GSE Deliverables (Cohort-1)

Title: GSE Deliverables (Cohort-1)
Author: 0xJustice.eth#6213
Date: Sep 15, 2022

Summary
This is an update and summarized status report on the current GSE initiative (from my perspective).

The GSE team:
rotorless | Amicus.eth#0429
0xJustice.eth#6213
saulthorin#7696
Above Average Joe#5427
ManuelMaccou🏴#6974

BACKGROUND
The GSE group was elected to solve the DAO’s greatest pain points. We each had our way of going about that mission, given our backgrounds and unique skill sets.

Manual and Rotorless focused on creating a risk framework and an extensive financial report. AAJ and Saul focused on creating a new compensation framework. I focused on the constitution, the bDIP process, and what a new (sustainable) BanklessDAO 2.0 model might look like. We all weighed in on the work of each other. What follows is my best attempt in summarizing our findings, deliverables, and recommendations.

DELIVERABLES

Financial Analysis Report

Constitution & bDIP Process

While the handbook was collectively constructed and edited in google docs, its final V1 form has been moved to a dedicated repository here under the DAO-controlled GitHub org. You can see the source material and other associated and inspirational material there. The handbook itself is an MD file. This should be treated as the canonical version, and updates to it should be handled very carefully and ideally go through the designated governance process.

A dedicated Bankless Academy learning module is scheduled to go live in the next week or so. You can see it here. This is important as it is how our community working agreement gets socialized to the DAO. It can and should be used in onboarding and could also be used to augment voting if the DAO chooses to do so.

Everyone who completes the learning module will be issued a soul-bound token representing their familiarity with the material. Updating the document should be paired with an updated SBT so we can track who’s current.

The BanklessDAO Improvement Proposal Process (bDIP) process is effectively a fork of our project template but customized to the handbook. The idea is to treat our handbook as code and change how we do things by passing changes (diffs) to the handbook through governance. The size and impact of those changes have been categorized as major, minor, and patch.

This proposal met with overwhelming approval and is ready to go to Snapshot in my opinion. Learn more of the background here:

The GSE team created a list of problem areas we felt would be strong candidates for our first bDIPs. A much longer version of these recommendations has been penned by Manuel, Saul, and Senad with additional context on motivation. What follows is my summary of those recommendation areas. There is also not total agreement from the GSE team on every facet of them, but I feel this list accurately represents our group’s findings/opinions.

Revamped Membership

The GSE recommends putting a time limit on guess-passes that cannot be renewed after a specified period and implementing an alternative membership system to the one we currently have, which only requires you to hold 35k indefinitely.

  1. Limited Guest Pass. The current guest pass lasts 14 days and is infinitely renewable, and many people do renew it indefinitely. Our economy (like every other social DAO) rests on memberships.

  2. The Seasonal Pass is one promising idea. The DAO is not capitalizing on its greatest value: the network. It also has very few inflows and suffers from a lack of focus. We create revenue, focus, and contributor focus by selling season passes. We have an amazing design pattern in the continuous auction we could emulate here. This would also give us visibility into community growth over time because it would create on and offboarding and cohort-based cycles.

Revamped Leveling System

We recommend adding a skills-based reputation component to membership in addition to BANK balance. Currently, only L2s are earned through recommendation.

  1. Skill-based: Skill-based leveling (L1-L3) Right now, the only earned level is L2.
  2. Graduated BANK holding requirements for levels. Ex. 50k for L2 and 100k for L3. This would greater incentive alignment and reduce supply.
  3. Introduce Funded Working Group Role Level Requirements. Ex: Must be L3 to be a champion or coordinator.
  4. Resiliency: Must have two L2s on the team (apprenticeship model) These L2s should have the same access to the L1’s systems for safety (reduce single point of failure)

Revamped Org Units

The GSE recommends an explicit definition of org units with associated success metrics. Among these would be distinguishing operations from other org units and guilds specifically to focus on onboarding, education, and talent sourcing

Explicit distinction, definition, and success criteria of DAO org units. Ex:

  1. Guilds (Onboarding, education, and talent sourcing)
  2. Projects (Startup style projects)
  3. Ops (Cost center - Infrastructure)
  4. Grants (Grants, Ventures, and Budgeting)
  5. GSE (Governance and bDIP process shepherding)

Guild Focus

  1. Establish a guild prime directive: Guilds are for onboarding, education, and upskilling
  2. Eliminate nested projects if their purpose is not to drive the prime directive.

Seasonal BANK buyback program

BANK needs a deflationary mechanism. We will inflate the token if we continue to issue BANK without one. This happens by locking BANK through role requirements or by directly removing BANK from circulation through a recurring buyback program (Social EIP-1559). The new compensation framework also reduces emissions over time. Modeling this with Machinations would be the ideal way to proceed with this.

Project Funding Roadmap

We need to tighten the ship on expectations from funded units. I am suggesting that we introduce a runway for funded entities. An example of what this could look like is as follows:

  1. Leveling requirements for funding (Must be LN to ask for X BANK)
  2. The first round of funding is given as a grant
  3. Further rounds of funding are based of the success of previous deliverables and is venture based (bDAO gives X BANK for X% of the venture)

DAO Legal Service

I am recommending that bDAO offers a legal service for incubated projects. This removes major blockers for projects that need legal entities to function, creates a basis for venture agreements with the DAO, and creates a strong perk to launching projects from the bDAO platform. The grants committee could act as the DAOs legal entity inlet for funded projects.

Evolve GSE to Permanent Body

The GSE recommends we make the GSE entity a permanent org unit of the DAO.

This first run of this GSE program has not been perfect. This doesn’t mean we should abandon it. We should do it again and better. This body is ideally positioned to grow into a DAO delegate body. bDAO will be left in the dust if it does not take the opportunity to capitalize on the opportunity. We can do several things to improve this body’s execution and function, including changes in compensation, the pattern of coordination, transparency of execution, and expected deliverables.

Rigorous DAO Reporting

The GSE recommends investing in the creation of a rigorous reporting application. Ideally, this would be a real-time dashboard and a cadence of status reports. This dashboard should show all flows in and out of the treasury and org structure changes via role tags or badges. The reports should also show changes in money flows and community on a weekly, monthly, and seasonal basis. There are several dashboard style options on the market, and there are also promising internal products for the DAO to accomplish this, but until we get this done, we are all flying blind as a DAO. If we can mirror our org structures on-chain through badges/hats/pods, we may also be in a position to do some of this with Dune Analytics.

Judicial Offboarding Framework

The GSE recommends creating a disciplinary framework for bad actors or violations of our community rules of conduct. What do we do when someone acts contrary to our community guidelines? Do we remove them from the server or just downgrade their level? Who decides this? There have been instances of this, and we don’t have an agreed-upon consequences plan. Ex. See MolochDAO RageKick

Conclusion

I’ve learned so much over the last several months, but the biggest shift in my thinking has been the fundamental mental model of how most DAOs operate. The typical pattern is for projects to ask the community for money, and then the community gives that money in hopes it’s the right thing to build and that the team can deliver. I’m increasingly convinced this is an inferior pattern and that we should be leveraging the DAO as a launch platform that only funds new projects already funded by end users.

In this way, we elevate projects to the customer and not repeatedly fund projects in hopes that the customer might want them. This approach is called the Rendanheyi business model and stands to upend how DAOs currently work.

The following mirror post lightly touches upon this revamped “customer-centric” thinking.

You can also listen to a walk through of how I think bDAO is evolving and how the above recommendations fit together.

The associated slides can be found here:

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

None of the GSEs have taken any money for this work. Final compensation will be decided by an upcoming community vote.

SUCCESS METRICS

I think I speak for the whole GSE crew when I say we all wanted and hoped we would radically change everything for the better when this started. We have been unable to do that, so we all have guilt and disappointment. But sometimes, success is not binary, and it takes a few more attempts to get something right. The GSE initiative is worthy of continuing. It can be done better and should be if the DAO is to succeed.

NEXT STEPS

  1. The constitution is ready to go to snapshot
  2. The Academy lesson will likely be done next week and can be used for onboarding
  3. There’s money available to fund the implementation of some of the above recommendations

One possibility could be to run a JokeDAO race on these problem areas to get a ranked list of things the community feels strongest about. The proposal to use JokeDAO is live:

9 Likes

This is awesome - great work all. Wondering what the next steps would be how does it go from recommendation to implementation?

Excellent work by the GSE, great update.

Strongly agree with the revamped membership recommendation, we need to move Guest Passes to members. Goal is strong community of active and engaged members, not simply having more people in the DAO.

+1 Bank buyback and venture based model for continued project funding.

3 Likes

Thank you for sharing and doing all this work for the community as GSE cohort 1.

I agree with the Revamped Leveling system as well as Seasonal pass idea. The project funding roadmap and DAO reporting standards sounds like a good way forward. It is also essential to put buy pressure on the token. Perhaps tokenomics dept. can investigate this further.

For the permanent GSE body, do you recommend we should do this every season or once a year etc?

1 Like

I think a 3-6 month commitment is reasonable. The alumni can and should help new GSEs so it can be an additive pattern.

2 Likes

Great work!

I am interested to see how it will come all together.

GSE proving themselves integral to the DAOs survival and evolution.
I am very motivated to vote in favour of the next GSE iteration.

For customer-centric project funding, myself and a few others behind the shared bDAO Gitcoin grant have spoken to Gitcoin about their Grants 2.0 update. They’ve mentioned seasonal DAO side-rounds, so my understanding would be that projects receive external funding (from external user donations) + a $BANK match based on this external demand - giving teams important market feedback very early in their lifecycle. I also think we should layer on an internal demand lever, where L1/L2/L3s don’t necessarily have to pay but can cast a fixed number of votes that have a multiplier effect on project claim to the $BANK matching pool.
Building an MVP to garner Gitcoin support will likely take initial funding directly from the DAO treasury (and possibly some venture-style funding you’ve suggested) but this would be a great way to incentivise initial building and early discovery of product/market fit. One concern is projects take the venture-style funding indefinitely and avoid testing the market - I suppose there would be some Grants-committee like discernment required here.

Let me know if you’d like to be put in touch with Gitcoin to learn more. Great work :clap:

1 Like

Fantastic! Happy to finally read the first scope of recommendations on discourse, as we continue to work on more recommendations. GSE work is crucial, we are all happy to have you working on this. Problems GSEs face are often multidimensional, which makes finding solutions so hard. That being said, @gruad used to tell me “don’t get it right, get it written” when I was working on a whitepaper with him. I think this mindest is important for us all to adopt. I strongly believe that the community appreciates every single bit of content and most of us can’t wait to collectively chew on them.
Finally, decision are made by the community, which should take load of GSEs and motivate them to keep grinding and thinking about how to innovate bDAOs governance structure. I honestly can’t wait for @AboveAverageJoe & @saulthorin to submit the compensation framework… I won’t promise anything but this could be THE thing of 2022 for bDAO :eyes:

I’m not sure I agree with this proposal. It presents BanklessDAO as a social DAO. I would say it is also a media DAO and a service DAO. More importantly we are a mission driven DAO… We are aligned into onboarding people into the Web3/Defi/Crypto world. The economic activity in BanklessDAO is not just memberships, it is also the economic activity in all of these other organizations that leverage BanklessDAO talent, the banklessDAO name, etc. I would argue that some amount of the profits from these entities (maybe 5% gross) should be driven back into the banklessDAO treasury, for the purposes of buying BANK and distributing it among it’s members. Further, I would recommend that the amount of BANK distributed be limited to the amount of BANK bought.

Trying to create buyside pressure from membership in order to pay membership for efforts in expanding the BanklessDAO name feels like trying to create an economic perpetual motion machine. If we are creating things of value which are not public goods (which I think a lot of the things we create are), then we are simply robbing paul to pay peter. In addition, these proposals may make membership into BanklessDAO harder, which is not something I love. I think one of our greatest assets is our people, and if we want to create economic value, we should be organizing and directing these people to create economic value, which can then be used to fund the treasury. The proposed efforts will simply slow BANK depreciation, not stop it.

There’s a huge list of suggestions here. There is no singular proposal. I think you’re ignoring 99% of this post and exclusively focusing on s small aspect of the suggestions (paid season passes). I don’t deny there should be income from our media and product offerings. I also don think these categories are mutually exclusive. I agree that profit should flow back to the DAO, but that is not happening as there is no way to enforce it. An economic perpetual motion machine is always the goal of an economy. It’s part of being a flywheel. Can you list these high-value things we are currently creating? Things that people are paying for? How would it make membership harder? You can buy a lifetime membership for $350. I’d be happy with slowing economic depreciation. It’s better than nothing. The other suggestions in this post are designed to create rails by which projects can flourish, and the DAO can be assured of reaping a portion of the rewards.

1 Like

First of all, I’m sorry if my previous comments came a little harsh. I deeply appreciate the work that the GSE folks have done.

All of the deflationary mechanisms in these come from membership requirements in one way or another. This unfortinatly is not 99% of the proposal, but rather comes from leveling with graduated bank requirements, Limited guess passes (which I agree should be limited to 6 months or so. etc. I’m not opposed to these things, but I think that BanklessDAO is much larger than a social DAO, and should also request from it’s profit making arms some kickback to the main DAO.

People on the profit making projects within the DAO care about the dao. Has the main DAO body simply asked for some funding of the treasury from these projects?

Re: making membership harder, my understanding is that the season pass would be required to participate in at least some DAO core activities. I understand this proposal is still in the works though!

I agree that flywheel elements can be combined with other more traditional income producing elements. The flywheel elements will likely be less effective during non-growth periods of the DAO, however. I worry that the Season pass, if expensive enough, may also reduce membership of the DAO.

High value things that banklessDAO is creating… I’m not fa: Bankless Research, Bankless card, DAO Dash, Marketing and writing guild external work, media properties, Bankless consulting, Bpublishing, Fight club(maybe?), DAO heat, AMA’s, Bankless Advisor, etc.

How is the DAO assured of reaping a portion of the rewards of these projects? Through multiple round investment in BANK? I’d propose a baseline (even something small, like 1-2%) of the profits from these projects be asked to be returned to the main treasury.

Totally might be missing something here, and you all have been looking at this longer than me. Thanks for all your hard work!