Let me preface this; this is not intended to be an attack or destructive criticism. This is meant to be constructive so lessons can be learned, and adjustments made.
As many of you know, I was one of the initial Validator DAO governors. At the time I didn’t fully realize what a DAO was, what working on a DAO entailed, what a DAO structure looked like, and finally what was expected of a DAO governor.
What we didn’t know.
We were eager to assist and make a positive impact but had no idea how to define let alone implement how a DAO should operate. We started building immediately. There was no tooling or premade accounts, so we established cloud drives and social media accounts and trackers for what we thought was critical information. We received many of what I call Taskers and Askers from the Validator community and even the core team, but we were missing ingredients to implement them. The first critical ingredient was expectations. Without knowing what the DAO was expected to accomplish, we flew blind many times into a brick wall. After a couple months, we were provided mandates. This gave us at least a direction. The next major obstacle was understanding who was currently responsible for different types of services. Probably the most pronounced obstacle was just information flow.
Fair Launch DAO’s and ownership of value provided.
The next piece of this covers fair launches of a DAO. A DAO in my opinion should come together organically with a group of people who are passionate about a specific area and are willing to contribute time and work voluntarily. For this reason, core level DAO’s such as VDAO, CDAO, and DEV DAO will struggle with participation because they did not stand up organically. There must be overt support for the DAO so non governors will participate initially while the framework is being built. For the passion to remain until participation is achieved, there can’t be a value differential between what is provided by the DAO members vs what is received. This is where having a controlling interest comes into play so the DAO can provide the output value to match the input value. Can a DAO be a DAO if it depends on the generosity and approval of a foundation and has no controlling interest??
During my time with the VDAO we were never funded, and it never improved our individual validator positions either. If anything, it became a detriment to growth. We voluntarily sacrificed our own financial positions to support the mandates on a couple key levels and this was never matched in output value. This came in the form of self-funding tooling, personally sacrificing rewards to jump start validators traction, and other incidentals such as marketing tools etc.
Proposed way forward.
My proposed solution is for core level DAO’s to have a dedicated liaison or possibly a Harmony member run for the DAO. This should not be one liaison for all the DAO’s, as we have seen that does not lead to responsive and proactive work, but instead reactive work. This liaison should be aligned in area of expertise. I.e., Dan or Jack for VDAO, Giv or Leo for Dev DAO etc. I propose this should not be a fulltime tasking, but an additional duty to provide critical and timely answers and feedback for DAO initiatives. That is until the Harmony foundation fully divests control of the project and joins the DAO’s as full participation members. Communication with the DAO’s is critical. The DAO’s can work on many things fully autonomously, but without knowing what is or isn’t possible the DAO’s are handicapped.
I invite all of the initial DAO Governors from the Harmony Core DAO’s to provide feedback in a constructive manner so Harmony can move forward in a decentralized manner successfully.
I think on chain tooling will alleviate some of the difficulties in the future as the tooling is implemented.
If anyone has any questions of me, please feel free to reach out.