Overview, Learnings and New Ideas from Lisbon

Overview

Ethereum Week in Lisbon was a much anticipated gathering of community members following a year with only a couple key in-person events.

DXdao seized the opportunity for a large group of core contributors to gather in person for the first time. Like many projects, most core contributors to DXdao only started during Covid times, and relationships were largely based on hour long Jitsi calls.

The DXdao Retreat (shout out to @fluidDrop and @Melanie was a perfect way to get the group together for the first time - a chance to bond, talk work, talk non-work, eat, drink, hug and have fun together. Let’s hope this is the start of an (at least) annual DXdao Contributor Retreat!

Next up, DXdao participated in a workshop held by GreaterThan to discover, analyze and work through some of the inherent issues distributed or decentralized groups tend to face. The 2 days were filled with great discussion, and brought many things out into the open. We must now work together to progress.

Next up, Ethereum Week in Lisbon was another superb showing at how a decentralized community can put together a decentrally organized week of events in an impressively short amount of time and there couldn’t have been a better spot in Europe than Lisbon to host this week. A beautiful coastal city, with weather as close to southern California as I have seen, Lisbon has been attracting the tech and blockchain scene for a number of years now (the plan the government has put in place seems to be working). I feel a little bad for Berlin because I thought it was an amazing crypto capital of Europe, but maybe we can have two now.

The week was a whirlwind.

The DAOist
The DAOist single day event 1up’d itself from its inaugural event in Paris. The DAO-crowd attended in full force, and many others came to learn about what is happening in the DAO world. It was great for DXdao to have a strong presence at the DAOist with a speaking slot (@Powers opened many eyes on multi-chain governance), active participation (many valuable conversations and special things like YAP DAO holding a workshop where DXdao communication/messaging was the case study for the group), and a wild after-party where the world had the chance to taste a ‘Proof of Pale’ Ale made by a decentralized collective in partnership with a local brewer that came with its own special POAP.

Liscon
Liscon was an impressive large-scale two-day event. The small team that put it together on short notice deserves muito credit. Thank you @Simona-Pop, David, Shannon and the others who made it happen. The physical space was impressive and the set-up of LX Factory with its many different spaces, restaurants, and outdoor areas worked extremely well for an ETH crowd event with an awesome line-up.

Future of Prediction Markets
For Friday’s happy hour, DXdao hosted a Future of Prediction Markets panel at The Block Lisboa. I was lucky enough to host a panel packed with prediction market OGs including @stefan from Gnosis, @clesaege from Kleros and @JohnKelleher from DXdao/Omen. We discussed the current state of blockchain based prediction markets and where we came from, and then spent time looking forward into what needs to happen for prediction markets to take off and ended by discussing new and interesting use cases. Attendees got to ask questions and quench their thirst with more DXdao ‘Proof of Pale’ Ale.

ETH Lisbon
Wrapping up the week was the ETH Lisbon Hackathon in a tight but super cool classic Fintech House. For the first time ever, DXdao had a strong hackathon presence with two teams hacking on some cool ideas, playing around with new governance mechanisms and novel ways to use NFTs.

And, of course, there were many, many parties, drinks and events throughout the week. But we will give a shout out to rAAVE 2 - the expectations were large, and the execution was beyond. Nice work!

Learnings

The best place for people, groups, projects, and DAOs to learn is from each other.

The impromptu, in-person one-on-one or small group conversations that happen in the physical world are the most valuable venues for new ideas, problem solving, making connections, and having fun. Those were the highlights of my trip.

DXdao needs to focus (and is now more aware of this). DXdao is mainly known for its governance - decentralization-first mindset, unique reputation-based system, and true on-chain governing. DXdao needs to lean into this, lead the way, and not sacrifice principals. With the recent formation of DXgov Squad, this is already happening.

DXdao’s products, whether inherited, self-built or incubated, will remain secondary for now compared to governance and DXdao as a whole.

Partnerships and collaborations often come in places where one party can seek the expertise of another party for both parties’ benefit. We are already seeing this interest from other groups that are observing DXdao’s governance. We see this less so with our products.

Showing up is key. Being a present, open, fun, cool community to hang out in is critical. We need to work on eliminating all obstacles that prevent this.

It pays to be a part of multiple communities. Living in siloed worlds is good for no one and bad for DAOs. Expansion and further experimentation is the way.

New Ideas for DXdao

The below are a few ideas that were born during the time in Lisbon and are presented to the DXdao community to spur thinking and open productive discussion.

80/20 Rule
It might be most famous from the corporate tech world, but it’s perfect for the crypto DAO space. All full-time contributors to the DAO are required to spend 20% of their time doing something else in the space. This could include learning about other projects, participating in other DAOs/communities, using other’s products/protocols, building something new (a new product, a new DAO, a new way of doing something). Obviously, this idea takes trust but DAO’s already take trust. This 80/20 Rule would be a differentiator in the space and would likely attract attention and new contributors. Contributors who do these things will be far more valuable to DXdao.

Focus Communication Channels
There are a number of communities that have already taken steps in this realm and have seen success. A couple examples:

  • Synthetic eliminated Slack as the internal channel. It’s ALL in Discord now.
  • Maker eliminated Rocket Chat - and moved to Discord.

Keybase has been a platform that the DXdao community has been using from the start. However, it is not a friendly platform, very few people in the space use it, and it segregates much of the interesting, valuable dialogue from the greater community.

It is important to have redundant systems in place as well, but there is much room of improvement.

Semi-Annual DXdao Retreat
As the world opens back up, people will be able to attend in-person events more. As this happened, DXdao should have (strong if possible) representation at all of these events. Around these events, DXdao should organize in person contributor retreats. There can even be things like work normally in the same hacker house for a week. Experimentation is key. Bring your craziest ideas.

Outsource whatever we can to the best people in the world (even if higher cost)
Merch is one example. DXdao should not be making its own merch. DXdao does not have a professional merch maker and this task pulls people’s attention away from their main focus.
Some other relevant areas are specific developers or marketing or PR.
If DXdao doesn’t not have the correct skilled dev, hire that person from a dev shop.
If DXdao needs a specific person to only do Twitter, hire that professional.
If DXdao doesn’t have a PR strategy, hire a PR DAO to focus on building that.

DXdao’s own version of rAAVE (an event that DXdao can curate to its desires)
DXdao is still getting used to experiencing the physical world, but the next big event (ETHDenver?) DXdao should be throwing an event “to be talked about”. Please come to the community with any new, unique ideas!

See you in the metaverse!

Productive discussion and improvements are welcome.

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Really awesome overview @sky ! And thanks to @Melanie and @fluidDrop for organizing everything. It was so great to see everyone.

For those interested, I created a deck for strategy call today about some Post-Lisbon thoughts. You can see the full deck here:

And here are some key slides:

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