Nissa Off-boarding and Feedback

I’ve spoken with some of you individually, and now officially sharing I will be off boarding from being a contributor to DXdao. The purpose of this proposal is to offer my worker reflection, say goodbye, share more context on why I’m off-boarding and request payment for time worked and Lisbon related reimbursement.

While my time at DXdao was brief, I saw a lot, made friends along the way, and I’m very grateful for that. Unfortunately many of my goals and strategies for DXdao were cut short and will not be realized.

As someone who cares deeply about web3 and associated principles, I’m sharing some reflections and feedback on my experience at DXdao. With DAO’s and web3 being so new, I believe recording feedback and learnings is valuable for the ecosystem as a whole.

Below are some of my top learnings and observations from my time at DXdao.

DXdao Governance structure needs to be fixed and decentralized

For background; A few weeks ago I was asked to have a conversation with @melanie, @john and @geronimo. The gist of the conversation, when I asked John directly where we’re at with this conversation, was that he was unhappy with my contributions, the job description I was given was not actually the job they wanted me to do, and if I put forward another worker proposal, he would not vote for it, and if/when I do post one, ‘our conversation will become public’.

I’m a huge proponent of transparency in general but especially in DAO’s, so in that spirit, I’m sharing the conversation on my own accord.

The conversation felt like two executives firing someone with an HR person in the room. Although I could have created a new proposal, because of the governance structure and the lack of support from John and Gero, we all knew I had no chance. Not to mention I was removed from DXdao private contributor channels on Keybase without any notice, showing the fact this decision was made in a centralized manner.

Which brings me to my number one concern for DXdao, the governance structure. Many people at DXdao like to communicate how they’re “extremist” when it comes to decentralization, but after participating in this DAO, the governance clearly leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to decentralisation. Anytime 1 or 2 people can sway the entire organization, this isn’t decentralization nor is it sound governance.

Anyone who knows enough about DXdao knows their Reputation based governance token (a really interesting model imo, and part of the reason I liked DXdao). The issue with the model is how it was initially launched, and how now too few voices hold so much power. This has been talked about, but a timely solution is lacking. What’s the wait?

I bring this up because I’m especially worried this governance problem is getting worse, because people with rep power are surrounding themselves with yes-men. When giving advice and strategies based on my experience, I was described as negative, I was told I should be more positive when people have ideas for initiatives they want to move forward. While I’m happy to support initiatives that are productive and will move the needle for DXdao stakeholders, I can’t in good conscious support initiatives or timelines that hinders DXdao’s potential for success (i.e. unnecessarily rushing to launch products without a proper strategy in place, and missing so many opportunities along the way). It’s concerning to see DAO contributors punished based on good-faith criticism and recommendations.

Unless DXdao contributors and rep holders are willing to take a good look at reality now, I see this issue snowballing. As large rep holders empower yes-men, the yes-men will be gaining rep, and the echochamber will intensify and will become a machine, to the detriment of all DXdao stakeholders.

DXdao needs a True North and vision for the contributors and community to rally around. A clear vision is vital to the success and direction of any organization.

My first initiative as a contributor was to meet with as many contributors as possible, and after meeting with over 85%, I could not get a clear answer as to what the vision and direction are for DXdao. I was a surprised at this, but I was happy to take on identifying this. Discovering this for DXdao will unlock doors for retaining and onboarding contributors, effectively communicating to the broader community and growing the DAO’s impact.

Outside of the two key areas listed above; A few other concerns to note are:

  • There needs to be a vertical of focus. Being a ‘product launching DAO’ makes sense, but currently the coordination and proper structure to launch products is lacking.
  • DXdao needs a long-tail strategy to accompany the True North and vertical focus.
  • Talented and experienced contributors leaving, and struggling to bring on contributors to fill important roles. (like paying a recruiter $40k to hire me only to find out two months later the position I was hired for was not what you actually wanted me to do)
  • DXdao’s large treasury means a long life, but with the current strategy, I worry it will be a slow burn to death, and I’m not convinced the DAO is responsibly deploying the treasury (building a strategy helps solve this). ie Using tactics to not fully pay contributors for their time worked 1 and 2, no accountability for losing investors funds, apathy toward overpaying for marketing materials because of lack of experience, spending $40k to hire me, then firing me less than two months later.
  • Communication structure -currently the DAO is using 35+ communication channels on 4 different chat platforms (Keybase, Signal, Discord, Telegram), and creating an environment where comms are never consistent.

Conclusion

Contributing to any DAO is always a great way to learn about the web3 ecosystem however this experience has left me confused & concerned at how over $100m of DXdao purchaser treasury is going to be used.

As mentioned above, I’m very interested in progressing the Ethereum/web3 ecosystem as a whole. I found it important to take the time to write this forum post as a sign of my interest & care to provide candid feedback that highlight just how centralized DXdao governance is, and how that power is being wielded behind closed doors with near bullying strategies from the core team.

I look forward to any further discussion this post inspires within the DXdao community, and how we can continue to improve the web3 ecosystem. .



Worker reflection & my impact (09/27/21- 10/26/21)

  • Narrative Discovery (Having a clear vision is vital to writing a compelling story and narrative.)
    • Assist with Greaterthan discussions and workshop in Lisbon
    • Explore what the core narrative is for DXdao is through consistent participation on calls and through independent conversations
    • Met with 85%+ contributors to identify themes
      • Write proposed DXdao vision/true north and spur conversation on the forum (never got to this)
      • Aim to have a working vision with consensus by no later than end of 2021 (never got to this)
  • Participate and attend conferences in Lisbon
    • Collaborate with Sky, YAP team and workshop attendees to discover a one-liner for DXdao
      • “DXdao is a Decentralized Autonomous Organization that builds, owns and governs DeFi products”
    • Identify and explore potential opportunities and partnerships
    • Leveraged my network and relationships to be in high quality room @ irl events that had no DXDAO voice
  • Ongoing - work on clarifying and writing DXdao’s (evolving) narrative
    • Collaborate with Tammy on DXdao talking points
      • Complete working document
    • Brainstorm engaging content to create and gain consensus
    • Work with the DXvoice squad on developing content across DXdao channels
    • Video content: Begin work with design studio to create explainer videos based on the narrative (completion date dependent on narrative consensus and production company, aiming for ASAP)
      • DXdao explainer video
      • DXdao educational video
    • Once our narrative is sorted I’ll propose capturing press and media for a wider reach.
    • Begin search for community managers in languages other than english to onboard more diverse and global community members and contributors.

Brands

  • Omen
  • Carrot
    • Lead Carrot brand and marketing plan
    • Create materials for carrot launch and beyond
    • Coordinate soft launch plans
    • Begin work with Kasra Design to create Carrot explainer video
  • Swapr
    • Support @keenanl, @Zett and Swapr Squad
    • Begin work with Kasra Design to create Carrot explainer video (date of completion will dependent on Kasra)

I drove towards these goals because I thought these areas would support the community, narrative and the overall impact of DXdao the most, however, after attempting to push forward I found it was not possible without a clear vision and direction.

My understanding of the current cost / expenses owed are:

  • Experience Level 5
  • Time commitment - 100%
  • Contributing to DXdao since 08/16/2021.
  • Full-time for total of 40 hours per week, for two months (09/27/21- 10/26/21)
    • Month
      • $8,000 USDC (Level 5)
      • $6,000 (DXD). 50% vested for 1 years other 50% at 2 years
      • 0.1167% REP

$50 / daily (up to $800 max)
$750 for 15 days of travel

Flight
Cost $945 (bag fee’s ended up being high on TAP)

LISCON ticket cost
Cost $289

Total for travel: $1984.00

While we may not agree on everything, I do know we each love DAO’s, and share the belief that they’re the future. Thank you for taking the time to read my feedback, and hope the best for the DXdao community as they continue to decentralize.

2 Likes

Anytime 1 or 2 people can sway the entire organization, this isn’t decentralization nor is it sound governance. You just need more REP to support you, you can get 3-5 people that together will have more voting power than John and Gero.

This has been talked about, but a timely solution is lacking. What’s the wait?
There is a roadmap for gov 2.0 we share it like a month ago, we are working on it, and working a lot, you will see gov 2.0 implemented and working on mainnet in less than a year.

I bring this up because I’m especially worried this governance problem is getting worse, because people with rep power are surrounding themselves with yes-men.
I see the contrary, REP is getting more decentralized at a slow pace but we are seeing REP being distributed more and more.

And about the men part, we never issued REP based on sex, and we never will. DXdao issue rep to people that earned it.

Actually this is the first thing we did, write a manifesto, here are a few quotes:

No individual speaks for DXdao - DXdao is a community with many
voices that contribute to its permissionless, decentralized narrative.
Anyone can claim to speak in the best interests of DXdao, but only
formal proposals passed by REP holders on-chain speak for DXdao.

REP is earned - REP is earned by community members who contribute to
the DXdao. It is non-transferrable and can be slashed

DXdao strives to reach consensus after productive debate while
respecting all members’ input. Discussion should be based on facts and
principles; arguments should not be directed at specific individuals and
the DXdao community rejects harassment of any kind.

Few things I saw on your payment request:

@nissa what you just wrote is a resignation, no one fired you because no one can fire you here, and you share your resignation pointing fingers (to melanie, gero and john), calling names (yes-men) and giving excuses (punished for recommendations by yes-men).

If you created a worker proposal I was not going to vote on it because we dont share any work space in dxdao so I dont felt qualified to vote on your work or contributions, but based on what I just read I am happy to see that you are leaving and I wish you the best on the future.

9 Likes

Thought leaders on social media, some of which don’t actively participate in DAO govenance on a daily basis, but rather mostly opine theoretically or seldom just vote with VC tokens, tend to share how DAOs cannot be decentralized and need leadership. Well, here is the thing, the real world isn’t clear cut terms on paper. An online community of intelligent people can be both and neither at the same time. Contributors are not centralized, they are organized and specialize. I doubt that anyone would ever have time to learn everything about everything, so DAO members do whatever they have told the community they will be contributing with. I didn’t take part in reviewing applications or sitting through interviews. I could have done it, it just wasn’t my thing. Same here, the meeting in question in the presence of a Contributor UX member was probably to spare uncomfortable personal exposure in front of a larger group publicly, e.g. this. It must not be easy for either side, but if someone isn’t happy early on, it certainly won’t get better later and then everyone would be dragged into it. Would remote software developers be better judges than an HR contributor, probably not. There is on-chain voting, and there is trust. When dealing with funds, there is no trust, it’s security first, so it’s trustless and on-chain only. Mishaps may happen, but no misuse. When dealing with interpersonal relationships and people working remotely together, there is trust and the on-chain vote is not much if there is no on-chain data or proof-of-work, it’s he says she says.

5 Likes

Hey Nissa,

just some thoughts from me. I think your thread is a bit of FUD. If I were to read your thread with no background about DXdao, I would come away with the impression that Geronimo, John and Melanie have ultimate decision power over the DAO.

Anytime 1 or 2 people can sway the entire organization, this isn’t decentralization nor is it sound governance.

The three people you had a conversation with, collectively have less than 15% of total REP. In my eyes that’s pretty far from a majority. Not to even speak about your statement “1 or 2 people can sway the entire organization”.

Ultimately, DXdao is also not a commune. It’s not one person one vote, REP is based on contributions to the DAO. Gero and John happen to be two individuals who have been working at DXdao for the longest amount of time - so sure they have more REP than someone who started recently. Is that really a surprise?

This has been talked about, but a timely solution is lacking. What’s the wait?

If you look at the DXdao compensation guidelines, you can see that a maximum of 4% REP has been enacted. Some members had more than this amount of REP, but have not been earning any new REP, so are being diluted every time REP is minted. So I think there is a system in place. Morever, if you had some suggestions on how to better structure REP distribution it would have been great if you would have raised it beforehand and made some suggestions as to how it could be addressed, rather than pulling it out of thin-air now.

Moreover, as Augusto mentions Gov 2.0 is also on its way. Which underlines the understanding from DXdao’s side that we’re not perfect and are working to improve things.

I bring this up because I’m especially worried this governance problem is getting worse, because people with rep power are surrounding themselves with yes-men.

FUD - see answer above.

As large rep holders empower yes-men, the yes-men will be gaining rep, and the echochamber will intensify and will become a machine, to the detriment of all DXdao stakeholders.

FUD - see answer above.

DXdao’s large treasury means a long life, but with the current strategy, I worry it will be a slow burn to death, and I’m not convinced the DAO is responsibly deploying the treasury (building a strategy helps solve this).

If you have specific criticisms about the treasury, I’d be happy to address them. But just saying “this is bad” without any specifics as to what you’re referring to makes it very hard to address your criticism (or lack thereof).

I think DXdao’s has one of the most sustainable treasuries there are. But feel free to let me know who among these: https://openorgs.info/ has a better “treasury strategy” - I’m always happy to learn and improve.

ie Using tactics to not fully pay contributors for their time worked 1 and 2

“Tactics?” if someone does some work for the DAO without a worker proposal they are risking not getting paid. Both cases you mention DXdao is using “tactics” to get out of not paying people, were due to both individuals not having a worker proposal approved on-chain. Which can create disputes further down the line, with disagreements of amount of time worked and compensation level.

this experience has left me confused & concerned at how over $100m of DXdao purchaser treasury is going to be used

FUD.

candid feedback that highlight just how centralized DXdao governance is

FUD.

I also think that if someone doesn’t pass the on-boarding, there isn’t really an off-boarding. But I don’t want to start arguing over semantics.

Conclusion

That being said, I’m not trying to claim DXdao is perfect. There are a lot of things we need to improve on, and not everything goes perfect all the time. But I feel like your thread is trying to simply stir up drama, where it doesn’t exist.

If you can give more concrete feedback I’d be happy to address it from my point of view.

My understanding of the current cost / expenses owed are:

Can you provide a link to your on-chain worker proposal? I couldn’t find it.

7 Likes

Hello Nissa,

I want to address a couple of the points you made since I don’t believe they sum up the whole situation accurately and may give the wrong impression to the community.

  1. You mentioned that you felt like the decision to not have you continue to contribute was made only by 2 people. Which I don’t agree with. Although John, Geronimo and Melanie were the ones delivering the message I felt like the sentiment between most of the contributors I talked to was the same. Behind the scenes we actively communicate and are transparent, this includes discussing and evaluating each other’s performance.…which is how it should be. We try to deliver as much feedback as we can, but it can be difficult sometimes and it may feel like the same contributors are delivering such information. Which is a possible area for improvement.
  2. I agree with some of the concerns you raised. I think we have a lot of problems as a collective on all fronts and they concern me too. However, all DAOs are in the early stages and still trying to figure out how to operate effectively and as decentralised as possible. I think we are always open for solutions, hearing people out and giving them freedom to dig into them and solve them if they make sense. Gov 2.0, the formation of various new squads like the Contributor UX, and implementation of new ideas show that we are constantly evolving and open to such changes. In addition, I think we are mostly aware of problems we face, but at the end of the day we are the ones responsible for solving them and that’s what we are paid to do.

I honestly liked some of the stuff you were suggesting on marketing side and you brought up some valid points. I think we are a very innovative organisation and it can be hard for people coming from different backgrounds to fit in and catch up right away, especially since we are in very early stages and don’t have a proper operating structure in place. But in the end, the most important thing to do while contributing to a DAO is to find ways to provide value and just do shit. It’s unfortunate that it didn’t work out. I wish you good luck in future endeavours!

10 Likes