Autark Flock Proposal

Yalda Mousavinia
Jan 25 · 7 min read

Autark has a vision of equipping the Aragon ecosystem with tools that enable DAOs to collaborate more seamlessly — by building discussion tools that are integrated with voting, rich user profiles, and expanding governance models to provide support for reputation-based organizations.

We have applied for $390,000 in DAI from the Aragon Network and are looking for your vote of support in AGP-19. What’s described in this article is a summary of our team’s initial initiatives and plans for the six months of funding we are requesting from the Aragon Network.

Below is a summary of our proposal (AGP-19) for funding from the Aragon Network. It has been modified for brevity and enhanced for clarity. Please review the official proposal before voting to ensure what you read has been accurately presented. Also if you have any feedback, we would love to hear it in the forum!

I01 — Cross-Application User Experience

A major limitation of the Aragon architecture is the tight coupling between an individual application front-end and contract. With this limitation, there is less freedom to design feature sets with the optimal user experience, where multiple contracts may be more logical for a single application. To improve upon the architecture, aragonAPI will be modified so as to support both relationships between a single app front-end and multiple contracts, as well as add tools to allow for contract data to be displayed across multiple user interfaces without coupling at the contract level. Once the flow has been defined within aragonAPI we will create at least one example of how we see ideal one-to-many and many-to-one relationships working.

Currently the forwarder is mainly designed to pass isolated actions where the forwarder has little to no knowledge of the forwarded action. We will research potential ways to expand its usability by creating additional specifications for script execution. This will allow for more tightly coupled forwarder interactions where the forwarded call data can actually be leveraged and modified within the Forwarder contract. At minimum we will design the specification and implement it in aragonOS for forwarder interactions that expect data to be passed between the forwarding and forwarder contracts at the contract level.

I02 — Contextual Discussions

Many applications throughout Aragon would benefit from contextual discussions or commenting. For example, if there is a transaction displayed in the Finance app, a member of the organization may be interested in beginning a discussion related to a transaction in the table. Additionally, Votes, Surveys, and Range Votes will all benefit from having the discussion located within Aragon.

At the high level, discussion capabilities will have:

  • Ability to add, edit and delete comments
  • Support for markdown
  • Ability to like comments, weighted by the amount of DAO’s tokens held at time of snapshot based on context

We will ensure that the work we do in enhancing aragonAPI will enable us to support this use case, and will deliver at least one fork of an existing app that has integrated discussions.

I03 — Rich User Profiles

While Aragon One’s identity app will provide much-needed features; an identity is more than a name, bio, ENS domain, and avatar. We propose to expand identities to allow for more rich profiles. This will be useful as the network of organizations within Aragon grows and a freelancer culture develops. This supplementary data can be useful in assessing allegiances, expertise, and clout.

The additional data elements that will be relevant to expose in relation to a profile can be:

  • Memberships to other Aragon DAOs
  • Work Experience
  • Ability to import data from LinkedIn or manually input work experience
  • Ability to import commit history from Github, highlighting top projects
  • Ability to curate a portfolio of images (such as design work) hosted on distributed storage

While we are aware 3box is developing “Ethereum Profiles” which may cover aspects of this initiative, we will perform an assessment to see if it makes sense to leverage their framework before going all in on a fully custom implementation.

I04 — Expanding Governance Possibilities

Implementing a reputation system within will allow the usage of Aragon for reputation-based governance without requiring the integration of external applications such as Colony or DAOstack which can add security risks.

The most logical place to implement reputation will be within the Projects application. The end goal is that when a user completes a task using the Projects app, they can collect a variety of tokens — standard ERC-20s in addition to non-transferable reputation tokens.

I05 — Data Storage and Standards

Discussion forums, rich user profiles, and other familiar collaboration features are unique because they rely on data that is not efficiently stored on Ethereum. Our long term goal is to support these features with completely distributed storage while maintaining capabilities like optimal querying and dynamic access control. We’ll start with a “web 2.5” storage solution, learn more about users while relevant technologies mature, and remove intermediate services over time.

DAOs should be able to store their data with these qualities:

Accessible — all data from discussions and features alike will be available in distributed storage. This allows anyone to view and backup work without hitting a centralized server.

Standardized — by content addressing data and following open data standards, we can make people’s work more compatible across DAOs and other open source projects.

Timestamped — contributors should be able to create snapshots of their work across platforms. One way to do this is to store data on IPFS and write the hash to Ethereum.

Short Term

Next 6 months — Immediate support for discussions and profiles

A near term storage solution preserves important qualities of decentralization without jeopardizing technical feasibility or user experience. It has a distributed data layer (i.e. IPFS) with intermediate services running on top of it. These services should be open source and provide clients efficient read/write capabilities to/from distributed storage.

Long Term

12–24 months — Iterating and upgrading to “web 3.0”

While intermediate services still will be useful in the near-term, they should become less necessary as we implement distributed databases. At this point we will have new information about the community and their needs.

Over time we can replace intermediate services with their distributed counterparts such as OrbitDB, BigChainDB, Threads, Solid and others. Part of our goal over the next six months will be to better understand the feasibility of using these technologies.

If the demand for removing all centralization is high, a reliable distributed storage solution is feasible in this timeframe. Conversely, if we find the community cares more about new features we will be well positioned to extend our short term strategy and build more services.

(Note: The images above are our initial architecture sketches. We’ll continue to refine these, especially during the first month of work.)

I06 — DAO Identity

Organizations and entities have unique brands, which help them differentiate from one another and convey a fine-tuned message. One value add for the Aragon platform will be to provide features that allows an Organization to showcase their unique identity. Based on public ecosystem roadmap, Organization avatars are the only planned way to differentiate. With the DAO Identity initiative, this will be expanded by allowing a DAO to tailor the branding and theme of the Aragon platform and also providing a user guide for self-hosted domains. Eventually, the long-term goal for this initiative is to move toward a “Wordpress for DAOs” experience, with a rich library of themes and many ways to easily customize layouts.

I07 — Rewards Application and Planning Suite

The Rewards App distributes payments to token holders based on the number of tokens one has earned in a specific cycle of time (one-time reward) or based on the total tokens one holds (dividend).

This Flock proposal includes team members that were awarded a Nest grant for a Planning Suite, which contains five applications: Allocations, Range Voting, Address Book, Projects, Rewards.

The plan is to finish the Nest Milestone 3 by the end of January, before the Flock funding would begin. This proposal includes rolling up Milestone 4 and 5 into Flock which entails the Rewards app, and any final work to get the Planning Suite into a stage to launch.

Grant Size

We would like to request $390,000 paid in DAI to cover 26 weeks of operating costs (February 3rd to August 3rd 2019).

  • Autark payroll for 6 full-timers (includes healthcare stipend) — $295,000
  • Open Work Labs partnership (40 hrs/wk- details in team section) — $60,000
  • Contractors (Accounting, Graphic Design, etc) — $10,000
  • Misc. (Equipment, SaaS software/hosting, co-working space memberships, contingency) — $10,000
  • Team Offsite (One total) — $15,000

We would like to request an additional 350,000 ANT to incentivize the 6 full-time Autark members funded by this proposal, distributed over 4 years of work. This ANT will have a 1-year cliff and 4-year vesting. Any additional ANT we request in the future will be for new team members.

Team

The Autark team will be comprised of 6 full-timers and will initially be fully remote and distributed across the world, primarily in Europe and America. We will also partner with Open Work Labs on our Data and Storage standards initiative.

Vote Yes on AGP-19

All ANT holders as of January 24, 2019 at 00:00 UTC (approximately) will be eligible to vote “yes” or “no” our proposal for funding, AGP-19. If you like what are building, we hope to have your vote!

To vote with a browser wallet, click the button above and find the AGP-19 ballot. For more details on the voting logistics, read Aragon’s blog post.

Yalda Mousavinia

Written by

Project lead @autarklabs. Co-founder @SpaceDecentral @spacecoopinc. Passionate about DAOs with humans at the forefront & opening up space for collaboration.