From roadmap to token
In the manifesto we laid out our vision for the Tokenomics DAO.
We are not credentialists.
We make Tokenomics Relevant. For Everyone.
We reduce uncertainty for web3 investors and builders.
We are free to explore anything web3.
We share our knowledge with the community.
Since then many have asked how this translates to something more tangible like a roadmap of what we want to build and achieve with this vision in mind. Here is how we envision the process:
- We map out what we want to achieve (e.g., we want to scale consulting),
- We identify the problems we need to solve in order to get there (e.g., how can we trust strangers in the DAO),
- We circle in on how incentives can help solve the problems (e.g., membership ranks, shadowing, token staking/lockups during engagements).
In this piece, I want to focus on defining the problems and the things we want to optimise towards.
Our community is structured into four talent pools, which reflect the areas we have our attention on.
- Content: “Create or research easy to understand content”
- Consulting: “Solve problems for clients”
- Education: “Teach tokenomics and build community knowledge”
- DAO: “Work on the DAO, not in the DAO”
The content we create shows others that we have put in the work to think about a topic, structure it well and explain it in simple terms. Content can be seen as proof of work. Continuous proof of work can build a reputation. The reputation ideally shows the level of knowledge the author or the community has and readers can judge for themselves how useful it is to them. In our case, the content has led to requests for consulting and this is why we see the creation of content as one of the main pillars of what we do.
Consulting is a source of revenue and in order to keep that source of requests flowing, a continuous proof of work is optimal. We can aim to have both of these things: content and happy clients. Content then creates a gravitational pull for consulting engagements starting a flywheel in which consulting engagements create more knowledge within the community, allowing us to create ever better content.
With this in mind, let’s look at how the four talent pools content, consulting, education and DAO will work on spinning this flywheel over the next couple of months. I’ll start with education as the newly built out onboarding process is essential for all other sections.
Onboarding and upskilling new members: We currently are a small core team that wants to expand. Our focus is to onboard trustworthy and engaged individuals. A proof of work onboarding process will help us to achieve this (the below diagram shows how).
The process gives us a continuous quality control mechanism and a reputation system that should motivate members to participate in the activities of the DAO. Just like airlines motivate fliers to fly with them by offering access to a lounge once a certain status is reached. Our lounge is the platform to publish content and the access to paid consulting engagements. Airline status expires when not flying, we think downgrading ranks due to inactivity could help keep activity high too.
- mid term -
Increase the base of contributors: A must for everything we want to deliver. We need to ramp up the contributor base and ensure we keep a high quality.
Based on this, there are a few things to optimise for:
- What incentivises core contributors to teach newer wannabe contributors?
- What keeps members learning?
- How to ensure members stay active?
The ranks and their expiry are a good start and a token model (introduced towards the end) might contribute to solving a few of the problems addressed here.
Scaling content production: Most of the content is produced by me. We want to change this using the onboarding process where we co-author and research together until members are ready for publishing on our platform.
- mid term -
Long-term content production: A larger base of contributors will allow us to create quality content on a regular basis, producing articles, reports, twitter threads and youtube videos etc., making tokenomics accessible to anyone.
The things we want to optimise for on the content side are:
- How to create high quality content that is well researched, not plagiarised, well written and does not require a ton of editing?
- How to enable a group of people to represent the voice of one DAO?
- How to get knowledgeable people to share their knowledge?
In many ways the onboarding process and reputation system (described above) will help optimise this. It takes work to build up a reputation and move up to higher ranks. If members believe in the DAO, they will do their best to not lose the reputation.
Another carrot aside from the obvious token payment is to be published on our platforms. With a growing number of visitors and readers, this could become more and more attractive.
Delivering our first consulting engagements: After completing our recent project, we are excited to be working on more. Involving new members into project delivery is crucial to scaling beyond a one or two man show. It also broadens the DAO’s core competencies and overall depth of knowledge.
- mid term -
Scale consulting engagements: Led by core contributors, shadowed by aspiring contributors, consulting can scale and become a large source of revenue for contributors and the DAO, who could take a cut off of every engagement.
- long term -
Connect consultants with projects: Build out the infrastructure to connect those seeking expertise in tokenomics with experts.
A few things we can optimise for in the consulting area:
- How to ensure quality of delivery even when projects become challenging?
- How can we help the client trust us and our resources?
- What stops successful consultants from running off and soloing on the next gig?
The incentive to be paid by helping clients to work through their tokenomics should be a strong enough motivation for most people. Having built up the reputation internally to get into client projects will require work and as such won’t easily be given up. Additionally, we can think of measures such as staking tokens for roles with high responsibilities to ensure skin in the game or of ranks holding increasing amounts of DAO tokens to ensure sufficient incentive alignment.
The KILT protocol introduced an interesting concept of members with high reputation delegating their reputation to others and by that vouching for them creating reputation hierarchies.
Setting up a DAO structure and token: We still don’t have a DAO and no token yet. Working on what we need it for is part of this series of articles and discussions happening within the community.
Launch our own content site: We want our content to reach as many people as possible and we think we can improve this by bringing our content in one place.
Keeping the community active and engaged: This is a cross topic that ideally all of the above measures are contributing towards, nonetheless this is a priority as having this active hive mind is our most valuable asset.
- mid term -
Expand the current content site to the Tokenomics Hub: We have been working on a Tokenomics Evaluation Framework including the NGMI score, described here. The Tokenomics Hub could become the centrepiece for all tokenomics related research combining diagrams, articles and potentially premium content.
- long term -
Establish a hub for tokenomics: Anyone can come to the platform and learn about tokenomics. We should ensure the content stays up to date and we find ways to monetize the effort we put into this platform.
Decentralise: A lot of the roadmap so far has shown the path to decentralisation e.g. moving from one content creator to many. We need to continue on this pathway and establish a decentralised governance that can take the ecosystem into a direction the community deems best.
DAO related topics bring in another set of problems to solve:
- How to ensure quality contribution via proposals, suggestions and on discord to advance the DAO itself via governance?
- How to keep the community active and engaged (e.g., get members to answer questions, attend events etc.)?
- Ensure talent stays within the ecosystem and keeps contributing to the flywheel even over time.
Many other communities use tipping on discord, which can be a great peer to peer reward system. A token, once implemented, would also drive engagement to work on the DAO as by improving internal processes the DAO could increase efficiency, implement new revenue streams and generally have an impact on the tokens value via governance.
I also see the DAO workstream as the one that can reflect on the daily action and innovate on our tokenomics trying out new ideas and concepts.
How could a token support the flywheel?
It seems that our core mechanism is the flywheel. The flywheel, when spinning, creates revenue via consulting (and content-revenue in the future), keeping it spinning should be our highest priority. The problem is that it won’t be natural to keep the flywheel going as the money comes from consulting so consulting will be at the core of our efforts. To mitigate this effect we could perhaps borrow from the airline miles system, where members earn miles only when flying. We might pay out a token only for proof of work. The token then could entitle to a share of the revenue generated from consulting to ensure content producers get a share of what is created.
What if the token supply wasn’t even capped but had a trickle feed based on new content generated. One thing it would certainly do, is keep everybody on their feet and not just reward early buyers as the revenue distribution would be diluted to new content creators over time. If we also assume that the flywheel works, then with more content, we would generate more revenue, leading to a natural coupling of the growth of token supply and revenue.
An idea we are discussing, is for a token that has the inherent dynamic that an individual’s share of tokens will devalue over time if they don’t continue to produce content. It will also devalue, if the amount of content grows faster than the consulting revenues. Our onboarding and quality control process however could help us control the issuance.
Additionally, we need to work the status or reputation into a second token that ideally is non transferable as reputation shouldn’t be buyable. This will help cement the onboarding and proof of work process into an on-chain mechanism.
It’s all work in progress right now, but I hope these updates are valuable for everyone designing their own tokenomics. If you have some interesting thoughts, please join us here.
thanks to the community (Lovis, CryptoBaba, YoungYoung, tmark, guccikudo) for thinking this through.