferation of DAOs. Those initiatives will provide ample opportunities for community engagment.

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Hey Ivan, can you advise where this data/results/ etc. of this project will live? In notion? Thanks!

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https://www.notion.so/aragonorg/BD-experiment-3c6ed63df51c486fb83d6e0c013ecce3

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