A Retrospective on EthCC

Note: I encourage others who were in Paris to post their own reflections below so that we have a record of key takeaways and learnings from our time there (such as @Viriya @0xZakk @alexalombardo @meglister @kyle @azeem @carlosjmelgar and any others on the core team or in the community such as grantees, sponsors, attendees, etc.).


Below are notes of thoughts/reflections from my time spent in Paris. The intention of this post is multifold:
  1. To share learnings with the broader community
  2. To rally my fellow contributors to see the value in continuing to attend IRL events
  3. As a self-reflection in hopes of continuing to host/plan future events that meet organizational goals

All of the notes below are from the perspective of CoachJ as:

  • A marketer of our products
  • An ambassador of our brand
  • A planner of events (logistics)

I’ve kept this all in point form to make reading as easy and concise as possible.

Funding the Commons

Key takeaways:

  • Having a booth at the right events is one of the best ways for us to promote our products
  • Clear “So what/follow-up” needs to be ready at the booth for any conversation (TG groups for our products, link to grantee portal and program details, etc.)

Full notes:

  • Our most successful part of being in Paris - talking to “our people” and exposing them to our new initiatives
  • Having a booth is a key way to get exposure vs. simply being present at an event
  • Combined with speaker slots, powerful combo
  • We had a good booth setup, one of the challenges was finding a balance for manning the booths vs. being in convo with attendees vs. going to talks
  • No merch was given away, only stickers - still a big hit
  • My POV is that merch is meant to reward our community members and biggest fans, many folks at conferences simply collect things because they’re free
  • Ex of above: we had 3 print outs of each of our 1-pagers - within 15 mins 2 of 3 copies were taken, not necessarily by folks interested in the products, but simply taking them because they were takeaways
  • Folks were looking for a “What’s next” at the booth - would be great to have a QR code to a TG group (or something like this) that they can scan to continue the convo
  • We mostly featured our products, but a number of folks approached us interested in learning more about applying as a grantee to the program
  • It was important to have knowledge experts present to answer some questions - as a marketer, I felt unprepared to engage in more technical questions/conversations
  • I wonder if we could have gotten the same sponsorship package for less $ - the most important thing was that we had some sort of presence

Schelling Point Sessions

Key takeaways

  • Unconference style wins over talks, people are looking for meaningful interactions and connections above all
  • Timing of events is still a mystery - how do we get folks to show up (on time) when the event starts?
  • Events like these are beloved by attendees and highly valued by orgs (they are willing to pay to have a seat at the table) - how do we leverage our brand equity to break even/make money on these events?
  • Our biggest challenge will continue to be measuring ROI on these events

Full Notes:

  • Cost was around $30k for Opex and $50k including wages/time spent
  • Sponsorships total was $30k raised
  • All in all, strong brand activation with very positive associations to Gitcoin
  • Morning events started a bit too early (9:30am) - most people arrived at around 11am - I’m curious if starting later = more people showing up, or people just showing up later (folks were also showing up at 6pm for 5-7pm evening events)
  • RSVPs were 3-4x how many people showed up - could be because of distance (20 mins from venue) or FOMO of other EthCC events
  • Folks are often cruising through events looking for where “the party is at” for evening events
  • Moving forward, I would focus less on evening events, more of day-time convos - evening events are also where most of the $ expenses come from
  • Best convos were facilitated chats, least engaging were presentations w/ Q&A
  • Sponsors were generally thrilled with how things went - plug and play situation for them was very much appreciated and all have expressed interest in working with us again
  • The house worked well as a Schelling Point for regens, with people dropping in and out all day - this made for a very casual vibe where everyone could enjoy themselves and connect
  • Didn’t focus on our products enough (will do this next time)
  • Lots of opportunities to experiment with this format, including GTC staking, planning events on behalf of sponsors “renting out” a spot in the program

Final notes

  • Still wondering how to justify ROI of these events
  • Most events across the board (beyond ours) were oversubscribed and under attended (it wasn’t just us)
  • It’ll be good to get clear on our objectives - letting our existing audience know about our new products OR expand to new audiences OR something else - doing a “yes, and” will dilute our attention/the power of our messaging
  • Our best value imo is booth + speaker slot at targeted conferences, paying as little $ as possible for as much exposure as possible
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Thanks for spearheading this @CoachJonathan

Here are most of my thoughts coming out of Paris. I’m really hoping the people tagged read these in addition to @Sov @benwest @connor @nategosselin

FTC, Cult Marketing & market expansion

  • I think it was a really good idea to sponsor FTC. I have heard from folks on the core team that we keep talking to the same people but our biggest fans are still having trouble understanding what we’re doing.
  • We haven’t very clearly articulated nor communicated why and how all of the pieces fit together.
  • FTC was our chance to showcase our work further and the excitement around what we’re creating was palpable. Having a booth at the conference was a huge win – the booth was almost always surrounded by curious attendees. As someone who isn’t constantly talking to potential users, MMM’s work in clearly articulating the value propositions for each of the products and seeing them resonate was exciting to see in action. I can’t wait to partner with BD & DevRel to calculate the ROI of this activation over time – I hope we can create a tag in SimpleCRM to document first contact in the pipeline.
  • Opportunities:
    • Understand the ROI of FTC Paris activation. We had a booth, 1 mainstage talk (well attended), 1 panel appearance and 1 workshop (which was a great presentation but not very many other people attended)
    • Go deep instead of wide with our market expansion: I have a hunch that our future expansion in the short term should be in new demographic markets (like regen communities of APAC or Africa as an example) vs. new psychographic markets (like DeFi or web 2.5) – all of the ppl and communities inside our gravitational pull or just beyond it should know who we are and the impact we’re trying to make. As a marketing lead, I would like to receive more information on blockers for adoption so we can speak directly to those pain points and build out additional support materials for our users (like our work on the Manager Toolkit). We have also discussed doing a TAM analysis and I think it would help to address TAM of these different verticals to sanity check this hunch.
    • Continue to position Gitcoin as a tech for good org: I’m weary of trying to shift public opinion of Gitcoin as a “tech for good” org to one that stewards a neutral protocol. I feel strongly that we should be continuing to position ourselves as a tech for good org. This direction feels most directly linked to our history, is values-aligned with the core team (+ our community) but also because having a resonant “why” is essential as we wade through the bear. This is the time to double-down on our “cult”, bring our friends in and co-create together in anticipation of the next bull. It feels like there is momentum here and I think it is unwise to abandon our roots.

Reception for Allo & Grants Stack

  • Allo was received incredibly well and the regen community is very excited about its possibilities. About 75% of the content in Juan Benet’s talk at FTC about the future of funding PG can and will be made possible by Allo (will link the talk here when made available). It’s very exciting to see.

  • One thing I noted to Zakk was that there’s an opportunity and need to communicate the vision of Allo v2 internally. We need to find ways to articulate what we’re doing much more clearly and on an on-going basis.

  • Other reflections on Allo:

    • We need more resourcing for DevRel for Allo – the current organizational structure isn’t supporting our needs in this area. I was going to make some suggestions here on how we might do that but I think we should have a conversation around that come the next budget cycle.
  • Grants Stack was also received well. I think Meg’s presentation at FTC (will link when available) was very powerful and answered a set of specific questions that we often get asked, all in the realm of: “What type of grants program is appropriate for my stage of growth?”

    • The marketing team will be following up with this narrative and building out content around it for Grants Stack’s Manager Toolkit
    • I do worry about Grants Stack adoption a little bit. I know that the team is juggling a wild amount of priorities and competing needs. Between UX upgrades, an incoming migration to Allo v2 and work on deploying on PGN (and everything in between), it feels like GS is a bit at risk as anyone can build another grants platform UI for Allo if they so desire. I don’t know if this point is helpful and I’m not exactly sure how to approach this but I think it’s worth having a conversation about if we’re going to rely on GS as a main source of revenue for the DAO.

Grants Program & Grantee User Journey

  • What makes our QF program different is our grantee community: I spoke to many grantees over the course of the week and a few of them had also participated in other QF rounds beyond Gitcoin. The thing they said that put Gitcoin on top was the “instant community” they felt and benefitted from during their rounds. Specific mentions of the Grantee Twitter Spaces and other calls to have them feeling supported and also help them raise money are extremely beneficial. I don’t think this is news to the Grants Ops team but wanted to state it here for further reflection by the DAO
  • On-going participation creates more success: Another reflection that was shared by grantees who participated in multiple rounds was the more a grantee participates in the program & reports impact, the more value it provides over time – we should be focusing on depth instead of breadth with the program. How can we support and incentivize grantees to return & report on impact to show their donors that they have momentum? How can we talk about this and educate grantees about the journey they are on?
  • Difficulties w/ Gitcoin Grants: Most had an incredible time with Gitcoin Grants but some noted that QF can feel like a popularity contest (again, I don’t think this is surprising to hear). Some also noted that the cadence of the program feels burdensome – it takes a lot of prep to apply and participate in a program and some grantees feel overwhelmed by the process.
  • Opportunities for us to reflect on: support grantees with best practices on community engagement and impact reporting as marketing best practices. Educate more on the grantee journey. Create opportunities to easily opt out and then re-opt in when desired.

Purpose of the program:

  • Gitcoin Grants program is not the typical use case for Grants Stack: For me personally, the purpose of Gitcoin Grants is becoming clearer and clearer every day. GG is not a model for any other organizations’ grant program. We fund the Ethereum ecosystem. We help identify, fund and signal new and emerging projects and verticals in our space. We champion key infra, public goods and tech for good projects. This is not how our users are using the platform.
  • Contrarily, typical program managers of Grants Stack are:
    • identifying specific areas of growth in their ecosystem and rewarding builders who they feel can meet those needs
    • retroactively rewarding builders who have added value to their ecosystem (similar to the Gitcoin Citizens Round (will link case study when ready))
    • More focused in their investment in (and ROI of) their grants programs
    • In fact, I think one of the most interesting pieces of public perception that is working against us is that a program manager needs hundreds of thousands of dollars to allocate in their grants program (like Gitcoin Grants) in order for it to make sense. The opposite is actually true and we need to create and communicate more use cases to show how QF can actually multiply a small amount of matching funds (like in the Gitcoin Citizen’s Round use case)
  • This leads me to conclude that, at least in its current state, GG is actually a community/brand activation that creates vibes and future opportunities (although those opportunities are mostly undefined). I don’t see a problem with the program being a brand activation (in fact, I think the freeflow nature of it is kind of beautiful) and I can see how the grants program COULD create a flywheel for our products if the participants have an incredible time and we educate them more about Gitcoin’s product throughout the process.
  • I think we could more intentionally design the program from that perspective if we wanted GG to link more clearly to organization outcomes. Just wanted to state my observations here for those who haven’t been thinking about GG in this way.

Citizen’s Round & RPGF narrative

  • I had an opportunity to speak to Owocki to gain some more insight on emergent/overarching narratives that are currently dominating the space. We got to talking about Vitalik’s interest in RPGF.
  • One thing I pointed out is that QF is actually one of the most interesting use cases for RPGF and that the success of the Citizen’s Round very much demonstrates this.
  • With a $20k matching pool, Gitcoin Citizens 4x’d our available funds with the Citizen’s Round having distributed over $80k to retroactively reward contributors who had supported the Gitcoin Beta Round.
  • I can’t wait to experiment with the Citizen Rounds more, like Vitalik, I’ve been bullish on retroactive funding for Gitcoin community members for quite some time and am happy that we not only have the tech to make it truly crowdsourced but also have access to tech that makes the execution of this much much easier than before.

Schelling Point Successes & Opportunities

  • I think @CoachJonathan already articulated a lot of what I would say about SP wrt ROI and wanting to more clearly understand the nuances there.
  • Although the events did very well (as in, attendance was solid every day) and EVERYONE who attended had an incredible time, guest list attrition was very very high. I wonder if this is because this event series was hosted at EthCC (a conference with over 200 side events) or because of general fomo that might happen at any conference.
    • Would really like to experiment with GTC staking and/or ticket sales to encourage attendance. This is mostly so we know how to resource food and drink orders/reduce waste.
  • The format was beloved. Everyone I spoke to said that these were the kinds of events that are missing lately. Most people wanted to chat but I think the small intimate sessions paired with networking time was a huge hit.
  • I loved having access to a house where we could interview grantees, community members and our product folks IRL. We hired a videographer for a few days and we now have a library of professional-looking content with actual faces that we can use for promotional and storytelling purposes.
  • I’d like SP to experiment with being more closely linked to our products in some way. I’m not sure what this looks like but I think it would be neat to explore.
  • The most engaging conversations I attended were ones that were facilitated sessions vs. presentations of ppl’s tech. I don’t want demos, I want to talk about what your demo enables IRL.
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great post, really appreciate you both sharing your insights!

i think helping to educate one another on whats going on in the ecosystem is a public good :slight_smile: to put my money (errr ETH) where my mouth is, here is my own ethcc wrap up post/notes: https://twitter.com/owocki/status/1682327187595091971


retroactive public goods funding is cool! one thing i’d note here is that this is a multi-vector design space.

  • retroactive vs proactive
  • more democratic vs more exclusive (technocratic, token-holder-based, or other filters)
  • there are probably more vectors (size of round, is it a keynesian beauty contest or not etc) but simplicity i will not include them.

this is kind of how I see the design space above, mapped out visually (bolded items are things that exist now, italics could exist one day)

since Allo Protocol’s goal is to cover the design space of all types of capital allocation (or, as we put here, all coordination mechanisms), I’m excited for Allo v2 and the ability to build things in multiple pockets of the capital allocation design space.

i’m mindful that these allocation mechanisms are complementary to one another (not competitive), and in the future, DAOs will likely have multiple capital allocation mechanisms that each follow the unix philosophy of “do one thing and do it well, and play nice with others”.

one question that comes to mind is how to prioritize the build out of the modules, eg… does the dao prioritize by

  1. hottest mechanisms
  2. biggest market needs
  3. defer to community + let them fork + PR back any mechanism they are excited about?
  4. something else?

and is the exploration of the design space of modules going to be curated by gitcoin or permissionless? or perhaps in between where there is some guidance issued every quarter by Gitcoin + devreal outeach, but the community can traverse the design space however they want?

and should/will we have ways of categorizing the modules for easy findability (might matter at scale for dev experience, but not initially), eg tagging some of them as “audited” or “used by gitcoin core”, etc?

allo v2 hasnt even launched, so i’m getting way ahead of myself. but i’m excite to think out loud about this + have a dialogue with whomever is thinking ahead too.

my 002 wei.

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Thanks for the writeup and reflection, @CoachJonathan and @Viriya ! I also felt like Funding the Commons and Schelling Point were high-ROI events and would love for future SPs to be more directly linked to products – without sacrificing the format and space that made them so wonderful!

On more product-specific stuff…

Appreciate you pointing this out and I agree that we’re not staffed or positioned well to execute on our ambitions currently – we are chasing some ambitious goals on self-serve and mechanism expansion while supporting internal efforts (eg GG program) and the effort associated with Allo v2. I’d argue that the biggest risk is our own miss on execution of the opportunity vs a competitor building on top of Allo to steal our lunch – while this could/will certainly happen, Grants Stack is a pretty massive product that would take time/effort to replicate. (FWIW, anyone could fork Allo, too!) Am hoping to discuss in S19 planning!

Totally agree with this! It’s a magical part of our organization and also a different user base than the self-serve audience we’re building for – I think that we should address by relying less on internal feedback to drive product and better balancing GG needs vs self-serve.

Also very excited about this and would love to build out better support in GS. :slight_smile:

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Thank you everyone for sharing this information. It will be interesting to see how proactive funding can be focused on certain regions that require a kickstart in order for them to get going.

I agree with @Viriya:

Go deep instead of wide with our market expansion: I have a hunch that our future expansion in the short term should be in new demographic markets (like regen communities of APAC or Africa as an example)

I believe this will be the next bounce of the ball and where we onboard the next 1 billion users. Would add LATAM in the mix (of course I am biased on this :star_struck:).

Would also like to understand how we can support with DEVREL activity in the region, since we are doing this for other L1 and L2 protocols.

Looking forward to help and support through the Meta Pool DAO to increase participation and awareness in Latin America, open to have this discussion at ETH Argentina.

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since once of the superpowers of allo v2 is that it supports many different types of strategies, acqueducts, and registries, which can be composed to create different allocation protocols… i wonder if the mechanism expansion problem is only going to get worse. and get worse exponentially since the composition enables exponentially more allocation protocols.

one thing we are trying at supermodular is building 1 mechanism per team at a time + coupling the people building the smart contracts (allo forks) with those who are building the web ui (grants stack forks) in the same team. having both skills in the same team + having that team focused on & accountable for the success of the mechanism in market end to end allows us to iterate in market faster.

i might be over-indexing on this point, but once allo v2 architecture is done, i wonder if having teams (pods? matrix structure? ) focused on

  1. GG program
  2. self serve
  3. mechanism A
  4. mechanism B

with end to end accountability to their success in market might be a more scalable composition.

another thing that we’ve flirted with in some of the allo v2 architecture discussions is enabling grants stack UI boilerplate to be auto-generated by new allo v2 strategies, as soon as the smart contracts as written. this is something scaffold-eth does really well, and it enables developers to iterate quickly in a new design space when writing new smart contracts (quicker execution = less resource contention across teams).

or perhaps the issue is at a prioritization layer. which mechanisms does gitcoin want to build, vs kick out to the community? is it more imoportant to go deep and be greatly successful on QF? or be successful on the next 3 highest priority mechanisms?

are mechanism prioritized by

  1. hottest mechanisms
  2. biggest market needs
  3. defer to community + let them fork + PR back any mechanism they are excited about?
  4. something else?

and is the exploration of the design space of modules going to be curated by gitcoin or permissionless? (i know supermodular would love to take some of the builds, and id bet with the right architecture + devrel strategy others would see the potential as well!)

i think these are healthy tensions. all consider feedback, i have limited information, my 002 wei.

3 Likes

We’re all super excited for allo v2 :star_struck:

Thanks for sharing this, great to learn from your experience! I’m a big fan of fully empowered/autonomous teams, maybe that’s an experiment for us down the road…

I know the grants stack + allo teams are super excited about this idea too! Not a dev so won’t comment on specific tech, but as a PM the sound of this (have templates to get a new mechanism up and running quickly) sounds pretty great.

I won’t speak for @0xZakk + @nategosselin on this, but I know grants stack is excited to be one of lots of apps running on Allo! For Grants Stack, I see our advantage as being the easiest-to-use grants program management tool – which likely means being picky about the mechanisms we support and how they’re deployed.

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Hey all, really appreciating this feedback here and encourage you to fill out this survey for Schelling Point here: https://forms.gle/WMyfEuiW2yW7wg7N7

I wasnt at FTC but i think the point @CoachJonathan made about the “so what’s next” is CRITICAL and I’m surprised we weren’t ready with a QR code to a TG group so let’s not make that mistake again. +1 to @Viriya comment about CRM as well. How can marketing support the Product/DevRel/BD teams to make this as easy as possible?

In terms of other events, I think we need to also divide and conquer satellite events. Autonomous Ecologies, DAOist, Celo, and so many others also had side events I wish we had a bigger presence at. I’d love for us as a DAO to look at conference cals/event lineup a week out and game plan it together (for those attending) so we can cover as much turf as possible.

@CoachJonathan with regard to your point about not being able to answer technical questions - think that is totally ok. “I don’t have the answer to that, but I’ll connect you with the person that does” is effective - again, as long as we game plan it out in advance.

Onto Schelling Point.

In general feedback about this format has been overwhelmingly positive.

A reminder that the intention of the Schelling Point Sessions was intimate, participatory conversation. i dont think we needed evening events - we created those as programming for Gitcoiners specifically and as a value add to sponsors, but it ended up being bulk of our costs and not much measurable ROI so think its safe to cut especially since they werent even part of the original vision.

I think we should be striving to get these costs as LOW as possible. People dont even care about things like open bars, passed hors d’oeuvres etc. They want to connect with each other in a laid back environment. Thinking we try to strive for donated space, minimal catering, local entertainment (or even tap our friends - multiple people on day 2 told me theyd DJ)

I also think that the facilitators/partners that really embraced the participation elements were the ones that thrived, so moving forward i think it’s important we stress this as a key part of the format to ensure expectations of both partner/facilitators and attendees are met.

In terms of linking SP back to our products, want to remind people that this event was meant to really tie back to Allo but that as it came closer it became clear v2 would not be ready, so we pulled back on integrating Allo too much into the programming. Prior to that, we had said Passport was definitively not a priority and opted out of planning programming around it so we could focus on Allo - then we never really adjusted. Definitely would intend to embed our products into the programming move moving forward, and I think all of our products especially could have been played up more on Day 1 (about Funding/Security), but since that was the first day of EthCC it was a big day for our team to be on the ground there. All of this said, these were all designed for maximum participation and anyone at the house who worked at Gitcoin had the chance to integrate product shouts into the discussion - wish I had heard more of that, from more of us, but i think there was still a ton of value that came out of getting to have discussions at the house with attendees about the products.

Other learnings re: SP:

  • great tool for capturing content. next time we definitely need someone capturing more live in the sessions
  • very effective to have a content curation partner (Broadcast and Celo really embraced it and help bring some amazing facilitators to the table, plus their people showed up in droves; did not really have this from Drips/Salus/GoPlus), plus is took some of the load off of our team
  • there is huge potential for SP to live on between events and there was interest from the community to help drive that
  • huge potential for us to not have to fund SP at all - and for it to raise its own treasury potentially via a future Gitcoin Grants round
  • while SP is still part of Gitcoin, would love to see our community propose/vote on topics for the next round of sessions
  • totally unphased by attrition/way higher RSVP; in my experience for free events you can expect about 20% to attend; plus we were conservative in our attendee acceptance up until the day of which made it difficult for people to plan into their days
  • a lot of NEW attendees; tbh not too many from the SP Telegram group - curious to see if we can reactivate them/what the purpose of that group will become
  • several people mentioned still wanting a SP conference, but liking both formats and liking the fact that we can pop up sessions all over the world, keeping the community more closely linked in between the bigger events

More general feedback/takeaways from EthCC.

Maybe I have a very specific twitter bubble but one of the key takeaways I’m seeing a lot of people having is the need for us to focus on the app layer more - the UX/UI and the language that we use to make these tools more accessible. To that effect I’d love to see us reprioritize the UX audits we were planning

I talked with a lot of other DAO leaders who are hungry for more shared research/knowledge about what’s working/what’s not in terms of process and approach to everything from product development to design to marketing. I’d love for us to form some cross-DAO guilds or something. Or if this knowledge is being shared peer to peer, for it to be captured somewhere publicly.

In terms of other opportunities, I’m not sure I agree on the going narrower/deeper point but it depends on which niches we’re talking about. I think the real key is identifying our key targets and going after them with intentionality - and then like you said, if there is a blocker, identifying it and addressing it.

Yes, Gitcoin is good tech. But our tools connect people with money. It’s such a universal value proposition. I’m not saying we go that broad I’m saying we just speak directly to more specific niches, but we just prioritize which ones. I’m not fully sold on doubling down on just regen - unless when we look at our current pipeline of interested partners it already is mostly regen groups in which case that would make sense (but looking at our products, Passport definitely doesnt feel like it fits there, and Allo we’ve said from the beginning we want a wide variety of groups building on it)

Overall, such positive energy last week and excited to build on this momentum!

4 Likes

oh ok. i wonder if this leaves space for others to build a tool that is a little more experimental and less picky. eg if someone develops a new strategy on Allo, then someone would build support for it into a Grants Stack fork or a completely different tool.

the relationship between this experimental tool and Grants Stack would perhaps be similar to the relationship between Firefox Nightly (experimental version of Firefox) and Firefox (stable version of Firefox).

1 Like

1- totally! there’s room for lots of different types of tools, and i really like the experimental / stable version framing

2- as always, I could be wrong :slight_smile: we’ll test + learn!

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Thank you @CoachJonathan and @Viriya for kicking this off! It’s so helpful to hear your takeaways from the conference.

I also love the product discussion happening with @meglister and @owocki (cc-ing in @0xZakk and @thelostone-mc for visibility too). FWIW I agree with Meg that there’s room for lots of different types of tools, and I like the Supermodular approach of coupling mechanism builds with the webUI. I think those ideas mesh with what we’ve seen in market, where there’s a lot of customer desire for better workflow management tools on top of the mechanisms — @alexalombardo said it well:

Maybe I have a very specific twitter bubble but one of the key takeaways I’m seeing a lot of people having is the need for us to focus on the app layer more - the UX/UI and the language that we use to make these tools more accessible.

It feels like there’s a big opportunity for teams to build products that differentiate by specializing in a specific mechanism (or set of mechanisms) and providing the best workflow management tools on top of it.

Couple of thoughts from an Allo perspective:

which mechanisms does gitcoin want to build, vs kick out to the community? is it more imoportant to go deep and be greatly successful on QF? or be successful on the next 3 highest priority mechanisms?

  • This is only one part of “Gitcoin” in this sense, but the Allo team doesn’t want to be the gate on new mechanism development. We’ve built an initial library, but I see our responsibility leaning more towards providing software packages that make it really easy for teams to write their own strategies. From writing this initial batch we’ve seen a lot of common subcomponents (check out our specs README to see what I mean) and are going to experiment with pulling those out into software modules, so that it becomes simple to spin up customized strategies.

another thing that we’ve flirted with in some of the allo v2 architecture discussions is enabling grants stack UI boilerplate to be auto-generated by new allo v2 strategies, as soon as the smart contracts as written.

  • I could see that boilerplate/simple UI being an etherscan-style interface that the Allo team eventually builds and maintains, but more as an experimentation tool for builders. My strong hunch is that end users will want more comprehensive UIs and (like I mentioned above) products will differentiate on their workflow management tools.

All of these are just opinions, but I’m excited to figure these spaces out together!

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Thanks for kickstarting the discussion on the takeaways from the crazy EthCC week! I had a really good time at these events and greatly appreciate all the effort that went into this. Here are some of my thoughts, penned entirely in the spirit of constructive feedback;

  1. I applied for 3 days (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) of schelling point but was only approved for the 3rd day. My invitations for Day 1 and 2 were left pending (screenshot below) so I did not attend on those days.

Screenshot 2023-07-28 at 2.53.38 PM

When i broached this with @CoachJonathan he said he was only responsible for accepting invites on day 3, so maybe the teams in charge of days 1 and 2 forgot to approve/reject registrants in time?

  1. On Day 3 of Schelling point, i attended the 2 morning discussions. In both cases, it felt like there was a central project or person ‘presenting’ (Phil Fogel from Flowcarbon and the Regens Unite team) and the rest of us were having an interactive discussion about the issues their organization is facing.

I’m not sure how these sessions can be made more intentional, but my initial impression was we would talk about larger themes and not specific projects.

  1. One approach i have seen work well in the Plurality conference is quadratic voting by attendees to fund collaborations born from the conference or projects that have left an impression on them.

It allows the conference to continue even after the plenary is over, through updates from the teams that won money on the progress they are making to fulfill the goals of the group. It also gives a sense of urgency and direction during the conference to ally with people caring about the same issue as you.

  1. Three key takeaways for thinking around our presence at big events;
  • a booth or co-locating with conferences is high ROI as we reach people outside our target group. Not just at pre events of EthCC that are related to our mission (like FTC) but also at post EthCC events like modular summit (where we did not have a booth but would have benefited from having one)

  • Having our own event is justified if its billed as a ‘team retreat with allies’ or when there are sponsors; otherwise, it ties us up from attending the other main events and attracting outsiders to our cause.

  • If we do have our own side event coinciding with a main event, it should be at a walking distance to enable porous movements of people. If we want to stay true to the intention of small but focused groups (no porosity) having it after the main event concludes (as a post ethcc event) is better than coinciding with it. My read is that in the 1st few days of a big conference people want velocity (lots of interactions) while by the end they are fatigued and prefer closer knit, deeper discussions.

  1. What i really liked is how i could strike up a conversation with anyone at FTC or SP and find that our values were aligned and professional interests in the same area. It was nice getting to know the team members and faces behind the accounts, we also brainstormed some pretty good ideas together!

Better integration of Twitter comms could have helped - growing our account following at these events is a measurable and useful ROI. At the very least, people walking up to the booth should be told to follow Gitcoin on twitter, we could even live tweet from the gitcoin account on the types of people walking up to us, plus have a screen behind us showing tweets from the gitcoin account about the event.

Overall, I had a really fun time and I’m excited to see what comes next! I’m planning to be there at DevConnect in Istanbul later this year and happy to help out with SP or Gitcoin events there.

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Hey Devansh! Thanks for this thoughtful reply. Just wanted to address some of your specific points about Schelling Point Sessions.

First, regarding your RSVPs. Day 1 was definitely a learning experience for us - we were way oversubscribed and we were concerned with capacity, so there were many people who didn’t make it off the list, unfortunately. BUT we learned, and adjusted for day 3. Day 2 RSVPs were run by the Broadcast team, though, and I know they were also oversubscribed. Unfortunately a lot of people were left pending. The more of these we do, the better we’ll get with managing.

To address this - yes, the intention was for the sessions to be interactive and facilitated. This format came more naturally to some more than others. For future sessions, we are going to have prep calls to run through prompts and pointers to ensure these feel more participatory moving forward.

With regard to having the sessions continue after the event, we definitely want to encourage this which is why we created the Schelling Point Forum, here: https://forum.schellingpoint.gitcoin.co/

And we can certainly consider the idea of creating a mechanism for funding collaborations. I’d be curious to understand what exactly gets funded from Plurality, an idea? Where and when does the vote live? Would love to review and consider how we could incorporate.

Worth noting that the intent of the sessions is not a conference; these are meant to be lightweight and able to be spun up easily so what you mention might be a better fit for the larger format of Schelling Point.

That said, on the whole, we’ve found that these conference “communities” dont really live on between events; people enjoy coming together for the experience and then if they do so happen to collaborate it’s not necessarily in the context of the conference but outside of it.

We always want to give the option, though, which is why we created the forum and have a Telegram.

The sessions are also an initial way to try to create additional SP touchpoints and formats throughout the year and we definitely want to continue building on this.

With regard to the location, yep, we know it could have been closer, but were looking for a house space (tough to find in central Paris!) and had a specific budget plus need for a large capacity, so options were limited. There is something special about being in a house or loft space and we want to cultivate that moving forward but agree that we still need to prioritize convenience.

I’ll be sharing another update on SP in this post: [Discussion & Feedback Request]: Future of Schelling Point and would love your thoughts on the latest updates!

Thanks Alexa for the thoughtful response !

The invite situation is a tricky one to navigate. From an attendee standpoint, i usually sign up to all events and decide which one to go based on where I’ve been accepted. Do you have any ratios that might be useful for future events, like if 100 people sign up you can expect attendance from 20?

Plurality used the plural app developed by Radical Exchange to give every conference attendee 100 votes to allocate among different projects. You can see the results of the event I mentioned here, along with a snap of the final results

You raise a valid point on letting collaborations happen organically and not within the aegis of SP !

One output from any SP session can be 2-3 questions that all participants indicated they want more research on. On the final day we can have a session for people/teams to pitch for funding allocated via quadratic voting from session attendees to fund exploration of these questions, with some discrete output at the end like a post on Schelling Point forum

I’d love to work on such pointers and test them (maybe at SP Berlin?). Interactive sessions are quite a challenge, I haven’t found any single method that makes it worthwhile to all attendees while still ensuring equitable participation from all.

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