AIP-252: Funding Grant Proposals using Delegated Domain Allocation

Hi @sasha, thanks for sharing your thoughts and feedback. :pray:

The reason I asked if Questbook managed Uniswap, Compound, and/or Aave is because you provided numbers for these three as a justification to my concern that Questbook’s costs are significant/too high. But if Questbook also ran programs for those entities, then you’re just comparing your costs to your own costs, not to competition or industry average.

Questbook was responsible for launching only Compound Grants Program from scratch. Aave Grants Program and Uniswap Grants Program were initiated and supported by their respective communities without any involvement from Questbook. An operational spend of over 13% of the grants program budget was ratified by the community as a means to incentivize the allocators to source and fund the best proposals while being accountable to the community and proposers.

Similar operational and compensation structures are utilized in other grants programs and working groups

  1. Cosmos Grants Program 12% of the overall budget

  1. Ethereum Foundation - ~11% of the overall budget

  2. Nouns DAO Treasury Spend

  1. Proposed compensation detailed in the Governance Working Group proposal

To summarize, my feedback would be that the gist/idea/concept is cool (as an experiment to get some proposals jumpstarted) but prices are, imho, astronomical. Based on my time doing this very job, you don’t need more than 1 manager and 1 analyst (i.e. domain allocator) at most, though I am still of the opinion that the analyst isn’t needed (you can outsource the outreach for $10-15K and then just review apps that land in the funnel).

Really appreciate your recognition of the Delegated Domain Capital Allocation model :raised_hands: . We believe that to evaluate and source proposals effectively, one needs to have expertise in the relevant domain. It can be a difficult and inefficient task to assess projects that are outside of one’s area of expertise, which will lead to missing out on valuable contributions to the ApeCoin ecosystem. By delegating capital and decision-making responsibilities to experts in the field who are closely involved in that domain, ApeCoin DAO will be able to find and fund projects that align with the mission of the ApeCoin DAO, while also addressing any blind spots individuals may have outside their expertise if they are evaluating all the proposals alone by themselves.

The software license cost of $50,000 for 6-9 months seems very unreasonable for what is essentially a customized Trello/Notion.

Questbook is a decentralized on-chain grants management platform that is trusted by some of the most reputed ecosystems to run their grant programs. There are several significant advantages of using Questbook over Airtable and Notion:

  • Permissionless Community Participation : Unlike Notion or Airtable, where commenting is permissioned and restricted to those added to the workspace, anyone from the ApeCoin community can comment on any proposal received on Questbook

  • Transparency in the review process and decision-making: Questbook allows anyone from the community to view the domain-specific rubrics set by the domain allocator and understand why a proposal was either accepted or rejected. This helps proposers to revise and resubmit their proposals based on rubric scores and domain allocator’s, community feedback. This level of transparency is not always available in the current process and on Notion/Airtable, where proposers often do not receive feedback on why their proposal was accepted or rejected. One such example is given below for reference.

    A transparent review process and decision-making will also provide greater insight into the performance of the domain allocator to the ApeCoin community based on which the community will re-elect/replace the domain allocators through a Snapashot vote.

  • Improved TAT : By evaluating proposals in a transparent manner, domain allocators will be held accountable for their performance in terms of communication, decision-making, and funding turnaround time (TAT), as it will be visible to the ApeCoin community. An example of this is Compound who’s already leveraging the DDA model and has a communication TAT of less than 48 hours

  • Detailed On-chain analytics : Using Questbook, ApeCoin community will be able to track the performance of the domain allocators using data rich dashboards. Additionally, any community member can create their own custom dashboards permissionlessly as all the data will be available on the chain

  • Increase in the number of proposals : Questbook is a desired destination for 20,000+ builders each month. In addition to the domain allocators’ sourcing efforts, ApeCoin DAO will benefit from the organic traffic of high-quality contributors from other reputable ecosystems, resulting in an increase in the number of quality proposals.

Overall, the total cost of this proposal (25-35% of the entire allocated budget) for 6-9 months is 2.5-3.5x above what I know to be reasonable from my experience. Beyond 9 months, the prices become entirely untenable, so any long-term licensing/work with the DAO is off the table (imho). Whether you can reduce by 2.5-3.5x is your call, but that’s what I’d like to see before voting yes. Others may have a different opinion.

ps: Above I say “as an experiment” because this proposal, if approved, completely circumvents DAO’s current approval process/system. This opens a whole new can of worms if it’s not done as a one-off experiment.

With $181M as the total allocated grants budget as per the Ape Foundation transparency report, we are requesting only 0.5% of that budgeted funds to be used to fund high quality proposals through Delegated Domain Capital Allocation Model. As this will be a community run initiative, at the end of each quarter, the community will decide whether to change domains, domain allocators, increase/decrease the budget.

The proposed budget represents the maximum amount needed to ensure the success of the grants program and to avoid the need for frequent community ratification for budgets for the proposed ApeCoin DAO Grants Program. It does not guarantee that all the proposed expenses will be incurred. Moreover, it does not scale with time period and amounts to a constant figure/quarter.

The rationale behind the proposed number and type of domains, domain allocators’ compensation, and product fee is provided in the following links:

Additionally, we would love to receive more inputs from the community members and would like to conduct a community poll to gather additional feedback. We welcome all members of the community to participate in the poll and share their opinions on the proposed domains, hourly compensation, and product fee. Your inputs will help us finalise the domains, grants program spend and proceed towards finalizing the domain allocators accordingly.

Which domains would the ApeCoin community like to see as part of the grants program for the first two quarters?
  • Game Development
  • Community Growth and Events
  • Security and Tooling
  • Education and content for new user onboarding
  • Other
0 voters
What should be the hourly compensation of Domain Allocators taking into account that they’ll be required to work for a maximum of 15 hours/week for two quarters?
  • $100/hour
  • $80/hour
  • $60/hour
  • Other
0 voters
What should be the hourly compensation of the Program Manager taking into account that they’ll be required to work for a maximum of 20 hours/week for two quarters?
  • $120/hour
  • $100/hour
  • $75/hour
  • $50/hour
  • Other
0 voters
What should be the product fee for running ApeCoin DAO Grants Program on Questbook across two quarters?
  • 5% of all disbursal
  • 5% of all disbursals capped at $30k
  • 3% of all disbursals
  • Other
0 voters