Brain Dump #1 - Governance, Revenue, & BANK

Musings While Sleep Deprived

Introduction

Hey folks. Got a doozy of a post for yall. This is basically a brain dump of everything I’ve been thinking about the past few days. My hope is this will spark some meta-level conversations that we will need to be ready for Season 1 in June.

The gist of it is:

  • Theories around organizing and executing
  • Musings on things we can accomplish
  • The bullish case for $BANK

Organization and Execution

DAOs demand degrees of coordination that makes an ant colony look like a mess. Different DAOs will have different organizational models depending on their mandates. BanklessDAO is not a protocol (yet). There is no on-chain component to what we do. We are an ecosystem of like-minded individuals, collectively taking part in an experiment of creating sustainable economics, commerce, and community. Our unique flavor just happens to be media.

So… how do we do this?

The DAO-Talent Stack

DAOs are in the business of sourcing talent. People naturally gravitate towards mutual interests. Conversations → brainstorming → proposals → consensus → execution. That’s the general flow of a DAO. But when we take a bird’s eye view, each of those individual working groups have patterns as well. This is what I refer to as the DAO-Talent Stack.

Resource Layer

At the bottom layer is sourcing skillsets. These are the specialists. Groups of writers, creators, translators, developers, designers, and dozens more that make their services known to the broader DAO ecosystem. You may have heard the term “Guild” thrown around the Discord. Guilds, it seems, is BanklessDAO jargon for members of the the resource layer. The end goal of the the bottom layer is a fluid marketplace that matches the DAO’s demand for talent to its community pool.

For now, members of this layer operate mostly on bounty boards - Public places for specialists to take on paid work on directed tasks. See more in the Writers Guild forum post for details.


(Sample bounty board for 1Hive)

Orchestration Layer

The middle level concerns itself with coordination. It orchestrates DAO resources in efficient and precise ways, like an assembly line robot. It’s includes the business functions we see in the traditional corporate structure, bizdev, growth, marketing, development, finance, security, etc. Members of the orchestration layer are community leaders that operate in their specialized working groups. DAO members that have demonstrated long-term commitment, have strong a voice in the community, and have made their way to the front by way of merit. (We don’t have a name for this, like we do with Guilds. Working group suffices, but I like pods better. Anyone else?)

Governance Layer

The top of the stack is the governance layer. It’s where BanklessDAO votes with $BANK and signals its preferences as a collective whole. It’s the ultimate decision maker on how the Treasury spends its assets. The goal of the governance layer is to make sure that the orchestration layer is executing on the will of the DAO.

Soft Consensus and Hard Consensus

Together, the DAO-Talent Stack form a mechanism for maintaining fluidity decision making in the form of soft and hard consensus. Hard consensus are snapshots. The exciting window of time when everyone in the DAO knows that something will change, big or small. In this model, the governance layer is the hard consensus.

Soft consensus occurs within the orchestration layer. These are the day to day, week to week decisions. Decisions that a busy working mom doesn’t need to know about. Soft consensus is ubiquitous. It’s the number of :fire: that decides what’s the meme of the week. It’s the yes/no ratio on a forum post that creates a new Guild. Soft consensus is the culmination of nonstop conversations on discord, forums, community calls, tweet storms, etc. It’s a fluid state, meant to adapt to the speed of progress within BanklessDAO.

The Core Team

The third and final subsection has to do with the idea of a “core team.” A core team draws a salary from the Treasury. They are very much responsible to the success of BanklessDAO as per its mandate, mission, and vision. The core team consists of full time workers – People that are likelier to work 80 hours a week than 40 for the DAO. Their presence extends to all three layers of the Talent Stack. They are voices in the community. They vote on everything. They are efficient and precise in their work, and are prone to getting their hands dirty with some hardcore Resource Layer contributions.

I have a personal request to make here. I’m clearly very interested in DAO-ist theory. We’re just getting started as a DAO, but DAOs have been kicking for years now. We’re done with the minimum-viable-DAO stage where coordination was clunky and awkward. In 2021, there are best practices. There are DAOs that have figured out the things we haven’t even thought of yet.

I want to spend time on researching this topic. That’s why I submitted my bid in the weekly mirror.xyz competition. Mirror.xyz is a blog made using smart contracts. If you or any of your friends own $WRITE, please vote for me here (click here). Voting opens next Wednesday.

Still with me? Great, let’s keep going. :smiling_imp:

What BanklessDAO can Accomplish

That’s not the right question. The right question is what should BanklessDAO do first. What excites me the most are the unknown unknowns. The unexplored territory we don’t even know exist. But to start, there are a few things we are uniquely positions to do.

Media Network

BanklessDAO has its roots in media. The genesis team built the youtube channel, podcast, and newsletter. They built a media node in the churning crypto ecosystem. We inherit that mantle. We could collectively choose to yeet everything we have into $DOGE, but I’m not too worried about that outcome.

The collective wisdom of media tells us that Content is King. Indeed, we are here because we were drawn in by the quality, consistency, and energy behind everything Ryan, David, and co. have done. Now imagine all of their work scaled to the Bankless movement. We can create the largest media network in all of DeFi. Guides on every topic, from getting started to complex trading strategies. We can have a blog specific to tokenomics with another on culture. One dedicated newsletter tracking DeFi product releases and another on the latest research. There is a ravenous hunger for knowledge that we can curate with quality content.

The degree of reach Bankless has and the network effects achieved by word of mouth puts BanklessDAO in a very advantageous position. The diversity of topics mentioned in the previous paragraphs means sponsored articles, ads, affiliate programs, referral bonuses, partnerships, and every other devious money-making tactic that the marketing industry has conjured.

DeFi Products

Naturally, a bunch of DeFi degens like us need to have wicked schemes compiled with money legos. Ryan and David have been pushing to get the BED index on Index Coop - an investment vehicle made of $DPI, $ETH, and $BTC.

Earlier today, I was schooled by @AboveAverageJoe on some 11th-dimesions-im-playing-chess-while-you’re-playing-checkers DeFi magic. I have no doubt that with our collective DeFi expertise, entrepreneurial spirit, and developer resources, BanklessDAO can create a suite of products that leverages our size and treasury.

Merch

Who doesn’t love merch? Shirts, stickers, SOCKS! A Shopify store would be great, but what’s even cooler is all the things we can do with NFTs. Consider this: We have a proposal out that will kick off a meme competition. Winners of this competition will have their memes minted as NFTs and put in the DAO’s museum. Now, when we have 1 Billion bankless, how much would that first place meme prize be worth? There’s also this conversation I had with Leemers about an NFT redeemable for a physical art. In this case, metalwork.

Bullish on $BANK

Media income, financial products, and merch provide diversified recurring revenue streams. (I’m pretty sure some VC out there just heard a cha-ching.) DAOs are designed to function around an asset that supports the entire ecosystem. By continually innovating on ways to make capital use more efficient, on-chain revenue streams, and investment into our future, $BANK will feel immense upwards pressure. Honestly? I think our first big milestone will be when $BANK breaks 1 USD. My conservative bet is end of 2021, assuming the market continues as is.

Right now, $BANK has no value. It shouldn’t. We haven’t done anything yet. A few days, some forum posts, and chatting in discord doesn’t justify even a penny of valuation. We’ll get there. Probably exponentially.

Conclusion

  • Organizing is the hardest part. I theorized about the existence of a Talent Stack. A hierarchy of responsibilities that rely on hard and soft consensus to make fluid decisions in line with the will of the DAO.
  • There’s a lot BanklessDAO can accomplish. A few apparent ideas includes (1) Promoting our media network, (2) Financial products, and (3) Merch/NFTs
  • There’s a strong case for why $BANK has value. It’s still much too theoretical, but with tactful decision making, $BANK may be worth more than we think in just a few short weeks.
41 Likes

I cannot smash the like on this hard enough.
The writing guild needs to adapt this into a standalone post with some community refining.
This is :fire:

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Nice post, remind us about the mirror race in discord and i’ll throw a couple votes your way. DAO theory is interesting, if you manage to do that survey that would be great. In fact, if it doesn’t get funded on mirror we could maybe think about proposing this as a research product of the DAO in order to function better ourselves?

The BanklessDAO coming out at this point in time is an opportunity to use all that has been learned about DAOs over the past year. If we can identify other DAOs best practices and then combine them here, that seems very valuable.

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Killer piece! I don’t know what it is but your sleep deprived writing is more woke/crypto than anything else. There are so many pieces you touched on in this post that I think deserve their own post or nameplace. As a writer at Raidguild.org, I think there are a lot of pieces that we’re trying to solve for collectively that BanklessDAO could also benefit from. This has some Usain Bolt legs, I’m excited to see where we go with all of this! Great piece :clap:

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Very interesting post and it answers many of the questions I’ve been having lately about the DAO…
In the first place the DAO should figure out its organisational structure. Your proposed structure is probably a good one. In this case the members of each layer should be identified and also the salary of the core team members should be made public to the DAO.

On the media side, I also agree with you in having different blogs with different topics I.e. tokenomics, culture, education …

These in my opinion should be accessed through the same portal and have different sections on that portal. I assume this portal would be bankless.com. As a reference, I really like Home | ethereum.org I believe it is well designed and simple at the same time. The ultimate goal for bankless.com would be to become the go to site for all things DeFi… This will put bankless.com in a powerful position.

The merchandise side is also an excellent idea to generate revenue and as a marketing strategy

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I’d be very curious to read more about how DAOs operate from a process perspective. If DAOs, with people distributed across the world will ultimately be the vehicle that replaces the traditional corporate structure today, there’s a lot of reinventing or remaking we have to do (just like DeFi has had to do to TradFi). There’s a fairly standard way of working in traditional tech companies between product/engineering/design, etc but very curious to see how that translates to other DAOs, especially where some people are anonymous, others pseudonymous, etc, and people can work very different amounts for the organization.

What you describe as a orchestration layer sounds a lot like what might be a group of functional leads on a given project - it’s not exactly the same since in the DAO they don’t actually manage people underneath them, but in practice it is not that far off because in the real world you ultimately have to manage through influence (unless you’re working at a highly directive, top-down place). So I’m how that group would function in a DAO vs in a traditional organization. In a typical company, there are lots of artifacts like 1x1 meetings, all-hands, lunches where you meet others, etc - what of those are needed to run a DAO well? What don’t translate? What new models can exist in the decentralized world?

Anyway, food for thought for your research - would love to see what you find.

3 Likes

When thinking about DAOs I can’t help but compare it to cooperatives.
It might be a good idea to research cooperatives as I believe it is a good starting point.
Now, we need to ask ourselves what does make a DAO a DAO? In my opinion is the decentralised bit, but what makes an organisation decentralised? I don’t know it myself so can any one explain it to me. What I can see at the moment is that the only decentralised part in bankless is at the time of voting core things. Correct me if I am wrong.
In essence we should stick to the decentralised organisation as this is what it differentiates it from other types of organisations.

1 Like

This is really helpful and it has me thinking through the cooperative vs collective nuance. Of course, this has an impact on the constitution post that @Leemers has started pulling together as well.

An important consideration for the DAO is the proportionality of representation. I would love to hear some thoughts on the power/weight of some voices over others.

When voting, I think I remember that the DAO has already adopted a traditional model that dictates that more ownership/shares equate to more voice. This creates natural inequalities between those with more skin in the game (members level 1, work = level 2, Whale level 3, multi-year premium subscribers vs single year, etc). I think that our voting was based on a “proportional” representation when it came to the Genesis Proposal vote. But other votes on proposals appear to be one-person, one-vote.

Is it clear to others when one type of voting weight is used over the other?

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@frogmonkee
Thank you for this thoughtful post as well as your writers guild coordination. Prior to reading this, I was unsure how I might contribute to the DAO - possibly as a writer. However, your ideas about DAO best practices speak to me.
My crypto journey started with a smattering of white papers, Medium articles, and YouTube channels. It wasn’t until I discovered Bankless this time last year that my interests and activities formed structure and purpose. I must’ve read “Going Bankless: The Ultimate Guide” 50 times in an effort to level up every day and week. I refer all of crypto-curious friends to that post.
Back to your post…I’m wondering if we can organize, create, and continually revise a Bankless DAO primer; engagement guide, roadmap for leveling up?
I’m not a dev, but I do run a multi-billion dollar company in real life. I’d like to throw my hat in to help you organize your ideas and see them through to action.
Cheers!
0xHouston

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It would be great if we stick to 1 person 1 vote. No matter how much BANK you hold.

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@bau - You’re at Raidguild??? Dude, I love your products and the brand. That’s where I got the Guild idea from.

@Kouros - I agree with the portal idea. We should purchase that domain ASAP.

@unknownunknowns - All good questions. I think we’re starting to see the beginnings of a more informal version of trad-corp structure with many more functions.

@birchbranch - I’m generally a fan of quadratic voting, but this is one of those problems that already has answer and we haven’t found them yet. Basically what I was referring to in the personal plug for me mirror.xyz submission.

@0xHouston - Multi-billion??? Got some high rollers in here. Really excited to see where you fit into all this :slight_smile:

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Happy to vote for you on WRITE. By the way, anyone can join the waitlist and got 10 votes. I just did that, and set a reminder for Wednesday. :rocket:

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This is awesome… the community only matures and builds momentum to the extent that it can gain structure through coherent presentation of thoughts like these. Because community and buy-in are central to a bankless (lowercase b) or DeFi world, it’s insanely exciting to think about how Bankless is positioned for the future. Thank you again. Am proud to be charging ahead with everyone here!

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@frogmonkee
Yes! That’s super cool, “Guild” is the perfect term for what we’re starting here, it captures the essence of what we’re going to build!

I would love to see Bankless also get a real DAO setup on https://DAOhaus.club, I think it is the perfect software for creating an on chain identity without much maintenance or overhead from DAO members

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@frogmonkee @bau - What are your thoughts for proceeding? Setup a governance team an channel in Discord?

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I think that would be best. The general consensus is that we don’t need a formal proposal to form the guild. I think the guild participants could govern themselves. Maybe we set up a voice call with everyone that signed up on the spreadsheet. Then we can talk about organization structure and governance of the guild. Maybe guild members nominate themselves or other members for positions and we vote on them as a guild.

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which spreadsheep? [so much flying around, I may have missed it]

@Ap0ll0517 At this point, I think the Guild exists. There’s a Gitbook (wiki) being worked on for Guild resources. We’ll add info on how people can join. I do like the community calls though.

@birchbranch Creation of the Writer's Guild

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@frogmonkee, you’re thinking that you’re brain dump manifesto on DAO governance fits within the writer’s guild? …essentially start writing about best practice for this DAO? e.g., a getting started guide?

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Depends on if people agree with what I’m saying. Writing opinions vs turning it into a manifesto are two very different things.

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