[Discussion] Incubator vs. Service Provider

Hi! It’s me again.

We briefly talked about ‘Rewards, Compensations and Revenue’. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to address the underlying problem we’re facing in Grape. A discussion about the fundamental structure of the Grape DAO could, though: Incubator vs Service Provider.

It took me way too long to write this. This post is edit no. 5 or 6 10, or something like that, smh. I was rewriting it constantly because I wouldn’t want someone to think that I was pushing something out and, at the same time, putting it on the agenda. But I promised I’d make a post, so I’m making a post. That said, I won’t put it on the agenda, and I’ll not be the one bringing it up in a DAO Call.

While I thought that discussing ‘Rewards, Compensations, and Revenue’ would be important and could help us find some answers to our most pressing questions these days, it didn’t help me find the answers I was looking for. Also, the thread ‘What is your vision of Grape?’ didn’t really do the trick for me.

During the last couple of weeks, I gradually realized my real issue. I don’t know what Grape is or what we want it to be.

In my mind, my perfect little world, I envisioned an existing master plan for Grape or at least a shared vision from everyone that joined the project before me. Our last couple of calls and the way we’re discussing things showed me that there isn’t such a plan and that even such an essential question had never been discussed. At least, that is what I have to assume based on the reactions and answers I got to my questions.

My simple question is this: What is Grape at its core? Is it an Incubator or is it a Service Provider?

We talked about using a lens through which we see and evaluate whatever we’re doing, spending, or working towards. One such suggestion was membership; another was the flow of information. While both might be viable, ultimately, they are equally insufficient when it comes to pursuing our true goal: succeeding as an Incubator or becoming a (profitable) Service Provider.

Here is what I came up with on Miro to visualize what I mean. Feel free to add ideas:


  • Focus: Generating as many self-sustaining DAOs related to Grape as possible.
  • Grape provides infrastructure.
  • Members who contribute to infrastructure get paid by Grape DAO.
  • BUT: Possible finite resources; runway tbd.

Service Provider

  • Focus #1: Evaluate possible business cases within the SOLANA ecosystem and setting up subDAOs to provide respective services.
  • Focus #2: Become sustainable.
  • Grape provides infrastructure.
  • Members who contribute to infrastructure get paid by Grape DAO.

It is vital to distinguish between Grape’s core structure and possible secondary setups. Both, the Incubator and the structure as a Service Provider can have elements of the other, but there can only be one core direction. This direction can surely change over time, but never be more than one simultaneously.

Using a lens like membership or the flow of information is only the means to an end. The real question is: How does everything we do relate to the underlying structure of Grape and the primary goals we’re setting ourselves?

What do I mean by that?

Well, if we see Grape primarily as an Incubator that aims to generate as many self-sustaining, Grape-based DAOs as possible, then we need to do our best to help them out. What did we do for GAN? What did we do for Dean’s List? Are we sure that they are already self-sustaining? What about Grape Content Token? What about Grape Alpha Club? What about GRAPEme? You see where I’m going with this. Here is a list of the Grape-backed tokens that exist so far btw.
If we truly want to get behind this, we need further growth. There need to be more people knowing about the option of creating a Grape-backed token. We need guides that show people how to create one and we need to explain why it is a good idea; why it is even better than creating their own token from scratch in the first place.
We need to ask ourselves what we can do as an Incubator to build a solid foundation so that other projects can grow.

In the case of Grape being primarily a Service Provider and an Incubator only after that: Why wouldn’t we buy a shitload of GAN, take over the GAN DAO, dissolve it and re-integrate Grape Access with the Grape DAO again? Our whole discussion revolving around revenue needs to get a new push. There are always considerations regarding risk/reward. While decentralization might be an admirable goal, it can’t be decentralization for decentralization’s sake. We need a good reason why we do it and how it helps us be a good, sustainable Service Provider. Do we need it as a showcase? Good, then let’s do it with something we can control and where we can estimate the risks involved. Grape Access as the defacto most important and well-known service from Grape can’t be our guinea pig in the hopes that it somehow will work out.

We need to get our priorities straight, set up goals, and start pursuing them. All other questions, while certainly also important, are secondary imho. As long as we’re not on the same page regarding our core structure, I’m afraid we can’t solve anything else because until then, everyone will have their plans, ideas, and agendas, all based on potentially diverging assumptions. And while everyone will always be able to do whatever they like and game theory is an omnipresent factor to be aware of, rules and norms are made by groups of people. To ignore them means to go against the wishes of these people and can potentially have consequences. So it is equally important to align on a core structure and common goals to use our energy and efforts in a coordinated fashion and to define what we expect from each other, as fellow Grape DAO Members.

I remember pontes’ well-received analogy of Grape being a tree. You wouldn’t cut branches from a tree to grow new trees when it still needs them to survive. Without enough branches with leaves on them, there is no photosynthesis and the tree dies by suffocation. If we’re a Christmas Tree though, that never was intended to get old and has an expiration date, we should invest our energy in faster growth instead.

By committing to a core structure and goals that support this structure, we can achieve the desperately needed cohesion I feel many of us are missing these days.

It’s 4:40 AM here btw…


I know you have worked on this for a good while.

I agree with many points made here and don’t see why this shouldn’t be the main discussion for today/tonight’s discussion.
This is a foundational topic as we pivot into the next phase of GRAPE.

What we need to do is communicate in a crisp manner what we are doing here in GRAPE.
Remind ourselves, our community, and our partners what our focus is.

As we have continued, areas within GRAPE have gotten increasingly complex and even though we have absolutely talented people working to realize the vision they see for GRAPE … “We need to SIMPLIFY IT”

Provide the reason why we are doing what we are doing here, rather than the solution.
GRAPE is a brand, it should be treated as such.


I don’t want to go by these two arbitrary terms, but I think we can be sustainable with a mix of features from both systems.

Grape DAO treasury can very much remain sustainable while leaving all the sub-DAOs under it to act and manage their funds (semi-)autonomously.

Reason: The biggest asset under Grape DAO’s control is the $GRAPE token itself which the DAO can always sell-off during favorable market conditions to remain liquid/sustainable. Grape wouldn’t be the first to do that as it’s obvious some of the greatest projects to precede us have sustained and continue to sustain themselves this way. Ethereum being the biggest example.

What’s the point of IDO in the first place?

Also, GAN, deanslist, content sub-DAO… lock value in GRAPE through the services they provide. The more value we can provide to the ecosystem through each of these sub-DAOs the more we boost the Grape DAO treasury.
I find some similarities between this and the birth of Ethereum and the explosion of projects under it (referencing the ICO craze and beyond).

One might argue, and rightly so, that both scenarios aren’t similar because it wasn’t only that ETH was required as store of value by projects under their ecosystem but that projects also utilized the Ethereum platform which means direct fees to Ethereum (This applies to every other L1, just using Ethereum as an example).

This leads me to my final point that: Same can be implemented for the Grape marketplace, Grape Access Tool, and generally anything that is a tech stack/tool. Besides there being a sub-DAO for each of those tools, there should be a direct stream of Royalties to the Grape DAO treasury because I can safely assume that a part of the Grape treasury was used in funding development. And anything that purely requires human involvement/service like content sub-DAO, deanslist, should have their treasury managed at the complete discretion of those directly involved. Except in case where the work was sourced by the Grape DAO via services.grapes.network, in this case the DAO can charge a commission fee or even determine the payout to the respective sub-DAOs in the case of multi-dimensional work (e.g. Metacrafters).

Suggestion: For an entity to be considered a sub-DAO of Grape. They must have spun out or evolved from the Grape DAO and/or have a considerable amount of Grape DAO reputation holders.


Thread revived because it was mentioned on the Bounty Call today.

So far we often said “we are building DAO Tooling”.
Maybe we can figure out a way forward with the question “What is DAO Tooling?”

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