EDIT: Based on some of the reactions this post and subsequent thread I felt it was important to provide additional clarity on my intentions and motivation for this post:
- This is not an attack on any one team or any one proposal, I wrote this as a brainstorming process after starting to see flock proposals come up for this ANV cycle, but the underlying thought process is something that has been on my mind and evolving since the very first ANV.
- This is not suggesting any particular immediate changes to any process. The ideas presented in the original post are just ideas that I think warrant further discussion, I want and hope for each of them to be challenged, picked apart, and alternative ideas or approaches presented.
- This is not a declaration that I think things are totally broken and require immediate intervention, this is a call to examine what we are doing and determine what if any changes are appropriate. It is a call for continuous improvement and self-reflection, as opposed to any one specific change.
- This is not the position/views of any one other than myself. I work for Aragon One, I’m working to nurture and shape the 1Hive DAO, and I have been a member of the Aragon Community since the ICO–but I do not have the authority to represent the opinions of anyone but myself–and I do not want the responsibility that would come with such authority because it would limit my ability to simply speak freely.
— Original Post:
Is flock working well?
Aragon One’s Flock Proposal AGPs/AGP-5.md at master · aragon/AGPs · GitHub – 4M DAI, 1,675,000 ANT
Autark’s Flock Proposal AGPs/AGP-19.md at master · aragon/AGPs · GitHub – 390K DAI, 350K ANT
Aragon Black’s Flock Proposal AGPs/AGP-34.md at master · aragon/AGPs · GitHub – 450K DAI, [125K ANT] (Current proposal would replace/include this amount)
Autark’s Second Flock Proposal AGPs/AGP-73.md at master · aragon/AGPs · GitHub – 1.6M DAI, 487,500 ANT
Aragon Black’s Second Flock Proposal (Draft) https://hackmd.io/ARbpqfBbTV2jbtFARls0hA – 1.5M DAI, 800K ANT
So far 6.3M DAI has been allocated to flock teams, with an additional 1.5M currently proposed. As well as 2,637,500 ANT and 800k ANT proposed.
While some of Aragon One’s allocation is still unspent and Autark’s recent flock proposal should only be ~1/4 spent… This still represents an alarming burn rate for a project which has yet to firmly establish product market fit.
I personally believe that Aragon is a game changer and am incredibly bullish on ANT long-term, but its still early, and it will take a while to realize the vision and fully evaluate the value proposition… In the meantime we need to be careful and efficient with how we allocate resources because there is less margin for error at these very early stages.
I think that the Aragon Community and especially ANT holders need to be far more critical about Flock teams and their proposals. I think we should also carefully consider how the program is structured and what the norms are to ensure that it helps to align teams and ANT holders.
Consider this post to be a challenge to the community, let’s come up with something better. Something that allows individuals and teams to contribute to Aragon and be rewarded for these contributions in a meaningful way–while not resulting in bloated proposals with lots of redundant effort and operational overhead. Let’s try and operate more like a DAO and less like an inefficient government grant processes.
To kick this discussion off here are a few ideas that have been on my mind… let’s discuss and add more ideas and perhaps something compelling will start to emerge…
Let’s be more critical of each other
I have good personal relationships with people on A1, Autark, and Aragon Black. I like these people, I respect them, but it is absolutely essential that we don’t pull our punches when evaluating each others AGP proposal just because we are friends and colleagues.
How can we expect ANT holders to make smart and informed decisions about proposals if the people involved refuse to say anything negative because it might lead to tension or awkward relationships in the future?
The norm should be to provide polite criticism, share doubts, question assumptions, and hopefully work towards proposals that are better thought out and more valuable to Aragon as a whole.
Let’s unbundle flock proposals
Let’s create a norm of unbundling proposals so that the various pieces can be approved separately, and at different times. Why are we funding initiatives that won’t even start until mid next year in August of this year? Why can’t I approve Aragon Black working on Fundraising without approving 300k worth of funding for the Aragon Black Blog?
Let’s encourage flock teams to actually deliver consistently and on-time by unbundling proposals, and approving or rejecting each initiative independently. If a flock team is competent and consistently delivers then they will build a relationship with the community and approving funding for their intiatives should be a no brainer.
Runway certainty should come from consistent delivery and not from large lump sum allocations.
Let’s create a flock and/or AGP wide budget
As a community we should be clear about and come to consensus on what Aragon as a whole’s burn rate should be. From there we can make better and more informed decisions on how to allocate that budget.
One potential way to impose this budget is to shift how we fund projects entirely. If we say our budget is 4M per year, we have 1M per quarter to spend. We could approve projects to be eligible for funding, and use some sort of proportional voting method (eg dot voting) to allocate resources between eligible recipients on a periodic basis. Another option (though perhaps slightly further out) is to use Conviction Voting, which also imposes a budget and forces voters consciously prioritize their support to the highest leverage proposals.
This way proposals actually need to compete with each other, and hopefully we allocate our budget more effectively.
Let’s collaborate more & reduce redundant efforts
The Aragon Black blog is currently marked as 15% percent of a 1.5-2.3M dollar proposal (depending on how you count the ANT). (in a newer version of this proposal it has been clarified that the 15% indicator was not specifically reflective of the budget of the blog) Aragon One operates a blog, autark operates a blog, and the Aragon association operates a blog… Why the redundancy here? Why do we need to fund 4 blogs? By all means each team can run a blog, but it should be a negligible part of the budget as it’s not strategically valuable to the community providing funding.
One of the goals of flock was to ensure that if one team disappeared there would be others to pick up the pieces and continue from there… That does not mean that we need teams to be doing the same stuff in parallel constantly, just that they are people that know the community, know the tech, and have the potential to pick up the slack if need be.
We should be funding specific initiatives like the Aragon.org blog, electing resources to manage those initiatives, and collaborate as a community on one thing, rather than creating parallel, unrelated efforts. It may be totally fine to even have a single party responsible for some of these things–that’s fine if they don’t do a good job we can always replace them.
I think the working group concept could evolve into something that we treat as resource allocation pods, that we delegate a budget to a working group and then rely on working group members to coordinate effective collaboration on specific initiatives like the aragon.org blog, or on things like aragonDS or aragonJS.
Let’s create more value
Proposers should be thinking carefully about exactly how their proposal will create value. Not everything will have a direct financial ROI for the community, but we should always be thinking about the indirect ROI and how we can measure that.
Flock teams should have some sort of business model, ideally one that clearly aligns them with the project. Aragon Black is working on fundraising, and the default templates and onboarding require users to use ANT as part of the bonding curve collateral pool. It is clear to see how the success of this initiative will lead to an increase in demand for ANT, and so it has a direct ROI. Similarly A1’s work on the Court creates additional utility for ANT, the court can be valued as a DCF model and that valuation flows to ANT.
This is also good for the team as it builds their leverage, teams want more stability and consistent funding and one way to achieve that is to make your initiatives clearly valuable to Aragon’s bottom line.
If a proposal is targeted at a specific goal, perhaps some part of the funding should be contingent on hitting performance goals?
Similarly, are there performance goals that we want to formalized on their own like…
Let’s formalized dev incentives
Building Aragon Apps can be really valuable for building a compelling ecosystem, driving adoption, and ultimately creating a bigger market for Aragon Network services like the court.
We could allocate a budget for rewarding application developers or teams which ship applications on mainnet that actually get used. We can based this incentive on actual data (funds in orgs using those apps, interactions with those specific apps, number of orgs with those apps, etc).
This budget would be continuously allocated, and “up for grabs” for devs and teams that ship and provide value. It would be possible for developers to make money supporting the Aragon app ecosystem without ever actually making an AGP proposal.