[S14 Proposal - AMENDED] Moonshot Collective Budget Request

This is a renewal proposal for the Moonshot Collective Workstream requesting budgetary funds for Season 14 (1 May 2022 through 31 July 2022).

This proposal is now live on Snapshot for voting.

TL;DR

We’re entering season 14 as a reorganized collective. Our focus is going to reside in three main buckets this season; rapidly prototyping and experimenting within key themes to identify viable product concepts and solutions that add value to GItcoinDAO, organizing ourselves to become the trusted source of software development for GitcoinDAO, and better engaging the Moonshot community. We are asking for $450,254 USD worth of GTC.

Season 13 Recap

Positive progress on initiatives from Season 13, details in the April workstream accountability report.

Key highlights & learnings:

Kevin Owocki handed over workstream leadership to @lthrift . The Collective has been diligently working on operationalizing all aspects of their work for improved contributor experience and more predictable success.

  • Updated operating system overview here
  • Work on the Optimism Partnership, Decentralized Proof of Personhood Passport, and Internet of Jobs is progressing positively and will continue in Season 14.
  • The Coordination Party Toolkit active investment will not continue in Season 14.
    • We learned the importance of having shorter feedback loops and paths to validation when building prototypes.
    • Tokenstream will remain a key operational tool used by Moonshot Collective.
    • Each of the toolkit products are being tested by other Gitcoin DAO workstreams.

Season 14 Goals

Project Focus & Idea Flow

Moonshot plans to expand the idea funnel for potential moonshots and allow for Moonshot Collective to demonstrate being GitcoinDAO’s trusted source of custom software development. Which will result in frameworks that are transparent and accessible.

Commitments:

  • Use a newly implemented process for intaking and vetting theme/ideas for 100% of new ideas that come to MC
  • Use a project based budget model for Grant 2.0 Plugins/GTC Utility, and Conviction Voting themes to drive the experimentation of validating/invalidating of 1 or more prototype for each theme
    • First known experiment for Conviction Voting (specifically osmotic voting) will be for DAO proposal voting.
  • Produce utility for the network by implementing and using a repeatable framework for effective, rapid experimentation to validate or invalidate problem - solution fits. Over time, as knowledge & learnings accumulate, this framework will yield more high value problem/solution fits per season.
  • Complete delivery of the Optimism partnership tooling & delivery of the MVP of dPopp.

Budgeting and compensation

Moonshot Collective will iterate on its compensation and budget policy in order to provide more stability to our contributors and help retain core talent while also ensuring budgets are being spent on work that is impactful and valuable to the DAO as a whole.

Commitments:

  • Experiment with initiative based budget models & streams
  • Ratify a compensation policy
  • Be radically transparent to MC, community and stewards on how money will be and is spent while also forecasting our staffing/resource needs

Operations + Membership + Community Engagement

Increase community engagement by creating an environment that offers more value so that members feel engaged and active parts of their membership circles.

Commitments:

  • MC will refine and ratify a non-dev (DESIGNER, PM and OPS) onboarding process and continue building a sustainable community engagement model.
  • Document and post the Community Manager Role
  • Define our membership circles
  • Move communications to Discord
  • Explore and document the capabilities of new members.

Season 14 Budget Requirements

Budget Category Description & Assumptions Amt USD Amt GTC
Core Contributor Compensation Accounts for current 6 core contributors and anticipated hiring of a Researcher and a Community Manager (pro-rated at 2 and 2.5 months of Season 14 to account for time to recruit & select). $238,334 43,333
MC OpEx Operating expenses inclusive of hosting, deployment, and developer tools costs, additional ops coordination, and operations tooling. $21,200 3,855
Grants 2.0 Plugins / GTC Utility Initiative The team will focus on speed running plugins for the Grants 2.0 protocol & mechanisms for creating more utility for GTC. $72,800 13,236
OP Partnership Initiative Final push to launch tooling for the next RPGF round in July. $55,520 10,095
Conviction Voting Initiative Kicks off a brand new R&D space around governance tooling. First known experiment will be around using Conviction Voting (specifically osmotic voting) for DAO proposal voting. $62,400 11,345
dPopp Initiative Staffing for dPopp is covered being done w/ Core contributors and all projects costs coming from Holdings. $0 0
Totals $450,254 81,864

*There are currently 4 core contributors being compensated by Gitcoin Holdings. MC will need to assume responsibility for their compensation in Season 15.

Budget Ask

USD GTC
Season 14 Total Need $450,254 81,864
60 day reserves $300,319 54,603
Contributor Annual Event Allowance $120,000 21,818
Current treasury balance ($410,795) (74,690)
Amount Requested from Treasury $459,778 83,596

Note: A denomination in dollar amount will be prioritized in budget proposals over GTC - if the spot price assumed at the time of posting ($5.50) this document on the forum changes between then and when the budget gets proposed on-chain, the GTC amount will be readjusted to reflect the dollar amount above. GTC are rounded values.

Current signers of the new Moonshot Collective Multisig are: @lthrift, @emudoteth, and @jaxcoder and we will be adding 3 more owners with a 4/6 signing threshold before receiving Season 14 funds. We will be retiring the previously used Moonshot Collective Parent Multisig and Baby Multisig.

Team Updates

Kevin Owocki stepped down as a workstream lead and Lindsey Thrift will replace him in Season 14.

The Collective established a membership structure with 3 tiers of contributors, Core, Trusted, and Community. In Season 14 we will be fully adopting the new model.

Core Contributors
Workstream Lead - @lthrift
Operations Lead - @emudoteth
Operations Coordinator - @michaelgreen06
Community Manager - to be hired
Researcher - to be hired
Core Product Managers - @brent , @GTChase , and @gtcsameerth
Core Product Designer - @willsputra
Core Developers - @farque65, @jaxcoder, @qedk

Trusted Contributors
Developers (7) - finalizing, will be edited w/ names once finalized
Product Managers (1) - to be onboarded
Product Designers (1) - need to find and onboard

Conclusion

We are bullish on the opportunity ahead for Moonshot Collective to be a secret ingredient to the success of Gitcoin as a ProtocolDAO and a leader in rapid prototyping on Grants 2.0 and beyond. Season 14 will be a foundational season for us as we solidify our foundation while delivering utility across multiple critical areas. We are humbled by the continued support of the stewards and DAO as a whole.

10 Likes

I have been compiling my Voter’s guide and I want to offer some of my questions and observations ahead of posting the voter guide. I do intend to update my voter guide as we discuss here, but hopefully we can keep the MSC relevant convo in this thread.

tl;dr on my current sentiment:

MSC - Requesting a reduction (from 103.7K to 83.8K GTC), MSC has really struggled to find its legs (beyond great YOLO projects that have grown funding for PGF) and now has a leadership transfer to course correct. Rightfully so there was a dramatic reduction in budget requested compared to S12 and there is likely an opp to further focus where MSC spends resources. Conviction voting is outside of Gitcoin’s mission and feels like a distraction. IoJ is also outside of Gitcoin’s core mission and I wonder if the team could be refocused on adding utility to GTC (Curation mechanisms ahead of the Grants Registry, staking on identity in dPopp, etc.). This is an area funding and exploration is sorely lacking (GTC Utility) and yet we continue to focus on adjacent problem spaces with less direct ties to our mission, our DAO or our token.

I love to see the learning from past seasons, and I also love to see us saying no to things (winding down coordination kit if it’s not working). As noted above, I want to offer some thoughts on where MSC could have an outsized impact, and that is in a couple of mechanism design spaces to add utility to GTC. There are known opportunities in this design space and some ideas that are still being formed. I am saying this with with every workstream; now is the time to really be laser focused on the most important thing, and supporting the most important thing (Grants Protocol).

I would love some thoughts from the MSC team on - how might we cut this budget down? Are there areas that can be slowed or paused and people refocused? To reiterate, this request and feedback is going out to all workstreams.

2 Likes

This is an area funding and exploration is sorely lacking (GTC Utility) and yet we continue to focus on adjacent problem spaces with less direct ties to our mission, our DAO or our token.

I agree with the sentiment that as a part of the Gitcoin DAO, we all have an underlying duty to improve GTC utility (even for our own reasons, since we are funded using the very tokens). And, imho it makes complete sense to divert resources and attention to find additional ways in which we can improve $GTC utilization (h/t OpenSignal) But Moonshot’s mission was always bigger as a prototyping workstream, furthering public goods in the Ethereum ecosystem as a whole, so in that spirit, having resources attached to regen projects like the Citizen House, Token Collective (i.e. Optimism et al.) is a pro, not a con.

…now is the time to really be laser focused on the most important thing, and supporting the most important thing (Grants Protocol).

At this point of time, the most important thing for the DAO is arguably the DAO itself, and not just the Grants Protocol (it is definitely our killer app, but is that all we want to optimize and build for?)

Also, again, personally speaking, I would love to see us pick up a GTC curation games-inspired project and guide it to becoming a real product for the ecosystem, especially the DAO.

Just as a disclaimer, this is my personal opinion, not representing the Collective in any capacity.

5 Likes

Hello Lindsey,

Thank you for the proposal and the budget breakdown.

By reading the budget it’s not totally clear to me. How many people do you intend to employ for 3 months with $570,250? What is the avg per person salary?

I see various other initiatives which take almost half of this budget. Are they indeed needed? For example IoJ initiative, or the Governance initiative?

We are in a bear market and need to tighten the belt if this DAO is going to survive. Can’t just be spending more and more money for multiple working groups each season.

I do not understand what this means in terms of an outcome for GitcoinDAO?

It feels like we have enough problems to tackle with GitcoinDAO. Are we trying to build tools for others or for ourselves. I would really love to see this stream rapidly prototyping solutions to other workstream problems. Like the community experience onboarding initiative.

This section feels like a company. Are we looking for innovation or products?

I was very bullish on smart people getting paid in Moonshot to innovate. I don’t think this workstream is really about moonshots or being a collective at this point though. This doesn’t mean I am against this budget though. I’m excited to see what you will do, but I’d love to see more focus on finding solutions for our problems rather than just any problems.

Thanks for taking the time to engage here @DisruptionJoe. Some answers to your questions below:

The Collective realized we had an opportunity to include input from the community, the DAO, and ecosystem beyond on what problems we prioritize to solve in a given season. The outcome for the DAO is that Moonshot is focused on opportunities and investments aligned with the DAO’s mission.

The purpose of the Collective is to innovate using rapid prototyping and experimentation, while also being the trusted source of software development for the Gitcoin DAO. We have laid out the idea flow framework to allow for the community (including our own workstreams) to submit problems that they would like the Collective to solve for. Through season budget feedback like this and throughout the season, we expect to hear and understand where to invest our time and treasury. This is a new process for us, but we are hoping it invites the kind of collective decision making you’re highlighting here.

Could you say more about what you mean here? What do you think it is about?

1 Like

It’s been interesting to watch the journey of MC. I can see that y’all have put alot of effort this past season to reorganise and be more intentional with the projects. I appreciate the energy of the Collective and am excited to see where you take IoJ & dPoPP. RIP Coordination Party Kit

3 Likes

@kyle & @lefterisjp - thank you for your feedback and engagement. We’ve taken the time as a Collective to review your feedback and our budget. Below is our narrative response to your questions and concerns. We have also amended our budget in the original post of the proposal above to incorporate the feedback.

First of all, we candidly recognize that in prior seasons we have been taking opportunities as they come and experimenting without necessarily having a strong conviction on any particular key directions or outcomes. Over the last several weeks we’ve been working to refine this approach so that we could be more tightly aligned with the overall GitcoinDAO mission. A key part of this has included more explicitly forming an organizational operating system and we were just finding our legs as the time to finalize a budget proposal for season 14 arrived.

At the time of writing objectives and the budget, we felt that IoJ was a priority to explore as a potential moonshot. Since then, the priorities for the DAO have become more evident in that all workstreams need to support Grants 2.0. Development of Grants 2.0 has also picked up significant momentum giving us a more clear picture of when we could actually begin experimenting with plugins/mechanisms to go alongside it. The collective agrees that we should refocus season 14 to prioritize GTC utility and front running Grants 2.0 plugins in place of IoJ.

We realize what we’ve called the “governance initiative” here is not as clear or helpful a description as it could have been for assessing our budget request. This initiative is intended to explore how we can enable greater utility of GTC in the governance of our DAO and grants program. Conviction voting is a powerful mechanism design that can be applied in many different ways, including curation of grants and more dynamic capabilities in governing Gitcoin treasury. Since we are just assembling a team to fully dive in on the opportunities, we attempted to not be prescriptive about what they would build exactly. We are committed to ensuring that experimentation in this space is in service of the priority to increase the utility of GTC.

For Season 14 we plan to have 12 full-time core contributors (6 employed by MC, 4 employed by holdings, and 2 additional hires by MC) and have forecasted 7 additional contributor spots for our current initiative commitments. Those 19 contributor roles are a mixture of part-time to full-time (meaning 40 hrs/week) expected contributions and the hourly pay breaks down to an average of $70/hr.

We have taken another pass at our planning to see where we can slim things down and have reduced our budget for Season 14 by more than 20%. These are the changes we made:

  • Decided not to rollout providing a minimal base pay for “Trusted” contributors. We will use Season 14 to hire and onboard a community manager before setting expectations for the minimum contributions of this role as described in our MC Operating System.
  • We will not hire an additional designer to the core team in Season 14. We will seek to find designers from the community to work on a project basis. If we’re able to identify someone who is a great fit and we have a clear need for this additional commitment, we will choose to hire into the core team in Season 15.
  • Slimmed down the budgets for the thematic initiatives (renamed to Conviction Voting and GTC Utility/Grants 2.0 Plugins).
  • Eliminated budgets for custom software development and additional R&D opportunities. We will rely on workstreams having budgets for these projects themselves and if this is not the case we will revisit adding a budget for this in Season 15.

Amendments have been made in the proposal, as noted.

Please let us know if you have further questions or feedback. We appreciate your support and feedback.

6 Likes

Jumping in to provide my two cents as I go through all the proposals.

On the whole, I am really excited to see the renewed structure & intention being brought to this workstream. Striking a healthy balance between having structure/intention and having the freedom to experiment is an extremely tough one, and I believe the theme-centered approach proposed in the OS document is a great middle ground to try out. I am encouraged to see tough decisions being made - like the CPK one - rather than ‘default yes’.

I was also very pleased to see the earlier dialogue and the pass you all have taken at proactively slimming things down, as well as the resulting 20% decrease that ensued.

I will be voting ‘yes’ to this proposal. This is an enthusiastic ‘yes’ in the context of what I see in terms of promise heading into S14 (increased structure/intention, proactiveness in decreasing the budget request in light of feedback) - but it is also a ‘yes’ that I’ll want to critically think about even more as we crisp up the DAO’s Purpose and Essential Intent. Seeing statements like the below one being voted upon make me cognizant of MC and its place in the DAO, and it’ll be increasingly important to become collectively aligned on what it drives towards as we look ahead.

image

5 Likes

Thanks so much @lthrift for the response and the revision. I appreciate the reduction in budget and the focus on grants.

There are a number of projects that MSC is proposing still support the thesis (of developing core protocols), which cold be great.

I will vote yes on the revised version of this, and I am excited to work more closely with MSC to share my context and offer opinions on the highest leverage work. I recognize there has been some thrash lately for MSC and I don’t intend for that to be exacerbated. This industry is still moving quickly and our Essential Intent is really starting to crystalize.

3 Likes

This proposal is now at Snapshot for approval: Snapshot

1 Like