@LouisGrx First, thank you for starting this discussion! It’s really important that everyone is on the same page and driving towards a shared vision together
A global decentralized permission-less substrate for human coordination and cooperation.
We need to build something people want. We can do this by solving people’s problems. Everything the Aragon does should be focused around building a platform that people want to use to solve their governance problems. Nothing else matters.
2 Year Plan
How can anyone, anywhere, communicate and collaborate freely towards shared goals? Aragon. How can Aragon become an unstoppable force in the world? We need to become self sufficient. How do we become self sufficient? We need to create intelligent incentive models for all parties involved so that our current and future resources are directed at the most high leverage opportunities.
Here’s what might us get there, in order of operations and importance:
- Find product market fit
- Drive value to ANT
- Empower 3rd party entrepreneurs to build on Aragon
- Optimize Aragon governance
Product Market Fit
Product/market fit is the foundation of any successful venture. This is easier said than done. If we don’t have product/market fit, nothing else matters. If we do have product market fit, we can scale and do cool things.
As I see it, Aragon exists to solve people’s governance problems. Aragon allows anyone anywhere to freely organize, collaborate, make decisions, create value, manage funds, and reward contributors. Soon Aragon will allow us to do a lot more.
This is great, but it’s not enough. We have to find people who have those problems, and we need to see if they actually want the solutions that Aragon provides. Lucky for us, there’s lots of humans who have difficulty making decisions in groups! (yay monkeys)
First we need to understand the problem we’re trying to solve. We need to really understand it. It should be burning in our minds night and day. This will act as a north start to guide all decision making.
Second, we need to find people who have that problem. Rememver, lots of humans have problems making decisions in groups. Our challenge is to find the subset of these people who have that problem, every day, ideally multiple times a day, and who have the problem so badly that they’re willing to use clunky blockchain tech to solve it. This does not mean we need to punt and find people who are already comfortable with blockchain technology! We need to find people who have such bad governance problems that they’re willing to put up clunky tools to solve their problems. Then, we need to find the subset of those people who are actually willing to buy ANT to solve that problem.
Third, we need to make it as easy, engaging, and painless as possible for those people to use Aragon, and thus buy ANT. Then we’ll actually be free. Then we’ll actually be creating value in the world. We’ll actually have created something that is more valuable to people than money. In the process we will empower a substrate for human coordination at scale. That’s a big deal.
In addition to protecting the core feature of ANT (governance), Aragon needs to make ANT more broadly useful. This can be accomplished via the Aragon Court, Arachain, and many more soon to be discovered things. All of these Aragon services need drive value to ANT. If you want access to the Aragon Universe as a user or service provider, just buy ANT… This simplifies the UX for all parties involved.
To make this possible, we need to build out and support the Aragon services already in the pipeline (Court and Arachain). We should also be regularly supporting small experiments (CFDAO and Nest) to find new services that can drive value to Aragon.
3rd Party Entrepreneurs
When young ambitious entrepreneurs ask where to focus their energy there should only be one answer: Aragon. DAOs enable a new types of companies, projects, and business models. There is vast amounts of untapped potential in this space. We need to make it obvious that ambitious and intelligent founders should build their next billion dollar idea on the Aragon platform.
There’s a few problems here. The first is platform risk. If you build a business on Twitter or Facebook as a service provider, the platform can change the terms of service any time. You have no voice. Aragon is different. Aragon, as described in AGP-0, empowers all stakeholders to engage in governance of the shared commons. By building on a decentralized organization entrepreneurs can not only benefit from a global network on day 1, but they can contribute to shaping that network. This is huge.
The next problem is bootstrapping. Ambitious new ideas are hard. They take lots of time and energy. It’s very difficult to do this work if you’re only working nights and weekends. Aragon can help by providing activation energy to help projects get started. This should be clearly earmarked for what it is: activation energy. Projects need to build something people want and have a clear path to reach those users. It’s essential that Aragon teams receive value back for value they provide (positive cash flows). We need to create frameworks and templates to help teams understand the current sustainability models in open source as well as new models enabled by DAOs.
If teams manage to build things people will pay for, then Aragon could start to participate in the upside of these projects. This is essentially the model of most startup incubators. If this model is successful, then it can be replicated. VCs could fund projects on Aragon and participate in the positive token appreciation or positive cash flows of those DAOs. An ecosystem of 3rd party investors and 3rd party incubators would take a huge burden off of the AA and Nest program.
The first step towards this vision is redesigning the Nest and Flock programs. Currently teams are encouraged to seek money from Aragon and have no path towards self sufficiency. We need to change the focus and incentives of these programs. Flock and Nest should exist to support Aragon vs Aragon supporting them. This might look like creating more guidelines and focus around what the Flock program is and/or moving projects bundled into Flock proposals into the Nest pipeline to provide more accountability and focus.
The next step is to create DAO business model strategies for Aragon DAOs and teams. This will provide a path towards self sufficiency so that teams can start to build things people want and generate positive cash flows.
After that we need to engage in business development and sales initiatives to get talented teams to build on the Aragon platform. There’s no way that Aragon can become unstoppable or self sufficient if the core Aragon teams are doing everything. We need a 3rd party ecosystem of entrepreneurs, service providers, and investors. We built Aragon, but they did not come. We have to go get them. We need to build strategic relationships with 3rd parties to better understand how to improve the Aragon platform so that entrepreneurs, service providers, and investors will actually want to be part of Aragon.
Governance is non-trivial. Successful governance models, whether traditional or crypto-economic, are few and far between. Historically, the ones that have succeeded have been simple. Aragon is complex. We need to design robust incentive mechanisms that align interests for all stakeholders on the Aragon network: users, service providers, and investors. Everyone needs to be driving towards a shared goal: a better Aragon and a better world. Successful execution on this shared vision will enhance utility for users, revenues for service providers, and returns for investors. How do these stake holders come to consensus on how to make this happen? They vote! Every Aragon network participant needs to be able to contribute to in Aragon Network Votes (ANV).
To make this possible, the process of engaging in ANVs needs to be easy. Aragon governance needs to be easy to understand (docs and knowledge graphs), easy to participate in (optimizing AGP UX), and easy to execute (Voting app UI/UX).
2 Year Plan Summary
With this vision, Aragon might evolve to look something like this:
Core layer separation of powers:
- AA supports the Aragon platform and community (AGP-0 driven design, Nest, biz dev)
- ANT holders approve Aragon laws
- The Court interprets and enforces those laws
Aragon platform stakeholders:
- Product teams building Aragon apps and services (open enterprise, fundraising, dandelion, court, arachain, flora, etc…)
- Service teams providing Aragon related services (arachain validation, juror services, premium support services for dao templates, DAO SaaS products, etc…)
- Community members discussing stuff and signalling preferences (aragon forum)
There’s overlap between all these stakeholders and they should all be able to engage in Aragon Network Votes. If we can create a solid substrate for human cooperation at scale via the Aragon platform, then independent products and services can be built on top. We can support and bootstrap a few of these products and services via the Nest program. The goal, however, should be to create an environment where teams can create viable businesses on Aragon. Then we can engage in business development and sales efforts to recruit more entrepreneurs to the platform. These products and services will make it easier and better for more people to build on Aragon. This create network effects, making Aragon an unstoppable force in the world.
Longer Term Plan
If Aragon succeeds, there’s a higher likelihood that humanity will succeed. The concrete strategies and tactics we implement to get there, however, will certainly evolve over time. Our core values will not. As long as decision making is guided by the vision outlined in AGP-0 we will stay on track. This is why governance that empowers and represents all Aragon stakeholders is so essential.