VanGrim (through Zanarkand AB) Contributor Proposal (18 November - 17 January)

VanGrim Contributor Proposal

Background:

Hello all! I’m Kenny (@vangrim on Keybase), and a full-stack Web3 developer part of the DxGov team. The DxGov team is currently in charge of building and launching DAVI (previously Guilds), a necessary step upon which Governance 2.0 will be built.

For this contributor proposal period I’d like to suggest dividing my time between DXgov (80%) and Nimi (20%). See Nimi Incubation Grant - DXVentures.

DXgov (80%) - Proposed Scope of Contribution:

Goals:

  • Fix the issues reported by Team Omega’s audit of the Gov 1.5 smart contracts
  • Work on supporting Gov 1.5 smart contracts in DAVI (including supporting read functionality through Subgraph)
  • Maintain and develop DAVI beta (bug fixes, new features, refactoring, etc.)
  • Continue to work on the roadmap of DxGov. This includes: maintaining the product, implementing new designs and features, assisting QA, and continuing to work on currently existing issues as can be seen here.

Responsibilities:

  • Continue to develop DAVI and smart contracts related to DXgov.
  • Maintain and develop processes with the development squad and the QA team to ensure a holistic product experience (maintenance, development, QA, and development processes). See the release process as an example.
  • Support the squad with day-to-day operations such as code reviews, pair programming, brainstorming, and other tech-related tasks.
  • Be communicative and involved in DXgov’s mission during sprint planning, daily standups, DXdao meetings, etc.

Nimi (20%) - Proposed Scope of Contribution:

Goals:

  • Implement a release strategy that handles coordination between developers and QA.
  • Start supporting the nimi backend by abstracting services to be consumed by the Nimi frontend.
  • Actively engage in weekly meetings to bring the Nimi product ready for post-incubation.

Responsibilities:

  • Act as technical project manager in-charge which includes managing Nimi’s development processes, planning of issues in accordance with the roadmap and coordinating between QA and developers (examples: release strategy, incident management, e.g.).

Time commitment:

  • Full time (40hr/week)

Experience Level:

  • Level 4

Compensation

  • $6000 ($6000 * 2) to be sent half on the first payment proposal, and half on the second payment proposal
  • $4000 ($4000 * 2) DXD - Vested for three years with a 1-year cliff starting the 18 November 2022.
  • First payment proposal: 0.1667% REP.
  • Second payment proposal: 0.1667% REP

NOTE: The above compensation will be provided through DevX AG (@DevX) e.g. devx.eth.

Work Experience:

  • 2+ years of experience building applications on React, TypeScript, Node.js, and many back-end-related frameworks.
  • 3+ years as a privacy lawyer. Worked with a variety of clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies.
  • Completed pull requests for DXvote , DXdao Contracts , and DAVI

Previous Contributor proposals:

9 Likes

Hey @vangrim, a question about the 20% time allocated to Nimi. Would that time be compensated by Nimi or DXdao?

The Nimi Incubation grant proposal that you linked to passed in August with the following conditions:

  • Nimi team can allocate 40% time to Nimi - for up to 6 months
  • DXdao funds the Nimi MS with $100k
  • DXdao receives a 10% stake in Nimi

Although it is not directly stated in the proposal, discussions at the time clearly signalled that the Nimi team’s 40% of time would be compensated by DXdao.

If that is settled, then I think the terms of the deal were pretty clear, 6 months at 40% of the Nimi team’s time (Dave, Zett, Adam, Milan) is $79,200, so in total DXdao was committing $179,200 for 10% of Nimi.

So my question: Is the 20% you’ve allocated to Nimi to be paid out from the $79,200 that “Nimi team [could] allocate time to Nimi” or should the 20% of your time be paid out from the $100k Nimi received to fund development?

2 Likes

I think theres a discrepancy that needs to be cleared up about what this incubation entails. Because from the discussions we had its clear that some members consider Nimi more of an investment then incubation.

From this proposal its clear that its not purely monetary investment, here are couple of lines from proposal:

With this proposal DXdao incubates Nimi.eth and allocates $100k in the form of an incubation grant to the Nimi.eth team as well as incubation support for 6 months.

Providing a smaller grant and initial support to projects allows them to prove themselves in the market and seek outside capital.

As part of the incubation, DXdao will allow Nimi to build out their project under the DXdao umbrella allowing the Nimi team to rely on the expertise and know-how of DXdao.

Im not sure how we can use support and expertise from DAO if no one is allowed to spend any time working on Nimi. I guess there are different expectations from certain members and this should be discussed further.

1 Like

The original proposal, which importantly did not include DXdao footing the bill for 6 months development in addition to the core investment, includes the reference to leveraging DXdao expertise. That would suggest that “relying on DXdao expertise” did not imply DXdao paying for development. And the subsequent proposal passed on-chain mentioned only the Nimi team as @Powers pointed out.

Also the original proposal included this caveat below explicitly clarifying that by relying upon DXdao expertise they meant in an advisory capacity, not paid development.

Another point needs to be made vis a vis @Powers point below.

This figure (though I get $181,600 instead of $179,200) only includes the US$ investment of $100,000 plus the 40% of US$ salary for the team. Some members of Nimi team have suggested they interpret the proposal passed as meaning we are also paying DXD compensation for their time spent on Nimi. If that’s the case then the investment the DAO makes is $247,600 (100k investment, 81.6k usd salaries, and 66k in DXD). Which means for our 10% stake, we’re now valuing Nimi at $2,476,000…

The proposal passed was unhelpfully vague and interpretted differently by many people. It’s understandably frustrating for the Nimi team and something we should definitely get clarified asap.

But we’re slowly cruising towards investment creep here with higher implied valuations for Nimi.

Adding a table below for reference on the $81,600 and other figures. Grabbed these from recent worker proposals. Apologies if I’ve gotten any incorrect.

usd dxd
zett €9,000 €7,500
dlabs €9,000 €7,500
adam €9,000 €7,500
violet €7,000 €5,000
per month €34,000 €27,500
@ 40% €13,600 €11,000
6 month total €81,600 €66,000
plus 100k investment €247,600
implied valuation at 10% €2,476,000
1 Like

Hey @Powers!

Great questions, but I think this discussion should be had between DXdao and the Nimi team if there still exists confusion. Are you suggesting any proposal dedicating time to Nimi should wait until this clears up?

However, my two cents is that I think DXdao should compensate me for the 20%. As stated by @Violet above, I was under the impression that incubation support also included allocating DXdao contributors to work on Nimi.

I think many discussions have been about calculating the exact numbers of the investment, and I echo what @Violet stated above about misconceptions between incubation and passive investment. In my experience, incubators provide a wide range of benefits for their incubates with monetary investment being one of them (others include office space, salary, lectures, networking opportunities, and so on). The rationale is that the incubator actively works (in contrast to the passive investor) for their incubation to succeed.

Now, I do understand that there exists a price tag for the incubation. However, I’d like the discussion to turn from looking blindly at the costs to the potential of Nimi’s future ROI and the success factors that DXdao can enable through their support. I want DXdao to think more about how they can help Nimi get into a successful position post-incubation since a great product with lots of traction will also greatly benefit DXdao.

In my case, I was approached by the Nimi team to shoulder a role, as written above. The Nimi team expressed the need to further their development processes which include the responsibilities listed. The core of that responsibility is to, in a structural way, manage a fast build-to-deployment time with no unexpected bugs. I.e., create a stable product - ready for the market. This includes coordinating efforts by developers, product managers, QAs, and other stakeholders and meeting the expectations of each category. These are some of the tasks I’ve started working on in DXgov (in addition to “normal” development work) to launch DAVI for production successfully as well. I hope that DXdao sees that this is a value proposition that outweighs the proposed allocation of time (20%) and that, at the end of the day, it is a win-win for DXdao and Nimi.

Lastly, If the community does not support the allocation of time to Nimi - I’d like us to revisit the concept of “incubation” and how the DAO is actively helping its incubates to succeed. Because, in that case, the incubation seems like a purely passive investment.

2 Likes

… and recruitment, bringing industry mentors, coaching, promotions and marketing, business development help and helping the incubate to brainstorm with external experts.

We need to figure out what works for DXdao. To me, incubation is being actively involved in the project for a specified period of time. Not sure if there are differences in how incubation works in the US and Europe and this could lead to difference of opinions perhaps.

2 Likes

I think this has all been clarified a little late in the day as we come towards the end of the 6 months. DXventures, if they spearheaded this incubation model, should speak on how we’ve allowed the structure to become so vague, a source of frustration and conflict within the DAO, and what went wrong.

I do, however, think that this falls outside the scope of the original proposal made by Nimi after reading all the materials. Posts above ask ‘is this an incubation if contributors can’t work on Nimi?’, but

The original text does paint a different picture. The words ‘advisory’, ‘being able to reach out once in a while’, ‘feedback’, ‘rather than expecting … proactively be working on …’ are quite relaxed phrases and to me indicate something that can be fit in and around current responsibilities. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable take, so I can see why others are confused and see this as extending the cost unexpectedly.

But, this is exactly the problem, it’s too vague to know, and I can see how it could be interpreted any way you want. If we are running a VC arm with DXventures, even if it’s a baby-VC, how could something like this slip through the cracks? Operating DXventures should extend well beyond listening to pitches and saying yes or no to handing out a check - that’s the easy part. This is where the work lies, in structuring deals clearly, properly, and so that we don’t have situations like these arise where we’re arguing so early in the day with people who we’ve invested in. How was this possibility missed? Why were there no parameters on this topic agreed with the Nimi team? Every condition of the deal should have a quantitative element attached, to signal its limitations. This just highlights the importance of having numbers behind everything you do.

So, I can see why people are hesitant here if the limits of this arrangement extend to ‘any and every single DXdao contributor could spend 40% of their time on Nimi for 6 months, paid for by DXdao, and it would still fit within the scope of the incubation parameters’. That would be, for all intents and purposes, a blank check, and a blank check is never a smart investment whether it had been used to its full extent or not. I think everyone would see the problem if that scenario were to play out, so the problem is really clarity on limitations. The real issue is not that the $4k is badly allocated, but that DXdao is making/has made an investment without a known cap because it doesn’t know the limitations or terms of what it’s agreed to… The structure was poorly put together and maintained. Lessons learned, I hope.

Having said all this, I think Nimi is a great opportunity for DXdao, Kenny can clearly help our incubee here, and $4000 is well allocated given this is the first time Nimi has asked for what it interprets as incubation expertise, it makes sense to pass this proposal - the value prop on the spend is clearly worth it. From what I can gauge, others share this sentiment, and aren’t against the allocation, more just frustrated that they don’t know what the actual terms and boundaries of the deal are. Not Nimi’s fault.

IMO It’s now unproductive to go back and forth with the Nimi team, leaving a sour taste for both parties, over the terms of the deal in this thread when the root problem is DXventures not structuring and maintaining the incubation well. Discussions on why the structuring of the incubation model has been put together and maintained to a poor standard should continue elsewhere.

It might be helpful if the Nimi team could roughly estimate whether they’ll require any further contributor time that amounts to more than 5% of a worker proposal during the remainder of the proposal period, so that everyone can make a mental note of the incubation’s limitations. This should have all been laid out at the beginning, and isn’t really the Nimi team’s responsibility at this stage to (re)write our incubation structure, but I think would be helpful and appreciated in order to reach a resolution on this if possible.

5 Likes

I take a slightly different view from Connor that while it is already a good amount of time into the incubation, this is the first incubation DXdao is doing and as problems arise, we should be solving them together and not laying blame or arguing semantics.

I for one think it’s important for DXdao to demonstrate good support as part of an incubation. To address lack of a clarity, a simple rule could be added, such as “up to 5 DXdao contributors can allocate up to 10% of their paid time to Nimi, with the existing Nimi team’s consent.” And I think as DXdao contributors, it is as much the Nimi team’s responsibility as other contributors, if not more so, to provide solutions to such problems that may arise.

That said, filling a role, even if it’s with only 20% of someone’s time, seems beyond incubation, and I think this spend would be a good candidate for Nimi to pay. Isn’t this exactly the kind of thing that the DXdao $100K investment was intended for? And I would consider DXdao letting one of its full time contributors reduce their commitment to be an act of support.

See this line from Nimi Incubation Grant - DXVentures

1 Like

This proposal is now live on-chain. Divided into a compensation proposal and a REP proposal.

1 Like