Luuk's CuraDAO learnings for the CuraDAO Report


Luuk’s personal reflection
CuraDAO pilot
Date: 17-1-2020

Creating meaning/narrative (why a DAO?)

During the CuraDAO pilot, it became clear that the community didn’t have one clear narrative of what CuraDAO is. This became even more clear during the CuraDAO Strategic Session where attendees shared their views and reason for participating in CuraDAO. It turns out that almost all attendees have a different reason for participating in the CuraDAO. Most people want to have an impact and contribute to society, others are curious about the social experiment and others like the way Reputation gamifies development.

Although I think it’s good to give individuals the freedom to shape their own version of the narrative it’s important to have a shared Polaris, and endpoint or direction we’re heading to.

Suggestion: Create a general and compelling narrative that can be easily shared and digested.

Introducing a new decentralized concept/ tool/ application to individuals

When using a tool, whether this is decentralized tech or not, it’s important to understand its functions within a wider context. With CuraDAO we introduced the tool in two different ways: as an alternative form of Governance and as part of the future of work. The initial distinctions have a profound impact on how an individual interacts with the CuraDAO.

It’s important to understand the ecosystem and the different types of actors involved. Matching the actors with a tool that they understand and know how to use is key. For example, someone who likes to debate and share his thoughts might be more drawn to the governance aspect, where an entrepreneur just wants to get resources to create.

Suggestion: Better understand and communicate what challenges the CuraDAO is able to solve and within what context. It’s a very complex tool that can be used in multiple ways, and it should be handled this way.
Suggestion: Increase our understanding of the different actors within the ecosystem and create dedicated user-journeys.

Effective impact & Goal metrics

What are the learnings when it comes to measuring the impact of the tool (DAO) and its activities?

Within the current pilot, the main objective was to test if DAOs can be used to make meaningful decisions and coordinate projects. In regards to this objective, I think we did pretty well, however, we didn’t have any real metrics to measure this besides the number of proposals and participation.

During the pilot the expectations started to shift more towards measuring the real-world impact of the projects that were endorsed by CuraDAO, however, we didn’t have any viable matrices as we didn’t define any specific domains we wanted to focus on.

Suggestion: Pre-define what areas we want to have a positive impact on and use already existing measures to measure it. For example the SDGs.

What are the learnings behind communication and shaping and maintaining a common goal?

The current common goal was often perceived as too broad, leading to confusion. The communication was often based on the generalized assumption that CuraDAO could and should be a solution for multiple problems (Governance, Transparency, Decision-Making, Crowdsourcing, Project Management and more). On top of that multiple narratives were propagating their own views of CuraDAO on to the community.

In terms of internal communication, we mostly communicated asynchronously via the CuraDAO Facebook Group, which turned out to have multiple problems:

  1. Not everybody uses Facebook and was able to stay in the loop

  2. All conversations happening in one place. Although this is good for transparency and connectedness it did often lead to an overflow of information.

  3. Not having the ability to focus on 1 certain topic, because it would hi-jack the attention of the people who don’t have anything to do with it

External communication seemed to work well with the monthly reports and posts about projects, events, and updates.

Suggestion: Acknowledge that DAOs and the other tools we’re using are still very new and untested, thus promoting experimentation and improvements.

Suggestion: Move away from a Facebook group to a platform that better facilitates collaboration and active discussions. Aim for more active discussions and facilitate room for project ideation, knowledge sharing, and chatting.

Organizational structure

What would your advice be when it comes to the organizational structure when using a DAO? Try to refer to the results of this pilot.

The current organizational structure seems to be that everything revolts around the CuraDAO alchemy app. In Alchemy the structure consists of Reputation distribution and Proposals, which if passed function as a non-enforceable agreement. However, in reality, there are multiple invisible structures that currently are not connected to the CuraDAO Alchemy DAPP. For example, the distinction between Facilitators and Participants seems to be very vague.

A good example of the shortcomings of our current organizational structure is the uncertainty around the Facilitation role and what it entails. Due to the inability to align the Facilitators were unable to decide if they should receive a reward for “facilitating”, which led to a period of almost 2 months with little facilitation.

Additionally, the claim that CuraDAO leads to better governance can be challenged by the fact that the decision rights are currently distributed according to an individual’s contribution. Although this is an interesting approach, it doesn’t ensure that the people who are best suited for a decision will ultimately be the ones deciding. In a perfect world, individuals would only vote on proposals related to outcomes that they have a clear understanding off, however, this is currently not the case.

Suggestion: Learn from traditional organizations and aim to create an organizational structure that is flexible and inclusive while being geared towards development. Have a clear description of roles, rewards, and processes to avoid confusion.

Suggestion: Co-create clear OKRs and stick to them. However, there should be room to improve/adapt to OKRs.

Suggestion: Value all contributions. Acknowledge that innovation, PR, care-work and facilitation are a crucial part of CuraDAO and should be rewarded. Potentially create a fixed budget for this.

Onboarding process

What are the dos and don’ts for onboarding newcomers to Web3 tools and the community?

Do: Give a small introduction to cryptocurrency and decentralized tech (it’s advantages and shortcomings). DO LET THEM SAVE THEIR PRIVATE KEY IN A SECURE WAY PLZ THANKS.

Do: Try to explain Web 3.0 within a context that they can understand, for example running FB where the ad revenue goes to the accounts (steemit).

Do: Follow up with newcomers and guide them through the process

Do: Start with a narrative and explanation of the large changes already happening around the world (future of work, complex challenges)

Do: Explain to them what opportunities Web3 has for them

Don’t: Create false expectations

Don’t: Focus on what is bad about the traditional web, instead focus on what is now possible. This relates to the whole process of Curacao! Focus on building a better alternative.

Participation rate (voting, staking, meetups & meetings):

What can you say about what you’ve learned when it comes to the participation rate of this pilot?

If we look at the participation in terms of number of people participating in votes we could conclude that the participation rates are rather low. However, it seems far more people have actively brainstormed about DAOs, engaged with the content and joined the discussion.

A couple of examples:

  • Multiple individuals who are actively brainstorming and following CuraDAO have never voted in the DAPP due to it being too complex and the votes already going in their favor,
  • Large movements such as GreenTown Curacao have followed CuraDAO and drafted their own DAO ideas
  • Over 40 teenagers integrated with CuraDAO through the YFC event.

This reflection will be used as input for the creation of the CuraDAO pilot report.

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