What Could a DAO Look Like?

What Could a DAO Look Like?

The decentralized governance movement loooooves to talk about taxonomy, which isn’t surprising, but it is tiring. For most people, lengthy taxonomy doesn’t leave them with a picture of what a Decentralized Autonomous Organization is.

Aragon’ speaks in more decentralized and non-competitive language than the other DAOs (though they do seem to have a bit of Not-Invented-Here syndrome when it comes to interop.)… though DAOstack takes more action in the area of interop than you might expect from a centralized organization.

Curious to understand why you characterize Aragon’s work as “not-invented-here syndrome” and examples of how DAOstack differs wrt interop. Cheers!

During informal as well as informal interviews (daolandscape.today) a few people mentioned difficulties in integrating with Aragon. The interviewees varied a bit, for example, one person in a Nest program was told explicitly that they would not be integrated and that the functionality would be developed in-house. Another person was turned down for Nest and later Aragon core released similar features. This could have been coincidental, of course, but enough people who were independent of one another had similar stories for it to be “statistically significant” in the interview processes.
DAOstack has not yet completed any interop but they have been experimenting actively. It’s a newer platform, so they may be in a bigger hurry to “catch up”. Or, they might just be experimenting to research before inventing their… it’s hard to tell because it’s early days. Based on interviews it seems they are serious about integration, but we won’t know until an actual integration happens or not.

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Thank you for sharing these insights!

I would have to better understand the specific cases to be sure, but I would guess based on my knowledge of how Aragon One chooses to prioritize what to work on that these were coincidental. It wouldn’t surprise me that both Aragon One and external contributors identified high-leverage changes to make in the client, and that Aragon One already had a roadmap item and spec planned when an outside contributor suggested a similar project. I’m sure our product team would welcome specific feedback from contributors about how these priorities can be better communicated!

That said, there are also cases where someone else has proposed to work on a project that we have planned, and we decided to do it ourselves because we determined that the quality of the external contributors’ work did not meet our standards. As the Aragon software is security-sensitive financial software, we highly prioritize the best quality of work and unfortunately not all people who want to contribute can make the cut. And so while we would like to welcome outside contributions where possible, we sometimes choose to keep it in house because we are more confident that our team has the ability to execute at the level we require for critical roadmap items.

For the sake of balance, there is ample evidence that there is not a bias against non-Aragon One contributors receiving funding to work on their own projects, provided they can meet our quality standards. Some recent examples:

And there are many others one can find reading through the approved Nest proposals.

Again, thank you very much for providing these insights Grace! I am always interested in learning about ways to make the Aragon community more open to new contributors, and constantly push our team at Aragon One to keep the open source spirit alive even as delivering on our own roadmap takes priority.

I am very glad to hear this directly from you. It’s good that we have the opportunity to bring these perceptions to light and address them directly, rather than leaving them as hearsay. It’s important that we all accept and appreciate that people’s interpretations of what happened are biased. My tendency would be to believe you as the source of this information. Thank you so much for the response.