Let's Gear Up For Season 1

Introduction

Did you know that technically, Season 1 starts next Friday, June the 4th? Bet you didn’t see that one coming.

When BanklessDAO launched on May 4th, Bankless LLC mentioned this in their post:

Season 0 will start at Genesis and serve as a 1 month bootstrap period.

May 4th - June 4th.
Are we ready? Probably not.

We’re over three weeks into BanklessDAO. With the perspective we now have, I think we can effectively start planning for Season One, and what that may even mean.

What are Seasons?

Seasons were introduced as:

BANK will operate in 1–3 month distribution campaigns called “seasons” with the goal of driving participation and functionality to the Bankless community.

Then, a week ago, @0x_Lucas penned a piece On Bankless Seasons. In it, he outlined his vision for Seasons, as Bankless LLC foresaw them. (I highly recommend reading his post.)

In it, Lucas separates each season has three objectives:

  1. Community Projects (generating onchain revenue)
  2. Distribution Campaigns (increasing participation)
  3. Membership perks (increasing membership value)

We can call these “front of house” objectives. They are initiatives that reaches an outward audience.
Then there are “back of house” objectives. These are initiatives that affect us as a DAO. For example: Renumerating people that have committed much of their time to BanklessDAO.

Are we ready for a Season?

My take on this is no. We’re not. But we’re close. And I think we should have a deadline in place.

With three weeks perspective, there are some big initiatives underway and mounting problems that need resolution. Let’s take a look at what some of those are:

  • Onboarding Project: This ambitious multi-guild initiative wants to create Coinbase Earn on steroids. The best way to understand DeFi is to use DeFi, and this project is building on that thesis to create fun educational modules that teach beginners about DeFi.
  • PieDAO: This tokenized ETF DAO reached out to BanklessDAO to circulate a liquidity mining program with high APRs. The more traffic we drive, the larger cut of fees we receive into our treasury.
  • NFTs/Merch: There’s been a lot of excitement about working with Metafactory and creating an NFT platform to support creators.
  • Legal presence: How are we going to present ourselves to the off-chain world?
  • Governance: This is a big question. How will we govern ourselves? How will we organize ourselves? What goes on-chain? What software do we want to use?
  • Project management: There’s a lot of infrastructure we need to keep building so people can easily learn what’s going on and contribute.

What I’m seeing is the outline for Season 1, with both front of house and back of house objectives.

Starting Small

One of my worries is that we grow so quickly that we burn out. I’m seeing bits and pieces of it here and there. Frustration about the state of progress. Miscommunication and missed context. Let’s remember, this is a marathon, not a race. Let’s treat Season 1 is a beta testing ground for how we could operate BanklessDAO. Let’s treat it like a microcosm of future Seasons and start with a few pointed experiments.

Here’s what we should aim to learn by the end:

  • Income: How will we pay contributors. What type of compensation structure/packages should we provide? How can we leverage DeFi legos to make smart financial decisions?
  • Project management: How will we coordinate big initiatives? Will we have people(s) take on roles like project manager, finance, developer, etc. like in RaidGuild?
  • Multi-guild coordination: How will guilds coordinate together on projects? Will there be representatives? Joint meetings?
  • Governance structure: How will we make decisions? What are the levels of soft and hard consensus? How do we elect people? Give them contributor status?

Season 1 Spec

I’m not trying to be prescriptive here, but I do want to outline a possible Season 1 future:

I think we should start Season 1 some time between June 14th - 21st. Season 1 should last roughly 2 months to mid August.

On Chain Revenue

Our biggest priority should be generating revenue. We saw massive success with the Metafactory drop last week and generated tens of thousands in revenue. We have a number of opportunities to experiment with on-chain revenue possibilities:

  • Merch drops
  • NFT auction house
  • Referral programs
  • BED Index
  • B2B services/consulting
  • ???what else???

Let’s start MVP-ing this. Let’s spend a season and build the infrastructure for us to continue these revenue streams into the future.

Onboard

There’s very little debate that Onboard is the first big initiative that BanklessDAO will spearhead. The concept is simple: You can’t learn about DeFi if you don’t use DeFi. Sure, Coinbase Earn and Gemini’s cryptopedia are great places to start, but that’s not the same thing as sending 1,000 USD to an LP and using that token as collateral for DAI (and then earning $BANK for tasks! → Disitribution)

Like I said, this project is BIG. It’s going to involve every Guild. In my opinion, this is the beta test for our ability to function as a DAO. Let’s take a small bite of this project and see if we can execute as a single unit.

In my opinion, for Season 1, everyone should touch this project in one way or another.

Some things to think about:

  • What does a PoC look like? What would an MVP look like?
  • What would KPIs look like?
  • What type of resources will this need across guilds?
  • How will we effectively communicate?

Governance

Governance falls into the back of house category. Governance basically means “How are we going to build rules into the blockchain.” This includes things like:

  • Governance software (Colony, Aragon, DAOhaus)
  • Voting methods: Token weighted, quadratic voting, conviction voting
  • Multi-sig powers

Guilds

The final one is Guilds, which I also consider to be back of house. Season 1 is a great place for each guild to experiment and flex their muscles. Focusing on on-chain revenue and Onboard will not be enough to occupy our time. Guilds will want to do their own things. Writers guild may want to start a blog. Developers guild may want to use Notion’s API or automate things. Design guild may want to redo the entire website.

None of these activities should be prohibited, but should also not come at the expense of greater priorities (on-chain revenue and Onboard).

The Path to Season 1

Everything I said is up for debate, but I’m going to generally assume that we’re like the direction this is going and we’re going to have an experiment season to build the foundation for future seasons by focusing on two big projects and making observations about how we organize along the way.

Giving us roughly three weeks to prepare for Season 1, here’s what we’ve already accomplished:

  • Distribution - The original BANK distribution and the upcoming airdrop
  • Revenue - Proof of concept with the Metafactory shirt sale, coordinated by Bankless LLC
  • Basic cadence - Community calls, guild calls, newsletter

In the upcoming weeks, here’s what I think we need to complete:

  • Ubiquitously use Notion as the central hub for all DAO content. Guilds, meeting notes, calendar, guides, everything
  • Define our culture
  • Prepare for Season 1

Conclusion

  • Season 1 starts between June 14th - 21st and ends August 14th - 21st
  • Season 1 priorities include:
    • Creating multiple on chain revenue streams
    • Minimum viable product of Onboard project
    • Procedures for governance
    • Letting guilds flourish independently
  • To get there, for the rest of Season 0, we need to:
    • Define our culture
    • Migrate fully to Notion
    • Prepare for Season 1
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Some people to tag:
@EliteViking @AboveAverageJoe @Kouros @Silver4k @0x_Lucas @luke_spotlong @Icedcool @Devin_S @wolfehr @jameswmontgomery.eth @Oktal @sinjun @rsa @Trust_David

Awesome write up @frogmonkee, and great plan set forth.

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It’s definitely a good start. We have ideas, we need to make them real and tangible now by putting them on paper and organizing them transparently. Flesh them out.

Health initiatives, don’t forget those too.
Lots of interest, just need more action.
Or need to turn it into a FOH project and inject it into others platforms if there isn’t enough demand here.

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Membership perks! I see this as something that will naturally emerge, especially if we have the 30/30/40 split with treasury, budget, and owner.

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Excellent post @frogmonkee

These are my thoughts:

Season 0 is where the DAO is born. There are plenty of ideas but the DAO is still evolving, finding its way, finding a shape. Tried a few things that worked so we keep them. Like notion, MetaFactory, NFT auctions, Guilds.

Season 1 will consolidate notion and Metafactory. We need to find more artists to team up with to auction their NFTs splitting profits with us. We will also start new on-chain revenue like probably the merch store, PieDAO, BED index(I hope so)… the onboard project, NFT factory and Auction house I think it will take some time still, but probably we can see some of this come to life by the end of season 1. B2B also has potential and I hope this lifts off.
We will continue our research on governance and as we have more revenue rewarding contributors will be more achievable.

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This is great, thank you for writing this. What goes into defining our culture?

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Well done and a very important articulation for the DAO. It is so important to provide some direction like this and I love that we balance thes priorities with recognition that the guilds want to do more.

If I read correctly then something like media nodes fits better with season 2, so we can pace that work in parallel but with an eye to deliver in Season 2

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Excellent post, concrete. I think a Season 1 plan could drafted and turned into a set of slides to communicate the plan.

Do we have a Season 1 working group?

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If we can use BANK as collateral on UMA, we could mint KPI options that anybody can buy and therefore generate on-chain revenue for the treasury as well as reward individuals who help grow the Bankless DAO.

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This is an awesome post @frogmonkee! We should carve out a good chunk of time to discuss initial Season 1 planning tomorrow on the community call.

Some initial thoughts:

I agree with Ryan that we should have a working group/squad that takes point on organizing Season 1. This would be identifying and vetting the seasonal projects, establishing clear KPIs for the season, ensuring that there’s a squad behind each project capable to execute on it, helping each project identify clear KPIs and deliverables, the revenue split between each project squad and the DAO (if applicable), and ensuring that there’s sufficient communication and consensus across all mediums on the Season (like setting up Snapshot votes and a Season 1 announcement post!). Essentially I see this squad acting as the liaison between the DAO and the contributors looking to participate in the Season.

Second, I think there’s been some awesome projects and contributors (like yourself!) that have stepped up. I think a nice add for each Season is to setup a Grants Program to allocate funding towards certain projects & contributors. (i.e. giving a seed allocation to Onboard if there’s meaningful development, allocate BANK to a handful of core contributors, or funding the meme competition which I’ve seen a good amount of discussion on).

Generally The Grants Program would be responsible for funding the BANK to certain projects over the course of the season if they need it (read Aave’s model). Every season, the community votes on the proper allocation for the Grants committee during this season.

As per usual, the Grants Commitee would be ran by a working group/squad that’s responsible for allocating the funding for the season at their discretion. I’d also be more than happy to volunteer to be on this committee.

I also do like the idea of a KPI option that is connected to on-chain revenue for the Season. Would be interested in exploring this further.

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Correct. But if anyone thinks we should prioritize it, definitely bring that up somewhere.

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Excellent post too Lucas.

I’d also want to volunteer for the Grants committee for the season.

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Great post per usual @frogmonkee !!!

I’m going to share with the Analytics guild as we’re figuring out our own role - wrt to front/back of house, how we play a support role, but also embrace some more expansive visions.

I tend to agree, start mid-June go through to mid-August, and try to build wins and momentum with the Onboard project in addition to the very important goals around Governance and Revenue.

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Great posts as usual @frogmonkee and @0x_Lucas . I’m raising my hand to volunteer to helping with governance and the grants committee.

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While I’m a big fan of cash flow, DeFi and ANKless DAO are still early and expecting to be generating strong income in Season 1 sounds like you could be setting up for a fall. I would say “Understanding how we can generate income” is a better goal for Season 1.

Of these, I think B2B / consulting is potentially the most interesting. As a relative outsider, I see a great deal of enthusiasm, thinking and talent in this DAO. That is a very valuable and unappreciated resource.

We will very quickly develop structures, analytics, working relationships and shared tools that make a DAO work. In doing so I expect to see accounts, analytics, git books, forums, code of conduct, blogs, newsletters, an understanding of tokenomics and all that essential stuff.

There are many new protocols that are just a couple of devs who have a token and a million and 1 things to do. Bankless DAO can support these protocols (without enforcing them) - deep dive and write blogs, set up dune analytics, act as community mods, give then a brand makeover and style book, translate docs, set up the git book, run the first community call. - These things will be second nature for Bankless DAO members, but there is a learning curve, and protocols will issue bounties/grants for such support.

Or we can look larger, Uniswap, AAVE, and Rari have grants programmes, apply for them as the DAO.

This uses our community to generate income for the DAO from a wide range of other protocols / DAOs. Then we pay your community in BANK. You diversify your treasury and build your network.


This is a side effect of this idea, some of our members will discover that they are drawn to other DAO’s, possibly inticed by individual rewards (aka poaching talent) and they end up focusing their talent outside BanklessDAO.

I don’t see this as a problem as we need to replace them. Actually, I think it’s an opportunity, it means that our community members are developing into core contributors within other DAO’s. We also get an awesome network across DeFi.

I see Bankless DAO as being a natural place for new people to come and get their first taste of being part of a DAO. I don’t think it should be their last.


Another way to think of it is that Bankless DAO contribution becomes an apprenticeship for core contributors in other DAO’s or a university where people learn, develop and then move on to build with others.

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These are some really good points. Thank you for posting!

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Cheers,

I suppose I’m an outsider and I see the talent and energy, and I want to see it unleashed on defi.

An analogy to consider: A university research team has two products:

  1. publications etc that answer government / research council / industry questions
  2. a steady stream of PhD’s who graduate and go into the wide world.

You could argue that the second is the most valuable, but harder to quantify/monetise.

Could Bankless DAO’s most valuable product be the people who leave it to build with others? That could be a fantastic outcome for the Bankless vision, but monetising it is a challenge.

Am I saying that bankless is not DeFi, it’s more of a knowledge/education economy/institution? :thinking:

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Really interesting perspective @OverAnalyser - thank you for posting! Need to chew on this for a bit :smile:

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Thanks Lucas, It’s amazing what ideas come to mind when you should be heading to bed.

Another idea.

Imagine a youtube video with the following script:

"Hi I’m Dave, a core contributor at Bankless DAO, I’ve just spent an hour in a video call with Borimir from White Tower Finance “One does simply…” , during the call I tried to establish his real identity by a combination of:
Jpegs and screen capture of his passport and drivers licence.
Onchain signatures from the deployers address,
On- and off-chain test transfers between our accounts (coinbase accounts using emails).
Message exchange via facebook and linked in.
I have recorded and backed up this call.

As a result, of this call I am confident that either I know Borimir’s identity, or he has access to nation state-level counterfeiting. "


As a DeFIi user, or other protocol contributor, how useful would it be to see that video tweeted by Bankless DAO / White Tower Finance?

I think it would be a great tool for Devs who want to be pseudo anonymous for personal security reasons.

Crypto should be trustless, but it takes time for any project to become fully decentralised.


It’s a service that only a few groups could provide as they would need the trust of everyone.

I think we could do that. Could we monetize it?

  • The Devs may pay, but pre token, they may not have the funds.
  • Maybe we get some vested tokens at launch?
  • Larger DAO’s / VC’s may sponsor the service.
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