Iterative Testing & Trying DAO Tools
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May 26th, 2022

Do it again, do it better.

Low Stakes, High Upside Opportunities

Could anything be better?

Properly directioned asymmetric risk enables us to identify opportunities wherein we can perform an action with access outsized upside. We can risk 1 unit with the potential to gain 10 units. If things don’t work out, we lose 1 unit. If things work out, we gain 10 units. Iterative testing in low stakes and high upside opportunities empowers us to move quickly with a chance of landing upon an implementation that is highly successful.

What are some cases where we can try things quickly, manage our downside, and expose ourselves to upside?

Writing More

Let’s start with something dumb. Feel free to skip to the DAO Tooling section if that’s what you’re here for!

What could you do that is low stakes and high upside?

Write more. That’s what I’m doing (literally right now, right here). It’s easy to put words in order and to put them out into the world. You have no idea where those words might take you…

DAO Tooling

For the past 6 months, there has been endless vitriol aimed at the plethora of DAO tools that are being built. It IS funny tbh.

The beauty of many of these DAO tools is that getting started on them is dead simple. Thanks to the composability offered by crypto, usually all you need to do is have contributors ‘Sign in with Ethereum’ or authorize your Gnosis Safe. These tools sit on top of the existing rails and augment them. If you’re in a newly formed DAO and aren’t trying out tools, you’re leaving opportunity on the table. Active DAOs have true volume through their systems that can impact or be impacted by implementation of new tool suites.

In MetricsDAO, we’ve experimented with a number of tools and as we continue to play with different options, we continue to become more comfortable with the idea of trying things in low stakes situations. Signing up for DAO tools (especially right now) requires almost zero commitment. As long as you perform diligence from a security standpoint, there is nearly no downside to try out DAO tools.

Let me walk you through a few of the tools we’ve tried out, what our evaluation process was like, what our experience has been, and what we’ve learned.

Parcel

As we began to scale our payments to contributors and participants up, we quickly realized we needed better tools than what Gnosis provided. We used Disperse for a number of batch payments, but the process still left a lot to be desired. When we discovered Parcel, we saw an opportunity to address our needs around batch payouts. Parcel enables us to import CSVs and to send transactions from our multi-sig easily.

When we used Disperse, we had to make a distribution from the multisig to a hot wallet and then use the hot wallet to perform the multi-send. With Parcel, we can simply upload a CSV of payments and then approve and execute that transactions from the beautiful Parcel interface.

Parcel was one of the first tools that we added to our stack at MetricsDAO and naturally we were slow to implement it. We researched competitors, tried to do an analysis of what we needed now and what we thought we would need in the future. We took a long time in our evaluation phase and continued to use Disperse and other less than ideal processes until we decided to try it out.

Now that we’ve started using Parcel, we haven’t stopped. It’s a huge help when managing a multisig that makes hundreds of transactions a month. The Parcel team has been a joy to work with. They have been quick to implement bug fixes and feature requests. I cannot express enough how grateful I am for the Parcel team and for the product they have released and continue to iterate on.

Wonderverse

Bounty boards are much more common in web3 than in Web 2.

Wonderverse was one of the first DAO tool demos that I got to see. I was hooked and impressed from the moment I started to understand the tool. This tool allows pod leaders or other operators to create a bounty board of tasks to be completed. It’s best described as a web3 Jira with payment associated to each story. With Wonderverse, a project manager can atomize pieces of the project and assign value to each one. Contributors can take on those atomized pieces of work and receive pay if their work is approved. From a DAO perspective, this makes contributions more permissionless and encourages consideration of how various individual tasks are valued.

From a contributor perspective, Wonderverse allows a contributor to see available tasks across a number of DAOs they are associated with. Imagine that as a freelancer you can see tasks that need completed at a number of organizations and the pay associated with each task. This atomization of work empowers contributors to pick up the tickets that best fit their skillset.

When I saw the Wonderverese demo, I saw a glimpse of the future.

In MetricsDAO we’re starting to implement Wonderverse for our MARCOM pod. Our leader (shout out Rochelle), can set a content strategy and work with our leaders to determine pieces needed. This crew can then post the desired content along with payouts to Wonderverse. Contributors can claim these pieces of content and submit them for approval. The leader is empowered because they can make the work highly available and contributors are empowered because they can understand the payout associated with each piece of content they create.

Wonderverse was another tool that took us a long time to truly implement. To be fair, the tool had not launched when I first saw a demo. We tried to jump at it as soon as it was available and we’re in the process of getting contributors onboarded now. I’m excited to see how this tool empowers our MARCOM pod to scale.

Drepute

Once we started to realize that we could implement these tools in a low stakes, high upside way it became easy to see how a variety of tools could be utilized. I spent the end of April looking into on-chain identity and I’ve been following the discourse around on-chain reputation for the past few months. I was introduced to the drepute team and had the chance to see a presentation and demo. Drepute operates somewhat similarly to Wonderverse insofar as it allows the creation and management of a bounty board. Drepute, however, allows a DAO to mint reputation augments badges. An individual who completes a long form writing piece could have a badge minted to their account that demonstrates their abilities. Theses badges are soulbound (non-transferable) and therefore enable users to take their work history with them on-chain.

We have yet to start using drepute in MetricsDAO but we’re excited to play with it and to find ways to mint proof of contribution badges to participants and contributors.

Clarity

Notion is all over DAOs and honestly I’ve never felt older. I finally started to grasp Notion this past week and it’s super cool! But is there a more web3 native tool that meets the same need?

Enter Clarity.

Clarity provides an interface similar to Notion. If you don’t know what Notion is, it’s like a super powered Google doc/site that lets users collaborate and create enriched documents (also consider yourself lucky???). Clarity allows users to ‘Sign in with Ethereum’ and to contribute to a number of shared documents, projects, etc.

We’ve started using Clarity in MetricsDAO to manage various aspects of our business development efforts. One of our contributors (hey Arti!) got the tool stood up and seeded with relevant information. From here, we’ll start to try to use it and we’ll see if it sticks. If not, all good! If so, awesome.

At the end of the day, we in MetricsDAO see an opportunity to try a number of tools and to see what works. As we continue to identify and adopt tools into workflows, we and our community learn more about the options available.

Move Fast and Create Standards

As we start using more products we create more opportunities for them to catch on and to become part of our workflows. As Evin notes, usage turns specs into standards. We can put something into the world but we cannot force it as a standard. Usage provides volume and enables an implementation or tool to become standard.

At the current time, DAOs can provide access to meaningful volume that allow tools to get used and for meaningful amounts of feedback to be generated. As a testing ground, an active and nimble contributors base is able to pivot quickly and to standardize adoption when fits are found.

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