[Discussion] Rewards, Compensations and Revenue

I tried to wrap my head around what is actually happening within Grape during the last couple of months and where we see our priorities. I appreciate the constant flow of ideas and suggestions on how we organize ourselves and what a solid structure for working at Grape could look like. Especially Dean, with his excellent article, has made a significant contribution by giving perspective and pointing out crucial topics for any DAO regarding DAO(i)ness.

The reveal of the Team’s transition was a surprise, sure, but in light of the discussed topics in the article, it makes sense to me.

The thing I can’t quite follow is the timing or, rather, the need for an immediate change. I’m aware that many of us tend to favor action more than inaction, which is good, but I’m not talking about inaction; I’m talking about taking steps deliberately and planning ahead. The recent proposal (and article) made by Taki and Dim is the reason I’m pointing this out.

Everyone involved in the community knows that we’re facing many different challenges and are constantly trying to find the best solutions with the resources and tools available. Yet, at the same time, it feels that many of those challenges and possible solutions interfere with each other and, in turn, can have adverse effects.

I try to keep it brief. Here is one example of what I mean:

Rewards and Compensations

I understand that transitioning to a different compensation model is something that we do need. For me, though, this new system must be sustainable, especially if $USDC comes into play. If it is not, giving out any $USDC is a risk we shouldn’t take lightly.

Revenue streams

We gave away one of your possibly best chances for a constant revenue stream: Grape Access. By creating the $GAN token and ultimately the GAN DAO, everything that might’ve ended up in the Grape Treasury now is controlled by the GAN DAO (Grape DAO has only 1 $GAN = 1 vote). They are also the gatekeepers for any further proposals - let’s say a small monthly $USDC fee for using Grape Access and receiving new features.

Another example is Dean’s List. Initially, we talked about this being a Grape Service; Grape Members giving feedback to other communities for a fee. This is also a separate DAO now and with it one less revenue stream for Grape.

I get that decentralization and autonomy are (and should be) important to us. At the same time, I wonder whether this is the smartest move if we simultaneously push all those other things. I don’t say that it is wrong or that people aren’t allowed to do it; they are certainly free to do anything they want. I’m just trying to see the bigger picture. I’m under the impression that we’re losing cohesion and unity and that this, right now, hurts us more than what we gain by our increased decentralization and autonomy. Maybe it needs to hurt before it gets better, I don’t know.

But what happens when other people who generate value decide to do the same? The developers, the moderators, or anyone essential for other Grape Services. A subDAO, for me, is different from a fully-fledged, independent DAO or a ‘branched community’. A subDAO is still part of Grape and, therefore, governed by the Grape DAO, whereas those other DAOs are not. Maybe I’m not seeing it, but where should the Grape DAO get the needed revenue from for paying for services in $USDC? Do we rely on the realization that without Grape, those other DAOs may not have existed in the first place? Is the Grape DAO dependent on a kick-back from those DAOs?

I’m intentionally provocative here because it is one thing to push for [D]ecdentalization and [A]utonomy, but we shouldn’t forget that a DAO is nothing without the [O]rganizational part. The Organization is the core aspect and, with it, the shared purpose.
If our purpose is being a charity and supporting the Solana ecosystem, sure, why not, but then we can’t make payments in $USDC unless we have sponsors or start looking for donations. I was under the impression, though, that we’re an organization with a business case trying to find business models (see riderinred’s [Discussion] Grape Product Strategy).

Either way, sustainability is key, and without it (or a plan to becoming it), I can’t vote in favor of any proposal that suggests potentially draining the Treasury of $USDC.
One could argue that we’re already paying some rewards in $USDC. But those are bounties and, as such, on a per case basis, not recurring, and they can be put on hold at any time.

I have many more questions that I’m gradually trying to find answers to, but pointing this out was important to me. With such a drastic decision, I had hoped that some of those issues would’ve also been addressed to get things sorted out before they become a problem later. Since this gets even more of a slippery slope without having a business plan and keeping track of budgets.

I know that this post doesn’t give an answer and potentially raises more questions. Believe me when I say that this bothers me a lot *puts on thinking cap. But maybe there are answers, and someone thought of something; if so, I’d love to hear and understand them because I, too, believe in what we’re creating here together, and I hope to see us continue to grow.

Cheers Pawz


Thanks so much for your elaborate response pawz. You know how much I value your perspective. And I get it! We are experimenting with stuff here and that isn’t always going to be smooth. Goal should be to maintain as much structure as possible while not preventing us from taking action towards the right direction.

What takisoul and I have proposed to operationalize on compensation is to enable people like YOU to get rewarded for the time you are spending with us and potentially also allow other community members to commit to Grape in a more serious/professional manner. After that point It’s up to the DAO to determine the efficient deployment of the treasury.

Happy to discuss this further. Potentially tomorrow on the call.


I’m all for experimentation and taking bold steps. This is one thing I learned here and that I appreciate in this community. You all know me as someone who tends to be on the more cautious side of things and who likes having plans. In the past, I experienced here that bold moves can have their benefits in this space, so I got a bit more relaxed whenever Dean dropped a bomb and I really mean it when I say that I appreciate being able to sometimes make a radical, risky yet promising move with you guys.
At the same time, having solid financing and a business plan isn’t a legacy concept that has no more merit in web3. It’s crucial for every successful organization.

This being said, I had hope for something like that. E.g. committing to milestones and clearly defined targets that are also binding for everyone. If the proposal had mentioned that we set a budget and a timeframe of, let’s say, 6 months and X amount of $USDC. My reaction would’ve been different. A goal could be to generate a secure revenue stream of >50% of monthly expenses during those 6 months. Something like that. But just deciding to gradually empty the Treasury and hope for the best doesn’t sit well with me. I’d gladly discuss it with all of you and I’d love to have an actionable plan, milestones, and targets at the end.


First of all, it’s insane that GRAPE is turning over a treasury of 500K to the DAO. We just have to look at that and pause for a bit there.
This is tremendous amount of trust that the team is giving to us and the need for maturity to handle something like this needs to be equally measured.
I am unequivocally on the same page with @CryptoPawz that the last thing we need to do with this is rush into spending decisions.
Our emissions have been GRAPE and I see no need to rush into changing that into USDC or SOL without having spent significant amount of time contemplating proposals to spend the donated fund.
However, I also want to be very sensitive to the ethos of spending expectations of the existing GRAPE core team. Thus, I must ask, apart from the operational procedures highlighted in the article published by DEAN (I am taking this as gospel) are there any other conditions tied into the donation. And specifically, Taki and Dim, is adopting the USDC based compensation structure, in your mind a significant milestone of this transfer. Please do not misunderstand this question, I am asking it in all humility, but I hope you will understand why the answer to the above is significant in having a healthy discussion on the use of the funds going forward.


The way I see it is that any entity in this community, whether it’s a subDAO or a branched community is here voluntarily. No one is contractually obliged to contribute. So no matter what we call that entity, who it answers to & what discord server they use, nothing is stopping them from leaving the community.

Having said that, the fact that each one of those entities is switching to Grape backed tokens means that they automatically become a revenue stream. Providing services in exchange for a social token, means that one party has to buy $GRAPE from the market. This increases our market cap. Those entities are then incentivized to hold those social tokens due to sales taxes & bonding curves.

A hybrid compensation, where each entity prices their services in their respective social token & also receives USDC from the DAO, would be the best case scenario. Because through this you eliminate the selling pressure on $GRAPE, which then makes it more appealing to investors & the contributors get compensated for their work.

So let me also be intentionally provocative for a moment & say that we should drain the treasury. But we do it in a way that we build the shit out of this project. And we do it in such a way that any investor would want a piece.



I am following your train of thought until the point where the subDAOs receive USDC from the DAO.
As you have outlined it subDAOs offer services for their own grape-backed token which creates buying pressure / market cap aka value for the $GRAPE token. Now where does the DAO get USDC from to give to the subDAOs?
To be clear, I am only thinking of ongoing payment streams here. Because even if the stream is not big now we can make it grow, but if there is no stream at all then it’s Game Over, the only question is when.


Same could be asked for bounties. It’s only a question of when we won’t have any more USDC to give out for bounties. We could be giving out Grape, but Grape is also finite. So basically it comes down to the question every open source non profit project has to ask itself. How do we get money? Well, investors, grants & donations. Sounds scary & uncertain, I know. But, though I’m not an expert on the matter, I think that running a for profit DAO with a revenue stream has so many more legal implications & complexity that we will not be able to run it properly at this time. We are barely willing to manage the IDO money, how long do you think we’ll need (as a DAO) to set up accounting, legal etc. to manage a for profit organization? For a type of organization with almost non-existent legal framework, mind you.

The best we can do as a DAO right now is jumpstart those subDAO microeconomies, while they try to become self-sustainable though their social tokens. As @Whale_s_Friend beautifully put it “I want to see 100s of Grape SubDAOs and Grape Backed tokens powering investment groups, syndicates, nft collectives, creators, think-tanks, beta-testers etc. Creating value for their SubDAO treasuries and locking up $GRAPE.”

We are fortunate enough to have these funds & the people who believe in true horizontal governance. Of course this is a beautiful experiment & of course the chances of it failing are pretty big. But I think we are very good at self-evaluating & recognizing each others’ strengths. This is becoming a kitsch inspirational speech, so I might as well paraphrase the geckos:



Bounties are still something we can end at any time; there is no obligation attached as with monthly $USDC payments to 20+ people (in the ten thousands).

Also, as long as you’re paying people for work done, you’ll always have to deal with legal matters and all consequences that come with it. By creating and enabling those 100s of subDAOs and Grape-backed projects you just spread the problems because now every one of these entities has to find a way to deal with matters of paying people if they want to pay their devs (and we still get no kickback in $USDC so that we can, in turn, use it for payments).

Running a non-profit DAO doesn’t only sound scary, it’s hell of an undertaking. You constantly need to worry about funding, if you don’t have a solvent sponsor at hand. Finding such a sponsor could be tough, equally as hard as convincing people to donate to Grape on a regular basis. Uncertainty is always draining and stressful. In comparison, selling a good product is easy.
Another option would be to find investors. But as RipTyde put it so eloquently during Sunday’s Call: who would invest in a project that already got funding in the millions and didn’t return anything of consequence for their early investors. Any investor who’s even considering putting up money would evaluate their possible ROI and that wouldn’t look good for us. It would’ve been a totally different thing if Grape had openly communicated right from the start that it wants to be a non-profit.

What I don’t get though is, why we can’t do both. Why can’t we build great products open source and still monetize them? It all depends on the business model. Introduce a tiered approach:

  • Grape Basic: Free access to the Grape Tool Suite (open source after 6 months), no official support.
  • Grape Plus (paid): Access to the Grape Tool Suite (after 1 month, fully tested), support SLA ~24h
  • Grape Premium (paid): Immediate access to the Grape Tool Suite + access to specific metrics only Grape has access to and can provide. Support SLA ~2h

$GAN holders have a say in development of features and can make and vote on proposals.

Pushing the space by building open source, being decenrralized and creating revenue while doing it aren’t mutually exclusive objectives.


Bounties are still something we can end at any time; Then what? Who is going to build?

No one said there is an obligation to anyone at any point. Each individual who thinks he can provide value to the community can create a proposal for a months or a quarters worth of payment, and get rewarded through a streaming service like StreamFlow or MeanFi, that can be ended at any point, if needed. After that is done, we vote again.

Again, not a legal expert, but I think that simply rewarding people for their contribution, without any contractual obligation, is as simple as a KYC. Whereas an “income-expenses” business needs expensive accounting & legal teams.

But let’s say that we go with your proposed business model. How are we going to set it up? With bounties? Because, of the top of my head, for this to actually turn profitable, we will need:

  • Complete Rebranding
  • PR Campaign
  • UI/UX overhaul
  • Advertisment
  • Accounting & Legal
  • Hoping that DAO Tooling becomes “sexy”

And don’t get me wrong, these are all things that we’ll need at some point anyway. But the way you propose it, it sounds like those things have to happen before anyone gets rewarded for their work & start paying people after we have a revenue stream. Do you believe that a legal expert will complete a bounty? Or that the community will stick around until we (hopefully) turn a profit?

What you are describing here sounds to me like a regular job at a regular company. I probably wouldn’t stick around for that. I see DAOs as collectives of freelancers, not a web2 firm on the blockchain.

I find the non profit approach more noble. If we somehow manage to smoke through 800k without finding anyone to believe in our cause, then we probably never deserved it in the first place.

Well, ask yourself how much of the initial IDO money is left. I’m not saying that it wasn’t used to build something or that no one believes in the cause, but belief alone doesn’t pay bills. And while a non-profit approach might sound noble, again, it doesn’t pay any bills.

That, unfortunately, won’t work. If you pay someone on a regular basis (or even once for that matter), you can call it however you like, since you’re paying them, you need to declare it.

I’m not saying that we have to wait for everything that would make us profitable before we start paying people, I’m saying that we need to have a clear plan laid out of how to get there. Not starting and hoping that someone comes our way and throws money at us. A sound plan, targets, and clearly defined milestones that we can use as benchmarks. And in case milestones are missed, there need to be consequences such as reducing expenses.

In the beginning, a DAO is like a tent camp; a bunch of freelancers finding a common purpose and working together. With enough hard work, patience, and a bit of luck it can develop into something bigger though, and at some point, if you want to become a village, you need clear goals, infrastructure, and rules. Otherwise, everyone just packs their tent and heads off to find greener pastures once resources are depleted.
It’s like with public goods, nobody really wants to pay for them, but in the end, they are necessary for societies to grow. Relying purely on ‘everyone for themselves’ and game theory won’t work and this has nothing to do with web2 vs web3.


Hello CryptoPawz. I partially agree with you.
We definitely need to work on the product side and create some kind of revenue (Grape.art fees for example).

I’m not quite sure if the DAO is familiar with the real world procedure of building a product in terms of cost and process.

If you want to build a great product for your company (in our case DAO) its always connected to a certain risk. You have two ways of going about it:

  1. Hiring an existing Team/Agency for the alround package, with PMs, UX Designers and Developers. This is the easiest → The Agency is legally obligated to get you the result you wanted + they this team probably has been working together for a while. This is the easiest option and also the most expensive one. Depending on the product the costs can be low to mid 6 figs.

  2. Hiring all of the roles separately. (Can be freelancers for a set amount of time and with milestones)

This is the only way that I know to make something happen. And I’m sorry but building an entire Product with Bountys is impossible. Bountys are great for little tasks and additions but I see some major problems coming with it:

  1. Bountys usally attract low quality people that aren’t able to find work somewhere else.
  2. Having multiple people constantly messing with a formerly uniform product will lead to massive “rumgewurschtel” (Code and design will get very messy over time)
  3. Constantly new people that are not familiar with corporate identity etc, will get us varying results (not uniform)

If you want shit to happen, you need to take the risk, get a team(!!!) and pay people. No way around it.


Hey Pawz,

If you want to comment on specific parts of my answers, I suggest you do that with the parts that have question marks at the end, not the parts I’m being the most vague. And I promise I’ll try being less vague.

In summation, here are a few point of why I think going for a revenue stream is a bad idea:

  1. There is no guarantee that we will ever turn a profit whatsoever. We’ll have spent an incredible amount of money for a product that (at this point in time) nobody is willing to pay for, because nobody understands it yet.

  2. All of a sudden every conversation & decision will have to revolve around profit at the end of the day. And that will be a huge bummer for the community, essentially killing the vibes we have created as contributors to this ecosystem & result in core contributors actually leaving the project.

  3. The way the outside world is going to perceive it. “Oh $GRAPE never pumped, so now they are trying to charge for it?” And that’s me being a polite normie. How are we going to deal with that PR shitstorm?

  4. A failed product is way less attractive to future investors. Once we go down that route, there is no turning back.

All we have to do is survive to the next bull market, while continuing to build what we are building & raising awareness around it. If we were able to raise money with a discord bot, imagine what we’ll be able to raise with a full fledged suite of DAO Tools. All while we actually figure out how to run a DAO.

It’s funny though, because I remember the same DAO a few months back, when @DeanMachine came and proposed the idea that there are investors interested in buying tons of Grape from the community & the pushback to that was crazy. Oh, how the turn tables.

The difficulty i have at the minute is that the likes of Tribeca, Matrica, Solluminiati to name but a few, are imho ahead of us on the DAO tooling side, or at the very least ahead on the marketing their DAO tooling solutions.
(I recognise none of these are fully open source, although Tribeca has open source some of its basics)

I view Grape as a thought leader in DAO Governance, and while OG Solana builders can see that and the value in it, i don’t think the wider lay public can which means in many cases their is indiferent sentiment, if not the perception that Grape is old/behind the times.

Just scanned back, the main pushback at the time was that there was no clear plan for the proposed raise and no clear impression that there was a financial need for such a raise, while there were concerns around voting rights of said Grape.

The last on selling Grape was discussing total allocation to consider, potential monthly amounts to consider selling and potential discounts on said Grape, ultimately nothing went on chain.


I have to disagree on this one. We have a pretty solid foundation and people did not forget who the OG verification is. I think we need some kind of product paper to define in what direction we want to develop. On the technical side kirk did a fantastic job. We need to combine the elements that are giving us edge and work a lot on the User Experience. I think connecting Grape Access to the Market Place is something we should think about. That could provide Users with an All-in-One Experience (Ofc we would have to work on Grape Access automatic setup, nice admin panel for servers, user profile, etc) But I’m pretty sure the combination of both + Grape Art as “social” Marketplace would be able to steal some Marketshare.

Just dropping Ideas… we have a lot of money in the DAO. Everything is accomplishable imo.


Iam along the same lines with this. These projects offer a similar product and do it well.If you want the grape tooling and onboarding to grow, you need to offer something the other dont or do it better. jmo


Just posting this here so people know that ive read the discussion so far

It is good to see the perspectives and thank you all for contributing – the more we share the better we get

One thing we need to focus on is aligned knowledge and understanding. I think it will go a long way in driving us forward when core community participants are at the same level of knowledge and this knowledge transfer is definitely part of my responsibility, and we will need someone to be responsible for documentation and spreading that information

I look forward to our call today!


Wonder if partnering with Gilder, and being able to have
mobile marketplace,
a wallet all in one might be something worth pursuing.

If anything, we know people pay for convienience. GRAPE all in one.



Like the direction of your thinking. Ease of use is something we need across all our products. One Grape-UX across Tool-Boundaries and subDAO-Boundaries.
It’s also what I am worried about, how can we achieve this simple natural smooth User Experience when all the individual tools are being made independently from one another?
Pump out a bunch of Grape Design Guides?


When it comes to “bunch of Grape Design Guides?” @starflash has been providing resources for Grape CI for a while now.

1 Like

My message above was unclear. What I meant is that I have no clue on how to achieve “One Grape-UX across Tool-Boundaries and subDAO-Boundaries”.
Design guides are the only idea I have but this breaks apart as soon as someone does not want to adhere to a design guide. So what I am looking for is a mechanism that somehow ensures that we have a good UX across different independent tools. One comparison would be a trustless consensus mechanism like every chain has.
Now, we can start to brainstorm and begin making a trustless consensus mechanism for UX instead of transactions.