Birds of a Feather

This is a huge problem, not just in the Aragon community, but with any group of humans. Most people are unwilling to examine, question, and change power structures. It’s scary and there’s often no incentive to do it. The nail that sticks out hammered while everyone else gets rewarded. This leads to conformity and group stink.

It’s easy for someone like me to be contrarian and say whatever I want because I’m just a misspelled piece of cheese with nothing to lose. It’s a lot more meaningful for someone with skin in the game to stick their neck out. I hope that, as a community, we can fix this so that everyone feels comfortable saying what they mean and meaning what they say; not just telling part of the truth, but the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Then Aragon would not just be working towards the vision outlined in the manifesto, but living it day to day. Let’s lead by example :eagle:

Iterative improvements are a win for all parties involved. It’s time to focus more on the meta model of the Aragon ecosystem and ANT. The community is very engaged and there’s lots of ideas being explored. Really excited to see (and contribute to) our evolution :rocket:

In the last week or so I’ve disagreed with most of the ideas you’ve put forward. This has forced me to examine my own opinions and improve them. Like rocks in a tumbler, we are all polishing each other. The process might be a little contentious, but out of that comes something really beautiful. For example: many initiatives have been proposed that might have otherwise lay dormant! As you said, having open and critical discourse is essential, and I’m really glad we can do that here in a more or less productive manner :slight_smile:

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  feeling="All these discussions are very demotivational"
  question={'What is the true vision of Aragon ? I don\'t grasp it anymore.'.toUpperCase()}
  rant="Stop saying we haven't delivered to the mainnet yet."
  plan="Fundraising is gonna be released in the coming weeks, in time with the planned roadmap"
  nextMove={() =>
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  finalWords="I go back to work since I value it more than your own self-absorbed opinions. KTHXBYE"

I want to share my thoughts on this topic. Thank you @lkngtn for starting this conversation. It was much needed. I don’t want to go over the high-level discussions about the program (that are important too). I want to point out the things that I don’t see are working right now.

We were naive about the initial expectations of the program. Independent teams that could take care of the project, if something would happen to the others. Also, teams that would ease the workload from A1. There is a lot of work. We wanted all these things from day one. These expectations have not been met yet. Because the reality is that building a team takes time.

To put concrete examples:

  • OE apps. We have been waiting for these apps on mainnet for quite some time (I’m excited to learn they will reach mainnet soon). Yet, we approved their last proposal without addressing openly this issue before.
  • Fundraising. We have been waiting for this also. I understand it is hard and it is coming. A1 is involved in important part of the work. The AB team has no UX designer/dev yet. It seems A1 advised AB not to hire a UX dev/designer. I don’t understand the reasoning here. This is hard and key work. Also, the documentation is not in good shape
  • Discovery platform. Same as above. A1 will probably have to be very involved as well. It is quite urgent, at least the initial PoC. Has AB the manpower to fully take it? How long would it take for us to expect this?

I’m not talking about collaboration here. We all have to collaborate. This is for sure. But in the context of Flock teams, I don’t understand collaboration as having to be directly involved. What is the point of the program then? The issues above are solvable but we need to address them and this is a good start. I’m not pointing them out to criticize but to show that our expectations were naive and don’t match the reality. Yet, it is a very expensive program. We are giving huge amounts of money, ANT (vested) incentives included, right from the start.

The Aragon project has a concrete purpose. Build the best governance tools for blockchain-native and community-driven organizations to flourish. You can say that the purpose is subjective. But, applying common sense can help decide if something is aligned with that purpose or not. The main things Autark (roadmap: I01 to I05 and I08) and AB (roadmap: I01 to I03) are building are very aligned with the purpose. They take hard work and need the right people to work on them. Teams should take the time to mature, build a shipping cadence, and then expand from there. But, expand always according to the project’s purpose and current needs. This applies as well for the roles in the different teams. Does the project need 4 community managers, for example? Does it need 4 blogs? We are not just funding a team. We are funding teams that “match” the project.

The ecosystem needs a lot of things but we can’t take everything into the project’s wings. We are pre product-market-fit. Teams need fewer distractions and focus. It has been a process for us (A1) as well.

When we launched Flock, we knew it will need a lot of trial and error before getting it right. None of us have done this before. Clear feedback and performance review processes are key for a program this new. I don’t see them established yet. But, we are already approving second proposals by the new teams.

Also, I’m noticing we need more concrete rules on the proposals. What are they? Should they be the teams’ wishlist? Should we require the subjects listed on those proposals to be connected with the current priorities of the project? I would say, yes, please! The AA team can help with this and it should be one of their priorities. I don’t consider this centralization. I know you are just 2 people.

I love the say from Theodore Roosevelt that is applicable here. “Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground” Yes, we need to dream, be ambitious, have a shared vision. But, without forgetting to keep reality in check.


It might be a late reply, but this is how I view this issue from ANT holders perspective.
Flock and Nest grants are definitely needed but the amounts allocated are huge and currently, it isn’t the best time for such massive spending on projects with an unknown or undefined return.

Aragon, first of all, has to attract user audience - this can only be achieved by providing utility, mainly users should be able to utilize Aragon in their “real life”. Thus, integrating Aragon in the real economy should be a priority. If you have ever tried setting up a business, you know how painful it can be. Imagine, clicking a couple of buttons in Aragon App and you have a company on a register, automated accounting and tax-stuff, and a “fiat” bank account to allow you to buy anything you need and hire anyone you want (not just people from “crypto space”). I would definitely buy into that. The amount of capital allows Aragon to hire top-tier lawyers and accountants to work closely with governments, financial regulators and tax-offices. And this, in my opinion, should be a top priority apart from the fully-functional App obviously.

When Aragon becomes self-sufficient it can grant more funds to projects that improve the Aragon ecosystem, but there should be a significantly higher degree of control over who is getting the funds and where those funds go. Otherwise, Aragon will burn all capital and will be left with nothing - neither cash nor product.

As I see, right now there are three key issues with these grants:

  1. Abstract amounts are requested with little to no reasoning. Everything has the market value and there should be a fair, most likely tender-based system for common goods and services. Every project should have a clear and detailed budget.

  2. The projects should bring real value measured in money-terms and/or user base. Teams should be rewarded for reaching set targets and penalized for failures.

  3. ANT holders should appoint Members of the R&D Committee who, in turn, screen and select the projects, allocate grants and track the progress and spendings. ANT holders should vote to approve a budget available for those grants and the appointed Members should provide regular reports to ANT holders regarding the efficiency of these grants. Some grants/spendings over a certain threshold may be subject to ANT holders approval.

Overall, Aragon will not be able to survive with a completely decentralized structure. Right now there should be strict control over funds to make sure the resources are being spent rationally and in a way beneficial to Aragon first. Aragon should be getting the best possible services for the lowest possible price with the best possible return.

Currently, personally I have an impression that Aragon is feeding a bunch of grant-eaters with doubtful return and expenditure ratio. Some projects aren’t essential right now and some have to be audited. In the current situation, where the voting system is not functioning as it should be due to low attendance, bias and corruption are very likely to occur. The only way to prevent this - is increased control.