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

@martinkrung Wow interesting discussion. My thoughts are that you should have expected at least some pushback since you were going around the governance process of dxDao which is setup this way to prevent things like this from happening.

Im not that much familiar how far Aqua/Mesa has gotten but it would be nowhere near it is today without you that’ for sure. You did the best you can In attracting people and working with very limited resources and state of Mesa/Aqua. There seems to be discussion on how effective you are in terms of squad leader which is totally acceptable and every squad leader or worker should be evaluated not just you. I think we are kinda missing that part on all fronts. We need to evaluate if decisions in terms of product strategy make sense and If we are moving in right direction and should adapt or change direction we are heading. We all wan’t the same thing in the end! That our products are succesfull and used by people.

But my main concern is how you reacted to totally reasonable feedback you got. Instead of trying to understand their point of view and see how we could work around it, you started talking about damages to dxDao ,that you are harassed and that this is a bribe, this is toxic, kinda trying to rally people that we are treated unfairly which is totally untrue also attacking some people. This raises a lot of red flags for me since it tells me that you are not that open minded and receptive to negative feedback, as squad leader you need to have those characteristic to be effective. And the worst thing is that you are contemplating leaving dxDao and you stopped working, instead of giving it all in trying to resolve hard issue at hand and moving forward with working on product which is only thing that matters in the end all this aside. What will happen tomorrow when you encounter worse crisis with Aqua (which will happen most likely)… will you leave?

Those are my concerns. Hopefully we get to resolution of this :crossed_fingers:

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Good points @Tammy

Yes, we should add this. BUT having a 6 months delayed without on-chain approval is a lot of time considering also that creating a proposal for just getting approved the payment of your future work is not something difficult/expensive to do, is just a proposal in xdai. But yes, we should add something in the guidelines explaining the importante of on-chain approvals.

“DXdao contributors regularly confirmed” ? I havent confirmed any proposal on chain of Martin derivables, I just saw few demos in the developer calls, I didnt used my rep to express my approval/rejection in Martin’s work in the past 6 months.

This should be addressed as well in the future worker guidelines, I think @corkus delayed was few months, and not half a year and I when I saw his deliveries on Omen they seemed good enough to forgive the delay. If someone would have proposed to do a cut (1-5%) of Corkus pay because of his delay I would have been okay with it too.

Looking forward to the changes in the Worker Guidelines, I remember when we started working on them a year ago and we were 5-6 full time workers :sweat_smile:, we came a long way and we have to cover more ground on them now.

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Hi @AugustoL – appreciate your thoughts! My quick responses:

I agree, 6 months is a long delay, but for legal reasons to prevent personal liability exposure by receiving a payment from a DAO w/o a legal entity (DXdao), Martin chose to not receive payments until his Swiss company was fully set up. We can get more specifics from Martin on the call tomorrow, but it was my understanding that there was a Swiss tax rule implicated that required him to wait at least 4 months before receiving funds.

However, that shouldn’t have prevented him from at least putting up daotalk posts on a regular basis.

I wish our world operated only on-chain :sweat_smile: But our actions and (inactions for that matter) create implicit contracts for work when we allow someone to show up everyday, present his work, and support him in continuing work, as he operates under the belief that he will be paid as a level 5 contributor. On-chain DAOs meet real world problems.

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Exactly, me for example Im trying to be up to date on chain with 2 months proposal verifying the payment I will receive after certain derivables are met.

Thats the thing, here it does, my word is my REP, thats how I “speak” on chain, we have the cryptography tools available to discuss and decide on chain, we could have done it and I dont think I would have given positive votes in Martins proposals, but I was never asked, neither in alchemy or daotalk.

But then, thats my personal hardcore crypto opinion that I if I can I would cryptographicaly sign everything I do in DXDao. Thats what Im doing in keybase when I sign every message I sent, what I do on github when I sign every commit I push and what I do when I vote on dxdao when I vote.

IMO the daotalk signals are very weak in the governance level compared to on chain proposals that sometimes forces you execute your REP in order to prevent something you dont want to happen, you have to appear in the scene. Here you can just comments, give likes and thats it.

In fact yesterday I was thinking that I might not have enough support to keep working on dxvote or might not be doing a good job because I have only 3-5 likes in my worker proposals in the forum and Martin had 15 likes and he is having the work he had done questioned right now. Based on the support I have here in daotalk im doing awful but maybe other voters just go and vote for my worker proposal on chain and I end with an approved proposal on chain, that it is what it matters in the end.

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Here’s an idea I am going to throw here in the light of this incident.

First of all. In my first reply to this thread, I have mentioned that I enjoy working with @martinkrung. He’s a great person; no doubt about that. There are shortcomings in this proposal. I had what @Tammy addressed at the back of my head. Martin should have at least posted his worker proposals on DAOtalk as an off-chain signal worker proposal. This would have, at least, minimized the friction here, and he could have submitted his payment proposal after incorporating his company in Switzerland.

Grace Period

We should introduce a grace period, in which contributors should submit their next proposal. The period can be two weeks after which contributors risk their future payments and contributions to the DAO. However, once a contributor’s previous active proposal ends, the grace period should start immediately. Contributors can continue working on their duties from the previous active proposal if any. However, After the grace period has passed, they risk not getting compensated for their work until they submit a new proposal.

For returning contributors, there is a verbal or implicit agreement between contributors and the DAO by the premise of being active — contributing to weekly/daily calls, delivering duties. This is what allowed many other contributors to get around governance and submit their proposals retroactively.

I admit the majority of contributors, including me — I don’t have an active proposal for June and July and submitted my April and May proposal retroactively — and Martin have been disregarding their responsibility toward the governance process. I believe this is a wake-up call toward better governance.

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My overall view is quite simple: People and entities that contribute value to DXdao should be rewarded for their contributions.

The harder part is in the details.

DXdao is still very new and is working to trailblaze the path for how true DAOs operate. At this point, we don’t even know if the way that DXdao is governing is a smart, effective way to govern. We are continuously learning. We have had many scenarios where contributors bring value to DXdao (with and without live proposals) and ask for compensation and REP.

It’s not a perfect system, but it seems to be making progress and moving in the right direction.
Additionally, I think DXdao should have a goal to grow the number of people that are contributing to DXdao. It should be inviting, easy and flexible to contribute to DXdao.

I am also beginning to fear that more-closed contributor channels and stricter “approvals” will lead to further closedness versus openness.

We’ve come up with Contributor Guidelines to help people who are contributing to a global, decentralized collective have a place to start (because it’s brand spanking new to most people!), but it’s not the only way, and it can likely be improved.

Implementing a “rule” that people can not contribute to DXdao without having an accepted live proposal prior is not really practical and would likely limit DXdao’s openness, productivity and effectiveness dramatically.

Specific to this scenario, much of this DAOtalk thread makes it seem like this discussion either results in all or nothing. @zett proposes a middle ground scenario. I think the resolution to this situation lies somewhere in this middle ground, and constructive discussion will likely help find this resolution.

There also seems to be a lot of focus on DXdao “Level” - like what level should be assigned prior to or post contribution. Keep in mind that DXdao’s Level 5 means: “I have deep expertise in a particular vertical or have direct experience that is relevant to Web3/DeFi/ DAOs. I’m eager to further the mission of DXdao and work with other engaging and ambitious people.”

I also think that @tammy’s point #3 is very important to note. Martin has been operating as the Mesa/Aqua product lead full-time for 7 months. This is an implied contract that could have easily been questioned, stopped, or improved.

DXdao seems to have some similar properties to those that lead to earthquakes. Stress and strain builds up for long periods of time, and then a forceful, sudden, jarring outcome happens all at once. This can be solved in a couple ways - better regular communication between DXdao community members AND more regular contributor proposals. Lack of both has caused larger problems that now need to be solved.

DXdao community is always trying to identify its opportunities, priorities, strengths, and weaknesses and adjust focus and resources where appropriate, but we need to get better at this.

Martin has also been contributing value to DXdao in other ways, and this should be factored in as well.

I would really like to see Aqua come into existence. A flexible token issuance platform fits in really well to DXdao’s product suite. I think the really interesting difference-maker for DXdao is not necessarily the individual products that DXdao is building, but the suite of products and how DXdao can leverage them as an ecosystem to succeed.

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@Tammy I agree with your comment as read from the perspective of an employee/contractor with reasonable and ordinary expectations of employment.

I am skeptical that proposed solutions to avoid future similar misunderstandings, via additional speaking-as-the-org, would reach the desired effect at a DAO, as the perception of the org as a cohesive predictable entity may have been a contributing factor to the misunderstanding. Had Martin been more conscious of the fact that no one had the obligation or authority to represent the org as a whole, he may have made a proposal much sooner rather than trusting “the org”.

A question seems to be whether the org should act as a single entity, with typical duties and obligations, such as clarifying terms of a relationship and having debts for services performed, or if the voters should fully embrace the DAO experiment by discouraging portrayals of it as a single entity. If statements are worded as the org speaking, there’s no guarantee the ever changing set of voters and their voting power will vote in line with it, so it seems misleading to do so, and implies a predictability others may mistakenly depend on.

People are free to document patterns they witness, their voting intentions, and even make statements with many signatories, but speaking as the org is, at best, the opposite of, and at worst, incompatible with, the org’s design, and prone to further miscommunication.

We have to be careful that mitigating the challenges of a DAO is not accomplished by defeating its functionality.

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@kermit raises some interesting points with our current experiment.

My proposed solutions are just that – a proposal that would need to be discussed further, signaled with support on daotalk, and then voted into effect by REP holders to have any real implications for DXdao as an organization. The Contributor Guidelines in their current form are in effect as a signal proposal that was voted on by REP holders on-chain.

Also, keep in mind that, though a DAO is a novel idea and experiment, we may be viewed as a general partnership, which means DXdao contributors as REP holders are partners and agents of the general partnership. As agents, each contributor’s actions may bind both the other members of the partnership, and the general partnership itself, where there is no explicit agreement to the contrary.

As DAOs decentralize / fractalize, I see applying such old concepts to be more dated and difficult. However, under the current facts where Martin was openly employed as the Mesa lead with a proposal in at level 5, it’s safe to say that DXdao contributors as agents of DXdao formed an implicit contract with Martin through their conduct.

That is the relationship that I am describing above and that DXdao as a collective needs to keep in mind when determining contributor payments.

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Lots of different perspectives that bring up deep questions about how DXdao operates. The conversation now turns to what to do in this particular situation and what to do going forward.

We’ll devote most of the Governance discussion tomorrow to seeking a resolution.
Come with an open mindset.

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I believe this is an acceptable growing pain of creating a radical new way of governing collectives, that we should pay as Tammy suggests on obligations implicit and explicit, regroup, learn, and forge the next iteration of contributor guidelines.

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We had a discussion in the governance call today about this, starting around 6 min:

I’m happy that we have been able to resolve that, please vote:

Everyone is urged to get their proposal in order, the rules will be changed to prevent this happening again.

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I will be downvoting the proposal because I my opinion 6 months is a long time without any on chain validation and at least a % cut in the total payment should be applied even though it was not specified in the worker guidelines like I said in the call, creating a proposal in xdai to get validation on your future/past work takes at max 30 min and I saw most of the workers trying to follow the two month validation time.

Based on the call of today I guess most people will vote in favor of the full payment anyway, looking forward to see this resolved on chain.

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Every contributor has an obligation to be a responsible steward of DXdao’s treasury.
@martinkrung has not taken ownership of Mesa/Aqua’s failures to deliver. I feel myself some responsibility for not providing feedback earlier and therefore think Martin should get paid out for the time he has put in. But I think by any measure, DXdao funds have not been efficiently used and this needs to be corrected. I will add more thoughts to Martin’s forward looking DAOtalk proposal Martin Krung - Worker Proposal - June/July but I do not think Martin should continue working for DXdao. I don’t think Martin has the skills as a product manager that he has advertised, and certainly not the highest level of DXdao contributors. And furthermore, I don’t think Aqua needs a product manager who is not contributing directly to the product. The main thing DXdao needs to do is to execute on the established roadmap towards building a flexible platform for capital formation, and the focus should be on establishing a capable team of developers and a designer to make this happen.

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Hi All

I can’t continue my work if I do not have the support of the DXdao. I need trust to be successful. This trust has been damaged on both side.

I don’t fight for my position because this will need too much energy and benefits nobody.

My focus was the whole time to drive the product forward. I still think I did a good job given the circumstances. It’s not that I blindly walked into this. Along the way, I did think a lot about the risk I took:

Starting with almost no team and only a product-market fit. Adjusting to full remote work and improving my English skills. Being a recruiting agent, a role which I never had before. Comforting new team members and help them adjust to the DXdao. Having a diverse async team and try to work in an agile way. Not being able to on-board a senior lead dev. Tech decisions which in retrospective complicated things.

I think the biggest single risk I took was not having kick-ass team from the start. I still think that’s okay. Because in this market, we can’t wait for the perfect candidates. We have to invest into products, even if the circumstances are not perfect.

What made me continue was the feeling that you all put a lot of trust in me. The DXdao trusted my hiring decisions by paying all the workers I onboarded. Give up and walk away was not an option for me until now.

At the end I have been mostly lucky in my life, I made a bet that I will be lucky again and lost that bet. If I had a senior dev from the start, the MVP would be finished and more.

Even if people fail, it’s essential to pay. Because this is what we do: We give contributors the comfort of a monthly pay. If they succeed by creating a product which is successfully, the ownership and revenues are owned by the DXdao.

Many founders are not willing to share, take the risk on themselves, they do a limited product on their own, create a token and make millions only for themselves.

I thank Nico for his support and his ability to pure the vision for Aqua in code.
I thank Adam that he did take ownership and worked hard to get things working.
I thank Venky to help to agilize our work.
I thank Hamza for his grit and his abilities to learn fast.
I thank Sky for giving us feedback and contribution of many ideas.
I thank Nathan who connected the mesa team to the outside world and his ideas.
I thank Ross and Madusha for joining and be productive from day one.
I thank the whole Dxdao for trusting me at the start and giving me the freedom to execute my vison for Aqua

I hope Aqua will unfold its potential and flourish as a product and grow to an important part of DXdao.

Regarding my June/July proposal, if I get paid for the 6 month as discussed, I will not demand payment for June.

Please vote for my payment here:

I open to contribute in a limited amount to finish this, if there is anything I can do, just ask.

I’m not bitter about this, maybe I can contribute later in a different capacity. These things happen, lets move on!

Looking forward to seeing many of you in Paris.

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Sad to see that Martin is leaving.

The discussion in yesterday’s governance call and in the dao, in general, has been really interesting and I think it says something good about our governance that we could resolve relatively peacefully. But also I think highlights plenty of areas we can improve on to prevent any similar situation in the future.

I just wanted to say thanks for all you have done for onboarding me onto the project and dao in general. I am very grateful you reached out to me about working on aqua and from that perspective, I cant see you as anything other than a great manager who clearly cared for the project.
I’m looking forward to meeting you in Paris.

(I have voted for the proposal with the little REP I have)

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Hoping we can all learn and grow from this experience. Just to echo what @ross stated, there are still so many areas in communication and self-governance that DXdao needs to improve on. Contributor UX and I will do our part and continue to aide in the improvements of these areas moving forward.

@martinkrung Thank you of your contributions to the Contributor UX and DXdao. I had the opportunity to work alongside Martin during the recruiting, onboarding and offboarding of members of Aqua. Even during the most challenging times he was always professional, dedicated and reliable.

I wish you the best of luck in the future and will see you in Paris

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It is sad to see Martin take this stance and leave the DAO. I shall not oppose this decision. I will leave a few considerations after what we from the last governance gathering. Martin’s performance has not been challenged in past due to incompetence from the rest of the DAO members. The question is, how do we move forward?

I had one-to-one sync calls with both Martin and John recently. I’ve emphasized the fact that there is a lack of assertiveness in management from Martin. I am, by no means, a fan of micromanagement. However, as it stands out, this market is super competitive, and everyone is responsible for the delivery of the MVP. Martin must improve his management skills: micromanage his team, follow up and criticize. Again, DXdao needs to finds if Aqua has a product-market fit in a very short time. Everyone has to mobilize resources to achieve this. DXdao is not a research foundation. Everyone here is to thriving to make DXdao a successful venture for its investors and DXD holders. Has the DAO turned a profit yet or are we’re burning money?

The question here, if Martin is leaving, who is stepping up for the Product Manager role for Aqua? I doubt John would be capable of managing all this, given his current responsibilities. His recent inputs were outstanding to onboard Daniel, our new smart contract developer. A product needs someone to bring the pieces together, and yield something out of it.

Takeaways

  1. Put Martin under a probation period, under which he should deliver what has promised - an MVP.
  2. Do weekly performance appraisals for the Aqua team. Be critical of it on every Dev Community and Product Strategy call.
  3. We still don’t know if Aqua would ever find a product-market fit. Settle this question in the shortest time span.

PS, forgive any typos; this was drafted from my phone.

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The amount of us liking both sides is mind-bending. :laughing:
My right and my left brain hemispheres are butting heads. :brain:
There’s an old Twitter thread from Elad Verbin doubting daos’ governance and vouching for executive power. :-1: I do not support such a view. We don’t have and we don’t need chief executives, but we have to wear that hat if and when needed. :cowboy_hat_face: This is such a time. A little more than a month ago, the treasury was double its size, but now there’s fear of a bear market.
Martin has in a way served as an architect and a glue for Aqua. :clap: If we had waited to find the ‘right’ devs from the get-go, we wouldn’t have had what we have today. Luckily, it all happend in the wildest bull market crypto has seen to date, and it made sense.
Does it still make sense now though? :thinking: Not without compromise. What’s happening now is not just making face to stakeholders. This is serious business and every bit of it is very much real. My left brain hemisphere reposible for cold logic, maths and rational thinking, is taking over short-term. :computer: The dao has to be lean.
Aqua though, will undoubtedly be a success no matter what the dao goes through, and anyone second-guessing it is wrong. :four_leaf_clover:
Thanks, Martin. :handshake:

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I didn’t believe it will go this way and I’m very sad to see this be the outcome. Within the limited time I’ve known Martin, he inspired me with his passion and caring he had for Aqua to succeed. Thanks for all the effort you put into Aqua, and helping me through the early stages in DXdao.

I hope all of us can improve, and make sure we don’t run into similar situations again. There are a lot of solutions discussed in this thread, and we should continue this discussion until we have rules / guidelines that will prevent this in the future. After all, we’re trailblazers, and these learnings hopefully will shape how we organize for years to come.

I deeply believe Martin should get paid for his effort and time, and will be voting with my very first REP once my worker proposal goes through. My opinion is that Martin should be a part of Aqua in some form, at least to deliver the MVP, and would like to see the discussion continue until we find proper solutions.

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A few of my thoughts coming out of this:

@martinkrung thank you for your contributions to DXdao, your insights and the knowledge you have brought to our community. I hope you find a way to participate in the community as you see fit.

Concerning Martin’s past contributions to DXdao, I am happy to see that DXdao governance can reach consensus on a delicate matter via community discussion.

I also think that DXdao will become stronger because of this.

To reiterate, I think DXdao should have a goal to grow the number of people that are contributing to DXdao. It should be inviting, open, easy and flexible to contribute to DXdao.

I also fear that more-closed contributor channels and stricter “approvals” will lead to further closedness versus openness.

In my opinion, implementing a “rule” that people can not contribute to DXdao without having an accepted live proposal prior is not really practical and would likely limit DXdao’s openness, productivity and effectiveness dramatically.

As for Aqua, I really want to see Aqua come into existence, as it will fit in really well to DXdao’s product suite. Where do we go from here?

With Martin leaving, mainly because he feels a lack of trust and is not able to operate in this state, Aqua will not have a product lead.

How can DXdao decide the best path forward for Aqua and who should lead this? What are the next steps needed?

What we don’t want is for a number of months to pass, and we haven’t moved towards accomplishing our goals.

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