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.
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.
In it, Lucas separates each season has three objectives:
- Community Projects (generating onchain revenue)
- Distribution Campaigns (increasing participation)
- 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 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
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).
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
- 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