[PIP-3] - PopcornDAO Working Groups

1. SUMMARY:

This proposal seeks to launch a three-month pilot of four PopcornDAO Working Groups. The goal of these Working Groups is to strengthen collaboration between the PopcornDAO community and the Popcorn core team in functional areas that are vital to the success of the organization.

2. PREVIOUS DISCUSSIONS:

3. MAIN OBJECTIVE:

Popcorn aims to become increasingly decentralized and community-driven to advance its mission and vision. Achieving this will require DAO structures for more efficient flows of information, ideas and work between the current core team, the POPstar group and the broader Popcorn community. Over a series of POPstar x core syncs and asynchronous work in Miro, the concept of Working Groups was developed to create collaboration networks across these multiple contributor types.

Four initial WGs have been specified that align with Popcorn’s primary goals and activities: Growth & Communications, Social Impact, User Experience & Quality Assurance, and DAO Organization. Initial sets of objectives for each WG are outlined below. These should be considered a starting point — each WG will be tasked with refining their set of objectives, as well as defining key performance indicators (KPIs) for each objective.

  • Growth & Communications

    • Raise product awareness: 4X, Butter, Vaults
    • Develop, manage and execute on content calendar
    • Develop and launch POPstar program v2
  • Social Impact

    • Ensure a great experience for beneficiaries working with Popcorn
    • Develop relationships with people and orgs in the crypto + philanthropy space
    • Develop ideas for additional Defi for Good initiatives
  • User Experience & Quality Assurance

    • Ensure clear, consistent and high-quality interactions across Popcorn touchpoints, including Sweet Caramel, Discord and other channels
    • Manage and grow feedback x iterations Discord channel
    • Beta test software: review development releases
  • DAO Organization

    • Develop tools and practices for WGs and PopcornDAO overall
    • Manage WG pilot and collect insights for improvement
    • Develop DAO roadmap

Roles and responsibilities

Each WG will consist of the following roles:

  • Core Team Liaison — Core team member responsible for communicating Popcorn activities and priorities that are relevant to the objectives of the WG and sharing feedback from the WG back to the core team.

  • WG Lead — Responsible for leading the efforts of their WG overall, including coordinating with the Core Team Liaison, maintaining focus on WG objectives & KPIs, and facilitating WG meetings. All WG Leads will also be members of the DAO Organization WG to strengthen learning and coordination across WGs.

  • WG members — Responsible for participating in WG meetings and making contributions that help the WG achieve its objectives. Individuals may be in up to two WGs in any given month as long as they are able to fulfill their commitments at both. For the pilot phase, each WG will be capped at six members, not including the WG Lead.

Qualifications

  • To become a WG Lead, candidates will be screened by Core Team Liaisons and other core team members as deemed appropriate to ensure they are the right fit for the role. Leads will need to have the knowledge and skillset required for the WG subject area, as well as the capacity to successfully navigate and shape what it means to lead within this new WG structure.
  • To become a WG member, candidates will be screened by WG Leads and core team liaisons to ensure they possess the skills, experience and time to fulfill their WG responsibilities.
  • WG Leads and members may be terminated for malicious behavior or failure to fulfill the responsibilities of their roles.

Time commitment and compensation

  • Core Team Liaisons

    • At least 4 hour per month for weekly WG meetings, with the possibility of scaling up if additional collaboration is found to be valuable
  • WG Leads

    • Approximately 60 hours per month
    • $2000 USD per month paid in the POP equivalent at the time of distribution each month.
  • WG Members

    • Hours will vary depending on WG workflow and member availability
    • The total monthly compensation for all WG members will be 300 POP x the number of members per month. Similar to our current system for POPstars, 50% of each member’s distribution will be determined by their fellow WG members through Coordinape, and 50% will be determined by Core Team Liaisons. Each WG will have a separate Coordinape circle, so members of two working groups will be eligible for compensation at both.

This compensation structure will be funded through the POPstar Rewards program. POPstars who join a WG as a Lead or member will receive the compensation outlined above instead of (not in addition to) the monthly distributions they were receiving as POPstars.

In addition to the compensation outlined above, each WG will receive 1500 POP as a starter budget for bounties. This may be used for tasks outside the typical scope of work for members. Bounty tasks will be determined by the WG Leads and Core Team Liaisons with member input. Tasks may be made available to individuals outside of the WG through Dework if the group so chooses. This will provide WGs another avenue for accomplishing their objectives and attracting new talent, and will also allow us to test Dework as a promising DAO tool.

Additional bounty funding may be requested by WGs if they exhaust their initial 1500 POP budget. Requests must specify objectives, deliverables and KPIs in order to be considered.

Pilot scope

All four WGs will be piloted for a three month period to test, evaluate and further develop Working Groups as part of PopcornDAO’s infrastructure. WGs will explore the following key questions in a process facilitated by the DAO Organization WG:

  • Are we meeting our expectations of what we can accomplish?
  • Does compensation feel fair for the amount of work performed and skills required?
  • Do the objectives, KPIs and overall design of the WGs feel like the right amount of structure to be effective? (Too much structure = too rigid and narrow to experiment and remain nimble; Too little structure = too loose and ambiguous to align on the work to do and ways to do it)
  • Does the work feel cohesive enough under the umbrella of each WG, or does it feel too fragmented?
  • Are any tensions, blockers or misalignments coming up through the course of our WG activities? How might we solve for these issues?
  • What tools and practices can we use to improve the effectiveness of the WGs and the experience of WG contributors?

In addition to these questions, each WGs will be required to propose a plan for the following quarter. This will include objectives, deliverables, KPIs, and a budget for compensation, bounties and any other expenses they anticipate. It may also include recommendations to alter the structure or focus of the group itself, e.g., reorienting and renaming the group, merging with another WG, or splitting into multiple subgroups.

4. NEXT STEPS:

  • Interested POPstars will choose one or more WGs they would like to join and indicate if they would like to serve as a WG Lead.
  • WG Lead candidates will be interviewed by Core Team Liaisons.
  • A pilot kickoff meeting will be held with all WG Leads (and potential Leads), Core Team Liaisons, and anyone else interested in participating. This may take place before all Leads are identified.
  • Additional recruiting and selection of WG Leads and members will take place as needed.
  • Each WG Lead will organize their own WG kickoff meeting and recurring weekly meetings with their Core Team Liaison and WG members to align on their objectives, KPIs and plans for executing their work.
  • Pleas vote YES if you support this proposal or NO if you do not support it.
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

4 Likes

So does this mean that Popstars can only continue providing paid support to Popcorn if they become a WG lead or member or do bounties?

1 Like

Thanks for the question, Scorpio. POPstars are not required to join a WG to continue paid support to Popcorn. They can remain general POPstars and continue to be paid as such.

It’s worth noting that almost all of the work POPstars are doing now fits into the subject matter areas covered by the WGs. So to ensure their contributions are aligned with Popcorn’s objectives, it would make sense for most POPstars to join the WGs where their interests and efforts lie.

Exceptions to this would include things like independent research or experimental projects that could add value to Popcorn in ways we haven’t yet fully defined.

Let me know if you have any further questions or ideas.

2 Likes

Thanks Joey!

Asked this question as wasn’t clear from the above on what this meant as if this replaces current Popstar earnings and is capped at 300, could potentially mean less. So is the assumption that this amount plus bounties would be the approach?

Also, only other question is relative to WG Meetings and times as if not early am or after 5 pm or on weekends this will be problematic unfortunately.

Lastly, when you mentioned Research & Projects have to ask what the fate of PIP [1] SMI Plan Development is currently as has passed all hurdles except Snapshot Vote which months ago was advised to be on hold until vePOP was in place on which have heard nothing on further?

2 Likes

I’m not sure what you mean by capped at 300. POPstars who remain in the general POPstar program would receive rewards for contributions exactly as they do now. POPstars who join one WG would essentially be rewarded in the same way, but through a coordinape circle specifically for that WG rather than the general POPstar circle.

POPstars may join up to two WGs. Those who do would be in the circles for both WGs, and thus eligible for more rewards, assuming they contribute at the level required in both.

Rewards for any bounties work would be in addition to that.

WG meeting times will be determined by the groups once they form. The goal of course will be to find times that work for as much of the group as possible.

Let’s move the conversation about your other question to discord as it’s unrelated to this proposal.

2 Likes

Strong step in the right direction for DAO decentralisation. Good work in bringing it to this stage.
If you’re a community member and interested in getting involved - even without any direct experience - do it!
All ideas are important in shaping Popcorn to really make a positive impact.

2 Likes

One thing that worries me a bit is paying WG leads an amount in $ (in the form of POP) while paying popstars an amount in POP directly. This means POPStars are exposed to POP volatility more openly. Why not pay POPStars 300 $ equivalent in POP too? The other way around fixing a WG lead income to 2k$ (in POP) while doing about 60h for the project per month turns out to about 34$/h - maybe not that encouraging at least for people from western Europ for example.

Thanks ToBe, these are certainly points to consider. One of questions we’ll be exploring in the pilot is whether compensation feels fair for the level of work and skill required. If we run into significant barriers related to compensation before the pilot concludes, we also have the ability to address those with bounties or through governance via new proposals.

3 Likes

In my eyes this proposal comes way too early. There is virtually zero buying pressure on the token right now and all this will do is lead to a vicious cycle, where every month bigger and bigger amounts of POP will be dumped into the market and hinder the protocols growth.

Working groups are sth that makes sense, when the products have found PMF and tokenomics initiate a positive feedback loop. Overall I see this proposal doing a lot of damage to the token price with very little upside to the DAO

1 Like

I continue to strongly support the proposal to form a working groups pilot. I think this is the only way to tune whether allocated time is realistic and if leadership skills are already here within the current community. By genuinely decentralising through these WGs we should be able to build a solid base of advocates who feel like they own this project and therefore grow value in both the project and beneficiary organisations.

It would be useful to examine whether contributor archetypes appear across the three months so we understand the roles that are being played across each WG and how they are communicating between WGs. Here is an example of the Future Humans archetypes for example.

As for compensation, the comment from @Hellboy on sustained POP dumping from WG members raises a strong point. I imagine this is something to observe during the pilot and act accordingly in response to feedback.

In seeking positive-sum dynamics we could test token-gating access to WGs which requires WG Members to hold a specified amount of POP or that they have to lock their received POP into a staking contract while they are a WG member (or even longer staking locks with benefitial rates). Benefits could include enhanced compensation in airdrops later down the line, utilty NFTs that give access to increased staking reward percentages, or tokens from other partner projects. All in persuit of keeping the core project contributors holding the POP token.

A few questions to @JoeyN on this:

  • Have you consulted on how other early-stage teams have dealt with core contributors dumping regularly?
  • Do other projects use vesting on DAO contributor compensation?
  • Do other projects use something like an internal OTC exchange mechanism to avoid market selling?
5 Likes

@Hellboy and @Charlie, thanks for expressing your concerns and sharing your ideas.

Hellboy, I agree that POP tokenomics and utility need to improve to become more sustainable over time. I respectfully disagree on timing for working groups.

Due to the limited scope and membership of the pilot, combined with the fact that many of the likely WG members are current POPstars, the additional POP released into the market is not very significant relative to both the current circulating supply and POP unlocking from other sources. As Charlie noted, there are also mechanisms we can put in place over time to encourage holding and reduce sell pressure from WGs if needed (beyond the POP staking options available now).

Also, this additional POP will be going to community members investing their efforts directly into Popcorn’s most important priorities. We have a core team that is stretched to the limit, and WGs would allow more work to get done to achieve PMF and advance towards Popcorn’s vision more quickly.

A personal example — as the primary team member focused on developing our DAO structures, there are many DAO strategy and operations topics I would love to spend hours researching and harvesting valuable insights for Popcorn. But I simply don’t have the capacity to pursue all of them. With a DAO Organization working group established, we would greatly expand our ability to tackle this, as well as implement new tools and practices in response to our findings.

This pilot is designed to be starting point from which we can quickly learn and iterate. We’re trying to strike a balance between simplicity / ease of getting starting with the development of mechanisms to make it more valuable, efficient and satisfying for everyone involved. Charlie, your questions and ideas are great and absolutely worth exploring — before the pilot is even concluded. I found this article on DAO compensation inspiring as well.

Keep the questions and comments coming, and if this PIP moves forward, please consider applying to join a WG. We need your support, talent and participation in healthy debates like this to build Popcorn’s success.

I would argue that the argument that there isn’t much additional POP released into circulation is a weak one, when looking at the fact that price has been declining for months already and the additional tokens will worsen that problem.

Locking these tokens up for at least 6 months would be a good first step, but also will not give you the additional info you’re looking for in the pilot program. As you won’t find out, if WG members would dump if they could.

As a crypto professional and member and participant in multiple teams I would also argue that the handling of DAO building through Core Team Liaisons will not expand the ability of core team members to focus on their missions, but rather distract them, by adding new responsibilities to their task list.

I’m a big proponent of the concept of gradual decentralization and I just see Popcorn as too early in its live cycle to take on such a huge organizational burden.

I’d love to hear more about your experience and observations from other teams if you’d be willing to jump on a quick call — I’ll dm you to see if that’s a possibility.

I’m intentionally trying to limit the time required from Core Team Liaisons and put practices in place to make workflow efficient between the core and WGs, but it would be great to learn more about the pitfalls.

I honestly don’t know, if I would have to give too much input here! My main focus is way more DeFi heavy than DAO organizational structures.

My personal advice for this proposal would be to trim it down to just 1 WG for now, namely the Growth & Communications one! This is the most important topic for Popcorn at the current stage, you limit the amount of POP spent and you can have your test run with all the incoming results without putting too much pressure on Core Contributors.

2 Likes

I agree with Hellboy, we should cut down to only 1-2 working groups, this will reduce price pressure on POP circulation and core team, avoid inflation, especially we are in the bear market.
All for a more sustainable development!

2 Likes

If i may ask what could be the legible requirements for one to participate and lead a region in EastAfrica where Crypto and Web3 adoption is at a steady promising progress

1 Like