Let's focus the Dev Fund discussion on outcomes

In my opinion, recent Dev Fund discussions have centered too much around deciding what “community consensus” means and re-working governance structures to be more fair and inclusive. Those are important considerations: assuming Zcash continues to exist 10 years from now, establishing a governance model that we all feel is legitimate is essential.

However, I feel that Zcash is in a dire situation; we need to make big moves to ensure our survival. Effort we spend debating governance models is effort not spent on debating our actual future direction, which I see as far more important. Achieving perfect governance is all for naught if we can’t agree on a strategy that will ensure Zcash survives and thrives.

A Proposal to Guide Dev Fund Discussion

Therefore, I’d like to propose a much simpler approach to the Dev Fund debate:

Firstly, any organization seeking funding through a future Dev Fund should converse with the community and then clearly articulate a plan for driving Zcash adoption. These organizations should specify a concrete roadmap including what they intend to build and how they intend to market their products. They should explain their reasoning, bringing forward arguments for their choices. These arguments should be subject to scrutiny by the community, and should be open to revision based on feedback. Organizations should also clearly articulate metrics for success, so that the community can evaluate their performance 1-year, 2-years, 3-years,… into the next Dev Fund.

The future cannot be predicted, and strategies may need to change in the face of challenges and market conditions, so these roadmaps should allow for some flexibility and changes of direction. The community should be accepting of those shifts, as long as organizations are still held accountable to results that are within their control.

Secondly, Dev Fund discussions should be centered around these specific action-plans. Rather than debating how we should determine community consensus first, we should attempt to establish a clear consensus on Dev-Fund-seeking organizations’ proposals. Discussions around how to measure consensus should still continue, and will ultimately be necessary for making a decision, but discussions about what Dev-Fund-seeking organizations will actually do should be front-and-center. It’s these decisions that will decide whether Zcash dies, survives, or thrives, not meta-level governance decisions.

A side-effect of this approach is that Zcash will have a solid engineering roadmap and marketing plan going into the next Dev Fund, which should increase everyone’s confidence in the project and make ZEC look like a better investment than it does today.

Requiring Roadmaps

Section 19.12 of the Zcash trademark agreement requires ECC and ZF to abide by the clear consensus of the Zcash community. I would like to discover whether or not it’s the clear consensus of the Zcash community that:

“Organizations intending to a receive a future Dev Fund allocation should first put forward a roadmap, justified by arguments, including at minimum a product development plan, a marketing plan, and metrics for success, and which allows some leeway to adapt to challenges and market conditions, that is subject to community feedback prior to receiving funding.”

Please post in a reply whether you agree or disagree with this statement, as well as any additional thoughts you have on this proposal for resolving the Dev Fund discussions.


Speaking for myself, I can agree with this. :zebra: :student:


I strongly agree with the statement that “organizations seeking future Dev Fund allocation should present a clear roadmap, complete with a product development plan, marketing strategy, and measurable success metrics, all open to community feedback.” Shielded Labs is committed to this approach and will provide its roadmap and vision in Q4.

While I agree that communicating organizational objectives and priorities is essential, I believe it is also necessary to continue discussions on determining community consensus in order to ensure a clear, fair, and inclusive decision-making process for the Dev Fund. Ultimately, both discussions are independent of each other and should occur simultaneously.


:100:. I’d like to make this a MUST to receive funding. I’ve notice in my proposal I have “or” which probably isn’t strict enough. Also probably need some more concrete wording on what constitutes a detailed business plan. Any idea on wording @earthrise?

I agree.

And also add that funding can’t be a blank check.

The only risk that I see in your whole proposal is that announcing products too early can actually ruin marketing surprise effects.