[REJECTED] Annual NFT Membership in Developer DAO

Author: mannyornothing

Summary:

This proposal suggests introducing an annual Non-Fungible Token (NFT) for membership in the Developer DAO, priced at $100. This innovative and accessible NFT provides a new pathway for individuals to join, fostering community growth while generating funds for activities and reducing dependence on sponsorships and partnerships. Importantly, it also removes the option of joining the DAO through the purchase of DAO governance tokens, thereby emphasising participation and commitment over financial investment.

Motivation:

Our community is the Developer DAO’s greatest strength. The annual NFT membership not only provides an easy entry point for new members but also enhances engagement and creates a sense of belonging. This initiative aligns with our commitment to blockchain technology and offers a sustainable model for financial stability and community growth. It also removes the pressure on the governance token to have monetary value. CODE should be earned through participation in the DAO, consequently increasing an individual’s influence in the DAO.

Scope of Work:

  1. Designing the NFT: Collaborate with artists and designers within the DAO to create unique, appealing yearly NFT designs.

  2. Setting up a Sales Platform: Develop or integrate a secure, user-friendly platform for the sale and distribution of NFTs.

  3. Marketing and Community Engagement: Implement marketing strategies to promote the NFT, engaging both current members and potential newcomers.

  4. Distribution and Management: Establish a system for NFT distribution and membership management.

Expanded Importance and Benefits:

  1. Sustainable Revenue Model: Establishes a predictable revenue stream.

  2. Innovative Use of Technology: Demonstrates commitment to embracing blockchain technology.

  3. Enhanced Member Engagement and Loyalty: Creates a stronger sense of community belonging.

  4. Attracting New Talent: Attracts individuals interested in blockchain and digital collectibles.

  5. Increased Visibility and Branding: Generates interest and visibility in the broader tech and crypto communities.

  6. Empowering Community Projects: Directs funds to community-driven initiatives.

  7. Community Legacy and History: Reflects the DAO’s achievements and milestones.

  8. Access to Developer Perks: Example : Subsidised Pro RPC Account via Nodies/Grove

  9. Access to Developer DAO events : IRL events , Hackathons, Bounties and Academy

Drawbacks:

  1. Market Risk: Potential volatility in NFT value and market trends.

  2. Exclusivity vs. Inclusivity: Balancing the sense of exclusivity with accessibility for all potential members.

Vote:

  • For

  • Against

  • Abstain

Additional Notes:

  • The funds raised will be utilized for community activities, including workshops, meetups, and development projects.
  • OG NFT holders get the first annual Non-Fungible Token (NFT) for free.
3 Likes

thanks for posting this @mannyornothing - note that I update the title of this proposal from P-34 > [DRAFT], not clear in the docs by the proposal number should be added when a proposal is elevated to Snapshot. Adding to open issue on the handbook repo on this and will fix asap.

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Really aligned with this. It is nearer to the community aspect and a more sustainable model long term, less dependant on external actors but on “us”

It will create a stronger community, incentives and alignment.

I may add a few open free yearly NFTs for people to apply via a contest in which the community accepts a few of the applicants.

2 Likes

Thank you for this proposal.
While I support putting this option to a vote, I would like to point out it goes against a lot of the initiatives that have tried to make the membership of the DAO more open and accessible. However, seeing the current lack of success of those efforts, I’m open to exploring new options.

4 Likes

I’m all for supporting this new route for onboarding D_D Memberships.

A few things that I’ve noticed.

  • We give away quite a few memberships, and we have some that value it and go through the steps to utilize their membership; but others either may not be seeing the value to go through onboarding or don’t see the value at all.

  • The NFT Membership pipeline is very clear and understandable in comparison to token swapping. The value of the membership is easier to understand for people newer to Web3, as well.

  • CODE should still have it’s utility and definitely should still be valued for governance and other activities.

  • Marketing the NFT will be significantly easier to do than CODE as a membership, because of the legal tip-toeing we have to do around publicly discussing CODE and it’s value proposition.

Our biggest hurdle will be exclusivity vs inclusivity, which I think we can fairly navigate through participation of D_D events/hackathons.

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Glad to see this this idea being explored. Echo a lot of the comments already made by @Gordo @Erik_Knobl and @PSkinnerTech. I feel we’ve had two experiments, original NFT and now Governance token, and it’s clear that the NFT is a far better primitive for membership as it’s easy to purchase/sell, leaving CODE’s utility being for Governance alone.

A few clarifying questions…

Floating the idea of some kinda of competition for this, maybe via jokerace - can see arguments for an against doing this so just sharing :slight_smile:

What do you mean by sales platform?

From an ops and finance perspective, if everything is on-chain it’s easier, we may also struggle to get decent payments rails being a cayman foundation (recurring DAO problem that would be good to collectively dedicate time to solve).

I think the DAO would benefit immensely from a deep breath centralised member management system that allowed us to communicate directly with our users based via email.

Love this. With a sustainable revenue stream we could invest in building significant value in DAO memberships, even if that means forgoing more $$$ in the short-term.

Be interesting to think about impact on attendance though I’d love to see us roll the dice and invest in increasing the value of membership over the long-term, vs revenue in the short-term. Academy not as clear cut, probs should stay open, maybe levels to it cc @wolovim

Interesting question to ponder - should these NFTs be tradable?

If the open market price drops below the charge price, does that means folks will just purchase from the open market reducing our revenue to whatever royalty we set? Is that a good/bad thing? Is it worth considering making them non-transferable?


A more general thought on memberships, I like the idea of this being a core revenue stream for the DAO that funds a lot of the work we do here and the primary goal of is to increase the value of that membership?

Using BanklessHQ as a metaphor for this, maybe we have some free and some paid content. Using the example of the newsletter, Probably nothing would be our weekly roll-up and then maybe we could fund private member only newsletters or articles. For example, I proposed to @0x24bF6580ED276b6ff3 the idea of the DAO acquiring his protocol newsletter which he seemed up for, this is just one example and I’m not sure how the economics of it would work for everyone but imagine there are other opportunities to engage members to create high-quality paid content.

Other activities we do like events, academy, hackathons etc. could be top-of-the-funnel activities that bring in revenue themselves but also drive demand for the membership.

Last point, have you thought about which blockchain/L2 this should be deployed on? ETH Mainnet doesn’t feel like an option… maybe there an opportunity here for a partnership or even some retroactive funding if we were to opt for say Optimism.

I really like this point from @Gordo - if the community rallies around this idea and collectively plan around it that could be really powerful

1 Like
  1. either way, would love to continue to permit potential members to earn their way in by contributing to the community (e.g., hackathon participation, administering external delegate voting, writing for the dao, giving or hosting a workshop, helping answer technical questions, contributing to the handbook, etc)
  2. i’ve heard of other daos doing the membership model. the only one i can recall specifically is Forefront, but i know next to nothing about their dao. it looks like a much smaller community with their Season 2 contributor list at 22 and 18 sales listed on that membership page.
  3. re: sustainable revenue model, i’d have pretty modest expectations about sales numbers. we can only guess at the number of lurkers and what value they get today, but theres only a small number of “active” members today. 50 nfts per year at $100 = $5000 is certainly more than nothing, but doesn’t keep the whole ship afloat. realistically, what are you expecting here?
  4. this changes the dynamic of the community and advertised value (“largest dev community”-type of language). it might result in a smaller group of more active/committed contributors, but itll also nuke the number of eyeballs in the server when it kicks in, making it harder to accomplish those goals of # of hackathon submissions, etc.
3 Likes

I’ll try and respond to the proposal and to some comments that have already been made.

I love you coming up with the noble initiative, @mannyornothing, but I think it just complicates the token situation we already have. Is it going to end up in the long run being just another ‘what does this token do again?’ type of token? And what happens to $CODE? Is that my potential pension I’ve been working at out the window?

We’ve been in a (I hate to have to refer to these trad-fi terms) bear market for the last year or more. It looks like things might be changing (or maybe this is just down to my naivety on speculative economics). Shouldn’t this be a big part of this discussion?

A lot of energy migrated to LLMs a while ago during that down time, I think it’s worth the wait to see what trickles back into web3. We do have good initiatives in place for getting real contributors that will stay into the DAO, by earning their way in through those.

I don’t see the ‘web3’ language being difficult for anyone to understand e.g. 400 CODE gets you into this DAO. Do a), b) or c) and you’ll earn 200, 400 or 600. The maths seem quite self-explanatory.

I really hate the idea of creating exclusive zones e.g. this content for free, and this content for ‘paying customers’.

What happened to public goods?

And to be honest, I’m not sure what you mean by this. Could you explain it using me as an example between 2021 and 2025?

3 Likes

Hey, great work writing down this proposal.
In my humble opinion I believe that having already a full membership NFT like the D4R collection (https://opensea.io/collection/devs-for-revolution) priced around $20-$25 there is no need to create another NFT, instead we could still use the work bandwith mentioned in the proposal (the one would be destinaded for visually designing the NFT, developing or integrating a platform, and of course marketing it if this proposal goes trought) in the Devs For Revolution collection which actually we don’t have any platform to sale and distribute it, neither marketing campaings on it (at least as far as I know).

2 Likes

Shifting the model can be a double edge sword.
Requires people to be more active to get the benefits of the membership model, non actives will not renew. It could “lighten the dev community”.

On the other hand, if we are able to execute value for the new members to join.

CODE token will be a Governance token. Is the NFT just entry to…?

I think it’s a interesting idea and would like to see a nice playbook played out for for it on a trial run.
Easier way to join the DAO, small treasury revenue. The worry is if nothing of value is delivered that the community is finding value from they won’t renew.

Having a small portion the invest that goes into a contributing dev support fund would be nice (proceeds from sales/royalties) to send devs to go hack with a budget or getting subs to something like copilot can really enrich dev participation.

Something good could come out of this if played right.

2 Likes

Just dropping a thought here re a potential iterative step to the longer-term goals outlined in this proposal.

  1. Take a snapshot wallets with over 400 CODE tokens
  2. Add this as an allowlist to guild.xyz for discord access
  3. Remove code requirement to join discord and leave only D4R NFT requirement
  4. Update handbook for how to join discord that guides folks to purchase the D4R NFT as the only way to join Discord
  5. Request @dabit3 transfers ownership of the D4R contract to the DAO Treasury so we can withdraw royalty fees made on these NFTs sales to the DAO treasury. (Confident he’s happy to do this from previous convo it’s just never been actioned)

Benefits:

  • Small iteration that is easier to achieve
  • Allows us to test if we make it easier by focusing on the NFT more folks will join
  • Allows time to further consider the best path forward for DAO memberships
  • Achieves a lot of the non-financial aims of this proposal

Cons:

  • Less potential revenue for the DAO in the short-term (as we’re only getting royalty fees, though we can set this amount)
  • High gas fees for new members on mainnet NFT buys in the short-term
  • Doesn’t solve for giving access via scholarships or earning access via hackathons, though this could be easily solved by allowlisting those addresses in the short-term whilst figure out best solution for this

*an even easier version of this might be just removing any public mention of CODE for access and updating the handbook to tell folks to purchase the D4R NFT to gain access to Discord

I want to start by acknowledging the excellent feedback I’ve received. @Piablo @markkos89.eth @Gordo @Billyjitsu @kempsterrrr @wolovim @Erik_Knobl I understand your concerns about the risks and complications that could arise. Following @kempsterrrr suggestion, we could reintroduce the D4R NFT. The main point of this post is to emphasize that joining should not be complicated. The concept of using an NFT as a membership is easily marketable and well-understood, unlike the idea of marketing a coin, which is a grey area and could lead to trouble.

Another point I wanted to make is that if we launch projects like the academy or Developer DAO hackathons/workshops, then purchasing a membership to access the value we provide may not be a far stretch.

As the partnerships lead, I’ve heard your feedback loud and clear about focusing less on partner content and more on creating content we want to make. However, the truth is we need a way to fund our self-created content, and the NFT is one potential solution

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red flag for me is what looks like people trying to back this solution into multiple problems. i see at least two problem spaces emphasized: (quotations are me paraphrasing)

  1. “we need more revenue streams that less dependent on the whims of sponsors.”
    – i agree. supportive of exploration there. i dont think this form of membership model will generate enough revenue to warrant the cost to the community (i.e. the removal of non-interested members from the server + the opportunity cost to implement, educate, and market it). a lot of the value in D_D comes from the potential of its community members, even if each rarely engages. lurking is the default, in that many keep an eye on things and engage with the very occasional opportunity that is relevant to their interests. D_D partnerships are wide ranging; its unreasonable to expect one member to care about even half of the events. if you cut out most of the lurkers, what is left?
    – alternative thought experiment: what if D_D optionally sold an annual “patron” nft that was something on top of general membership? spitballing: position it as yearly membership dues that help keep the lights on (e.g., pay foundation fees, the absolute basics), if you can afford it and want to collect the nft for that year. (here you can do your annual design competition @kempsterrrr).

  2. “it needs to be easier to join.”
    – if by that you mean: there’s too little availability of the D4R nft or CODE tokens on secondary markets, then perhaps tackle that instead. as one example, lowering the CODE token barrier to entry could make scholarship/prize budgets go further and members can do what they want with any tokens they don’t want to continue to hold.

Just to make sure I understand correctly, the proposal is that if I want to remain a D_D member, I need to pay an ongoing subscription on a season by season basis?

The yearly fee for the DAO aims to generate value, encouraging you to remain a member. @ntindle

@ntindle - I agree, it is quite aggressive. The idea is that the DAO generates enough value that you’ll want to resubscribe annually.

@wolovim, point 1 is completely fair.
@wolovim, point 2 - To obtain the code token, you need to visit an independent site. If the goal is to onboard new web3 users, then using the NFT is the simplest approach.

I think the middle ground is to simply reignite our old D4R NFT.

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I guess a major question from me is: “does the DAO generate enough value now to justify a fee?”

What happens if for a large number of people that answer is no?

I originally joined the DAO during the long transition from NFT to CODE token. The NFT (which gave me no CODE because I missed the snapshot date but was before CODE distribution) was $600 USD. It was worth it due to the vibrant community and work I did in the space. Since then, I’ve made a good amount of CODE due to the work I’ve done in the DAO.

To be honest, I feel I’ve paid my dues.

3 Likes

Loving see you back on the forums @ntindle

As above, I think iterating through this is the best approach and working through some important questions, such as one of life-time payment (what everyone here now had to do via original NFT as you’ve said) and recurring payment (what @mannyornothing has suggested). What would be nice to see is whatever membership parameters are in place they’re controlled by the community via Governance (i.e. community sets the one-off/yearly price on-chain via Governance votes).

@ntindle as a thought exercise, can you think of reasons why you might feel comfortable paying a recurring membership? What if a significant proportion of the fee goes directly to funding community/OS project by design (maybe we create something like ENS Small grants in the DAO, members vote on allocating the revenue)? Would that change your view? Hearing you on the “paid my dues”, could something this be a mechanism for supporting people who come after us.

On a separate but important note, a problem space like this with multiple potential options to consider is not well suited to Basic Voting (For/Against), we’re relying on proposal authors to parse all of the feedback and resubmit a binary vote. @wolovim opened an interesting discussion about voting types and voting strategies - Idea: Update Snapshot Voting Strategy.

This could be an excellent chance to test a more democratic voting strategies such as:

  1. Single choice (vote for one out multiple options not for/against)
  2. Weighted voting (spread your vote across multiple options)
  3. Approval Voting (Choose which options you’d support, vote equally split between them)

These approaches allow the community to weight in properly on the options via a vote, vs just replying to a forum post and hoping for edits, or submitting a competing proposal (folks should do this if they feel passionately about an alternative route, competing proposals must face a vote with both as options under P-21: Simplifying the Developer DAO Improvement Proposal (DDIP) Process.

For the thought exercise, I’d be willing to do it if the community was vibrant and growing. I’d love to see the DAO doing small grants and would be happy with that, if and only if we retain a healthy amount of our current members. I’m not sure we’d do that with a recurring $100 buy-in. The yearly cost on that would be pretty hard to justify unless it’s paying back out in some way.

With that shared understanding, I’d be happy to invest in D_D projects for $100+ every Season in exchange for the DAO receiving real ownership stakes in the company that runs it.

I’d be happy to split that fund in the following ways

$100+ every season:

  • 50% DAO general treasury
  • 50% Investment Fund

Of the investment fund, the DAO can plan that process via a different proposal but the premise is we partner with an existing investment firm and auto buy-in on any D_D member project they invest in so we don’t have to do the greater evaluation.

Ownership in that is paid in a token each season for the season. If the firm exits, any DAO ownership is paid to the token holders of the season. You can get more of the ownership by spending more per season. The 50/50 allocation stays the same though. The DAO should probably also invest in these projects for sustainability reasons but I think that needs to go through legal.

This solves a few important things for me:

  • Current members don’t lose access
  • Current/New members have strong incentive to make the DAO and their community successful via continued and ongoing support
  • The DAO can have a growth team that can provide real monetary support through ownership
2 Likes

From listening the comments, questions and answers here. I personally would vote against the proposal as it is right now for the following reasons:

  • I’m not sure for such a big decision the binary vote is suitable (reasoning above)
  • There are too many unanswered questions in this proposal and to answer them in one proposal fees unrealistic and to much of a change to implement in one go
  • Not sure I see the value on a recurring membership right now

I do however strongly agree with a few important points from this proposal:

  • We need to simplify access and based on our experience thus far a single NFT seems like a better primitive for access/membership from a user experience and also revenue generation point of view to sustain the DAO.
  • The positive effect having a stable revenue such as NFT sales for membership could bring to the DAO

@ntindle your idea is very interesting. I like the idea of partnering with an existing venture firm as well to address some of the challenges that come with exploring this path. @mannyornothing and I have had conversations with an accelerator DAO about partnering in various ways and I imagine with the right partner that could work nicely. The DAOs generate some of the deal flow for them via building community and incentivising them to build stuff (this is profit making work via hackathons), then the DAOs get to participate in the upside by allocating capital at the same terms of the investors who back the projects. Some kind of DAO venture setup I feel would be a great longer term arc for the DAO’s success for members to consider, though I’m not sure it makes sense now.

I feel a nice iterative step would be to solve the access and (hopefully) some of the stable revenue problem by switching to a one-off membership fee (only applied to new members) and consider a proportion of those funds be allocated to bottom up community funding with no expectation of return. Maybe an even better iterative step would be to make the switch to NFT membership and then open discussion on how allocate the funds immediately after.

A recurring membership fee is maybe something that members could consider over time depending on success and intrinsic value of the membership.

Another alternative way the DAO to accrue value back to members could be buying the CODE token back from the open market, though we’d need to consider the legalities of that, as we would if we were to start a venture arm, so given where we’re at now I’d suggest both of those options are better dealt with further down the line when we have more resources to fund that work.

props to @mannyornothing for starting this conversation and bringing it to the forum from the get go. There are lots of very interesting questions being asked and discussed here. An excellent outcome of this proposal whether it is elevated to a vote, or not, for me would be as a catalyst for the DAO aligning on a roadmap for some of these ideas.

This proposal has passed the requirement for be elevated by any @stewards if they support it in it’s current form, including @mannyornothing

From the Governance Process page of the handbook:

can be elevated to Snapshot by any Stewards that supports the Proposal after required Duration

1 Like

This whole discussion was very healthy, but as it stands with too many unknowns, I am okay with not proceeding to the snapshot. I will put another version of this in the next few hours from what I have learned here.

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