[PROPOSALS] Bonfire Developer Grant + RallyDAO initial funding

Rally Community - it’s been great to see the growing community of creators and developers coming together to build new products. Watching today’s community call with @Masongos and $ALLIE, I was incredibly inspired to see how they’re thinking about their community and hear their ask to engage with other developers and partners.

Our core team has been hard at work on a number of fronts building core infrastructure and we’re about ready to bring in the community to shape the next steps. Towards the end of July or August time period, we’ll be setting up several community calls and discussions to talk about the future roadmap in more detail, take the next big step in decentralizing Rally, and most importantly using decentralization to set up various groups to build much more quickly than ever before.

Today, I’d like to start a proposal on two items that will be a precursor to this larger body of work.

1) Proposal for 500K $RLY developer grant for Bonfire.
Bonfire has been an engaged member of our developer community for months. Matt Alston and Melissa Zhang are active almost daily in the Discord Developer Channel. They have shown real commitment to building Bonfire with creators’ needs in mind, and they have amazing and relevant backgrounds from Coinbase and Uber in engineering and product.

Here’s a demo video for their product that is live already -
Bonfire SS

And you can see $CHOU in action here (and earn some $CHOU by following using Bonfire) - www.getbonfire.xyz/chou/earn

This grant is inline with what the community has discussed before here for Grant Structure for Business building atop Rally

Here’s their writeup for the community on what they’re working on:

From Matt and Mel

"
We’re building Bonfire, a platform to enable Rally creators to build branded rewards sites powered by their creator coin (and soon NFTs). We’re starting by building a suite of tools focused on enabling new ways for creators to distribute coins to fans, and reward coin holders with customizable benefits and rewards. Our goal is to build flexible and powerful tools to unlock new creator coin use cases, allowing creators to spend less time doing manual work and more time experimenting and being creative.

Currently our MVP enables a creator to build a configurable coin site / rewards hub for their coin. Visitors to the site can connect their Rally account to view their balance of the creator’s coin and engage in a variety of ways based on their coin balance. Some of the specific features and tools available today:

  • Create claimable airdrop links to distribute coins to community members wherever they already are. A few ways this has been used so far:
    • Our first creator Meta4ickal ($KKCR) has used the coin drop feature to reward viewers of his live auctions on YouTube
    • Joe Jaffe ($JAFFE) embedded a drop link in a QR code and showed it on his YouTube livestream show
  • Create coin holder benefits and rewards that community members can unlock (by holding coin) or purchase (by spending coin)
  • Add a ‘Follow’ button to your site to collect email addresses and begin to build out a coin holder email list

But we’re just getting started. We’re super excited to continue to expand the product offering with new use cases and functionality. A few features on our roadmap we’re particularly excited about are:

  • Support for Rally NFTs: NFT gating for rewards and benefits
  • Exclusive merch & ticket drops: Serve single-use promo codes to coin holders who meet the specified requirements
  • Bounty board: A “bounty board” to offer customizable coin bounties to members for various forms of community engagement and contribution

But more generally, we get excited about whatever use cases get creators most excited! We’re huge supporters of the Rally ecosystem and community, and are excited and honored to be considered for this grant to continue to invest in creating long-term value for Rally creators.
"

Ok, next up:

2) Proposal to create an on-chain RallyDAO with 10M $RLY initial funding

Bonfire’s grant proposal brings to mind that we don’t have a great community process for everyone to engage in the community funding builders across Rally. The $RLY treasury and multisig, given the magnitude and security necessary, isn’t ideal for broad participation as a security breach would be an end-game nightmare scenario for the entire network. The tools available when we launched in October 2020 weren’t great; it was basically a Gnosis multisig, Aragon’s platform, or Compound’s super technical governance structure.

But today, I think there’s new tools. I’m particularly excited about Syndicate Protocol’s new product, which I’ve been participating in for FiatLuxDAO and the IDEO founder collective.

Syndicate Protocol’s mission is to help other communities build “a legally compliant, decentralized automated organization (DAO) empowering communities to invest in themselves”, which I believe is exactly what we need at Rally.

I believe their new product is the right product for us to use for a truly community-governed investment DAO. My hope is overtime, this RallyDAO will get larger and larger funding, but I believe 10M is a great amount to start with to see how an onchain treasury can better serve the community.

Syndicate Protocol is in private beta, so I think the timeline for this will be about a month or so away. But I’ll be talking to the founders at Syndicate to get RallyDAO up as one of the early community-run treasuries and we should be able to use it fairly soon! A big announcement will come from them next week to shed more light on how their product works and their vision for the space which aligns well to a RallyDAO. I’ll put up a snapshot for this proposal after more details come to market, and link to it in a further post here so everyone can evaluate before we go vote.

Thanks all, and I look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts on the two points above.

Kevin

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Hi Kevin,
Both offers look like great progress for the Rally community.

Regarding Bonefire - the tool that Matt and Melissa have built looks great and can ramp up Rally value prop for creators drastically.

One clarification regarding the grant - Bonefire is currently being built on top of Rally, but is there any commitment from Bonefire to stay exclusive to Rally in the future?

If Bonefire is super successful in the future and would like to raise capital as a standalone company - what is the level of future commitment/ exclusivity to the Rally platform? What happens when the $500k RLY runs out?

I’m guessing I’m trying to get a sense of how do you see the future of ‘mini-startups’ built on top of Rally.

Thanks,
Idan

The Bonfire demo looks great, and the functionality built is much needed for both creators and fans. As a community member, I am super grateful for a two-person startup to put their limited resources into building such a great tool and picking Rally over other potential projects.

We need more tools to drive adoption and network effects. Other major platforms provide grants to attract developers and to help bootstrap new businesses. I am in favor of doing the same for good Rally projects such as Bonfire.

Good points!

Generally I’m not a fan of exclusivity for general grants. How and who would monitor, and what would be considered exclusive? What if they enable general erc-721 NFTs to be added because a Creator wants their NFTs from other sites to be available on Bonfire? What legal actions would we actually pursue?

I generally believe that the community and developers will do what’s right for Rally. If we see abuse, we can come back together to discuss. But for speed and accelerating our 3rd party developers that have invested significantly into the community already, I think not asking for exclusivity for these types of grants will serve us all well and enable faster deals and decision making. As we mature we’ll probably evolve this, but I think at this stage of our community, this is the approach I’d advocate for.

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This seems like an exceptionally high amount of Rally given past proposed projects. We’ve had a proposal for coin gating for $11,800 USD worth: Proposal: Gate Content using any Rally Coin - #34 by jennifer_tran
A proposal for $8,760 USD worth: Proposal: Gate Clubhouse Rooms using Creator Coins
And a proposal for 96,000 RLY over the course of 6 months: Proposal: New Media Opportunity That Can Help Grow the Rally Creator and Social Token Economy - #5 by voicebot

All of these seem reasonable for what’s being provided, and as a non-creator I can see how the Rally community as a whole will benefit more than it costs. A lot of what appears to be on Bonfire so far is just re-creations of pre-existing free tools like the Discord bot and Campaigns. I don’t mean to criticize the project, but I’m not keen on paying for something I already have, even if their version does look a lot nicer and easier to use. Also the tools seem to be entirely catering to creators and not anyone else in the community; sure I benefit if I pick up a coin drop, but what if I want to create my own coin drop of another creator’s coin to advertise my business? Is that possible within the software? That would make it useful to everyone in the community instead of solely creators, and it seems like a very simple modification to make.

Operating under the assumption that the purpose of grants like these is so that developers don’t have to work a second job while building out functionality for the community, I would say that this project as it stands right now is worth around $20,000 USD. It seems reasonable to approve up to another $20,000 USD (or $40,000 total) if necessary to get the software to a point where it can support itself. Anything more than that starts to seem like the community is buying the software outright rather than supporting developers while they build their project.

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Hi everyone. I’m a developer (of varying disciplines).
I don’t want to come across as abrasive but I do feel the need to mention the following; I thought Bonfire was already funded via multiple sources ?

Nevertheless…
• 500k Rally ? - I oppose this amount as I feel a lesser amount would be sufficient.
// I would also like to echo the points in mrq02’s post.

//Edited 6/29 4:37pm EST

Yeah, I can get that.

I think that as Rally is building itself as an ecosystem, and as funding for applications on top is crucial, at some point in the future we should think about how to formalize these kinds of things.

But I totally get your point on being too early and ‘over-structure’ at this point. I agree that the commitment to the Rally community is definitely enough right now.

What I would love to see is a startup building on top of Rally and then raising capital from external sources and VCs, building something stand-alone (like dapps are building on blockchains). Bonefire could be a good first candidate.

Thanks Kevin

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An average yearly salary of a developer in the US is >$100K. Good developers cost much more.

We are talking about 2 skilled developers/entrepreneurs that have spent a considerable amount of their time working on this app. These kinds of apps can help Rally go through giant leaps of user adoption which is a high priority right now.

This case does not resemble the former propositions you mentioned for companies like CoinGate that are building a dedicated feature for Rally on a platform they already have + enjoying potential growth from the Rally ecosystem. In these cases the price Rally is paying is more of a mutual commitment than a real economic expense (that is how I view it).

Rally is in a growth phase, capital is relatively cheap right now, and attracting talented and passionate community members + users is a high priority right now. That costs money.

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To echo what @Idan_Levin said, good developers cost money. Assuming you also have some level of project management and other overhead involved, $250K can get spent pretty quickly.

And I do agree that in order to grow and succeed, Rally needs third party integrations and products that make it more convenient for people to use and provide functionality that creators need.

That said, this proposal does give me some cause for concern. As was pointed out, it’s an order of magnitude above previous similar proposals. It also gets a bit murky proposing grants of this size because it is invariably going to be at the exclusion of other projects that may be just as useful. For example, in the creators that I am a part of, we’ve already used @mrq02’s storefront solution multiple times, as it filled a much needed hole in functionality. @davey’s Rallybook portal gets suggested several times per week in the Discord to provide data that people are requesting. Both of those products have arguably provided just as much value to the community already as Bonfire and haven’t gotten grants of any size.

I’m not saying Bonfire won’t be hugely beneficial, but now we’ve got at least three tiers (pro bono, <$100K, >$250K), and we probably haven’t scratched the surface of what will be built on top of Rally. Perhaps managing these questions in the future is part of what the DAO is supposed to address - that’s an interesting idea, although it kinda seems like DAOs are just the “new hotness” and I’m not convinced how well they work yet. Probably worth a try, though?

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Yes, in my day job I am a CTO. I know exactly how much skilled developers cost; it varies widely based on location and the tech stack used. For the tech stack they use the average US pay is around $80,000 per year. As for whether or not they are especially skilled, I don’t know because although Kevin claims that they are very active in the Community Discord they have a total combined message count of 120. Compare that to my own 1,142, Dave’s 1,938, OverAchiever’s 840, Hatboyzero’s 80, or even d4arkcide’s (who joined the server not a month ago) 49, you’ll see that they are not active at all. Heck Yort isn’t even a Rally community developer and he’s got 41 messages helping debug stuff in the dev-general channel alone! I don’t know whether or not they are especially good developers because they are essentially strangers; almost my entire interaction with them has been me helping them fix their software. Which is totally fine; I’ve helped most of the community devs through at least one bug. But I wouldn’t consider them especially passionate community members. At least not visibly so.

All of that said, even if we agreed that $100k per year was the correct pay, I still would take issue because I don’t believe we should be granting a year’s worth of pay to anyone. A grant of 1 year’s worth of pay is fine if we’re gaining equity in the company (which is why I said it seemed like at this price the community is buying the software); otherwise it would be a loan and it sure wouldn’t be a year up front, but would be tied to completed milestones.

I was generous with my $40,000 estimate. The back of the paper math I used to determine what their current software was worth only returned about $14,000. Put in some margin for error and I would charge someone who asked me to make that app $18,000 and I’d have it done in about a month. And I charge $80 an hour for freelance work. The only reason I was willing to go so high is that I agree with you that attracting talent is a high priority right now and I would rather over pay than under.

Really the whole tone of Kevin’s original message felt very “hey my friends want a quarter of a million dollars, can we hook them up?” As a fellow community developer who’s actually passionate about the community it’s extremely hard not to feel insulted by this proposal.

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Exactly!! Thanks for joining in the discussion.

One of the major value drivers for the whole network is attracting developers that can raise 3rd party capital. Bonfire is the first example. If we accelerate them through this grant, they will not be the last. If this proposal goes through, we will also be marketing this widely, because it’s such a great example, team, and live product.

If a handful or more companies raise money on the Rally ecosystem, this will dramatically elevate the value of the underlying platform. I plan on spending my time with Bonfire to help them be successful and raise a large round going forward.

Kevin

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I do not have any existing relationship with Matt or Mel.

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All I really want is to see venture fundable teams build new businesses on Rally. That’s it. This isn’t a proposal to help friends, as I have no existing relationship with the team.

I hope the new RallyDAO will enable anyone who is active in the community and reward them appropriately. I do not yet know what that would look like, but hope to work with everyone here to figure this out.

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As a Creator, I was excited to try Bonfire, and am still excited to help make it better with feedback and better use the tools that are already part of it. It’s going to be an important channel to help with growth and supporter communication, which are both extremely important (and expensive) things to anyone looking to cut through noise. Understanding how to use it well is the key!

It’s also a tip-of-iceberg scenario. There are some low-hanging fruits in harvest with Bonfire now. They need many more features, reporting, fraud prevention, dashboard, bounty integrations, UI sexiness (even more!), etc. These fruits are increasingly more expensive to harvest. To a person at first glance, this seems like a large sum, and it is. But compared to the work ahead yet to do and balanced with the value it will provide at all further stages, the amount requested is a stop gap.

Mel and Matt have done quite a lot as a small team. They will need more developer resources. Teams get increasingly expensive as they get larger. Not in the obvious way only (engineer payroll), but in all other ways as well. Managing, planning, communication, process, etc. It’s harder to get bigger things accomplished, and that simply translates into expense and time. As their tools benefit us all by being a conduit to new users when used properly, we should be Rallying to support.

I will be transparent here. When I read this, my first reaction was “HEY! WAIT A SECOND!”. Yes, we have several active projects. Yes, we are extremely active, work with lots of Creators, have a large team, etc. However, my real reaction came out of… jealousy. Jealousy that we didn’t ask first and follow through more aggressively, and that it’s not PLAY’s Creator Coin Gaming Framework or CCG being proposed for a grant by Kevin here on the forums. However, we haven’t firmed up how we would like to be funded, company vs project (the available pieces of which have been unclear to all devs) and are still waiting to have a meeting with folks from Rally which has needed to be rescheduled for good reasons. And now it’s me on vacation and I’m the roadblock!

To summarize, we need this tool, need every little bit of value it’s going to cast off along its journey, and it’s exciting to see such a proposal. Mel and Matt have a working POC, rock solid use case, large target market, solid team, capacity to add resources, and need the fuel for the fire. Pretty black and white. Put the fuel on the fire.

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Considering there background and the risk that they willing to take betting on rally in this stage. I’m fine with a upfront investment of 250.000$. If the community is happy with the result after one year we pay them another 250.000$ bonus. I’m against it to spend 500.000$ upfront its just to much for what they showed. They basically get free advertisement on top from us for there product if Rally will be a success.

@mrq02 I understand the concerns, I would view this funding as:

  1. Pre-seed funding for something that can grow big on top of Rally (these are the amounts for launching such ventures. It is not a contracting agreement to build a predefined SW)

  2. Please remember that we are still in a fantastic market for crypto. In 12 months from now, we might get into a bear market and it will be much harder to find good people to participate and take risks in building in crypto and in Rally specifically. Plus, in a bear market, 500k RLY might buy you 1/3 from what it buys now, or even less (that what I meant by capital is cheap right now).

Because capital is cheap and people are eager to participate, now is the time to ‘overshoot’, deploy capital and build. If you overspend $100k on a project that can lead to wider adoption, imo it is much better than the opposite case of underspending and missing the opportunity. In a year from now, we might miss this climate.

One more point to consider -
The way the tokenomics for Rally were built, with massive dilution in upcoming years, means that Rally is either becoming a huge ecosystem or RLY token price will stay flat because value creation is outpaced by token dilution. This means that Rally leadership has to take big bets, all the time (this is in part why I love this project). We have to go for the whole enchilada.

Idan

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I dunno, man… Seems sus.

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Welcome to the forum hatboyzero!
Feel free to elaborate. :ok_hand:

Nah, fam - I’m good…

My opinion is the grant/fund for Bonfire is a bad decision on multiple fronts that I will list in detail below. Both from the amount, the value add they bring, the grant versus investment view, and from the impact tonight community developers. For a proposal that large it should be listed separately with a supporting case/white paper on the value add that is being brought by that investment of funds. Otherwise it seems like a move to just give funds to developers we like based on a promise with no data.

The amount proposed for the Bonfire platform seems rather large based on the value that it brings at this stage. It seems barely at the alpha level of a project and there are no deliverables that I’ve seen in this proposal that would explain the level of funding. If anything this fund should be split into sections where the next amount is granted only if conditions are met. I would agree with other statements from above comments that would question this level of investment compared to both past proposals and also to the terms being deployed. It seems that many of the features promised are already available on rally via campaigns, the nft marketplace, or through currently free community developed applications. Even the email list seems trivial as I’ve been emailed by multiple Creators on Rally who got my email from Rally platform. If this is the case then maybe the funding would best be used to further develop the existing features versus paying for a third party to develop a platform that does not benefit the entire rally user base.

While the community and Rally should encourage developmental projects my belief is that those funds would be better utilized towards development on the main rally platform or advertising to increase awareness of the project and reach larger creators. At the end of the day any developmental projects business models should not rely on Rally to fund their development. If they are developed as a business such as Bonfire then they need to have a solid business model that supports their development and growth through signups fees, advertising, or similar. In Bonfires case they already are listed as having multiple groups backing them on their website. This would raise the question of what extra would this fund even bring and why give money instead of investing for a % of the company like the other groups? Again the lack of info on the “why” in the proposal is lacking. There may be very valid reasons but it’s lacking in the details and proof. Large proposals or grants are a great place for a white paper saying Creator X on Bonfire experienced % growth by using tools A & B. Without that basis its entirely open to interpretation and guesswork as the value cannot be defined.

Finally, we have many talented community developers that are investing their time and money into products for the rally platform. The last thing we want is to dissuade from the open conversation that can be had between these developers in the Discord, forums, or other channels. By choosing one developer for a large funding but not others it has the potential to create some hostility and reduce the free sharing of information and ideas. In the long run this will do more harm than good especially at this stage where community development is very needed for new ideas and growth.

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