Decentralized Futures Coalition: Business Development, Marketing and Communications

Over the last month, following the announcement that Parity Technologies would be sunsetting its own “go-to-market operations,” several key contributors to Polkadot’s early success have been gathering around this coalition to help manage these important functions going forward.

Our proposed Polkadot coalition includes early respected employees and advisors to Parity and the Web3 Foundation, DOT ICO investors, parachain founding teams, and broader crypto ecosystem operators. Our collective opinion is that this approach — where a smaller set of agile, specialized teams take on much of the responsibility for these crucial operations — is the only way this service-provider decentralization will be effective. Polkadot needs a significant work culture reboot, and this proposed coalition is prepared to bring in new blood, fresh ideas, and the Web3-native bona fides to get it done.

Myself and Yoon Kim (@eumenes) have formed Transistor to focus on business development and engineering + onboarding support in North America and have posted our detailed proposal below this coalition brief.

Coalition Background
As the Transistor team engaged with the Distractive team (the team behind Moonbeam’s successful launch and associated onboarding efforts) to discuss their intention to manage Polkadot’s Global Marketing and Communications functions, we agreed that working together on a strategy for Polkadot would make the Web3 Foundation’s proposed “Decentralized Futures” funding go much further.

The Distractive and Transistor teams then had a series of conversations with other potential coalition contributors and have secured the support of BlokHaus who will work alongside Distractive to manage the Polkadot brand and content; MarketAcross who managed public relations through the Polkadot launch; and the proposed PoKe team incubated by BotLabs and Scytale to focus on business development in Europe and the Middle East. Along with announced ongoing support for Parity’s Asia team, we have realized a plan that will cover all key regions and work verticals needed to maintain and grow Polkadot’s footprint globally.

The screenshot below includes a rough layout of teams and funding for these operations. During our planning, we initially focused on putting together three-year budgets for these network support teams, as hiring for a one-year project will make hiring and scaling adoption incredibly complex. We believe that these core operations will need to continue in earnest for at least the next five years of Polkadot’s development if the network is going to successfully implement CoreTime and reach a sustainable level of adoption. We understand that the W3F’s Decentralized Futures funds may need to be spent within one year, so we will potentially consider pulling costs forward and several coalition members may be making additional, complementary OpenGov proposals to ensure they have the necessary operating runway for this mission-critical work.

We look forward to continuing this conversation with the Web3 Foundation and the Polkadot community as we finalize bootstrap funding and launch full-time operations. Please let us know what you think below – if you’d like to contribute to the coalition or if you want to work with any of these teams, please reach out to apply.

Thank you!

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Your slide is extremely valuable for us to reason about the big macro picture in DF Coalitions – “how much decentralization” for some previously purely centralized marketing positions. I count 40-50 FTEs in that picture across a half dozen teams receiving $13.5MM USD funds, which is 30% of the $45MM USD. I believe you are saying that:

  • the $6.5m is what would remain after funding these 6 teams
  • each of the 6 teams are submitting their own proposals, all in fiat so no one has to sell DOT to cover immediate hires
  • $6.5m in USD DOT would still be open for other DF proposal

and we should interpret your slide as = $13.5MM for 40+N to 47+N FTEs like this:

  1. $7MM for BD/Eng Expense [20-13=7] for 20+N FTE or 27+N FTE)
    (a) Transistor (12-15 FTE )
    (b) Parity Asia ( N FTE )
    (c) PoKe ( 8-12 FTE )

  2. $6.5MM for Distractive ( 20 FTE )

So for the $7MM in BD/Eng Expense of [Transistor, PoKe, Parity Asia]

  • the Transistor team (12-15 FTEs)
  • the PoKe team (8-10 FTEs)
  • Distractive team (20 FTEs)
  • Parity Asia

Is this correct? If so, can you explain over what time range the $7MM covers these 20+N to 27+N people? What is N?

[If you can speak to 2 as a Coalition spokesperson, that would be helpful to get the macro math in order, though I understand its a 6-team proposal]

For all the people who were “decentralized” this fall, charting a solid course for 5 years as a career move seems pretty important to gun for. I think the DF program is for 1 year only however, and you should only be budgeting for 2024, with 3 months of 2025 for further decentralization. Can you explain the macro picture please? This needs an 1 or 5 year FTE spreadsheet, can you share one?

A high level judgement call about how much of the $45MM should be allocated to “Centralized Marketing 2.0” in FTEs from the old over 2024 vs 2025 seems to be in order. I was expecting the number to be 20% ($9MM) to cover 15 months with 60 FTEs on average. What is your macro math?

As far as the coalition goes, I would like to see some degree of healthy collaborative competition whereever possible. If it is not possible, a gradual approach is going to be required, like we do this in 2024 and that in 2025, and a single decider. You can’t, for example, have a content creator army entrusted to manage the Polkadot Twitter on February 1, 2024 and the polkadot.network website – you need ONE team, led by ONE person to decide things. There has to be a balance. Which functions must truly be centralized in 2024 vs not?

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Following up on my post above on the coalition, I have compiled our proposal for Transistor to support Polkadot business development and engineering in North America. This proposal is a version of a plan that myself, Yoon and several other Polkadot stakeholders have been discussing for almost a year now, well before Parity’s decentralization was announced. North America is fertile ground – the United States historically drives tech adoption, precisely where Polkadot lacks a footprint and clear direction.

To date, Polkadot has not focused on adoption in the United States. This is despite North America’s outsize share of global GDP and the fact that it has historically driven global adoption of new technology and cultural trends. Crypto adoption has shown to be no different, with the primary universe of successful protocols all tightly coupled in key tech, finance, and media hubs around the United States. Most leading Layer-1 chains based in the United States have pursued aggressive business development strategies despite worse regulatory positioning. Transistor plans to immediately start a regular meetup series in each of these tech and finance hubs under a new brand, alongside a wide range of protocols and companies to begin to reintroduce the Polkadot tech stack.

Outside of our Web3-native client pipeline, Transistor leadership has been working to cultivate a relationship with a top-tier enterprise advisory firm based in the United States. This firm’s clientele spans several verticals where they help their clients expand their business offerings into new markets and technologies. This firm has expressed to Transistor leadership that it is ready to begin to offer its clients crypto support and trusts Transistor for crypto-native insight and blockchain engineering support.

Transistor’s advisor network is also prepared to refocus its efforts in this updated structure focused on the U.S. market. Our team and advisors have been instrumental in bringing several keystone clients into the Polkadot ecosystem, and want to continue to work together to keep those users onboard — while bringing more users and liquidity to the network with clear funding and direction. We have developed our advisor bench to ensure an even mix of representatives from Web3 natives to Web 2.0 executives and leaders in corporate America and finance.

Transistor’s longer-term plans include the development of protocols that will drive blockspace demand in Polkadot 2.0.

Please take a moment to review our presentation on Transistor, which includes some voiceover explainers on our proposed effort. Also note that some information like our full advisor list, detailed cost structure, and pipeline client names have been redacted but will be confidentially shared with the Web3 Foundation through the official application process.

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This reminds me of a conversation that I had with a US based investor / Polkadot supporter recently. He holds the view that the US $ won’t come in in any serious manner until after the election in Nov 2024, when political risks and regulatory uncertainties are dispelled. His question is, when that happens (and by then more digital assets ETFs should’ve already come about), do we have a good enough reason for them to support Polkadot? So, it sounds we still got the time : ) As such, I would really love see this initiative gets successfully executed.

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The Distractive team (Nate Hamilton and I) have been collaborating with Peter and Yoon for the last month+ as they iron out their plans to launch a new BD hub in North America. I’m super bullish on this.

Peter was the genesis of many of the big “deals” that came… and got shut down… while he was at Parity. He knows how to reel in the big fish. We just need to give him the clearance and resources to scale. And close some deals.

As he alludes to in his slide… many of the prospective contributing teams have already started to work together. Excited to bring these conversations to a larger community forum so other can weigh in!

I met with Peter recently in New York to talk about Polkadot and decentralisation. I had seen him speak a few times in the past and followed him on Twitter. It’s very apparent to anyone who spends time with him that Peter is extremely passionate about Polkadot and is highly motivated help Polkadot grow and succeed.

Peter,
Thanks for showing leadership when it is most necessary. Looking forward to getting more details on your plans, as currently they are too high level to evaluate. We would be very glad to collaborate on very synergetic efforts that the Polkadot NFT Collective will have with your initiative to make both efficient and productive. Please let us know where/how best to reach out for discussions.
Thanks!
Alex
Unique.network

We (the PolkaPort East Team) had a call with Peter and Yoon from Transistor yesterday to talk through their proposal. Following this call, we would like to express our support for Transistor, for the following reasons:

⁃ The US is indeed an important market which has unfortunately been underserved by Polkadot in the past. There are different historical reasons for this, but we believe that at this point in time, DF offers a good opportunity to build up a meaningful presence in the US.
⁃ Peter and Yoon are a good team to drive this initiative forward, they know Polkadot inside out, and have the network to pursue major clients
⁃ We believe that dispersement of funds should follow a Pareto distribution, with funding concentrated on a few large-scale proposal that have the potential for outsized impact, with a long tail for smaller local initiatives.

PolkaPort East has similar objectives as Transistor, but is focused on a different geography, namely HK and East Asia, so there could be synergies in BD, marketing and events. We will operate as completely independent teams, but we believe it makes sense to form coalitions between teams pursuing similar goals.

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Peter & Yoon detailed their vision on Space Monkeys:

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Happy to see Peter and Yoon putting this proposal forward and taking the lead to help decentralize BD efforts. Both are highly qualified to lead this. I believe the formation of this coalition is necessary for collaborative efforts among agents in the ecosystem.

Hello. Just saw this post from the Coinsider Youtube vid. Are you still looking for people to join the teams / coalition? If so, where should we reach out to?

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