Pre-Proposal: Prioritized Projects Wish List

Michael Q

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Mar 7, 2017
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Who am I?
I’m a Silicon Valley technical advisor and engineering leader, most recently with LinkedIn as a Director of Engineering. I have lots of experience in shaping ideas from teams into prioritized lists and product roadmaps. I am also experienced in applying iterative approaches to learn cheaply and quickly, as well as in building online communities and zero-to-one product development.

Introduction

As a relative newcomer to the Dash DAO world, I have had a hard time telling what projects most need to get done to advance Dash. There also seems to be a lack of a crystallized list of strategic priorities from the leadership (beyond those for core team). These are impediments to capable newcomers like me making meaningful proposals.

In the open source software world, a best practice is for the core team to publish a prioritized list of projects they would like to get done but don't have time to do. This gives new contributors ideas for high impact projects to tackle, and it helps the core team get more important work done through the proposal process.

Why should Dash fund this?

The Dash ecosystem needs a prioritized wish list of projects to drive higher quality and higher impact proposals. This proposal is a modest one to test the concept before we build any software to support the process. If it works well, I have the know-how to complete a high quality website in a subsequent proposal.

At the end of this test, we will have a prioritized wish list of projects that will be useful for 3-6 months. And we will have a good understanding of what sort of process will work well to keep an evergreen list going forward.

How Will It Work?

We will take a Lean Startup approach to test this out (design a simple test to test a hypothesis before investing further). Our hypothesis is that having a prioritized wish list will be relatively easy to assemble and will be a highly valuable asset to the Dash ecosystem.

Test Phase (this proposal):

We will have a 30-day period in which Master Node Operators (MNO’s) can submit and vote on ideas. We will use dot voting (multi-voting) to prioritize the list, where each participant gets a bunch of votes to cast for ideas they like the most. Then the best ideas (those with the most votes) float to the top of the prioritized list.

Timeline:
  1. 7 days initial setup
  2. 15 days to publicize to MNO’s to get them to participate
  3. 15 days for idea submission
  4. 15 days for voting
  5. 3 days to prepare and publish the list
  6. Milestone: list is published
  7. Then I promote the published list on forums/slack and by getting links on all the main sites
My action items:
  1. Set up online assets (description of process, ideas/surveying page(s), participant mailing list for communication)
  2. Publicize test to MNO’s - forums, getting links added in appropriate places. Follow-ups on forum questions.
  3. Handle MNO access requests.
  4. Oversee the idea/voting community process.
  5. Publish top ideas list and publicize the list on forums/slack and getting links added in appropriate places.
  6. Customer support / individual Q&A.
  7. Run survey and publish survey results of quality of project outcome
To keep it simple during the test phase, MNO’s will prove to me (in some way TBD) that they are MNO’s. Then I will give them access to a website to submit and vote on ideas. This will be loose in that they may be able to re-share access to the site, but it should provide enough security for the test phase.

Website Build Phase (separate proposal, later):

If the test phase works well, we can build a website that will automate this as a repeatable process.

Cost: 45 DASH per month for two months

Questions
  1. I wonder whether this should be open to all MNO’s or be more focused on the Dash Foundation team and more experienced MNO’s. I think it’s better just to keep it open. Will this approach include the foundation team enough?
  2. How many MNO’s will want access to test phase? 100?
  3. What the best simple way to qualify participants as true MNO’s?
  4. If supported here, should I submit this for current cycle ending in ~5 days or wait for next round? @paragon on slack suggested that I go for this cycle as long as I get my proposal up before Ryan posts the core budget proposals. But $500 fee is non-trivial risk.
Let me know what you think overall and about any of the questions!

-Michael
 
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demo

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Apr 23, 2016
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Who am I?
Timeline:
  1. 7 days initial setup
  2. 15 days to publicize to MNO’s to get them to participate
  3. 15 days for idea submission
  4. 15 days for voting
  5. 3 days to prepare and publish the list
  6. Milestone: list is published
  7. Then I promote the published list on forums/slack and by getting links on all the main sites
Although I agree with the principle of "Prioritized Projects Wish List" I think your proposal contains a lot of magic numbers.
Why 7 days inital setup? Why 15 days to publicize to MNO's? Why 15 days for idea submission? Why 15 days for voting? Why 7/15/15/15 and not 30/60/60/60?

Please try to avoid the magic numbers, especially if you cannot explain the reason why those magic numbers have been set. Your magic numbers may fit to the community of today, but if they remain hardcoded they usally cause enormous problems to the future generations.
 

Chadrick

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Mar 22, 2017
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Why just MNOs and not the entire community? Let everyone (including MNOs) vote on ideas and those best should/could come to the top. I think we should test both ways and see what happens. The problem with my suggestion is unique votes vs. fake accounts. I'd like to see votes in the form of funding the proposal fee, so voters who believe in a project have skin in the game.
 
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lynx

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Dec 11, 2015
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Seems it could be useful. Something like trello.com card voting?
I expect strict privacy/anonymity safeguards, with absolutely no personal information asked for access, not even an e-mail.
I suppose MNOs can be qualified by either: having them sign a message; or (for the purpose of this test) show you this forum's MN badge.

Why just MNOs and not the entire community?
Because MNOs are the ones that are ultimately going to approve or reject the proposals.
 
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stellabelle

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Mar 5, 2017
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I see what you're trying to accomplish and I see a similar need, however i have a response:

Why would you need to set up a different site when this forum has been functioning to learn about proposals? I feel that taking it off into a different area will restrict community input. There may be some very valuable community Dashers who don't own Masternodes, but who are influential with the community and who also could be helpful in shaping the outcome of proposals. I'm not sure that a sepearate website is needed.
 

Chadrick

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Mar 22, 2017
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We might end up in a situation where fewer and fewer new folks are able to input their ideas and help the network grow. Especially when it now costs 90-100K for a MasterNode. If this becomes the case then the wisdom of the crowd is limited. This would be a real letdown from a project I have come to value immensely...
 
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paragon

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Dec 30, 2016
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I'd vote for this proposal because having a prioritized to do-list that the community unanimously agrees upon is invaluable. The core team and all proposers to the treasury would benefit from having the knowledge of what the community currently values getting done the most and could prioritize accordingly. However, there's a lot logistically that needs to be ironed out beforehand for this to be done.

Michael would really benefit from key Dash team member's collaboration/input on this. I'm sure Dash team members will have some good ways to simplify, tweak, refine, and also directly help in this process. For this type of complex proposal requiring feedback and collaboration from many people, it's likely you will have to wait until the next budget cycle to post.

Chadrick, while I'm not against leaving it open to all, I think it might be easier if only the masternodes voted on the to do list as they would all take this very seriously and it would prevent spammers and trolls from submitting. Non-masternodes could easily mention their ideas to the masternodes for inclusion.
 
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ewok

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Oct 4, 2016
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Having a process to aggregate and sort the most potential and value ideas outside of the cores sphere is very worthwhile. This could lead to faster and more productive adoption.

This process however is not the determining factor for a proposals success, it is rather a tool to provide a process? I imagine a proposal going through such a process would be more refined and have a greater chance of being passed by a MN vote.

For the above reason this initial process should be open to all, as why limit where great ideas may come from. This would be a all inclusive process. Ultimately any deemed worthwhile proposal still has to be submitted and voted by the MNs.

I think we should also avoid having multiple MNs rounds of voting as this leads to fatigue.
 
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Michael Q

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Mar 7, 2017
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Having a process to aggregate and sort the most potential and value ideas outside of the cores sphere is very worthwhile. This could lead to faster and more productive adoption.

This process however is not the determining factor for a proposals success, it is rather a tool to provide a process? I imagine a proposal going through such a process would be more refined and have a greater chance of being passed by a MN vote.

For the above reason this initial process should be open to all, as why limit where great ideas may come from. This would be a all inclusive process. Ultimately any deemed worthwhile proposal still has to be submitted and voted by the MNs.

I think we should also avoid having multiple MNs rounds of voting as this leads to fatigue.
This would not replace the proposals process; rather, it would generate a list of prioritized ideas that people could use to guide them in coming up with proposals. If it worked well, the top priority things might see multiple proposals in a given round, which would be cool.

It could also have an effect similar to what you are suggesting: things that the organization has already deemed high priority would naturally get more scrutiny and more support.
 
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Michael Q

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Mar 7, 2017
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Why just MNOs and not the entire community? Let everyone (including MNOs) vote on ideas and those best should/could come to the top. I think we should test both ways and see what happens. The problem with my suggestion is unique votes vs. fake accounts. I'd like to see votes in the form of funding the proposal fee, so voters who believe in a project have skin in the game.
Nice ideas, Chadrick. We could certainly test both ways in two iterations. I am worried about noise/spam. Great idea about votes in form of funding proposal fee, though then you have to think about how that gets claimed, what if there are 2+ parties that want to propose and use the fee, etc.

What size contributions do you imagine happening by voting with your Dash?
 
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Michael Q

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Mar 7, 2017
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Seems it could be useful. Something like trello.com card voting?
I expect strict privacy/anonymity safeguards, with absolutely no personal information asked for access, not even an e-mail.
That's one step I forgot to list: selecting the tool for the idea collection and voting. Trello card voting is one to check out, another is dotstorming.com.

Re. privacy, tough not being able to collect an email as I expect there to be some communication necessary with participants. I guess it can all be done through forums/slack if necessary.
 

Michael Q

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Mar 7, 2017
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Why would you need to set up a different site when this forum has been functioning to learn about proposals? I feel that taking it off into a different area will restrict community input. There may be some very valuable community Dashers who don't own Masternodes, but who are influential with the community and who also could be helpful in shaping the outcome of proposals. I'm not sure that a sepearate website is needed.
This isn't to learn about proposals, but to help entrepreneurs figure out what to propose. Let's say the most high-impact thing that could be done was building libraries in C#, perl, and javascript, but proposals always came in for ATM machines and meetups. This would be a way to clarify that.

I agree that including the Dashers who don't own Masternodes in some way would be a good thing.
 

Michael Q

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Mar 7, 2017
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I'd vote for this proposal because having a prioritized to do-list that the community unanimously agrees upon is invaluable. The core team and all proposers to the treasury would benefit from having the knowledge of what the community currently values getting done the most and could prioritize accordingly. However, there's a lot logistically that needs to be ironed out beforehand for this to be done.

Michael would really benefit from key Dash team member's collaboration/input on this. I'm sure Dash team members will have some good ways to simplify, tweak, refine, and also directly help in this process. For this type of complex proposal requiring feedback and collaboration from many people, it's likely you will have to wait until the next budget cycle to post.
Thanks, paragon, I appreciate your support. I agree there are a lot of moving parts here. Simplify/tweak/refine sounds great! I hope some of those Dash team members will engage on this and I'm happy to email/skype/whatever to get it done. And it makes sense to wait for next budget cycle.
 

Chadrick

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Mar 22, 2017
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I am worried about noise/spam.
Yep, I too am concerned about this. It needs to cost to spam in one form or another. I wish someone could figure out "reputation". You spam and it costs you rep. That is a large nut to crack...

[Edit] Actually we are building a reputation system already with the previously funded projects. How did they do? Did they deliver on their promises? Did they communicate with the community? These folks in good standing would hold some sway with me. I think they would/should with all of us.

what if there are 2+ parties that want to propose and use the fee
I would hope the two parties could work together and modify the proposal together if they have beneficial skill-sets.

If two competing ideas emerge let there be two or more competing draft proposals and let the crowd decide.
 
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Michael Q

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Mar 7, 2017
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Actually we are building a reputation system already with the previously funded projects. How did they do? Did they deliver on their promises? Did they communicate with the community? These folks in good standing would hold some sway with me. I think they would/should with all of us.
Interested to hear how this loop is closed in this case and in general.

I would hope the two parties could work together and modify the proposal together if they have beneficial skill-sets.

If two competing ideas emerge let there be two or more competing draft proposals and let the crowd decide.
Good ideas and a non-trivial amount of work to support it. But I still love your concept of putting your Dash where your mouth is. Especially at a larger scale than today, it would be very cool. Maybe MN's still vote but backers are listed with the proposal and the amount they've invested in the fee. Although now having written this it all sounds too complex vs. just making the fee 1/5th of what it is now :)
 

bhkien

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Mar 31, 2014
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Why just MNOs and not the entire community? Let everyone (including MNOs) vote on ideas and those best should/could come to the top. I think we should test both ways and see what happens. The problem with my suggestion is unique votes vs. fake accounts. I'd like to see votes in the form of funding the proposal fee, so voters who believe in a project have skin in the game.
Don't worry! Someone who has enough commitment will buy a masternode to have right to vote!
 
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Ron

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Mar 3, 2016
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Interesting proposal.
A more streamlined approach in handling ideas & proposals seems like a good way forward.
 

camosoul

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Sep 19, 2014
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The MNOs are (supposed to be) a subset of the community that isn't a bunch of clueless idiots. They've had some growing pains, but I think some of them are starting to wise up to reality.

What's really happening is that those left behind are trying to play the "where's my voice" game

It's the same thing that happened when CPU miners lost to GPU miners, and then GPU miners lost to FPGAs, and the FPGAs lost to ASICs...

"Whaaa! I failed to prepare for reality! I lost my money hose! WHAAA Give it BACK!!! I have nonsense excuses why not getting my way will make the universe implode so you better listen up for your own good!"

I don't have any say in how IBM conducts their affairs, either.

If you cannot afford to buy-in, you don't get a say. This is not a bug. It's also not a mere feature. It's deliberately engineered as such.

It works in much the same way as the 5DASH fee for submitting a proposal. If you have so little confidence in your own idea that you won't even front 5DASH for it... If you have so little experience or success in past endeavors that you can't afford it... You've been weeded out.

No snowflake is ever going to like this. That's kinda the point...

Prioritization was part of my budget system idea, which was much more streamlined, dynamic, and didn't create a pork barrel. Could have been built-in, with a real value test, too...

It's only a matter of time before @demo shows up to talk about voting by numbers again...
 
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Chadrick

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Mar 22, 2017
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No "Whaaa!" from me. More power to you for getting in early. Exciting times! A tool for building better and more thought out proposals is why I'm excited about this pre-proposal. A small pool of backers for a proposal shows community support around an idea. I'm all for the Masternodes voting to keep their investment safe. If they do their job well then my investment is safe as well.
 

Vedran Yoweri

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Apr 29, 2015
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In the open source software world, a best practice is for the core team to publish a prioritized list of projects they would like to get done but don't have time to do
Have you talked to the core group? You assume they need something like this. Why?
 

Chadrick

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Mar 22, 2017
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Have you talked to the core group?
I keep hearing this more and more and it has really started turning me off from the Dash community. Is dash a distributed community or isn't it. Can grassroots projects start without the blessing of the core group? Wasn't Dash started because the Bitcoin folks wouldn't listen to suggestions. Is Dash going down this same road. I've been checking out PIVX more and more because of this kind of attitude that I'm seeing... It's a shame.
 
Mar 13, 2017
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I keep hearing this more and more and it has really started turning me off from the Dash community. Is dash a distributed community or isn't it. Can grassroots projects start without the blessing of the core group? Wasn't Dash started because the Bitcoin folks wouldn't listen to suggestions. Is Dash going down this same road. I've been checking out PIVX more and more because of this kind of attitude that I'm seeing... It's a shame.
Just because people value the opinions of the core group does not mean this is centralized. The core group does not have any control what I vote with my masternodes, and many just like to hear what they have to say, but do not take their word as some kind of divine commandment.

At the end of the day, it's up to us masternode owners to listen to what each party has to say, and make their own decisions.

I can tell you from experience that MANY of the masternode owners just want to discuss proposals and get every possible perspective.
 
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Michael Q

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Mar 7, 2017
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Have you talked to the core group? You assume they need something like this. Why?
I am emailing with Ryan and will talk with him on Wednesday, but like @Chadrick suggests, I have been assuming they are stakeholders, not gatekeepers. I believe based on feedback that this would be helpful for future entrepreneurs coming into the community and potentially interested in writing proposals.

Thinking now that a much simpler first step on this project may be in order. More soon.
 

Vedran Yoweri

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Apr 29, 2015
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Assuming people lack stuff that you can provide can only maybe work when you guess right. When you guess wrong you look like a fool.
 

Chadrick

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Mar 22, 2017
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Sometimes fools and innovators are very similar ;)

http://www.quotes-clothing.com/recognize-pioneer-arrows-back-beverly-rubik/

My dear,

You can recognize a pioneer by the arrows in his back. You see, people don’t like being told they’re wrong. Nor do they like seeing someone surpass them and walk further out ahead. Hence the arrows. The weak fall against the arrows, but the greats have, against all odds, continued to walk forward with at least a dozen arrows stuck in their backs. They should be dead, but they aren’t. And oh, aren’t the arrow-throwers mad. The goal is to walk so far ahead that the arrows can’t reach you anymore. And then, maybe, you can begin pulling some of them out.

Falsely yours,
Beverly Rubik​
 
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