[S14 Voters Guide] Lefteris' Guide

Lefteris S14 voter’s guide

I create this voter guide as per our discussion in the Steward council and at the request of other stewards. It’s based on @krrisis and @owocki 's guide

It will be short. I am really pressed for time and have spent already a lot of time analyzing all the different proposals and trying to understand what they do, how much money do they need and what does the DAO get from them.

For me Gitcoin and its DAO should be about one thing and one thing only. Funding opensource. Public goods is a cute term but it’s so generic that it can be abused and leads to what we see today. That is multiple groups asking for money to do their thing since anything can be somehow put into the public goods category.

This sentiment lead to this tweet which somehow got popular:

With that in mind I was thinking of abstaining from most votes. The abstain tendency was due to two reasons.

  1. Not enough time to properly understand and judge budgets for 8 workstreams
  2. I think most asks were too big considering we are in a bear market.

But after more thinking, looking at more of the budgets and seeing the market crash in the last days I think I am going to vote No to all but 2 workstreams. I will put my reasoning for each workstream below but the overall thinking is simple and as follows:

The problem of properly funding opensource work is a very important problem to solve. It is not even closed to being solved yet. I think the purpose of Gitcoin should be to solve that. Anything else is just a distraction, dead weight and waste of money. So anything that does not contribute to opensource funding gets a No. For me gitcoin tries to solve opensource funding by their flagship product which is gitcoin grants.

Workstream Recc Comment
MMM No I don’t understand what the need for memes/merch/marketing is at this point in time and with the market in such a terrible state this is one of the most obvious budgets to cut.
PGF No I don’t see how this helps fund opensource. Sounds like education/strategic partnerships and outreach. Which though good and eventually needed, it is something I believe is not going to help in the short term and considering the state of the market we should not fund yet.
FDD No This is a tough one. FDD or some approach like them is needed for sybil defense against gitcoin grants. But having spent hours trying to understand what they do and failing and realizing most of it is human checking I believe at its current form it should not be funded. What I would like to see from a workstream to help against sybil attacks is output in the form of software tools that will help us. And much much lighter budgets.
Kernel No I don’t see why Kernel should be funded by GitcoinDAO. It’s a great project but was outside of GitcoinDAO and with the state of the market I believe it should stay separate.
DCompass No I don’t see how this workstream can help with Gitcoin funding opensource and Gitcoin grants.
Kudos No Same as the others. Kind of sad to say no as the request is quite small, but to be fair I am going to stick to the rules I set in the first part of this post.
MC Yes From the proposals out there, this is the only one that has something to do with preparing for Grants 2.0, which is the continuation of Gitcoin grants and as such aims to help with funding opensource so I will vote yes.
DAO Ops Yes A DAO needs people to operate it, manage treasury, diversify, create tools and help with every day operations.

Closing Thoughts

This is tough. It’s a tough position to be in and I hate to be seen as the bad guy saying no to so many people.

But there is 3 things to consider here:

  1. The workstreams tend to ask for a lot of money. I do all this governance stuff here pro bono because I believe in the vision of creating a universal solution for funding opensource. At the same time I am running a company building opensource software in Berlin, Germany. We have a very constrained budget, yet we build amazing software. We are 7 people and we burn less in a year than some workstream budgets have asked for a quarter. I don’t know if they all expect “sillicon valley” salaries but considering the market conditions I feel a strong urge to say no to all this spending.
  2. No organization can build everything. The past year Gitcoin DAO seems to have tried to build many things, spin off many workgroups and us the stewards have been saying yes, yes, yes to everything. This has to stop and the DAO needs to focus on its core goals. Which imo is to fund opensource.
  3. The time to evaluate budgets is too little. We should have more than a month to evaluate a budget and they should all follow the same format. Not having enough time (as happens every season, and also this one) we the stewards tended to say yes or abstain since it’s just “too much work” to do in 1 week. I think this needs to seriously change. All budget requests should pass a multi-monthly review process and feedback of back and forth before going to snapshot votes. Otherwise they should get auto-rejected. If any workstreams convince me they can help fund opensource software I reserve the right to change my vote

I am sorry if this disappoints some people. Let’s survive the bear market and fund opensource together.

15 Likes

Thanks Lefteris. We have gone back to the drawing board. Here is another visualization to show how FDD efforts relate to software.

We plan on posting a fully revised budget tomorrow.

4 Likes

I can understand the desire to get lean and especially how important that is in light of GTC’s declining price (although market conditions in crypto do switch quickly).

However, I would make a protest about eliminating the PGF steam. Public goods education and partnerships do not appear to me incidental to Gitcoin but central to its identity, providing the rationale for why public goods should be funded. I think in stripping away the ongoing reflection on what Gitcoin is and what funding open source entails - beyond the rudimentary - you will end up with a DAO without a mission, a soulless hulk, like some company undergoing corporate raiding. As Griff notes in his post:

‘This is one of the few working groups that is working to make an economic impact on GTC by creating token swaps with other DAOs to build more liquidity and it brings in actual funding, mostly to the Matching pool, but this is still great, I think it can bring in more $$ into the ecosystem than it costs to fund it, that said, i wish it were leaner.’ Link.

I take this to be the result of the good will of the education work and outreach Gitcoin is strongly associated with. And probably this is precisely the part of the community most likely to come up with new ideas about creating utility for GTC. It is, in a manner, the reflective part of the Gitcoin project and should be ineliminable on that basis.

I’ve seen the lean process in higher education strip institutions down to nothing in an effort to cut costs and then end up with reputation for soullessness. This should be avoided at all costs.

Thank you for your feedback.

I hear what you are saying but I disagree.

The reasons are:

  1. As I have said many times in the past gitcoin for me has been always for funding opensource. Anything else is just bla bla. https://twitter.com/LefterisJP/status/1525948948975915011
    I really dislike the switch from opensource to public goods .It’s such a loaded term that can be interpreted to mean literally anything by anyone. And suddenly you become a fat cash cow to be milked by others. And it’s all about politics from there on

  2. Gitcoin’s main funding opensource product is gitcoin grants. Since the DAO was created that product has been getting worse and worse. It’s buggy as hell, stuff break every time, 1/4 of the stuff actually work and looks and feels abandoned. As a developer myself it pains me to see this.

So to me all the talk about outreach, education, public goods and more rings hollow at this point in time. It’s time to cut the fat, tighten the belt and focus again.