Proposal “dash-incubator-2021-q4“ (Completed)Back

Title:Dash Incubator 2021 Q4
Monthly amount: 500 DASH (64437 USD)
Completed payments: 3 totaling in 1500 DASH (0 month remaining)
Payment start/end: 2021-10-12 / 2022-01-10 (added on 2021-10-14)
Votes: 1056 Yes / 19 No / 2 Abstain

Proposal description

Dash Incubator 2021 Q4

3-month proposal to the Dash Network

1 Summary

Two months ago the Incubator submitted its 2021 Q3 proposal, our first proposal with me (Rion) taking on the proposal owner (PO) service.  As mentioned in that proposal, our plan for the two months remaining in Q3 was to keep all operations and priorities as Andy left them, which we did, as explained in the Updates section below.

During this quarter the Incubator admins and I will revisit our mission, vision, strategy, operations, and overall rules.  We haven't made any changes yet, but we have begun brainstorming different strategies to improve and scale the Incubator.  A rough sketch of these ideas is presented in the Roadmap section below.

This proposal continues the ongoing funding request as outlined in the PO specification document, this time resuming the normal 3-month request cycle as outlined in the spec.  We are requesting 500 DASH/month for this quarter, the same rate as the previous two months.

2 Updates

2.1 General

Last proposal we reported a significant increase in our member count.  Our increase from then until now has been much more modest.  This was intentional, as mentioned in my recent interview with Joel Valenzuela.  Experience has shown that it's quite easy for us to scale when we want to, but this comes at a cost.  First, many of the developers who have joined the Incubator have, in some way, been recruited.  Our last proposal showed that Dash Incubator Promotion was the fourth highest bounty in terms of rewards paid.  Second, when new developers join, they need direction and training to know how to navigate the Incubator and know what to work on.  This requires quite a bit of time from Incubator admins.  It's somewhat of an inefficient process, and some new developers aren't getting the attention they need.

I will expound on this in later sections, but in short, we needed to take the foot off the gas until we have a more effective and efficient way to scale.  This intentional slow-down extended to work on existing bounties as well, as shown in Figure 1 below; note the reduction in rewards paid in August and September.  Instead, we built up our savings buffer for later, more efficient capital deployment.

In addition to rewards paid over time, Figure 1 also shows our Q2 reward rate (451 DASH/month), our Q3 reward rate (376 DASH/month), and our current funding request (500 DASH/month).
Figure 1 - Incubator Rewards Paid Since Inception

2.2 Bounties

In Q3 the incubator paid out 1,127 DASH in rewards (down ~17% from Q2) to 45 different bounties.  Figure 2 below shows the top 10 rewarded bounties.  The DashPay program was our top priority (see previous proposal) and also our top rewarded bounty in Q3.  The THORChain Integration was our second highest rewarded bounty, followed by Dash Core Contributions.

The full set of bounties can be viewed on our public Dash Incubator App Trello board, and our Dash Incubator Accounting Google spreadsheet shows all funds received as well as a detailed list of rewards paid with their corresponding deliverables.
Figure 2 - Rewards Paid for Bounties - 2021 Q3

3 Roadmap

3.1 Priorities

The top five priorities from Q3 were:

1.  DashPay program (DashPay extension, DashPayJS library, etc)
2.  Platform QA (finding and fixing bugs, ensuring existing dApps work)
3.  Core dApps program (curated list of Platform apps to integrate with DashPay)
4.  Incubator meta bounties (Incubator v1 and v2 apps and operations)
5.  Platform R&D (smart contracts, ACL, indices, queries, etc)

The top five priorities for this coming quarter (Q4) are:

1. DashPay program (DashPay extension, DashPayJS library, etc)
2. Platform QA and Dash Core Contributions
3. Incubator meta bounties (Incubator on GitHub)
4. THORChain and finishing other already-started projects
5. New bounties with high value proposition

The first two priorities are carry-overs from last quarter.  The DashPay program is a collection of bounties related to delivering DashPay support for web developers (to supplement the native mobile wallets that DCG is building).  Dash Platform QA and Dash Core Contributions are a priority for us since we can't build apps effectively until we have a stable Platform to work with.

Priority three, specifically the Incubator on GitHub bounty is a new priority this quarter.  The first few tasks of this bounty involved creating an Incubator Feature Assessment listing our needs as Incubator admins along with their relative impact on productivity.  This revealed that we would be well served by moving from Trello to GitHub.  Although this assessment isn't 100% complete yet, it's very likely we will go ahead with this move throughout Q4.

As part of priority three (which includes improvements to the Incubator itself) I have proposed several ideas internally with the admins on how we might restructure the Incubator.  This includes possible new Incubator roles and responsibilities, organization structure, and compensation models, all aimed at scaling more effectively and efficiently, as well as ensuring that the Incubator is providing value in our output.  This, together with our move to GitHub will help us not only incubate new projects, but also new teams of people working for Dash.  We will use Q4 to continue refining the ideas and coming to consensus on how best to proceed.

Priority four, THORChain, is a very exciting project, and one that I personally feel is extremely important for Dash.  THORChain is one of several bounties that we need to finish and demo to the community.  We also have work to do on the two Dash-funded organizations (DFOs) from our DFO Kickstarter bounty: the Dash Protocol Incentive Fund DFO and the Dash Trust Protector DFO.  Finishing these existing bounties takes priority over starting any new bounties (priority five).

3.2 Schedule

This proposal resumes our typical 3-month proposal cadence now that our proposals are aligned with calendar quarters.  We hope to finish our move to GitHub and possibly our new Incubator structure so that we can start the new year with a lean, efficient Incubator that is ready to scale to new developers and admins.  The community needs new blood, and we intend to get it, but only after we have our house in order.  Table 1 in the next section shows the Incubator’s historical, current, and planned proposal submissions.

4 Request

We are requesting 500 DASH/month for 3 months.

In previous proposals we've stated our intention to target 10-20% of Dash’s budget.  The incubator has steadily grown in scale to approach ~10% as shown in Table 2 below.  This is meeting our needs right now.  Whether we will aim for 20% in the future depends on our scaling plans that we are discussing internally this quarter.  We plan to remain around 10% until we know how we might restructure the Incubator.
Table 1 - Incubator Schedule and Budget Requests (source)

5 Terms

All operations of the Incubator funded by this proposal are subject to our current Rules. This proposal forms a part of our Network Contract with Dash.

6 Closing

Links needed to access all Incubator information, including past Proposals, can be found in the Resources section of our Rules.

I want to thank our Incubator admins and developers for being patient as I navigate my way around filling Andy's shoes as proposal owner of this exciting project.  I'm very excited about this quarter and what we will accomplish, and I appreciate everyone's support.



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Discussion: Should we fund this proposal?

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0 points,1 month ago
Is the Dash Incubator going to float supplemental asks like the DIF has, they took 700 Dash this cycle? Would a supplemental speed up development or would it have to be escrowed thru a 3rd party?
1 point,1 month ago
Hey there. No, the Incubator has no plans to submit such proposals. We have enough funds to work with for our current plans, but this could change in the future. If we do ask for more funds we would probably still do that in one single proposal. I imagine it could get a little hectic having two orgs doing 'soak up' proposals in the final days of the cycle.
0 points,1 month ago
The DAO burned over 100 Dash this cycle.
1 point,2 months ago
Still a strong yes on this, but would like a breakdown on bounty sizes, minimum, maximum, average & median, if you have a record of that. Thanks. Oh, and what categories for each bounty. Again, thanks.
0 points,2 months ago
Or if you have a trello board for this, like Dash Marketing Hub, or something similar, I can have a look myself.
0 points,2 months ago
Granularity, I want to see some, ask the same of other POs, even DCG.
1 point,1 month ago
Nevermind, I found your Trello Board.
2 points,1 month ago
Thanks for looking it up and glad you were able to find it. Also, thanks for your support.
0 points,2 months ago
No brainer, yes, yes, yes.
1 point,3 months ago
I hate the name 'incubator' reminds me of deathly sick babies in plastic cribs with tubes coming out of them, but I love the work you guys are doing and I am sucker for pie charts, so you've secured my vote!
1 point,3 months ago
I had the same thought. But they have my support as well!
0 points,3 months ago