About two months, ago Jill Carlson published https://medium.com/@jillcarlson/free-company-49b129461b3c
The Big Question
The how to achieve effective coordination and economies of scale in open, decentralized development ecosystems
State of the Ecosystem:
For the Projects
- There is little learning happening between siloed project teams despite opportunities for synergies and collaboration
- Protocol projects are the most financially well endowed open source projects in history
- Protocol projects are struggling to recruit due to overall low supply of talent, and what little supply there is being locked up in individual projects or as service providers
- Primary option for talented contributors who wish to work broadly across the space is contracting, but this is difficult to scale
- It is challenging for key contributors to fully participate in the upside of what they are delivering (without putting their own capital at risk)
- Projects need to ship and to do this they need to source contributors
- Contributors want to work in an open, decentralized, and collaborative manner
Jill mentions the creation of a “system” or free company that can bridge top talent with top projects in a multi-protocol and multidisciplinary way, with a focus on shipping in the form of code, products, partnerships, educational initiatives, contracts, or content. The ex-consultant in me sees this as a multi-protocol, decentralized (I cringe when I use that so broadly), consulting firm/service provider working across protocol development, product, UX, community, marketing, ecosystem development, developer relations, and developer experience.
The Free Company could collect revenues from:
- Contracts with protocol projects
- Winning bounty programs put forth by projects
- An investment fund that takes a stake in projects
Contributors could be given a stake in what they are shipping and can share in the upside of a protocols success.
Using a DAO
It could be interesting to explore this free company as a DAO, and understand what aspects of the system could be “decentralized”.
I would love to start a discussion on:
- Measuring/Quantifying Contribution: How do you measure labour and output from contributors? In a multidisciplinary environment, shipping will take many forms and could become quite subjective…
- Contributor or Service Provider Reputation / Trust
- Governance Processes: Can anyone join the free company, do contributors need to apply,
- Resource Allocation/Shared Infrastructure: Would there be any resources shared by contributors, and how would those resources be allocated? How are contract terms drafted, negotiated, closed? How are contributors paid?