Aragon Flock proposal: Autark
Autark is rebranding our flagship product, That Planning Suite, to Open Enterprise. Open Enterprise is a suite of Aragon apps that allows DAOs to curate issues, collectively budget, and design custom reward & bounty programs. We launched to Rinkeby in April 2019, and received organic interest from p2pmodels, 1hive, and Aragon Mesh.
We are ready to advance to the next stage of the Flock program. This proposal is a continuation and expansion of AGP-19: it is application heavy, user-focused and includes initiatives that will provide DAOs with expanded project and financial planning capabilities, more visibility into organization actions, and robustness in data storage. Additionally, we have listened to our early adopters and have included enhancements that are modeled around their requests.
Besides our technology and application focus, we plan to actually use Open Enterprise ourselves to operate a strategic DAO tasked with generating revenue to strengthen the sustainability of the Aragon Network.
01 - Maintaining Open Enterprise Soft launch Open Enterprise to mainnet during Q4 2019, as requested by our dedicated early adopters and supporters.
02 - Expanding Projects Expand the capabilities of the Projects app to increase productivity for work-based Aragon organizations.
03 - Expanding Finance Provide more flexibility and control around grants management and financial planning.
04 - Expanding Social Facilitate more collaborative experiences within a DAO by linking Ethereum addresses to user profiles and enabling native discussions in any Aragon application.
05 - Enabling Organization Insights Develop dashboards for both users and organizations that will allow them to create and leverage custom data visualizations for their improved use of the platform and overall productivity.
06 - Enabling New Governance Mechanisms Develop consensus tools for bounty value estimation, implement internal dispute mechanisms, and respond to community demands and market trends, to increase the overall utility and governance capabilities of Aragon.
07 - Making Aragon More Inclusive Expand Aragon usage beyond the English language to ensure we live up to the manifesto, which states "we are committed to a world in which every person can participate in these new organizational structures".
08 - Facilitating Smart Contract Based IPFS Pinning Allow Aragon organizations to store user and application data in a distributed manner, without having to worry about unauthorized users taking advantage of this service, or a single IPFS node going down causing entire applications to become unusable.
09 - Strengthening Network Sustainability Launch a DAO using Open Enterprise where the broader community can collaborate to make progress on the financial sustainability of the Aragon Network and its contributors, putting into practice ideologies which have been designed into our code.
10 - Driving Ecosystem Development Research, identify, and onboard worker-owned and mission driven organizations. Other aspects of this initiative include organizing two hackathons and a regular podcast about the future of organizations and work.
11 - Supporting AGP Execution Respond to technical dependencies required to execute an AGP, to enable Aragon’s governance processes to evolve at a more rapid rate.
12 - Facilitating Developer Support Provide technical support in dedicated AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions and more diligently documented answers, to reduce the number of repeated questions, and also provide developers with an increased sense of reliability.
13 - Reinforcing User Research Efforts Drive new product features through data-driven user research insights sourced from robust experimentation and co-creation within concept testing and validation.
Product Development Strategy
After learning from our first AGP, our second AGP has an improved strategy - to implement a fluid roadmap that leaves time and engineering bandwidth to iterate on behalf of our users. Prescribing a year’s worth of features based on what we think is best may risk creating software no one needs or wants in the first place.
Certainly, we have an idea of where we want to go as outlined in our Scope of Work, but we also want to make it a point to ask people about their needs and choose the common features to develop, hence we need to designate time in order to do so. We have documented research topics whose answers may influence our initiatives and roadmap along the way.
Funding & Team
Autark will continue to work in partnership with Open Work Labs in the execution of this proposal. We are requesting one year of funding for a total of 1,600,000 DAI, which budgets for 11 to 12 full time contributors, four team offsites, bounty programs, hackathons, acquiring trademarks, and other operating expenses. We are also requesting a 487,500 ANT package, with 1-year cliff and 4-year vesting, for long-term incentivization and governance purposes.
Autark began contributing to the Aragon ecosystem in April 2018, first as a Nest team and now as the second flock team in the Aragon Network. We joined the community due to our alignment with the ethos of the Aragon ecosystem and our desire to improve human coordination.
2. Scope of Work
Our work is broken down into 13 initiatives. The deliverables described in this Scope of Work are subject to change, based on user research efforts.
01 - Maintaining Open Enterprise
Soft launch Open Enterprise to mainnet by Q4 of 2019 as requested by our dedicated early adopters.
- Terra Release: Open Enterprise v0.1.0 (Terra) launching to Mainnet will require: enhancing the suite to resolve security audit feedback, continuing to make the suite more robust, and running a user testing campaign to find (and squash) bugs.
- Bounty Program: Create a bounty program for more people to get involved in the development of the suite and claim subsequent rewards.
- Feature Request System: Set up a channel where the community can signal and prioritize feature requests and bug fixes throughout our continued maintenance and uptime for the apps.
Our suite needs to undergo more testing and dogfooding in our preparation for mainnet launch. We plan to be available to squash bugs, prioritize unplanned feature requests based on user research, and implement Aragon’s newest features when ready.
Products are living, (almost) breathing creatures that need to be maintained and taken care of. We see Open Enterprise as being in continuous development to become a full featured, work management suite for decentralized organizations. As it is the core in which we mold our initiatives around, the long-term vision is to enhance and optimize as we march toward a 1.0 release.
02 - Expanding Projects
Expanding the capabilities of the Projects app will increase productivity for work-based Aragon organizations. The Projects app has organic usage, so understanding our users and the “must-have” features will help create real use cases for Aragon.
- Decentralized Project Management: Provide support for projects and tasks to be created and managed without relying on centralized services like Github. This includes Kanban pipelines / prioritization features.
- New Bounty Dynamics: Ability for managers and reviewers to get a percentage of bounties. Cancelling bounties and returning funding to the DAO. Allow bounties to be funded by external methods. Allow people to work on tasks without applying. Github bot posting bounty status and linking back to the relevant issue in Projects.
There is early adoption of our Projects app for real bounties and Aragon Mesh has requested features to enhance their workflow.
Future features will include advanced planning capabilities such as gantt charts, subtasks, and task dependencies. We would love to see Projects evolve to become the core project management app for Aragon.
03 - Expanding Finance
Provide more flexibility and control around grants management and financial planning.
- Merging Finance and Allocations: Simplify the allocation process by combining the Allocations and Finance apps. Allow the amounts of multiparty allocations to be dynamically defined.
- Budget Segments: Provide granular and flexible budgeting capabilities, allowing spending limits to be created for user-defined categories or initiatives.
- Grants Management: Develop a grants management workflow. This includes handling proposal submissions (RFPs), outcomes, and payment plans.
- The management of the Nest program is currently cumbersome, and GitHub is not optimized for grants management. There is a clear need for an alternative as there have been many cases where community members had to be informed they weren’t submitting their applications following the expected process.
- We have had requests from the community to merge the Allocations and Finance apps and enhance the Finance app to support more complex budgeting use cases.
Aragon is capable of supporting the Nest and AGP grant programs, The Aragon Network migrates its grant making flows such as the Nest program and AGP to utilize this new framework.
04 - Expanding Social
We hypothesize that profiles and discussions are two of the most important social features to include in a DAO, as participating in a DAO may feel rigid - with so many Ethereum addresses, transaction hashes, and numbers we rarely see human faces or interactions. Incorporating the human factor to DAOs, by enabling social interactions with discussions and profiles, will facilitate more immersive and collaborative experiences.
- Maintenance, Performance, and Integrations: Improve the performance, reliability, and ease of use of the initial implementation of Aragon profiles and contextual discussions.
- Discussions Feed: Visualize the discussions that a user is involved in across an organization, all conveniently placed and sorted into one view.
- Enhancing Profiles: Extend the profiles to support capabilities such as, claiming an ENS name, adding consulting services a user can provide, and more seamless social verifications.
With this initiative, we will continue our efforts on Aragon profiles and native discussions by both providing maintenance and increasing their capabilities to become more full featured.
Aragon One had a previous call for proposals in the Nest program about better communication tools for effective governance that is very aligned with this initiative. We will consider the ideas presented there as we devise our features.
External, centralized forums are no longer required to debate and discuss proposals as a decentralized organization. This will enable more emergent behavior in organizations, where a centralized, founding entity will not have privileged access to forum data.
05 - Enabling Organization Insights
Dashboards will increase the productivity of a user by consolidating pending actions into a single interface, in addition to enabling the discovery of new DAOs. Eventually up to three dashboard views will be supported: a user view, an organization view, and an ecosystem view.
- Organization Dashboard: Expand the Home app to support widgets that display pending and completed actions in applications and external feeds (forums, blogs).
- User Dashboard: Develop a dashboard of pending and completed actions, across a user-defined set of DAOs.
- Voting Insights: Provide more views into voting results, such as the positions of each token holder and number of distinct addresses that participated in a vote.
We initially shared a concept design for a DAOs homepage which was too ambitious to pull off in AGP-19, but we want to bring the vision to life, as there is a clear need.
Our hypothesis is that dashboards will be the preferred entry point for users to take action in organizations. In the long-term, we plan to build upon our research for ecosystem dashboards while continuously developing additional widgets requested by the community, to improve management and coordination workflows.
06 - Enabling New Governance Mechanisms
By promoting and developing additional governance tools, Aragon can become known as the platform that enables the most experimentation, flexibility, control, and security in applying novel decision-making schemes.
- New Voting Patterns: Build at least one additional decision-making tool or voting pattern derived from user research insights.
- Consensus Voting: Allow for special voting sessions to be created, where the aim is to reach consensus among the voting session participants.
- Internal Dispute Mechanisms: Develop solutions that enable members of an organization to participate in low friction decision-making processes. These may include vetoing or challenging actions occurring in the organization.
Aragon has been criticized for only offering archaic governance capabilities due to a single, out of the box, binary voting app.
By continuing to cultivate a variety of governance mechanisms, the Aragon ecosystem will be able to support the majority of decision-making needs requested by the community.
07 - Making Aragon More Inclusive
The Manifesto states "we are committed to a world in which every person can participate in these new organizational structures". We interpret this as a need to ensure these tools can indeed be used by everyone. To expand access, we will initially prioritize supporting Aragon in different languages.
- Multi-language Support: Provide an interface that will enable the management and translation of different Aragon UI strings (by a DAO).
- Language Preference Propagation: Develop the ability for a user specified language to propagate to the app front-end.
- Accessibility Enhancements: Audit Open Enterprise to identify and implement “quick win” accessibility enhancements.
We will be prioritizing the internationalization pillar as part of this initiative as this feature is in most demand:
This initiative encompasses development on Autark’s pillars of internationalization, privacy, and accessibility. While we likely won’t be able to complete all pillars in one year, we believe that within two years a minimum viable implementation can be achieved. Year over year, we will iterate on this initiative until Aragon supports all features.
08 - Facilitating Smart Contract Based IPFS Pinning
Aragon organizations should be able to store user and application data in a distributed manner, without having to worry about unauthorized users taking advantage of this service, or a single IPFS node going down causing entire applications to become unusable.
- Generalized Architecture: Build an easy to deploy architecture composed of an IPFS-Cluster, a proxy server with tooling and analytics, and an authentication microservice. The architecture will be compatible with the ipfs-http-client.
- Deployment Documentation: Publish in-depth instructions and documentation for deploying this architecture and integrating it with Aragon DAOs and/or organizations.
- Sample Implementations: Create sample smart-contract implementations for common use cases brought up in the forum and various chats.
- Initial Integrations: Integrating this advanced IPFS pinning architecture with Open Enterprise.
Organizations compromise their level of decentralization when relying on third party IPFS storage providers to handle their data. On the other hand, creating a robust and secure storage architecture on a per organization basis takes significant dev time and repetitive work.
Our plan is to create easy-to-deploy infrastructure for running an IPFS-Cluster with custom authentication tailored to DAOs. See our initial technical spec here (this is currently undergoing peer review and is subject to change).
When it’s ready, we'd love to integrate Filecoin into this architecture, so DAOs can rent their unused capacity to earn passive revenue.
09 - Strengthening Network Sustainability
Ultimately, teams within the Aragon Network must find sustainable revenue sources to survive without depending on Aragon’s treasury, as we recognize the fight for freedom will not be won overnight. We will launch a DAO using Open Enterprise where the broader community can collaborate to make progress on Network Sustainability, putting into practice our ideologies which have been designed into our code.
- DAO Seeding: Define what an open enterprise is, and the initial governance model based on the Open Enterprise application suite. Begin seeding founding members of the DAO.
- Business Model Generation: Strategize project ideas that will be complementary to our development efforts and network goals. Present plans for how revenue can be shared across the multi-stakeholder Aragon Network DAO.
- DAO Launch: Build a community around the DAO, with bounties to find contributors.
- Governance Iterations: Document lessons learned from the bounty program, including the strengths, weaknesses, and challenges of operating decentralized worker-owned organizations.
Finding business models that work for open source teams is beneficial to all Flock teams and the entire open source ecosystem.
This initiative is three-fold:
- It allows us to build a community around a decentralized organization, which will bring more awareness to Aragon’s mission and technology.
- By opening our team up to collaborating with the community on strategic projects will enable a cross-pollination of ideas: this is why we are building Aragon after all.
- By operating as an open enterprise, we can increase the number of parallel experiments and the chances of honing in on successful business models, which will contribute to the long-term sustainability of the Aragon Network.
Business model generation and governance iteration processes leads towards new DAOs spawning and forking from the seed DAO. We learn through the process of community growth and dogfooding on how to optimize Open Enterprise, so the ideologies of open participation and worker-autonomy enables alternative, decentralized organization models to flourish.
10 - Driving Ecosystem Development
As Open Enterprise is a suite that caters toward worker-owned and mission driven organizations, part of our ecosystem development initiative relates towards researching, identifying, and onboarding these types of users. Another aspect of this initiative relates toward general awareness of Aragon’s mission and community building via hackathons and podcasts. Facilitating a strategic initiative like this is also very closely intertwined and synergetic with our Reinforcing User Research Efforts initiative.
Research potential organizations interested in using Aragon and work through the process of: 1) Gathering requirements, to see if the platform meets their needs, or if new features are needed. 2) Answering usage questions and subsequently documenting in public FAQs. 3) Onboarding them onto the platform.
Research and explore potential partnerships with wallets and/or exchanges to increase quorum for both ANT and any organization that uses Aragon for governance.
Organize hackathons twice a year, aimed to empower new and existing users to co-create new Aragon apps leveraging the Aragon stack.
A regular podcast containing valuable insights on how people from a wide array of backgrounds and industries view the evolving nature of work and growing organizations.
The future of work and organization management are topics that are widely discussed well beyond the Web3 ecosystem. Such a podcast would allow the Web3 ecosystem to benefit from such discussions, potentially including major insights for product development, and to seek an alignment around common visions of the future.
11 - Facilitating AGP Execution
Community members may request a change to Aragon Network Governance via an AGP, yet it is not always possible to include these proposals in the ballot due to governance features not yet existing within Aragon.
By responding to technical dependencies required to execute an AGP, we can evolve Aragon’s governance processes at a more rapid rate. Community members without technical background who aren’t part of any funded team will feel more empowered to design solutions and have an impact.
While Autark may not be able to respond to all requests, we commit to supporting the technical implementation of at least one AGP that takes 160 hours or less resources. In up to two additional AGPs, we can offer visual and technical designs to support supplementary grants via Nest or the Community Funding DAO to find community members that can lead the technical development.
We prefer one month of advance notice before the AGP vote which would require our assistance. While none of these numbers are hard requirements, it is an initial commitment we can offer. We are very interested in how the community responds to this initiative and are open to considering extending our support on a case by case.
We see technical support for AGPs as such a necessary component of the Aragon Network, especially as the ecosystem grows and there are more AGPs with technical dependencies.
If the rate of such AGPs grows, we envision there eventually being a dedicated team that includes product, design, and at least two developers that are the “technical first responders”. In some sense this is equivalent to a technical congress of the digital jurisdiction that is the Aragon Network -- responsible with laying down the code to enact new laws.
12 - Facilitating Developer Support
Providing technical support in dedicated AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions and more diligently document answers will reduce the number of repeated questions and provide developers with an increased sense of reliability. This will encourage developers to build upon Aragon and increase the value of the network.
- Improved Documentation: Release more robust documentation in sync with our mainnet releases, following Aragon Developer Portal standards.
- Developer AMAs: Perform developer “Ask Me Anything” sessions where we answer community questions every two weeks, in dedicated 2 hour sessions. Publish answers in a monthly blog, and submit updates to hack.aragon.org where applicable for greater visibility.
There was recent feedback by Witnet on developer experience which reinforces the need of the initial documentation for developers requiring more clarity.
The documentation in the Aragon Developer Portal becomes more easy to understand, especially the initial documents that are introducing the Aragon stack.
13 - Reinforcing User Research Efforts
Collecting real data from user research allows us to make informed decisions about the most user-friendly designs and important features to build. Not doing so, and building software for a year without iterating around real user feedback and needs, would be irresponsible and could lead us to build software that no one needs or understands.
User Research Wiki: Publish research frameworks and user experience insights from Autark’s design operations. This wiki will be open to collaboration with the Aragon ecosystem. Frameworks will include but not be limited to: design sprints, usability testing, customer interviews, surveys, co-creation workshops, design jams, metrics and user testing recruitment methods.
Enhanced Design & Prototype Components: Maintain a collection of aragonUI design and code components on Framer, to allow Aragon teams to develop fully interactive prototypes with a cross-team library of reusable components maintained in sync with the Aragon Design System.
User research is at the core of developing great features and user experiences. It reduces friction towards realizing the Aragon Vision and the adoption of its tools.
An open directory of user research insights that will fuel the development of a web based database of objectives and key results for Aragon teams around new product developments aligned with real user data from across the ecosystem.
3. Projected Initiative Capacities
As mentioned in our opening strategy, we plan to work in a more agile and fluid manner with respect to product development. As we have many initiatives that may require variable and unpredictable amounts of labor, we have devised a framework that specifies our projected capacity on each initiative. This is only a projection, as labor is difficult to quantify to this granularity, so there will likely be changes. We plan to update this chart quarterly and provide explanations for our revisions.
|Product Initiatives||Team Capacity (%)||Product Capacity (%)|
|01 - Maintaining Open Enterprise||8||12.5|
|02 - Expanding Projects||8||12.5|
|03 - Expanding Finance||10||15.6|
|04 - Expanding Social||6||9.4|
|05 - Enabling Organization Insights||8||12.5|
|06 - Enabling New Governance Mechanisms||8||12.5|
|07 - Making Aragon More Inclusive||6||9.4|
|08 - Facilitating Smart Contract Based IPFS Pinning||10||15.6|
|Community Initiatives||Team Capacity (%)||Community Capacity (%)|
|09 - Strengthening Network Sustainability||14||38.9|
|10 - Driving Ecosystem Development||12||33.3|
|11 - Supporting AGP Execution||2||5.6|
|12 - Facilitating Developer Support||4||11.1|
|13 - Reinforcing User Research Efforts||4||11.1|
We will request ANT signals during each Aragon Network Vote to see whether stakeholders approve or reject our roadmap adjustments. If holders disapprove of how we are approaching our work, we request that holders voice their concern on the forum so we can react appropriately and in the open.
4. Grant Size
We are requesting one year of funding for a total of 1,600,000 DAI, which budgets for 11 to 12 full time contributors, four team offsites, bounty programs, hackathons, acquiring trademarks, and other operating expenses.
Total: 1,600,000 DAI
- Payroll & performance incentives: $1.24m
- Bounties & misc. contractors: $35k
- Hackathons: $10k
- Legal, accounting, recruiting, HR: $55k
- Four off sites: $110k
- Travel & conferences: $35k
- Coworking memberships: $15k
- Software, tools, infra: $8k
- Equipment & furniture: $25k
- Contingency & misc. uncategorized: $20k
The values in the bullets above are in USD, with a total of $1.553m USD. In our experience transacting in DAI during AGP-19, we experienced roughly a 3% slippage. For that reason we are requesting the DAI conversion to be treated as $1.553m * 1.03 = ~ 1.6m DAI.
Our plan is to hold our treasury in DAI, and exchange it on a monthly basis to fiat to cover operational expenses.
We expect to be paid 400,000 DAI on a quarterly basis, with each payment disbursed no later than the following dates:
- Monday, 5 August 2019
- Monday, 4 November 2019
- Monday, 3 February 2020
- Monday, 4 May 2020
For this grant, we would like to request a 487,500 ANT package, with 1-year cliff and 4-year vesting.
This will bring our total ANT awarded via Flock to 837,500 ANT, which is 50% of Aragon One's allocation, and we based our calculations on this communication/guidance by the Aragon Association.
We also feel this value is justified for the following reasons:
- Throughout participation in the Nest and Flock programs, we have gained significant knowledge of the Aragon stack, and have been ramping up our skills, and growing the team. An additional ANT package will enable us to meet prior commitments for recent hires, in addition to new positions, and possibly leaving a pool aside for future unexpected use.
- As the second Flock team, and first non-founding team to join Flock, we took significant risk by going all in on a six month grant, with very few active users and no guarantee for future funding.
- Open Enterprise, our flagship suite, has early adoption even while it’s on Rinkeby. It is also showcased in broader community presentations, such as the recent Open 2019 conference.
- It’s important for Autark team members to be able to participate in governance, and ANT packages help align incentives.
We are leaving the possibility open to request more ANT in the future for situations including but not limited to: adopting new network norms for how ANT is requested and awarded, team growth, or measurable value creation.
We have not included security audit costs in the budget of this AGP, as they are difficult to predict and anticipate at this stage. We plan to utilize the policies set forth in AGP-43, the Aragon Network Security Partner Policy, to contract security services. As this AGP defines enhancements to Finance and Voting, those apps at the minimum will require audit work, due to the nature of having privileges to transfer value within a DAO.
Autark will continue to work in partnership with Open Work Labs in the execution of this proposal, and the team size for this proposal is 11 to 12 full time contributors. Review the details here.
These are our initial requests for Aragon accounts, channels, tools, assets, domains and infrastructure that we need in order to operate and to make progress on decentralizing administration of centralized services.
If a situation comes up where we feel we need more control, we will propose it in another AGP.
We plan to be respectful of the privileges granted to us and will adopt Flock norms set forth by current owners, managers, maintainers, and future Aragon Network Votes.
|Access to||Yes/No||If Yes, precise what and why|
|Blog access||Y||We want to provide updates on Open Enterprise releases in the official Aragon blog.|
|Social media access||Y||We want to speed up sharing Autark updates on the @AragonProject twitter.|
|Repo access||Y||Repo access on the entire @aragon organization. We've already started working on Aragon SDK tools, going forward this work will increase and we can't expect Aragon One to provide full reviews to the feature adds we need. We've proven ourselves and believe this access is in everyone's best interest in terms of team efficiency and developer experience.|
|NPM publish rights for all aragon packages||Y||While we most likely will not push major changes, when small bugs are introduced to the tools it would be easier for everyone if we could push quick bug and hotfixes to the aragonSDK packages.|
|Unrestricted use of the Aragon trademark||Y||For promoting events/hackathons, documentation, being able to call ourselves an Aragon Flock team without any legal concerns.|
|Publish access to aragonpm.eth||N|
|Access to Aragon servers and cloud infrastructure||N|
|Access to Aragon DNS and ENS domains||N|
|Admin/moderator access on aragon.chat, forum.aragon.org, and /r/AragonProject||Y||As we take on an increased role with user and developer relations we expect to need the ability to move within all aragon chat channels un-restricted. We want Autark members to have badges in the forum and to be able to manage that process. We would like at least one Autark member to be added as a reddit moderator to be able to facilitate AMAs.|
7. Organization Structure
Autark LLC exists as a legal interface, yet we operate more like a cooperative with collective decision-making. Our organization has member candidacy periods, where before you can govern the organization you have to be voted in by the existing class of members.
8. Due Diligence Materials
- That Planning Suite Rinkeby Launch Announcement
- Create your own Planning Suite DAO
- Dune: A demo DAO featuring That Planning Suite
- That Planning Suite is featured on the landing page of the 1hive DAO
- Rinkeby Projects app being used for real bounties with Aragon Mesh