Thanks a lot for that comprehensive post and its interesting questions @lkngtn.
It happens that today is my first day of [almost] real vacations in two years so i’m already half away. Thus, I will just clarify a couple of things regarding the second [draft] Aragon Black proposal and give some very generic insight. I do intend to reply more extensively when I’m back from vacations [and got some sleep].
Aragon Black Flock proposal
Note that this proposal is still in a draft stage so everything is open to comments. I would like to discuss two specific points related to your post though.
The way you @lkngtn describe our ANT package request is not totally accurate. Actually [as explained in the proposal] the package we request is meant to replace our previous request that would thus be cancelled [to clarify things and stick more accurately to the new ANT packages rationale that has been discussed in the meanwhile]. We would thus end up with a total package of 800k ANT [accounting for our two Flock period]. This request matches the rationale discussed here where ANT packages are basically halved each year. Of course this can be discussed if the rationale be updated.
The question you raised about the Black Blog is fair and we already had updated its weight into our proposal accordingly. It’s always hard when ranking / weighting initiatives to figure out whether should be taken into account the importance we [subjectively] grant them, the number of people they involve or the budget they require. To make it clear the Black Blog is ran by two people each of them working half-time. Their payroll is compliant with the market [so that they are payed way less than any other member of the team]. In the end the Black Blog accounts for less than 4% of our budget. Given the number of articles published and the effort made to introduce people to other thoughts than the one bloating the blockchain space I think it’s fair. We have for instance an interview with James C. Scott to be published soon which is the kind of things which are pretty rare in the space. I personnaly grant a value to this blog which is way higher than the 3% or 4% they take on our budget
I do agree the status of Flock teams should be clarified [and clarified ASAP]: are they standonalone teams ? are they supposed to be dedicated to one specific product ? are they supposed to come up with an economic model for the product they dedicate to ? etc. As stated by @stefanobernardi the Flock program [as the whole Aragon governance’s process] is pretty unique in the space and I believe it’s normal that it goes through some sort of a trial / error process. I do believe though that if we wanna make it work things should be clarified as soon as possible.
- It makes it very difficult to hire and maintain a team when the horizon is highly blurry [we have hirings in process: should we postpone them, cancel them, etc ?]
- It’s hard to define what should be the scope of our proposal: should we embrace all the challenges that Aragon as a network is facing [devs of course, but also on-boarding, communication, etc.] ? should we keep our proposal more focused and dedicate our efforts to dev ? should this development effort be kept generic or focused on one product [in our case fundraising or pando] ?
In our situation for instance between 25% and 35% of our budget is dedicated to on-boarding [team members payroll and travel]. I’m not the one leading this initiative but it feels like this is still not enough with respect to how much effort it requires to support people in using Aragon, understanding its apps, etc.
Who should account for this efforts if not Flock teams ? should everyone working on on-boarding join A1 ? should a team dedicated to on-boarding be set up ? but then who will pay for it ? Note that I mention on-boarding cause it’s a particularly intense effort but the same questions could be raised for communication, core stack contributions, etc.
I really have no answers to these questions but the way I see it for now is kind of binary:
- Either each team is meant to embrace the whole Aragon effort [dev, on-boarding, communication, etc.] but then it requires each team to be large enough [with a consequence on their budgets].
- Either each team is meant to dedicate to a specific effort [one for on-boarding, one for a specific product such a fundraising, etc.] while being coordinated by A1 / AA. This would lead to smaller teams with smaller budgets and maybe a path to discuss the possibility of team-specific business models.
I think this also raises the strategic issue of what Aragon is meant to be: is Aragon one sole product / effort [the client, the court, etc.], or is Aragon a network of semi-independant initiatives / products aligned with respect to their values, leveraging technical network effects and a common basis [ANT and its derivatives] to support their respective business models [then multiple funding processes should be experimented with].
I can’t see which path is the best but I think we should definitely decide and clarify both this strategic issue and the status of Flock as soon as possible [also because this would highly impact the shape / extension of our own proposal ].