Creating a place for delegates and gov participants to provide constructive feedback on Season 4.
Please leave constructive feedback so we keep the signal to noise ratio high in here! All forum engagement is subject to the Forum Rules of Engagement
Creating a place for delegates and gov participants to provide constructive feedback on Season 4.
I don’t sure how many independent developers do optimism ecosystems loss in the governance process, but you have already lost a dev that refers me to the optimism program.
And you nearly loss developers that I refer to
If your foundation mission is also not welcome you surely loss developers that I refer to
Season 4 mission proposals show obvious failure in the developer attraction.
I don’t have much time now and will provide more detail later.
Hey Chom, I’m really sorry you had a negative experience with the Mission process. This was the first time Mission proposals were ever done, and I don’t think anyone realized the sheer volume of applicants we would receive, which was over 50. On top of that, the Grants Council received over 100 proposals which we were reviewing in tangent with the Mission proposals, so things were very chaotic and delegates (myself included) were overwhelmed. I know you reached out for feedback and I apologize if you didn’t get what you were looking for. I would sincerely hope that your feelings about Optimism as a whole don’t become negative because you won’t receive a grant this round. There are still many rounds of grants in the future, including Retroactive Public Goods Funding. I understand the frustration and hope this process doesn’t deter you from building on OP <3
We saw many Intent #3 mission proposals with different asks for similar deliverables with different audience types. It would be helpful to have some sort of standardisation of asks for these type of missions in the future
agree, to the poiunt where it’s probably worth categorizing them by ask or making clear what]'s happening there
I’d like to preface this feedback by highlighting that it’s driven by a sincere intention to contribute constructively. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and do my part! With that in mind, let’s dive in. The concept of Intents and Missions struck me as quite inspiring; it undoubtedly steered our efforts in a clear direction.
Nonetheless, I must mention that the overall process seemed quite convoluted. The path to comprehending the requirements and adhering to the deadlines often required navigating a maze of forum posts. Understanding the nuances between the Foundation Missions (RFPs), Proposed Missions (Intent 1, 3 and 4), and Intent 2: which includes Builders Grants, Growth Grants, and RFGs, proved to be somewhat elusive at times.
Every category brought its unique set of procedures, rules, deadlines, and even communication platforms—spanning Github, Forum, Discord, Google Meets, and Charmverse. For individual developers or small teams, who may lack sufficient time or resources, this could be quite overwhelming. Upon reflection, I believe that a comparison chart could have offered significant utility. In general, a more streamlined arrangement of these elements could result in a more user-friendly experience. An interactive quiz to identify the best-suited funding path for each project could be a thoughtful addition.
While I understand that this was an experimental venture, I see room for improving the promotional efforts. A newsletter or a Medium post to announce significant updates could enhance the reach and effectiveness of our communication.
My commendation goes to the governance team and Grants Council for their unwavering commitment, patiently addressing every query. I enjoyed the Grants Council Office Hours, and would advocate for a similar approach for Proposed & Foundation Missions.
The Optimism Alliance forming workshop was nothing short of excellent and certainly merits a rerun. Additionally, the idea of delegates hosting pitching sessions was appealing. However, there’s scope for enhancing delegate engagement. Throughout the calls, delegate participation was relatively sparse.
The mission’s procedural framework, encompassing delegate approval to voting, functioned smoothly. Nevertheless, I would appreciate seeing more delegate involvement. Could we potentially devise ways to spur their participation in such processes? Of all individuals with more than 0.25% delegation, merely 10-15 delegates were present, some of whom were from the Grants Council, tasked with reviewing over a hundred projects—a number that’s destined to increase.
Looking ahead, it could be advantageous to have a dedicated person or team to shepherd projects throughout the entire process. This person or team should possess a comprehensive understanding of all funding avenues within Optimism and be able to tailor their advice to the specific needs of each project.
We might consider showcasing successful examples as a way to set clear expectations for what we’re looking to achieve.
In conclusion, being part of this experimental initiative was a genuinely enriching experience. My deepest congratulations to the governance team, Grants Council, and everyone else who contributed to making this initiative a success.
Edit: Although I understand why, I would like to add that the one year lock-in is a big constraint for those who want to build in Optimism, I think we could have had less problems with the amounts in the budgets if there could have been an upfront payment. It is very difficult to build something without money for the operation, especially for small work teams, projects that are just starting or in general public goods projects that are not guaranteed how to pay for a year of operation.
To follow up on some earlier posts, I think there needs to be more direct labeling of 1. what is being proposed, and 2. who the members/scenes are to fully expose potential redundancies or lopsidedness in distribution. I don’t know that we necessarily want to limit, as we want to maintain lots of room for collaboration and it’s still a small world, but people should know where the OP is going.
There are a handful of players that have dominated the proposals and seemingly have gotten by because the names of the alliances are different.
Specifically, I see members/affiliates of Bankless DAO, Giveth, and General Magic (same leadership as Giveth) on 10 of the 30 proposals that went to a final vote this season, amounting to ~800k OP of the total 2.6mm OP up for distribution this round. This seems like a fairly large amount of funds going to the same few people over and over again for what are in many cases largely the same deliverables.
Fueling RetroPGF Growth through Education, Collaboration, and Active Marketing Bankless, Giveth - 130k OP
BanklessDAO’s Global Campaign to spread the Optimistic vision 70,395 OP (Alliance: BanklessDAO Media 70k OP
‘Thank Optimism - powered by ThriveCoin’ 150k OP (Alliance: Thank Optimism, which includes members from the Optimism Foundation) (Bankless affiliates)
Optimistic Womxn Shinning in Blockchain (Alliance: H.E.R. LATAM) 15.8k OP ex-Bankless, current General Magic
Let’s take the Optimistic Vision to LATAM with Espacio Cripto (45.6k OP) (Alliance: Espacio Cripto) (Bankless affiliates)
[Future-proofing UI/UX of OP nodes](https://gov.optimism.io/t/draft-dappnode-future-proofing-ui-ux-of-op-
nodes/6189/1) (Alliance: Dappnode) 50k General Magic affiliate
Multi-lingual Lesson on Optimism Governance, by Bankless Academy (Alliance: Bankless Academy (BA) and International Media Nodes (IMN)) 34k
Improving Governance Accessibility through Praise and Contribution Based Attestations (Alliance: Praise) 112k
Pairwise: Tinder UX For Web3 Community Signaling (Alliance: Pairwise) 65k
Economic Co-design of Gas Fees for the OP Stack (Alliance: Common Stack) 125k
REGEN Score - Attestations for the Citizen’s House (Alliance: Trusted Seed) 95k (giveth advisor but I’m going to not count this one)
Just for clarification, H.E.R. LATAM is not part/ did not emerge/ hasn’t received funding from BanklessDAO.
I was the Legal Guild Coordinator for various Seasons, and obviously believe in BanklessDAO mission, its an amazing platform in the Web3 community.
apologies - thank you for the clarification. i’ve amended to say at there are team members previously at bankless and also someone currently at General Magic. That keeps it on this list. But by no means am I saying yours is a bad proposal on its merits
Posting this here, ran it through GPT 4 to make it more understandable and clean than the Discord discussion but I think its a pretty core consideration that needs to be addressed by the foundation for actual growth and getting quality devs and proposals.
I firmly believe that the primary limitation for quality proposals is the token lock, particularly considering it applies to the entire allocation. There are co-grants, of course, but altogether, they only total to around 120k, distributed across roughly 80 proposals.
Developers, by nature, aren’t mercenary-like, but many are not well-capitalized or adept traders. Hence, it’s unreasonable to expect them to somehow manage living expenses while they’re building their projects, especially with their grants subjected to market volatility for a year. This situation deters high-quality developers and channels them towards marketing-heavy projects, which may offer a more immediate means of compensation because thats how they eat.
Grant programs should prioritize long-term alignment rather than bounties. At present, we’ve swung to the extreme end of the spectrum, where developers are compelled to hold onto their tokens without any actual compensation. This either forces them to focus on other paying jobs and contribute only in their spare time, or to seek grants from networks/platforms that offer upfront payment, resulting in a reduced pool of quality developers and making the grants non competitive simply because of the arbitrary limits and restrictions not actual resource limits.
Interestingly, we don’t need to eliminate token locks to address this issue. We could allow locked tokens to be wrapped, permitting grant recipients to open loans or credit lines with third-party lenders or market makers, using their locked tokens as collateral or even keep them unwrapped and just make it clear that practices involving private entities between each other based on these locked assets are not banned and parties are free to engage in any activities they wish with their assets, as long as they respect the lock. This way, they’d remain aligned with the project’s success, since they’d want their locked tokens’ value to increase. They’d have funds from the loan to cover their living expenses and would face two options: default on the loan and act in a mercenary-like manner or increase the value of their collateral, repay the loan upon token unlock, and ultimately make a profit.
I genuinely want to ensure this idea isn’t specifically prohibited or viewed negatively, as it might influence future relationships or be grounds for revoking grants. I fully understand that the grant’s intent is governance, not compensation, but I believe the foundation’s liability ends at allocation. How people utilize their allocated assets would be their choice. I’m just curious if the foundation or community sees it as inappropriate or against the program’s spirit for grant recipients to independently engage with third parties in these arrangements, provided it’s not explicitly disallowed.
There doesn’t seem to be explicit limitations preventing such use. There’s a specific mention for growth grants regarding sales, but others only mention locks. Locked tokens aren’t synonymous with no sale or no abstraction. I understand the spirit of locks aligns with governance but financial abstraction may or may not be an intent of the lock, and this proposition actually reduces the likelihood of tokens being sold within a year if they are able to have credit lines through third parties.
I believe there’s significant value in standardizing and accepting these practices, particularly in attracting more talented developers and fostering more proposals.
By the way, I believe the one-year lock is not solely for legal reasons. The concern here may be securities law, but awarding tokens through grants inherently attributes some value to them in exchange for work. The duration of a lock doesn’t change an asset’s nature, and I’m unaware of any case law suggesting otherwise. There’s no strong legal basis for selecting the one-year duration. While it might offer some defense around tokens not being used as compensation, giving them away immediately upon reaching milestones is no different than locking them for a year. If the tokens were purely for governance and voting, it would be perfectly acceptable for them to be unlocked immediately for proposal voting. There would be no risk or reason to lock them so the only reason to lock them for 1y would be on the assumption they have financial value otherwise thered be no purpose for the lock.
I’m open to changing my opinions if anyone can provide case law, legal justification, or an explicit rule that relates to non-growth grants.
To clarify, I wouldn’t raise this issue if I didn’t think it could greatly benefit the ecosystem. Another consideration might be with the purchase of put options upon the one-year expiration and unlock, serving as a hedge for the locked tokens. However, I’m unsure if this would also be considered against the spirit of the grant, which is why I’m advocating for open discussion.
Thx Jack for bringing up this issue so I can add transparency to it. I am the main thread between many projects on your list!
I have been telling every public goods focused project that will listen to me that they should be building on and & for Optimism. I even got on stage today in ETHBarcelona and said “30M OP in November. What are you building? Put it on Optimism”
Go to the 7:41:12 mark
I have founded A LOT of public goods focused projects over the years all with the same Public Goods, Impact = Profit vibes but with different focuses… and of course, I advised ALL of them to apply to the various Intents, as I have advised every single builder in the public goods space to do. Optimism is the chain most aligned with Public Goods and has extensive grants programs.
- Giveth in 2016
- Dappnode in 2017
- Commons Stack in 2019
- Token Engineering Commons in 2019
- Praise in 2020
- Trusted Seed in 2020
- General Magic in 2021
- Pairwise in 2022
All of these projects would consider themselves part of the “Giveth Galaxy” but they are all separate projects, except for Praise and Pairwise which are still being incubated by General Magic.
The main thing connecting all of them is that I am a founder. Other than that they all have separate teams with separate leadership… other than me… But honestly, my leadership is spread very thin, all I can do is advise and promote.
Here is the leadership breakdown and my participation with the different orgs:
- Giveth is very much a DAO with our own governance model (VERY similar to the Citizens House/ Token House model)
- General Magic is led by Marko, Ahmad, and I
- Commons Stack is led by Tam, Livia and I
- Token Engineering Commons is very much a DAO, but Gideon, Issac and Bear are the most influential (I actively advise with ~2 weekly calls)
- Trusted Seed is led by Max, and has a board that meets monthly (I actively advise with 1 weekly call)
- Dappnode is led by Edu and Lanski (I barely stay in the loop here, 1 serendipitous catch up every 2-3 months)
The hard part is, that General Magic is a for-hire consultant, and has contracts with over 20 different teams in the space to do work for them (everything from accounting to solidity development). GM is usually hired when teams have short term projects that need extra support, and many of these Optimism proposals really fit that use case.
Also to make things more complicated, GM is teamed up with Giveth to contract work to their developers. This was a bear market strategy for Giveth to reduce the work being done on Giveth’s core products and contract through General Magic to make it through the bear market. This strategy has been a success, as Giveth has not had to lay anyone off, (unlike several other public goods focused projects :-/). If you want to read more about the deal, it is all public in this forum post. I can understand how that makes things more complicated.
The other important thing to mention is that General Magic has a contract to support other teams to apply for grants IN GENERAL (you can read more about how this works here). This of course includes Optimism Grants. Projects that GM supported in applying to grants for Optimism are:
- Fair Data Society
GM doesn’t have a contract with Gravity DAO for grants, but Juanka is a long time community member and comes to some of our fundraising support calls along with other friends in the space.
The other Giveth Galaxy projects do not have a contract with GM for grant support, each of their teams applied independently.
General Magic was also contacted by the Giveth & Commons Stack teams to provide extra support for grants (though GM did not help them write the grant). And just to be real, I expect with such tight deadlines that several other projects will call on GM for emergency support to complete the milestones. And they should, I think GM is the only consulting team in the world that is focused solely on web3 Public Goods.
This is probably the most important thing to mention, and what enabled the projects I founded to apply for a larger percentage of the grants than other teams. I am working with those teams to loan them funds and take the OP that is locked as collateral so that they can have the short term liquidity they need to pay their employees. Honestly, this is a huge risk on my part, but it’s ok, I’m an Optimist. I want all of my teams to work with Optimism. Also I do believe in the long term value of the OP token and am hoping to work with the community to add utility to the OP token, see my comments in Economic Co-design of Gas Fees for the OP Stack for more details on my thoughts here.
As far as Espacio Cripto or HER LATAM alliances that Brichis supported… Yes, Brichis works for GM, but she is supporting these Latam projects on her own time, and is not being paid by GM to support them, nor does GM have any contracts or expectations in any way with those teams. GM also doesn’t have any insight into the deals she has made with these orgs. I am sure, though, that Brichis’ knowledge on the complicated grant program this quarter would be very helpful to any team. It was very difficult to navigate.
I want to reiterate the independence and autonomy of each project within and around the Giveth Galaxy. The collaboration and support among these projects, including grant application support from General Magic, aim to foster a thriving ecosystem for public goods. My involvement as a founder is focused on advisory roles, and the leadership and decision-making lie with the individual projects. Transparency and open dialogue are essential, and I am available for further discussions to address any concerns or provide additional clarity.
I am trying to be overly transparent. If anything that I am doing is going against the rules in any way, I am happy to learn about it so I can support Optimism in a more acceptable way. I am VERY aligned with the Optimistic Vision, I have been working towards a similar vision since 2015 and I don’t intend to stop anytime soon. Optimism has created the best system out there to support Public Goods and it is something I am excited to really support behind. All I want to do is help in any way I can.
If you or anyone else wants to have a deeper understanding I am happy to arrange a call.
At Dappnode we have an agreement with General Magic to help us coordinate the grants. We are a small team and we want to focus on building the best products and we have missed grant opportunities because we don’t have the bandwidth to follow through. Hence, we delegated grant seeking to General Magic. The proposal is overseen by me and according to dappnode’s expertise and capability, and General Magic will not implement any of it - they are just helping us apply to this and other grants.
Side note: this is a common model in non-web3 environments. European Union and Governmental Grant Funding is often captured by experts that know the ins and outs of the legal and reporting requirements and these experts help finding funding and securing it so the companies applying can focus on what they do best, instead of the grueling reporting tasks of such grants. We (Dappnode) know these funding mechanisms well and it wasn’t a surprise at all to find a similar model with our agreement with General Magic.
Final Disclosure (which is not really a disclosure since it has always been public everywhere, plus Griff mentioned it above) @Griff is founder of Dappnode but not involved in the day-to-day operations. Unfortunately for him (sorry Griff ;P) he - or his other teams - won’t receive any of this funding aside from what we agree with General Magic as facilitator. We would very much appreciate not to be penalized for sharing a founder with other applicants.
I’m sympathetic to your position here, particularly because it does seem clear that you’re a small team doing real work. I won’t pry into what remaining financial interest Griff has with Dappnode overall, if any, because that’s not the focus of this topic.
I will say that a relevant difference with grant consultants (which exist in the US as well, fwiw) is that they’re generally not supposed to have decision-making power within the grantmaking bodies.
Now there’s a bigger question being surfaced here, which is: how do we get applicants to spend the minimal time to show up and make use of the resources we’ve made available? There are a few delegates who’ve made it practically a full-time job to thoughtfully vet the, idk, 200? applications and have been shepherding applicants through for free. The Grant Council has held office hours 3x/week. There’s an Optimism team (and I believe another team with a Mission proposal) building out a central grant switchboard site. A single conversation with someone like me gets you everything you need to put in the 20 minutes of work to write an initial application.
So if we take Lanski’s observation at face value, there’s some sort of communication or functional gap leading people to conclude that grants are so byzantine they’ll need specialists to even begin to engage us—because I suspect that if they do start by contacting us, they’ll get what they need.
Hi again @jackanorak ! Hope you’re well. I just wanted to add a quick clarification here to say that General Magic as a grant writing service does NOT have any decision-making power whatsoever within the grant making bodies. We research, support, draft, and post, and all the while take instructions from the DAO we are serving. Thank you.
Is Griff Green part of General Magic, does he have delegate-level privileges, and has he acted to approve for a final vote proposals by any project General Magic has contracted with?
I’m not sure I understand the impetus of your new question here @jackanorak. Regarding your previous question, I think I may have misunderstood. I thought you were asking if General Magic had decision-making power of behalf of the DAOs we serve, which we do not.
Regarding Griff, I’ll redirect you to his response above and also point out that all information regarding his role and position is totally transparent.
You do raise a good point about the “communication or functional gap”, so I want to clarify on one aspect of that to say that the grant writing service is not necessarily used because DAOs are looking for specialists per se. I address this in response to you on another thread to say that General Magic simply wants to support public goods projects that are overloaded with their own work, so we provide a simple service to help balance that by doing some of the writing and related tasks.
What I say is my opinion as a delegate and has nothing to do with Grants Council.
Thank you @Griff for the transparency here.
I would love to get feedback on how to make the grants proposals system better so we don’t have to destine double resources to make grants happen.
Knowing that Optimism already sends OP to Grants Council where elected members approve a working framework and provides feedback to proposers. This grants service GM is providing, especially if it’s taking resources out of public goods projects, sounds overkill.
If I understand correctly, you provide a service and charge for it. This has nothing to do with “supporting” public goods, any project public or private can pay for your service. Or do you have some sort of public goods filter/benefit?
Thank you for your message, @Gonna.eth.
Yes, General Magic has a public goods filter. Most of the projects that we work on are trying to make impact first, and profit is a distant second.
We do take on clients occasionally that are not public goods focused and we charge them much higher rates.
But the service you provide isn’t a public good right, its a value extractor from approved proposals. Whether the proposals themselves are public goods or not isn’t relevant, since they’ll be rejected anyway, it’s not quite supporting if theres a profit motive. Why are these fees not disclosed in grant requests, since isn’t it misleading to say x amount will be for development, if in reality its x*0.9? Was it not reasonable to assume the councils and dels would be interested to know that a large part of the allocations are not going to the intended use?