Brain Dump #6 - Picking and Choosing Our Battles

Well thought out Governance development plan and attention allocation formula. Personally, I think Grants Committee has a tough job, for example, we want to be involved with MetaVerse, but which idea is the right play, and which proposal has the team that will deliver. We could distribute stripes for projects completed to gain reputation (like this is an aggregate 12 stripe squad), while also keeping in mind that new L1s and Guests can still deliver just because they haven’t before. - Frank

3 Likes

Also, as the vibe in the dao spreads across more people, projects thin out and attention games begin. I think WG is growing faster than it can gel at this point, I’ve seen like three or so new initiatives in the last three weeks. While I’m excited by the growth, and new members, I hear signs of unsustainable attention traps that don’t inherently further the Front of House or Back of House mission directly. I’d rather we as a WG came together more clearly and just picked one additional time a week to engage in a rotating cast of “what the show is”…

3 Likes

+1 these thoughts especially prioritizing revenue generation right now. Should our treasury grow in value, it gives our native token more value which allows us to fund more activities. Positive loop.

I think these ideas outlined by Frog are helpful in providing direction for the growth of the DAO but still keeps some questions (potentially unanswerable) open.

2 Likes

Completely agree that we need to take revenue streams more seriously. Many of the new attention-grabbing initiatives started in the last few weeks in the Writers Guild are a result of the massive influx of contributors we have, and we need tasks for them and a place for them to step in and “own” new things. I have been wondering how we are going to pay everyone. This look into the grants committee and the history of distributing funding is really helpful for me, since I wasn’t around for Season 0 or most of Season 1. Thanks for this well thought-out post, frog!

5 Likes

@frogmonkee This is such an important, well thought out, and necessary post. Thank you for doing this, and trying to set the overall strategy moving forward.

I think everyone at the DAO wants this method of work to be successful while still feeling energized to wake up and “do crypto stuff.” We are still in start-up mode, and these strategy discussions rarely have one “right” answer. Ask the 12,000 people in our Discord about strategy and we may get 12,000 different answers.

I want to explain why I voted a certain way on each of the topics, but again my experience will be different than each of you here.

  • Vote 1: Do you agree with these Trends?
    ** Disagree - I still feel energized to do this work, each and every day. However, I do see a trend of resource constraints in a couple dimensions
    ** Talent / Contributors - There may not be enough roles / BANK to fairly compensate individuals who want to do more for the DAO
    ** Projects - Decisions need to be made on which projects to fund - I see this only continuing to be a hurdle as we progress through seasons

  • Vote 2 - Establishing Workstream Priorities -
    ** Strongly Agree - Having a strategy framework aligned with the mission of enabling onramps to decentralized finance while also creating revenue to remunerate contributors is essential, and the framework @paulapivat created and you modified is a very solid first stab at this

  • Vote 3 - Earmarking funds (50/33/17) for FoH, BoH, Perks
    ** Neutral - I agree with the framework and concepts of this breakdown, and it being used to help guide future allocations. However, I am not sure that (50/33/17) is the right breakdown. Not saying it isn’t right, but this deserves follow on discussions.

  • Vote 4 - GC Should assess capabilities of the squad
    ** Strongly agree - It’s certainly a way to make sure that collaborative teams with a history of delivery will stick with the DAO.

Again, thank you for this well thought out post. I am so bullish on our future!

  • RTJ
6 Likes

I feel this SO HARD. That’s why I advocated for a re-work of our bDAO CCs to focus on keynote speakers rather than a firehose of project updates. I feel very disconnected from the human component of the DAO.

5 Likes

I agree, if i’m understanding it correctly. What I think you arer saying is, instead of just funding anything that helps onboard 1B to crypto, fund things that are revenue generating.

What makes this slightly confusing, or at least why I raised an eyebrow and had to read a few times, is that putting align with mission 3rd, almost says that we will sacrifice our values for revenue. I doubt this is what you mean, but could be spelled out differently.

3 Likes

This is why I tried to push DAOlationships to be revenue generating instead of just having members out networking in other DAOs.

I think these are good membership perks, but personally, I see ourselves more as a media DAO than a social DAO. I joined the DAO to learn as much as possible about crypto, so to me, the perks are stuff like the NFT Conneseiurs channel, and just all the alpha that gets leaked in here. I think we could strengthen these types of perks into more formal programs or channels.

In the end, I came to learn about money, and stayed for the lifestyle.

For the reasons above, I don’t think membership perks are strong enough currently to allocate 17% of funding to it.

2 Likes

The Grants Committee point about investing in teams vs. ideas is really important, I think. I see in local politics how people get excited about big ideas, but the execution of them often fails to follow through well, and you end up with something that goes way over budget and over time in the effort to make it happen. And then it doesn’t live up to the hype.

But if your focus is on solid teams, and you allow the teams to pivot when an idea isn’t quite working as intended, I think you get better results.

2 Likes

I like this idea Sam. I think CC calls can move past “project updates”, which are a series of shout-outs and make us look very accomplished (as we are). Instead, perhaps some alternating cast of Key Note speakers to discuss at length certain issues, with a nice moderator (ahem, you frog).

Thank you @frogmonkee for this write-up. For new people like myself, this was a very informative post and gave me some history on what happened (and how it has happened) over the last 6 months.

I can offer my perspective as a Guest Pass, and somebody that has been involved in this DAO for just a few days.

This is the first DAO I joined where I see myself wanting to actually contribute - I did a few experiments before in other DAOs but I ended up leaving those communities almost immediately. My background is in management consulting and one of the reasons for me to join Bankless was specifically linked to the Bankless Consultancy project that we are trying to get off the ground under @RunTheJewelz’s lead. I was glad to see in your post that such an initiative is very much in-line with the direction the DAO wants to take.

Because I am a new member, and one that is still not contributing to the community to the extent I’d love to, my view on your Q1 is probably very different from yours. Having worked in a corporate setting for almost 20 years (and counting…), the enthusiasm, helpfulness and sense of belonging I have experienced in this DAO just over the last few days is truly a breath of fresh air. I am eager to get more involved - if anything, one thing we should improve is to possibly make it easier for motivated new members to get stuck in.

The identification of three separate workstreams (FoH, BoH and MP) makes a lot of sense to me. These three areas are all (equally?) important to the long-term success of this DAO’s mission, so attention must be given to all of those priorities. Over the last couple of days I have been thinking we may be biting more than we can possibly chew here. The DAO is full of initiatives but a clear steer seems non-existent. Perhaps this is how a DAO is supposed to work (after all, I’m probably not the best person to give “Ways of Working advice” here) but this is something that I’ve been seeing as a red flag at this stage and I thought I’d share it…

On funding, I agree that budgetary indications must be provided. I would think the percentage apportioned for Membership Perks should be more significant. I would imagine we actually do want to encourage people active in Bankless to buy and hold the token, so strategic thought must be given to create ways for members to find this HODLing valuable. The whole web3 idea is based on incentives alignment: if we are not “voting with our wallets” by holding $BANK then I think we are missing an opportunity. Again… I’m new here, so forgive me if what I say makes no sense to you!

Ideas are everywhere, but execution is what separates success from failure. I strongly agree with you on Q4: the stronger the team, the more likely they will be able to pull the idea off, the more revenue/value/impact will be generated for the BanklessDAO. This seems obvious to me. Vetting the idea is not nearly as important as vetting the team.

I am looking forward to seeing how, as a collective, we will be able to shape our future and structure ourselves in a more sustainable and productive way. Please don’t take some of the points I mentioned above as criticism: this is simply a reflection based on my experience (admittedly short so far) as a fresh member of this fantastic community. I hope some of these considerations could be helpful.

Thank you!

4 Likes

This is fantastic! Thank you for putting in such efforts to put these thoughts down in here!

This is just a stream of thoughts I had as I read through it :slight_smile:


One of the funding allocations in regards to the 1>2>3 method is that it somewhat leaves out the internal processes. The next section beyond that discusses In the House, where we need to support fun stuff and vibe enhancement. Unfortunately, the 123 method leave out the stuff that will make us stronger as a community. Although this is discussed later on with the allocations pie graph.

Vibin’
Perhaps we should have an allocation designated for fun times? I’ve seen Ernest of Gaia frequently in the watercooler just livestreaming and chatting with people. Would a movie theater channel be something? Where we could 24/7 stream a variety of shows or movies? #theater for that #popcorn for the live chat commentary? Would anyone watch it? Some various music streams that we could tune into while working? Fund IRL meetups? There had been some fun games like what perchy had made using an NFT scavenger hunt, which could potentially be a funded endeavor? The daily AM NFT chat that was going on was a great gathering place where people just jumped in an hung out.

What kinds of things would maximize the good vibes?
I know people have been going hard for many months, and there’s not always a good way to step away from discord without missing heaps of stuff.

Work/FunWork
One of the Inward Facing aspects I could see offering substantial improvements for workflow and streamline would be to have an interface that is more conducive than discord perhaps? It’s great and we can do so much in here, but the sheer volume of stuff is quite overwhelming. I’ve heard from people who are basically 100% dao and discord for their jobs in various daos that the bankless dao server is exceptionally overwhelming. Of course, it is hard to not be when there is just such an incredible amount of stuff happening and being built! It would be good to be able to more readily prioritize and visualize it, with important messages, polls, discussions not constantly flowing upwards into oblivion. With that level of activity, if someone isn’t in it 100%, it might be difficult to engage due to firehose action.

GC/Funding Thoughts
Maybe the proposals for funding should be re-located to consensus mechanisms, such that it doesn’t fall upon any group of individuals? Or would it work to allow anyone to just show up and discuss ideas, with the outcomes posted to forums? The results would just be executed by multisigners? If voting was done for funding, it might be worth employing quadratic voting or quadratic funding? We could simply have a forked gitcoin and each team or project would put their project up and let the holders of bank cast the funds about. Obviously, it would be important to ensure that specific stuff is funded adequately such that it doesn’t cause a loss of talent. I’m not sure.

Just a stream of thoughts :slight_smile: Cheers!

4 Likes

You may feel disconnected FROG, but your brain-dumps and this sort of post makes a lot of sense and may help to garner cohesion within the DAO. Well done on getting this post out and shared

3 Likes

First of all I want to thank you @frogmonkee to making yourself vulnerable to the group by sharing how you feel. This made me feel connected a lot. This is what makes all the difference between a Corporate job and this community - allowing us all to be the humans we are, with emotions that we want to understand, express and appreciated from each other! This makes me so happy to be part of this community.

In my eyes you are addressing two elements here:

  1. if there is just not enough funding for all initiatives, what should be the joint understanding how to decide?

I see this as a way of supporting and legitimizing the decision making process of the Grants Committee. And it makes sense. Once another person decides for or against funding your ideas it is vital to have a strong consensus on the guiding principles.

I like the way you explained your priorities and I agree to them. I think we should emphasize even stronger that priority 1 is where the bulk of the funding will go. Ideally all. Because in my eyes there is some risk in the way you frame it. What if only 10% of the funding goes to priority 1 and the rest are great ideas that just generating revenue? in this case we will lose the common goal and just be a revenue generating machine. I suggest therefore to discuss a maximum percentage of funding that would go to priority 2. If this percentage is exceeded the rest will either go to priority 3 or will be kept in the Treasury.

  1. A feeling of disconnectedness and more “work” than “play”

I am wondering if Membership Perks are the way to address this. I love the way people organically meet to work on the stuff they are passionate about. I sensed a lot of positive and playful energy in the sessions I joined. However, this feeling needs some mental space. And I am wondering where this mental space should come from if one is busy in trying to keep up and adding value at the same time?

In my view the answer is focus and reduction of complexity:

Crypto is about self sovereignty and this to me also means taking responsibility to respect our own resource and capacity. Everyone needs to make sure they just bite as much as they can chew. If this is the case, then the DAO will only bite as much as it can chew.

Also, I read a lot about new joiners feeling overwhelmed. And I am convinced this is the same for OGs. There are just more topics than an individual can digest. Therefore I feel reducing complexity in the DAO, condensing information for the whole community, structuring what can be structured should be a focus to help our brains to handle all this.

3 Likes

Perspective is everything.

For those of us who have recently joined Bankless, the culture and The Vibe is still a marked contrast to what I personally have seen out there in tradcorp land.

This is not the bullshit “we-wear-t-shirts-to-work-and-have-a-ping-pong-table-in-the-lobby” excuse for culture that you see in a lot of Web2 companies. This feels different.

You guys should be very proud of that. You have created a genuine culture here that is unique, and more importantly, addictive.

What I personally love about Bankless is that nobody here is content with a second rate community. The above Brain Dump really serves to underscore this. The bags under your eyes (I suspect) reflect the fact that there is a constant drive amongst the contributors to make things better and address problems head on.

To bastardise some quote I read once, from some guy who’s name I am too lazy to Google:

“There are 2 kinds of DAO: the one people complain about, and the one nobody joins.”

Good job giving people something to complain about.

6 Likes

I fully second this!

I don’t consider myself a contributor, I feel as though I’m more of a lurker.

Regardless - I feel the burnout of trying to stay caught up with ‘Bankless’ and it’s beginning to feel ‘not fun’.

Great post as always Frog.

I want to double-click on the prioritization efforts. I think this should be our main goal in Season 3. There’s too much going on now that the community is getting spread thin across different things. We’re 10x more powerful when the entire community is focused on 10 things rather than 100.

One thing I’m seeing from the GC is that there’s becoming more and more overlap between projects. The first that comes to mind is that we’ve seen multiple projects that could fall under Bankless Academy, etc. It’s becoming an inefficient allocation of resources imo.

We’ve had ~6 months to bootstrap a handful of projects–a lot of them are successful.

I think now it’s time we double down on those successful projects and put the full weight of the DAO behind them. This will allow us to align ourselves behind these core projects and ensure that there’s sufficient talent, retention, etc. behind them. People would get onboarded into the DAO and rather than getting firehosed, they get a clear list of “this is what we’re working on and where we need help with this”.

To @samanthaj’s point, I think this is also a great opportunity to shift CCs to less firehose-y and more focused on certain projects week over week.

How do we do this?

The biggest question we need to answer is how to determine which projects should be prioritized and how many?

I think this could be a unique opportunity for us to leverage a Mirror Token Race to determine the projects we want to prioritize on a Season by Season basis.
Each project would enter the race with a brief proposal (What it is, how much they need, etc.) and then BANK holders would vote on which projects they think should qualify. The top X projects by BANK voted would qualify for direct funding in that particular Season.

We have a Mirror account and could get this setup in a few hours. Just my two cents here.

I have some other thoughts but don’t want to flood this thread with another wall of text.

Tl;dr: I fully agree – let’s double down on the things that are working and be more intentional with what we’re driving attention, talent, funding, etc. towards moving forward :slight_smile:

5 Likes

THANK YOU FOR YOU CONTINUED THOUGHTS & PLANS @frogmonkee :pray: :pray: :pray:

Agree with prioritization and categorization, but I’m not sure we should tighten purse strings just yet - especially without fundamental changes to GC operations (not sure yet, but its unsustainable and cumbersome). I believe funding guidelines should be established and we’re trending that way to make sure most projects are funded fairly for equivalent labor.

Ultimately, for Season 3, I think we should make even more funding available (we’ve yet to even touch the war chest, let alone the ongoing distribution) - especially for new projects with new team leads. Old guard needs a break and incentives may need to emphasis this. This is a bull market, we are onboarding tons of talented & brilliant contributors; we need to put them to work and pay them so they stay.

That said, those new projects should align with FoH, BoH, and Perks priorities as above - possibly still to the tune of parsing out budget as your pie graph shows (but many projects fall in between like BB, DEGEN - so this will need clarity).

WRT GC funding teams instead of goals; I agree as long as we do this in a data-driven way to protect against social capital and politicin’. This could lead to straight up bribery in the worst scenario. Measure based on Notion, Discord, commits, customers, turnover, poll votes, and even community temp checks. Ideally, the GC is not giving project funds “because I’ve known this contributor since Season 0”.

Many of the new attention-grabbing initiatives started in the last few weeks in the Writers Guild are a result of the massive influx of contributors we have, and we need tasks for them and a place for them to step in and “own” new things. - @samanthaj

I agree with this; we need to allow space for new contributors to create & own new initiatives. The very real burnout of L2s being spread too thin is super FOMO and trying to work on all of these things; we need to let go and empower new contributors to dive in.

I think many newcomers are sidelined, waiting to be specifically called upon because L2s have established limelight. We need to prioritize in-roads and onboarding to empower folks to step up, just like most L2s did in Season 0.

TL;DR - Agree with the prioritization concept; disagree with focusing - let’s open the purse even further and ensure new members can lead, work, and get paid.

4 Likes

What I’m proposing here is a strong realignment of priorities with a focus on slowing down.

I think it is also important to keep the DAO members aligned too. By that what I mean is that contributors need to agree on some model x and say “Ok, I think this is going to work for me”. Without having shared core values there will be more and more of this detachment that you’ve noticed.

This last category has seen the least amount of growth. This makes sense, as it wasn’t a priority, but I’m seeing a greater need for good vibes.

I wasn’t paying much attention to this, but even with this limited focus on membership perks I got many things I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise (DAOPUnks, ENS Airdrop, etc). What I’ve noticed is that these things are not well structured. Maybe having some calendar or structured list of perks would be nice (as opposed to a discord channel that’s not all encompassing).

In short: GC should assess the capabilities of the squad and their prior history of activity and execution in the DAO and trust in that team to iterate on building the best product/service they can.

100% agree. I think the challenge here will be the method that is used to evaluate the possible candidates. Ask any recruiter about how hard it is to determine somebody’s abilities. This might become a hindrance for newcomers with zero background in crypto. I think I was lucky in this regard, but I’m sure there will be others who won’t end up in the right place at the right time.

Thanks for this write-up frogmonkee. This sort of pulse check is what will keep the Bankless DAO chugging along.

My own perspective is this: The BanklessDAO is a really special place. It brings together fans of the Bankless podcast who chose to be subcribers, but also crypto enthusiasts who (in general) are interested in Ethereum, DeFi, NFTs, DAOs, communities, and “what’s next.”

The early BanklessDAO has seen contributions from an amazing number of knowledgeable and generous people, including you but there are many others.

My only criticism is this: I think the DAO is trying to do too much. Efforts have been made to rein in the sheer vastness of the Discord (thank you!) but it’s still difficult to follow along. In one way, this reminds me of SEC filings. Long ago, lawyers figured out that the best way to render those meaningless is to bury investors in too much information. There is a point where adding one more thread or one more project is not additive but a detraction.

It’s a difficult problem. So many want to contribute; no one wants to turn anyone away. I just think that the DAO needs to take more baby steps before it learns to fly.

Those are just my thoughts. I wouldn’t be surprised if a majority disagrees with them. And, having said that, I want to reiterate my gratitude to those of you who stepped up and proposed different ways forward. Without you, nothing happens. So, thanks!