Proposal: Consensus / Leadership "Summit"

Ryan Taylor

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Dash Core Team
Foundation Member
Jul 3, 2014
550
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Scottsdale, AZ, USA
This proposal is cross-posted at www.dashcentral.org/p/travel-consensus-201705

This proposal funds the attendance of most of the Dash Core Team leadership to attend Consensus 2017 (including additional tickets beyond our package), to hold our first in-person core team leadership meeting, and extends an additional day to allow part of the team to attend Token Summit, an event the day after Consensus.

More information about Token Summit can be found here: http://tokensummit.com/

In a previous proposal, the network approved a sponsorship package at Consensus 2017, including a booth and attendance at the event for Daniel Diaz and myself. As a core team, we've been discussing the value - after years of working together - of meeting in the flesh and holding a strategy session, but we've never had the money, and travel from Europe and Asia to our office in Arizona was a significantly long journey for many team members. We see an opportunity at this year's Consensus conference for nearly the entire team to finally meet, and enabling us to increase our already significant presence at arguably the most important blockchain conference of the year.

We would aim to meet for an all-day in-person strategy session on Sunday prior to Consensus, which I will take the lead to plan to ensure the time is effective. The conference ends on Wednesday, and the team would depart on Thursday except myself and perhaps one other team member to attend Token Summit.

Historically, Dash has always benefited in a significant way when we invest in industry conferences, with increased demand clearly correlated with every event in which we communicate our strategy and what makes us unique. From the LABitConf in 2015 and 2016, to Miami in 2016 and 2017, to d10e last year, we consistently benefit from a rising price and increased budgets in the weeks and months following these events. With a larger presence at Consensus, we would expect to reach a much larger audience of one-on-one conversations, and get even more benefit from the significant investment we've already made into this event.

I roughly priced the flights and hotel for the event. We can access discounted rates for the hotel through the conference at $335 / night plus tax, and current prices on every flight are under $1,000 each (some under $500). Additional tickets to the conference are $1,300 including our sponsor discount, and we would require an additional two tickets beyond what is included in our package for all the planned attendees. Additional attendees would include Robert, Philipp, Holger, Fernando, and possibly moocowmoo and Andy (in addition to Daniel and Ryan, who are already scheduled).

My estimate for total costs including the extra Consensus tickets, flights, hotel rooms (assuming some of us share a room), and ground transportation is about $13,000 based on current prices. It is safe to assume prices may increase slightly by the time we obtain approval, so I'm including a buffer for a total of $15,000. Any leftover funds would be applied toward future travel expenses.

Requested funding is as follows for the May 5th budget cycle:
  • 190.79 Dash for additional travel expenses (~$15,000 USD @ $78.62 per Dash based on current rate at proposal submission)
  • 5.00 Dash proposal reimbursement
Total: 195.79 Dash

Note: Should any funding remain, we will apply it toward future conferences or travel-related expenses.

Manually vote YES on this proposal:
dash-cli gobject vote-many f5f90567f88f54e80b2c1e284879a9d7ac18daabfc5a7d70b25d20f793706429 funding yes
OR from the qt console:
gobject vote-many f5f90567f88f54e80b2c1e284879a9d7ac18daabfc5a7d70b25d20f793706429 funding yes

Manually vote NO on this proposal:
dash-cli gobject vote-many f5f90567f88f54e80b2c1e284879a9d7ac18daabfc5a7d70b25d20f793706429 funding no
OR from the qt console:
gobject vote-many f5f90567f88f54e80b2c1e284879a9d7ac18daabfc5a7d70b25d20f793706429 funding no
 
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joezippy

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May 21, 2015
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I'm all for in person interaction, but the MNO need to be involved too... Have another open house after the conference later in the year or something..... Don't care for these rough budgets either... "Should any funding remain, we will apply it toward future conferences or travel-related expenses. " This is how corruption, collusion and abuse start. Voting no because it seems excessive and exclusive.
 

joezippy

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May 21, 2015
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Also the MNOs repeated asked for Evo Marketing savings... Any reason we didn't see that? Thanks!
 

Ryan Taylor

Well-known Member
Dash Core Team
Foundation Member
Jul 3, 2014
550
1,649
263
Scottsdale, AZ, USA
I'm all for in person interaction, but the MNO need to be involved too... Have another open house after the conference later in the year or something..... Don't care for these rough budgets either... "Should any funding remain, we will apply it toward future conferences or travel-related expenses. " This is how corruption, collusion and abuse start. Voting no because it seems excessive and exclusive.
Thank you for the feedback. At this time, we don't intend on having the core team's strategy planning sessions open to MNOs... open houses and conferences of course make for great opportunities to talk with MNOs and share ideas, and we do plan to have more of those as well. In addition, we need internal planning sessions.

Concerning the statement about applying excess funds toward future expenses... unlike many other entities serving the network, the core team does not aim to earn a profit. Instead, our mission is simply to serve the network. Many proposals, like this one, are impossible to predict the exact costs ahead of time. Flight, hotel, and ground transportation expenses are unpredictable, so we need to include some "buffer". In addition, for ALL budgets, the value of the Dash requested will change between the time the budget is submitted and the network distributes the funds, and may change even more by the time the expense in incurred. The "should funding remain" statement is our pledge to the network that any leftover funds will be directed toward other similar expenses in the future, and we include this pledge in ALL our proposals. In this case, if we have a few thousand dollars left over, it would simply reduce the cost of our next conference proposal a bit, but wouldn't allow for the corruption or abuse you describe. In fact, my intention in including that statement is precisely to avoid the potential for "corruption, collusion, and abuse". I hope that helps explain the intent of those statements.
 
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Ryan Taylor

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Dash Core Team
Foundation Member
Jul 3, 2014
550
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Scottsdale, AZ, USA
Also the MNOs repeated asked for Evo Marketing savings... Any reason we didn't see that? Thanks!
Several reasons... first, we have no specific plans prepared to spend those funds. In the past, we've found most MNOs are opposed to setting funding aside for purposes with no immediate plans to use them. Late last year, we attempted to set "leftover" money aside for legal work, and even had a few ideas in mind that we described, but the MNOs rejected the proposal. The feedback was that we should obtain a quote before starting to save. Perhaps that mentality has changed over the last 6 months, but our most recent attempts to do this type of thing have been rejected.

Second, we don't yet have general plans to describe how the money will be spent, which I think puts us in an even worse position than the above situation with the legal proposal.

Third, the Evo release is many months into the future, so it violates our "no proposal over three months" policy in spirit.

I have every confidence that as Evo approaches, we will have more specific marketing plans ready, and the network will have the funding available to ramp up marketing expenditures quickly.

That said, if the network feels that the mentality of the MNOs toward "savings" has changed, I am open to giving it a try. If that isn't at odds with yours and others concerns about potential "corruption" in savings, and the core team is trusted to take custody of a large marketing budget saved over many months, we can start doing that. We could even make a pledge to put up a "decision proposal" on how to actually spend the funds, and self-escrow in the meantime. What do you think of that idea?
 
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joezippy

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Thank you for the feedback. At this time, we don't intend on having the core team's strategy planning sessions open to MNOs... open houses and conferences of course make for great opportunities to talk with MNOs and share ideas, and we do plan to have more of those as well. In addition, we need internal planning sessions.
Thanks for the comments on this... I understand your points for internal planning sessions and open houses... However, I'm not sure where the majority of the Core Team is located geographically... So my concern was "hey lets all meet in Asia, Europe, Tahiti, etc" and talk... When 90% of the Core Team resides in AZ... Don't get me wrong... I'm for keeping the Core Team happy, but I also don't want a "good time" bumping some "good marketing" unnecessarily... This is a business.. So how is the Core Team distributed geographically and where is the best place to meet if the budget where super tight? Just for future ref.... :)

to avoid the potential for "corruption, collusion, and abuse". I hope that helps explain the intent of those statements.
It helps and I understand, but I challenge the Core Team to come up with a financial model for storing and reporting "excess reserves" that is transparent to everyone including MNOs... I don't have the answer, but I think it's needed for the "marketing push" for Evo as well... If this is a business, the results should come as some standard published financial statements from the Core Team CFO to the Dash Currency DAO.

Cheers,
-- Kevin
 

joezippy

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May 21, 2015
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That said, if the network feels that the mentality of the MNOs toward "savings" has changed, I am open to giving it a try. If that isn't at odds with yours and others concerns about potential "corruption" in savings, and the core team is trusted to take custody of a large marketing budget saved over many months, we can start doing that. We could even make a pledge to put up a "decision proposal" on how to actually spend the funds, and self-escrow in the meantime. What do you think of that idea?
standard published financial statements from the Core Team Finance Director to the Dash Currency DAO.
Write a proposal to hire a Director of Finance (CPAs) and Director of Marketing... That might be a good start. I personally think we need a matrix organization that looks more like this...

 
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joezippy

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Then if any "excess reserves" were collected, they could be deposited in the functional area (Dev, Marketing, HR) mutli-sig wallets that only the Director of Finance could release as needed... Thus making the Director of Finance (CPA) the gatekeeper for excess reserves, as well as the one who reports them in a transparent public way... Just thinking out loud... :)
 
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joezippy

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Based on my idea above... This wouldn't even be necessary:
We could even make a pledge to put up a "decision proposal" on how to actually spend the funds
Once the "excess reserve" funds are in the "functional area" (Dev, Marketing, HR) the CEO can allocate them as they choose with the help of the functional area director... The CEO doesn't allocated them in a good way, in a reasonable period of time... MNOs fire the CEO in a proposal.
 

Ryan Taylor

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Dash Core Team
Foundation Member
Jul 3, 2014
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@joezippy Our finances are published every quarter, and we maintain balances within the payout addresses at all times so that anyone can monitor our balances and see for themselves that the balances reported match what was in those accounts on those dates.

For transparency, I am the only member of the core team leadership located in Arizona, so flying everyone to Phoenix would be an even larger investment of time and flight costs for the bulk of the team located in Europe. Since Daniel and I were already scheduled to be in NYC anyway, and NYC is much closer to Europe, it means less incremental travel for the other team members to get together... Robert, Andy, Fernando, and Holger are all in Europe. Philipp is in Asia. Moo is in Florida. We also benefit from having a larger team at Consensus.
 

joezippy

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May 21, 2015
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the bulk of the team located in Europe
Then this trip makes perfect sense... I'll change my votes... :)

@joezippy Our finances are published every quarter, and we maintain balances within the payout addresses at all times so that anyone can monitor our balances and see for themselves that the balances reported match what was in those accounts on those dates.
That's good, but as a MNO, that is too hard and doesn't scale... I'm not accusing anyone of fraud, just trying to make what we currently have better... I would like one page on DashCentral that looks like a live Balance Sheet stating all the "reserves" a "functional area" has access to... With links to the details you talked about... Then I can vote for proposals allocating 2% of the Dash Market Cap for future Evo Marketing... While I wait for the marketing team to come up w/ a plan... Then I also know (because it's clear), those marketing dollars won't go for integration or HR functions....

Like this:

 

Vedran Yoweri

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Apr 29, 2015
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Also the MNOs repeated asked for Evo Marketing savings... Any reason we didn't see that?
Because it's bad idea recently entertained by some individuals who do not want dash to succeed.
but I think it's needed for the "marketing push" for Evo as well...
Don't just talk about it, put up a proposal. I'll vote.
Write a proposal to hire a Director of Finance (CPAs) and Director of Marketing...
You put it up, i'll vote.
I personally think we need a matrix organization that looks more like this...
I don't agree. What's wrong with current organisational structure?
That's good, but as a MNO, that is too hard and doesn't scale...
I'm fine with it. https://www.dash.org/forum/threads/february-2017-dash-core-team-monthly-report.13857/
Then I can vote for proposals allocating 2% of the Dash Market Cap for future Evo Marketing..
Don't just talk about it, put up a proposal. I'll vote.
 

joezippy

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May 21, 2015
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I don't agree. What's wrong with current organisational structure?
Confusing message, as you agreed to change the current structure with this statement...

"Write a proposal to hire a Director of Finance (CPAs) and Director of Marketing..."

Don't just talk about it, put up a proposal. I'll vote.
More discussion is needed and I don't have the reputation that is needed to make it happen... Regardless, I'm not going to tell the Core CEO how to organize the Core Team... If you want to, feel free and I'll vote.
 

ampp

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Organizations don't scale well. MNO's are going to have to understand that if they want core to be larger eventually say staff of 500 you will come to realize how expensive it becomes and those types of talent are not cheap. Time of the executive staff is so important that first class flights become too difficult and private jets look like a must have.

Having multiple organizations isn't necessarily cheaper either as then you need redundant staff. Does Dash need 3 50% utilized HR managers in 3 separate funded organizations?

I think these are better problems to have then say a completely decentralized core seldom meets in person.

I do wish Ryan would get a Executive assistant, i bet 40% of his day could easily be freed up and filtered. More valuable then a Finance manager right now.
 

TroyDASH

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Jul 31, 2015
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Core organises itself as it sees fit, non of our business.
It is our business to ensure that the funds being paid out to any contractor, including the core team, are used efficiently and for the benefit of the network. Transparency and internal structure is part of that, and the core team is not exempt from that kind of scrutiny. Not everyone is going to agree on what constitutes sufficient transparency or an acceptable structure, but having the discussion is within scope of being our business.
 

joezippy

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May 21, 2015
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Exactly... @TroyDASH except "live" numbers and proposals in DashCentral... Because the Dash world seems to change by the second and making decisions with 3 month old numbers really isn't an option.... Eluding to the nice price bump when I woke this morning! I had no idea this existed... Thanks! FYI -- @babygiraffe
 

TheBigCat

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Apr 30, 2017
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Am I the only one here who sees all these suggestions for hiring more people and creating a larger bureaucracy as getting away from the actual concept and principal of a Decentralized autonomous organization? Anyone remember "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely"? The more complex the organization and the more hierarchy,The greater the potential for corruption and demise. Let's stick to our principles Dash nation [emoji41]

Personally, I like the idea of our core attending consensus. If I were an MNO I would vote yes [emoji95]


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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halso

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That said, if the network feels that the mentality of the MNOs toward "savings" has changed, I am open to giving it a try. If that isn't at odds with yours and others concerns about potential "corruption" in savings, and the core team is trusted to take custody of a large marketing budget saved over many months, we can start doing that. We could even make a pledge to put up a "decision proposal" on how to actually spend the funds, and self-escrow in the meantime. What do you think of that idea?
I previously voted against all of those "catch all" proposals as they were too vague.

However, if the proposal was for a very specific purpose like "world wide advertising campaign to market Evolution" then I would be in favour of stockpiling the remaining budget in a given month.

So thats a YES from me.

That said, I do remember a suggestion that we could retrospectively re-coup unallocated budget funds via a soft or hard fork. I think that would be a terrible idea. Messing around with the coin supply would set a horrible precedent. People invested in DASH based on the current supply rules, and retrospective amendment to those rules would not go down well with MNOs Imo.
 

bandidorl

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+4500 MNs active with hundreds of owners with different opinions of how to manage DASH and only a few of them write here, I for now will trust Core ability to organize it.
 
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Vedran Yoweri

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That said, if the network feels that the mentality of the MNOs toward "savings" has changed, I am open to giving it a try. If that isn't at odds with yours and others concerns about potential "corruption" in savings, and the core team is trusted to take custody of a large marketing budget saved over many months, we can start doing that. We could even make a pledge to put up a "decision proposal" on how to actually spend the funds, and self-escrow in the meantime. What do you think of that idea?
marketing, savings, my concerns.

- to the outside world 'marketing' is all we do. most of it is of 'amateur' quality.
now everybody does stuff randomly, without any polished (visual) strategy, the communications are all over the place. this makes dash look like a kids toy.
- to the crypto world, for now our biggest target audience, we sometimes communicate we are juvenile trolls enjoying the btc drama and rubbing salt into their wounds. which makes us look like fools. it certainly doesn't attract diversification investments.

i know these thing happen with the best intensions, but this is not a succesfull strategy if we want to have any valua as a fintech blockchain brand imo.

if this 'marketing / savings' discussion could become something like below i'll consider a positive vote:

- monthly fat budget (not a catch all) for marketing & communications DAO, designated in dash to facilitate natural growth. this includes the savings part.
- humble, minimalistic, high quality, international consistent communications and visuals, targeted at outside world and also inside crypto world.
- coordinated consistency across all sub-sub dao's like amanda, dash nation, dash force etc.
- amanda should have a fat part of this budget to find a way to grow in compensation, quality and formats like a dash news studio, travel vlogs to running proposals etc. she should have technical assistence, guests, sidekicks whatever to also serve the crypto tech community.

my apologies to everybody who i offended with this post, this is not my intention. i do appreciate all your efforts.
 

Acedian

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+4500 MNs active with hundreds of owners with different opinions of how to manage DASH and only a few of them write here, I for now will trust Core ability to organize it.
True, very true. I would like to see more input from MNO. Only about half vote on proposals if we're lucky and very few comment on pre-proposals. Dash would benefit form more active "shareholders".
 

Leonidas

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True, very true. I would like to see more input from MNO. Only about half vote on proposals if we're lucky and very few comment on pre-proposals. Dash would benefit form more active "shareholders".
I agree. Generally speaking my sensation is that the feeling you get from the forum post about a pre proposal is not at all representative of the Masternodes and the votes...