Level K Worker Proposal and Payout 9/2021 - 10/2021 - LATE SUBMISSION

I am very behind on worker proposals, starting with this period of September 2021 - October 2021. I had 3 weeks of vacation time in July and August, and then things got incredibly busy for me in August and September when there were issues with the Arbitrum launch that required redeployment of the governance base. In that time frame I fell behind on keeping up with the forum and with my own worker proposals and things remained very busy through the October events in Portugal. As time has elapsed, catching up on worker proposals has become a larger task, and other responsibilities and work continued to keep me busy. Timely worker proposals are critical for the DAO to operate efficiently and I am working on covering the missed proposals now. I am open to having some sort of late penalty and some sort of disincentive, but just know that I was busy handling a variety of responsibilities which felt pressing at the time. Please bear with me as I work through posting worker proposals for past periods. My goal is one per day this week.

Timeframe

  • 9/1/21 - 10/31/21

  • 2 months

This period involved a lot of travel and attending of conferences.

MCon in Denver from 9/15-9/17 (Wed. - Fri.)

Messari Mainnet from 9/20-9/22 (Mon. - Wed.)

DXretreat from 10/6-10/15 (Wed. - Fri.)

The DAOist Lisbon 10/19 (Tues.)

Liscon 10/20-10/21 (Wed. - Thurs.)

ETH Lisbon Hackathon 10/22 - 10/24 (Fri. - Sun.)

19 days of conferences and retreats, almost half the working days which is a lot, but these were some of the first conferences after lockdown and also the first time meeting many members of DXdao that I had been working with for a year or longer online!

Responsibilities

  • Organize Arbitrum relaunch, including Arbitrum Base, Swapr, and SWPR token, as well as SWPR token migration

  • Sync and communicate with Arbitrum team to support DXdao deployment efforts

  • Support Arbitrum base operations and launch of Swapr farming.

  • Planning for DXretreat. Helped plan programming for the retreat and also coordinated lodging for DXdao in Lisbon.

  • Organize and run weekly dev call

  • Support DXgov team formation and ramp up

  • Work with Tammy on Hats grant and legal entity research

  • Onboarding/offboarding Nissa

Accomplishments

  • Involvement in Arbitrum Relaunch.

Here is a quote from what I sent to our contributor chat:

“folks, we have a big problem. The permissions setting proposal failed to update the permissions and upon inspection it was discovered that the “Max time for execution” which is set to 1 day is actually counting from proposal submission rather than from the proposal passing (note other than Augusto observing this we haven’t double checked which we should do in the morning to be absolutely sure this is the case). This setting therefore is such that it prevents any proposal whatsoever to pass via boosting, because all the timelines are longer than 1 day from submission. The only way to pass a proposal on this deployment of DXvote (the current Arbitrum base) is to pass proposals by absolute majority, i.e. with > 50% of the vote. We have success in passing votes by absolute majority on xDai, so we were initially hopeful that this could be done on Arbitrum, but there are issues here that would make it much harder than on xDai. DXvote was deployed with the same mapped addresses that we used on xDai, however, unlike xDai, the unmapped smart contract addresses were not removed. The effect of this is, relatively speaking, the same people have less percentage of the vote on the Arbitrum base. Augusto, Federico, and I started looking through addresses. While it seems possible to get > 50% it would likely be very very hard to coordinate. And what makes this approach all the more difficult here is that in order for this to work, we actually would need to pass two proposals by absolute majority, 1 day apart, and each proposal only has 24 hours to be voted on, passed, and executed from submission.

The only other way we have thought of to address this issue would be to redeploy everything. At the moment, I actually think this is the best approach. I think first thing tomorrow we should meet, confirm the above issues as true, assess, and come up with a plan. For the folks that are still awake, I am happy to hop on a call now to discuss.

We have been working very hard and tirelessly, and there is a lot of positive momentum around the launch so far, and so I understand that this can be very discouraging. But we can’t give up now. And I am optimistic we can recover with minimal damage, but it will require great coordination and determination from everyone.”

This was quite the start to the month! And indeed, as you know, we redeployed everything. This was a colossal effort from many members of the team. In particular @AugustoL and @luzzifoss were instrumental, but there was also great support from many others, including @ross, @fluidDrop, @0xVenky, @KeenanL, @sky and probably others I am failing to remember. Very proud that we were able to recover from this and for awhile Swapr was doing great on Arbitrum. What made this more significant to me is that I had been supporting the strategy of being one of the first dapps to deploy on Arbitrum, the first general purpose L2 to be open to any app to deploy.

  • Helping support DXgov formation

The benefit of being very late with this proposal is that I can say I think the DXgov team has been working out quite well, and a lot of the moves we made last fall set the stage for this.

What I think went well

  • As described above, Arbitrum relaunch, and DXgov team rampup

  • Started relationship with Omega Team which has been very important.

  • DXretreat was great.

What I think needed improvement

  • Arbitrum launch. While I am very proud of my involvement and everyone’s work on the relaunch, it would have been better if we could have caught the issues with governance prior to the launch. While we did have a thorough plan and deployments on testnet, the particular issue that bit us had to do with timescales and we could have been more careful with testing that.

  • Offboarding of Nissa was somewhat of a disaster. Not really sure what I could have done better given the circumstances at the time but clearly process improvements were needed. I think things have somewhat improved since.

Compensation

Level K was already at the max amount of REP. According to the guidelines for a DXdao worker with expert level experience and a commitment level of 5, total compensation is 2 * 8000 = $16000 in stablecoins or ETH and 2 * 6000 = $12000 worth of DXD. Here I would like to suggest a poll to determine what a reasonable penalty could be for this proposal having such a late submission. This would represent a percentage off of Level K’s payment. For example, if the result was 10% then Level K would claim $14,400 and $10800 worth of DXD.

  • 0 %
  • 5 %
  • 10 %
  • 15 %
  • 20 %

0 voters

12 Likes

We’ve had similar discussions with other members in the past, but those were cases with complicated circumstances. Given that to this day you’re an active contributor dedicated full time with no intent of leaving, and as far as I’m aware everyone from the community feels that your skills and knowledge are very much needed, mitigates the delay. You’ve done great work and shared highly valuable input on budgeting lately, so you know how important proposals are for data hygiene. On the other hand, we should have nudged you and anyone else in the same positione sooner. Personally, I’d like to encourage everyone to feel better about submitting proposals, and I’d vote for no penalty this time.

1 Like

It’s great to see these reflections and I look forward to more to come.

There is some DXdao precedent for late proposals. Martin Krung submitted a worker proposal six months late. He posted his proof of work and reflections for the entire six month period into DAOtalk, and then 7 days later submitted a worker proposal for the first 2 months. This was downstaked by John, which led to a lengthy back and forth in the forum and on the governance call.

Martin then submitted a proposal for the entire period, but this was voted down in a close vote, before Martin re-submitted his six month worker proposal (his third submission) with one month reduced compensation. This proposal passed and ended up being a 14% reduction in the compensation from that period.

So however DXdao moves forward, this will likely set another precedent and perhaps it makes sense to codify this into the Contributor Guidelines.

8 Likes

Late proposals are always a pain and it is even more painful if it comes from someone that is looked upto as a thought leader. Also, it is always a bit easy to do retroactive proposals, but for anyone that is considered to be the highest level that DXdao pays for, I think it is best to make a proposal on what they would be working on, what their goals are, get a consensus and then ask for payment.

For all contributors that are asking to be leaders within DXdao (levels 4and 5 in old and levels 6, 7 and 8 in the new structure), it is imperative to have their contributor proposal come before the timeperiod. This kinda sets us on a common path and aligned goals. It doesnt create uncertaininties ingoals / deliverables / roadmaps when it is known who will lead certain initiatives with milestones. I feel that the proposals created in the forum before time kinda pivots us towards what we set out as goals for the upcoming period. And even though, it can change during the proposal period due to a variety of reasons, it makes us better to being diligent towards those goals, as a person and for DXdao.

For the contributorX, I strongly feel we need to add some sort of clause that if a proposal is not created in the forums, there needs to be a slash for payment coded in (more the level, more % slashed). If there is delay, then there should be a decay that goes down every day. I, as a person, dont like to see John get paid low for the effort that he has put in during this time but when it comes to DXdao and the health of its ecosystem, we need to codify (atleast in spreadsheets) how these should be done. Now, it puts this on and their relationships rather than have a structure to back on.

Lastly, I have been through this period of Arbitrum relaunch with you and it was pretty strenuous in terms of what needed to be achieved in a very little time. At that point, I guess there are very few people that could have driven this forward and am very thankful and appreciative. I enjoy working with you and learning a lot from you and hope you come out of this late proposal rut soon and get back on shipping some fancy ideas. :slight_smile:

11 Likes

When I was actively contributing at DXDao, I found the reflection and proposals process to be a bit tedious.

In addition to punishing late proposals with financial penalty, if that’s the outcome here, I have an idea for ContributorUX to consider which I believe would make everyone’s lives easier:

  • Instead of requiring each contributor to make new reflections every couple months, ContributorUX should instead make a forum thread 2 weeks before each contributor’s proposal is due inviting co-contributor’s to share feedback about them, what they did well, what needs improvement, etc. The squad lead of the squad the contributor’s working in should definitely share feedback here, and for squad leads, someone relevant should be designated by ContributorUX to definitely share feedback, to ensure everyone gets some
  • The above feedback process will take the place of a reflection, although the worker can of course still post their own reflection and respond to any feedback about them.
  • Because the thread is posted by ContributorUX and not the relevant contributor, timeliness is assured. If someone is late, it will be clearly visible in the forum.
    Something for ContributorUX to consider. @Melanie @allyq
7 Likes

it’s interesting to me that 7/11 (i was the 12th voter and i voted for 0) have voted for a pay cut for late submission.

normally late requests for payment are a feature, not a bug, given the time value of money. this can bump up against accounting requirements to close books for a quarter/year by a certain date. the latter definitely doesn’t apply here, though the time value of money should still apply.

it seems the precedent here is Martin, who submitted late and it was an opportunity to reflect on whether enough had been accomplished. ultimately he decided to leave in the face of criticism of his team’s accomplishments, but iirc got paid almost 100%?

It seems to me like people often do not submit their proposals in advance and inertia is a pretty strong force once someone has become a fulltime contributor


So I guess this is an opportunity to evaluate both 1) what the actual guidelines and penalties are and 2) evaluate John.

It’s unclear to me whether all proposals should ALWAYS be made beforehand. If this were a rule and cultural norm, it would provide a strong forcing function if the DAO agreed to never do backpay.

But in the real world, people make exceptions for good employees all the time. Human capital is important and good employees are by definition producing a lot more value than they were being paid.

The current system seems mostly fine. Do your proposals on time OR YOU FACE CLOSER SCRUTINY OF YOUR WORK

So this leads us to #2, evaluating @JohnKelleher

My sense is that John might be most irreplaceable person in DXdao. He’s certainly a leader, as i believe there are just a handful of people being paid at the top level. My sense is that as a dev with good connections in this space it is likely that he’s underpaid

Anyway, if someone tried to take money away from me for work that I did because I was too busy and let some process things slide, I’d probably consider whether I stuck around.

If that’s what’s happening here, then maybe we should be explicit about it.

The focus should be on creating value and allocating resources strategically, not on rigidly sticking to an imperfect and imperfectly-followed process

5 Likes

Hey everyone.

Just got back to my desk after some time in the south of France. I am a bit behind in these conversations and VERY jet lagged, but wanted to chime in some thoughts.

The below is opinion strictly on the discussion of late proposals and pay cuts. I don’t wish to participate in any “your side vs my side” chatter at this time. This opinion is based solely on existing dialogue and may be adjusted or removed based on how the conversation evolves. I have yet to read into further proposals from Level K. Side effects may include instant heart failure, spontaneous combustion, etc. just having some fun; let’s get into it. :slight_smile:

To start, I personally don’t think John should get a pay cut for his work - but considering two very important stipulations.

The outcome of the similar Martin situation was unclear. Correct me if I am wrong, but the take away was effectively “this is a fringe case and our processes account for others, no further change other than being more aware”; this is to say, there isn’t anything written or enacted that accounts for late proposals beyond some forum discussions and the result of the previous situation on-chain. In Johns specific case as a long time contributor, his regular obligations had already been established by preceding and existing on-chain proposals rather than having no referenceable direction. Regardless of the outcome of John’s proposals and any associated late penalties, DXdao needs to enact something directly to its contributor code of conduct, or even manifesto, that reiterates the importance of proposal currency and clearly states any associated penalties. That could be anything from pay cuts, denial of further proposals, or even nothing - whatever the DAO decides needs to be somewhere clear and referenceable. DXdocs holds several important ledgers for the DAO as authorized through passed proposals; the contributor hub sections would be a great formal place to hold this and I’d love to help make it a reality.

Second, Johns work should be evaluated and/or scrutinized on an individual proposal basis. The DAO’s primary avenue of contribution authorization, communication and verification all come from our proposals. When anyone fails to keep up to date on this, especially for long periods of time, all three of these very valuable facets of our work are lost. In these cases, the DAO isn’t able to properly judge whether an active worker engagement provides value or has aligned goals. The engagement is further lost in communication - those that don’t work directly with the individual have very little idea or reference of any work or goals while being the exact people that will make a final decision. Finally verification; without proposals it can be impossible to properly verify that the contributor is doing what they say they are doing. This includes their effectiveness, work ethic, tardiness, etc.

In my opinion, instead of a straight up blanket late penalty, Johns proposals should be evaluated on a case by case basis for accuracy and effectivity. By neglecting an active proposal by such a considerable margin, and considering our “on-chain is gospel” nature, John may have created a difficult environment surrounding his priorities and tasks. By evaluating each proposal individually instead of imposing a blanket punishment, the community can clarify John’s goals and verify that the work is both sufficient to the proposed time and has been properly executed upon. If discrepancies exist they should be challenged and further discussed. The community can also utilize this opportunity to enact a formal rule directly on-chain clarifying stipulations for those without an active contributor proposals. (I could imagine the above approach alongside a lower penalty than previous situations for the above reasons).

All of the above is incredibly important to how DXdao operates and what sets us apart as one of the few players with a deep value of decentralization. I hope to see a peaceful resolution to these proposals that allows the DXdao family to continue pushing a decentralized future together. If I have missed any important context that may invalidate my comment, or simply aren’t thinking straight due to lack of sleep, please let me know. Cheers!

6 Likes

Let me start off by saying that I believe John should be paid for the time he contributed towards DXdao. However, as many have already stated, it’s difficult for the DAO to retroactively evaluate worker proposals and reflections that are almost a full year late.

The questions that arise to me are 1) should there be a penalty for being late 2) how does the DAO evaluate a backlog of 11 months of worker proposals?

For this specific worker proposal period I can vouch John was working FT, I recall the whole Arbitrum project and was appointed as one of the “Arbitrum whales” - so was actively working throughout the month with the Arbitrum team. John was also crucial in facilitating the DXdao Lisbon retreat. DLABS would support this specific worker proposal, at the same time I’m also still looking at some precedents regarding late proposals and what penalties were applied in those cases.

John as a leader at DXdao and member since genesis, should be an example for the whole community. And I believe he has already acknowledged that he had severe shortcomings with his worker proposal timings. Particularly considering that he has been vocal about both the importance of timely worker proposals as well as in previous scenarios where contributors were late on their proposals.

I truly believe John acts with the DAO’s best interest at mind, yet it can sometimes be uncomfortable if you have an opposing view as he’ll fiercely defend his views. I do not believe John is trying to intimidate anyone by voicing his view, and I personally have a thick skin and am fine with it. But I do see how such an approach can potentially intimidate newer contributors or just make contributors who don’t want confrontation to completely forego voicing their opinions. I think diversity of thought is crucial for the DAO and debates on differences of opinion should be done openly and actively encouraged.

11 Likes

After the most recent call I think it’s worth me chiming in here. There are obviously a few issues people want to discuss somewhat related to John.
But keeping this discussion scoped purely to late worker proposals I would echo what dlabs is saying above. For this and a number of other proposals, I can attest to John putting in work and providing good value for DXdao. Already been said, but I truly believe that John is constantly working towards improving DXdao and that no intentional malevolence has occurred, just mistakes.

Regardless I did vote 15% on the poll, I think precedence is important here and regardless of intent, it is not ok for anyone to be late on proposals.

There are other discussions needing to be had but I think they are best done separately to avoid piling accusations on John, we can approach this in a civilised way and sort things out best for the DAO, its contributors and John.

4 Likes

While this proposal is late, John did a great job in establishing DXdao on Arbitrum One. Hence, I vote YES for this proposal with ZERO penalties. Everyone should be paid for value creation at DXdao.

Subsequent proposals have to be gauged individually.

5 Likes

So far, I have mainly been observing and learning by listening to different people’s perspectives.

In the past when I have asked hard questions or made hard statements, it has not always led to productive conversation.

As with Martin’s situation, I think that DXdao contributors should be paid for the value that they contribute to DXdao.

The situation is different when contributors are contributing under a live, passed contributor proposal compared to contributing value to the DAO in the dark and then having to do a retroactive proposal asking for compensation based on value contributed. Did the retroactive contributor deliver fully what people thought was going to be delivered?

I do think that it is possible for people to contribute to DXdao and then ask for compensation retroactively. But, in this case, they will be judged by DXdao even more critically because it was unclear what they were doing for the DAO the whole time. The longer amount of time this goes on, the deeper the contribution will be analyzed.

Any retroactive proposal involving larger amounts of money will naturally be subject to greater scrutiny.

For me personally, I would like for the timing of proposals to get sorted out. Without proposals, it is not clear what a person is responsible for or how they are contributing to the DAO or is there any place for evaluation. What can we do to eliminate late proposals?

However, for me personally, my overall goal here is for DXdao to build and maintain a professional, friendly, and fun work environment. If this does not exist, it will be detrimental to DXdao and we need to figure out how to make it exist.

Over the years, we have many situations where disagreements take place and generally they are productive and have a professional discussion. We have also had situations where unprofessional actions take place.

By hearing recent comments and also observing past situations, it is apparent that we need to
improve the work environment. In this unfavorable work environment, we have a situation where contributors within DXdao are not communicating effectively with each other.

In some scenarios where respect and professional behavior is missing, this leads to friction, lack of communication, outstanding problems and further conflict.

Personally, I have had situations where I have felt attacked or treated unprofessionally. In these scenarios, I end up cutting off communication from the people involved because I don’t want to participate in it.

In other situations, some people feel as if they can’t speak up or raise concerns.

We need to make DXdao a professional, friendly, and fun work environment where open debate can take place. We ALL need to concentrate on this to make it happen.

Some ideas for how to move forward:

  • Mainly, out of respect for the governance process, I think John should self-decide on and propose his own haircut to compensation based on what past precedents have been and his self-evaluation. Then, as Augusto says, “The DAO will vote”.

  • There are some communication channels that only regular contributors are a part of. If there were a rule that only contributors with active proposals can be a part of these channels, I think we wouldn’t have late proposals.

    However, the way our proposal process works does not suit a rule like this. Because contributors need to do a Recap forum post, then a Recap proposal on-chain, then a New Proposal forum post, then a New Proposal on-chain, there is no way to use this current system and always have live Contributor proposals. If each of these parts took one week that would be four weeks total. We need to have some cushion of time. With the current process, at least a 1 month cushion seems reasonable. But maybe we need a new process.

    There could also be an option for people who want to contribute retroactively or participate without compensation to receive approval from the DAO to maintain access.

  • I would like for any and all contributors of DXdao to expand on and have deeper discussions with John, myself and others about difficult topics within DXdao in a 100% professional manner.

  • I would like for everyone in the DXdao community to act with full respect for each other in an environment where people feel comfortable to share disagreements and professional, productive discussion can take place.

8 Likes

Caney Fork voted NO on this proposal, but did so with 1 REP.

Reasoning: A 6% reduction is not sufficient and sets a bad on-chain precedent.

However, John should be paid for the work he’s done over this period. and I am ready to move forward, hence the only 1 REP vote.

2 Likes

I don’t think you expressed what you think is sufficient.

In Martin’s case the debate, at least in my opinion, was about whether he successfully contributed. Remember he had not delivered anything, soured relationships with Gnosis, and lost one of our promising smart contract developers. Just because he was also late I don’t think sets good precedent on late proposals.

I think the important point in your previous comment is that there needs to be clearer guidelines. I think this becomes very clear when you realize there are many others, including yourself at this moment, who do not have an active worker proposal.

@JohnKelleher do you plan to submit the other proposals with the same 6% penalty? It would be 2 months worker proposals, that would be 4 more proposals. It think it would be better to put them all together into a single proposal and maybe even include this one.

Also I down voted with 1% rep (less than half of my rep) cause I think 6% for almost a year late submission is very low. I voted for 15% on the poll.

Yes, planning to submit the other proposals with a 6% penalty as well.

Ok, I might accept and even vote in favour on the recent worker periods, I will see when it is submitted, regarding this worker period I remember you were very active and were and essential part on the arbitrum relaunch. So performance wise I have nothing bad to say on this worker period, but it is almost year delayed, this is why I I think the penalty should be higher but I didnt wanted to vote with my entire rep against.

I recommended John to do a poll to get an overall estimate on what the community would expect, the 6% is very far for what I voted (10%), so I expect to see the people that voted for 0% and 5% to communicate their vote on chain.

Just in the case the proposal is rejected (it can happen if the 0% voters have low or no rep) it can be resubmitted with a higher penalty %. Lets keep in mind that this is an open forum and anyone registered can vote, even though more of us are here and we use it to communicate publicly, we cannot expect the results of a poll to replicate exactly on chain cause we have different rep amount on chain.

And also lets remember that governing ourselves is always work in progress, this is the second time a big proposal with delays happens and we are now taking action on defining the rules on how to act when this happens in the future. This is why I encourage everyone to vote consciously like I believe I did, dont be afraid to express your approval or disapproval on chain, you dont have to vote with your entire rep too, it can be a part of it like I did and no matter what you vote it would be respected and accepted.

7 Likes

Just want to mention that I mirror the feelings Augusto and Chris. I voted for 15% in the poll and although I see the logic in 6% I still think the guidelines and precedent going forward should be higher.
I will however vote for this proposal with 6% as I worked very closely with him in this period and was grateful for his work.

4 Likes