UPDATE (7/27/21): After ETHCC I changed my framing on this to be more disjoint from SourceCred and instead call this “MetaCred” which is specifically focused on developing tooling to bring together rich data on value creation between communities, not just within a community. SourceCred will be just one of many tools and data sources, others include Coordinape, Praise (from TEC), DeepDAO, POAP, Gitcoin, BrightID, etc. I wrote up a tweet thread summarizing all my thinking around this.
Hey all, wanted to make a post going over why and how SC DAO came to be and laying out my raw unfiltered account of everything that happened since the seed was first planted 3 days ago.
As many of you are probably aware, I haven’t been as involved in SC in the past many months as I was before. The main reason for this was that my passion, heart and motivations lie in building out the Web3 vision to solve the worlds coordination problems with DAOs, positive-sum token engineering, and DeFi. I’m a true crypto native at heart, and SC was the one community I was participating in that seemed to be on its own little island disjointed from the rest of the ecosystem. It also felt like the last many months the primary focus of the community shifted away from building out the product to experimenting with governance models, engaging in social activities, etc. The weight change to increase Discord cred was also discouraging, and I felt a disconnect between what the community wanted to do and what I wanted to do, so I took more of a passive role.
In the meantime, I continued to build and experiment with SourceCred in the other DAOs I’m a part of (MetaFactory, MetaGame and MetaCartel Ventures), and I remained extremely bullish about SC as a product and the impact it could have in DAOs. In the last 2 months, the focus and attention on DAOs in the crypto space increased drastically and almost everywhere I went I saw people talking about DAO tooling, the problems in measuring and rewarding value creation, and even mentioning SC directly. There is such a dire need, demand, and perfect product-market fit for SC in DAOs, and it was really frustrating because there was a huge opportunity right in front of me but it felt like the trajectory of SC as a community was not on track to seize it. After we came back from the June break, it really felt like the SC community was not in good shape and many people were leaving and losing motivation that there is a bright future for SC, especially considering the financials.
I realized that the only way SC was going to be able to deliver on creating a compelling product for the crypto community was if we could move fast and align closely with them on a cultural level where we deeply understand and are able to cater to their needs. I knew that SC’s governance process was not one in which I would be able to “move fast”, and that the majority of the SC community was non-crypto people. Additionally, there were other projects trying to solve the same problem as SC starting to pop up and gaining a ton of traction with the crypto community because they were building it for crypto-natives / DAOs first.
However, I did not want that to be a reason to give up because I still have deep conviction in the value and impact SC can have. I realized that I was already moving fast on my own building out SC product features (e.g. I built a prototype Creditor for MetaFactory), and I could continue to do so independently without needing to convince the entire SC community to follow my path. I also realized that there are lots of people in the crypto community building on SC independently as well (e.g. 1Hive building out their internal SC tooling, Coordinape taking inspiration from SC). This is where the idea of SC DAO was born. My plan was to make a “crypto native” fork of SC and align with the other crypto-natives that were building on SC to be able to move fast building out the key crypto integrations that SC needed to work well for DAOs.
This got me excited because I finally could see a light at the end of the tunnel for SC empowering the DAO space and realizing its true potential, and how a lean, fresh new container would be a much easier way to bring in builders in the crypto community who would otherwise have a very hard time integrating into the SC community. We could start from scratch doing everything in a crypto native way (unpegged token with on chain liquidity, governance via Snapshot, etc). Additionally, we could rework the governance from the ground up, optimizing for a small high trust team coordinating with rough consensus, having hierarchy and structure instead of being a “flat” org, and having a “wartime” strategy vs “peacetime” strategy.
It was not my intention to change anything in the SC community, I intended to operate this as its own independent organization with strictly different priorities / culture since I knew that the SC community would likely not align with this path and way of operating, nor did I have the mental energy / time to try to convince everyone. I mentioned I wanted to do this to @decentralion off handedly in DMs, and to my surprise it really resonated with them and got them excited about SC’s potential again. This got me thinking “what if others also feel this way” so I DM’d @topocount who I knew was burnt out from the community overhead and his time in SC being spent on things he didn’t want to be doing, and it turned out he was excited about this direction as well and that I was not alone in my attrition from the community overhead.
SC DAO as an idea did not exist up until 3 days ago, thats when I had the initial DMs with DL discussing this. I mention this because I see some sentiment in the community that this was some sort of calculated “behind closed doors” scheming by SC core to screw over the community, so I hope all this context helps show that it wasn’t that at all. It all happened so fast since it seemed to have really struck a chord with people and got them excited enough to want to push forward on this path, and the conversation quickly expanded from “this is Metadreamer’s side project” to “this is the best path forward for SC and aligns / resonates with many of the core people who were otherwise going to move on to do other things”. I feel like we opened the conversation with the community in a fairly timely manner since this idea didn’t even exist 3 days ago and we were still trying to formulate what it would even be over the last 2 days.
Admittedly we might have gotten a bit too excited about this and progressed the conversation too quickly, but I still feel like this is the best thing for SC in the short, medium and long term. Based on conversations with other members and the wider community, it feels like there is an agreeable path forward and a way to make this work for most people.
Instead of treating this as an aggressive re-org and flipping everything on its head, we can do it in a more progressive way where SC DAO doesn’t “take” anything away from SC and instead operates as an independent team while SC takes the time to internally process everything and figure out how to fractalize / restructure the community so that we can all operate under a larger “SourceCred umbrella” where we can have sub-groups with different priorities going in their own direction instead of forcing everyone to be on the same ship spinning wheels and not making progress in any direction due to the fundamental misalignments of priorities among members.
In terms of who is going to be a part of the DAO, I want to keep it as lean and tight knit as possible and limit it to people who align with the values / purpose / vision of the DAO. Initially I want to cap it to 12 members, and for the people in the DAO to consent to every new person we add. The first person I invited to the DAO was @decentralion because they strongly aligned with it and were the first person I talked to about it. After that, we invited @topocount since he is a true crypto-native and also aligned with the ethos. Next we invited scrabbleboy (@scrabbleboy) to come in to lead on the financials / ops side of things since they also aligned and showed a strong ability to execute and move things forward. Beyond that, we are still talking to people to get a sense of how they feel about things and if they are interested in being a part of it before we add them, so it’s all still a work in progress. In general, if someone is crypto-savvy, has proven their ability to execute at a high level in their area of expertise, and aligns culturally with the ethos of SC DAO, they will be considered as members to join.
I know this was long but I felt like its the best way for everyone to really get where I/others are coming from. This was mostly about the “why” and not so much the “what” or “how”, so I’ll leave that for another time since we are still figuring it out.