With the dYdX Grants Program (“DGP”) now running, we’d like to take a step back and discuss the long term vision and execution plan for the program. Grants programs, albeit not new to this space, are not innately defined in their goals or strategy for longer term growth. At first glance, the DGP may seem like a funnel for treasury funds to pay one-off community projects. And while it may be true for the first few months, the long term goal is for the grants program to support the creation and development of a self-sufficient development program that builds and maintains itself. The execution plan can be broken down to 3 phases: Sourcing, Deploying, Self-Governing.
Phase 1: Sourcing and Recruiting (0 - 6 months in)
In this phase, the phase we are in today, the primary focus is on sourcing new talent through one-time projects that make small but meaningful contributions to the community. The funding is much broader with low-hanging grants accessible to a large pool of community members and external contributors.
Expected output from these grants is less predictable as the team has to take risks with new contributors, of which few will become long-term contributors. Admittedly, funding in this phase will as a result not be the most capital efficient. Nonetheless, this contributor churn is a necessary building block for the growth trajectory.
This phase acts as a funnel for long-term 10x contributor recruitment while also benefiting the community with smaller one-off projects that tackle immediate needs. The program should not be judged on these initial RFPs however, it should be judged on its ability to attract future talent.
Phase 2: Deploying (6 months - 2 years out)
Having identified talented contributors, the program can now begin to shift its attention towards deploying these qualified, proven teams to build function-specific working groups around dYdX growth. We can expect Grants to move away from one-off individual projects to groups building around dedicated needs and providing individual community grants where applicable.
This working group structure split across functions (e.g. Treasury, Marketing, Tooling etc..) will help streamline projects with qualified leaders taking ownership of growing the program. The productivity and capital efficiency of the program are expected to rise significantly as groups focus on their product needs with the shared goal of protocol growth.
Phase 3: Self-Governing (2 - 5 years out)
Autonomy at last. Assuming the program is successful, we should expect to see a fully autonomous organization of dedicated working groups led by qualified teams acting on behalf of the community to grow and maintain the protocol. The community will have ownership over teams, treasury allocations, committees and other grand scheme functions, while the teams themselves focus on building their specific functions with grants, hiring, projects and more.
The program evolves into a collective organization of teams governed by the community. And through this we reach the final goal: An autonomous organization working towards the betterment of dYdX.
It’s easy to write about this plan, harder to implement. There is a long journey ahead, with undoubtedly many ups and downs. Even so, we’re super optimistic from the initial start of the program and are already seeing highly motivated, qualified teams ready to take on these challenges. The program will continue pushing through Phase 1 to reach the next phase in the coming months.
Call to Action! 🦔
If any of this resonates with you and you’d like to contribute to the growth of dYdX or help the Grants program itself, we encourage you to reach out and apply for a Grant!