Decentralized Futures: Distractive’s Vision for Polkadot

As we all well know by now, the Parity team announced a massive reorganization of resources in October that targeted the BD and marketing teams.

In tandem, the Web3 Foundation released details for a $45M fund to bootstrap new marketing and growth leaders in the community, with an open call for proposals for new contributing companies and organizations.

We plan to submit a proposal to provide marketing services for Polkadot. We’d love feedback from the community first!

Here I’ll lay out Distractive’s vision for Polkadot, how we think this decentralization effort could help the ecosystem flourish, and our proposal for where we think Distractive could fit in.

Who We Are/About Distractive

Distractive is a Polkadot-native full-service marketing agency specializing in emerging crypto ecosystems. Founded by Nate Hamilton and Katie Butler (the marketing and BD leads for Moonbeam), Distractive has deep expertise in the Polkadot ecosystem, technology, and community.

We offer a wide range of services, including ecosystem engagement, social media, marketing communications, digital marketing, events, and content creation, that will be customized to fit Polkadot’s needs and resources. The Distractive team is also well-connected with many experienced crypto service providers and can augment our services where and when it’s needed.

~Oh by the way~ Distractive is also really well positioned to fill the gap in marketing services for Polkadot:

  • Long-time community members who see a better world for Polkadot and are eager to make a shift in the way that Polkadot is presented.
  • Pedigree as the founding marketing & BD teams for Moonbeam, one of the most successful and well-known parachains on Polkadot.
  • Demonstrated ability to execute and deliver results using a lean team and budget.
  • Experienced in decentralized team building with recommended “best practices” to help reduce chaos while empowering decision-making and independence.
  • Capacity to take on new clients and can hire select Polkadot contributors to maintain continuity and ensure a seamless transition from Parity marketing.

Our Vision for a Decentralized Marketing Constellation

This decentralization of the marketing & BD orgs is a huge shift for Polkadot. It runs a massive risk of turning into total chaos, but it could also be just the jumpstart we need to put Polkadot in the limelight again.

Here are our thoughts on what would help this initiative be successful.

1) Decentralization Over Time

Decentralization is a process. It takes time and a great deal of coordination to ensure we move and execute as a cohesive pack.

To start Polkadot down the path, we recommend first decentralizing decision-making power to a core group of professional, full-time teams. These teams will be highly coordinated but also autonomous, allowing them to get things done without an overly burdensome centralized approvals process.

A large number of independent contributors will be extremely difficult to manage and coordinate, particularly around high-impact events like big announcements. It would also reduce the impact of our marketing, by siloing groups with often-unaligned priorities.

2) Streamline Community Collaboration

We also recommend using the community only for approvals on high-level strategic decisions, thus leaving the day-to-day execution to experienced contributors in the space. Over time, as new leaders emerge, contributing teams should and will gradually transition to more democratic working groups. Let’s leave the “Expect Chaos” to Kusama :slight_smile:

This movement will also mark a shift in the approach of Polkadot marketing from “read-only” to “read/write,” meaning that these marketing entities will be collaborating with the community and integrating feedback more frequently and fluidly than in the past, where feedback was often invited only once decisions had already been made. That said, there will be a balance here: not every community member is knowledgeable about marketing. The goal is to provide more opportunities to give input/collaborate throughout the process.

3) Enable Autonomy and Go Easy on the “Committees”

This decentralization effort by Parity and Web3 Foundation should serve as an opportunity to empower many decision-makers rather than a centralized decision-making body. This is an opportunity to simplify decisions rather than add complexity.

We do not recommend overly cumbersome committees at every step of the way, but rather frequent accountability check-ins and opportunities for the community to weigh in on the most impactful issues and projects. A chief weakness of Polkadot in the past has been its inability to move and act quickly; this is a wonderful opportunity to change that and allow teams to act more nimbly.

As we have implemented with the Moonbeam Foundation, we recommend the creation of an agreed-upon set of marketing guidelines for all marketing contributors, and granting individual teams the autonomy to make day-to-day decisions within those guidelines.

Importantly, we recommend limiting publishing capabilities for the website and social media accounts to a small number of qualified parties (among which will be Distractive) and enabling community contribution via submission/request forms. Turning the website and social media accounts into a Wikipedia-esque public forum without moderation and review staff will very likely invite trolls, muddle the message, and create a lot of noise/confusion at a critical time for Polkadot’s message to be simplified.

What Are We Trying to Do?

As community members, we have strong convictions about where Polkadot should sit in the market and its path for success. Our approach would be to immediately begin executing on a two-pronged marketing plan with the following objectives:

1. Reignite excitement around the broader Polkadot brand and the impact of its revolutionary approach to building blockchains

  • Reverse bearish sentiment from the existing crypto ecosystem

  • Better convey Polkadot’s value proposition to a wider audience with a better balance between technical features and mission-oriented calls-to-action

  • Create a “moment” for Polkadot early in 2024 that restarts the ecosystem

  • Take Polkadot’s visual brand and messaging back to its edgy roots (vs. today’s approach that comes off as very corporate)

2. Continue developer dominance & broaden Polkadot’s position as a leader in the shift toward technical abstraction and interoperability

  • Step away from the historical approach of “Polkadot or NOTHING” and embrace compatibility and collaboration with other technologies and developer stacks (specifically via the Polkadot SDK — Polygon, NEAR, Cardano, Avail, Chainflip and others are using it)

  • Reverse elitist perception that has left the Polkadot builder community feeling siloed and isolated

  • Put Polkadot back in the limelight when people talk about the dominant ecosystems or ponder where to build. Polkadot should be in league with Ethereum, Polygon, Avalanche, and Solana.

  • Get more dApps building on Polkadot (not just parachains) by making Polkadot more welcoming for a broader swath of builders, not just protocol devs.

Distractive’s Proposal: Core Marketing Contributors

Distractive proposes to expand its existing team to form a nimble team dedicated to delivering integrated marketing services for Polkadot. The team will be a startup-style dynamic team of “doers” with an emphasis on consistent delivery and execution. Distractive will serve as a marketing leader and coordination layer for all decentralized contributors, while also providing services that span strategy development, digital marketing, events strategy, communications, ecosystem engagement, and content creation.

In this role as a visible marketing leader, Distractive will own responsibility for re-igniting enthusiasm and interest in Polkadot and raising the profile of everyone in its vibrant ecosystem.

Role One: A Beacon for Decentralized Contributors

Distractive will act as a “command post” for Polkadot’s decentralized marketing initiatives and provide core marketing services for the network and its ecosystem. This means that Distractive is charged with setting the “North Star” and direction for all marketing efforts, and collaborating with any agents as they develop plans and initiatives to deliver upon those goals.

The desire is not to create a true hierarchy of reporting; instead, Distractive will own the duties typically associated with marketing leadership and lead by example. The structure will most closely resemble a school of fish, where decentralized teams work together closely to maintain alignment and “swim” in the same direction. Distractive’s role would be to help lead the decentralized marketing collective, provide guidance to all marketing teams around messaging and positioning, and work collaboratively to ensure consistency (to the degree that any decentralized ecosystem can truly be consistent).

In this role, Distractive duties will include the creation of a marketing strategy, dissemination of messaging and branding guidelines, providing feedback to contributing teams and ideating on new campaigns/promotions, and reporting against key metrics. The team will act as a coordination layer across all teams.

Role Two: Core Marketing Contributors

Distractive will offer a broad range of integrated marketing services spanning communications, operations, and branding/positioning.

By having Distractive as a major marketing contributor, Polkadot marketing will be able to operate in a much more agile manner. The approach will be to have light and lean teams across a number of disciplines to compensate for when other ecosystem teams have heavy resources in one specialty and no coverage in another. This ensures there is always some minimum baseline of support. Additional resources can be added as needed with changing demands.

Services We’ll Deliver

  • Marketing Strategy
  • Team Coordination and Collaboration
  • Digital Marketing & Marketing Operations
  • Events Strategy & Coordination
  • Integrated Marketing Communications
  • Ecosystem Marketing
  • Content Strategy & Development
  • Branding & Design Strategy

Initial Focus & Projects

  • Brand & Positioning Evaluation: Where do we stand after the forpeople brand project and what can we carry forward into 2024?
  • Positioning Overhaul: Work with the W3F, parachain teams, and other stakeholders to find a position and message that better resonates with our target audiences.
  • 2024 Planning: Create a strawman for activities for the rest of the year including estimated spend for things like events and campaigns.
  • Brand Campaign: Launch Polkadot’s revised brand to the world, including several targeted campaigns to targeted audiences including thought leaders, VCs, and influencers.
  • Website Relaunch: Finally (finally!) let’s get a new website in-market for Polkadot that reflects its new competitive position and spruced-up brand. This will include a restructuring as needed to improve the SEO visibility of the website.

Final Thoughts

We are incredibly excited at the prospect of working on Polkadot in a more direct way and would love your feedback on this proposal. It’s a lot to review, and we know some of this is contradictory with the vision of other community leaders. We believe that decentralization needs to be a process and this would be a giant leap forward on the path to full decentralization.

Polkadot has tremendous opportunity and we feel Distractive can be one of the agents to help showcase the technology, ecosystem, and community to the best of its ability. Thanks for your attention and look forward to your feedback and comments.

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Great initiative, very glad someone is stepping up to provide leadership that we all need so much in this moment. Decentralization won’t work unless highly respected people step up and take the torch. Will be in touch to discuss how we can contribute to your efforts.

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Strong Yes in Support

I personally worked with Katie, Nate, and the Moonbeam team from the moment they joined the ecosystem by becoming Ambassadors, which they did to get to know how the community worked, meet the team behind Polkadot, and dig in to where the immediate needs were. This was in 2019, and is a good indicator of how this team approaches their work.

Since then, the Moonbeam team went on to build the most successful parachain in the Polkadot ecosystem, in large part due to building the best marketing and BD operation in the ecosystem, of course including Parity. Their positioning was “Ethereum on Polkadot”, “quickly and easily scale your Ethereum app to Polkadot”, a simple and easy-to-sell marketing message, and they led the way. Compare this to “The blockspace ecosystem for boundless innovation” smh.

What Parity (which has always been a group of yes-men simply following one founder’s orders) has never understood, is that it’s not all about tech. The tech is actually secondary. Look around at the industry (Ethereum, Arbitrum, OP, Solana) - the tech has to be sufficient, but there’s a lot more to the equation that deserves heavy investment of time and resources. Solana is crushing it now because it’s “Ethereum but faster and cheaper”. Great engineers need great marketers and business development people in order to complete the sales cycle: position/market the product, generate leads, close the leads, then begin technical integration support. In order to close these sales, the technology has to actually solve a problem: reduce cost, increase users, increase liquidity, etc. Team do not choose to build with technology simply because it’s new and cool technology - quite the opposite. Top teams look for social proof (eye-catching logos) and use cases that display the use of a certain tech stack leading to actual business outcomes.

I couldn’t think of a better team to lead marketing for Polkadot starting as soon as possible. There is literally no other team on earth with the depth of Polkadot community, marketing, and BD knowledge that the Distractive team has. Honestly, Katie and Nate should’ve been running marketing and BD for Polkadot for the last 4 years, but instead technical ‘leadership’ at Parity hired THREE non-crypto native CMOs in a row that led to a compounding disaster leading to today where Polkadot is irrelevant in any top dev team’s chain selection process, a disappointment in almost all VC and retail’s eyes, and on its way to enter another market cycle completely unprepared yet again.

Just reading through Katie’s proposal gives a lot of hope and excitement. She’s already talking about setting a North Star and goals (Parity marketing rarely set/tracked goals and employees never really knew what they were supposed to be doing), she’s offering to come in and help clean up positioning and brand guidelines and set direction for a decentralized ecosystem to follow, she knows how to build and scale a marketing team in crypto, she’s offering to finally rebuild the Polkadot website (the #1 real estate and store front of Polkadot in the world) instead of just talking about it, and much more.

All in all, it’s a huge relief to see the Distractive team willing to spend their hard working hours away from their families and friends dedicated a complete evolution of the public perception of Polkadot. This is an absolute no-brainer in my mind and I am sure results would be felt almost immediately once Polkadot’s first-ever real, qualified marketing team is funded and sprinting towards its goals. I am sure they will achive the goal of getting Polkadot back in the category of Ethereum, L2s, Solana, Cosmos, and Avalanche. I fully support Distractive’s Vision for Polkadot and am happy to chat on Telegram if anyone has any questions about their qualifications or prior work. Let’s go!

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I have worked with Nate and Distractive extensively in my capacity on the growth team at Parity. They have done a great job with Moonbeam and building out its ecosystem and I think they have the skills to help Polkadot’s wider ecosystem.

The content of their proposal shows that they understand the Polkadot ecosystem and community and its pain points. It also shows that they are crypto native marketers. Part of why Parity is decentralizing is presumably because the top-down and more “professional” or corporate approach for marketing and growth did not achieve satisfactory results. Distractive is a good candidate to bridge the gap between a corporate approach and full on decentralization.

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@distractivekatie This is really cool. Distractive’s Polkadot-native experience is critical and there is little doubt superior to some random PR agency who know nothing about Polkadot. I find the EVM-centric / Hybrid Chain approach that you know so well from Moonbeam particularly compelling for why Distractive should lead the way, but here are some questions:

  1. Can you imagine a few other teams also doing the same type of work as Distractive or do you think Distractive should be the LEADER of these teams? A lot of us will want to see you succeed especially due to your professionalism and experience, but would like to see some basic degree of competition.

  2. Moonbeam (or Astar or …) did not beat Optimism+Arbitrum+ in 2022-2023 (or did they ;)?) . What do you think Moonbeam (or Astar or …) marketing did wrong or could have done a lot better? How does it inform your judgement about what Distractive can do in leading Polkadot marketing in the future?

  3. If in the future, we depend on 1 or a few teams to lead the decentralized/centralized marketing alongside a mass army of { direct spending proposals, bounties, collectives }, how can we reduce risks in depending on just the 1 or the few, if the 1 or the few “do it wrong”?

  4. I believe a OpenGov parent bounty funding a few Polkadot competing teams like Distractive is a good default choice. Do you agree with this, and if so, can you take the lead on drafting this bounty? If not, why not and what would be your alternative OpenGov route?

These questions are quite broad, it seems the approach for DF is to have us develop draft answers here and then put into a DF proposal then OpenGov proposal later. Excited to see Distractive succeed and shape the future!

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Yoon (@eumenes) and I look forward to supporting this proposal from Distractive and plan to work closely with Katie, Nate, and their team as we form an open coalition to deliver on Polkadot’s promise.

We’ve posted a brief on the coalition formation process to date here, please check it out!

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We have also posted specifics for Transistor’s bootstrap funding proposal to the Web3 Foundation’s “Decentralized Futures” program here:

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Yes in Support!!

Glad that Distractive has taken a lead to drive the mission of decentralised marketing along with with community. The ecosystem very much needs a structured approach to fully implement ‘decentralised futures’ and it will take time.

The initial focus and projects identified seem to be the right ones. Happy to support the planning and implementation!

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Strong yes here!

Distractive’s proposal to provide marketing services for Polkadot is highly promising. Their experience with the Moonbeam team and their deep understanding of the Polkadot ecosystem make them an ideal choice for this responsibility.

Their focus on reigniting excitement around the Polkadot brand, improving its positioning, and enhancing the developer community’s perception will undoubtedly contribute to the ecosystem’s growth.

With their expertise and knowledge, I believe Distractive is well-equipped to lead the marketing efforts for Polkadot.

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YES

Great to learn that Distractive is stepping up! Like many in this thread, I also had the pleasure to have worked with Nate and Katie. In the last couple of years, they have obviously demonstrated their dedication to the ecosystem and capabilities to succeed. Can’t wait to see this goes into effect.

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I have no idea how marketing works, but the proposal looks good to me. Also the idea of having multiple independent teams that are working together sounds good to me!

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This is a fantastic idea that I fully support. We need a cohesive approach but sticking to the decentralised core values. Polkadot itself needs to be promoted but the best way of doing that is by celebrating the successes of the teams that are building using the amazing SDK. We obviously need several narratives depending on the core value proposition of the team being promoted but it should all form part of a bigger picture (the vision) of Polkadot.

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@distractivekatie have you thought about how to structure your approach using the combination of Collectives/bounties/proposals as described by @pmauric in this post?

I worry about the Collectives idea as currently outlined. It’s just hard for me to see a world where the Collectives aren’t just putting Polkadot marketing into “maintenance mode” and inviting chaos.

99% of what I’m trying to achieve by volunteering as the “beacon” for marketing is to:

  1. Avoid the bystander effect where everyone is waiting for everyone else to initiate change/lead the charge
  2. Acknowledge that it’s a SHIT TON of work to create guidelines, give feedback, and work through project timelines with all of these teams. We’re volunteering to take that on.

But, regardless of the way the collectives/coalitions/DAO/guilds/contributing teams/insert-noun-of-choice are organized, we’ll try to find a way to work with them. If the community really thinks that the right way to organize everything is into specialized, vertical teams… I mean, I disagree as a marketer who’s been doing this for a long time, but I’ll try to find a way to make Polkadot successful in that world. We’ll do our best to work with all the teams to collaborate and swim in the same direction :slight_smile:

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Hey Chase! Thank you for chiming in so quickly. A lot of these are really good questions but I’m going to try to batch them since many of them are along the same themes.

I don’t get what you mean. This is my+Nate’s vision for Polkadot. It isn’t coming from the Moonbeam team or really meant to benefit Moonbeam other than the “rising tide lifts all boats” thing. We, like many builders, have very acutely felt the struggle of the anti-Polkadot sentiment from the entire crypto ecosystem and we really want to help fix it.

The point we’re trying to make here is that, unless someone volunteers to help point the marketing collaborative (referring to many teams here) in the “right” direction, it’ll probably end up being a jumbled amalgamation of individuals who all want to contribute but don’t necessarily see the bigger picture. I don’t see a world where that brings us a concise, compelling message and marketing.

My understanding of the centralization ethos is:

  1. No one party is in control, particularly of both building and growing the protocol (:white_check_mark: since everyone is no longer under Parity), and
  2. The contributions themselves are not all coming from one team (I can’t see a world where this is a risk TBH since we’re already seeing multiple proposals across BD, marketing, community, etc).

I caution against conflating “no one in control” with “no one has any vision for where we want to steer this thing.” I am hoping, in the role that we laid out here, that Distractive will be a key part of suggesting a direction for Polkadot and helping to work with other marketing contributors to get us there.

We started Distractive earlier this year as the Moonbeam contributing teams decentralized. I’ll be honest, it was a ton of work. We kicked off the process this time last year and launched Distractive about six months later, in May 2023. We’ve been operating with Moonbeam as our exclusive client to ensure everything was up to our standards before looking at other clients.

The time is right and we have the ability to take on new clients. This opportunity with Polkadot is an ideal fit, both in terms of timing and in terms of subject matter. We’re well positioned to chip in here.

Moonbeam is still a client, yes. We’re not still “at” Moonbeam in the sense that Moonbeam isn’t a company and never was. We’ll continue actively contributing to Moonbeam. That said, we’ve also been cycling in new marketing resources throughout the year so me+my team have bandwidth. This project will be my core focus.

This is going to require constant communication, coordination and LOTS of project management. We already run these kinds of initiatives across multiple teams in our capacity as ecosystem marketers, but this is going to be a much bigger challenge.

I don’t think there is any one party “deciding” this, which is kind of the point. My understanding is that the funding from the Web3 Foundation will be doled out by them, through a process much like any other grant. But contributing teams can also submit for Treasury funding. And I’m sure many other contributors will come through channels like the ambassador program or simply organic community participation. We’re not volunteering to choose them, just to help organize the chaos.

Was trying to avoid a 10,000 word manifesto :slightly_smiling_face:. Some of this is going to have to wait until after the contributing teams are spun up/ready to go, since it’ll be collaborative. But the first, biggest undertakings for the first 3 months are going to be:

  1. Fix the message. STAT.
  2. Create an immediate action plan and ship some of the work that’s already been done (brand, website) with the new message. We need to cut it out with the 12mo-long projects.
  3. Start with something specific and impactful: create a targeted campaign to fix the bearish sentiment, starting with some of the most influential stakeholders (in my opinion, VCs who refuse to fund Polkadot projects).

Re: shifting to more democratic working groups… this is going to be organic. We can’t give you timelines. In my view, Distractive is going to provide a baseline of services and vision to keep things moving. But teams can and should continue to come up with their own ways to contribute and use the funding mechanisms that are already made available for Polkadot.

Again, a lot of this stuff is communication/organization 101 and isn’t going to be revolutionary. I plan to:

  1. Organize regular Town Halls to discuss SOLUTIONS (not just complain) for some of the issues we’re facing, particularly builders and ecosystem project teams. This will be a regular and ongoing communication channel.
  2. Host global marketing calls to sync and collaborate with the other marketing teams, where we are each sharing what we’re working on but also learning about the changes/evolution happening in each region.
  3. Post frequently here, on this forum, to test new messages and get ideas on some of the things we’re trying to achieve.

We already do all of these things, all the time! The goal is to have an execution layer (via Distractive) that can ensure some baseline of service while also leaving room for other teams to come in and contribute, particularly on specific projects. The hope is that we don’t ‘stop’ marketing between projects and as resources cycle in and out.

I’ve read a bunch of the posts discussing marketing on here and frankly, they make me grow in my convictions even more. I’m not sure which one you mean by “AMI Collective,” though, so I might not have read that. Do you mean Raul’s post? This one, and other ones I’ve read, all seem to focus on the administrative and organizational aspects of decentralization, which seem to involve a lot of logistics and overhead. I’m less worried about being in a “collective” and more worried about “what the hell are we trying to do and how can we fix this?” I don’t see a world where appointing a bunch of task masters, regardless of mechanisms, will fix the vision and missing gaps for Polkadot. But please send me whichever link to which you’re referring and I’ll make sure I read it!

We have been working with a bunch of other teams that will be putting in marketing proposals btw. Peter Mauric teased some of this with his post on his own BD collective. The Blokhaus team in particular would be a valuable contributor to the marketing efforts we’d like to undertake. I anticipate this funding from the Web3 Foundation will bring impactful new contributors into the fold.

I’m not sure that I agree on this one. Decentralization isn’t about being aimless. It also (I really, really hope) isn’t about making decisions by committee for every conceivable thing. We’d be paralyzed with bureaucracy if that was the case.
Distractive is proposing that we work with all the teams, define where we want to go (as a collective), and then vocally and consistently help shepard teams in that direction.

In my opinion, these community leaders will be self-selected. Who shows up to town halls? Who chimes in regularly with feedback in messaging groups? Who contributes and asks questions and suggests ideas?

Yes, totally agree here. And yes, agencies are more expensive! The most cost-effective model would certainly be a single in-house team.

My plan is to start working through all of these details in December with my team, the community, existing contributors who plan to stick around (and maybe even those who don’t). In particular, the audience focus and alignment is where I want to start. How are we talking about Polkadot to each of these groups, and what is the overarching message that’ll be consistent throughout?

It’ll be a lot of work to execute on everything I’ve laid out here, but we’re stepping up and we’re eager to take it on.

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Hello Katie,

While it was a pleasure working with you, regrettably, I find myself in disagreement with several aspects. Allow me to elaborate on my concerns, particularly regarding the Moonbeam marketing efforts.

Insufficient Marketing for Moonbeam:
The marketing strategy employed for Moonbeam appears to be inadequately executed.
Given its status as a prominent L1 EVM on Polkadot with a narrative focused on alleviating Ethereum gas fees, the marketing efforts should have been more robust to tap into this natural audience.

Untapped Native Community Potential:
Moonbeam has the advantage of a native community that, unfortunately, has not received the support needed to evolve to the next stage. This lack of assistance has hindered the community’s growth.

Funding of over 100+ and mostly Dead Projects:
Moonbeam’s massive allocation of funds to projects such as Stella and Moonwell, which appear to lack any active or substantial community, raises concerns about the effectiveness of the funding strategy. Community support is integral to a project’s success, and the current situation raises doubts.

Concerns about Project Traction and Value:
My overarching concern lies in the perceived lack of potential traction and value in the proposal and team. While acknowledging your connections may secure funding, the worry is that such resources may not be utilized optimally.

Team Composition and Historical Associations:
Learning that Moonbeam’s team includes individuals from the ex-Algorand team adds to my concerns, given the well-known challenges faced by Algorand. Additionally, a brief check of your LinkedIn profile, if you don’t mind, reveals a pattern of job changes with an average tenure of 1-2 years, which may raise questions about stability and commitment.

I hope you understand that these concerns stem from a genuine desire for the Polkadot success. I encourage a thorough review of the mentioned points and wish you all the best.

Best regards.
LG

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I very much agree with you that right now it is most important to have agile leadership which I believe you guys are very well qualified to do so. But that is the short term. In order to guarantee long term, I believe its necessary to have decentralized structures with focus on marketing/content creation/social media where different agents with sufficient knowledge and/or interest can come together and co-work more efficiently then through OpenGov which is very general.

That is where the marketing collective comes in. Such collective doesn´t need much hard power over execution of marketing that should be on a team such as Distractive. Its goal should be to provide long term vision, quality evidence-based information for holders to make informed decisions on proposals, oversee a bounty and form a pool of reputable members of the community who are interested in participating on marketing and similar activities.

So to sum it up, as you say right now it is key to have a team focused on execution rather then form complex structures. But as you yourself have mentioned in your post long term it can be only beneficial to have centralized executive teams be part of larger decentralized body focused on fostering collaboration between teams. We don´t need to rush that though and can build it over time from leaders who crystalize over team. Cause the most important aspect will be to define who should be able to join such collective and how.

Thank you very much for your efforts!

100% right, and thank you for that. Leadership and initiative is what we as an ecosystem need most now.

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Following up on a couple of the most recent comments!

@LordGLMR

Thanks for the feedback. I don’t see much here that’s relevant to what we’re proposing for Polkadot but I’ll try to grab the ones that might make the most sense for this community.

I understand that there are frustrations in any ecosystem; Moonbeam is certainly not immune. Moonbeam messaging was always centered around an optimal developer experience, which has continued to evolve over time to meet the ever-changing market. There are, of course, more promotional activities (I think that’s what you mean by “marketing efforts” in this context) planned very shortly once the current website and brand revamp has concluded, so stay tuned on some exciting updates there!

I am guessing you’re referring to the grants program here which is outside the scope of marketing. As currently proposed, Distractive will not include this in our scope of services and we’d expect a team/agent to look to lead those efforts. We look forward to seeing other proposals as they come in!

I am not sure I’m understanding what you’re trying to communicate here. I think you’re just expressing concerns that we’re not the right team for the job. I feel confident that we are.

That said, we are happy & open to working with other teams as they submit proposals. Even if folks don’t want to be involved with Distractive, we can give you our perspective/process on getting set up as an entity and help new community leaders put in their own proposals as they emerge. It doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing on the Distractive team.

We believe strongly that the path to decentralization should be done gradually and that Distractive is well-positioned to support this transition while giving the ecosystem a beacon to help ensure collaboration and cohesion on messaging, ecosystem, and positioning to the broader crypto audience. That said, happy to get more ideas as to how this would be ideally structured in your opinion.

No one on the Distractive team ever worked at Algorand. The team at PureStake (where Nate and I met) did have a variety of node infrastructure offerings in the Algorand ecosystem but we didn’t work at Algorand.

Prior to Nate and my 4.5 years at Moonbeam, we were both “start-up people” mainly focused on early-stage products. In start-up land it’s very typical to have a 2-3 year window as products either find market fit (and funding) or don’t.

If anyone is curious, here’s my LinkedIn profile. I’ve spent an average of 2.5 years in each of my full-time roles:

  • 4.5 years leading marketing for Moonbeam (at PureStake and now a contributor as Distractive)
  • 1.5 years leading marketing for an IT backup and recovery provider Trilio
  • 1 year working on a turnaround strategy at Monster.com
  • 3 years at Codiscope/Cigital first as product marketing, then leading marketing after we spun out as Codiscope
  • 2.5 years at GenArts working on their professional VFX software and then their downmarket spinout, Vivoom

Happy to provide more details on my 15ish years in tech marketing for anyone who wants details.

@Frodol-Bohemian

Hello again Daniel :slight_smile: Sincerely appreciate this feedback! Some very good questions & critiques here.

I am less worried about the “power” aspect of things. I see a lot of time spent discussing “who is going to approve everything” and less conversation around “how are we going to source great ideas for what we’re going to do.”

I think the collective could be effective if they focus their energy on publishing and approving guidelines for the marketing teams to follow. So instead of approving individual items on a day-to-day basis, to approve larger campaigns and provide clear guidelines for things like 1) what can be posted to social media and how often or 2) which audiences we should focus our marketing campaigns on. IMO that would give the collectives some authority and line-of-sight into where time is spent without adding a lot of time-consuming reporting layers.

To be clear, I don’t believe I talked about a centralized team. Distractive’s proposal is solely to 1) be the beacon to keep the teams all moving in the same direction and 2) provide some base layer of marketing services.

We fully expect and anticipate working with lots of teams across events, community, advertising/promotion, branding, and more. And, might I add, none of us are working for Parity. This IS meant to be a decentralized consortium made up of many different teams!

I love your use of the word “crystalize” here (can I steal that?). That exactly captures it. There are many great contributors in the Polkadot ecosystem today. My hope is that Distractive can provide some structure, vision, and executional power that pushes the ecosystem forward while others gain the administrative help, marketing experience, or maybe even just the courage to step forward and contribute to Polkadot in a substantive way.

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Thank you @distractivekatie for putting this together. I definitely support the initiative. Here are some of my thoughts/comments

Yes! We need more dApps in the ecosystem that can attract millions of users. We need to attract more dApp builders, which are very different than parachain builders.

To achieve this, I think one strategy involves showing developers how they can build powerful dApps on Polkadot. The more developers we have building dApps, the more users they will attract ( in theory).

All great points! Especially the one about the website relaunch ( finally!).

This is a very good approach because it avoids chaotic situations where no one knows what to do. Decentralization doesn’t mean directionless or leaderless.

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