Governator Project Season 3 Budget Proposal

Title: Governator MVP Grant Proposal - S3

Authors: montgomery#8177, ivan7538🏴#4763

Squad: montgomery#8177, ivan7538🏴#4763, Tiki#0503, Joel🏴#9244, stradford#0364, ken#704617000

Date Created: Feb 2, 2022

Date Posted: Feb 8, 2022

SUMMARY

Sum up this proposal in a few bullet points or sentences.

  • Soft Consensus Governance (Guild elections & proposals, etc) is largely run by awkwardly public Sesh bot polls with minimal checks & no follow-thru automation
  • Governator is a new software solution that implements automated secret polling to secure gated votes in an auditable, but private manner
  • Long term, Governator will integrate with Web3, automatically run elections, handle role transitions, and potentially route funding
  • This proposal seeks for initial bootstrap funding of :moneybag: 476,000 BANK and will deliver an MVP by the end of the Season.

BACKGROUND

Why are you making this proposal?

We are making this proposal to provide fair governance through the use of private voting on Discord. Private voting in elections guard against coercion (“positive” persuasion, neutral bias, and potentially negative consequences) and are essential to the integrity of the democratic process.

What problem or opportunity does this proposal target?

We have an opportunity to replace the need for Guild Organizer’s and Ops folks creating manual Sesh survey’s every season to run elections. (potentially add some details of the research we’ve accumulated about the manual process) Private voting will also encourage involvement in the governance process as the individual votes will not be visible to the majority. This fosters a fair and inclusive process to governance and is at the center of some of the issues we are tackling at the moment.

What are the driving factors behind why you think this is a good idea?

Fair governance and participation have been at the forefront of many of us here at BDAO. As our talent pool increases the need for more role holders will increase. The increase in role holders will require a more full-time/round the clock process to create voting polls, submit payment, change permissions and execute these in a timely manner. Being able to effectively manage this process will increase transparency which will encourage participation. Governator is not an answer to the greater opportunities we have in governance but it will create a simpler process that encourages participation in the process.

MISSION & VALUES ALIGNMENT

How does this project help the DAO achieve its mission and align with it’s values?

We need to automate governance systems to unlock contributor’s time and ultimately scale the DAO’s coordination mechanics. With a product dedicated to automating governance, we can actually look at scaling out.

Governator will help by creating a consistent, user-friendly governance automation tool to help people engage and discover the power of governance.

SPECIFICATION

Explain the project in detail. You’re expected to have done your homework and the more exact numbers and implementation details, the more likely the proposal will be approved. Include squad details, including any positions that have yet to be filled (e.g., you need to add someone from the dev guild to the squad).

This project is currently in its infancy and has the potential to stretch in a ton of directions as we gather feedback & research over time. Our preliminary roadmap is as follows:

Phase 1: MVP & Research

Though our ambitions are quite large (automating elections as code :sweat-smile), we know that we first need private polling in order to do anything.

The MVP of the product will focus on the bones of the product:

  1. Frontend for creating & managing polls
  2. Discord Bot for participating in private polls & automatically showing results

These bones offer us a path in the future to pursue Poll Chaining automation which would allow us to codify and run an entire election from nominations to announcing the winner(s).

The MVP tech team requires Frontend, Backend, and Bot developers - all needs have been covered by the existing team.

While we construct the private polling MVP, we will push a research initiative to uncover:

  1. How guilds and projects are currently running their governance processes
  2. How Governator can aid them

This could shift how we prioritize roadmap items for Season 4+ and potentially influence how these teams govern themselves by asking the right questions and providing information & technology to support them.

The research initiative will be in partnership with the Research Guild and led by the active PM in the project.

Phase 2: V1 & Content

Once we have the MVP complete and research to aid us, we will double down on technical features to deliver governance automation solutions. The preliminary plan is to:

  1. Create Poll Chaining to automate a simple election from start to finish
  2. Attempt to orchestrate governance-as-code as a public standard

While we work on the tech, a separate team will spin up to form the brand & educational element. A huge portion of the product in the future is education! We must teach people about governance, the different options available to them in running elections, and how our product can help them achieve their ideal outcomes.

We will need education, content marketing, writers, social, and even Bankless Consulting!

Monetization Challenges

This product may have a challenging monetization strategy through typical SaaS means.

Though we aim to pursue a classic Freemium model in which the product is free to use but certain features are gated, the TAM may be quite limited in the initial launch.

Where products like Sesh may be installed on 140k servers, they only bring in $200k in yearly revenue - other Poll services less. And Governator will not be applicable to this many servers as it pursues a burgeoning DAO marketplace.

So, in the short term (as we edge into the early market) this product may require public goods funding from Gitcoin and/or an Alliance of DAOs to support its work over time - even in combination with a light monthly fee for use. Perhaps in time the market will grow and Governator will be positioned very well to be a flexible governance solution for the mass market.

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

Include details about funding requirements. You must include a detailed breakdown that explains how the funds will be allocated. Funding will not be approved for proposals without a funding breakdown. This is where the squad can request rewards for their expected contributions to the project, including any work done to scope the project and create the proposal.

:moneybag: We request 476k BANK for this project in Season 3.

  • Scoping Phase - 100k BANK
    • Champion
      • 5 hours per week for 6 weeks = 30k BANK
    • PM
      • 5 hours per week for 6 weeks = 30k BANK
    • Tech Research
      • FE: 5 hours per week for 4 weeks = 20k BANK
      • Bot: 5 hours per week for 4 weeks = 20k BANK
  • MVP - 331k BANK
    • Champion
      • 5 hours per week for 10 weeks = 50k BANK
    • PM
      • 5 hours per week for 10 weeks = 50k BANK
    • Tech
      • FE: Pointed & buffered average = 126k BANK
      • BE & Bot: Pointed & buffered average = 105k BANK
  • DevOps - $0
  • Branding (Perchy) - 5k BANK
  • Research - 40k BANK
    • Guild Governance Surveys [20k] x2
    • Partnering with Research Guild

Total Ask: 476K BANK

BRAND USAGE

If the project will use the Bankless DAO brand outside the DAO, explain in detail how the brand will be used and add a “Bankless Brand” tag to the project.

This product does not necessarily require the outward use of the Bankless brand, but it will leverage a Chippi as mascot and representative.

SUCCESS METRICS OR KPIS

How will the project’s success be measured?

  • A functional prototype will be created and available to the DAO by the end of the Season.
    • Any DAO member will be able to create a timed, private Discord poll
    • A stretch goal of creating a recurring, chained poll will be attempted, but not guaranteed
  • In future seasons, the KPIs will shift to server installations and consumer usage as we pursue the replacement of Sesh polls

NEXT STEPS

Immediate action items, should this proposal be accepted.

Once accepted, the GC will fund the team’s multisig wallet. The work is already in-flight in order to meet the aggressive 2 month target.

SQUAD BACKGROUND

Who you are & disclose your interests with making the proposal

Jameswmontgomery.eth - BanklessDAO genesis member, prev Developers Guild organizer, ex-Grants Committee, and passionate DAO contributor. I have seen first hand the drain of manual governance and am committed to putting the A back in DAO by creating software that automates this labor.

Ivan7538 - AV guild contributor/Knowledge Session Contributor. I have 14+ years of organizational management skilled in bringing people together to collaborate and execute.

Tiki0503 - DEGEN bot mechanic / developer, experience with building discord bot features like first-quest bot and SquadUp. Passionate about living bankless and everything DAO and super stoked to help bringing this idea to life.

POLL

Add a poll with a clear for or against position (e.g., Approve/Reject or Yes/No). You can include a “support direction, but needs improvement” option, but that will be counted as a Reject/No vote for any funding purposes.

Should we fund this product?

  • Yes
  • Not yet

0 voters

1 Like

I think it would be $BANK well spent, even if the MVP ends up delivering value inside the DAO and perhaps some of our immediate neighbours.

As for the addressable market, I suspect the same could be true for pretty much every other piece of DAO tooling that comes or will come out from us on the market. Unlike the educational and onboarding content that can reach millions of people, the D2D market will take a couple more years to get up to speed, but the hope is that it happens exponentially.

4 Likes

As an “immediate neighbor” I’d love to see this happen and will be tracking closely it if it does. It’s timely and goes to perhaps some of the more grave concerns I have around democratic decision-making in DAOs, namely: if we can’t make distributed strategy easy to use, we tend to instinctively centralize.

My counter concern is that every toggle, lever, gate, and tool that is added to the governance arsenal carries with it a human-mental-capital lift. We regard email as min viable business tooling now, I remember struggling to get my (then boomer, I’ve filled their shoes since) colleagues to use it; governance will be the same way, but we’re not there even conceptually (people give away their strategic rights easily it seems) and this research will help greatly.

(not voting on this, I don’t have standing to inform your treasury spend; but I’ve got my 35k bank because I like chatting with y’all; if I build enough context and feel like I’ve actually contributed here at some point I’ll start trying to inform strategy, maybe even in this slick future you’ve painted here, until then, hoot! :owl:)

1 Like

I’m generally leary about building even more tooling centered on Discord. Why not do these elections with Snapshot or some other “web3-native” toolset? If the user experience isn’t there, then would we get more bang for our buck by building that MVP. Sorry if I’m misunderstanding the proposal.

3 Likes

@0xJustice makes a fine point with regards to further investment in discord centric tooling. I think it could be useful for some of us non-devs to get some elaboration/clarification as to the web 3 integration strategy referred to in bullet 3 of the summary.

1 Like

I agree, but Discord is where we live and my design philosophy is to meet the user where they are. We may start with Discord, but my vision for this product is for Discord to be one of many integration points.

That’s this proposal. Build the MVP of Governator which starts with a bot, but culminates in a platform of its own.

I envision an application akin to Snapshot where both Discord and Web3 Token voting (and frankly any off-platform app) can be sewn together to fit the needs of a DAO. In this case, imagine that a single Discord vote is worth 1x votes while a signed NFT membership vote is worth 10x in combination with quadratic ERC20 voting.

Perhaps its as simple as signing that your wallet & Discord are connected and being able to use Token voting (unsigned by default, but still signable) to signal with weight directly in discord without the need (but retaining the option) to connect MetaMask & Ledger. In a word: seamless.

Very much looking forward to exploring the potential here; thanks for your questions!

1 Like

@jameswmontgomery.eth here is my attempt to synthesize this proposal.

  • The MVP will be a bot on Discord; and ultimately, an application that will be able to accommodate the DAO wherever it should choose to migrate.

  • The app will provide discrete polling, which is useful not least because it will encourage a higher rate of voter participation.

  • The automation component of Governator will facilitate the coordination of the DAO and its members in a way that is reliable and easy to audit at scale.

  • The DAO will be able to customize the voting mechanics of the app.

a single Discord vote is worth 1x votes while a signed NFT membership vote is worth 10x

I believe you suggested the idea of using transferable or non-transferable NFT’s as a sort of Proof-of-Work mechanism. This would allow talented individuals who haven’t met the $BANK threshold to receive a vote weighted 10x that of a Discord vote.

Another interesting idea you mentioned briefly James, was time locked membership thresholds. So a Guest Passer can signal their long term value alignment with the DAO by locking up $BANK tokens. In turn they can participate as full Members with the same perks, privileges and governance rights that would entail.

in combination with quadratic ERC20 voting

I’m thinking this means Full Members may express their preferences in a quadratic vote on-chain. So, if a Member believes strongly in a proposal, they could indicate that by the amount of $BANK they choose to vote with.

The long term vision of the app is to provide the Governator coordination tooling to the broader DAO ecosystem; and, beyond…

Forgive me if I have in any way misrepresented the vision of the Governator project. This is simply my attempt at understanding what it is and what it will be.

@chongo yes you’ve summarized it quite nicely!

Yes, theoretically we could attach non-transferable value to a Discord ID to allow contributors to maintain governance weight and also allow them to sell tokens to afford food/housing etc. Needs exploration, but is possible (albeit slightly Web2, but it’s a blend after all).

In combination with my other thoughts on Guest Pass & Membership, we could combine a Full Membership NFT (worth 35k BANK in token weight) and standard quadratic voting with BANK tokens (where 500k BANK may be weighted as 100k, or however quadratic math sorts it out). Snapshot may allow for this at present, but long term Governator would as well (or just leverage Snapshot API).

At the end of the day, we aim to create flexible & interoperable governance mechanisms to fit any need in as many platforms as we can healthily manage :slight_smile:

1 Like