Improving the RFP process

Periodically we have developers roll through our Discord asking if they could have a job. They want to get paid to contribute to a defi project like PoolTogether.

Privately, I asked two of them how they’d like to work. I gave them two options:

  1. The dev could figure out a project on their own and pitch it to the Pool Grants committee
  2. The dev could be handed a specification and get paid to build it.

Both wanted option 2. They just want to be told what to do and get paid for it. Knowing what PoolTogether needs takes a lot of time; you need to be using the product, engaging on Discord and the forum, and have a sense of what is on the horizon for crypto. It’s really best done by the PoolTogether domain experts, then handed over for implementation by a dev team.

I pointed the devs at the Pool Grants page, but they clearly just bounced from it. There is a lack of detail with the list of RFPs, and no clear funnel for them to get paid to build it.

To effectively use people, whether they are lone developers or dev shops, we need to be able to:

  1. Articulate what we want clearly
  2. Make it straightforward to contribute

Step 1: Articulating What we Want

I can help here. I have a wealth of experience in building software products. Across all spaces; whether corporate / contract / freelance / dev shop / startup. I’ve put together a rough draft of a Request for Proposal template specific for software products.

See the Request for Proposal Template here

Specs differ significantly depending on what is being built, but I’ve included the important points that should be included. There are several rough, internal spec examples at the bottom of the template.

I’m happy to answer any questions anyone has on the template, and also guide people who are writing their own spec.

Step 2: Making it Straightforward to Contribute

This is more of an open question to everyone: how can we make it easier for others to contribute?

  • If we had straightforward software specs, we could funnel people from the Pool Grants website a little differently. Perhaps instead have an application process: they “apply” to build out a spec.
  • If we have a solid spec + budget we can reach out to dev shops and solicit builders proactively, rather than waiting for them to come
  • How can we build a funnel that gets people paid to do what we need?

There is a lot of talent out there- but it needs to be organized. How can we tackle this?


You can be sure i’ll be using this template to draft up a ‘gamification’ RFP idea ive had floating around.

I really liked zapper.fi’s xp farming and NFTs system they ran for a few months. I found it quite engaging to use their tools every day and collect those sweet NFTs.

If i know one thing about my wasted youth being a gamer, its that people love xp bars and a pot-of-gold at the end. Leveraging this psychology to get more people into PoolTogether Pools could be huge.

Now, if only there was a way to measure a users deposits between x and y time frame, we could implement a fair and balanced system not open to abuse.


Thanks Brendan, this is really helpful.

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