Good practices for Submitting Proposals

Here is a “good practice” guide, something I wish I had when joining my first DAO (Genesis DAO). It will help you save a lot of time (hours of hair pulling) & consequently help PolkaDAO be more successful too.

The Human Part

Stay humble, it will be challenging at first

Even though your ego may tell you otherwise, the “DAO process” is very different from what you expect & might be painful at first; especially if that’s the first DAO you take part into. Having a whole community judging you can be a very emotional experience. Moreover learning to use Alchemy is not easy, the product is still in beta & you will find out about much of the rules of the protocol by participating (painfully). We are pioneers & it comes with a price - some extra patience skills are required.

Be kind & respectful

That’s something extremely important. Please take a deep breath before you post a comment, imagine what you’d say if you were face-to-face with the person & try to picture if your comment could be misinterpreted. We are all behind a screen and we know too well how that can end up (c.f. horrible fights on reddit or twitter) - that’s what I call “the internet version of road rage”. Difference is: most of us will meet face to face at some meetups or conferences, so keep that in mind too.

The Actual Proposal Process

Submit small proposals first

Go one step at the time, learn the “DAO process” can be painful at first. Submit one or two small proposals first (i.e. worth 5-10h of work). Increase the proposals (scope & budget) as you get more confident.

Only submit a proposal once it’s ready

Once your proposal is submitted you cannot modify it (it’s saved in the blockchain).

Format your proposal using the templates

We have 2 proposal templates: the Markdown (v1.0) and the GDoc Proposal Template 2.0. Using these will help you save time & increase the chances for your proposal to pass.

Share draft version of your proposal

Gathering feedback from 1 or 2 other DAO members on a draft version of your proposal will help decrease the risk for your proposal not to pass.

Only submit a proposal for future effort

Otherwise members often say “hey no one asked you to do that, so why should we pay you for this?”. Additionally, you can add deliverables/milestones in the proposal & write “if milestones are not reached I will send the relevant part of the funds back to the DAO wallet”.

Add clear deliverables

Simply put: these are your responsibilities. If there is no clear responsibility & deliverables, then the DAO might not be very inclined to fund your effort.

Excel in self accountability

In a nutshell: you must report to the DAO members. Prove that you delivered what you promised. If you do so, your next proposals will have a lot more chances to pass.

  • Actionable: create a post here on the forum that links up to your proposal(s) outcome(s), see for instance how Prastut did it on the [Project Showcase] Polkaviz thread

Put all of the proposal details within the proposal

It is tempting to put some of the proposal details in a 3rd party tool (i.e. google doc). However, it also means that you can change these details after someone upvoted it. That person may disagree with your changes & the problem is that one cannot change her/his vote. Moreover, a DAOstack proposal is held on a decentralized infrastructure (unstoppable, public, etc) [Ethereum & IPFS] whereas your 3rd party tool is centralized & the link may become broken in a very short period of time.

Scale your proposal budget to the DAO

Each DAO has a publicly accessible wallet. Check it out & find out how much funds are available right now. And more importantly, check out how much fund is roughly available every month. If your DAO gets funded 15K USD per month, your 10K USD proposal will most likely never pass.

Ask for the right amount of Rep (reputation)

By default, you get 0.6% of Rep if you proposal passes. Anything you ask in the “proposal creation” form gets added on top. So imo, you probably will never need to ask for additional Rep.

Compare your proposal with others

Check that your proposal meet the standards set within the community. If your proposal is very different from these standards it means that you take more risk. Which can be very rewarding, but also can be a lot more work to get the approval of the community.

Accept that your proposal may fail

Failing is fine. I’ve had quite a few proposals failing myself & know how annoying/frustrating it can be. That’s part of the (DAO) game.

Gather feedback when your proposal fails

If your proposal fails, try to gather feedback from those who downvoted. It may be for something different than you assume. Sometimes people downvoted my proposals for reasons I disagreed with or found unfair. Either way, gathering feedback always helped me decide what to do next: re-submit a modified/improved version of the original proposal OR move on.

Don’t hesitate to re-submit a proposal

If you need to amend your proposal (i.e. it failed), you will have to resubmit your proposal. That’s because you cannot modify it once it’s submitted (it’s saved in the blockchain).

Sometimes it’s simply better to move on

Your proposal failed several times? That happened to me too & that s*cks. But hey, if there is no support even after trying quite hard then it might be better to move on (submit another proposal idea).