Sampo WG Season 1 Funding Proposal

Proposal title

Sampo Season 1 Funding Proposal

TL;DR

A lean, 3.5 (14 week) month plan from Sampo to boost the impact of the TEC’s spending, develop income-generating services, and the next phase of our funding.

Proposal description

The startup costs for the Sampo working group have been contributed by volunteers from the community. Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far. This initial funding proposal for the working group is lean and outcomes-oriented. This work is urgent for the TEC right now; we urge you to help to pass it quickly.

Sampo will continue to work hard to draw upon volunteer contributions from the community, but it is now time to invest in a small group of paid coordinators to accelerate the work. These paid coordinators will themselves volunteer significant hours to the work and minimize the drawdown of Common Pool xDAI by taking part of their compensation in $TEC. Rather than staffing many ongoing positions, Sampo will use project-based bounties to fund key parts of our work. We also plan to retroactively reward volunteer contributions with a modest pool of bonuses that piggyback on the TEC Rewards system (see below).

This initial proposal focuses on three core areas:

  1. Slow TEC operational spending while increasing its impact
  2. Developing income-generating services
  3. Fundraising and strengthening relationships with token holders

This proposal reasons that, as we ramp up income streams in the short-term, our most important tactic will be to reduce the TEC’s operational spending. It is not a matter of indiscriminately slashing expenses, but rather of ensuring that our spending creates value for the TEC mission and its stakeholders (see “capacity building” in Sampo Strategy).

Generating revenues on a scale that makes a difference will take time, so Sampo’s second focus is articulating compelling plans for income-generating services. We want to move quickly and will launch an initial “Minimum Viable Service” within the three months of this proposal–most likely a matchmaking service for helping clients connect with vetted, values-aligned token engineering consulting organizations. We will also do market research to identify a next wave of “Token Engineering Schelling Point Services” to deliver on the TEC’s mission.

These plans for what comes next will build the renewed excitement that will be critical for securing the next rounds of TEC funding. A bear market is a difficult time to fundraise, so we will focus on four efforts: a small-scale test campaign, framing and language for describing our work, strengthening existing and new funder relationships, and plans for larger fundraising campaigns in the fall.

Additional information to add

NA

How does this proposal benefit the community and/or the field of Token Engineering?

This proposal is all about ensuring the economic sustainability of the TEC. It is the first steps that the Sampo working group is taking to fulfill its mission:

The Sampo working group develops and grows the value of the economic layer of the Token Engineering Commons. It aligns this micro-economy with the TEC mission and the collective success and individual benefit of its token holders.

See detailed outcomes from this proposal below.

Amount requested (Only for Conviction Voting)

Total request for 24,424 xDAI, of which:

  • 15,367 will be paid in xDAI
  • 9,057 will be converted to 6,038 $TEC at payment¹

How will these funds be used? (Only for conviction voting)

Role Footnote Weekly Hours Weekly Total # People Monthly 14 Weeks (3.5 Months) % of Total
Positions:
Steward 1 25 525 1 2,100 7,350 30%
Organizer 2 16 336 1 1,344 4,704 19%
Fund Mngr 3 5 105 1 420 1,470 6%
Fundraiser 4 10 210 1 840 2,100 9%
All Positions 56 1,176 4 4,704 15,624 64%
Bounties
Analyst 5 800 3%
Fundraising 6 1,800 7%
Fund Researcher 7 800
Builder 8 1,400 6%
Other 9 1,600 7%
All Bounties 6,400 23%
Praise Bonus
Sampo Praise 10 800 2,400 10%
Total 56 1,176 5,504 24,424 100%

Table Notes:

  1. Coordinating Steward’s Sampo work is not covered in TEC Steward budget
  2. Organizer’s Sampo work is not covered in TEC Steward budget as a Working Group Coordination Lead
  3. Fund Manager will average more hours in the first month and fewer in subsequent months
  4. Fundraiser starts in month two
  5. Analysts bounties pay for data prep and analytics, some portion paid to Transparency working group
  6. Fundraising bounties mostly pay for writing, grant writing, and graphics support from Comms working group
  7. Builder bounties mostly pay for market research for TEC services
  8. Other bounties give Sampo flexibility to adjust plans over the course of the funding period and account for just 7% of the total budget request
  9. Volunteer contributions will be important and we plan to experiment with “retroactive public good” funding for these contributions by supplementing Praise quantification with a bonus pool to reward Sampo-specific work. This is an experiment that, if successful, could later be replicated in other working groups
TEC Price: 1.5
Role Footnote Approx 3-Month % TEC xDAI xDAI to convert $TEC
Positions:
Steward 1 7,350 100% 0 7,350 4,900
Organizer 2 4,704 10% 4,234 470 314
Fund Mngr 1,470 10% 1,323 147 98
Fundraiser 2,100 10% 1,890 210 140
All positions 15,624 52% 7,447 8,177 5,452
Bounties
Analysts 800 10% 720 80 53
Fundraising 1,800 10% 1,620 180 120
Fund Researcher 800 10% 720 80 53
Builder 1,400 10% 1,260 140 93
Other 1,600 10% 1,440 160 107
All Bounties 6,400 10% 5,760 640 427
Praise Bonus
Sampo Praise 2,400 10% 2,160 240 160
Total 24,424 37% 15,367 9,057 6,038
  1. Steward will convert 100% of compensation to $TEC
  2. Organizer, fund manager, fundraiser, bounties, and bonuses all assume 10% conversion to $TEC but this is only an estimate and will depend upon each individual to decide their risk tolerance. We will likely want to boost payments just enough to offset the entry tribute tax for these individuals as an incentive for holding $TEC

What does success look like?

  • By the end of July, 2022, we will:
    • work with Transparency WG to build a real-time snapshot of all TEC treasuries
    • communicate high-level plans to token holders to maintain their confidence
    • work with Comms WG to finalize plans for an initial fundraising campaign
    • develop a treasury policy and strategy and begin earning yield
    • roll out the TEC’s first “Minimum Viable Service”
  • By the end of August, 2022, we will:
    • launch a simple, first $TEC token utility service (voting for TE Hall of Famers?)
    • advise Transparency WG on “Unified Working Group Spending Reports”
    • develop and test framing/language for TEC’s value propositions to funders
    • identify and prioritize a list of potential grantmakers
  • By the end of September, 2022, we will:
    • launch initial campaign with Comms WG (likely “TE Hall of Fame” NFTs)
    • complete research and planning for 2-year TEC Schelling Point Services vision
    • finalize framing and language for fundraising pitches
    • submit 2 grant requests for TEC general support

How will you share progress?

Sampo maintains a continually updated tracker for the working groups impact here: Clarity — The simplest workspace for decentralized teams
These updates will also be posted monthly in the TEC forum by the Sampo Guide. We will also provide weekly updates within the TEC Community Call.

Project information (if applies)

NA

Team Information

  • Sampo Coordinating Steward: Gideonro
  • Sampo Organizer: Bear100
  • Sampo Fund Manager: TBD
  • Sampo Fundraiser: TBD
  • Sampo Analysts: Rex, Anak
  • Sampo Grant Writers: TBD
  • Sampo Builder: TBD

Complementary information

Sampo manifesto

¹ Based on a 1.5 TEC price, and subject to fluctuation. Of this $TEC, 81% will be subject to 8% entry tribute, while 19% will not. The result is that approximately 588 xDAI will be returned to the Common Pool, a savings which reduces the total withdrawal from the Common Pool to 23,836.

6 Likes

Hi @gideonro thanks for this thorough proposal!

I see that you take many steps in the absolute right direction - but I think we have to act more radical, and faster.
$TEC dropped in significantly in price recently. This is not only due to bad market conditions. Huge token holders, who hugely invested in our hatch, have lost trust in TE Commons. They sold. Not a good signal.
I’m really concerned that TEC won’t survive if we don’t take action now.

Three steps I’m missing in this proposal:

  1. Take immediate steps to create revenues from our existing Common Pool treasury. Until we’ve developed sustainable funds inflow for the commons pool, all proposals have to be covered from these revenues ONLY
  2. Take immediate steps to develop $TEC utility and drive demand
  3. Proposal amounts beyond $25K per year (for the same project) have to prove that they are able to attract min. the amount they ask from TEC from external resources. The common practice should be “external funding first”.

On 1:
Let’s yield farm our liquidity! As Token Engineers we should be way more ambitious to use DeFi mechanisms to TEC’s benefit, the common good! Based on our treasury in wxDAI, we could create significant APY. If we take action now, we’ll be far better off than in 6 months.
Some numbers:
Treasury today $713K, 10% APY → $71K
Treasury in 6 months, based on the monthly burn rate so far $120K, 10% APY → $12K
There’s a chance to keep TEC operations alive without eating up our Common Pool treasury if we take action now.

On 2:
Our huge problem: at the moment, there’s no significant demand for $TEC, and no $TEC utility. We at TE Academy are working on mechanisms to drive $TEC demand, SAMPO is working on it - but building this will take time - AND funds!
Imagine we find great token utility - but by then don’t have funds available anymore to build the infrastructure needed! :woozy_face:

Even raising via donations takes time. One measure proposed is to slow down funding. This feels like a solution, but in fact, it’s dangerous! It makes projects harder to plan, they’ll lose momentum and we risk loosing talented contributors. Instead, we should make sure to invest as much as we can, as frictionless as we can to valuable projects and TEC initiatives. See 1.

On 3:
Larger proposals should be required to attract additional funds from 3rd parties. I’m sure that 3rd parties see the value of the projects in our community. TE Academy so far has attracted more than 5x of the funds we’ve received from TEC. The Proposal Inverter is set up in a similar way. We can make this work.

I think we are in a really good position today to build on the reputation all TEC members have been working hard over the last year. With the bear market we’ve reached a critical phase.
Again, if we take action now, we’ll be fine. If we react too slow, too defensive, this window of opportunity for TEC will be gone.

10 Likes

Thanks for the feedback, @akrtws.

Believe me; I understand the pressure you’re expressing. Building token utility and revenues will take time. We really should have started this work far earlier - perhaps even during the hatch itself. But for a variety of reasons, we did not, and so we are now having to race to play catch up.

I feel this pressure intensely.

There is no magic bullet here, just hard work and focusing on the right things. Looking at the deliverables, I think you’ll find that the plan is actually quite aggressive. In fact, most of the feedback so far is that these plans may be overly ambitious to achieve in just 14 weeks - especially with the onset of summer. Sadly, I don’t think there’s any way of getting around the fact that it’s going to get uncomfortable here as funds shrink as we all ramp up these efforts.

Turning to your recommendations:

  1. I like the idea of liquidity farming for our treasury. This is not my area of expertise and we’d need to figure out how to do that in a way that didn’t interfere with the bonding curve or conviction voting. If someone is motivated to drive this, I’m all for figuring this out!

  2. Yes, to token utility too – but again here, that will take some time to generate the kind of value that results in real token utility. The plan is to start with a “minimum viable service” approach, testing out something simple in July/August. To your bigger point here though, I agree 100%. This is what I am calling “capacity building” investments. We need to focus our spending that really hones in on the essential value of the TEC - what will build stakeholder utility and capital for us over time. This is the whole point of the Sampo Strategy doc.

  3. Yes, here too, but I do think there are some working groups where requiring them to self-generate revenues would be counterproductive (i.e. our efforts as a community in building revenue-generating services would be better invested elsewhere). The week before last, the Stewards met to discuss whether and how we might go about slowing spending in the strategic ways you mention. We took a poll, the results of which are here. The short answer is that there was not consensus about trying to impose top-down guidelines. So, instead, we’re leaning more toward getting the working groups to focus on leaner, more outcomes-focused funding proposals - and just relying on conviction voting to determine whether the individual proposals do that. Whales and other token holders, in general, will vote and guide the process of determining value.

3 Likes

Hello,

It’s really great to see serious discussion about this topic. It is, after all, the most important topic of all. As Angela said, TEC won’t survive if action isn’t taken now. To be precise, in less than 6 months, there will be ZERO money.

Here’s a simple rule: only spend what you earn. That’s all.

This means:

  1. Stop spending money. Don’t slow it, stop it.
  2. Go and figure out how to earn.

In doing this, then TEC immediately becomes sustainable. It only spends what it earns.

Then the name of the game is: go figure out how to earn.

As Angela mentioned, yield farming is the most obvious, since TEC can get its assets to work for itself. There’s little doubt that $ can be earned, it’s tried and true. This should be done ASAP, since the sooner it’s done the more treasury is left to earn against.

  • yearn.finance is a good default starting point. Just put the majority of treasury in that.
  • after that, you can learn more and optimize more. BTW, this is super useful for all aspiring Token Engineers to learn & understand, since yield is a key aspect of TE

Beyond, there are many hypotheses about how to earn. The key thing is that since TEC is now sustainable, with some initial revenue (yield from yearn) then you can start to pursue other ideas, without being under the gun.

I will close by repeating myself: Here’s a simple rule: only spend what you earn. That’s all.

Then TEC can survive, then thrive. Best wishes:)

8 Likes

@gideonro thanks for your detailed response!

I think we are on the same page for 1. and 2.
Let me add some thoughts on 3.:

there are some working groups where requiring them to self-generate revenues would be counterproductive

Sure, operational working groups need funding from TEC, but let’s cover these costs by earnings only. Still, there’s a number of proposal where it’s viable to raise funds from outside.

The week before last, the Stewards met to discuss whether and how we might go about slowing spending in the strategic ways you mention. We took a poll, the results of which are here. The short answer is that there was not consensus about trying to impose top-down guidelines. So, instead, we’re leaning more toward getting the working groups to focus on leaner, more outcomes-focused funding proposals - and just relying on conviction voting to determine whether the individual proposals do that.

I think this is approach is dangerous. Here’s why:
a) I’ve made my point in my first comment about why leaner proposals, and “slow down” spending is risky
b) only spend what you earn
c) without discussing a general, new policy we’ll be trapped in the Tragedy of the Commons soon. We “hope” to spend less/not spend anymore, but who should be first to relinquish funding?
What would you do as a working group? I’d try to put up my proposal as swiftly as possible before the community’s opinion against spending get’s too rigorous. Why should I stop proposing if others don’t? Why should I stop voting pro proposals if there’s no clear roadmap for the Commons Pool?
Then some first proposals might pass, and later ones might not? That’s not fair, and it’s far away from a strategy we all support.

We have to conduct this hard debate now - and formulate a policy that applies to all proposals.

3 Likes

First, an update on the yield farming question (@trentmc0 - fyi). I checked with Griff last night. Using funds from the bonding curve is probably a no-go, but he thinks we could reconfigure the conviction voting parameters so that the common pool could work with less xDAI and invest the freed up funds to earn some yield. @ZeptimusQ and I will follow up to assess the implications. We’d need some sort of investment policy to balance risk/return. Glad you both pushed there. If we’re going to hold funds in a conviction voting pool over the long-haul, this could help us do it more efficiently.

On point 3, I think this goes beyond Sampo and that it’s really more of a stewardship and governance question. The week before last, I worked with @Tamara to convene a conversation around this very question with the stewards. Consensus was split between a more interventionist approach like what you’re proposing and a more ‘free market’ approach (for lack of a better term) that relies on conviction voting. It’s worth noting that the Stewards funding proposal failing to pass is forcing us to rethink the way we think about stewards, and so it’s an example of this approach sort of working.

But it doesn’t address all of what you’re pointing out.

Stepping back, I think the real question here is one of governance. What we’re seeing is some key token holders and important influencers within the community disagreeing with some key aspects of the direction currently being taken by TEC stewards. This is important feedback and it seems like we may need some additional mechanisms for being able to better incorporate this into the stewardship of the commons.

I think this is an important conversation and am glad you’re initiating it.

6 Likes

Hello @gideonro and all!

I wasn’t aware of the TEC financial health in that detail. Probably because I couldn’t read Sampo proposal and I’m not a steward/WG lead.

I generally agree with most of the replies made by @akrtws and @trentmc0 here.

On 1: I’m actually quite surprised that a yield farm has not been considered till now. In my view, TEC price has dropped but not dramatically (given market conditions) and burn out rate seems to be acceptable if measures are taken now. But the Common pool was not that big since the beginning so this could have been quite a good preemptive solution. Let’s do this asap!

On 2: the ever elusive token utility. TEC was brilliant in educating, showcasing and implementing cutting-edge TE tools as a community. However, that didn’t guarantee that an actual value case for $TEC was to be there after hatch. We see that the potential services/goods/values offered by TEC are not easily pinpointed by external stakeholders.

Coupled with that TEC went on the “easy” route of having WGs not coordinate funding proposals which I saw as a red flag when proposals started rolling. Instead, we as token holders are kind of approving “fixed salaries” not clearly understood by the wider community. Stepping back, this has helped to create a fragmented TEC in which people are doing amazing work but are adversarial to get funded, so actually creating a big company where departments don’t communicate well and strive to maximize their own interest (though conviction voting is alleviating somehow this pressure).

If the rationale had been building a common participatory budget to maximize for efficiency/value of our Commons, we would be telling a very different story.

On 3: I’m not deeply knowledgeable about how xDAI and $TEC is flowing back to remunerate core members (that would mean spending even more energy into TEC). But I sense there’s some duplication on the fact that many people hold several “roles” in the same WG or different WGs and probably a small amount of people receive more funds for that reason (not something I oppose or can vouch it’s happening). My point is: how are we to find $TEC utility if the main incentive is to keep up with operations and “salary distribution”?

As a member of Omega, our main concern should not be here as maybe even knowing all this (or in blissful ignorance too) we’d be better off meditating, drawing, making music and sharing poetry (which we kind of actually agree to do going forward). We’re not big spenders in TEC. But we stay compassionate to the preoccupations shared in this post and want to see TEC doing great! We’re still on good ground to make that happen. Let’s double down on wisdom and self-knowledge!

2 Likes

Hello everyone and thanks @gideonro for raising this topic and @akrtws for an invitation to the forum!

First of all, I totally agree that now it is time to cut spending and start earning.

Of course, it is easy to say “cut spending, start earning” but not easy to do since:

  1. TEC has projects that have continuous funding and you need to make complex decisions about which initiatives cut off/decrease budgets; and all of it is when people (contributors) lose earnings and capital due to bear market and often rely even more on these funds, than before

  2. I actively managed my funds over the last years in Defi (and also have been leading R&D of ETF-like Defi products protocol last two years of my career), and I can say that treasury management is NOT an easy task. It is nothing like the"supply money and forget". You need to monitor everything, check out updates, think about hedging (if you invest in something volatile) or at least read Twitter all the time to know (1) possible risks arising in products you supplied treasury money (2) new yield opportunities on the market.

People who supplied in UST but didn’t track what’s going on were totally rekt losing billions, and there are much more cases with other assets and the lower size of losses.

So, based on mentioned above I suggest discussing the following options (what to do):

  1. TEC community should discuss and approve the max size of spending per month for the coming 6 months. For this purpose, the relevant person should provide all the details of the expenses structure to the community, and let’s discuss where TEC can save something. My suggestion is to do it as a separate topic since there obviously will be very hot, so it is a good idea to keep it on a separate forum topic.

After the community will preliminary negotiate → an official proposal should be drafted by one of TEC’s core team members, posted on the forum, and put on the vote.

  1. In DAOs fund management process is executed by a special treasury committee.
    Treasury committee = multi-sigs with funds + decision-makers
    The Treasury committee commonly consists of several people. They do following actions:

(1) own multi-sig keys

(2) make short-term important decisions (e.g. take out UST in the next 5 mins and swap it to DAI, while the price is 0.98c), and long-term decisions according to the particular risk-management framework (e.g board conditions where they can and cannot invest, NO investments in meme-coins or algo stables, but YES to investments in DAI stablecoin yield).

It works this way because it is very complicated to put every little decision on a community voting, and it will be also too long. If voting last 3 days, the hypothetical UST can be already dead by this moment or worth 0.30c on a dollar.

This also should be started as a separate topic and end with community voting, multi-sig creation, etc.

Also, there are some DAO Treasury management projects, you also can dig into that and find some options. Unfortunately, I cannot suggest anything here since I never used any of them and don’t have any personal experience related to their services.

So, in a conclusion, my ideas here:

  1. Discuss and make a proposal regarding max spending next 6 months
  2. Discuss the idea of the treasury committee and the rules of its operation, make the proposal, elect it and get things done in accordance with fund managements principles & strategy negotiated by community
4 Likes

Thanks for jumping in, @vasilysumanov.

Yes, the monthly spending budget idea would likely be a charged topic. And, yes, we should move that to a separate process so that it doesn’t distract from the urgency passing this proposal and getting to work. Personally and as a steward, I think that it’s worth exploring something like this. But we would need to figure out a process that would work with the TEC’s conviction voting processes, which are a defining aspect of the community.

There is growing interest in a more actively managed treasury that goes beyond just the funds in our LaserTag multisig. There are some technical challenges to overcome because half of the funds under-gird our augmented bonding curve, while the other half assist in weighting conviction voting. In the latter case, there does seem to be a solution. If you’re interested, I’d invite you to join in on a Sampo call. There are others who are expressing interest in this challenge too - and we can use help here.

3 Likes

Thank you @gideonro soo much for the work you have done bringing us to this very moment, from all the hours spent laying the groundwork for and developing the concept of the Sampo WG to making those on this topic board aware of new posts through any and all other means available. You have championed this cause and we all infinitely appreciate every effort you have made.

As for the responses presented here thus far, every response demonstrates intelligence and is marked by the most encouraging of all sentiments, hope. If each respondent here did not believe actions taken immediately, whatever they might be, could not effectively contribute to an eventual, or immediate, partial solution to the crisis we are staring down, they would simply not have spoken as the result would have been a foregone conclusion in their minds. Cumulatively, their voices are the substance of that hope. So let’s re-examine each one, and find the commonalities that shine through.

Let me respond to each, starting with the newest. Thank you so much @vasilysumanov for being brave, poignant, and timely with your first response here. The prescient nature of your words and the deep subject-matter expertise they carry cannot be overstated.

I’ll very quickly state openly my alignment with your first point and the most concise summation of responses collectively. I agree that immediate earning is paramount. I’ll return to the other side of that coin momentarily, but I want to first thank you again for acknowledging from the beginning, that while the ideally simple maxims are completely appropriate for this discussion, in practice, they are exceedingly difficult to achieve. From the most sensible mathematical standpoint, balancing this equation can be accomplished quickly, and easily. Simplicity is elegance. On paper and strictly by the numbers, I agree with @trentmc0 in that cutting spending, nearly to or outright to zero, may be required, but perhaps, just perhaps, we can ideally avoid that amputation if we focus our collective will on the earning side of the equation. I think that is, after all, the foundational concept of Sampo, and the economies of abundance that we all have hoped to implement.

To your second point, thank you again for acknowledging that the overall task of treasury management is NOT easy, while providing a number of the prerequisite tasks. This is thoroughly appreciated. It has given me personally, a straightforward, easy-to-understand, starter playbook for trying to contribute to supporting this WG. I’ll be returning to this post frequently in the coming days/weeks/months. Chances are it will end up pinned on my wall somewhere within 3 feet of my head. :sweat_smile:

Your final recommendations are really top-notch in that they provide us practical steps for what feels like crisis triage, and will lead me to a simple exit poll on this (my first opportunity to offer a relevant poll question). I’ll try to contact @gideonro to see if we can’t begin drafting a six month max spend proposal, but if anyone else wants to start that immediately, please don’t hesitate to reach out and we’ll at least get the ball rolling together. I’m available for this all day/week. After this post, I’ll go ahead and create the preceding prereq forum topic to begin the necessarily controversial discussions. I’m confident we can keep things productive and civil no matter how hot the topic gets, but it is very smart to give that it’s own space.

Without a doubt your most controversial point, and in my humble opinion, your most critical point is bringing up the issue of a special treasury committee. This is a sticky point but represents a stern test for our governance system and current structures. How do we select an objective group with the necessary knowledge that can make effective, immediate term decisions ie made within the next 5 mins? The culture of TEC has, and always will, emphasize the principles of transparency and community, and while many, many eventualities were foreseen and planned for, this particular circumstance I feel represents a position we had hoped not to find ourselves in, and perhaps was somehow, unfortunately overlooked. With the benefit of hopeful hindsight, perhaps we can use this opportunity to build yet another standout cultural primitive.

I typically try to avoid editing forum posts to hopefully demonstrate as much forethought and attempted organization as possible, but I want to post this and keep the discussion rolling, so I will be editing this post over the next several hours, copiously, 1 edit at a time, to include each respondent’s points and how I perceive the overlay and interplay. Please feel free to reach out in between for further discussion if so desired. The last thought I’ll leave everybody with for now as a relevant thought experiment, apart from the poll is, “What would be required for TEC to earn it’s first income, say, before the end of today? How do we make our first buck? And where do we hang it?” =P

  • Does this moment represent an existential crisis for the TEC? Does it justify suspending cultural practices like community voting in order to prioritize survival?
  • Yes and Yes.
  • Yes and No.
  • No and No.
  • No and Yes…

0 voters

Responding to @akrtws , thank you so much for all of your efforts within TEA and TEC. It is such a refreshingly benevolent demonstration of kindness and patience. With regards to this post, I have an unbounded respect for your opinion on any topic, but I am particularly intrigued by your statement on needing to be faster and more radical. Furthermore, your sharing the insight regarding the drop in TEC price deriving from a hatcher who had significant confidence previously and has now run out of patience, combined with your further explicit admission of existential concern for the TEC outright, is essentially a room stopping statement, mic drop, all ears moment.

So let’s really get into the details point by point. The yield farming idea is brilliant. For starters though, should we/you create a separate forum topic to center discussion this concept around? Seems like it would be particularly ideal. Or is it all more appropriate to house here for context? If creating and driving a new topic is something you don’t have the bandwidth for, that’s completely understandable. If that is the case, maybe we could begin the discussion on parameters and the technical details of how one might go about accomplishing this? I’d love to learn, and would do my best to continue to drive the discussion and construction of a functional version of this. With your demonstration of the huge difference in outcomes acting now versus later, I can personally justify suspending any other hypothetical task for the sake of saving those kinds of numbers for the Common Pool. I have zero experience in constructing yield bearing mechanisms short of playing with LP farming on my own, and very shortly with Giveth on rinkeby in a little test party just before their token launch. I didn’t understand much if anything then, and only marginally more now, but admittedly haven’t dedicated myself to that explicit task like I would in this instance.

On your second point regarding token utility, I’ve had several ideas for some time now, but lacked the confidence to share them for fear of sounding foolish. The time for being afraid has now passed; perhaps never was. Fear is real, but often invalid. In this instance, I should have been braver despite my fear, and just spoken up. If nothing came of the ideas, fair enough. No worries. But if I had spoken up and we were able to use anything that resulted in any form, more value would have been created versus the zero value preserved saving my ego in the shadows. Sincere apologies for that, and thank you for making this feel safe enough that I could speak on it. I wouldn’t call myself a Token Engineer yet, but am aspiring to be able to justify the moniker someday. I’m very much looking forward to TE Fundamentals.

On your third point regarding limiting proposal amounts, I guess I would just ask why specifically $25K? Is there a good reason for a fixed number, or should this limit be something like a function of their previous burn rate? Perhaps even weighted according to the necessity of the group from a purely survivalist viewpoint? I think the question could possibly begin to force WG stewards to postulate whether their day-to-day operations represent completely necessary functions, or whether they represent building functions that would add future value to the TEC in an idealist sense. At this present moment, it’s important to get everybody to acknowledge survival is what is at stake, and to accept that suspension of certain ideal states, for a time period, might be necessary. Or else all our idealism won’t matter any longer.

In response to @trentmc0 I wanted to take this opportunity to personally thank you for being kind to me one day when I peeked my head into a TEA session months ago, and when I had the good fortune of being tasked with messaging you in a “cold call” dm on Telegram on behalf of the TEC regarding the “Hatcher Outreach.” Both instances were firsts for me. First moments of a TEA session of any sort, and first day even using Telegram. You were kind and encouraging, and I’ll never forget that. Thank you for Token Spice and Ocean Protocol. Each is a wonderful tool for our collectively burgeoning ecosystem. Your time and applied expertise has and will continue to provide value to hundreds/thousands/millions of individual human beings going forward.

With regards to this response, there is a great deal said here with few words. I wish I could channel that kind of efficiency into my communications. :sweat_smile: Maybe I should get back into coding again. :joy: :innocent: I would absolutely concur it’s great to see you posting serious discussion, for the first time, about the most important topic of all. There are so many outstanding human beings on the Trusted Seed’s member list, and while each has their own personal obligations to other communities, of much greater scale no doubt, this community represents that focal, or Schelling, point that game theory predicts. Perhaps this is one of those inevitabilities foretold within “The Strategy of Conflict.” While it is completely understandable that time has not permitted you to share your words with the rest of us aspiring Token Engineers more frequently, we all draw immense benefit from sharing time, space, and ideas with each other. I daresay we all would do better to share and offer more of ourselves with each other, more frequently.

As for the yield bearing strategy and mechanism, awesome. And the simple maxim, also awesome. Only spending what you can earn is a perfectly reasonable and succinct codification of a functionally sustainable strategy. Also, it’s fair. I like fair and sustainable things. Lots. Thanks for keeping that short and to the point. I’ll go ahead and consume yearn.finance this evening and bring back what I learn to Sampo.

This was a wonderful life lesson that you blessed me with, in the space of a forum post. Thank you sir. :yum:

In response to @Letty , I want to express my appreciation for you expressing everything you have with the Omega viewpoint. I have loved the concept of Omega ever sense I read about it on the website in August, the first day that I learned the TEC even existed. The cultivation of self-knowledge and self-care are of the highest magnitude of relevance for each of us individually, and all of collectively, if we are to achieve the ultimate aim of thriving. I am not a steward/WG lead either, and it took a lot of time and quiet effort learning about the culture and structure of the organization to even be able to begin to understand that there might have been certain truths playing out that were less than ideal. That said, the fact that you stuck with it, learned what you did, and were brave enough to elaborate on exactly what it was that was less than ideal, speaks volumes about your perseverance, fortitude and character. Thank you for you.

I was also particularly surprised that a yield farm had not been considered until now. I spoke about this several days ago in another forum post, and it felt like a novel concept here; that felt odd. I agree that while the price has fallen, it has not been a dramatic decline and is in line with expectations per market conditions. If I may, in the second sentence of your first point you reference “burn out rate.” I think you are referring to the burn rate, or just spending rate, that is taking place and if so, then I agree that it can at least be made acceptable again once we begin to understand our rate of income. Everyone is reasonable, and if adjustments need to be made, each can make their own determination whether they can afford to continue to participate. I, for example, live with my mother, who is an exceptionally patient woman. :sweat_smile: :innocent: I don’t have a paying job, but I still do my best to participate and learn simultaneously, in the hopes that I can eventually do something I love to do, and be fortunate enough to be paid something, really anything, for the privilege. That said, not everybody is as fortunate as me with respect to being able to live with their parent. There is also another connotation perceivable from “burn out rate” that I don’t think you were referring to, but your words are particularly serendipitous if not intended, because it brings the concept of “burnout” up at a particularly good moment for this discussion. While there is no permission required to participate in a DAO like the TEC, there is also no practical means of deciding where and when to stop participating, short of our physical bodies beginning to give out. Since I am not a paid full-time contributor that can demonstrate regular income to my family, it is exceedingly difficult for anyone without the guarantee of regular income to justify participation to the outside world, much less our own minds. Tugging at this thread begins to unravel one of the darker truths to these kinds of organizations, or really any org without sustainably fixed salaries. We have been relying on human extractable value. Sweat. Tears. Maybe even blood. We’ve been squeezing time and money out of each other, and while this was likely never the intent of any one individual, it is now, with the benefit of hindsight, somewhat inevitable, just like a moment where a special treasury council would have been required. It could have been, and was, hoped that these issues could be avoided through sheer willpower alone, but that would have required perfect prediction, and flawless execution from day one. Something like divine foresight. I believe in God, but I think divine foresight is a myth, even for the Creator of the complex, adaptive dynamic system we all live in. In a way, that’s what makes it all the more beautiful. What we can do to honor such a lovely world as the one we inhabit is to accept the futility of infallible prediction, and learn from our mistakes. This topic is a great place to begin doing that.

To return to the “burnout” rate, if we acknowledge this is a real phenomenon and not just something I’m expressing alone, then I think we need to re-task some of the already budgeted funds to begin a very human to human survey of everyone who has made even the minimalist effort to participate, and just make sure people are ok, and find out the concerns they might have had. @Juankbell introduced us at Gravity to a wonderful DAO Health Survey that could be incentivized in a way that we begin to care for the “burnouts” and begin to understand what we can improve on. Maybe it is also time to begin discussing our own UBI, but that is for another topic.

As far as going through point by point, I’ll ask your forgiveness for not highlighting each one of your well stated points and offering why I think you are correct on all accounts, but please momentarily accept that I do agree with each of your points regarding the inability to easily identify and describe the value offered by TEC, the unfortunate truth about the lack of internal coordination for funding proposals, the reality of the fragmented TEC, the fact that the story could have been different yet isn’t, or the fact that what is functioning, at least from a certain point of view, is a knowledge of internal operations and subsequent salary distribution machine. Inverse Sampo. Extracting from the decentralized world to feed the core. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I suppose the choice is all of ours whether it’s even worth fixing. For token holders, there’s no question. But for those like me, without being a hatcher or having any income beyond my GIVstream (thank you Giveth team and @Griff ) I have no tokens to preserve. And none thawing. So I’m going to take the rest of this Sunday evening to rest my mind and body a little, before going to learn all I can about yearn.finance, while deciding for myself, contingent upon the receptivity of the other participants here, whether we can truly iterate on TEC towards something capable of facilitating the ability to thrive, or whether we will deceive ourselves into thinking we can solve all the worlds’ problems from our keyboards. I know what I’ve believed up to this very moment, but I’ll have to think and pray on this long and hard tonight. If you are reading this, I appreciate you more than further words can describe. I look forward to engaging with you all again tomorrow. g3n3.

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First, I want to STOMP OUT any notion of losing trust within this community or that if something isn’t done immediately we won’t survive. I don’t believe this is true at all, and its counter-productive to mention it. We must adjust moving at a different pace, and perhaps revisit some of our prior decisions. As @Stewards we should be up front with our community on the current state of things.

Here are my thoughts/suggestions:

1.) The fundamental thesis for the economic design of the TEC is the Augmented Bonding Curve. The purpose of the ABC is to serve as an economic engine that continuously funds our Common Pool and allows us to become a driving force within the field of Token Engineering.

We need to focus on making this work, and that means we should remove all funds from secondary markets immediately. Transaction volume through secondary markets, let alone the Gnosis Chain as a whole is minimal and is not a welcoming place for the arbitrage vision we initially proposed. The combination of large spreads and high entry and exit tributes make it nearly impossible for any arbitrage activities to execute consistently.

As we build utility for the token (which will take time), and transaction volume increases, there will be an incentive for individuals to provide liquidity on secondary markets on their own terms.

This may be a difficult task to accomplish, but I believe it is the best move forward. This would require the LASERTAG wallet to remove the TEC/GIV liquidity AND to back out of our WATER proposal agreement. A very large ask, I know. But as long as the secondary market exists for TEC, the ABC will not be able to accomplish what it was designed for.

That being said, we need to make the ABC more visible not only within our community but with partnering communities as well.

2.) Treasury management is important and yes we should be investing in other assets. Currently, the LASERTAG multisig has 0.8 Eth (not sure when that happened), GIV/TEC LP Tokens and ~21k wxDAI. I would suggest that we exchange our GIV/TEC LP (per the above strategy) into wxDAI, and then split all of our wxDAI into more aggressive investment assets. I would say 20% of this should be converted to GNO and ETH on Gnosis Chain, and 80% to be bridged over to Mainnet where half of the funds are converted to interest-bearing stablecoins and the other half split into aggressive yield farming opportunities and “blue-chip” projects.

These funds will require active management and therefore would require active participants on the LASERTAG multi-sig. I’m not sure if the current members are present enough to manage this. If not, we should look into electing new multi-sig signers for LASERTAG.

3.) Product-Market Fit. This is something we haven’t spent a lot of time evaluating, especially from the perspective of Public Goods. TE Public Goods (in my opinion) right now are in high supply and low demand. This is problematic, because from my perspective, the private industry is doing a good job of producing open-source token engineering, albeit fragmented and containing a large duplication of efforts.

This is because TE is a new industry and there is a lot of capital floating around attempting to capture Legitimacy and therefore users through innovative smart-contract development. There is not a lot of demand outside of the mimicry of fundamental services and project types built for each L1 chain.

If we are to succeed, we need to find out what is not being built yet and fund its development. Not only that, but we need to have the projects that do receive funding believe in what we are trying to accomplish. This is a Very hard thing to do right now, but it does give a moment of reflection on the things that we HAVE funded. Outside of the TE Academy, there is no other proposal that has provided public awareness to the TEC or any hope of creating utility for the TEC token. While I would like to fund the development of any and all TE proposals that are placed in our path, we just can’t at this moment.

My suggestion would be to focus on a single product: in our case, the TE Academy. We should focus on developing this as the ultimate TE public good. I believe if we focus on this, we can drive legitimate utility over time. It is the only thing we have funded that is in low supply and high demand.

4.) Hard times ahead. We have a labor crunch coming, and I hope we have enough dedicated individuals who understand that our long-term goals will require some sacrifice. For those that are dependent on the TEC for compensation, we should have an honest conversation about what we can do for these individuals in the short-term (jobs in other DAOs) while maintaining their trust and intermittent contributions.
The Reward System will continue to place downward pressure on TEC price over time, and we need to prevent a run on the ABC when thawing begins. I believe that investor relations are an extremely important task and I’m happy to see the strides we are making in this area. However, as Stewards we do need to evaluate our role in managing expectations and continually engaging with the members in our Working Groups.

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Hi @natesuits @vasilysumanov @gene and @Letty thanks for your comments, really appreciate your thoughts!

Some notes:
@gene thanks for your thoughts on a treasury committe, to me this is the right direction.

One comment on the survey you’ve set up: Yes. I think we are at a very criticial point for TEC. But no, this does not justify suspending cultural practices like community voting to prioritize survival.
I’ve brought up this discussion, because I think that exactly these cultural practices will carry us through this phase and will help us to find a way out.
That said, I’d love to see two proposals:

  • and updated version of the SAMPO proposal that includes treasury management and a route to create earnings from our treasury
  • a stewards proposal on a new spending policy that applies to all proposals

BTW I still support a funding freeze, because I’m afraid the discussion on priorities will tear us apart, and will distract from the actual task at hand: find sources for funds inflow.

@natesuits thanks for your thoughts on secondary markets. Definitely worth discussing - would be keen to hear more voices from the community!
You say that we don’t see any loss of trust within this community? That’s great. Still, for achieving our goals, we need the trust from outside of this community. And here, the situation might be different.

Why a sense of urgency?
Because with an unchanged spending & earning policy, we’ll loose room for maneuvering week by week.

Treasury today $713K, 10% APY → $71K
Treasury in 6 months, based on the monthly burn rate so far $120K, 10% APY → $12K

And if we “slow” down spending, we might “survive” longer based on the plain numbers of our treasury, yes - but we won’t be attractive for outsiders. Not for new contributors (no interesting roles, initiatives), not for grants proposals (no funds available), not even for existing contributors (other DAOs offer more progress, and more compensation).

That’s why we have to act now.
Based on these actions, imagine us in six months from now: creating earnings, launching new $TEC utility and seeing our Common Pool grow. This would be a success, particularly because we went through challenging times and accepted the challenge, not tried to ignore it.

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This is not accurate, the less money in the common pool the more agreement needs to be to pass something CV itself will act as a curator of what’s being passed and what doesn’t. That being said I personally agree 100% that we should only spend what it’s earned but it’s especially challenging in the Public Good space.

If it doesn’t generate money shouldn’t be funded I normally agree with this sentence, but is not the case here because this is not a company aiming for profits. How much money generates having a fresh air?
The goal of this commons is advancing the TE field, creating safe spaces for tokeneconomics and make all of those replicable. Succeed at our mission doesn’t imply we will generate money oustide the volume from the ABC. Saying that I’m not saying we are doing things right, I would love the TEC funding TE research attached to development so it can proudly show it to the world and then maybe people will want to buy TEC after seeing how important it is.

Regarding the committee (multisig) for treasury management I’m totally against it, remember the not your key’s not your tokens phrase everyone used to say when people had bitcoin on the exchange, well it also apply here. And the problem I’ve personally faced doing treasury management for transparency and gravity those funds are meant to build the projects and specially transparency is only having money for 3 months, so it makes so hard to make any financial decision in a such short period of time where getting the job done and funding contributors are the priority number 1.

Having our treasury on stables, it’s all the opposite of token engineering probably no one of us does with our personal funds, why we do it with our communal funds? We are losing money every year (common pool+reserve) even if we don’t touch the funding pool.

We have an Agent that is not being used and we also said at some point the money from LASERTAG was ment to go back to the common pool and is not happening i would love to use this discussion to send Lasertag funds+money from the common pool to the Agent (controlled by token holders) and play the treasury game there. Committee= Government and we don’t want that, we want the power in our hands not someone else. How much money from the common pool we should use for treasury management as a first step searching for a solution?. What honestly would be awesome is having devs working on how decentralizes the treasury management on the commons so we could play with our whole treasury in a decentralize way (this would advance TE and it be nice to fund something like that IMO)

Regarding the secondary market @natesuits I think we clearly decided a route with our params I think go back have more cons than pros I really like just the opposite work so hard so the liquidity on secondary markets it’s so good that we don’t need to use the bonding curve. And we could implement the idea from @Griff and @JeffEmmett that the bonding curve would be only used to mint and burn tokens by the commons and all this profits going directly to the common pool.

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I will amend the proposal, @akrtws.

I’m adding treasury management to tomorrow’s Sampo call. What I’m thinking right now is having a part-time treasury coordination lead to drive this effort. This will add to the proposal costs, but it’s clear there’s energy here and it will more than pay for itself. The first step will be figuring out how we modify the parameters on conviction voting to free up enough funds from the common pool to generate meaningful yield. From there, it will be more about risk-reward policies and the actual management of the fund. Nailing these details will be the purpose of this part of the call.

I will mention this in the Sampo channel. If anyone is interested, please connect there. I also recommend you attend tomorrow’s call if you can.

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I would like to reinforce this part of Angela’s message above:

  1. As part of the advice process, I’m going to modify this proposal to incorporate the feedback on the need to focus on fund management. I hope to have that tomorrow. It will not be a recommendation on which course to take, but instead work items related to coming up with an optimal strategy here – and then executing it. Whatever that strategy is will go through the advice process and we will make room for discussions on that there. I promise.

  2. I’m asking that we set aside difficult conversations about spending policy, as I believe this is a bigger stewardship and governance question that falls outside of the full control of Sampo. Sampo will work with Transparency to help get the info we need to make those decisions, but there seem to be some legitimate differences of opinion here. Maybe resolving these will be quick, but if not, it’s not a good idea to hold off on generating income while this gets worked out. I will work with @Tamara and the other stewards to see if we can figure out the best process here.

We have to get moving on the work of generating income ASAP.

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Hi @ZeptimusQ thanks for your comments.
You are raising a point that really matters to me:

That being said I personally agree 100% that we should only spend what it’s earned but it’s especially challenging in the Public Good space.

If it doesn’t generate money shouldn’t be funded I normally agree with this sentence, but is not the case here because this is not a company aiming for profits. How much money generates having a fresh air?

It’s a misunderstanding that it’s kind of a natural law that Public Goods can’t earn.
TE Academy was meant to be public goods from day 1. We started with course fees and have been able to reduce them to zero for students - and still create revenues that allow us to further extend our program. It’s doable!
Happy to share what we’ve learned BTW to anyone interested.

If it doesn’t generate money shouldn’t be funded

That’s not what I suggest with “only spend what you earn”. It’s about the amount, only spend the amount you earn. I don’t say that activities that don’t produce earnings should not be funded. Not at all.
All our MVPs at TE Academy don’t create revenues in the first place. But we think they are worth investing in - either because they are important for our community, or we trust they’ll be sources of revenue in the future. That’s normal.
But to be able to fund these non-earning activities, we have to be even more ambitious with those who do. Because they have to cover both, fund themselves and those activities who don’t.

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@akrtws

I completely agree. However, I think that in the tokenized public goods space, it’s very difficult to actually “Earn” anything. We can produce Education as a public good for example, but that does not guarantee the ability to generate revenue because we don’t own the TE Academy or have rights to the revenue that is generated.

The only way we can generate funds for the Common Pool is through a projects willing participation in our economy and use of the TEC token. For the most part, most projects that will seek funding from us are either already tokenized or will be tokenized in the future…in which case, they will prioritize seeking utility for their token and not ours.

There is a narrative here that I think is extremely important to follow, and it raises much larger questions about our efforts in this space. If we use the TE Academy for example, who holds the rights to decide what level of participation the TE Academy has within the TEC economy? Who can enter into agreements? What incentives exist that maintain this alignment? This applies to all projects that we choose to fund.

I believe we should pause funding, and really take a look at how we can make this economic system work.

My belief is that we should use our remaining funds to really explore how to integrate the TEC economy within a Public Goods project (the TE Academy), and to reapply the efforts of our current WGs toward those ends until we become sustainable.

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Is there an hourly rate for Stewards, Organizers, and Fundraisers?

OK by division I come to $21 / hour for each position.

Why $21 / hour?

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Good question. I took this from the Communitas proposal after talking with Tam about this number being an informal standard that many working groups were working with. We might want to look at these assumptions in the future to see if they are having any unintended consequences.

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The Sampo working group met yesterday to discuss the inclusion of treasury management and the proposal has been updated to include this recommendation from the advice process. As a result, the proposal has changed from a total request 22,154 xDAI to 24,424 xDAI.

I will soon post this to conviction voting. Thank you, everyone, for your engagement on this important next phase of our work!

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