Martin Krung - Recap for the first 6 month - Payment request

I made only one proposal at the start. What holding me back was first not having the legal entity ready, but that’s now in place for 2 months.

End of May I worked 6 months for the DXdao. I was quite euphoric at the start and learned a lot during this time.

What I have achieved, thanks to the mesa team.

  • I was able to bootstrap a new product from scratch by assembling a team, mostly by myself, except nico/sky, to develop a vision and execute on this vision.
  • We built a framework for IDOs which is adaptive and can be a neutral platform for a range of needs.
  • Mesa has the potantial to grow in different directions and has a solid, but flexible architecture.
  • Software quality is good in the sens that we have a high test coverage and can replicate development environment fully of-chain with all component, this allows us to innovate/adapt quickly.

Short overview with link to code: Mesa (Public) - HackMD

My goal is to bring Mesa as close as possible to this:

Scroll down to see the reality of building products :arrow_down:

Nov/December 2020

First Working Proposal, 1 month, 24.11 - 24.12

Responsibilities (from my first proposal)

Product Owner/Manager for Mesa
Coordination work on Mesa UX with devs/UX Design
Provide feedback for Mesa on the gitcoin hackathon Bounty: Initial Offerings on Mesa · Issue #1 · dxdaohackathon/dex-react · GitHub
Coordination with gnosis about further development gnosis protocol
Embed Mesa in an overall product strategy
Consult on projects doing IDO
Collect feedback from projects doing IDOs and end-user
Reporting back to DXdao
Research on competing protocols
Take part in bizDev
On-board new workers for mesa IDO

Reflection about Responsibilities

My responsibilities are mostly still the same. I will adjust this in my formal forward-looking proposal here:

Goals this month (Nov/December 2020)

From my first proposal: Worker Proposal / Martin Krung / 24.11 - 24-12

Reflection about the Goals this month

Develop a strategy/roadmap for Mesa IDO

Make personas and user stories for Mesa IDO

(Not formally done, but my talk with several possible clients and thinking at my experience on the investor side)

  • I talked to thomas from artis/minerva, learning there: it may be worth to have a mobile wallet like minerva to give noobs the opportunity to invest. (Reduce fiat to crypto friction, but checking today, even minerva, who has done a sale on gnosis auction/xdai managed not to make a wallet version for this)

  • Bodgan of Stater → learning there: Many projects already have a free tradable token and make their first public sales later. (Also Minerva)

Find an agreement with gnosis about responsibilities in the future (we agree to not agree)

(No feedback from gnosis, talks later also not lead to any deal)

Start adaption for Mesa IDO frontend

  • Geromimo made a minimal draft and this helped us big to kick off things. Adam implemented a first version of this.

Start of standardization of Service for IDO Projects

This also helped me to think about who are our costumers:

Generally speaking, my first month set the stage, and we are still executing this.

Other things I worked on

Long Term/More

From my first proposal: Worker Proposal / Martin Krung / 24.11 - 24-12

Establish agile project management for Mesa IDO

We have been doing this, Venky helped me. We have a daily call, which is time-boxed to 15 min, and we have a weekly show and tell call on Monday. We are not doing pure agile, the team is not mature enough.

Start a weekly 1h mesa IDO call

I do this every Wednesday. Mostly I do some research what’s happening on the market with other IDO project or ongoing sales, we discuss strategy and do some refinement.

Sheet with all the calls I made:

Take over Mesa deployment from LevelK

Nothing to do, old Mesa is defunct now.

Enhance Documentation for Mesa IDO

We started a gitbook lately: Aqua - Aqua

In general, I did write some things, but after very limited feedback I decide that writing down things does not move the project forward.

Spread the word about DXdao over my personal twitter account

I do, from time to time, also use it as the main tool for recruiting new members.

Helping research/develop new products

We have to finish the 3 products we got, no need for this and if, not my focus right now.

Help to develop a vision for DXdao

No time for this, even I think it’s still needed.

Help with decentralized infrastructure research/testing

No time for this, we use the graph and may be radical but don’t run hardware. I guess I mostly wrote this because I have some DevOps skills, running web server for 20y.

Start to learn smart contract development

I did implement some features (in March) and I have a working environment for this now. I understand even better how smart contract work and what the limits are. I started working as a dev to support the team, to understand pain points and to do some research on a next-generation sale mechanism.

Other work in December:

Setup of for DXdao: Setup of for DXdao - HackMD

Further work

As I did not do a proposal after my first one, I started to work with giving every month a focus/topic. This is not how this should work, but my commitment and responsibility stayed the same.

On the tech side best is to visit my github profile:

January 2021 / recruiting


  • Adam started in the second week of February

  • Recruiting calls with ~10 person

  • Help them to onboard and make trial proposal

  • Bertie as a Designer has been found, and first payment proposal passed for him. (Bertie was introduced by Nico)

  • Start with the Wednesday weekly mesa call, where we talk about the product and strategy. At the start normally Sky/Nico/Adam and me are in the call.

  • We do not reach a deal with Gnosis

  • Presentation about Mesa in the community call Mesa - Google Slides


Heavy focus on recruiting. Getting a team together.

I had the strategy to hire anyone you wanted to join because I could not wait to get the right people to join. I recruited on twitter and this worked quite well (Adam/Hamza). (Later Ben/Nathan)

I recruited 2 people, Adam and Hamza for Mesa directly, Some team members have been pointed to me from outside Lee/Ruy. I had at least 10 calls.

I recruited Adam/Hamza/Ben (I had other candidates, but they dropped out before contributing). I did a lot of babysitting to some.


  • Some form of trust has to be there, new workers have to come in from a angel which makes sens.

  • People not communication well make no sens in such a setup (Start-up/ Full-Remote and Async)

  • People can learn technical skills if there is a good team interaction quite fast, but character stuff normally doesn’t change

  • It makes no sens to have workers which are not interested in the dxDao and what we try to achieve, for this dxDao is just another employer and for them, a normal job is a less risky option.

  • Drop outs can be positive, since Lee left communication is much better

  • Team building takes time, during build-up workers not communicate well can have a high impact (even if he is productive)

  • It’s hard to ramp up from zero because people need first to understand what you are trying to build

  • Our recruiting is focused that anons can join, but at the end we have no anons, for all non anons this is strange. We should have a filter for this. Anon: trial 2 weeks as now, Non-anon: That’s your job, start now.

  • Not having a working product makes it difficult to onboard because at the start there are no clear tasks to cut out.


I made my guide for onboarding: 1. About us and how to be a worker on DXdao - HackMD

Took part in the Gov2 discussion: Tokenomics - HackMD

February 2021: team building, design


  • Hamza & Ryu joined at the start February
  • Lee joined 8 February
  • Bertie started with the design on February
  • Nico starts working on the smart contracts
  • Lee worked mostly on the single sale pages
  • Hamza worked on the overview page
  • Adam started working on the subgraph
  • Github repo set up with continuous integration
  • Gitub Project as project management


Mostly focus on team building and get the team to understand what we are going to build. Work with Bertie for the Design. Bertie understands the product and was able to creates a nice UX. The Team get to know each other and understands what we are building.


  • In scrum the dev team is responsible to pick a task, define sprint goal and deliver on the sprint end. This only works in an established team where the team feels they are responsible to deliver. Lee, with his little communication, somehow was a blocker to get the team into this mindset.

  • Lack of communication from one member can lead to work everyone in silos.

  • For sprints to work, you should make estimates on task, with a new technology and not so well experience devs this is not possible in a serious way

  • Bertie could not develop a profound understanding of the auction sales mechanism and not work on charting data on its own. But he had other ideas, which would be suitable for dashboard.


Short intro for Scrum Kick-off: Scrum Kick-off - HackMD

March 2021: Scrum/Research


  • Design is finished by Bertie
  • Moved project to trello in the middle of march
  • Start having time boxed daily meetings
  • Venky supports us in your read to agile


Change work structure to scrum and start having weekly sprints. (Venky helped us)

I started to code smart contract to implement some features which, I think, will be important. Research about of chain computation of the settlement price of Fairsale. (Which is possible and maybe would make setting bids cheaper)

I found another, slightly different sale mechanics I call Point-Dutch, which is less capital efficient, simpler and may be more fair in its outcome.

I did focus on research because I was thinking the team was working fine and MVP was quite near.


  • Daily Meeting have been focused and timebox
  • Weekly meeting with show and tell, work with Trello (kanban) and some form of loose weekly goal.
  • At some point the lacking maturity of the team shoes by having merge conflicts. We try to set a standard to work better with git to tackle this.
  • Research has been a success and got me deeper into understanding what we are building, but focus has to be back on a minimal MVP.


April 2021: Bring the parts together


  • Lees commitment shrinks considerable, until his fraudulent proposal. I kicked lee out on 16. April.
  • Nico finished core work on smart contract
  • Adam finishes core work on the subgraph


It’s clear that we could not deliver the MVP as planned. Bring the component together is much harder than we thought.

Work to help to develop the Front-End too, I did add a static page. In a way the team is not as mature as I thought. We have some pain right now to glue the different components together. They are mostly done, but integrating is more complex than we taught. I try to make the team to coordinate/communicate better by join the daily work.

I remove lee from the team: After he requests to be paid, in full, I ask him to reduce the request, which he did by himself. (4 weeks → 3 weeks)

But even after he committed the proposal he did not pick up work again but showed up in the daily. After this, I did look into what he has worked, and I did clearly see that his performance dropped.

Losing lee this way was a major blow for us.


My work on the interface: Commits · cryptonative-ch/aqua-interface · GitHub

Data Types from Smart contract to Front-End: Data Types from Smart contract to Front-End - HackMD

Lees hours:

May 2021: MVP, MVP


  • Lee never requested payment for his work in April.
  • Adam tells us that he migrates to Vienna and will stop working for us at the end of the month. (His wish to migrate has been know since the start. He would like to stay, but migration to Europe is only possible eth an official day job).
  • Adam finishes work on the subgraph
  • Nico agreed to work on code clean-up, but take mostly a break in May.
  • Nethan joins the team as Bizdev support


We worked hard to glue all the parts together. The complexity of the smart contract with factories takes his toll. Team spirit improved, Losing lee had some good side effect that there is much more communication in the team.

With a shrinking team, I try get a company in to help us. Talk to ethworks and spaceinch.

At the end of the month we are able to make a purchase on the fix price sale on xdai with a working interface. A new sale can be deployed in 5 min over command line.


Work which could be done by a external company: Wallet Integration for Mesa Frontend - HackMD

Feedback on Design from Encasa: Feedback for Encasa (Martin Krung) - HackMD

Core Learnings over the last months

  • The Graph vs other solutions. We just used the standard software for this, but somehow to complex structure of the smart contract made the sub-graph quite complex.
  • I would more try to build everything in parallel and having things connected early, then in single repo.
  • Tech first, less design.
  • Only take selected candidates in the team, communication is key and bad communicators can have big influence.
  • Team building takes time.
  • Do more micromanagement and be more demanding.
  • Less time to try to scrummify processes, just go straight to kanban
  • Overengineering has to be reduced
  • I would not commit any date this early because I committed to finish the MVP at the end of March, even before I had a team.

Reality of building a product:


My compensation,in accordance with the worker guidelines. I will make proposal on xdai for this for every month. Payee is Conative, my company, which I own under my private name. I will make 3 alchemy proposals for 3 * 2 month payment. On alchemy proposal per week, each over the next 3 weeks.

First proposal on Alchemy:

First month 24/11 - 24/12

Experience Level: 5

Full-time, first month, 24/11/2020 - 24/12/2020

$6,400 xDai (80% of $8,000)
$4,800 DXD (80% of $6,000)
0.1334% REP (80% of 0.1667%)

Summary of compensation:

  • $6,400 xDai
  • Approval for 4,800 USD to be paid as 9.18 DXD in a vesting contract continuously for two years with a one-year cliff when the work agreement finishes. The vesting contract would be created in the future and use 25/12/2020 as the starting date of the vesting.
  • 0.1334% REP which is absolute 1,880.6 REP for the start date of 24/11/2020

January 2021 (Second month)

Experience Level: 5

Full-time, second month

$6,400 xDai (80% of $8,000)
$4,800 DXD (80% of $6,000)
0.1334% REP (80% of 0.1667%)

Summary of compensation:

  • $6,400 xDai
  • Approval for 4,800 USD to be paid as 9.18 DXD in a vesting contract continuously for two years with a one-year cliff when the work agreement finishes. The vesting contract would be created in the future and use 01/02/2021 as the starting date of the vesting.
  • 0.1334% REP which is absolute 1,928.5 REP for the start date of 01/01/2021

February 2021

Experience Level: 5

I worked 1 weeks work in 2 weeks, (week 7/8) took some time off for skying. I assume every month has 20 workday and missed in total 5. So working 75%.

$6,000 xDai (75% of $8,000)
$4500.0 DXD (75% of $6,000)
0.125% REP (75% of 0.1667%)

Summary of compensation:

  • $6,000 xDai
  • Approval for 4500 USD to be paid as 8.6 DXD in a vesting contract continuously for two years with a one-year cliff when the work agreement finishes. The vesting contract would be created in the future and use 01/03/2021 as the starting date of the vesting.
  • 0.125% REP which is absolute 1,838.5 REP for the start date of 01/02/2021

March 2021

Experience Level: 5

$8,000 xDai
$6,000 DXD
0.1667% REP

Summary of compensation:

  • $8,000 xDai
  • Approval for 6,000 USD to be paid as 11.47 DXD in a vesting contract continuously for two years with a one-year cliff when the work agreement finishes. The vesting contract would be created in the future and use 01/04/2021 as the starting date of the vesting.
  • 0.1667% REP which is absolute 2’528.8 REP for the start date of 01/03/2021

April 2021

Experience Level: 5

$8,000 xDai
$6,000 DXD
0.1667% REP

Summary of compensation:

  • $8,000 xDai
  • Approval for 6,000 USD to be paid as 11.47 DXD in a vesting contract continuously for two years with a one-year cliff when the work agreement finishes. The vesting contract would be created in the future and use 01/05/2021 as the starting date of the vesting.
  • 0.1667% REP with the absolute 2’571.6 REP for the start date of 01/04/2021

May 2021

I took 1-week vacation (week 18), I assume every month has 20 workday and missed in total 5. So working 75%

Experience Level: 5

$6,000 xDai (75% of $8,000)
$4500.0 DXD (75% of $6,000)
0.125% REP (75% of 0.1667%)

Summary of compensation:

  • $6,000 xDai
  • Approval for 4500 USD to be paid as 8.6 DXD in a vesting contract continuously for two years with a one-year cliff when the work agreement finishes. The vesting contract would be created in the future nd use 01/06/2021 as the starting date of the vesting.
  • 0.125% REP which is absolute 1,944.7 REP for the start date of 01/05/2021


Thank you for the dedication, Martin. I personally like your honesty, which makes it a pleasure working with you. I don’t believe anyone could imagine the dao without you, you’re much appreciated, aquaman.


Looks great, looking forward to your continued contributions to Mesa.


I have had many calls with Martin about work, personal, and career goals - we have discussed so many things. He’s not just a DXdao colleague anymore, but a friend at this point. His honesty, genuine passion for working on Mesa, and work ethics are some of the highlights why I enjoy working with Martin. I second Nathan’s take; he’s a DXdao MVP.

PS, @martinkrung I am glad you fulfilled our deal in early February even if you’re late by a huge margin :rofl:. Let us know when these proposals are up, so we can obliterate the Alchemy interface :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


Thanks for the overview and lessons learned over the last few months. This should be useful for all product teams.

Reading through it, I had two takeaways:

  • Our biggest planning mistake is not planning for small disruptions & obstacles. We can’t know what these are, but we can try to build resilliency so they don’t disrupt the flow of work. Driving 60 mph consistently is better than driving 80mph but having to stop for every hour to fix something.
  • Recruiting and building a team was at least 30-40% of your time. I don’t think that’s unsusual, but we should be mindful of the time commitment

Outside of Mesa, Martin has been a productive contributor to other products and DXdao governance and I look forward to him taking a more active role in on-chain governance with the REP he has earned.


My proposal for my payout got downstaked by John and will not pass in this form. We had a respectful call today where we agree to disagree. Geronimo and Nico have been at this call too.

If I had known that my late on-chain proposal provokes such a crisis, I would never have waited so long. This is on me. I did expect some push-back, but not in this radical way.

I worked hard the last 7 month. We had many setbacks, but I did not give up and continued. I took risk on several levels, and not paying me for my work and the risk I took is not right.

I will prepare a speech to defend my position for the next governance call. I have a strategy beyond that.

As I do not work unpaid, I will track my hours and bill them later. I will reduce my working hours significantly, I will not join daily calls regularly until this has been resolved. I will try to keep the aqua team busy because I feel responsible, but at this point I don’t feel obligated to represent aqua.

In the call, we agreed somehow that I will try to plan how to deliver the MVP. Afterwards, we talked about my on-chain proposal, which John strongly disagree with. I decided I will not work on this now because this will produce billable hours, which I don’t know if I ever get paid for.

Many people signaled support for my position. I will open up a keybase group to coordinate, just DM me to get in. Don’t be afraid, until now, only one person did explicitly support the minority position of John and this is John himself.

I will hold my speech next Wednesday, then we will vote on a different proposal.

There are some things that require further discussion and need to be addressed

  1. This proposal asks for $40,800 in USD, $30,900 in DXD, and .8502 %, all without a prior proposal accepted by DXdao governance, and all without having shipped anything to production. And even what has been shipped to testnet is in a rather alpha state, is unaudited, and has very limited functionality. This seems like an abuse of the process and like a very bad deal for DXdao. While I had emphasized repeatedly that Martin needed to do a worker proposal, it is clear to me now that DXdao needs a more strict process here to prevent something like this from going this far in the future. One practical solution I think would be to make sure that only contributors with active worker proposals are allowed into Contributor chat channels.

  2. What is the plan forward for Mesa? I think DXdao needs a concrete plan that has more specific deliverables than an “MVP.” These deliverables should be measurable, the budget should be established, and the timeline and people required to execute clear.

  3. Faith in the squad’s ability to execute needs to be established. Before committing to paying a product manager, there should be confidence that a team is already in place which will be able to execute the plan. From a security perspective, it is critical that there is a dedicated smart contract developer who is committed to owning the project going forward. The primary smart contract developer is our first line of defense. An audit is another line of defense, and no guarantee that there won’t be vulnerabilities. An auction system is clearly intended to handle large amounts of funds and it is important to take security very seriously.

In addition, I think it is important that Martin’s performance is properly assessed. In my estimation, Martin is by no means a level 5 product manager. And I am skeptical that he is capable of executing as a product manager at the standards DXdao requires. I think he lacks the experience, lacks focus, lacks relevant technical knowledge, and lacks the discipline required to guide a product team to successful delivery. This has shown itself in my interactions with Martin and has shown itself in the results produced.

Overall, I think there needs to be some serious scrutiny of how to proceed with DXdao’s ambitions to build Mesa into a first rate platform. I would add none of this is a reflection on the developers currently working on Mesa/Aqua.

I had been reticent to bring this feedback to the forum as it is not my intent to stir controversy. I was hoping that the concerns above could be addressed in coordination with Martin. Along with @corkus I joined Martin in two phone calls this week to try and address the above concerns. Unfortunately little progress was able to be made in addressing any of the above despite 2.5 hrs of calls, and my view that Martin is not capable as a product manager has only been reinforced.


@JohnKelleher is raising important concerns which needs to be addressed in order to be able to move forward. How we address it will have an impact on the future of the DXdao. Unfortunately we have not been able to find a solution so far which means we need to rely on the DXdao´s governance process. Currently, I am leaning towards supporting John in his mission to work with Martin and the Aqua team to define a future for Aqua and find a solution to get @martinkrung paid for the valuable work he has done so far.


Some feedback on this as a long time DXD holder.

• I don’t like seeing Dilbert comics as excuses for under delivery for a product.


:point_up: For a visionary product manager, I would like to see more actual vision on the product in proposals.

:point_up: The linked roadmap chart of 2020 is a mess. Full of typos and no indication of what has and hasn’t been delivered, the Gantt chart has no dates, deadlines, or any forward looking deliverables.

• Most of the Google docs in this proposal are restricted and cannot even be reviewed by the public. Can they be opened?

:point_up: The learnings are a mess too and hard to understand. Recruiting is focused anons can join? What?!

:point_up: Spot checking the linked onboarding guide “Who are we”… apparently an organization that has a daily call that is special?


I suggest being careful to make sure that decision are made objectively on retaining contributors. To be frank, this proposal does not instill confidence. Please take the time to make sure that DXD funds are not being aimlessly burned, effective project managers are important. Projects do not always go as planned, but allowing Dilbert comics to fly as valid excuses without actually scrutinizing the work and having a clear remediation strategy will lead to complacency and a culture of underperformance.


I try to keep this kind of personal attacks low because they damage trust severely. @JohnKelleher you own quite a few failures too.

The biggest failure you can take ownership now is killing aqua and drive me out of dxDao.

This damages the dxDao severely

  1. People will back off because who wants to work for an organization which does not pay work? This all is of high reputation risk for everyone involved and will it make it even harder to recruit talented workers.

  2. The dxDao will be unable to attract risk-takers like me, which start from scratch with no team and just keep building whatever obstacles they meet. I have been well aware of the risk I took, but I never imaged not getting paid for my work.

  3. Harassing me like this will every current worker think about his future at dxDao. What’s happening here is toxic. The strong ones like me will leave first. The weak will leave as soon as they see a good opportunity.

  4. The deal works like this: dxDao pays for the work of the teams and gets as reward the ownership on the product. In a highly competitive market the price you can win is high if successful, but the risks to fail is also very high. At the end most products fail and there are many reasons for this. With this risk avers mind-set, the dxDao will never be able to build an entirely new product.

This is a bribe

What’s happening here is that the dxDao takes my rightful earned sallery hostage to bribe me into future work. But there is a clear limit, I will not work further if my work from the past is not paid. There has been no strong concern raised until now, and I hold the role as aqua product lead officially all the time.

About proposals

I tell you this is not needed, if you take the risk involved. I was so stupid to do it and I regret this very much. It was never my plan to do this the way I did. I first had to create my company, then I was too focused to fix daily upcoming things.

Unpaid contribute can ask to get paid for the work done, even if they never had a proposal out. If the dxDao agrees to pay this person he would get paid.

I’m open to any deal for the future. It’s totally okay to raise this concern now, but it’s not okay not to pay me for my contribution in the past.

Deny of execution abilities

Deny me the ability to execute, but then expect me to do unpaid work with the same responsibilities and finish the MVP is logically inconsistent.

I know that I’m able to finish this because I have come to this far. Everyone can give it a try here. Only used pennies, because you will buy a worthless token.

I’m the product


I would describe my position as product owner because I own the product. As we see now, I’m not the best manager and I may never be.

If I leave, I guess the product will die. Nobody will be able to take this over because nobody has the vision and the insight for this product as I have now.

I guess there are only a few people who understand gnosis-auction. Because of my first education in Art I have visual competences and found a better way to show the existing bids and the price forming for fairsale. Its seems like a none brainer, but good solutions are simple and powerfull. Thinking hard about this kind of problem has been an important part of my work.

Bids like orderbooks, with mock data, I implemented this, but its buried in code now:

I created an even simpler auction which works similar and would allow to push the solution on-chain without on-chain computation. In fact, gnosis did overengineer this. My solution would be more capital efficient near the settlement price and I would argue that it will produce a fairer outcome.

But the best about this solution, which I call Point Dutch: it’s more easy to understand, and this is important: A lot of noise in token sales comes from investors not understanding how the price has been formed.

My researches show that there are different fixes to prevent any gas-wars at the end. (reverse candle auction, or fee escalation)

Aqua is my vision, which the Aqua team helped me to execute.

This is all written with a lot of self-esteem. No doubt I made many mistake along the route. I had hard times and even had been nearly burnt out before my vacation. Endless self doubts and many sleepless nights. (As now) But this is not the place to talk about this.


It’s true that DXdao contributors need to get more disciplined about spending the DAO’s funds. Recent examples of negligent spending under current leadership include:

  • $75k lost in marketing multisig screw-up
  • $15k spent on marketing headhunter who has not brought forward a single viable candidate to date
  • $320k = Full year of at least two level 5 contributors to deliver a Uniswap v2 fork (frontrun by hundreds of teams & Uni v3)
  • $10k out the door on DXdao logo and landing page re-design through Entrecasa, hijacked by contributor OGs (they changed their minds and preferred to keep the old logo, after making payment and wasting everyone’s time).

Total: $420k +

In fact, before Martin’s engagement as Mesa PM, DXdao had a chance to own 50% of the now hugely successful Gnosis Auction with close to zero engineering costs. Current leadership, the same people who now are trying to get out of paying Martin, decided against the Gnosis deal and in favor of installing Martin Krung as Mesa product manager to build a competitor instead, with all the costs this would entail. In the following months, the same leadership worked alongside Martin and had plenty of opportunity to give useful feedback and / or pull the plug. They did not.

Instead, current leadership allowed Martin to work everyday for 7 months as the purported product lead of Mesa with a Daotalk post up stating he was a level 5, full-time contributor, backed by OG high REP contributors, including @Powers and @sky. By the leadership’s action and inaction, Martin was led to believe that he would be paid for his time and contributions when he put in his proposal.

More accountability is indeed needed, and it starts with upper management, which in this pseudo horizontal organization rests with those with the most voting power. That is the paid contributors who have been here the longest. Namely @JohnKelleher and @corkus .

Whether it is out of the DAO’s treasury or their own pockets, they owe Martin 100% of whatever deal they verbally agreed upon 7 months ago, which seems to be Level 5.


Let me say a couple of things before we go into this. I appreciate you, Martin. I really do. I enjoy your insights and your deep knowledge of this space. You as a person have nothing to do with what I am about to express here or on the forum, and I expect this to be the same for everyone in this conversation.

Investors already feel that our expense vs revenue is making it seem like workers are bleeding the treasury. As workers and investors, we need to step in and voice our concerns. If we don’t, how can non-workers trust us to not “bleed the treasury”?

Here are some important things to get right before I post my wall of text.

  • I absolutely think you should get paid fairly for your time at DXdao. Nowhere in any of the other people’s comments do I see anyone mention that you shouldn’t get paid.

  • There is no me vs you. Anyone criticizing shouldn’t be afraid of getting attacked personally.

  • Any critic against me or my squad can be taken to another thread. I’m tired of arguing whataboutism. I’m not free from faults. Not expecting anyone to be perfect.

I’m grateful and happy John broke the ice. And this is not the first time John does that while others are silent. John has almost(when he had his coffee) always been the honest and fair voice of DXdao and I respect him for that.

I expected some more self-reflection as a product manager and a Level 5 worker, you have to have a level of self-responsibility that goes beyond the guidelines.

The critic will be split into three points.

  1. Working without a proposal for 6 months.

  2. Leading a team, without a proposal for 6 months

  3. Performance of your work, hindsight.

Working without a proposal:

You disrespected the governance process. It happened already. You can be 1000 times sorry but it still happened. Not once, but 6 times.

Without the governance process, getting paid from the DAO is not a fair or proven system. Investors didn’t sign up for this.

I know your reasons. They are not enough in my opinion. Proposals can be created as a contract and this will bind the DAO to 100% owe you the money, and you can get paid out when you have your things sorted out at a later date.

What is your response and resolution for not following the governance process? I think as an investor words are not enough.

Leading a team, without a proposal:

I think this is a dangerous thing to do. As a team lead, you are the watchman for your workers. Who watches the watchmen?

The answer is REP holders(and workers).

Any critic for performance or how things are going according to the roadmap has no official place to happen with no proposal. The only place I see this happens is in our weekly meetings, and these meetings are more short-term-based talks and barely fitting conversations about the overall performance of months of work and not everyone is on these calls.

Having team leads create proposals and roadmaps is crucial to follow up on feedback.

Performance of worker, hindsight:

I’m taking this point from a perspective of an investor. Some opinions might seem cold and unfair. I wish that you can set aside any feelings when it comes to money + results to see this point I’m making.

We know in hindsight what the money you are asking for has given us.

Someone asking to be paid as the highest level of Product Manager and not being able to deliver doesn’t seem like a logical decision to do when we have already seen the results.

If DXdao only had 1 million in its treasury, i’m almost 100% sure opinions would be different. I do think we are too comfy with our treasury.

My suggested resolution:

  • No REP for all the months you skipped the governance process.

  • 3 months as level 4 worker level

  • 3 months as level 5 worker level

  • $320k = Full year of at least two level 5 contributors to deliver a Uniswap v2 fork (frontrun by hundreds of teams & Uni v3)

This is pure misinformation.

Swapr team (Zett and Federico) was formed somewhere in November. Both me and Federico started at level 4 and we wanted the time to be able to prove ourselves. It wasn’t until February-March 2021 we moved to Level 5. Both of us have multiple hats that go beyond Swapr and we go far outside of our proposals to make sure we are delivering.

I can take critic on my early days and the decisions. Calling a two-man show “negligent spending” is a big middle finger to both of us.
Whatever beef you have with other workers, leave us out of it.


Work on Swapr / DXswap (the univ2 fork) started around June 2020, and was initially led by others until you and Federico took over. So it took exactly a year of several fulltime contributors to launch. End product looks great, and there’s some nice value adds like permission-less DIY liq farms. Still we’ll see if Swapr can gain traction having been front-run so severely by other forks and univ3.

My point was not to attack you personally, but to make a comparison where if we judged other DXdao teams as harshly as many in this thread are judging Martin/Mesa, the plug should have been pulled on DXswap / Swapr before you and Federico took it over (7 months in). And the contributors working on DXswap should have seen a retrospective salary slash, as you and others seem to be arguing for here.


@pulpmachina Before I learned more about Swapr I was inclined to think the same as you.

But working on marketing for Swapr I learned that Swapr has many features that differentiate it significantly from Uniswap, some of the most notable ones include enhanced fee flexibility, Eco-Routing, Built-in configurable LP incentives with custom token rewards, and planned cross-chain support. This is the marketing acronym I made for why you should PICK Swapr:
P - Pool creators choose ANY fee from 0% to 10% :bar_chart:
I - Integrate Swapr freely, 100% open source code :100:
C - Create LP incentives in Swapr with your own token, no coding needed :chart_with_upwards_trend:
K - Keen Swapr users get the best exchange rates with Swapr Eco-Routing💱

Same with Omen-Omen has many benefits compared to its competitors Augur and Polymarket, most notably drastically increased decentralization-market resolution can be appealed through Kleros instead of relying on opaque “market resolution committee”, the ability for anyone to create a market, unrestricted global access, and some technical LP improvements which are in the works now thanks to @KadenZipfel. Polymarket is mostly centralized with market creation and resolution done only by a select, opaque group of insiders, and Augur blocks many countries including the US, among other things.

Frankly, to the extent that Swapr/Omen are underperforming, this underperformance is mostly due to an under-concentration of sales and marketing talent and an under-emphasis on UI/UX design and customer journey.

As a marketing guy, part of my job is to figure out what the true advantages of DXdao’s products are vs. Competitors so I can market them. I had a call with Martin a few weeks ago to try to figure out what the advantages of Aqua would be compared to all the other similar platforms, but after the call I still wasn’t sure what the advantages were. But then again, it’s possible I just wasn’t understanding it. I do remember @martinkrung that you mentioned decentralization as an advantage, but as far as I can tell there are already other token ICO platforms which are decentralized.

@martinkrung could you please lay out what the specific differentiating features are that Aqua will have that other token ICO platforms don’t already have? You can refer to how I listed specific differentiating features that Swapr and Omen each have. If you can lay this out, then it will also help you make the case to everyone that Aqua is something valuable and not a waste of money. This will explain why people should choose Aqua, and it will allow me to make some great marketing materials when/if the time comes! :rocket::droplet:


Yes I advocated for more motivated marketers such as yourself, and appreciate the effort! :rocket: :droplet:


Just thought I would briefly mention the main feature aqua is aiming for since I’m not sure this is the right forum for the conversation.
The unique selling point of aqua isn’t so much in any of it’s individual sales like a fixed price or auction. But more the protocol’s ability to add new types of sales to quickly respond to or create market changes.


Wow just read all the comments in the topic, exciting to see forum so active addressing though issues like these.

I liked a lot the replies from @JohnKelleher and @Zett and I agree with pretty much everything in them.

@martinkrung dont take the feedback received as personal attacks, they are not, I had huge disagreements with John and Geronimo this year (and I guess if we sit down and a beer together we will still disagree), I ended up being paid less from a proposal that was approved by the dao and I am one of the oldest technical members in the dao with more than 3% REP, even though the rules applied to me as they applied to everyone else.

For me it is clear that you broke certain rules that most of the workers are trying to follow, for this reason you shouldnt be payed as much as other worker who followed the rules, you can still defend your position and present your case but in the end the DAO will decide and you will have to decide if you continue being part of it or not.

About your performance as PM of Aqua: I saw a few demos in the developer calls but compared to the progress of past products, dxtrust, omen and swpr (in six months) I think Aqua is the one who growth the less, and you are the most responsible for it, and that we should find someone else for PM in Aqua.

I would support the suggested resolution Of @Zett plus a -5% total payment penalization fo not following the worker guidelines process.


My comment is a bit long (sorry!), but it raises several issues that we need to fix as a DAO regarding contributor proposals and performance reviews.


Martin made an offer to work ‘full-time’ as the product lead for the mesa IDO with Level 5 compensation, and DXdao accepted his offer by identifying him as the lead and allowing him to work in this role for 7 months. Martin performed on the general responsibilities he listed in his DAOtalk post. DXdao therefore owes him compensation at Level 5 for his past work. Whether Martin should have a new contract to work in this role with DXdao is a separate issue.

In light of what we’ve learned here, DXdao needs to change its Contributor Guidelines to require that all contributors have an active proposal in before they can begin or continue work. The proposal needs clear deliverables. We also need a regular peer review process for higher level employees that have no direct supervisor. This is something I’ll be working on with @Melanie to implement with the potential compensation guidelines overhaul.

(1) There is no rule in the Contributor Guidelines that requires an on-chain proposal to be paid for past work. There should be a rule to this effect.

In fact, the Contributor Guidelines has a section dedicated to how contributors can be paid for past work. This section was included to allow flexibility, which I now think should be removed to prevent instances like this from happening.

Also, DXdao can vote to change the Contributor Guidelines to require active proposals and to doc 5% pay for worker proposals that are later than 30 days from the contract period date. Once these criteria are in the Contributor Guidelines, all contributors will have notice to follow them. Martin was not notified of either of these consequences and therefore cannot be punished under this false line of reasoning.

(2) Martin’s November 2020 DAOtalk proposal is an offer for work to be paid at a level 5 compensation rate.

In November 2020, Martin made an on-chain proposal for the period of 11.24.20 - 12.24.20, in which he stated he will be working on the “Mesa IDO strategy and there has been a broad agreement from the DXdao to start the implementation. I started working full time on tuesday 24.11.2020.” Martin listed general deliverables, but did not state he would deliver a Mesa MVP. In the future, DXdao should require specific deliverables in proposals so that DXdao can hold workers accountable to identified tasks.

(3) DXdao accepted Martin’s offer as a Level 5 contributor when contributors identified Martin as the Mesa product lead and allowed Martin to work ‘full-time’ for 7 months in this role.

An offer for work can be accepted by conduct, which forms a contract. Here, DXdao contributors identified martin as the Mesa product lead. He has held daily scrum meetings, drafted roadmaps, and recruited developers to build a Mesa MVP. Martin has also consistently told me, the Contributor UX squad, and others that he had not put in an on-chain proposal for legal reasons, in order to set-up a Swiss company to receive payments. The Contributor UX squad also lists Martin as a level 5 contributor.

A contract for work can also be implied by the conduct of the parties. Though Martin’s initial DAOtalk proposal only listed a one-month contract period, DXdao contributors regularly confirmed that Martin was the Mesa product lead and allowed him to continue working in this role for 7 months.

(4) Martin performed on his offer to lead the Mesa IDO effort and work ‘full-time’.

Unfortunately, Martin’s DAOtalk proposal does not include specific deliverables, like a Mesa MVP. It only states that he would be the Mesa product lead. Whether Martin performed well or delivered a MVP is a separate issue that should determine his future role with DXdao.

If any contributor, particularly those with technical skills or enough REP (+2%), became aware that Martin was incapable of completing his work to a satisfactory standard, they should have said something in order to save resources and not waste everyone’s time. This can be awkward when there is no established process for reviewing high level contributors’ work. This is also Martin’s fault for not putting up a new proposal, which should have started these conversations. DXdao needs to establish a regular peer review process to not allow a situation like this to develop again over such a long period of time.

(5) Rules that are applied inconsistently are not rules.

Other contributors, such as @corkus, have been fully paid without an active worker proposal in and without a 5% strike on pay. Yet now Martin’s pay should be cut by 5% because he didn’t have an on-chain proposal. This makes no sense.