New management committee for pDAO planning

Problems observed from various DAOs

(ie, what I would propose to solve):
  1. Difficulty with long term planning, executing stepwise timelines, strategic visions. Governance tends to lurch from one ‘most important decision’ to another. (For example, the run-up to atlas upgrades was wild. There was a conflict between ‘we need more time to reach consensus’ and 'we need to get these recommendations out before audit.’ Without the hard work of a few members we would not have hit deadline, but the last minute arguments fragmented the DAO)

  2. Uncertainty about the shared values/priorities of fellow members and difficulty projecting this to the outside world. (For example, changes to the oDAO structure/reimbursement are extremely high priority to many pDAO members. This ferocity came as a shock to the team and to other pDAO members when it erupted a few weeks back)

  3. Favoring action over inaction, with the idea that doing anything is better than nothing. Votes often have ~100% approval, suggesting the time for decentralized democracy is actually in the planning rather than voting stage. There is irregular and arbitrary time allowed for community input. (Example, RPIP-17 has 99.5 approval with thousands of votes, but the important bits were decided by a handful of people on discord over a fairly short time frame)

  4. A very small number of active and well- intentioned, but unelected participants are responsible for major decisions; this is through necessity as most members are inactive until votes occur. (Example, oDAO members have basically voted 100% with rocket pool team proposals, and very few have introduced any proposals of their own).

Proposal: Elect a new MC which is responsible for delineating a strategic vision and setting the tempo for pDAO business.

Name: Something along the lines of Protocol Improvement Committee (PIC) or pDAO Steering Committee (PSC) or Strategic Planning Council (SPC). Unknown.


  1. Enumerate strategic priorities for the pDAO in the coming year
  2. Set a timeline of achievable pDAO actions for the next 12 months (this includes dev milestones, pertinent votes, etc); meet on a monthly basis to update the timeline.
  3. Assist the other MCs in meeting their deadlines
  4. Enlist/cajol community to ensure timeline is being followed and that community input is obtained.
  5. Recommend edits to drafted RPIPs to clarify language, ensure they are meeting strategic priorities, and attempt to ascertain the will of the DAO.

Membership: All voting committee members (maybe 9) shall be members of pDAO. One non-voting member will be chosen by Rocket Pool team to help communication between the groups. One non-voting member from rETH holders (chosen somehow?).

Specific powers granted: None. This is an advisory body and is intended to supplement, not replace the ability of pDAO members to introduce improvements to the protocol (specifically it is not meant to be one-committee-to-rule-them-all). However, because it is elected it will have significant soft power with guiding RPIPs etc. Committee votes will be public knowledge; some supermajority should be required to change the strategic priorities to encourage compromise and prevent strategic whiplash.

Elections: This body needs to be closer to the will of the people than other committees; candidate statements will list their strategic priorities so that voters can choose. My thinking is like a scheduled quarterly snapshot vote of confidence. If >7.5% of eligible votes are in favor of new elections (ie a majority of a quorum), then new elections will be called the following month.

Anyhow, this is just a starting point to gauge whether there is any interest and to try to gather suggestions. Many of these duties overlap with Jasper’s ideas for a GMC coordinator. My preference is for a committee so that 1) less power is concentrated in a single person’s hands, now that we hit that billion dollar cap and 2) it’s free because there are a lot of talented people already trying to do these things without formal acknowledgement.

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Hi @epineph, I quite like your idea of formalizing the strategic push for innovation of the pDAO, which will get more relevance in the near/medium future. As you’ve stated, this could definitely help drive the involvment of the community in strategic decisions and will make the process in itself more transparent. Let me know if I may be of assistance in any way.

I’m not sure what this MC is. Currently, the people with soft power are the people that do the work.

Want power? Organize a thread, write an RPIP, track down a dev from a website messing up RP numbers, etc. It’s not as hard as it appears.

I also 100% understand folks not thinking they can push for changes they personally care about, and believing someone else knows better. My very first DAO post was something I tried to get someone else to post, because they would be more recognized by the community. I was encouraged to put it up myself, even though I was new (shoutout to @knoshua and @invis iirc). First PR? Similar story. First RPIP? Similar story.

My worry is that a steering MC adds another barrier (or even a perceived barrier). Ie, folks will be EVEN LESS likely to write a forum post or an RPIP if there’s an advisory board to decide what’s worthy and write RPIPs.

It sucks that I’m an author on RPIPs 8, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, and 18. Nobody should have that much soft power. But I think a steering committee exacerbates that problem instead of fixing it – it formalizes that a specific small set of people should have power. Fwiw, I think it’s good that an unelected random can influence things.

I don’t have a suggested solution here. On the one hand, I really struggle to get people to engage - especially in #governance or the forum. On the other hand, I really struggle to have substantive discussions in #trading; eg, I had someone arguing about self-limiting numbers and outright refusing to read the 2 paragraphs the numbers came from, even though they had been copy-pasted into #trading.

  • I do think there’s room for an administrator to post little summaries and encourage people to look at discussions.
  • I do think there’s room for the community to look for opportunities to encourage people to take more direct action (writing initial posts/drafts/whatever).
  • I do think we should help with perceived technical challenges
    • Formal offer for RPIPs: anyone that can email or write a document in any format - I can do the git part on your behalf (and/or teach you), and am happy to work with you to get it formal/formatted
Less-important thoughts from the problem statement section

Prob2 - I think there might be a convex vs concave thing here… I’m not sure we have one set of values, which I’m good with.

Prob3 - I agree; action bias is a real issue.

This makes it sound back-roomy. There was chat for 9 days in a thread on discord. There was a forum thread for discussing the draft RPIP for 7 days. I personally shouted it out at least 4 times in #trading and 4 times in #governance (and I suspect it was mentioned more times, but that’s a quick search :person_shrugging:‍).

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I think a paid administrator or paid MC memberships may be the only reliable ways to induce a consistently faster pace. Any new volunteer MC is going to be subject to the same problem of people having other, higher priorities.


I’m not sure what this MC is .

I cannot argue with that

I post with the assumption that someone will say ‘your idea is dumb AF, but I understand your concern and here is a simpler/more efficient way to do it.’ In this case, to boost de facto decentralized governance and community engagement.

It’s not as hard as it appears.

This one I have to argue about, based on empirical evidence

Most RPIPs are from one author and most RPIPs are finalized after a ‘we haven’t gotten a lot of responses but it’s been sitting around so I’m going to move forward with this’. While it ‘should’ be easy, and it ‘seems’ easy, in practice it apparently is not.

My intent was not to make some new gatekeeper, but to encourage community engagement by having some dedicated people in place to shepard other community members through the process; in my mind, this transparency will boost engagement. Similar to valdorff’s (your) efforts with slugrug, who was recommending an action that you didn’t agree with personally but encouraged him/her through discord channels, forum posts, assisting with the poll functionality, and ultimately the potential of moving to snapshot vote.

However, without some logistical focus, merely increasing the number of RPIPs/snapshot votes would be chaos- multiple initiatives all in various stages, votes held days apart from each other, overlapping or even conflicting RPIPs. The only reason things have run so smoothly so far is that only a few people are contributing.

I also 100% understand folks not thinking they can push for changes they personally care about

Perhaps this is where I worry about an organization without a stated mission or goals or priorities or a strategic plan or a constitution

Most ‘normal’ organizations empower their members in order to accomplish organizational goals; the pDAO has a reverse relationship, where the members use the levers of the pDAO to push forward their personal objectives (essentially what they think the pDAO goals would be if it had some). I envisioned this committee to at least put forward some short term goals so that community members could focus their efforts.

It sucks that I’m an author on RPIPs 8, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, and 18.

That's one elephant

This is fine for a small protocol, but if we are eyeing 15 billion TVL (which seems obtainable), we can’t have one unelected person making decisions on how and when votes will happen while still calling this decentralized governance. And the solution is not for you to do less; it’s for others to do more. And I don’t think having a single administrator will move that decentralization metric. To me, we don’t need another valdorff, we need 10 people who are doing 1/10 of valdorff’s job.

I think a steering committee exacerbates that problem instead of fixing it

Here's how I see it

If you give any credence to my opinion that the major governance decisions actually occur in the pre-snapshot consensus phase of RPIPs, then currently >99% of node operators are not participating in governance in any meaningful way. Giving these node operators some delegated representation in the RPIP creation process alleviates some of that disparity (incompletely, but better than having no seat at the table). Amongst people who are currently disadvantaged: 1) non-native english speakers 2) those with full time jobs and home responsibilities 3) those who are not on discord 4) those who take a long weekend vacation at the wrong time.

I’m not sure we have one set of values, which I’m good with.

I agree with you, mostly

We want to be a big tent organization and have room for diversity of opinion. But some fundamental issues can create rifts if they come up unexpectedly. For example, RPIP 17: can you imagine if we didn’t pass this, we got to 16% dominance and someone put forward a proposal to start soft limiting immediately. It would be Lido limiting 2.0, with tons of people saying they bought RPL on assumptions which we were now changing, others blaming whale games etc etc etc. You can forestall many of these terminal disagreements by setting standards and shared values early on.

@Dondochaka : You might be right… but how I see the MCs currently, you have a very small number of people doing large tasks; this seems like an extremely inefficient way to leverage a large active community. And because there are only 2 MCs, the most active and enthusiastic discord members will run and get elected because they want to help the protocol in the only official ways that exist. However, as we’ve seen on the GMC, attrition is likely to be high. Paying for service may be needed in this case.
Having a multi committee model means smaller, more focused duties, and community members can self select those tasks they are best at (eg, you have a marketing degree? join the marketing committee. You do logistics for a living? here’s a committee that focuses on organizational flow. Senior developer? we have a committee for that).