# W3S Organisation ## Authors - [Irakli Gozalishvili](https://github.com/gozala) - [Oli Evans](https://github.com/olizilla) - [Benjamin Goering](https://github.com/gobengo) - [Travis Vachon](https://github.com/travis) - [Alan Shaw](https://github.com/alanshaw) - [Vasco Santos](https://github.com/vasco-santos) ## Abstract > Organizations which design systems (in the broad sense used here) are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations. > > — Melvin E. Conway dag.house + saturn have proposed to jointly endeavor toward decentralizing all aspects of the content addressed storage and retrieval pipeline currently called "w3up". Doing that in classical top down organizational structure, as opposed to a flatter structure that better reflects and (at the very least) leans towards the decentralized character of the system being built. This seems counterintuitive to people building it. ## Executive Summary Here is the high level breakdown of the desired outcome followed with more details and rationale per item 1. Commit to a [cooperative organizational structure](#Cooperative-decision-making) and practice it in all our decision-making, both development and business, before nucleation. 1. Operate the [venture as a cooperatively structured organization](#Cooperative-Venture) as opposed to a typical top down corporate structure. 1. We [share responsibilities and receive equal pay for equal work](#Shared-responsibilities-and-equal-pay-for-equal-work). ## Out of Scope * Fundraising and financial modeling are out of the scope of this document, but we acknowledge that organizational structure is intricately related to organizational funding and needs to be addressed. * Aligning with all constraints imposed by outside factors are out of the scope of this document, we want to do this collaboratively together. * We recognize that equal pay has certain trade-offs and that value of work is non-trivial to quantify, yet we leave it out of scope and would like to build a consensus collaboratively together. ## Introduction The dag.house team shipped nft.storage and web3.storage as a cooperatively organized group of contributors that collectively charted work streams and assignments. > The team organized as a [co-op] without a legal status _(ie, organized in many ways around the [Cooperative Principles])_ or a private [DAO] without a smart contract. It felt empowering, helped team morale, and lead to good technical outcomes. Members felt a large degree of ownership and responsibility to deliver on goals that were collectively elected. Everyone had an opportunity to participate in every single decision, but level of built trust enabled members to load balance coordination by reducing need for active participation. Below is a non exhaustive list of tools and practices dag.house used to enable effective decision making: - **[Request For Comment (RFC)][RFC]** was used for ideation in public allowing async coordination and refinement. - **[W3Up Specification]** was used for driving consensus on the protocol design. - **Planning sessions** occurred in collaborative documents. Through the process the document was refined and concluded with a consensus around action items, their owners and contributors. - **Weekly Demos** produced checkpoints to get feedback, built consensus, socialized knowledge and upcoming decision points. - Iterative development practices and automated integration and deployment processes ## Proposal ### Cooperative decision making Decision making process described in the [introduction] proved very effective in dag.house. Everyone was invested and motivated which led to better outcomes. The merged w3sat team, operating under Protocol Labs, should adopt the same organizational practices in preparation for the nucleation as _it is critical to build trust and shared vision_ among members that will choose to venture together. This should apply to collaborators in all of the roles. Decisions affect all of us and we all deserve an opportunity to have an impact. ### Cooperative Venture This proposal makes explicit the principals on which dag.house has operated so that a new venture may agree to prioritize and actualize and thus be an <!-- opportunity as attractive as dag.house has been. Explicit agreements here may even make the opportunity more attractive to members who are ideologically aligned to this working style. --> attractive opportunity to the members who are ideologically aligned to them. Implicit company culture shifts as people come and go, but explicit structure via operating agreements can last longer and attract the sort of people who share those values and want to work within agreements to uphold them even at a nominal cost. We would like to venture as an entity organized around [Cooperative Principles] e.g explore options like legal [co-op], [DisCo], [DAO] or another synthesis of the principals that represent ideological standing of the people venturing. There are inspiring success stories like [Igalia] on traditional co-op side of the spectrum and [radicle] in more crypto web3 end, from which we can learn and draw inspiration. Ultimately, we are starting this new venture together and it is fair to treat each other as a members cooperating and organizing around a shared vision as opposed to adopting a traditional top down corporate structure. ### Shared responsibilities and equal pay for equal work If the same person is always in the same role, there is less chance to benefit from different styles and experiences. There is also no chance for anyone else on the team to gain experience in the relevant skills, even though the longer the team is together, the more important [team learning](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_organization) and skill development is. [Collaborative leadership](https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frma.2023.1211407/full) brings more opportunities for team member growth, opportunities for diverse and innovative team strategies, and makes the team less dependent on any one person. It has been demonstrated that paying everyone the same wage is simple, yet effective [pay-gap solution]. It is not perfect, no system is, but it is simple and overall offers better trade-offs in comparison to traditional approaches. ## Next steps 1. Come to agreement with the entire team that _this_ is how we'd like to operate, or negotiate a subset that is amicable to all parties. 1. Inscribe to the roadmap and item for drafting a document with specifics, a manifesto for our new entity, taking elements from prior art and newly imagined organization principles. 1. Send a PR to a repo with the new document, openly commiting to our organizational future. Merge after approval from all team members. The merged state of the document is the agreed mode of operation for the entity. ## Appendix > There is no debate that the scientific goal sits at the center of the collaborative effort. However, supporting features need to be in place to avoid the derailment of the team. Among the most important of these is trust: without trust the team dynamic runs the risk of deteriorating over time. Other critical factors of which both leaders and participants need to be aware include developing a shared vision, strategically identifying team members and purposefully building the team, promoting disagreement while containing conflict, and setting clear expectations for sharing credit and authorship. [Collaboration and Team Science: From Theory to Practice](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3652225/) > Our study charge calls for consideration of how different management approaches and leadership styles influence the effectiveness of team science. The distinction between management and leadership has been defined in the research literature in multiple ways. For example, Kotter (2001, p. 85) proposed that leadership and management are “two distinctive and complementary systems of action.” Kotter (2001) proposed that the main functions of leadership are to set direction, to align people, and to motivate and inspire them, while the main functions of management are to develop concrete plans for carrying out work, to allocate resources appropriately, to create an organizational structure and staffing plan, and to monitor results and to develop problem-solving strategies when needed. However, Drath et al. (2008, p. 647) pointed out that these functions are not necessarily mutually exclusive: “alignment is often achieved through structure and many of the aspects of shared work usually categorized as management, such as planning, budgeting, supervisory controls, performance management, and reward systems.” Recognizing that it is difficult, if not impossible, to draw a strict line between leadership and management, we have not attempted to completely disentangle the two functions. [Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK310381/) > Shared leadership is lauded to be a performance-enhancing approach with applications in many management domains. It is conceptualized as a dynamic team process as it evolves over time. However, it is surprising to find that there are no studies that have examined its temporally relevant boundary conditions for the effectiveness of the team. Contributing to an advanced understanding of the mechanism of shared leadership in engineering design teams, this research aims to investigate whether shared leadership is positively related to team effectiveness and when shared leadership is more likely to be effective. Using a field sample of 119 individuals in 26 engineering design teams from China and the technique of social network analysis, we found that, consistent with cognate studies, shared leadership is positively related to team effectiveness when measured in terms of team task performance and team viability. [Shared Leadership and Team Effectiveness: An Investigation of Whether and When in Engineering Design Teams](https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/psychology/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.569198/full) > 2.2. Pitfall #2: decisions are made without adequately inclusive sensemaking > > When this happens, I often hear the following comments from team members, “It seems to me the leaders have already made up their minds. I do not think there is any room for our input.” There are usually two consequences for this pitfall: (1) the decision is not optimal because important information is missing from lack of thorough sensemaking; (2) action taking falls apart or runs into strong resistance from lack of buy-in from team members for whom the decision doesn't make sense. [Collaborative leadership in team science: dynamics of sense making, decision making, and action taking](https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frma.2023.1211407/full) [Cooperative Principles]:https://uwcc.wisc.edu/about-co-ops/cooperative-principles/#:~:text=Cooperatives%20are%20also%20based%20on,responsibility%2C%20and%20caring%20for%20others. [DisCo]:https://www.disco.coop/ [radicle]:https://radicle.blog/introducing-rad.html [pay-gap solution]:https://wingolog.org/archives/2016/03/24/a-simple-local-solution-to-the-pay-gap [Igalia]:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=du7fC8VCbXg [DAO]:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decentralized_autonomous_organization [co-op]:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperative [dao]:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decentralized_autonomous_organization [RFC]:https://github.com/web3-storage/rfc/ [W3Up specification]:https://github.com/web3-storage/specs [introduction]:#introduction