Nest Analysis and Strategy

Stoked to be working on this. Here is mine. 0x6b817156A65615F01949EaE47CC66f2a1f2F2e7D

Added! Please double check to make sure it’s correct

Updated Scope of Grant

Goal

  • Develop a framework to help people get into the Nest program (onboarding), through nest successfully (shipping a real product), and into the broader Aragon ecosystem (ongoing contributions/collaboration).

To Do: develop strategies for the following items

  • Thesis (what Nest is and who it’s for)
  • Success metrics (expectations)
    • should allow grant proposers to explitly explain what they’re doing, why, and the value they will provide. Then we can judge the idea (and the liklihood of shipping a finished product). This should provide guidance, but not be so narrow as to exclude innovation.
  • Requests for proposals (things we want to fund)
  • Updated proposal template (like AGP template)
  • Guidelines/expectations for NestDAO members on due dilligence to perform for various grant sizes (10k vs 100k)
  • Details on how the application process works and what is expected
    • FAQ
    • how long does the process take
    • how long does it take to receive funds (formal agreement)
    • how do grantees receive support and ask questions as they build
  • Security partners and partners to help ship finished products
  • Support program to help Nest grantees connect with the larger Aragon ecosystem

Next Steps

  • Do work
  • Share with NestDAO WG
  • NestDAO WG can then choose to which ideas to move forward with

CFDAO Votes

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Awesome to see this guys :slight_smile:

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Love this!

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Nest Analysis & Strategy

We are happy to announce that our Nest Analysis & Strategy report is now ready!

We started by gathering data on the Nest program; going through every open Issue and PR in the Nest GitHub repository line by line and aggregating that data into a spreadsheet. We then performed analysis on that data to better understand the history, trends, and future outlook of the Nest program. Based on that data, we provide strategic recommendations to improve the Nest program’s returns on investment.

This report does not have an opinion as to how the Nest program fits into the overall strategic vision of Aragon. That discussion would require further data and analysis. What this report does provide is an analysis of the Nest program as is and suggestions for improvement within the current budget and framework of the program.

We hope that this report provides insights for the Aragon community. Our goal is to understand where we’re at on the map and how we might move forward together towards our shared goal of making Aragon a sustainable and unstoppable force in the world. All feedback and suggestions for improvement are welcome :slight_smile:

The entirety of our findings can be found here:

The slide deck goes over the Nest Analysis & Strategy report at a high level. In the notes section of each slide is a link to the corresponding section of the report. There you can find more details on our analysis and actionable next steps to realize the improvements suggested.

If you would like to learn more, we will be presenting our findings at the nest Nest Working Group meeting this Thursday October 17th, at 5pm CEST. Details on the upcoming call and a link to join will be posted in the NestWG channel on the Aragon chat.

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Wow, congratulations for such a nice work! It is going to be super useful for subsequent iterations on the Nest program!

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thats a great report! thank you and everyone involved

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Awesome report guys looking forward to today’s presentation :metal:

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Came across some relevant articles and discussions that might inform some of the concepts in the Nest Analysis & Strategy docs.

First, there’s the overall idea that decentralize autonomous organizations can only be autonomous if they are self sufficient. This requires a sustainable business model. For a simple layer 1 blockchain like Bitcoin this is possible via cryptoeconomics. For more advanced layer 2 systems that are continously evolving positive cash flows and/or token value capture is required. Flipside crypto explores this further in their latest post: " The 0.1% — 0.9% — 99% Rule of Blockchains"

Now incentives and cash flows are all good, but what we really want them for is to incentivize people to do the work that makes communities and projects great. This was recently explored on the SourceCred forum in a thread titled: “About Champions and Heros.” The spirit of the post really embodies my vision for the Nest manager in the framework of the Nest Analysis & Strategy: someone who engages with teams, leads initiatives, and supports them through all the twists and turns of the program so they can ship their ideas to Aragon users.

Regarding marketing initiatives, Blockstack has actually been doing a really great job in this department. Their latest Q3 newsletter update highlights applications on the platform, transparency around capital management, and community engagement initiatives. For example, sharing finished apps on ProductHunt, hosting global/virtual hackathons, and creating partnerships with complimentary ecosystems/services. This is all very achievable stuff! The Nest program could easily create similar support programs, track similar metrics, and share those updates with the community.

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Note: This stuff is in the Nest Analysis & Strategy thread because A) it provides support for a lot of the ideas in the Nest report, and B) the over-arching goal of the Nest program is to help teams turn ideas into cool stuff on Aragon and these ideas contribute to that overall goal.

It’s becoming obvious that one of the highest-leverage ways to create value for Aragon is to support teams to building profitable products and services on the platform. This is relevant for small community ideas, Nest teams, Flock teams, and even the high-level Aragon strategy. To better understand how we might do this I’m reviewing the strategies of top tier startup accelerators and ecosystems to see what aspects of those might work for Aragon.

YCominbator is arguably one of the most successful, well known, and trusted brands when it comes to helping people turn ideas into world changing companies. They have great resources for founders, a strong and engaged community, and mentors to help teams every step of the way. The first step in this journey is a thing called Startup School. Startup School is startups101. It teaches students the basics from ideation, to business plans, to team dynamics. Then teams are incentivized to give each other feedback on their pitches, products and strategies. Conveniently, every graduate is asked to apply to YC! This gives them a pipeline of founders who have educated and onboarded themselves to the YC network. This is brilliant. It’s low cost, it scales, it increases deal flow, and protects future investments by educating founders on the basics before they get funded. I’m thoroughly impressed.

Cool, but what’s in it for Aragon?

  • Two of the biggest problems on Aragon right now are getting people to successfully build stuff and getting the stuff they build to actually have a path towards profitability. Creating an “Aragon School” (or at least a pile of helpful “getting started” resources) that covers AragonOS basics and DAO business model basics could help way more devs build way better things on Aragon.
  • We could create a program for early stage projects that allows/incentivizes teams to give each other feedback on their ideas and prototypes. This collaboration is valuable for all parties involved, but also free! We could literally create this today as a working group and/or an Aragon chat channel. This could (start to) help build a foundation for an Aragon startup ecosystem that isn’t just about grants.
  • We could create a directory of people in the ecosystem who have skills and are happy to help out with stuff. Every CFDAO or Nest grantee would be asked if they want to join the directory. Doing so signals an intent to help and be helped. This would create immediate and tangible value for everyone else in the ecosystem.
  • Weekly team updates (this is more for Nest) hold teams accountable and give Nest managers and Working Group an easy way to see what’s going on and how they can help. Considering that everyone’s incentives are aligned, this is a win/win. This program could be extended to CFDAO teams where they could all post weekly updates on what’s working and what’s not, and then they could learn from each other or help out with blockers if possible.
  • Support and templates on basic things like user interviews (that most technical teams have never done) can easily 10X results with just a 30-60min time investment from Aragon teams.
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There was this idea floating around about having an Aragon Academy. I remember @cemfdagdelen coming up with that. I love the idea we should to something like that.

Highly support that as well. I think that’s something that we could have done for Nest a while ago!

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Agreed that something like this would be super useful! That being said, I think we could create a quick and simple program (or pile of resources) in about a week. From there we could learn what works and what doesn’t, get feedback from the community, and build out the support resources that people need. This should be something that is very fast and nimble, not a project that takes months to develop and then “launches.”

Right! So simple. So easy. Free!

Maybe we could start by extending the current Aragon directory with a section for CFDAO and Nest teams. This could be accompanied by a blog posts that explains expectations and benefits to CFDAO and Nest teams around collaboration and feedback.

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Founder’s Institute has a lot of useful legal documents.

They devised this system of cohorts. Say if there is an annual class of 20 startups which are incubated. The founding team and advisors involved with each startup receive warrants to the other 19 startups from the same class who are being incubated during the same period. So they are stakeholders not just in the startup they work with, but also get rewarded for supporting and collaborating with the other startups and their cohorts from the same class. So you’ve got 20 chances to succeed, not just one.

This is actually just a way of formalizing the Silicon Valley “pay it forward” culture which plays a huge role in its success.

Hope this helps!

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That’s awesome. Could you please share a few links to learn more? Also, how would you see that working in the context of an Aragon DAO? Every project would need to have tokens that are directly tied to valuation, but often token markets are noisy so that doesn’t happen. Any ways to get around this?

Also pinging @joeycharlesworth since you’re very into venture firms that share equity and upside among founders :slight_smile:

Sure. Here is more info on their “Equity Collective”:

Here are the actual legal documents: https://fi.co/agreements

From their site:
"Building a startup can be a lonely journey. In addition, too many aspiring entrepreneurs never start, and too many pre-seed businesses fail, because they lack expert feedback and proper focus during the earliest stages.

To help entrepreneurs in the earliest stages of a business establish a critical support network of both like-minded and successful local entrepreneurs, the Founder Institute developed a groundbreaking Equity Collective where everyone shares equity in the companies formed from each program cohort.

Here’s how it works - each Founder Institute Graduate contributes 4% of their company equity in Warrants to a fifteen-year Bonus Pool with other peers from the current cohort. When a liquidity event occurs, the Pool returns are then distributed as follows…"

"1/4 goes right back to the program Graduates, split evenly.

1/4 goes to the program Mentors, and each Mentor’s individual share is based solely on anonymous ratings received from the Graduates. This incentivizes Mentors to take an active role in each cohort’s success.

1/4 of the Pool Returns go to the Local Program Directors for their efforts in organizing, building, and running the local cohort.

1/4 of the Pool Returns go to the Founder Institute, which provides operating capital for the business.

When one Graduate company succeeds, every participant from that program cohort receives financial upside."

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If the project NEST is supporting involves tokens, you can structure something similar to create a “Token Collective” or “Shared Token Pool” - so every project you accept into NEST must agree to allocate a portion of their tokens to this scheme.

In equity startups, the “liquidity” or “exit” event usually happens much later, when the startup is sold or does an IPO.

But with crypto projects, obviously this happens a lot sooner, when the tokens are listed on an exchange. However, there could be vesting involved, so that’s up to NEST how long they want to incubate each startup in its program and keep everyone involved (founding teams, mentors/advisors, NEST team, and local leaders, etc.).

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Thanks for that info :slight_smile:

We actually have a somewhat similar setup for the Nest program. When projects successfully accomplish milestones a portion of that goes back to the NestDAO members and managers. Unlike the Founder Institute, however, this capital does not come from outside investors via a successful exit, but from the Nest budget as an incentive to successfully exit the Nest program lol. Would be cool to explore how this might also be applied to CFDAO teams (which you then did below, thanks!)

Re shared token pools: awesome idea! The catch is that every project has to have a token and that token has to be tied to the project’s success. On the one hand, this might exclude a lot of projects. On the other hand, this might incentivize a lot of teams to structure their projects in this way so that they can benefit from the peer support provided by the token pool. Would be really interesting to explore this more in depth.

To sketch it out from a high level, is this kind of what you’re thinking?

  • FundingDAO managed by those with membership tokens (1person 1token or a meritocratic reputation token)
  • FundingDAO makes decision to invest in ABC idea
  • dd, negotiations, and/or forum discussion ensues
  • ABC idea requests X000 DAI from FundingDAO in exchange for Y000 ProjectDAO tokens
  • All FundingDAO members are then incentivized to contribute to the success of the ProjectDAO
  • ProjectDAO now has funds to try ABC cool idea

To build on that:

  • FundingDAO could also create bounties/RFPs for projects they want to fund
  • These bounties could initially be funded via DAI, but if the project tokens become valuable enough then maybe those the FundingDAO tokens themselves (assuming it’s not a 1person 1token model) could be used to fund initiatives
  • This way the FundingDAO could, maybe, if all goes really really well, become self sufficient as a community driven and sustained micro micro angel funding DAO

Yes, the above structure is doable. Perhaps the projects should be organized into different tracks as well. Projects with synergistic or network effects should be grouped together as they benefit more from cross-pollination of ideas and collaboration. They should be in similar or related fields but not in direct competition with one another. Since mentors come from different backgrounds, they should be only advising those projects where they have requisite experience and domain expertise, and could refer clients, make introductions, or set up partnerships, etc. So instead of lumping everybody and every project into a giant shared pool, there needs to be specificity and granularity so there is a close and direct relationship between each project and its relevant stakeholders who directly participated in them, as well as greater accountability. This way you will also receive higher quality feedback and data on what works and what doesn’t and improve upon your model for the next class or group of grantees/accepted projects.

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What kinds of tracks do you have in mind?

Potentially, but also, if a mentor has expertise in branding or marketing, that could help many projects. Same if a mentor has expertise developing Aragon apps. Regardless of the app’s business use case, there will be a lot of technicality to architect the code on that back end that is similar across apps. Also same with security because most apps will need to be audited, again, regardless of their business use case. If the goal were to maximize cross pollination of ideas to ensure optimal outcomes (and maximum participation) it seems like a diverse pool of projects and contributors might be good. Open to being convinced otherwise, but atm since everything here is already within the silo of web3/Aragon it seems like there’s enough similarities for talent to be synergistic.