Core Units I Wish Existed

After their introduction with a series of MIPs a couple of weeks ago (see also great TLDR by @amyjung) the community is already proposing the first Core Units! See, e.g., Real World Finance. This is great!

In this thread, I propose we could list the Core Units that we wish existed. :slight_smile:

Hopefully this can give signals to people with the proper background/competences on what is needed at MakerDAO.

I will personally only list Core Units that have not been discussed much yet, and do not list very expected CU such as “Smart Contracts”, “Oracles”, etc.

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Core Unit I wish existed: Incubator Core Unit.

Short Description: the goal of this CU is too coordinate funding towards projects/startups/hackathons/integrations with the overall goal of expanding the the MakerDAO ecosystem (codebase, tools, ideas, etc).

Ideally, the Core Units get some money from MakerDAO (e.g., 20k/month) and, distributes this money to valuable projects. The contributors of the CoreUnits include: a panel to select the best projects, a “marketing” figure to advertise the available funds and announce the best results, etc.

Additional Notes: I believe the Maker Foundation had this type of structure, internally, as it consistently funded projects and integrations over the course of the years. Similar structures of course exists in a multitude of projects. For example Chainlink has gain a lot of “market penetration” thanks to its https://chain.link/community/grants .

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Core Unit I wish existed: MakerDAO press agency.

Short Description: the goal of this CU is produce high quality press releases about MakerDAO, in various forms and intended to different audiences, including:

  • A periodic (weekly/monthly) volume, dedicated to Governance participators.
  • A quarterly report, dedicated to (institutional) investors and professional finance operators. This includes in-depth news/evaluations/etc regarding the collaterals in MakerDAO, their risk evaluations, SF, etc.
  • A periodic (weekly/monthly) volume, dedicated to the masses. This would include an official stream of properly processed news.

Ideally, the Core Units members are the typical figures working in financial information media, social-media experts, etc.

Additional Notes: This type of activity is being pushed forward by other projects in the crypto space, and it will be more and more required to “look serious and professional”. As an example, see https://github.com/iearn-finance/yearn-pm/blob/master/financials/reports/2020Q3-yearn-quarterly-report.pdf.

We already have something along these lines going on, for example with the “Know your MIPs” series of posts, the “Governance Calls summaries”, etc. But the MakerDAO press agency should bring this to the next level.

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Core Unit I wish existed: L2 Solutions.

Short Description: the goal of this CU to carry (very much applied) research towards the goal of lowering the Gas-fees problem and allow access of DAI/Vaults/Defi to the masses. The research is of course based on (Ethereum) L2 solutions.

Additional Notes: This is critical to fulfill the mission of MakerDAO of “banking the unbanked”, but also, in the medium/long term, to keep up with competition. For example, other platforms are looking at L2 solutions right now: I can list some experiments running on xDAI because that’s the only semi-L2 solution I am aware of, but other surely exists in other L2 solutions:

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Core unit I wish existed: Legal

Short Description: Would advise other core units of necessary legal procedures to insure limited liability as well as provide insight and advice on compliance with the developing legal landscape.

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This sounds a lot like what Community Development has been doing for the last couple of years.

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The Governance Communication Working Group(May come to be known as the Stakeholder Communications Core Unit), that had a DOI passed in this month’s governance cycle, is organizing to be exactly this and more.

For now it handles:

  1. Emergency Response Service; Service
    This is a MIP being worked on to outline Emergency Response procedures and resources, whose process will be aided by this group.
  2. Maker Relay; Service, Product, Platform
    Has been consistently released and iterated on since July 2020.
  3. Governance Call Summaries; Service, Product
    Have been consistently released since May 2019
  4. Governance Call Snippets; Service, Product
    Recently started, and have been a great success for getting a shorter call summary that can be posted almost immediately after the call.
  5. The MakerDAO Tuesday Community Call; Service, Platform
    Has been running since early 2018, and has evolved to be more focused on guests and discussion rather than updates
  6. Maintaining the public MakerDAO events calendar; Service
    This calendar has public calls and MakerDAO votes.

There is still a lot of growth to be had. I especially like the idea of a quarterly report besides the weekly relay, which already targets Maker Protocol Stakeholders.

Stay tuned for more info from this group. We are excited to keep producing value for MakerDAO, and to form our Core Unit.

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Core Unit I wish existed: R&D Team

Short Description: A core unit that focuses on long term protocol R&D with a focus on governance-minimization.

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Core Unit I wish existed: Security Core Unit

Short Description: Keep Maker safe! As the Protocol grows, it’ll become increasingly important for the DAO to keep up with security vulnerabilities and identify risks. Ideally this Core Unit would be able to lay out best practices before, during and after technical developments, act as a “third party” or red team to knowledge share with technical domains, coordinate funding towards audits, and maintain a relationship with auditors.

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Core Unit I wish existed: Maker Academy / Education

Short Description: It’s no secret Maker is a complex system to understand (cue Daiwanese :wink: ). In order to maintain a healthy, growing community of contributors and participants, the DAO should have a core unit dedicated to developing knowledge & education for Maker topics. This could be like an “Academy”, designing various pathways for levels and skillsets (developers, newbies, etc), and even domains.

  • Creating an evolving curriculum, developing resources and a pathway for learning.
  • Maker Resources can be, but not limited to: Onboarding Docs, Tutorials (Written Content, Visuals, Videos, Sandboxes, Bots)
  • Bonus points if it’s fun

If done right, I think this Core Unit could even extend beyond Maker to greater DeFi or crypto and have its own business model.

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Core Unit I wish existed: Marketing Core Unit

Short Description: The goal would be to drive education, awareness, usage, and promotions of Dai, while delivering Protocol updates as needed.

Marketing basics like Goals/Objectives, Strategies, Tactics, and KPIs would be identified to fuel Dai growth.
Imagery, infographics, videos, gifs, and more would fall under the content generated from this CU.
Furthermore, the Marketing CU would be responsible for assisting with new integrations and partnership promotions.

Other touchpoints could include SEO, social media channel (youtube included) ownership, website homepage, and localization efforts for translations etc…

Lastly, ensuring there’s a significant focus on data gathering to make strategic mktg decisions is crucial, so having consistent metrics reporting will be needed.

Additional notes:

It could also potentially combine with the “Press Agency” mentioned above into a full Marcomms CU as they’d be working close together anyway.

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A broad media relations program for the project is a very compelling idea and will be absolutely critical. It would ensure that all core audiences (as defined by the project) can get the info the need when they need it. In addition to distribution of news and updates (as suggested), I recommend exploring a reactive element to this function as well. A lot of the work we currently do for the project is answering questions and providing statements to reporters and researchers as needed. Managing reactive requests allow the project to appear in timely news stories about the broader space, ensure that details are accurately reported and grow credibility by being included in third party articles and papers.

As the current architect/leader of the Marketing/Communications function for the Foundation, I hope that I will be able to work with the eventual Core Unit leader to manage a thoughtful and successful handover of the program including insights and lessons learned.

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Core Unit I wish existed: Customer Services Core Unit

Short Description: USDT and USDC allow you to recover lost funds which is a great feature. We need to be able to restore funds for simple mistakes (sending to 0x0 or to a known immutable smart contract). Our existence depends on DAI users, it is our role to provide the best service to them.

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Core Unit I wish existed: EURDAI Core Unit

Short Description: No serious Euro-pegged stablecoin exists right now. It’s mainly due to negative interest rates. This core unit would copy/paste the existing Maker Protocol for Euro. Probably use a EURS PSM for peg management (as little as possible). We have the opportunity to be the leader in this currency. This would allow parallelization as it would be a separated protocol (but under the same MKR tokens).

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Core Unit I wish existed: Financial Research & Competitor Analysis

Short Description: The goal of this core unit is to do financial research and analysis, in the context of DeFi and MakerDAO, up-to the best standards of academic research in finance & economics.

Ideally, contributors of this Core Unit have serious research experience in the field (PhDs, tenured academics, etc). It is very hard to image that this type of figure could come and work for MakerDAO full time (at least now). What is more likely is that the Facilitator of this Core Unit comes/belongs from this word and has a web of contacts in the banking/finance/academic world to outsource research as “financial consulting” tasks.

It is of vital (i.e., to survive) importance for MakerDAO to understand - at a deep level - the key winning aspects of MakerDAO, separate them from the “noise”, and understand how to leverage them in several financial contexts (e.g., negative interests rates, new financial crisis, periods of sustained growth, bull markets, etc) in the best possible way.

My point of view: MakerDAO has emerged from the talent, imagination, creativity of a group of enthusiastic and super-clever people, often coming from technology/engineering mora than finance. But now it is reaching big numbers, and we need the help of professionals in money-theory. This does not mean that MakerDAO should be eaten by the “legacy system”. But just that the “legacy system” has a lot of knowledge that we need to use, rather than re-inventing the wheel (and making mistakes).

Additional Notes: In his recent talk (link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLdCPwvYuFk&t=2072s), which everybody reading this should watch, @SebVentures made several excellent points. One of the most important is that we need to make a deep “Competitor Analysis” (Aave, Chainlink, Compound, UniSwap, etc), where competitor means “other big DeFi project”.

“You can’t beat them if you don’t know them”.

I think this would be (one of the) a perfect task for this Core Unit.

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Core Unit I wish existed: UX Core unit

Short Description: Would be tasked with maintaining the various contract front-ends that people use. I would see this a group with some design and js experience that would both propose and implement UX improvements to the various DAI related front-ends.

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Core Unit I wish existed : Seed investments Core Unit

Short Description : Allow up to 100k DAI seed investments in startups. Initially 1 Per month Max.

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Would you mind elaborating on how you’d see it operating?

One of the best examples of a DAO-based venture capital fund is The LAO, in my view. Do you think we could draw inspiration from it?

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@Derek suggested something similar in #core-unit-operating-model-onboarding

Hey all, I thought I’d get the ball rolling on what I’ve dubbed the “Front End Core Unit” - responsible for the Governance & Migration Portals, plus pitching for Liquidations2.0, Delegation and IAM UIs. As always, keen for comments - this is my independent Sunday-arvo-cup-of-coffee-attempt so please jump in with any thoughts :slightly_smiling_face:

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Totally, but I will divide it into verticals.
Example
Seeds

  • Renewal energies
  • Software
  • Biotech

And to have contributors related to Vcs that are SME on those fields…

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