Restructuring and Refocus

Current State

DXdao has built up to an organization of 33 contributors, with a burn rate of nearly $4M per year in direct pay to contributors, and $2.08M per year in vesting DXD. If this burn rate stayed constant, and only used the $12M in stablecoins in control of the treasury, there are 3 years of runway. And this doesn’t account for increased contributor levels, or investment into new products. There is nearly 14,000 ETH in control of the treasury, but selling of ETH during the bear market would be a very bad look for DXdao.

If a startup raises money, it will build an organization. However, it is not a successful organization unless its business generates a sustainable amount of money. And in spite of raising 25K ETH 2 years ago, DXdao has achieved very little traction, whether that be fees generated, users, or even just recognition. Omen is barely used, and a bad experience for those who do use it, Mesa is all but sunset, Carrot has really only been used by DXdao and still doesn’t have a team beyond Federico, and Swapr, while finally starting to get into a groove as a team, only generates about $50K per year in protocol fees. In addition, DXdao has yet to deliver on Governance 2.0, which was promised over 1.5 years ago, and is still perhaps another year away from delivering on this. DXdao has built an organization, but it is not yet successful. And if DXdao follows its current direction, it is unlikely to even have a chance at becoming successful. Thus far DXdao has not shown itself to be nimble as an organization and in fact has very rarely cut back on spending. Those couple cases where DXdao did remove people involved direct involvement from very early members, and even so, the process was exhausting and difficult. The market reflects this reality, with DXD price showing a negative value for DXdao as an organization. DXdao is a ship floating at sea with a pot of gold in its hold.

Operations Proposal

In order to drive towards success, DXdao needs to change. This proposal calls for two measures.

  1. Cut the burn rate from $4M per year to $2.5M per year, with a renewed focus on products and a drive towards creating a builder culture.
  2. Focus resources on Governance 2.0 and new product research and development.

DXD

DXD holders have been exceedingly patient waiting for Governance 2.0 to bring them a say in DXdao’s governance. And from the time the bonding curve activity was winding down at the end of September 2020 till now, ETH saw a 1371% rise from $350 to $4800 dollars, before coming down to its current price of $1600, which still represents a 457% rise. DXD holders should enjoy the success of the treasury. The mechanisms of how this will work are being worked out in separate discussions.

Organization Adjustments

  • Disengage from contractors
  • Limit auditing budget to $300K per year, with any additional spend requiring special
    justification
  • Limit event budget to $150K per year
  • Reduce non-product overhead spending to $350K per year
  • Emphasize Gov 2.0 delivery
  • Emphasize smart contract development and product excellence.
  • Focus on traction, attention, users, and fees.
  • Build out a team focused on new product development, lead by Federico, Geronimo, and John. Immediate focus for this team would be to work with Augusto and Ross to validate a technical spec for Gov 2.0, deliver a front-end prototype for Carrot V1, and to work with Adam and Swapr Squad to evaluate the smart contract roadmap for Swapr. The goals of this team are to drive bold product moves and attract highly skilled people to work with DXdao.

Budget requests can be organized and proposed by squad, and approval of budgets and individual positions will be determined by community discussion and ultimately governance.

This post can be accessed via IPFS hash and represents the commitment of the following community members to driving towards this plan.

Yuriy
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Geronimo
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John Kelleher
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Federico Luzzi
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Ross Neilson
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Connor Hughes

6 Likes

I have no problems of the message of this post. We can discuss the the adjustments and if they make sense as a solutions to all of this.
For now I’m just curious how the process of this group of signers came along and why the discussion was limited to a private group of people?

11 Likes

Wow, this is a surprise. I am strongly against this proposal for multiple reasons:

  • Where was this discussed? This propose a huge impact and change on a organization that has been building in the past three years, but this is the first time I saw it publicly.

  • This looks like a “grab of power”, a typical budget cut from old members that recently had their reputation damaged publicly and are currently not following the contribution guidelines they help to build. But that doesnt stop them to propose to fire people and put them to work wherever they like, it looks like they are proposing dxdao to be converted into a typical company with a piramidal structure, and they are proposing this changes with lot of REP, maybe enough for just them to pass this proposal. (without discussing it with members mentioned there, like me!)

  • The proposer of this proposal (Geronimo) puts himself as a leader of this new structure, but he haven’t been active in the community forum for nine months, after leading and leaving a project that dxdao stop maintaining last year and I dont think we ever saw any profit from it. And right now is actively working in dxdao being member of private chats without having a worker proposal for a year, assigning himself unchecked responsibilities and roles.

  • Other of the proposers (John) is a similar situation, he is currently catching up on his proposal and had personal disputes with other dxdao members. Personally It is very sad for me seeing him on this proposal continue taking decisions on his own or with very few dxdao members on where we should go instead of working together with me and other dxdao members :(.

  • Federico, great developer, I like him, but very rarely I heard him about him working with other developers or building a developer community.

I think I am one of the first to reply, I was working on my next contributor proposal to share on the forum and someone sent me this topic has been published… I am very disappointed to see something like this proposed so suddenly without any public discussion in public calls, to me is like is a direct attack on something I devoted my last two years.

Honestly, Gero, John, Fede and Ross, if this where you think dxdao should go…to be led by a small group of people after firing a third of contributors, and we are talking about people that use the money received by dxdao to live, buy food, pay rent… I don’t want to work with any of you anymore cause I don’t want to take any part in this new dxdao.

And I have to add, Gero and John, It is very sad (to the point of crying) seeing you, fellow genesis members, that I had been working with for the past two years propose something so distant from what we envisioned when it started… or at least that is what I thought…

15 Likes

This post has obviously come as a bit of a surprise but I am not sure it is any different from most proposals, many start their life as ideas formed of smaller groups brought before the forum for wider discussion.
Regardless I do not view this as a “power grab” or as anything close to a forgone conclusion, at the very least this is not the thinking behind my signature of support. Instead, this is about starting a dialogue about a serious topic, drawing attention and discussion to it in a serious way. None of this is comfortable or easy to talk about but that’s exactly why it’s important to discuss. This is not intended as a way of changing how DXdao governance works or it’s flat structure in any way, it’s about discussing a change of strategy and justifying actions more explicitly with governance.

6 Likes

Interesting ideas. Thanks for sharing in the forum. There are a couple different (but very big!) ideas here, namely:

  1. A “renewed focus on product development….and Gov 2.0”
  2. A proposed budget cut to “non-product” expenses

For #1, You bring up some important - but difficult to hear - points about the state of DXdao product development two years after raising 25k ETH.

My question is how would the proposed “renewed focus on products…a builder culture” and “focus resources on Gov 2.0” be any different from the status quo? Ever since I’ve been a contributor to DXdao, John has been leading product and technical development, with Geronimo an integral part up until 9 months ago.

Given that and the state of DXdao product development:

  • Why did John not deliver on these items over the last year?
  • Why should DXdao have confidence in this leadership team to deliver on these in the future?

For #2, by my calculation, DXdao’s burn rate is only $3.5m, not the $4m you cited. I also only calculate 28 active contributors, not the 33 you cited. Is there a spreadsheet we could look at for how you got those numbers?

Additionally, how did you arrive at the $350k yearly figure for “non-product overhead”? Is that number based on something?

Looking at past expenses, this “non-product overhead” has actually declined in 2022. In the second half of 2021, DXdao’s monthly spend on products was $100,640, while non-product overhead was $114,291, but in the first half of 2022, non-product overhead actually declined in absolute terms (when excluding CPH Flames) to $104,029, where as the monthly spend on products ballooned to $176,031 over the same period. In other words, “non-product overhead” went from being 53% of DXdao’s expenses in 2H2021 to 37% in 1H2022.

Are there any specifics on what contributors would be cut, and how would the decision-making process for these cuts work?

Lastly, for such an ambitious proposal, there aren’t any specific plans outside of “trust us” to address DXdao’s two most-pressing problems:

  1. Lack of product revenue
  2. Inability to recruit top technical talent

Can you provide any more details on how this restructuring and refocus plan would address these issues?

12 Likes

What is the mechanism for enforcing these budgets?

any background as to why these numbers?

will have more thoughts later.

There is not mechanism yet but we talked about setting up guilds or dao schemes for each squad in the past, this way we can assign a yearly budget per team that can be enforced on chain. We would be able to do this at the end of the year. I think this can be a very good way to move on and follow closely whats happening on each squad and evaluate their performance.

1 Like

I think a quarterly budget with clear objectives and measurable KPIs is a better way to move forward.

1 Like

I’m afraid to say it but this attitude absolutely infuriates me and is the key problem here. While I empathize with peoples’ ability to make ends meet around the world, regardless of whether they work for the DAO or not, please consider DXD holders first and foremost here as objectively as possible. They have either directly or indirectly contributed a hell of a lot of money to the DAO treasury, myself well over $1 million dollars without any return to date, so plenty at stake, and the primary concern isn’t turning a profit, it’s peoples’ rent and food? The prerogative of DXdao should clearly be to maximize profits subject to budget constraints (which can of course be used to pay salaries!), but NOT this ‘employee-first’ attitude I have seen blatantly over the last 2 years, of maximizing employee welfare with DXD holders as an afterthought. This sentence and wider post clearly shows that this is where your head is at. I’ve admired much of your work and keenly listened to your contributions on calls over the years, but I am pleading with you to take this point on board and change how you view the DAO fundamentally - every spending decision is supposed to be for DXD holders’ benefit, not anybody else’s’ as a primary concern.

I’d rather not go this route, but if REP holders want to use the treasury as a REP-only governed and owned experiment, then just negotiate a redemption price per DXD and keep the leftover for whatever you want to do rather than stringing DXD holders along for a painful road to zero. I’d much rather a refocus and redirection of the DAO, but if it’s really not possible for a lack of willingness (I hope it is possible, for absolute clarity and so I’m not misrepresented again in the forum), then my primary concern becomes to at least limit the damage done to DXD holders at all costs and not continue with this current slow burn to zero for several years longer. The plain and simple fact is, that the current trajectory is heading towards spending the entire treasury over a prolonged period, generating little to no revenues, and at the end turning around to DXD holders and saying ‘we tried our best, but thanks for the financial support’. I obviously don’t want to see that happen, but I think there should be more thought given to this by contributors in the DAO. It seems that this group of long-time contributors proposing these changes have at least got this scenario in mind and are looking to stop it happening. I hope that other contributors can come around to the same realization, regardless of whether they support the specific figures and details outlined above.

As much as people may hate to hear it, DXdao is essentially a trust led by a group of trustees. These trustees are the REP holders, with DXD holders as the beneficiaries. REP holders have a duty to use the treasury for DXD holders’ benefit, and nobody else’s, unless indirectly as a means of returning value to DXD holders. If money is being spent in a way that demonstrably has not and will not return 1x cash value to the DAO, then the trustees are failing in that duty, and should reassess that spend regardless of how difficult those decisions may be.

I would be interested to see what the results of a signal snapshot vote by DXD holders might look like on this proposal. I personally expect it to have overwhelming support from the treasury’s beneficiaries (DXD holders), and this may at least open some contributors’ eyes to how misguided the current structure and direction of the DAO is, and encourage change.

If your beneficiaries are unhappy with how the funds are being spent (already implicitly signalled by the negative valuation of DXdao operations shown by the market cap, but would be more clearly assessed by a vote), then surely everyone can agree that spend needs to either be cut, redirected, or a mix of the two, and the direction of operations radically changed. In any profit-maximizing organization other than bureaucracies, this would happen immediately without controversy - why not here?

While I’m not sure how the $350k non-product spend has been arrived at and would be curious to hear more, I think the point is that our current non-product spend is not appropriate for products that have frankly failed to gain product market fit or traction. Pivoting is a normal and healthy action taken by organizations.

Finally, for those who are against this proposal; I would invite other proposals and discussions as an urgent priority to address the issues above regarding unproductive spend and broader direction. I don’t think it’s a tenable position at this point to think that the status quo is a good enough trajectory to do right by DXD holders, so if there are different and competing thoughts on the best way to inspire radical positive change, then I would personally love to hear them.

10 Likes

This topic is extremely important and its nice that we get to discuss this (not the way we did in the call) I support that we need to refocus and restructure. But before getting into details, I think we should definitely understand what is the goal of DXDao?

When I was onboarded, the focus was always about building decentralised suite of products that will solve the problems of the future. We are decentralisation maxis that goes all out on building products unlike anybody else, and I guess we are doing that.

What does success mean to DXDao and DXD holders? Is it revenue generation or is it building decentralised suite of products. Its hard to choose ofcourse, but both are opposite sides of spectrum and we will always be wanting for more as we are fighting with behemoths that come with a huge arsenal of tools that we seldom have to decide on products. Being part of Swapr, I can already say that we have to choose either one as a prime focus because we spend a lot more on user acquisition than any of our other competitors. All the tools that are pretty easy to acquire users like targetted ad campaigns, email marketing, analytics, AB testing are all unavailable for us. So, we kinda spend 4X more than what a normal dapp might spend to track and trace all these to decide their roadmap and next steps. Is it possible that this proposal can address the topic of what does DXD holders want? Is it revenue or building decentralised suite of products. Doing both and succeeding is very very hard.

If its revenue, are we okay to derail ourselves into using some of the centralised services like google analytics / useFathom / mailchimp / twitter ads / email harvesting / Jira / slack etc?

I fail to understand why Gov 2.0 was not the focus earlier,or maybe I misunderstood. This has been in discussions for the last 12 to 15 months. I dont know if Augustol knows that all of Gov 2.0 implementation was supposed to be him. We all assumed it was DxGov squad with Ross leading and has also signed this? :thinking:

Does this mean whoever asks first gets a free pass and demands no justification? I would revisit my point earlier about what is success to DXDao and we should constantly check if every spend we do is not wasted and that it goes towards one common goal.

Now, without any ad campaigns, social media marketing, mailchimps the only way for us to spread the presence of DXdao / Swapr is in these events. Wanted to just highlight it and I am pretty neutral about it. I would love for the squads to have atleast 2 travels a year to meet other members of the squad as the energy / communication / trust post these events while working is much better.

I dont understand this very clearly. Would marketing / bizdev / governance come under product squads? Products that we are building right now need them and whatever new products that we will build in the future will need them. 350K or 4 to 5 members is just too low, even if we have to build a developer friendly DAO. We could always build the first feature, but to build a wholesome product we will need all theses different non-product areas :frowning:

How does this differ from the current state of affairs that we are in. We have been begging for senior smart contract devs for the past 9-10 months and also threw a lot of items for review to some of the ones mentioned here with FeeReceiver updates, Swapr core contract upgrades, project fee inclusion, Top up campaigns. There is very little done in the last 6 months and I fail to understand how will that change in the future even with this new team setup. I would love to get this sorted with Federico / John or whoever that we can trust to contribute. The thing is they are super busy now and have always been busy, how will this sort their time? The problem until now has been that it has been very very choppy from them in support and it has mainly been during critical red flag times and I am super thankful for that.

A short Notion page on what we wanted to start as a smart contracts roadmap 6 months back and no major update done for the past 6 months. We had one call and then very little progress was made.

Its just hard for me to wrap my head around these 3 names came up as leads as well. Nothing against them but they were already leading the squads, proposal or not. So, just a worker proposal mentioning this is what we would want to lead, these are the initiatives would have been perfect and could have gone through without all this going back and forth.

Finally, I have to mention some Swapr things because we are the ones apparently draining the runway and have achieved very little. We could launch our products on multiple networks to increase revenue and make fees etc. I find it confusing to lead a team and understand when John speaks as a DXD holder and when John speaks as a contributor. Cos, we could have launched on multiple networks if revenue was the key goal, but we always thought we need to then have multiple DAO bases / audited which would increase a lot of operational overhead, so basically left it for later when guilds are ready. :man_shrugging:

Finally some highlights:

We have to keep this as our main goal for DAO. I think we have got to find ways to engage the community / grow the community for more traction and users. Zerion turned on fees not when they had 500 users, but when they had 500000 users. I think we should aim for increasing the number of users / increase retention and would be a good goal for us later on. Swapr squad is just a product development squad and leans upon DXdao to focus on increasing traction / users / fees. It would be awesome if we can have some KPIs / OKRs / milestones for marketing / sales / bizdev to take the product and convert that to users. :slight_smile:

Cautiously optimistic for the times ahead! And hopeful that we will get through this.

15 Likes

I am one of the earliest DXdao REP holder and DXD holder. I am joined to DXdao in early days and I believed that DXdao is great opportunity to collectively build decentralized software and works on the field of creating public goods in general. First DXdao product - Dutchx was build like this but not find public support (market space). A lot of people joined and leave DXdao and I was realy happy to see when people joined. We see attempts to build products and some of them are successful (Swapr, Carrot) some of them are not. Last months spendings are raising and it is not correlated with delivering. DXD holders are the main sponsors of DXdao and they are forgotten, REP holders dont have any incentives to take part in governance. Current contributors slowly diluted DXD and REP holders and “eating” treasury. I dont want judge anybody but how many of people will support DXdao if treasury will be empty? I dont want to see DXdao as the place where people can “earn” easy money. I believe DXdao is an organisation where people can build and been fair rewarded after that (KPI?). I am one of who signed original post and I hope it is not to late to look around and be fair to each other (without personal conflict of interests) and find a way to hear DXD and REP holders (not contributors) from one side and contributors from other side.

8 Likes

As a DXD holder (and very small REP holder), really excited to see this proposal and I definitely support it. Either formally through a snapshot or even informally, DXD holders should be weigh in here and I’ve no doubt the vast vast majority would be supportive of this. Especially the more active community members.

To the extent the proposal started with a limited group (I wasn’t involved and only aware once this post was made); that’s been the case for me and most community members for the vast majority of posts. Doesn’t concern me at all provided the content and intention of the proposal is sound, which I’d definitely consider this to be.

To the extent it doesn’t directly address or immediately solve the lack of product revenue, the current status quo definitely doesn’t nor is there a clear path to revenue for a good deal of the products. Addressing areas where the burn rate can and should be reduced is clearly necessary at this stage, as is increasing focus on areas where we can build traction, have potential to generate fees, or deliver something unique in the space. The proposal not solving everything at once and might be a bit vague in some areas, but is a clear step in the right direction and flags issues that long needed addressing. Bravo.

Revenue. Doesn’t have to be immediate, but a viable plan for future revenue that exceeds spend should be the minimum. From the get-go it’s always seemed that the plan was to generate revenue from a decentralised suite of products. I don’t think that it’s an either or situation.

5 Likes

I have a lot of thoughts regarding this proposal but I will aim to stay constructive and share actual observations.

I think it’s a very important topic for DXdao to discuss it’s path forward and wish that more thought and wider teamwork had gone into the ideas to come up with this proposal and provide more actual deliverables.

Now, we have the benefit of looking at actual history.

So far, DXdao has not proven to be great at developing or building products from start to finish. This could be because it is a proper DAO and DAOs aren’t great at building products (there aren’t many real DAOs that have produced successful products) or it could be something else.
(Swapr, though not super unique in this space of 100+ AMMs, is the main exception and it’s a great product to have in DXdao’s suite. Nice job Swapr team to get it where it is. And we are seeing hints of this for Carrot!)

Currently, DXdao is good at owning products. But has not proven to build or deliver.

  • Omen
  • Gov 2.0
  • DXvote
  • Guilds
  • Mesa
  • Rails
  • Aqua
  • Carrot
  • Jolt

ALL either do not exist or are not delivered yet.

So far, DXdao is not great at delivering products. The success part comes after that too.
This is not to say that DXdao can’t be.

DXdao can see the current situation and can decide if it’s time for a change.

As mentioned on today’s call, I would also like to speak on behalf of the minority group within DXdao that is being targeted in this proposal - the non-dev squads and contributors.

In comparison to the products DXdao has delivered, from what we can see, almost ALL of the core highlights of DXdao over the past two years have come from non-product squads and contributors. I will list the successes and things that DXdao is known for, the topics that DXdao can go out into the space and brag about, the talking points we are able to use in all the awareness opportunities we secure. I know because this is one of the things non-product contributors do all day long.

Core DXdao Highlights:

  • How DXdao does governance and setting an example throughout the entire ecosystem. This is now being noticed more and more through hard work of sharing this.
  • How DXdao uses ENS and IPFS to own its products through governance.
  • The smart treasury management DXdao has executed and how it’s positioned DXdao well in this down market.
  • The thoughtful, long-term DXD token buyback program
  • The growth in the awareness of DXdao via participation in other communities, attending events, speaking at events and on media channels, working with partners to do alignments, and all the little things to get DXdao and the products it has delivered tied into other communities.
  • DXvoice squad and the growth of the DXdao community across all channels
  • The success of ContributorX and how other DAOs are looking at DXdao as an example.
  • DXventures and the grant investments that it has provided

[Additional note: The major contributions and ideas that non-developer contributors have gathered and shared with the product teams to make our products better is hugely valuable (mainly for Swapr, our live product). We have no other feedback loop.

The non-devs are also the MAIN users of DXdao’s governance system and tools]

Pretty much ALL of DXdao’s 2021 and 2022 highlights (plus Swapr) come from the non-product squads that this proposal specifically suggests to cut drastically by something like 2/3rds with no cuts mentioned to development resources.

Sometimes, I like to imagine what the non-product squads at DXdao could do when DXdao delivers a suite of awesome DeFi products to sell to the world!

So at a very high level, if you are going to make tough decisions, you can either lean into what has been working well for DXdao or what has been working less well.

About 2/3rds of DXdao is developers. I think that is a pretty good ratio. If we need to adjust the focus of the devs, then let’s see a proposal with some details around that.

Keep in mind, DXdao does not NEED to build its own products. It can support and invest in teams that are building products and help those products succeed. If those products succeed, that can deliver large value back to DXdao and DXD holders. DXD holders could potentially see MAJOR returns like this (as @0xSpicySoup learned about in an earlier post). I know some people expressed that this path is “lame”, “sad”, “not the goal of DXdao” but it is a potential path forward. Or it could be a larger part of some path forward.

Also, this proposal calls to “Emphasize smart contract development and product excellence.” :smile:
Building, delivering and auditing back ends and smart contracts is even harder than front ends! Senior “Signer” devs at DXdao have already acknowledged that DXdao is better off focusing on the front end of DeFi products.

To @0xVenky 's point, we ALREADY have had specific people leading the path of DXdao’s product groups and allocation of dev resources over the past two years.

IF DXdao were going to make major changes to its Product strategy and resource allocation, WHY would REP and DXD holders stick with the same people that have already been doing it?

If anything, should DXdao try something new? I would think that DXD holders like @hughesconnor and @0xSpicySoup would be pushing for this, no? Activist shareholders don’t normally stir things up by promoting the existing leaders.

I have also been gathering lots of feedback on this proposal. Some devs want to see DXdao become a more “hacker-focused” culture. This is a cool idea in theory. It’s not a bad idea, if it’s possible. How do we attract hackers? Some have told me that to attract hackers, we need to have hackers leading the charge.

@ykplayer8 is proposing to create an “organisation where people can build and been fair rewarded after that (KPI?)”
Solid idea. This has been discussed but is not something DXdao has figured out so far, but now could be the time.

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If this were a serious path we were considering, shifting DXdao primarily to an investment fund model; then we’d need to rethink the entire structure around DXD, REP and the treasury.

Treasury being funded by DXD, fund managers investing on their behalf in exchange for performance and management fees. And more importantly redemptions. Which seems a pretty a pretty stark departure from the current model and I’m not sure what role REP would play in that. It’d make more sense to just start a fresh fund and solicit capital, no?

The proposal above is suggesting changes that most DXD holders are in favour of. If there’s an alternative suggestion I think we’d all be keen to hear it out. But maintaining the same course without change on isn’t appealing for most “shareholders”. To the extent that proposal is from “existing leaders”, I’m grateful that existing leaders recognise the issues and DXD holders frustrations and are suggesting meaningful change.

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I am not saying an investment fund. But I guess that is also another option.

Some options:
DXdao can hire other teams to build more things (based on delivery).
DXdao can incubate/support projects like Nimi and let them build outside of but next to DXdao.
DXdao can fork and own more products that other teams build.
DXdao has been gifted products in the past.
DXdao can build some parts of products.
If a dev or dev team proposes a good idea, this could be under of DXdao.

Maybe, these products could be part of the greater DXdao ecosystem. How do we get to a suite of DeFi products that can benefit each other?

There seems like a whole bunch of different paths.

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Revenue, absolutely and unquestionably. DXD holders, either directly or indirectly, funded the treasury with the purpose of generating future returns - not to fund public goods that have little to no focus on being profitable. If the consensus is that REP holders want to change the structure into a vehicle to build public goods, then this needs to be decided on and some reasonable deal struck with DXD holders. I hope that this isn’t the case, but if so then REP holders must decide on it early such that we don’t end up in the scenario I have highlighted above: a slow burn to a treasury of $0 and a nasty surprise at the end for DXD holders when it turns out there was a unilateral understanding from contributors that it was completely fine to ignore revenues. This would be my second least preferable scenario; second only to the status quo.

I think a snapshot signal vote could be helpful here, but I am willing to wager that the overwhelming majority of DXD holders have a huge preference for focusing on revenues, and increasing the treasury value per DXD, either through direct market operations or generating revenue that accumulates in the treasury.

Agreed on this, the details are very important and need to be ironed out very precisely prior to anything being proposed.

I think this probably sums up my thoughts, even if unintentionally :stuck_out_tongue: - it’s not that $350k is too high in and of itself, but we don’t have (m)any products with sufficient product market fit that have shown indication of being able to sustain themselves, and that is why the non-product spend is too high. If we were to focus on the development side, prove that there is potential for a sustainable and profitable product before adding such large non-product spend, then I think the number becomes secondary. In the spirit of other posts’ sentiment RE: externalizing much more of the DAO’s operations, maybe the non-product squads could become ‘contractors’ that product squads can use for their products if they wish. This would help ensure that all spend is at least productive ex-ante: Product squad leads have asked for a limited budget from DXdao for a given period, and they will only choose to assign a portion of that to XYZ non-product spend if they believe it will benefit their product.

Not to try and be too negative on these, I think there is merit in the things you’ve highlighted, but they are essentially all qualitative and opinion-based successes, and many could be disagreed with. There is little in the way of objective & quantitative success, both from product & non-product, so I am not trying to target one or the other here :stuck_out_tongue:

Agreed, I’m very open and interested in this kind of model that allows the DAO to act far more objectively, be more nimble, and pivot when necessary.

I’m absolutely open to ideas and alternatives here, as always - but what I will say is that this group has acknowledged the issues pre-emptively, and have proposed some kind of radical and positive looking change that pushes in the right direction of being more aware of returns, sustainability, revenues, etc. I think that counts for a lot, and I think they should be given credit for that. If others have alternatives that they feel better suit DXdao, then I’m excited to listen and contribute to the formation and discussion. The end goal is the best path forward for the DAO, and as above, my absolute top priority is to minimize the chance of a slow burn to zero which leaves DXD worthless. I think it’s clear that this proposal reduces the chance of that scenario vs. the status quo. If there is a better alternative, then let’s discuss and formulate it - my DMs are open as one of many interested DXD holders and always happy to make time for a call.

All of these options seem much more attractive to me than the status quo - they allow objectivity and the ability to cut/grow operations quickly and efficiently, as and when those decisions need to be made.

Finally, I’d like to emphasize my desire for a DXD signal snapshot at some stage. I think it’s important for REP holders to have the results in mind when voting; if they were to vote in a manner that significantly diverges from DXD holders’ views, then it would clearly be to the detriment of the DAO. Not only from the angle of voting against the wishes of those who you are custodying funds/operations for the benefit of, but also in the sense that once Gov 2.0 is released, we’d likely have to then have the same conversation/votes again and the interim period would have been less productive than what would be optimal.

Again, that is not to say this proposal must pass, but I think everyone with an interest in the future of the DAO should be given some amount of time to formulate their own vision and path, take some time to discuss and get a picture of where DXD holders sit on each of them via a signal snapshot, and then allow REP holders to weigh that with their own views before a vote/votes.

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I will first say a few good things about John and Corkus, but then I will describe why they are unfit to play any part in the future of DXdao.

To some who don’t know me, I have been a DXdao member from the start and took part in the initial rep distribution. DXdao had been initiated by Gnosis and Martin Köppelmann has been a main driver behind. DXdao had a way to be governed, but without money nothing happened.

In the last crypto winter John/Corkus and Augusto meet somewhere and picked it up. Without them doing this, DXdao would be still a shell and long forgotten. They created a token, DXD and sold this over the bonding curve. Because this happened in deep winter and the ETH price was very low they where able to raise a lot of ETH. I also bought some DXD at this point, but was not active.

After my vampire attack article, Chris contacted me because of my deep AMM knowledge. Because have been looking for a job anyway, I joined DXdao and took over the lead over Mesa and tried to build a launchpad with Adam/Nico/Hamza/Madusha/Ross/Sky/Arhat and some others long gone. Long story short, I failed because of many reason, some clearly in my responsibility, others not. At the end I was backstabbed by John with the help of Corkus.

So why I think John is unfit for this?

My project was clearly in decline. I struggled on many fronts and people did see that struggle. And I complained about this. At one point, John told me in a public call: Stop complaining! That’s okay as an instant reaction, but what a true leader would do is something completely differently. He would ask, maybe afterwards: How can I help you? John did nothing in this direction.

So I was struggling and started to develop burn out symptoms, mostly the feeling that I was responsible for everything what was going wrong, and I have to fix everything myself. Luckily I had one week of vacation and because I did see that I had a somehow disturbed communication with John I tackled this by asking him for a call. The call was of informal nature, I did not set any agenda, it was for me to try to understand what John was thinking and what his motivation has been to play such a dominant role in the DXdao. (I made calls with others too)

The call has been revealing: John did not have any strong opining why he is doing all this. He did not say: I’m very interested in how governance work in a DAO, or how this kind of organization can grow and adapt. Nor did he mention any field he was deeply motivated about. What he did tell me, is why he did start this: He did run out of crypto jobs as many during the first crypto winter, then meet Corkus and Augusto. So his main motivation was to get a job. There is nothing wrong with this, but how should he have the leadership qualities to lead all this? He has clearly not or we would never have the situation we are in right now.

What I took from that call has been confusing, but I did understand shortly after, that John did help to collect money for the DXdao and now feels deeply responsible for the money he had raised. While Agusto was more laid back and did not care much, John felt and feels deeply responsible for the money he raised. In a way this is a good thing, but leading this organization is clearly over his head.

At the end, John did stop communicate with me, and after I did my late proposal he did not react for many days, many did endorse during that time. After some time he then did ask for a call. My next move was to post it on-chain, before the call, because I did not think that my work could be disputed this way.

The call is something to remember. I got on the call with John, Corkus was also there to support John and to try to make the call more balanced. John told me that he will down-vote my proposal. And he threatened me: “You can’t win this. I won all fights, Corkus?” Corkus agreed. It was shocking and ridiculous at the same time.

I did expect that we had some form of feedback session, and it was clear that John had reservation about my performance, but I was not expecting this to be such a clash. He had month to raise his voice, but did not. He never could give me detailed feedback why he thinks I’m not the right leader, because he did not understand what I was struggling with. So I did define winning for myself and for me winning was to be out as soon as possible.

The funny thing was, that we all have known at that point, that John nor Corkus did not have a valid proposal out there and both were late for months too. In the two DXdao wide calls as we sorted this out, nobody mention it, everybody was afraid and myself I had not interested to pour more oil in the fire. At the end I took the haircut and left, at least John was civil in the public conversation we had and I know that he did not take this lightly.

Anyway, during this conflict most got into hiding, they voiced support for me in private, but only a few backed me up in public. Many had been just afraid to paint a target on themselves and being the next victims of Johns temper.

The next incident I know was that the HR team worked over a long time on a new compensation structure, which John died shoot down by vote. He was asked for feedback, did not give any or only little, but then shoot down the thing as it has been put on-chain. That’s for sure not how this should be done, that’s very demotivating for everybody and a highly aggressive move.

There are more such stuff, the case with Nesa had a very similar blueprint.

One more things on what John failed:

Where is the implementation of gov 2.0?

John has been responsible for that, but never delivered. I’m sure there has been ton of other things to do and he worked hard for the DAO, but gov 2.0 is very important to make the DXD holders heard and have real influence.

Everybody is equal but some are more equal

Because we have no hierarchies and this does not work, we have an informal hierarchy with John on the top backed up by Corkus, if needed

If they have been the leaders since the start and this is the outcome, it’s time to step back. They failed on leading this, they had enough time to fix it and failed. I failed and had to go, so why not them? I tell you why not: Because some are more equal than others.

So at the end, John has been on of the founder and without him Dxdao would not exist anymore, but he was unable to lead this organization to be successful. John had enough time to fix this, and he could clearly not. In a second attempt it will be the same failure because John does not have the leadership quality who is needed to make the DXdao successfully.

John should take responsibility and leave. Organisation are very influenced who is at the top and what we see is the outcome. The fish stinks from the head. In the real world, John would be long fired by the stakeholders.

Also the no hierarchy mantra should be changed, better have visible hierarchy in the open, then hidden ones. I would prefer leaders to be elected in a secret vote.

Define winning

John, this is your exit, take it and enjoy your life. You will find another place with less hazzle. I did just reread your late proposals and for sure you have played an important role and helped DXdao a lot. But now it’s time to move on, hand this over to the rest of the active core contributor and play the elder statesman. After some transition they will find somebody with better leadership qualities. Define winning!

I don’t write about Corkus, because he is out anyway and now just here to back up John and part of some illegitimate shadow government. Very loyal, but also Corkus must understand that this way DXdao will just burn it’s money and never have a successful product.

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With all due respect, I wasn’t asking for people’s opinions about the highlights. If you want to add to the list, please do so. I would love for you and others to help grow this list.

These ARE the ACTUAL highlights for DXdao that DXdao contributors speak about in public. This is not opinion. This is fact.

Let’s all try make this list more comprehensive.

The ENTIRE point is that they ALL come from non-dev squads and contributors.

I find it very valuable to hear what DXD holders think about all these topics.

I would like to hear from at least 10 more DXD holders here in the forum. I worry that we are only hearing from a very few over and over.

Can we get at least 10 more DXD holders to bring their opinions into this thread?

It’s always best to share ideas and refine the objectives and goals prior to initiating votes, and their perspectives will be highly valuable.

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Just one comment before touching on issues inside the proposal:
Such sweeping proposal by a small group of people, with a relatively large amount of REP is in my opinion a bit on the uncooperative side of things.

Now that that is out of the way, a few questions and comments:

  1. How is this different to the current situation that is clearly not very good?

Big Elephant #1: Accountability

It is very hard to create accountability in DAOs or any organization really, this is probably the main reason people get fired in traditional jobs. in my opinion this is the core issue behind much of the friction around DXdao.

Now I’m not pointing the finger at anyone here in particular, I have sinned in some of these, and I think all of us are.

Some clearly observable issues

  • Working groups are formed, decisions made, proposals are passed and teams execute whatever they want
  • We spend $10k-$50k on events, physical marketing, and coming to conferences without knowing what we want to achieve, or how to measure it
  • We talk to potential partners and collaborators with no clear direction for implementations.
  • Rather than collaborating and building on infrastructure and tools developed by other people in the ecosystem we “develop it ourselves” where our “shipping” works 30% of the time.
  • We say we will do something, and we simply don’t, we forget, things fall between the responsibility of people and we miss valuable opportunities
  • We don’t know who is full time, who is part time, and who is claiming their are fulltime but doing other things.

Going to update my famous quote:

DAOs are run on initiatives and they progress by accountability

How to solve??

GenesisDAO had an “Accountability Task Force” which was a group of people responsible only for making sure passed proposals actually get executed.

At points in time @JohnKelleher was a one man accountability person using mostly his social reputation around the DAO, this didn’t feel good for him, nor for the people in question.

@0xVenky and myself tried to introduce a more accountable way of moving forward, using OK-Rs a but that has failed. for two main reasons

  1. I wasn’t adamant about this
  2. extremely low participation rate from the DAO.

I think we should completely stop everything, all development and initiatives and go through a formal OK-R process and building. The first step will be to clearly define our values and the goals we want to achieve a year from now, as a DAO, then each team needs to extrapolate what do they need to do in order for DXdao to achieve its goals.
If theDXdao doesn’t reach it’s goals, DXdao members should not be rewarded with DXD

for example: DXbiz team has a quarterly budget, with KPIs, if we don’t reach our KPIs we don’t get our full salary. This is something you can implement into gnosis Safes.

Big Elephant #2: Can we ship products?

We can argue for a while whether or not, but our track record is not impressive. everything is late, by a lot, to the point that it’s irrelevant. This has happened with previous products, and it’s happening with new ideas and initiatives are the being brought on.

“Being an entrepreneur is like eating glass and staring into the abyss of death." – Elon Musk

DXdao is a shelter from risk but it’s also a blocker to success. A startup is such risky and total business that it cannot exist within a general purpose DAO. The core team of a startup needs to give it all they have, focus strictly on shipping the best product as early as possible.

How to solve??

Carrot and Nimi are the latest ones. In my opinion the only chance for these two product to succeed is if they spin out and prove themselves in the open market. DXdao should assist and help in building the MVP, the narrative, the foundation of the community, and then the core team should go out and test their ideas in front of investors and the open market, try to make it a startup of its own.

The unfortunate reality of what I just wrote is that Swapr is destined to always be sort of dead, being kept alive by DXdao, no tangible objectives or real outside validation.
Again not blaming everyone in particular, but for me Swapr is an anecdote to what happens to a product when you release a token too early / no tokenomics / didn’t think of a runway. And it’s ok because we are learning and improving as we go.

Last thoughts

Accountability and whether a DAO structure is adequate to launch successful products / protocols / startups, is in my opinion the source of friction in the DXdao, and everything stems from this.

I’m still bullish on DXdao because I believe people here have the humility and self confidence to acknowledge that WE HAVE ALL MADE MISTAKES, if we’re transparent and open about it and are willing to accept, learn, and take responsibility and the necessary steps to move forward (which is mainly being organized), I still believe we can serve as the north star of how to do decentralized governance at scale.

/fin

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