Getting Tezos Back on Track

Executive Summary:

It’s been several years since the launch of the Tezos community. Lots of progress has been made since Ryan has taken the reigns and the community thanks him for stepping up when uncertainties were high. With Ryan stepping down the community is becoming aware that the ethos of Tezos is not being shared by the Tezos Foundation. Changes must now be enacted to get Tezos back on track or we risk losing our momentum.

Plan:

1) Change the messaging of the Tezos Foundation to step away from being a vague STO platform and go back to our roots of being programmable money. After all why are we here?

2) Allow community to vote for representatives to serve on the Foundation. Only passionate members who are involved deeply in the ecosystem can know what initiatives to pursue to expand Tezos reach on a global scale.

3) To facilitate this change enact the following to pivot the community resources into the following initiatives:

a) Focus on making tools for the end user (stable coins, wallets, defi primitives, creating saving/lending infrastructure, incentivizing liquidity within the ecosystem via Synthetix/Uniswap mechanisms, etc)

b) Create educational material on why decentralized money is important and encourage users to run their own bakers to further boost the backbone of our infrastructure. This is a movement to make the world more equitable so let’s empower users with knowledge and give them easy to use tools. How many members of the Foundation run their own baker at home or interacted with a Tezos wallet? How many are engaged in all the DAOs that are springing up in community chats and seeing what new radical ideas are being implemented?

c) Create a MVP for on chain treasury management and letting the community decide how much of the foundation resources should be placed under community management. The Tezos community can learn from the Decred community on how to allocate treasury resources on chain. Their system works and can be scaled up massively.

Closing Thoughts:

Tezos should be on the forefront of innovating in the decentralized space, but priorities at the Foundation has hindered our movement. With each passing day other projects like Ethereum are only growing networks effects at a hypergeometric pace and only laser focus can get Tezos back on track. The community needs to be empowered since we have the most skin in the game. This is a rally call to the Tezos Commonwealth. Please get involved and make your feedback known.

9 Likes

Thank you for starting the discussion here. I think it is very important to work on the processes and sharpen the goals if the community demands change.

I would like to comment the following:

Allow community to vote for representatives to serve on the Foundation. Only passionate members who are involved deeply in the ecosystem can know what initiatives to pursue to expand Tezos reach on a global scale.

I think that part of the TF Organization can be directly liked and filled with people directly from the community as it is the main driver and differentiator between other projects - the following aspect should from my experience not be overlooked:

One of the primary goals is to “broaden the community” and integrate people with different skills and backgrounds to enrich it. Some are joining naturally e.g. the token holder who have their extrinsic motivation. Others can be recruited through positions like a “managing director” or “board member”.

If you look at possible parts of the organization I would conclude the following:

  1. Executives

    • Full time employees
    • Responsible for daily business
    • Accounting, Project Management, Advertisement, Legal, etc

Those positions are ideally filled with externals as they can be rewarded with their full time salary and can be “soaked in”. Those positions are rare and must be carefully selected as they can cripple the whole organization. There are specialist headhunters. It might be an idea to “approve” pre selected candidates by the community - think about the candidates of the EU commission approved by the EU parliament.

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  1. Board Member

    • Temporary ~1-2 years
    • Side activity next to a normal job
    • Meetings of ~2 times a month
    • A representative position
    • Should connect the technology with their day job e.g. professor connects university research and pushes Phds in Tezos relevant fields, Manager who uses Tezos in his use case
    • Focus on Network and Connections - pulling strings in the back
    • THOSE PEOPLE ARE RESPONSIBLE for financial stuff and liable - they are part of checks and balances who control the executives!

Can also be approved by community but be careful with too quickly choosing people who are in the end very ineffective, I think a strong sense for the community and intrinsic motivation is important - this is something people do out of principle - the head should be a very respected and person with a focus on "flying around giving speeches, shaking hands and being charming ( :wink: )

  1. Steering Committees
  • Backbone of the organization
  • Driving technical decisions
  • Advising the executives
  • Those are the ones reviewing e.g. grant proposals
  • Collectively forming ideas and visions that can be swiftly executed by executives

I think you can place people here that are highly involved in projects but be careful about conflicts of interest! You have to spend a lot of free time here for no money

8 Likes

Thank you for raising this.

I agree with all of what you have said and would add that the TF needs to increase the quality of the boards governance and the professionalism of the executive. As it stands now, on any commonly used measure, they both fall vastly short of acceptable practice. I believe there are two fundamental changes that would put Tezos on the right path.

1/ Board Elections
2/ Executive performance measurements and objectives.

The alignment of the TF board with the majority of the communities interests by holding open board elections and mandating term limits is a fundamental first step that will drive a resolution to many of the issues your suggestions resolve. Although there are many approaches to board elections, crypto presents some electoral challenges that are common in decentralised organisations. Members desire for anonymity and potential conflicts between large stakeholders and the communities interests are two major ones. A version of the board electoral approach used by real world decentralised organisations such as mutuals and cooperatives for the past 100s of years would mitigate these issues. That is, one public baker = 1 vote.

The second major change required is the splitting of the board and the executive and the implementation of clear executive performance objectives and measurements, such as balanced scorecard. The board should hire executives capable of achieving strategic goals and reward or fire them based on their performance.There is a simple adage in business that holds true. If you do not measure performance then you are not managing it. If you are not managing it then you will fail.

Tezos is the most beautifully designed protocol in crypto, but history is littered with examples of the best technology failing to be adopted. I have faith that the discussion that you have initiated gets traction within the community and the TF makes the choice to be on the right side of history.

Regards
Steve Daws

2 Likes

There is a human and emotional dispute between the founders and the Tezos Foundation and suddenly everything TF has done is wrong and unacceptable. I couldn’t disagree more. They have focuses on the first real and realistic use case for blockchain that happened to be the best fit for Tezos: STOs. This could (I think it will) be the next big thing after ICOs. Which blockchain can say it secures billions worth of value?

Next big thing is going for CBDCs. It may be a long shot but worst case we get some promotion, and best case, Tezos is used not for billions of securities but trillions of cash transactions (of course not all on the public layer 1 chain). Of course, it’s not limited to those 2 big use cases, but also the creation of daughter foundations all over the world, developer tools, etc.

Ever since Ryan J got on the board, I was impressed with the reorganisation, vision, and course of Tezos. I fully disagree with changing all that, just over an emotional conflict. I see no reason why the latter should suddenly have an impact on the content and strategy. As far as the form (the governance), I can understand improvements are desirable, but let’s first go to the root cause: there are no legal reasons anymore that we cannot get more info. If none of both parties provide that, I take it a status quo is acceptable for them, as should it be for us.

3 Likes

First of all, I think Tezos ist not off the track. Furthermore, I despise power games, no matter from which side, as well as the discredit of people. Now that everything has been said I would like to build on the organizational structure presented by jdsika.

A good company or foundation structure always consists of good co-operation between the management and the supervisory body. Unfortunately, these roles are currently insufficiently filled or are presumably being filled twice as a result of capacity constraints. I would, therefore, like to suggest a possible organizational structure and fill out the roles:

Founder:
This role is primarily occupied by the community / the contributor from the fundraiser. The foundation is largely independent of its founder, but the foundation always remains subject to the founders’ will.

Board of Directors:
It represents the foundation in its external relations. In addition, the Executive Board manages the Foundation’s internal affairs. The majority of the members of the Board of Directors work full time and receive a fixed salary. For German listed stock corporations, a so-called remuneration report must be published in the notes to the annual financial statements. Perhaps this is another way to achieve the required transparency.

Foundation Supervisory Board:
In particular, financially well-endowed foundations have an additional controlling body in addition to the board of directors. This role supervises the board of directors and/or supports it in an advisory capacity. This is also the extended arm of the founder (community).

Statutes
This fine interplay is regulated in a statute. The statutes of a foundation, also called the foundation constitution, are the heart of a foundation. It lays down the founder’s intention, in particular the purpose of the foundation, as well as its structuring and administration. In my opinion, this is something that we need very urgently and should actually already exist. I could only find out the purpose of the foundation through a third-party website.

I would like to rephrase the topic to “the way forward for the Tezos Foundation” instead of “Getting back on track”. Why? Because the Foundation has done a great job kick starting a large ecosystem of developers, projects and local communities - as well as making Tezos not only a credible choice, but the choice for financial institutions pursuing STO’s.

There is a fine line between a strong foundation and being a central part. For now the foundation have erred on the cautious side in the name of decentralization. This is the correct way. Everything can always be better though (that’s what drove me to Tezos), so I have a few thoughts and comments on the topic:

  1. The Foundation should not do any direct development. The grant system seems to work fine, but can be modified to better target some needs (see 2. and 3.).
  2. The Foundation should formulate a better described vision for Tezos. Right now the best I can find is “We sustainably deploy resources that support the long-term success of Tezos.”. This is not a good enough to drive decisions and be a clear voice for Tezos.
  3. The grant process could be more directly targeted towards gaps in the eco system and vision. For example, more detailed briefs could be developed together with appropriate funding, for which teams could bid.
  4. The Foundation should have a stronger voice in online channels and be more visible promoting Tezos. It’s such a central player and pulls some really have ropes in the background that it (for me) seems almost like a shadow organization. I believe it can still be relatively balanced and non-controversial though.
  5. The Foundation needs to start giving away, burn or use its XTZ. It’s on the way to become (if it isn’t already) a centralized player due to the sheer mass of XTZ it got from the genesis and baking. If Tezos is a decentralized system, we need multiple large players (the funds, exchanges, “unions”, the Foundation), but one can’t be dominating. Burning staking rewards from now on until there’s a better balance would be one non-intrusive way, or simply not to stake.
  6. I also think that the board governance process should be tied to voting in some way or another. Maybe not all positions (popularity contests is not always the best way to find balanced, professional and competent representatives). We have a blockchain that was made for this, so why not use it?
  7. The Foundation have made excellent progress, and is a role model for other crypto foundations, in providing transparency for its results and finances, but can go further in providing transparency into its strategies, decisions and other processes. There’s no need for this to be hidden other than it makes the life for the Foundation members easier, but it’s very frustrating and feeds speculation on the outside.

In all, I think the Foundation has done an amazing job in getting from where we were during the dark ages to now and I would like it to take the next steps towards being a open, professional entity that’s an example to aspire to not only for crypto foundations, but for all organizations.

4 Likes