[DRAFT] Agency Sub-DAO

Authors: @Erik_Knobl, @Gordo


This proposal seeks to establish the Agency as a sub-DAO of Developer DAO, based on the proposal DAO Governance Structure Upgrade.

Agency is a collective venture builder curated from the best talent within Developer DAO. By bringing together the best developers, designers and project managers, we aim to collectively build products and services for our clients and the web3 space.


Since the start of Developer DAO, there has been clarity on its Mission: Educate builders, and support their activity. But for almost a year, all building efforts have been done in small individual teams, without cohesivity and coordination. Agency is an effort to coordinate all those efforts, providing tools and support to create a fertile environment for members to build and prosper.

The goal of Agency is to fulfill one of the main areas of the Mission of Developer DAO: To Foster and Build Web3 Tools and Public Goods. We intend to be the space where members of the DAO can join to build, in a professional first environment, and be rewarded for that.

Scope of Work

Domain of Operations & Team

Agency intends to become the “Building Layer” of the DAO, bringing together all contributors of the DAO looking to build and develop digital products, offering services such as Consulting, Business Development, Product Management, Product Design, Development and Technical Services for Web3 Products, both for internal use of the DAO, and as a request of external clients.

Agency is a sub-DAO of Developer DAO, and as such, it intends to have a flexible structure, with members able to have different roles and contribute in different ways. All roles will be in constant iteration.


Agency intends to attract talented builders to participate in the different projects that it will be constantly developing. The following is a broad description of the roles we envision Agency will have for Season 2, all of them in constant evolution:

Roles based on involvement:

  • Admin members work to define, iterate and improve the overall strategy and operations of Agency, and its medium-term roadmap. They are tasked with optimizing the overall performance and managing the multisig. The current signers are @Gordo, @Erik_Knobl and @lu.an.
  • Team Leaders take responsibility for individual projects, and ensure the team delivers, overseeing internal organization, rewards, and recruitment. They are tasked with managing the overall performance of the team.
  • Contributors are builders expected to deliver projects efficiently and coordinate and communicate with the team. The following are the main roles based on skills:
    • Product Managers
    • Developers
    • Product Designers


Any member of Developer DAO can apply to join by filling the initial form. An initial interview will help Agency learn about the skills of the new prospect, and find a role for him/her when the adequate project and/or is available. Current members will vote to grant membership to the applicant.

Business Model

As a subDAO of Developer DAO, Agency will operate as an autonomous startup, connecting talented teams of builders with clients.

Tasks to be done

  • Make outreach to different organizations in the space to sell our services, and schedule intro talks with those organizations’ representatives. Measure the sales strategy. Communication with partners and members to ensure deliverables have owners, and the parts of the deal are delivered.
  • Explore possibilities of cooperation between different organizations and D_D directed towards building projects.
  • Make outreach to D_D members who are also founders of their own projects and inform them about the services we provide. Coordinate internal D_D efforts to build tools for the DAO.
  • Coordinate efforts with Onboarding Team to continue the process for members interested in building projects, having interviews with candidates, and recruit members for projects with open spots, while managing the social experience for contributors.
  • Manage the weekly updates of the team to inform the community about the status of different projects. Facilitating internal systems, processes and communications, including updating intro docs like the Agency Notion page.
  • Manage internal databases (clients info, Projects, contributors) for consumption of members of Agency. Manage accounting of Treasury and projects, present monthly reports.
  • Manage external-facing channels (Twitter and blog) active with relevant content.


The following are the proposed Objectives and Key Results for Season 2:

O3 Support DAO members to elevate their impact on the world
KR * 75% of mature projects have a roadmap and operate on schedule.
  • 100% of official contributors receiving their monthly rewards
  • 100% of projects being clear about their current status
  • Defined governance model
  • 100% of official members have clarity on contributions for the season.
  • Attract more diverse active DAO membership: 75% of different roles in teams are filled

Budget Request

Agency intends to be a growing group of builders in the DAO, assembled in different projects, delivering high quality products and being rewarded for that. We have a base Rewards System.

There are two types of requests for the budget: USD and $CODE:

We request 4,600 USD for Season 2. This will allow us to assemble 4 basic teams for the projects we will have, and the operations team (admin). These are symbolic rewards for highly talented members, but will allow us to set the structure for the future.
Each team will have an average of 5 members, and the total seasonal budget for each team will be USD$1000, a total of $4,000 USD per Season for all 4 teams.
NOTE: Funding for one of these teams (Website Team) is already included in both Labs/DAO Ops proposals.

And the 3 admin members doing operations work will receive a monthly basic reward of USD$100, a total of USD$600 per Season.

We also would like to request a total of 46,600 $CODE.

This is the detailed list of all $CODE requirements for Season 2 (feb, march, apr):

  • Allocation for Admin Team (3): Monthly individual: 400 / Total for the Season: 3,600
  • Allocation for Team Leaders (4): Monthly individual: 400 / Total for the Season: 4,800
  • Reward Pool for Contributors (8): Monthly individual: 400 / Total for the Season: 13,200
  • Reward Pool for Bounties: Total for the Season: 25,000

Our current contributor composition is 8. We expect to be able to grow during the Season to at maximum of 20 contributors.

Finally, we expect to have requests of more members interested in joining Agency, and we intend to have a Bounty program that will allow us to test their skills as part of the onboarding process, and reward unique skills we may need during our processes.

We understand the Budget request is large enough, and therefore, we commit to total transparency of all allocations in a Notion document open to everyone, constantly updated.

Value return to Developer DAO


The main and most important value Agency will return to D_D is “High Quality”:

High quality professional services, open products and ventures built by the DAO. This will be reflected in an increment of the brand value regarding the whole value proposition funnel at the initial stages. We will pursue the concept of: “If it comes from D_D Agency, it is good”.
Short term, it will allow higher sponsor agreements with the DAO, higher level relationships with the potential of future incorporation to Agency, new people with high standards, willing to participate in Agency and therefore the DAO. Long term, the goal is achieving economic stability, and then donate a large share of the surplus to the DAO.

We also will help the DAO attract a more diverse active membership. With quality measurable outcomes being produced, the people who value real value, will come to join us. The ones who don’t will disperse.


However, we understand the need of contributing to make Developer DAO stable financially, so we are proposing returning to the DAO specific percents of the revenue of Agency based on milestones achieved:

  • If the Net Treasury* of Agency at the end of any Season exceeds $250,000, Agency will allocate to Developer DAO 2% of that amount.
  • If the amount exceeds $USD 750,000 Agency will increase the allocation percent to 4%.
  • If the amount exceeds $USD 1,000,000 Agency will increase the allocation percent to 8%.
  • If the amount exceeds $USD 5,000,000 Agency will increase the allocation percent to 10%.

*Net treasury = treasury at the end of the season after expenses + taxes and distribution to the contributors, like a profit after taxes.


Agency will coordinate all efforts to build tools and public goods for the DAO, starting with the Website and the Store, becoming the hub for developers, designers and PMs looking to deliver quality projects for the DAO. This involves building partnerships with groups like Eden and Jobs to have an updated database of willing contributors.


The cost of this initiative would be $4,600 USD and 46,600 $CODE tokens from the DAO’s Treasury.


This proposal sounds great! It is mentioned that the agency group currently is made up of 8 people. What kind of projects have they worked on in the past? Is the expectation that all 20 members would commit to the agency full time or part time as a side gig?

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What happens if it is less than $25,000 by the end of a season?

This is vague. And considering how nothing has been done by Developer DAO leaders to tangibly address this over the past 12 months (outside of myself) - I don’t think it makes sense to include this unless there’s a plan of action in place.

In the many times that I’ve raised this diversity issue to DAO leadership like Kemp, all I’ve gotten in response, are derivative comments that agree with me. But no actual plan or intention - just words that repeat the critiques I’ve already made.

The reality is that Developer DAO is even less diverse than it was 8 months ago. I was calling attention to the lack of diversity back then, and even as far back as November 2021. Diversity was a DAO-level OKR for Season 1, and nothing was done outside of my own efforts within the DevDao Women initiative and (the now shuttered) AxisOne Program. So unless there’s a definitive plan of action in place regarding increasing diversity in Developer DAO (or the Agency team), then I think that this should be removed from the proposal. It’s starting to become an empty set of words.

Lastly, I will say that this cannot happen in isolation. There’s multiple considerations at play; and crosses with SubDAO’s such as DD Women, but also community initiatives, onboarding etc. Perhaps more importantly, it’s also reliant on leaders who are actively working towards increasing diversity. Aside from myself, members like @Stefanie (and a small few), and then the DD Women core team; I can’t point to other leaders in Developer DAO between 2021 and today, who have taken active steps towards addressing this.

People are intelligent, and so I’d caution against the use of empty platitudes in the proposal.

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First of all, thank you Erik for taking the time to put this into a document.

Net treasury = treasury at the end of the season after expenses + taxes and distribution to the contributors, like a profit after taxes.

We need as well to understand what “donation” means legally.
I continue to advocate for the Foundation as a shareholder is the easiest and safest model in order to distribute earnings.

An agreement/vesting model with the Foundation based on those numbers or other milestones/kpis may work the best.

| Net treasury | Equity      |
| -----------  | ----------- |
| +$250k       | 2%          |
| +$750k       | 4%          |
| +$1M         | 8%          |
| +$5M         | 10%         |

We still need a lot of details on both of these projects in order to finalize a contract, as talks are still ongoing.

How does it finally come to this?
@kempsterrrr @isiah @joshtsch.eth

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Is there anyone with GAAP experience to help review the calculation method?

What do you mean by that?

What do you mean by that?

What is the KPIs metric?

You mean there is no noone administrating the scholarships? Your understandable departure made wholes in D_D. I am still unsure of how many.

Overall I will support the proposal if the community agrees on it. I feel there are a lot of things that require much deeper research to be sure if everything here will stand a test of time, but I also don’t believe that we have time for that and I would be up for the experimentation with the Agency in this way.

Regarding the finances it’s the same. I know that they are needed to develop the Agency. But also know that DAO lacks money. I will be in support with others. If others decide to support this proposal I will too.

Both questions are related to us having a defined structure and process. We currently are working on it, therefore, teams lack clarity on wether they are official teams, if they lack members, or where do they stand in the big order of things. We intend to give them clarity, and also implement a transparent reward system.

“75% of different roles in operating teams are covered.”
Not just devs, but designers, PMs, marketing guys, social media roles, etc.

Then this would mean we are building structure, and we need any amount of money. Open to discuss if we should still give a share to the DAO.

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Big thanks for putting this together @Erik_Knobl

Opened a doc here to migrate the proposal to the updated format for budget requests as per P-22: DAO Governance Structure Upgrade - [DRAFT[] - Agency Sub-DAO - Google Docs

Happy to jump on and riff on this to turn it around quickly if helpful just lmk. :slight_smile:

I agree with Gordo here. Assuming Agency is eventually spun out as a profit-making entity, I believe it makes sense for the Foundation to own a portion of this. What this would mean in real terms regarding the impact on value return is:

  1. DAO is invested in the long-term success of the project
  2. DAO only benefits financially in two circumstances: if the Owners of the Agency entity take profit in dividends (Foundation would get equivalent cash against their % ownership), if there is a financing/liquidity event (DAO could sell its shares to investors)

In the meantime, whilst the Agency lives within the Foundation, it would be good to get clarity on the legal status of the projects in the Agency, as you understand it. Taking woop pay for example, is there an entity created around this or are we assuming it is running through the Foundation?

If it’s through the foundation we need to update the T&Cs and Privacy Policies to reflect this.

If they are running through the Foundation, where is the grant funding secured by projects currently being sent? Direct to contributors, somewhere else?

There are probably some knock questions here depending on your answer. As defined in P-22: DAO Governance Structure Upgrade according to the rules any Sub-DAO without it’s own entity needs to adhere to the Foundations processes

Were these calculated using the original 15 CODE per hour rate?

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Edited it to match the template. Thanks.

All current projects are assumed to operate under Foundation. If this would change, we will notify Stewards and take measures.
I must stress that there are no clear guidelines for projects working under Foundation, and as such, and I doubt any sub-DAO has clarity on this.

Let us know what do we need to do.

We are working on some applications, but lack clarity on what the process should be. Can we access a guide on what we should do?

That’s the plan currently.



Existing finances processes are documented here - I will be having another look at these this week. I’ll also check in with the Foundation supervisor about this question:

  1. If a project is part of the Foundation’s legal structure, should any grant funds secured for that project be run through the Foundation?

The answer to this question will come down to AML laws. We already know grants secured in the foundation’s name that hit the treasury require a simple regulatory filling to be submitted by the foundation director supervisor.

I am very happy for you and any stewards to join me on these calls.

Can you ask Alessandro where how he sorted out the existing T&Cs/privacy policy?

Another thing for us to bring up with the Foundation Supervisor.

No guide yet. For grants, I’d just made @chuck25 & @Wikist aware last season that any grants hitting the foundation require the filing mentioned above.

Come to think of it, given the Foundation is absorbing the legal risk of the work contributors are doing when projects are working in this way, they’re going to need to sign a contributor agreement. This is mutually beneficial as it clarifies someone’s liability and their legal working relationships with the Foundation as an independent contractor vs employee (important for tax reasons in many countries). Based on my understanding of these rules, grant funds should go via the treasury (where someone signs an agreement with the Foundation as a Contributor), but the reality is I’m not sure. we should organise that call with the Foundation supervisor and Stewards asap.

Regarding the Contributor agreement, some questions were rightly raised on the IP clause in this, which I imagine will be similar for any agency projects and have a note to revisit this week also.

@mannyornothing @rubinovitz @Colin4ward @drop_knowledge @meowy
This proposal needs your comments and feedback as Stewards. Can you take the time to do that, please?

Love the fact that more members will have access to paid opportunities.

I want to know more about this bounty program/onboarding process.

Overall it looks good to me, I hope we cab create more paid opportunities for members and bring more money stream into the DAO.

Bump on this ask. Generally accepted accounting principles should be followed here not some fun calculations of profit, loss, and friends

Any suggestions? The proposal is ready to be elevated to snapshot.

The main and most important value Agency will return to D_D is “High Quality”

What does that mean overall?

I get that the products you deliver to the best it can be delivered but does that also mean you will turn down possible work based off it is not “high quality” enough?

For people looking to contribute and do the bounties, is there a threshold being displayed? (Could it just be completing Academy and then being able to contribute?)

From contributors delivering bad work? certainly. From clients? It would have to be on a case by case basis.
Bounties allow us to have a testing layer of work delivered, where we can see how each individual contributor delivers before granting that member more responsibility. And there will be plenty of tasks, not just tech. We currently need social media help, for example.

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sorry, reading my post again it may be a little confusing. I mean if the inquiry for Agency to build the product wasn’t of high quality would it be denied?

You mean if the client asks for a quick, bad quality project? Yes, I think we would reject it.
One of the main goals we have is to build a good reputation. Avoiding bad projects would be part of that.

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apologies i didnt get around to reviewing this properly before snapshot. couple quick questions to understand longer term expectations - apologies if i missed related responses in comments.


  1. obviously(?) an agency can’t be expected to be a cost center for long, but i can understand needing bootstrap support. re: “structure for the future”, do you expect to request fiat funding in future seasons/quarters?
  2. re: requests/teams/overall strategy: are there any distinctions made between internal products (e.g., WoopPay) vs. external contracts? those are very different business models. you could also easily end up burning any contracting profit on bootstrapping an internal product. occasionally that could be a worthy endeavor, but seems likely the dao could get peanuts back on a regular basis. maybe future iterations of the budget should include at least a small percentage back to the dao per engagement, instead of waiting per quarter/season. not too fussed given there’s only 2-3 months left this season.
  3. are these four projects known already?