A Dark DAO Room: Illuminating the Role of Web3 Project Managers
DALL-E "Black and white digital art of a person flipping random light switches in a dark room and random lights around the room turning on."
DALL-E "Black and white digital art of a person flipping random light switches in a dark room and random lights around the room turning on."

A Web3 PM Test

What if I told you that working in a DAO and being a Web3 Project Manager is like standing in the middle of a dark room?

Like, I’m talking the kind of pitch black where you cannot even see your hand in front of your face.

Would you choose to continue?

What if I told you that the room has pillars and obstacles you might walk into, doors that are not labeled, and the room is full of light switches and light bulbs, but the switches turn on random bulbs throughout the room?

How about now, still on this journey?

The good news, you know you are in the right room. Also, every one of those light switches will turn on a light.

Your job, if you choose to accept it…

Your job is to illuminate that room and eventually walk out one of the doors. However, you're only going to do it with a light switch and a light bulb at a time.

There’s a catch…

The goal is not to turn on every light or try every door.

After all, it is the job of a Project Manager to manage resources (time, money, effort) and make the best use of those resources toward a goal.

Do you have a bias for action?

You may be in a dark room, not knowing which switches to flip. However, the only way to start turning those lights on and finding out what this room looks like and where you are going is to be proactively curious and just start flipping some darn switches.

Coming Into Focus

Slowly but surely, the room becomes focused, you gain more confidence, and you see more clearly where you are going.

There technically is no wrong switch or door because each choice leads you to a learning and your next step. Every action provides feedback.

Yes, even smashing your shin on an obstacle in the dark, it’s a gift. It’s feedback telling you that this is not the right direction. If you smash your shin on that same obstacle next time, well, that’s on you, friend.

If you’re still with me and you’ve passed the test, you are a special breed!

Traits and Values Of A Web3 PM

This light-switch analogy can be seen as an illustration of the skills and values necessary for becoming a Web3 PM. It highlights the need for both taking initiative, having the curiosity and knowledge needed to identify the desired outcomes, and having the courage to take the necessary steps through unfamiliar territory to reach a goal.

What are the types of traits and values that come to mind for someone willing to take on this journey?

The job of a Web3 Project Manager requires several qualities and the situational awareness of how, when, and with what intensity to apply them. A Web3 PM’s skill set must include creativity, problem-solving, communication, adaptability, resilience, teamwork, and a connection to a sense of purpose.

In DOAs and Web3, project managers require a unique blend of these qualities, where they must be able to handle the ever-evolving circumstances and goals in the Web3 sphere. They must have the determination to stay focused on the long-term roadmap while being able to adjust to the quickly changing environment.

With all of this in mind, the most important traits are:

  • Zeal

  • Agility

  • Humility

  • Curiosity

  • Resilience

  • Proactivity

  • Determination

  • Inquisitiveness

  • Action-oriented

I just love the word "Zeal" so much, so I asked DALL-E to generate a crest!
I just love the word "Zeal" so much, so I asked DALL-E to generate a crest!

That Overwhelmed Feeling Is Normal

As a Web3 PM, when we come into a new project, we may feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed. I want to assure you now that this is a normal feeling.

The best and most challenging part of Web3 and DAO work is it is a playground. You get the opportunity to work within domains, with tooling, technology, and within contexts that you may have no background in or credibility to fall back on.

This is the challenge of Web3 and DAO project managers, and it is also what makes the role so rewarding. We need to get over that initial hump of uncertainty, open our minds, recognize opportunities, and begin asking questions.

We must have the humility and willingness to put ourselves out there and take a chance at something new.

Curiosity For The Win

"Be curious, not judgemental” - Ted Lasso

Curiosity may be the most important trait required for success as a Web3 PM and working in a DAO. It is the desire to explore and discover something new. It is the spark that ignites our exploration and leads us to new possibilities.

By staying curious and actively seeking new knowledge, we open ourselves up to the possibility of learning something new. We can take what we already know and apply it to the new situation, learning and growing as we go.

Curiosity is also about the journey.

Rather than focusing on just the end goal, it is about the process of discovery and exploration. Instead of looking for the single right answer, we can explore multiple paths and possibilities, leading to a greater understanding and enjoyment of the process.

Engaging in curiosity and exploration carries the risk of failure but can lead to much more gratifying success. This is due to the learning, improvement, and personal growth throughout the journey, which can be just as fulfilling (if not more) as achieving the result. It is important to remain curious and proactive in searching for answers and never stop moving forward.

We must be willing to explore and experiment, flip switches and turn on lights, and keep learning and growing.

Being curious is the key to mastering any process.

Out Of The Dark

The job of the Web3 PM is not just to manage projects but to manage learning, growth, and the process of exploring the unknown.

We may not know the answer to every question or have the ability to solve every problem, but our ability to stay curious and explore the unknown lead to creative solutions, personal growth, and the satisfaction of finding a way out of the dark room.

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