Uniswap Discord Server Support Situation
As many of you know, the Uniswap Discord server receives a lot of questions from end-users. Prior to the UNI launch, the developers answered these questions but it was a huge drain on expensive developer resources, and there tended to be a large delay between a user asking for support and the user getting an answer due to time zones or the development team just trying to get work done.
Since the UNI launch, the Uniswap Discord server has become overrun with support inquiries and the Uniswap development team has almost entirely stopped answering questions, likely because they are overwhelmed with them. A number of community members have taken up the call and answer questions when they can, but their response time is still unreliable and their availability is limited.
Surprise: most of the questions in Uniswap Discord server over the last month have been answered by my team, disguised as helpful community members!
A few weeks prior the UNI launch I coincidentally started training a team of support representatives to address the general problem of Ethereum dapps needing 24/7 support by people who understand at least the basics of Ethereum. Across all dapps, the most common questions are the same such as “why is my transaction pending?”, “why did I pay ETH for a failed transaction?” and “what is a gas price?”. My goal with this business is to provide answers to that class of question, and triage/troubleshooting for more application specific types of questions. We also want to ensure that dapp users receive a prompt response from a human, even if their final answer may be delayed.
Prior to the UNI launch, I had been using the Uniswap Discord server for training as the volume of questions in there was good for training and the class of questions was particularly representative of generic Ethereum questions. Around the time the UNI launch happened the first of my trainees were to the point where they could start answering some basic questions so I threw them to the wolves and had them help out with the UNI launch craziness and we started training the next batch. Since then, I have grown the team to 5 people, who are now scheduled across all days of the week and all hours of the day (with some breaks for lunch scattered about).
My original plan was to complete training and then propose that the Uniswap dev team hire my team. However, with the surprise launch of UNI, I thought that perhaps the new UNI community fund would be a better source of funding for this sort of endeavor as it seems to naturally align with community building and decentralized financing.
My tentative pricing plan was going to be 500 USD (paid in crypto) per month, plus 3 USD per customer helped, plus 0.04 USD per message read. The reason for these is as follows:
- The 500 USD minimum ensures that the team can dedicate enough time learning the basics of the product being supported and maintaining that knowledge as long as the client continues to pay.
- The 3 USD per question is pretty industry standard for highly technical support services (which Ethereum support qualifies as). Also, it ensures that we’ll be able to fully cover costs in the event that there are more questions then we have staff for and gives us some room for growth (to hire more people to answer questions).
- The 0.04 USD per message read ensures that we can cover costs and grow in the event that a chat server we are supporting receives a massive volume of chatter that the support representatives have to sift through (finding questions in a high volume server can be time consuming).
The problem with this pricing scheme is that it will result in a monthly bill that varies greatly per month, and so the client hiring our business for support services would review an invoice each month, pay what is due, and then we would start tracking the following month. With Uniswap governance, it would be quite unreasonable to submit a new governance proposal every month with the previous month’s bill!
On top of that, UNI governance doesn’t actually have any assets besides UNI, which is a highly volatile cryptocurrency with an uncertain future. Finally, authoring Governance proposals is challenging and expensive in its own right, and anything that involves price oracles suddenly becomes much more complicated.
For this reason, I propose having the pricing plan for Uniswap be a bit different. Instead of charging monthly per message/question and denominating in USD, I propose that instead UNI governance sets up a drip of UNI as payment via something like Sablier, which governance could cancel if necessary.
For the reasons outlined above, and in order to mitigate risks for my business (UNI price risk and over-utilization risk) I would like to propose a Sablier UNI stream of 35,000 UNI over 365 days.
For this fee, Serveth Support (https://serv.eth or https://serveth.support, website not live yet) would provide 24/7 coverage of all channels in the Uniswap Discord server except the foreign language channels and the development channels. We would provide answers to basic questions and triage and escalation services for more advanced questions. We would be available for almost all hours of the year, with exceptions for lunch breaks throughout the day and occasional unexpected service outages (e.g., power outages, death/dismemberment of a team member, etc.)
If there is sufficient interest in this proposal, I can draft the actual Solidity contract for it. I do not have the 10M UNI necessary to launch such a proposal though, and will wait until I hear whether there is general support before dedicating time to writing the code (writing the contract code alone probably costs a substantial portion of the proposed amount!)