As PoolTogether grows and begins to expand to other chains and L2s, it’s a great time to start talking about community contributions to the DAO. There are a lot of models within DeFi, and I’ll try to highlight a few to give folks an idea of how other DAOs handle contributions at scale.
Index Coop has a very well developed funnel for talent. Each week, they hold an Orientation Call every week after interested members go through a defined process ahead of time. Folks can read about that in the COPPER OWL QUEST (New Joiners) section of the Index Coop docs.
Their community has also defined their guiding principles so everyone within the community can ensure interests are aligned within the DAO. When the TWG proposal was discussed in the last two community calls, @Brendan and other community members talked about ensuring that the TWG is aligned with PT Inc. Creating a Core Principles statement that is applicable to all contributors is a great way to do that.
Their Working Group structure is also well defined, and it’s a model other DAOs have used.
Yearn Governance 2.0
Yearn has a more complex structure that is novel for DeFi. They allow YFI holders to grant discretionary power to the various yTeams in order to give them the autonomy needed to be innovative and move quickly, while giving the community full discretion to dissolve yTeams, fire team members, redirect the direction of one of the yTeams groups, etc.
This comes back to their philosophy of Constrained Delegation, and the concluding paragraph of the summary of this philosophy reads:
Through rough consensus, YFI holders govern de facto rather than de jure and use that socially constructed governance influence to actively monitor and, to the extent desired, modulate the behavior of contributors. When it comes to governing yTeams, this governance may often look very similar to YFI holders ‘doing nothing,’ because YFI holders have already endorsed the Multisig and yTeams and they are presumed to act on a selfish but incentive-aligned basis consistent with the expectations of the community. However, when the contributors stray too far, or fail to communicate adequately, YFI holders should always be waiting in the wings to intervene in the situation, revoke their endorsement and restore a positive-sum equilibrium for the yearn community.
Yearn’s Governance 2.0 is somewhere between anarchy and Republican Democracy, with the ultimate authority held by token holders. It’s unlikely that PoolTogether needs an organisational approach as multi-faceted as Yearn’s but their structure has many great processes and an overall design that can inform the creation of the checks and balances PoolTogether can use to both empower working groups while having guardrails on community contributors.
Nexus Hubs Working Group Model
In the event folks within PoolTogether don’t already know, I’m heavily involved within Nexus Mutual, and I serve as the Marketing Lead for the community. Earlier this year, I designed the Hub model, which is a dynamic working group structure that allows for community members to contribute where they can provide the most value. I’ll include a couple links to posts regarding the development of this idea below:
Nexus Hub: Community-Driven Teams: This was the initial idea, which wasn’t very good, tbh. After really drilling down and reviewing other business models and DAO structures, I can created a new post.
Nexus Hub: Proposal, Structure, Next Steps: In this post, I outlined the idea the Nexus Mutant community adopted and uses today. I used a little bit from the Index Coop WG model, some of the philosophy and guardrails that Yearn uses, and I was primarily inspired by an IRL business model championed by Zingerman’s of Ann Arbor, MI. Here’s an excerpt:
This model begins with our belief in the power of Visioning and includes a commitment to Open Book Management and opportunities for employee ownership. Our first long-term vision (Zingerman’s 2009) painted a picture of a radically different growth model—a community of businesses: each unique, each contributing to the success of the others and each with managing partners who have an equity stake and run the day-to-day operations.
Ideal Models for PoolTogether
As @Leighton pointed out, SushiSwap’s approach is ideal for core team members, but I believe interdependent working groups with leads is an ideal solution for DAOs. Decentralised organisations need to empower contributors to work for the DAO, while maintaining some kind of order. The Zingerman’s model has worked well for Nexus Mutual so far, and I believe something similar could work well for PoolTogether.
Case Study: Mutant Marketing
The first Nexus Hub working group established was Mutant Marketing, which I lead. To establish the Hub, I created a WG Charter, a Marketing Strategy, and an initial budget. The Charter is our lodestar, and the Marketing Strategy will evolved over time. After this was approved through community governance, we got started.
After every operational quarter concludes, we publish a report and share it with the community. In the last week, I posted the report for Mutant Marketing, which folks can review here.
With a relatively small group, we’ve seen growth and profitability within the first quarter. Because we focus on what we do best, we can deliver the greatest amount of value to our community members.
One possible approach is a short-term working group that researches possible structures, salary/rate of pay for various positions, job posting platforms, etc. Having a WG to focus on this would accomplish several things:
- You can test out a working group on a small scale to see how successful it is;
- You can allow members of PT Inc. to focus on what they do best. A Talent WG would, of course, coordinate/communicate with the team, but they can provide options to the community, while giving the protocol insight into what a competitive wage for a Marketing Lead vs. a Business Development lead would be;
- After the Talent WG presents this information, the community can decide on the outcome for the DAO structure. The Talent WG would then review applicants, schedule interviews, create PoolTogether profiles for the community to review for final candidate, and define the talent funnel for the DAO. This will create an efficient process to hire leads.
After PoolTogether Talent hires the initial team members, then this WG could dissolve and let the WGs handle the hiring process within the framework the Talent WG has already defined.
I’m just drinking coffee and working on a few things this morning, and I thought I’d share my existing knowledge of process design with the community. There are so many areas we can focus on and hire talent from within the community. Since I’ve become more active within PoolTogether, I’ve been gobsmacked at the brilliant folks within the community. With the right structure and guardrails in place for POOL holders, the community can scale the DAO and bring the POOL party to every corner of the DeFi ecosystem.