Feedback to Harmony From the Initial DAO Governors

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.

Best Regards,


I agree with everything you’ve said here about bringing core team members into the DAOs.

I have thought that later-on would be better as it would give the community governors time to work out what they want from the core team, but I can also see how the opposite might be true, especially when it comes to the validator DAO; they could have benefited from more leadership and expertise of the Pops Team.

Regarding the issue of not delivering funds to the VDAO for governor payments, this must be addressed ASAP.
I have to assume that this has simply been the result of a huge oversight/mistake but in any case the amount of time it’s been makes me uncomfortable… because my experience with the DevDAO has been 100% the opposite.

Thank you very much for all you’ve done for our ecosystem during your time as governor and beyond.
I hope that you will consider running for a governor role again in the future :blue_heart:
VDAO CDAO or any DAO, because you are an invaluable voice of kindness, candor and reason. :muscle:


First of all JCR, Thank you for writing this, I agree that it’s great to learn from experiences and this could be used as vital feedback for things to be improved.

After being involved in the Initial council for the Community DAO, a current Governor for the Community and Creative DAO, I can definitely see something’s here that echo what I have seen.

I love what your wrote about the core team member acting as a liaison or running for and transitioning into the DAOs. The communication is vital, I feel like the DAOs can operate without it, however having that direct line of information could speed things up a lot. I have found myself many times not wanting to bother the core team members because I understand they’re extremely busy working hard to improve Harmony, and sometimes I can even feel guilty reaching out knowing each core team member has a list of 100 things they are working on, but I do draw the short straw sometimes so we can get on with work.

One thing I believe could help not just the DAOs, but Harmony itself is for communication to improve as its absolutely vital for organisations and businesses to compete and survive. I don’t think we can expect one person to be responsible for being the ‘go to’ for all DAOs, it’s simply not feasible or fair. This could be solved with a simple solution, either someone gets hired for internal communication, or an internal platform gets implemented for core DAO members, in which people can ask questions, and any core team members that have the answers can address the questions at hand. This would also prevent single core team members from being left in the firing line for decisions or answers they’re not solely responsible for.

Regarding funding and from my personal perspective, I hope the VDAO initial council problem gets sorted, I didn’t have the same problems, although during the initial council we waiting a long time to be funded, I feel overall on the Community DAO side of things, that things have been done in the right way, at the moment though, the Community DAO and the Creative DAO are waiting to be funded after the requests being put in, personally I have no concerns and believe this was just going to be done before the end of the month, I do believe though that the Core DAOs, should be funded with as much urgency as we see many funded requests going through on the funding proposal page on Talk.Harmony. To prevent Governors from growing concerned, a notification regarding when funding will take place would be settling and save any bad press. I feel like as DAOs, the funding should happen in a timely manor so the DAOs are not left without funds, given the amount that has been allocated to the DAOs it wouldn’t make sense for the governors to request all funding at once but feels strange to having to justify the funds each time given that we’re DAOs.

Overall I have felt honoured to be involved with the DAOs, and hope that small changes can be made to increase efficiency and clarity regarding certain matters. Given everything discussed we are still so early, and given everything that’s happened with Harmony and everything that’s been achieved, rolling out the DAO ecosystems besides this, was not an easy feat.

Onwards and upwards.


Regarding the issue of not delivering funds to the VDAO for governor payments, this must be addressed ASAP.

I would love to try helping everyone on this matter and will make a few suggestions to the group shortly. JCR and I had a very productive conversation and I’ll be sharing these suggestions in the Validator DAO chat. The suggestions involve ways to deliver the time sheet needed to approve funding, and to organize the data in a straight forward way that shouldn’t take too much time. Hope to see you there and please don’t hesitate to reach out in the meantime.


Spot on about a Harmony liaison or team member being involved.

I think moving forward we will see a healthy mix of community members as well as DAO-educated people that are qualified in its specific mandates and deliverables.

DAO’s need structure and discipline in its first term.

Bullish on Harmony DAO’s in 2022. And beyond.


I absolutely agree with this. An attached core team member to the core DAOs would be beneficial to all. In regards to the funding, this needs to be rectified soonest. Work was done and needs to be compensated so we can move past this with a reasonable expectation of compensation for all DAOs funded by Harmony.


Great write up JCR.

As a governor server along side Jimbo for the first VDAO term I saw many of the same challenges.

A lot of times the info we got would “jump the gun” and get spun around and started over but that’s part of the building process. We should have had all the requirements and tracking systems in place well before the first DAOs hit the ground running instead of settling on those in August/September.

We did roll with all of the changes along the way and came out with a charter that is used in parts across our blockchain.

The VDAO needs a broader spectrum of representation for sure - Some large points of view early in the processes would be very beneficial to deciding the direction of the project each quarter for the VDAO. A liaison with in depth knowledge of what may or may not be possible as far as changes to review any HIP proposals in a timely fashion would be super beneficial.

VDAO 1 finished up with great success getting the charter passed by the validator community and VDAO 2 seems well on the way as well. Best of luck to the new candidates for VDAO 3!


I m totally agree with your idea but the vision of harmony is to create 10 000 DAOs how they can do that hiring? What I can see more realistic, harmony can make on place a coaching team that can coach governors of DAOs, guide the Dao members by assisting time to time Dao meeting, providing guideline of how to run Dao … And I m talking about all Dao not only Vdao!