[Proposal] Petition Letter to A16z

Hello,

It is amazing how MakerDAO is handling the move from a semi-centralised entity (under the supervision of The Foundation) to a fully decentralised DAO.

Considering that this process is happening in a purely decentralised fashing, is nothing short of amazing. This said, it goes without saying, that there are tons of business-processes, good practices, experience, contacts, knowledge, that are hard to achieve (especially in the short term) this way.

As it is well-known, MakerDAO is in the portfolio of A16Z (Portfolio - Andreessen Horowitz). They hold a good amount of MKR.

It is also known, in the community, that A16Z has been silent in the last few years. They have never directly interacted with the community.
[Note: Maybe they did interact with the Foundation. We don’t know]
It is quite possible that MakerDAO is, for them, just one of many investments, and they didn’t find it valuable to invest resources in it, yet.

However they might change their mind, or consider it in a different way, if we asked them explicitly to show up and give advice (as a very resourcefull MKR-holding entity).

PROPOSAL:

  1. Let’s prepare, by a distributed effort, a letter for them to request their help/collaboration/support in this important phase of MakerDAO.
  2. Let MKR holders sign this letter through vote (this gives it Governance authority).
  3. Let’s send this letter to A16Z. This letter should be public (in the spirit of the DAO) anyway.

I believe such an initiative would be appreciated by A16Z. If also released to the ‘press’ in the appropriate way, it could even be good publicity for both MakerDAO and A16Z.

What do you think?

NOTE 1: A16Z clearly states here (link) that:

Put simply, our primary objective in governance is to create the conditions necessary for protocols to achieve long-term adoption and self-sustainability.

I think this sounds very promising, considering that this is exactly the type of help we’d like to get from them.

NOTE 2: I made this proposal with A16Z in mind. But the same could be pushed forward with outer institutional investors involved in MakerDAO.

22 Likes

I like this idea. I think it would be helpful to A16Z (and any other investors we decide to reach out to) for us to clarify what sort of help and resources we believe they could provide, invite conversation around what they believe they could bring to the table, and provide a call-to-action to coordinate further communication.

As we navigate this transition to Core Units, it would be mutually beneficial for us to be in contact with their talent coordinators and it’s possible their team members could have insights that would be valuable to teams like Growth and Governance.

4 Likes

Would be nice if we could ask them to vote/secure hats.

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VCs can bring a lot of expertise and challenge the Core Unit facilitators. And, obviously, secure the hat if not done already.

It remains to be seen how that would integrate inside the Maker ecosystem but seems a good idea.

5 Likes

yeah!

So this post has received +12 likes which is not bad.
I think, before moving forward (i.e., actually drafting a petition) it would be good to agree on what we might realistically and concretely ask to A16z.

  1. [@Aaron_Bartsch, @SebVentures ] Partecipate in governance by voting and securing the hats.
  2. Bring their expertise in the recruiting process.
  3. Bring their expertise in the legal (EU/USA/ASIA) aspects. This could be either in the form of a 2nd “Legal Core Unit” (another one is under formation) or in terms of interaction with the Core Unit that is being proposed in these days.
  4. Bring their expertise in the marketing/communication.
  5. Bring their expertise in business opportunities/contacts/development.
  6. [@SebVentures ] Challenge existing Core Units Facilitators with a process of verification of their standards (which should be up to the highest standards). In other words, I’d like them to, e.g., say “we are skeptical that the proposed choice of the Legal Core Unit would give a viable path to success in the legislation of NY, USA”.

For all of these, A16z could either form their own Core Units or form a monolitic larger “A16z MakerDAO Core Unit” or just interact interact with existing Core Units (basically with the “challenge” process (6) suggested by @SebVentures ).

Any other points?

6 Likes

Friends, why not expand the scope a bit and do a sentiment poll (or some other exercise where MKR voters vote) to draw the attention of other large publicly known whales? Or maybe to start with baby steps and focus on a16z (it’s a good idea however we slice it)?

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@Tosh9.0 you are right that there are also other VCs invested in MakerDAO.

See bottom-right of page 7 of this document.: A16Z, Ether Capital corp,
1 confirmation, Polychain, Pantera, Paradigm and Dragonfly.

However:

  1. I think this list is actually outdated, e.g., I think Polychain has sold most of their MKR.
  1. I think it makes sense to contact A16z first. They have the 3rd largest wallet of MKR (see this) and they are generally recognised as a top-notch crypto VC.

Beside starting to draft a document, @LongForWisdom added that we’d benefit from having the following 2 further points:
7) a contact (email, telephone, whatever) in case of Emergency.
8) a contact (email, telephone, whatever) to be in contact with them for ordinary stuff that it might be of their interest.

Please, let me know if you see some other important points to add to the list. Then (if nobody else does it first) I will try to draft something as soon as I have some time available.

5 Likes

Just wanted to comment that I fully support this idea and initiative. If we can get one of the market and thought leaders in tech/crypto involved it will be a huge advantage in building the DAO. We are in uncharted territory and having an engaged investor-base would provide invaluable feedback to the long-term success of MakerDAO.

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Is this the kind of thing a specific Core Unit could undertake? We need like a B2B relations unit. I’m also thinking it would be prescient to communicate/build a relationship with Circle so that we know using USDC is safe.

Yeah, that would be awesome.
For the moment I have tried to write a first draft.
It would be great if the community could build on it and reach some consensus eventually (sooner is better than later).

Remark: I really want to see Petition Letter coming to reality. I don’t really mind if my proposal below is 100% discarded. It’s just a first attempt. All I want is progress :slight_smile:


[… Letter to a16z …]

to the attention of the Andreessen Horowitz A16z Crypto team. Following its investment thesis and its long term vision on DeFi, A16z crypto has invested in MakerDAO in September 2018. The involvement of A16z crypto brought a new level of excitement and credence to the MakerDAO community and has helped its development over the course of the last few years. Currently A16z owns the wallet with the third largest amount of MKR tokens and therefore owns more than 6% of the voting power in the MakerDAO governance system.

Since September 2018 MakerDAO has managed to achieve outstanding technical results, including the successful launch of multi-collateral DAI in 2019, and today is undoubtably one of the leading protocols in the DeFi space. This amazing growth has been enabled by an engaged decentralised community coordinated and supported by the Maker Foundation, a private organisation lead by Rune Christensen, one of the founders of MakerDAO.

As planned from the very beginning, however, the Maker Foundation is going to be dissolved soon. This event corresponds to a critical, historical and exciting moment for MakerDAO: the decentralised community will have to manage itself and its DeFi protocol successfully without relying on a single centralised organisation.

Since the beginning of 2021, the MakerDAO decentralised community has made significant steps towards decentralisation. Several Core Units, independent and focused groups of contributors paid by MakerDAO with the profits of the protocol, are being proposed, discussed and approved via the Governance process. But the path towards full decentralisation is hard, full of intricacies and is resource consuming. The help of all members of our decentralised community is now more needed than ever.

One of the key objectives of A16z crypto is:

Put simply, our primary objective in governance is to create the conditions necessary for protocols to achieve long-term adoption and self-sustainability.

For the above reasons, the MakerDAO decentralised community wishes to ask the full participation and support of A16z in this important moment. We’d be thrilled to be able to interact in a fully transparent way (forums, chats, onchain governance, etc), in the true spirit of DeFi, with the incredibly talented A16z Crypto team.

Specifically, we encourage A16z to:

  1. Participate in onchain governance and voting, using the 60k MKR tokens in their wallet.
  2. Through some chosen representative, participate actively in chat and forum discussions.
  3. Bring ideas and expertise to the community: legal, recruiting processes, marketing, communication, business opportunities, etc.
  4. Interact and challenge the existing and forthcoming Core Units to make sure they meet the highest standards of quality.

We, the MakerDAO decentralised community, are proud to have you onboard and can’t wait to interact with you to keep developing our protocol and innovating in the DeFi space.

With best regards,

MakerDAO community


Some edits to implement suggestions came as PMs (thanks!)
→ The involvement of A16z crypto brought a new level of excitement and credence to the MakerDAO community and has helped its development over the course of the last few years.

10 Likes

Nice!! We should Cc Katie Haun and Chris Dixon. Are you going to send it by mail, the old fashioned way? That would be cool.

My view is that, once we agree on a letter, we should:

  1. put it on IPFS
  2. “sign” it (or it’s hash, or whatever technical way we decide to go for) using the Governance onchain vote.
  3. just share it like via twitter (public) as well as email (private, just to be sure they read it).

But that’s just my personal approach. Let’s see what the others say.

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I think this letter is for the most part on point - it requests their active involvement which is great.
At the same time there is some contradiction - celebrating our independence and increased decentralization while at the same time requesting the help of the largest corporate MKR holder.

To lessen the contradictory aspects of the request, I think it would be good to lessen any aspects which could be seen as deferential in tone. Example ‘we remain at your disposal’ could be rephrased.

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thanks I edited that sentence!
Feel free to give further feedbacks (and/or concrete modifications)! thanks!

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And perhaps, these internal uncertainties that are priced by the market at the current MKR exchange rate. I can’t think of anything else based on Maker’s other well-performing metrics.

I think, they do it. They promise to take a part in decision making in the past and they will continue it. They and few others have always been destined for this role, so they will help, without ask. They have 60,000 reasons to do it. But of course the idea is still good, it could be interesting to hear their voices.

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Yes, they have voted in the past: MCD Voting Tracker

10.000 MKR speaks better than any word… :sunglasses:

I am privately receiving positive comments on this first draft, which makes me happy. :pray:

I hope we can keep improving it and, perhaps, in a week or so, try to move forward with, e.g., a forum poll.

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I have added a sentence:

The help of all members of our decentralised community is now more needed than ever.

which should reduce the contradiction. We need the (decentralised) help of everybody, A16z included!

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I like the idea of private contact e.g. email over public ones like Twitter. It just seems less pushy. Just my 2 cents.