Elect a Mayor to save the DAO

Background

BanklessDAO has been struggling with fundamentals of resource allocation, KPI setting, and tokenomics for over 2 years now, since the GSE was first proposed to solve these issues. The issue with the GSE has been that they lacked executive powers and failed to refocus the DAO as a whole onto solving its fundamentals. It took until recently for the situation to become critical enough that the multi-sig had to step in and pause all funding, as the token value keeps bleeding to death.

At current, there is a number of ongoing efforts within the DAO but they lack coordination, or even the ability to commit to deadlines or the fact that there should be deliverables and KPIs. In other words, this is more of the same.

Other initiatives are being discussed proposing the creation of a new governance token or NFT altogether, which would be awarded to a subset of the DAO, leaving many of the current holders in the dust and likely resulting in a fork. This is not the future I want to see for the once mighty BanklessDAO.

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Solution

What we do have is a strong brand and a wide community; What we do lack is an effective executive leadership, with a mandate to make decisions on behalf of the DAO, and move things forward.

I propose we elect a Mayor - like other DAOs have successfully done, namely FWB.

The Mayor will be compensated in $BANK, subject to milestone unlock over the next 24 months. This will create the best possible incentive structure, attracting a strong candidate and giving them skin in the game. The DAO owns over 60% of its own token supply - hence there is plenty of room to allocate generously for milestone-based compensation for a Mayor and their executive team. The ensuing tide will lift all boats. The DAO also owns over $200.000 in USDC and ETH - meaning there can be a cash-based element to the compensation too.

The Mayor and their team will have executive powers over the day-to-day of the DAO. They will be responsible for working with the current community, guilds, token holders, and other stakeholders, to create a strong roadmap for the next 12 months, including a new mission, vision, KPIs, and revenue generation. A major DAO restructure will likely be a part of this.

A detailed compensation schedule and statute of limitations to the Mayor’s powers (stating what matters $BANK holders will still need to vote on) will be modelled together with the governance council and voted on by $BANK holders, upon approval of this proposal.

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Next steps

If this proposal passes, there will be a period of one additional month to collect candidate nominations. During this period the mayoral race will be strongly promoted inside and outside the DAO. At the same time, the DAO will work on defining the compensation package and statute of limitations in more detail. At the end of this period, a snapshot vote of all $BANK holders decides who the new Mayor is.

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Voting and discussion

  • YES - Elect a Mayor, with milestone-based compensation
  • NO - Continue business as usual and let the guilds continue finding a solution
0 voters

Comment to discuss this proposal further.
Comment if you would like to nominate yourself / someone else for this role, with a short justification why.

Thank you :pray: and I love you all, regardless of whose feathers this proposal ruffles.

3 Likes

I’m not very supportive of the idea of electing a mayor whose job is to save the DAO (for various reasons). In short: I feel it’s a big ask to find the right person and not setting the potential mayor up for success.

That being said, it’s pretty hard to vote on this proposal because it’s so vague. Some questions:

  • how much BANK would we compensate the mayor?
  • what do “executive powers” mean? For instance could they change governance or use DAO funds without passing proposals?
  • what would the milestones be? What would the KPIs be?
  • I’ve noticed you mentioned Governance Dept and Marketing Dept (indirectly), but there aren’t any contributors from those groups on your proposal - did you have someone from those groups ready to commit to the work in this proposal?

Thanks for writing the proposal, appreciate your contribution!

5 Likes

Add an abstain button , or add one that asks for more clarity. That may assist with @links being unable to vote.

Bank has been a pretty bad remuneration tool for a while, now. You may want to try another avenue.

Who’s the team?

So ultimately here’s the problem with both angles. The mayor side, and the smaller team side with @links and co.

  1. There are a lot of factors missing due to circumstances that are out of our control. Your plan will be difficult to execute because we don’t know who’s truly active enough to be able to save the DAO. Now, I do believe that your plan could work post “restructuring”

  2. @links, and others will have a difficult (but not impossible) time with their plan because tlbank is not in prime condition yet (close) and it’s being marketed (I think inadvertently) as a fork, when it may be better as a vesting mechanism (veBANK would be better (not a coder so I’m sure I’m underestimating the difficulty arc) but ultimately, time could better assist the probability of this plan going forward.

I suggest that you hone your idea, by continuing to discuss it in the governance, marketing, or whatever channel you feel like. Ruffle them feathers!

2 Likes

Considering the situation the bDAO is in, going for a Mayor the Saviour would bring even more issues… The decision that needs to be made is how and whether the DAO continues, in what shape or form… That should be a collective effort decision, not relying on one person to do so.

6 Likes

@DAOlexa

It sounds like the mayor would have a group working towards the decisions

Conversely, you have tlbank owners making decisions, without a “head”.

So your balance would be either “small group” serving as head, or small group lead by head of small group.

Not fully in agreement with @mgoesdistance but want to try and see if there’s a clear way through this particular proposal.

Let’s refer to the source:

@mgoesdistance - is it a head with a group advising on proposals, or 1 guy going it alone?

Thanks for all your swift feedback!

@links agreed there is a lot to be worked out - the purpose of putting it up for discussion is to determine whether there is a will to move from this broad idea towards detail. My preliminary answers would be -

  • Up to 5-10% of all $BANK, subject to milestones (prob the upper bound of what’s acceptable for single holder in DAOs with strong founders/leadership, I think 5% is quite common)
  • Milestones should be tied to the price of BANK at x period of time. Yes, yes, it’s not all about the money blah blah blah but this is the only objective & unambiguous indicator of how well the DAO is doing. Token up means ppl are not selling, new believers joining, we are doing something right. Executive compensation is often modelled on stock price for this reason.
  • In short, no, they could not change governance w/o the governance granting them those powers first. Current governance would need to agree on transfer of any specific powers to the Mayor first, which would be focused on day-to-day stuff initially and not include changing governance unilaterally. The Mayor could, however, create a proposal that modifies governance and governance could approve it.
  • No, they have not committed, and perhaps that’s my bad. But I’m also implying that if this is what the DAO wants to do, it will clearly become THE priority for the DAO, andthe departments have no reason to say they don’t wanna be involved, should they want to continue contributing to the DAO.

@homie - appreciate your points.

  • I’d counter that BANK is the best renumeration tool possible despite (or because of) its poor performance - as it’s the only thing that aligns the interests of all parties involved. That’s the whole purpose of having a token. For the DAO to thrive, BANK price must go up and conversely if the DAO does thrive, BANK will go up.
  • Any plan at this point will be difficult to execute. What I’m saying is - let’s elect a Mayor whose role it will then be to figure out whom to involve in rebuilding, and how much. The DAO will never figure this out as a whole (but they can easily figure out how to bet one person with a coherent vision).
  • Think of it as government. There is a legislative branch (BANK holders who approve big initiatives), which will stay in place. We can’t rug BANK holders. Then there is an executive branch (does the day to day labor). The executive branch aka the cabinet is appointed by the President. The Mayor is the president and will appoint their own executive team from within & outside the DAO, to do the heavy lifting. The legislative branch (governance) is still involved in having a final say in any major changes they pass so they HAVE TO be consulted. Having the Mayor as a focal point just means all of this happens much more effectively.
1 Like

agree on this, it is not money matter, it is just best correlation, if things are going in good direction, BANK value will appreciate, and follow good things that are worked on
and that would suit Mayor, since compensation on the role would appreciate too, as well as suite BANK holders that would provide support throughout governance

cash compensation would just decrease DAO treasury, and it wouldn’t be possible to relate good things to BANK token / DAO treasury increase

on the other hand, I am in basic support for Mayor as a way forward, but details should be polished on proposal

3 Likes

The idea of having one person call the shorts is not really suggestive of a DAO structure. Now, this kind of burden placed on one person can be a lot, although it has its good sides. In my opinion, we already have a mayor, although its not one person but a group of people who have been charged with the responsibility of ensuring a better path forward for the DAO. This group is the Governance department. So in my opinion, what we should focus on is how to structure the governance department to bring about much more results.
I strongly believe that the governance department can deliver if it is well structured. @Icedcool once said something about dividing the governance department into sub-teams to address different areas where the DAO needs help. I think that will be a good way forward to achieving much more results than what we have currently.

4 Likes

I appreciate the ideation here, because I as well want to support movement and and progress.
Although I don’t think this is the route to it.


Reading over this proposal I see some challenges, namely:

  1. This proposal is not defined enough to support the success of a mayor position.

    • This is a MAJOR reason that the GSEs really struggled in their positions, and ultimately weren’t able to enact the change needed.

    • I’m concerned this would just create another scenario where one person would struggle to get strong results. (The GSEs had a TEAM and still had lots of challenges)

  2. Based on what you’ve written I’m concerned that it isn’t in relationship to sentiment fallout that has happened because of the challenges the DAO has faced. As a result some of the goals seem misaligned with the sentiments of the DAO.

    • For example, a LARGE majority want to move to a new name and brand, that is DAO owned, because the DAO wants to build something it can use and maintain, and not face similar challenges again.

    • Additionally, revenue generation as a focus/goal is its own major issue, that I’m not even sure the DAO should focus on. I wonder if this focus has lead us to the current challenges we face.

  3. Lastly, in support of collaboration, I think that work like this would be more effective in the work streams where people are focused on it. (Hope you join the gov meetings!)

    • This would enable awareness, involvement and likely a more well rounded proposal.

Outside of these challenges, I’m in general opposed to a ‘Mayor’ position, because it would consolidate power to an individual rather than a group, which is against what DAOing is. This proposal sounds like creating a CEO position.

DAOing is slow, and can be very challenging, although it is equitable and allows inclusive involvement.
I’m up for that, and believe that is the experiment we are here for.

I don’t want to just opt back to systems that we are trying to develop so that we can ‘fix’ things.

5 Likes

I’m glad we’re exploring this idea, but I don’t agree with it as a solution.

We already have a group of elected individuals whose agreed responsibility is to “work to ensure the perpetuity of the DAO’s existence in alignment with the DAO’s mission, vision, and values”. That’s the Multisig signers.

The fact that we have this group proposing to include others (people who have demonstrated their belief in the DAO by locking BANK) in the DAO’s next steps, rather than simply enforcing change, is testament to the character and integrity of the Multisig signers.

This group has ‘executive powers’ through the fact that they have control of the treasury. They can appoint / fund / support as they wish, really, so let’s appreciate their open approach and work with them to create a new future.

2 Likes

Appreciate your thoughts @Icedcool ! You definitely have some good perspectives. Maybe you can clarify -

  1. Which details do you think are missing to make this sufficiently defined?

  2. What’s the alternative to generating revenues? W/o revenues there is no money in treasury to support whatever the goal is. No financial value to flow into a token. I don’t know any crypto projects (even those that brand themselves as public goods) that are not trying to generate revenues. How much longer will people continue contributing for w/o being paid? The multi-sig is paused now so I guess we’'ll find out soon.

Cheers!

1 Like

Thanks @Paulito. Once again, I just want to clarify - this is NOT a proposal to create a dictator. Neither is it a proposal calling for one individual to work alone w/o support of the rest of the DAO. It should not result in fewer brains or resources being put to the task. When executed well, it should not result in more centralization, just more efficiency.

My analogy: Our democracy is as decentralized as it can be, w/o the country grinding to a standstill. But we still elect a president in order to execute effectively. The president represents the will of the people and ALSO has to act according to governance (any laws that the governing body implements). The government governs, the president (and their cabinet) execute. It’s an extremely good system. It is not uncommon amongst DAOs which are thriving, even if they value decentralization.

Nice comments, @homie !

How about the charity set up, where the “chief exec” reports to a board of founders, accountable to them, but also can we find ways to make any such role more accountable to the members?

Employee share ownership is a model that even works in Web 2, I tasted it myself once, sweet honey! But here in bDAO seems to suffer from significant reporting variance on a Guild by Guild basis. Or maybe the reporting requested was of insufficient heft.

Thoughts?

The key here, @mgoesdistance , is smart use of incentive packages. Conceivably we could recruit from outside Bankless if need be, because right now I don’t see engagement levels as at all strong. Even established OGs are saying they want to concentrate on niche / offshoot projects.

I would definitely have @homie on any team, because they care passionately about bDAO, and have done pretty much since I joined, nearly three years ago now. Also @Ornella , @Trewkat , @hirokennelly , I know these people have their hearts in great places.

I wonder if we can recapture the essence of what made 30k people join the Discord? Was it just our guys in Bankless HQ and their Wow factor?

2 Likes

Guild after Guild, @Icedcool , I definitely have NOT seen this, and it’s been why Guilds struggled. The “successful” Guilds all decided to break away from bDAO, I suggest precisely because that focus was lacking.

I don’t know how any group thinks it should be supported by a parent without making a positive value contribution of some sort. The simplest way to do that is to ask Guilds for a value delivery focus, which at the moment is not a feature of bDAO governance.

I think this will only continue to hold if a credible plan emerges. If not, I think folk will flee their holdings, @Trewkat .

Overall, maybe some reframing will help, @mgoesdistance .

Let’s not call this a chief executive, but rather what it is, a high powered trouble shooter, a gun for hire. An equal to the GD contributors, as well as reporting to them. But definitely still needing that active team of Guild Leaders willing to implement change as they see it’s needed, Guild by Guild.

I agree with 95% of what you said @innov8tor3. Imho the Mayor should have the powers to appoint Guild Leaders.

I know this is not gonna sound popular with the current guilds but it doesn’t mean they get all replaced. It just means the guilds have to deliver in accordance to the KPIs, else someone else is put in place, who will. It’s been said on here many times in the past that there’s been a huge issue funding guilds and projects on a rolling basis and approving budgets each season automatically, regardless of whether they are directly contributing to the mission. That’s what’s causing the bleed.

To your first point - there already IS a board to which the Mayor will have to report to - it’s the BANK holders vote on snapshot.

I think this misses a crucial factor, @mgoesdistance .

Guild leaders need to want to volunteer for this, given suitable incentives, and guild members should have the right to vote for who is leading them. But Guilds should be subject to, and want to agree to value provision and sustainability protocols. The GD won’t disagree with this, they have paused funding based exactly on sustainability grounds. The issue is these are not stated explicitly at this point, but based on a coarse view of the treasury diminishing. We need more finely tuned metrics.

Guild funding should be provided on the basis that individual Guild proposals net overall mean the Guild is self sustaining. IRL, any community that isn’t self sustaining will fold. It’s not wrong to ask for this. Else we encourage Guilds expecting handouts. We need Guild Leaders to understand the reality of the job they want to take on.

Actually, this is a very technical process, which I think few DAO members are aware of. Most voting happens here in Discourse, and voting typically doesn’t get enough publicity in Discord. Sentiment checks in Discord are great, and voting does get attention, eg voting for Guild roles. The numbers voting on Snapshot may be folk who understand the process, but it’s very technocratic, and needs much better education across the DAO. If only the whales are voting then it’s not proper decentralisation.

This kind of stuff here is why I can’t support this proposal. It shows a lack of understanding of how the DAO has operated and doesn’t take into account our strengths and weaknesses.

Projects and guilds weren’t funded automatically, there was an extremely time-consuming and thankless vetting process performed by the Grants Committee, who collected KPIs and approved/denied funding to guilds/projects based on their seasonal proposals. What you’re proposing is to recreate this process (which didn’t really work IMHO).

Also - you’re speaking as if we have an unlimited pool of motivated contributors, and can afford to throw people away if they don’t meet some exacting KPIs. This is false - the contributors who are still here are here because they somehow believe in our purpose, and every single one of them is valuable. We need to be thinking about how we can best put their valuable time to use, not about how we can throw them away if they don’t meet a mayor’s expectation.

Overall, this proposal feels like it is trying to turn the DAO into some sort of traditional corporation, with revenue targets, top-down initiative, and maximizing shareholder value. Is the endgame really for our DAO to be a tradCorp? That’s not why I’m here, personally.

8 Likes

Hey, good points. Imho -

  • I’m well aware of the past GC funding guilds process and agree it’s broken. How many times did a guild get no funding for a season? I think zero. This is equivalent to funding being automatically granted, with the semblance of an evaluation process on top. Agree it needs to stop and I’m proposing to replace it completely, not recreate it.

  • Quality > quantity. Better to have a small SWAT team that executes amazingly than a lot of people just for the sake of giving a lot of people something to do. Now, I’m not saying I don’t value our contributors or people should be forced to leave the DAO. No! But the vast majority of such roles should not be funded, unless there is a strong reason to. People can be here to learn. But can’t be paid for it.

  • I’m suggesting the goal is the Mission, but the best way to measure whether it’s being achieved is the strength of our reach, measured by BANK. If we get rid of all quantitative metrics, goals, and ambition to create revenues, that’s fine. But it means the treasury will go down to zero and this becomes a group of people working on a voluntary basis, without pay. That can be an alternative path if you think it’s sustainable - but I’m proposing an alternative that does include using money being put in service of the mission. Perhaps the DAO should vote on which of these two visions they want, first.