The document introduces the establishment of a new Service Provider (SP), “Yogis,” designed to better serve the needs of the Aura community. This transition comes after a thorough evaluation of the Aura Maxi SP, which, while commendable in its technical support and governance contributions, faced challenges in its structure, community engagement, and internal financial management. “Yogis” aims for a more traditional setup, combining expertise from Aura Maxi with new talents, and focusing on community building, technical support, and organic decentralization. Compensation will be restructured to better align incentives on being part of the SP through performance-based bonuses. Additionally, the document addresses concerns raised in the [AIP-46] proposal, emphasizing the significance of fair compensation and the ethos of organic decentralization, and concludes with specifics regarding the AIP’s potential implementation.
If approved, this AIP will sunset [AIP-28] and the Aura Maxi SP, and will establish a new SP, the Yogis.
Reconsidering the Direction of the Aura Maxi SP
The Aura Maxi SP has been a pillar in our ecosystem, diligently managing daily operations. Yet, despite these efforts, there have been hurdles in achieving certain pivotal tasks central to its mission. While the team’s contributions have been valuable, there’s a growing realization that our current structure, organization, and overall approach might not be progressing as initially envisioned. This isn’t a critique of the team’s dedication but rather an acknowledgment that some foundational aspects, especially the internal operational model, require reevaluation to better serve the Aura community’s evolving needs.
Recognizing the Achievements of the Aura Maxi SP
The Aura Maxi SP has consistently delivered in various areas. Their robust technical support has been a cornerstone, ensuring that community members have a reliable resource to turn to when navigating the ecosystem. In the realm of Governance, their contributions have been noteworthy. Even if it wasn’t their primary focus, their insights both within the Aura-Balancer ecosystem and in external engagements have been valuable, shaping many decisions. Additionally, their communication approach deserves mention. Over time, they’ve honed their reporting methods, providing other Aura contributors with timely updates on issues, bugs, and community activities, which has greatly enhanced collaboration and understanding within the community.
Understanding the Shortcomings of the Aura Maxi SP
The Aura Maxi SP has showcased strengths, particularly in technical support. However, certain areas need attention. One of the primary concerns has been the challenge in cultivating a unified and engaged community. While individual members have been adept at addressing technical issues, the broader goal of community-building has seen less traction.
Another limitation is the notable absence of tech-centric leadership within the Maxi. This void not only limits the current operational depth but also poses questions about the potential breadth of future endeavors, especially as the ecosystem evolves.
The organizational choice of a flat, entirely decentralized structure, though commendable for its democratic approach, has its pitfalls. Without designated roles and responsibilities, there’s a risk of reduced accountability, potentially leading to periods of inactivity or lack of direction.
Lastly, the financial management approach, specifically using Coordinape, has brought about some unintended consequences. Over time, this method has led to a general leveling of compensations. The inherent nature of the voting system sometimes results in salaries that don’t necessarily mirror the diverse efforts and contributions of individual members, which could impact motivation and performance in the long run.
Tackling the Issues of the Aura Maxi SP
To address the challenges faced by the Aura Maxi SP, we’re suggesting some practical steps:
- Shift in Structure: Moving from a decentralized to a more traditional setup might help in clearer decision-making and better accountability.
- Clear Roles: We need to specify what each member is responsible for. This clarity can help everyone focus and contribute more effectively.
- Plan Ahead: Reviewing where we are now and set clear goals for the SP’s future is key, and was something that was difficult in the previous SP iteration due to the structure. Knowing our direction can help us stay on track.
- Fair Pay: Salaries should reflect how members perform. This way, we reward hard work and encourage everyone to give their best.
- Smart Hiring: As we set our goals, we will hire people who have the skills we need. This will ensure we have the right team to achieve our objectives.
We’re transitioning from the Aura Maxi SP to a new setup called “Yogis”. This change aims to better fit the needs of the Aura community.
Initially, “Yogis” will have a traditional setup with a leader focused on Operations (OPS) and HR. This will help keep everyone on track with the SP’s goals. As members get more experienced and will master their domain thus being able to manage their respective sector, we might lean towards a decentralized approach.
“Yogis” will combine both experienced members from Aura Maxi SP and new faces to fill in skill gaps.
- JoJo (from Maxis): Will manage Operations, HR, Governance, and work closely with the Core team.
- James (from Maxis): Will handle Community Support, Governance, and Content.
- Jeffery (from Maxis) & Beguin (from Maxis): Both will focus on Community and Support.
- Daniel (from Maxis) & Mattgene (from Maxis): They’ll work as Translators and connect with International Communities.
- ChromC: Content will be his main area.
- Jerame: He’ll work on Community Vibes and lead Community Initiatives.
Once we’ve set clear technical goals for the Aura ecosystem, we’ll start recruiting. We’ll be looking for people with the right skills, either as full-time members or for specific tasks on-call. This way, we can make sure “Yogis” has the expertise it needs when it needs it.
To do so, we’re planning to handle our funds smartly. The idea is to save up over time. With a growing reserve, we can invest in new talents, tools, or bring in experts on-call. This approach will help “Yogis” stay adaptable and resourceful in supporting the Aura community.
Current Achievable Goals for “Yogis”
- Community Building:
One of the primary aims for “Yogis” is to foster a stronger community. We’re looking to surpass previous efforts and create a more engaged and active community around the Aura ecosystem.
- Engaging the Meditators:
We recognize the potential of the Meditators, a group of knowledgeable Aura users eager to contribute. “Yogis” plans to collaborate closely with them, tapping into their insights and enthusiasm to further enrich the Aura ecosystem.
- Supporting Core Activities:
While our main focus isn’t on the technical side, “Yogis” is ready to assist the core team with secondary tasks. This includes governance, documentation, and user support. We’ll be there to ensure these essential functions run smoothly.
- Governance Assistance:
If the core Aura contributors require support in governance activities, “Yogis” is on standby. We’re prepared to step in and provide the necessary assistance to ensure effective decision-making.
- Promoting Decentralization:
A key objective for “Yogis” is to aid in the decentralization of the Aura governance ecosystem. By identifying and nurturing individuals committed to the Aura ecosystem, we aim to prepare them as potential delegates for governance roles. This will ensure a more distributed and representative decision-making process.
Future Goals for “Yogis”
- Technical Support:
“Yogis” plans to assist the core Aura team with more technical tasks. This includes helping with contract management, maintaining infrastructure, working on subgraphs, and managing multisigs.
- Helping with Expansion:
We’re also looking to support the Aura team as the ecosystem grows. This means helping out in both product design and technical areas, ensuring the ecosystem develops smoothly.
- Better Technical Collaboration:
One of our goals is to work more closely with the core Aura team on the technical side. We want to understand their needs better and be a go-to resource for technical challenges.
While the Coordinape model has its merits, we believe it’s not the best fit for our current objectives in “Yogis”. Instead, we’re shifting to a more structured compensation model.
- Base Salary: every member, irrespective of their role, will receive a fixed monthly salary of $500.
- Bonus Structure: on top of the base salary, members will be eligible for bonuses. The amount will vary depending on the individual’s role and the tasks they’re assigned. The more specialized the role, the higher the potential bonus, though there will be an upper limit.
- Bonus Evaluation: the HR department will assess bonuses each month. This will be based on specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), such as hours dedicated to the SP and targets met.
- Member Evaluation: the performance of members will be regularly reviewed. If there’s a need to bring in new skills or if someone isn’t meeting expectations, we’ll consider renegotiating roles, offboarding, or onboarding new members. This ensures “Yogis” remains agile and effective in its mission.
Financials and funding
Our approach in “Yogis” is grounded in the principle of “results first, capital later,” but always within a reasonable framework. We’re committed to demonstrating value and progress before seeking additional resources.
In line with this philosophy, we won’t be pursuing any funding beyond what was allocated for Aura Maxis. Specifically, our funding request stands at $12,500 in Aura monthly, complemented by an amount equivalent to 0.33 ETH in Aura each month to address operational costs. This approach ensures we remain lean, focused, and driven by results.
Budget will be allocated as follow:
- Community: $3650
- $2000 Community support, 2.2 FTE
- $1150 Community vibes, 1.2 FTE
- $500 Community initiatives (meditators)
- Ops/HR: $2000, 1 FTE
- International communities: $1000, 2 FTE
- Content: $800, 1.2 FTE
- Tech/Dev: $3500 (planned expenses, depending on goals and treasury status).
Total allocated for costs is $11250, which will generate a surplus of $1250 + 0.33 ETH. This framework will help in building cash over time for specific strategic initiatives, but also to have some lean space to renegotiate salaries without having to ask for further fundings to the community.
For goodwill, and to help build up treasury for future expenses, the first salary month will be capped at $500 per person, regardless of the roles.
Treasury will be kept in a mix of Aura, USDC, ETH, as for the following:
- Base salary: USDC/ETH. This is to guarantee, with the relative low funding, a more fixed source of income to the participants.
- Bonus salary: Aura.
We’re aware of the ongoing discussion around [AIP-46], which proposes a different direction for the current Aura Maxi group. It’s essential to address this proposal openly and provide clarity on our stance.
[AIP-46] does highlight some valid points, shedding light on areas where the Maxis excelled and where improvements were needed. Much of our proposal has been about acknowledging these strengths and weaknesses, ensuring we learn and adapt.
However, when it comes to the solutions presented in [AIP-46], we have reservations. While the intentions might be well-placed, we believe the approach doesn’t align with our vision of how an SP should operate. It’s crucial that members of an SP are in sync with the broader ecosystem’s goals, and the incentives should be structured to promote this alignment. In our view, the direction suggested in [AIP-46] might not best serve these objectives.
We believe in fair compensation for individuals based on their time, skills, and effort. Everyone’s financial situation is unique, especially in the crypto industry. We work with partners and colleagues from various countries, each with its own standard of living, needs, and other distinctions. While we concur with [AIP-46] that a role in the Yogis SP shouldn’t be one’s primary income source, we also feel that mandating individuals to hold a specific asset, in this case, Aura, with its intricate incentive and economic structure, could hinder their ability to support their families.
While there’s undoubtedly value in pursuing greater decentralization in governance, we believe that [AIP-46] doesn’t align with the broader crypto ethos. The proposal emphasizes a predetermined vote distribution, detailing specific numbers and criteria, which was previously the council’s domain. While this method might diversify voting power, it doesn’t promote a more organic distribution of votes. Furthermore, the stipulation that voting power is reserved for Maxis holding a minimum of 20k vlAura tokens is problematic. This creates a barrier, implying that one can only participate in governance if they’ve invested between $16,000 to $20,000 in the Aura ecosystem. This financial threshold is likely to increase over time.
We advocate for a more natural decentralization process. This would involve recognizing individuals who demonstrate their commitment to the Aura ecosystem through tangible actions within Yogis and the broader community. Notably, some former Maxi members have emerged as delegates in the past six months, amassing voting power up to 1M Aura.
This issue has been touched upon earlier. While holding the Aura token undoubtedly signals trust in the ecosystem, mandating specific financial decisions can hinder active participation in the Aura community. As mentioned, while involvement in Yogis shouldn’t be viewed as one’s primary income source, individuals should have the autonomy to make financial choices that best serve their and their families’ needs.
The proposed compensation structure also presents indirect challenges. Receiving compensation in vlAura means that month after month, individuals only get a fraction of their nominal salary. This setup can deter those who wish to contribute to the SP but cannot afford to invest significant time without adequate immediate compensation, turning their role into an almost unpaid position for an extended period.
If the AIP will be approved, the following will happen:
- This AIP will deprecate the AIP 28
- Current funds (500 Aura, 0,3861 ETH) in the Aura Maxi treasury 0xd2F8D0C521BE12cf66d51bf696C0d5A8b0C6a8D6 will be sent back to the Aura protocol treasury eth:0xfc78f8e1af80a3bf5a1783bb59ed2d1b10f78ca9
- The Aura Maxi group will be definitely sunset
- $37500 worth of Aura 1 ETH worth of Aura will be send to the new Yogi multisig 3/5 safe eth:0xD57bFc18d643b77e34AC4328c70981E1957ECACC to cover for costs and salaries for Q4 2023.
- The Yogi group will be bootstrapped with the specifications of this AIP