Proposal for temporary Threshold DAO Communications role

CONTEXT

The next 3 to 6 months will be critical for Threshold and the DAO. We have the ongoing launches of not only our flagship product, tBTC v2 and the accompanying thUSD, but also communicating the benefits of threshold cryptography generally and the merits of proxy re-encryption (PRE) and newer solutions like “tdec”.

Threshold both needs and deserves a lot more visibility in the industry. We need to be involved in relevant discussions on Crypto Twitter and we should get a lot more earned media coverage, particularly with the upcoming anniversary of our historic protocol merger.

We also have unique challenges in coordinating efforts of the Marketing Guild, Keep’s & NuCypher’s marketing resources, as well as outside support (Angle42 agency).

In the detailed Marketing Guild January - June retrospective I wrote, as well as the condensed version I presented in this Community Call), we noted the amount of time that guilds need to spend on planning and infrastructure in the absence of a corporate structure. In short, it’s a lot harder to coordinate 8 people each doing an hour of work that one person can do in a day.

All of this comes at a particularly difficult time - with crypto winter, global macroeconomic headwinds and the increasing regulatory challenges to DeFi and DAOs.

EMPOWERING US TO DO MORE

I have the professional background, the Threshold relationships and at the moment the time to be able to greatly expand what I’ve been contributing part-time this year as a Marketing Guild participant and committee member.

I propose a short-term but full-time role wherein I’ll devote 50 hours per week to:

a) executing the activities the DAO most needs me to perform

b) seeing that all Guild and committee efforts are aligned with those of the Keep and NuCypher teams, as well as with the Marketing Guild Committee OKRs

c) ensuring that other guild contributors have what they need in order to deliver results

In terms of specific activities, I believe the guild OKRs (which I led alignment on) are the right ones, and our challenges have been bandwidth and insufficient focus on delivering them.

  • OKR #1: Support the tBTC v2 and thUSD product launches
  • OKR #2: Create content that educates on Threshold’s benefits
  • OKR #3: Amplify Threshold community growth
  • OKR #4: Develop & maintain Marketing Guild infrastructure

So in addition to the specific OKR activities I currently lead…

  • Publish at least 4 issues of Threshold Time newsletter
  • Execute at least one campaign and 3 community bounties
  • Prepare and submit Q4 Budget Proposal

…I’ll have the greatest impact by a) addressing impediments the committee and contributors have and then b) helping hold us all accountable for results, including c) measuring the results properly.

In addition, as noted above, Threshold deserves a lot more attention for the value it creates, so these are other OKR activities I propose to emphasize and contribute to:

  • Help secure at least 200 nodes earning tBTCv2 rewards (i.e., stakers)
  • Secure 2 or more earned articles on Threshold; evaluate paid opportunities
  • Design and execute a social media strategy
  • Support at least 4 sessions/events with other Web3 organizations via Threshold Embassy

Finally, I believe it’s important that we use (and support) Web3-native tools wherever appropriate, so in addition to those we’re already using (Background Network, Layer3, Sparkwave, Mint Kudos) I will ensure we continue evaluation of solutions like Galaxe, Sobol, Unstoppable Domains and others.

MY BACKGROUND

My career includes 25+ years leading marketing and product efforts from smaller companies (including several startups) to American Express to ConsenSys, and I’m an angel investor in a number of Web3 companies.

Moreover, I have been an advisor to Keep since 2017 and very active in the Keep and now Threshold community, including:

  • Being one of the larger Keep stakers (active since inception)
  • Engaging constructively in Discord discussions, Forum proposals and Snapshot votes
  • Helping found the Marketing Guild in early 2022
  • Serving on the inaugural Guild committee; in September re-elected to 12-month role

PROPOSED TERM

6-month initial term, with option for the Marketing Guild and DAO to modify.

The goal here is to significantly accelerate our current communications efforts and jumpstart campaigns supporting product launches. While we may find a need to create a permanent role, my aim is to achieve significant results in the first 3 months, which will allow the Marketing Guild and DAO to assess the return on the initial investment and either continue, modify the arrangement or discontinue it.

ACCOUNTABILITY

In addition to the current full transparency of Marketing Guild meetings, discussions, OKRs, budget, etc., I will maintain a page on Notion with my weekly focus and activities, as well as write a monthly report documenting progress and highlighting any areas of issue. I also welcome any additional suggestions that community members have in terms of increasing visibility into both my activities and those of the guild generally.

COMPENSATION

18,275 USD / month ($85/hour), payable semi-monthly in USDC

After reviewing the compensation and time commitments of Threshold’s other current contract positions and thinking about the expected return to the DAO of accelerating and enhancing our external and internal communications, I think this is a very reasonable expenditure. I’ll note that it’s less than the market rate for this type of service (and keep in mind that contractors in the US pay double the usual employee portion of Social Security taxes).

I suggest that it makes the most sense, if there is no objection, to have this proposal presented to the Marketing Guild Committee, and draw the compensation from the Marketing Guild’s Q4 budget (and we have remaining Q3 funds to cover initially). However, if there is consensus that this should have a Snapshot vote, that’s fine - and I’m willing to start increased hours in the meantime in expectation of ratification.

Thank you to those in the community who have been encouraging me to make this proposal. I’m excited to hear comments, engage and move forward. LFG!

Links:

Marketing Guild January - June retrospective

Community Call presentation of Threshold H1 review

Marketing Guild Committee OKRs

LinkedIn: John Packel

6 Likes

I am in full support of this proposal. @JohnPackel has proven himself to be an integral part of the Marketing Guild. John’s expertise has been crucial in laying our foundation.

John first reached out to me in October of 2021 with an offer to provide mentorship and personal funds to sponsor an educational content campaign. Months later, when the Marketing Guild Committee was formed, John was offered a paid position but declined and has served as a volunteer member, contributing at least 8 hours of his time each week to the MG.

I believe @JohnPackel is the perfect candidate to facilitate better coordination amongst all of the various entities and increase the overall effectiveness of the Marketing Guild. John has the right relationships, the right knowledge, and is already an active contributor, so we are eliminating the typical onboarding time that comes with a new hire.

With multiple product launches occurring in the next few months, it is critical that we have more than 40 hours per week spent on marketing. Now is the perfect time to ramp up our efforts to ensure that tBTC, thUSD and other future services are marketed appropriately and that our services gain adoption expeditiously.

5 Likes

After we had several high level discussions on the discord last months, especially for marketing and such: Is it better to grow steady and slow or like guerilla marketing.

I think this is the right time - and it seems to be the right person with @JohnPackel - in order to leverage efforts.
Each product, especially if it could be as good as Threshold should become in the future / even with viral effects and word of mouth marketing, has deserved well-structured marketing in addition.

Sure, most information I got is via LinkedIn, but the track is convincing :slight_smile:
My current boss, who is very good/experienced at marketing, with even some overlapping in the company selections, has a similar track - so this obviously should not be a bad choice in person.

In general speaking I just want to add one thought: I also think that it might be a good idea not only go with the umbrella marketing, but also try to be more pointed with the target audience. :dart:

:clap: But this is what I exactly read out of Johns proposal, what should be done right away.

(Crypto) Winter is the right time to make something like Threshold shine.
Fully agree that this role and experience is necessary and helpful. :+1:

5 Likes

I am in full support of this proposal, the timing for additional communications efforts to increase market awareness is crucial. The ongoing releases of our flagship product TBTC and tUSD are huge milestones for the Threshold DAO and certainly deserve this effort.

I am very impressed with John’s background experience, it is directly related to the task at hand and illuminates a learning curve. This allows a maximum and immediate impact, in a reduced timeframe, and certainly readies the DAO for our upcoming launches, and ongoing marketing efforts.

Thank you for writing this proposal!

4 Likes

I am in support of this proposal as well. I don’t think we need a full DAO snapshot since this falls within the mandate of Threshold Marketing Guild

3 Likes

Agree and support. There should be much more activity in the coming months when the product launches are ready and full time dedication would be important for some contributors like John.

3 Likes

I would like to first thank you John for putting forward this proposal, I believe your presence and contributions are key for the MG.

I definitely think that for some tasks and endeavours, the MG needs to allocate more hours to their contributors in order to achieve the necessary bandwidth. Additionally, I would like to endorse John for the role since, apart from his extraordinary CV and expertise, I have had the opportunity to work beside him for several months and he’s an excellent person to work with.

Being said that, I would like to ask a question regarding the proposal just for clarity purposes. How do you think this proposed role interacts with the PM and (a future) community manager?

2 Likes

Thanks for your support, @Luna5 (and also @MrsNuBooty, @T1m0, @nico186, @Will, @ramaruro1 - and those who have shared support and questions with me directly), as well as the clarifying question.

By saying I see the proposed role “enhancing our external and internal communications”, I’m referring almost entirely to alignment regarding marketing resources from Keep, NuCypher, the Threshold Marketing Guild (TMG) and outside support. And the alignment that touches on product and strategy is mainly so that I can ensure TMG is focused on the right things and not chasing every suggestion dropped in Discord or idea that comes up - but rather we’re supporting the aligned business and product strategies of the DAO and contributor teams.

So not only do I see my proposed role as not overlapping yours, I would have the time to meet with you one on one, to periodically attend key meetings from other guilds to better hear their activities and challenges first hand, and more. Not to mention that adding hours beyond what I’ve been able to commit previously will yield more and better focused Marketing Guild activity and results for your role to communicate and facilitate across the DAO.

As for interacting with any future roles the DAO or guilds/teams invest in, the more roles we have (including contributors of all types), the greater our need will be to work to keep them on the same page. And I do think it will be smart to invest more resources in growing and strengthening our wonderful community, which is why the Marketing Guild has an OKR for “Amplify Threshold community growth”.

That said, based on my experience in many different types of organizations (including 5 years of involvement with decentralized decision making and self-organized activity at ConsenSys), the way we currently approach requests for new resources (including roles) needs to evolve. Several things have become clear to me in the last week:

1. Threshold DAO is not only not set up for hiring people, we have no resource strategy articulated or broad discussion beyond specific proposals

2. While it’s healthy to have a range of views on what areas we should invest in and how much, we’re not having the meta discussion required to move toward a resource allocation strategy

3. If the longest standing and most successful DAOs are having operational challenges, our status quo will become a major impediment

4. Some contributors and potential contributors are holding back out of concern over our lack of legal entity and the Ooki DAO suit

Assuming there is broad agreement on these 4 points (or we work to create it), part of my time could go to helping forge a resource allocation strategy (e.g., Do we wait till we have significant product revenue and/or increased/diversified treasury to invest more than we currently are, or will allocating more now to certain areas get us to revenue faster? Which areas and how much? Do we make small test experiments and build on the results, or do we have the collective expertise to make sound judgments on how to go bigger sooner? We created the guild system in part to “delegat[e] more granular working group decision making and capital deployment to committee members, allowing the Threshold DAO to operate more effectively in a way that ultimately adds more value to the network”, but have we found the correct balance - and if so how can we articulate it for all to see and follow?).

Also a note on why I proposed the role as “Communications” when the activities are marketing: given the recent US lawsuit the Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed against Ooki DAO, I share the concern others have expressed regarding Threshold DAO having no legal entity (yet), so were I to have a full-time role - even the temporary one proposed - it’s probably helpful to emphasize publicly that our goal is to communicate the benefits of threshold cryptography generally and Threshold’s products specifically, not to market a token (even a work token, as T is).

Finally, I was already planning to share an update today based on all the feedback and questions I’ve received in Threshold meetings and privately, so let me do that here:

  • As with the comments above, all I’ve communicated with have said they are glad I raised the issue in the proposal and offered to address it

  • However, a number of people have reservations about one or more things:

    a) a perceived increase in DAO liability if we add a full-time role, especially in the US

    b) the total cost of the proposed 50-hour work week

    c) whether the current Marketing Guild structure could be improved (thus potentially reducing the additional hours needed)

All are totally valid questions/concerns, and informed people can come to different conclusions on each (thus the benefit of discussing and continuing to articulate DAO principles and strategies, so we have a framework for approaching key resource decisions).

It seems that a good next step toward a decision (in addition to more community members hopefully reading this page and commenting!) is for me to revise the proposal to address these concerns, including by reducing the number of hours per week.

Before devoting more time to that (thus fewer to marketing), I’d ask that community members please share their thoughts - or at least like this comment, so I can get an indication of interest.

Thanks for reading, Threshodlers!

ps: thanks to @Nous for pointing out that the additional cost of the role would be less the 8 hours committee members (except those from the Keep and NuCypher teams) are paid for; unlike my first 6 months on the TMG Committee, for which I declined compensation, this term I am accepting the DAO-wide committee compensation.

Links:

3 Likes

Hey John, thanks for putting up this proposal. I’m really glad that you want to devote more hours to the DAO. I think it’s necessary and you’re the perfect fit !

I had some of the concerns you described and addressed in your amendment. But I also think we should move forward and fully support your proposal with your clarifications.

I do share everybody’s concerns around liabilities for the DAO, collaborators, contributors and council members.

In this regard I want to recommend seeking advise and start immediate discussion and action around recommendations described by LexPunk in its Operator’s Manual - LeXpunK Legal Defense Protocol
Tldr - it talks about :

  • DAO Charter and legal entity for the DAO

  • Multisig participation agreements

  • Available funding for participants risk mitigation, defense and indemnification.

  • DAO defense entities.

4 Likes