Reflections from the last week

This has been an eventful week in DXdao. After a weekend away, my mind is racing with thoughts in a bunch of different directions. A few different ideas that are fleshed out below:

  • Accountability Regimes
  • Reallocating resources is difficult in a DAO
  • Governance 2.0 looms large

Accountability Regimes

In the Restructuring and Refocus post, @Nylon had a great post about needing to build accountability into DXdao. This is easier said than done, but now we have an opportunity to institute some structural changes to how DXdao operates.

For any accountability model, there needs to be

  1. An entity or person
  2. Specific goals that must be met
  3. Consequences (good or bad) for reaching the goals.

A DAO accountability structure would need to clearly communicate each of these aspects.

For #1, that typically takes the shape of a squad. But it could also be an individual or a working group. Some people call this DRI or directly responsible individual.

Coming up with #2 (specific goals that must be met) is the hardest part, especially because they need to have buy-in from the person/squad and consensus from DXdao. #3 (Consequences) is relatively straightforward but also needs consensus.

If DXdao does want to set up a more formal accountability system, DXdao governance will need to first identify specific goals or OKRs. For many contributors, their KPIs/OKRs can be set in consultation with the squad lead. Some put these already in their worker proposals as “Goals” but I think this should be a required part of the proposal process.

For squad leads and other Level 6, 7, and 8 contributors, these goals or OKRs should be made in consultation with REP/DXD holders. This is needed so important initiatives can have direct accountability to DXdao governance.

I can think of a couple big ones from the last weeks of conversations, namely:

  • Governance 2.0 updates
  • Swapr backend & Uniswap v3 fork
  • Formal
  • Offboarding processes
  • Carrot front-end development
  • FeeReceiver
  • DXD buyback

Coming up with this list of the goals/milestones and having that approved by REP/DXD holder seems to be the first step. I started putting these items in a shared spreadsheet. Please feel free to add others. It would be great if we could come up with the 15-20 most important OKRs for DXdao (really, just top priorities) and put an accountability regime around it.

We could do one meeting a month where we go over the list and every directly responsible individual needs to give a status update. And then we could develop a process for getting new items onto the list and taking ones off.

The difficulty of reallocating resources

Whenever embarking in a new direction or on a new initiative, it’s best to fully commit and not have one foot in and one foot out. This makes sense for product development, but it is very hard to play out through a DAO. There is always going to be a lag from when an issue is identified and when the DAO can make a decision to act on it.

This means the DAO needs to empower more people to act on behalf of the DAO as long as governance has granted that authority and has established an accountability regime. It also means that REP/DXD holders must trust contributors that have been empowered. REP/DXD holders should be informed and consulted, but they can defer to someone’s expertise who may be more well-informed.

But individuals cannot make all decisions. There are some that need to be made by the DAO, because it needs the legitimacy that it affords. Many of the discussions over the last week will require DAO-wide decisions. How exactly can we make these decisions? On-chain votes? Polls?

Governance 2.0 looms large

DXdao governance has stalled. I firmly believe that reputation-based governance is better than token-based governance, but the last week has highlighted the governance problems that emerge without any formal influence of token governance. Even though DXD holders are able to express themselves in the forum and in Discord, there’s no way to translate that into action in the DAO. Discussion is good, but governance must have votes and binding decisions.

Getting a clearer picture and timeline of how Governance 2.0 development will play out, and developing an accountability regime for it, seems like the most important item to come out of the last week. It is the tool that’s needed to facilitate this much-needed conversation.