Aragon is one of the well-known and established DAO platform providers with a focus on helping improve coordination via DAOs. Aragon has until now mainly been focusing on the web 3 environment but DAOs can help traditional businesses, non-profits and the government sectors to effectively govern and coordinate within the company and outside the company.
This proposal is for customer discovery and initial validation to actively research, meet and interview executives and using the feedback come up with the first MVP for traditional organizations’ DAO use cases. Total Funding of $25025 would be required to do the job.
This work lays the groundwork to discover and analyze where DAOs can be beneficial in traditional organizations and can therefore help by strategically sharpening and orienting our goals and also working towards possibly bringing in an alternate source of revenue for Aragon.
### 1. Rationale:
Aragon was formed in 2016 and is one of the oldest and well-known DAO platforms with a motto of “Fight for Freedom”. With recent discussion on governance and goals.
There are more than 3,800 DAOs launched on the Aragon platform which is mainly in the web3 space. I am aware Aragon wants to onboard 1000 more DAOs with Aragon and the focus is web 3 world. I also believe lots of value can be unlocked via DAOs in traditional organizations and we have to start putting leg work now.
I have personally used many DAO platforms and DAO tools and I found Aragon to have a great user interface and be very user-friendly compared to other platforms.
Enterprises and governments are massive, bureaucratic, slow and have information siloed. Massive value can be unleashed via cooperation via DAOs. Different forms of cooperation between organizations exist like cooperatives, PPP, business networks, open innovation ventures etc. Aragon can possibly help SMBs, corporations and governments to enable coopetition, cooperation and Public-Private partnerships.
If Aragon can create an environment where people at the bottom could share their opinion and if we could enable DAOs on a small scale (like one department) and then enable company-wide consensus, we would live up to the motto to provide a platform to enable consensus and thereby increase engagement.
On 30 March 2022, I hosted Aragon in Dubai during Eth Dubai (video here )which was attended by many people from banking, real estate, law and other sectors. After the session, we received many enquiries about possible collaboration but we did not have a concrete roadmap to proceed. We want to start and carry momentum after the discussion made on 30 March 2022.
### 2. Objectives
The primary objective of completing this proposal is customer discovery and development by probing the need and use case of DAOs in private or/and public sectors. This project collects data from prospects if there is a possibility of creating DAOs for a traditional sector (profit/non-profit). The feedback can be used to create MVP or provide other services which would not be the scope of the project.
This would help provide Aragon with clarity in achieving the goals, have a first mover advantage to move to a certain niche in enterprise DAOs and, if successful, possibly create an extra source of revenue.
For Customer Development, I use a framework that is divided into two steps - “Nail the market” then “Scale the market”. This proposal will focus on the first part “Nail the market”. These two are further divided into a number of steps namely.
Nail the market
Customer Discovery is identifying a group of people whose problems could be solved with our solutions (DAO platform, Consulting or other services). I will be focusing mainly on UAE and/or Canada.
A, Identify our services - What solutions are we providing? Is it just the DAO platform or consulting? Identify and provide details on each one of them
B, Pre-Business Model - What is our business model? Do we make separate DAO (a fork) for enterprise? Do we charge monthly for the platform? Do we use the freemium model and charge for support?
C, Identify Personas -stating our solutions and identifying user personas that are archetypical users whose goals and characteristics represent the needs of a larger group of users we want to target.
D, Outreach - Outreach each identified group via a, networks, b, referrals, c, In person presentation sessions d, Conferences e, and Social media.
E, Interact with Prospects - Interview and ask probing questions to the prospects who have paint points and we can solve them using our solutions.
Customer Validation - Identify if the group is large enough or identify if the paint point is monetizable so that a viable business might be built.
F, Value proposition/ Iterate - After talking with the prospects and interacting, we come up with a value proposition which they can test with low-risk methods like proof of concept or pilot project
There are other steps of the Customer Validation ie, making product MVP, our initial Business Model, and determining the pricing, sales and marketing.
- Limitations & Shortcomings
1, Corporations and government sectors may be bureaucratic and may need permission from HR for an interview which can consume a lot of time.
2, In the customer discovery process some prospects may seem to have problems and agree to take part in pilots but postpone signing an agreement as on average it can take a minimum of up to 5 decision-makers to move forward. Thus, we need to start negotiations early.
3, Obtaining clarity on our products and services. Should we provide consulting services? Should we create a separate enterprise-closed DAO where we charge monthly?
Shanzz - I have been trained as Space Engineer then moved to the Geomatics field , worked in LIDAR and Space Imaging, moved to analytical marketing then business management. For the past 10 years, I have been working in various management roles(Senior Business Development, Managing Director and Ceo)- closed deals with US Army, Road Transport Authority Dubai, DP world and other corporations. I introduced new products in the region by following “nail it before scale it” strategy where I launched new products by probing paint points of specific industries and then checking out if it is scalable.
Before crypto I tinkered with E-Gold (one of the first world currency pegged to gold), I got acquainted with bitcoin in 2010 but got in 2012 during Cyprus banking crises (well I didn’t HODL ). Owned crypto mining rig business (was pain cleaning machines), organized many web3 meet ups, met with some of the early Ethereum team, and was president of a non-profit blockchain where I met and interviewed Scott Stornetta (founder of blockchain from Bell labs). Just 2 weeks ago I took part in Eth Toronto (was not selected but hustled my way in) , formed a team , was a semi-finalist and won the first prize bounty for Hedera.
I knew Aragon back in 2017 and avidly read about the newsletter, and organized UAE’s first IRL Aragon meet up with Lion and Anthony (video here). With my contacts, I secured a free place to host Aragon. Recently I served as a contributor as DAO Tooler to get practical ideas on working for Aragon.
I love to see Aragon making a change in traditional organizations.
anson parker#4296- Anson Parker is a data science librarian at the University of Virginia with 25 years of open source development experience. At Aragon dTech his work focuses on 3rd party integration evaluations for the Aragon Client space and DAO creation generally. In his personal web3 work he has spent the past 3 years working on development for the low-income space in his community beginning with a housing navigator in 2019 Charlottesville Housing Hub | Code for Charlottesville that led to a grant with the Center for Civic Innovation to address credit scores issues https://www.centerforcivic.org/fellows2021. (edited)
If this proposal passes more teams would be required to move to make MVP.
The results of this work could be used by all other DAOS.
Week 1 - 3 - Funding - $ 5675 + $2000 (Overhead)
Work on identifying the customer solution and problem and pre- business models by discussing with other Aragon members and getting their inputs. Start identifying personas by week three.
Week 4 - 6 - Funding - $5675 + $2000 (Overhead) + $ 2000 (bounty)
Inputs from previous weeks would be used to identify personas and start outreaching by
a, Networks - contact all the people in my network who fit the persona,
b, Referrals - after interview ask for referrals who may be interested in an interview
c, In person presentation sessions - conduct presentation, socialize & get leads
d, Conferences - it is time not to stick just to blockchain/crypto/defi events also go to other sectors
e, Social media - outreach people who have shown interest vis social media.
Week 6 - 12 - $5675 + $ 3000 (bounty)
More outreach, interact with prospects and customer validation would be done during these weeks, questions would be iterated and more focused questions would be asked on launching pilot or MVP if there is an interest. A detailed report would be written on the findings of Customer discovery and validation.
-Conduct weekly updates and monthly reports on forums.
-Have a workspace in Notion to keep community members updated.
- Separate channel would be created to discuss the updates taking place.
-I plan to do 15-20 meetings with prospects of CEO, CTO, Innovation officers, Blockchain Officers who are decision makers or can influence decision makers.
-ESD and preapproved Aragon members can view the report and list of people interviewed
Progress report to community 5-7 days before the month’s end.
Final Detailed report elaborating on Nailing it - Customer Discovery and Validation
### 5. Strategic Alignment
This proposal just hits the target of ESD strategy for providing initial work of Go to Market for Aragon App would align with the objectives of AA and ESD strategy to educate and spread the use cases of DAO this time in real-world traditional business. This project will help grow DAO culture in the traditional world by creating awareness and educating them about the benefits of collaborating via DAO space, positioning Aragon as leaders in DAO space and develop partnerships with government and enterprises and in long term meet financial goals by bringing in the revenue.
- Bring more market for Aragon products - Aragon DAO, Govern, Vocondi
- If there is market fit, formalize our ambassador program to recruit future consultants and help grow the market
- Value add to Aragon list of products
- Help local market and get low-cost leads
- Can DAOS help coops? Housing cooperatives? Condo Cooperatives? PPP?
Need for an alternate source of revenue which could align our goals and vision for the next 3-5 years.
Research, market fit and pricing of the possible Enterprise version of the DAO.
## 6. Funding
$25025 for completion of this proposal which is estimated to require 12 weeks.
$5675 per month will be for my services (for 3 months) and $4000 overheads to cover for conference room rental (will try to get free like last time), F&B (after talks), lunch (with interviewees) and another $5000 for bounties. Unused funds in bounties and overheads would be returned
If the proposal passes would need $ 2000 for the overhead and the remaining on 15th of the month.
Which region will you be focusing ? Will the case studies be applicable in other regions?
Mainly in UAE with conference season coming and/or Canada mainly in Toronto. The Dubai government understood the important of blockchain back in 2016 and promoted the use of
Is the role redundant to Business Development?
No in fact the role will work in conjunction with business development so we can nurture leads and promote Aragon products.
In my opinion, we have to go to other conferences than blockchain, crypto, defi conferences and start going to the real world, real estate, government, and enterprises conferences where after a speech we can drop by and say “I loved your presentation, I think we can help in …”
Are we early? May be. The way must be tried.
The day cities, businesses and communities start using DAOs without knowing it is a DAO is a day we envision where collective consensus and intelligence are valued over a single person or a management layer
How does it help Aragon DAO?
Aragon DAO was recently formed less than a year ago and is moving to progressively decentralize the management, the decision making and the governance of the DAO.
The DAO is discovering and fine-tuning its main purpose, goals and governance. Though Aragon DAO has around 200 million USD in treasury, we have to find alternate ways to bring in revenue. I am in favour of the idea that the best way forward is to both help & earn revenue serving the online and offline communities by helping to improve the coordination, transparency and decision-making of the DAOs.
It was great to be a general DAO but as this space is getting more and more specialized for sectors. We can probe which sectors can solve their problems via the enablement of DAOs. For that, we have to find the pain points and check if solving those pain points is monetizable and profitable. Then we can run pilots and collect data, talk more to those sectors and the next step is to scale and see if we can modify our DAOs to meet the needs of those sectors. Specialists will excel and survive.
So when does the project end?
The project of customer discovery ends if a prospect would be interested to do a pilot or 3 months period, whichever comes first.
Isn’t 3 months too small of a timescale?
Yes, corporates and businesses can take substantial time to provide permission for interviews and approvals for pilot project,but it is always better to get started and gain momentum, based on the results of this small time scale we can find out the next steps.
Was something similar done before?
There was nothing similar done but there was a project - Funding Proposal: Test the Viability of DAO Consultants. Could not get hold of the results.
Recently project done by Mateo titled“”BD Learning Experiment - Laying the foundation for the future BD Guild”, was one month project mainly in web 3 sector to some useful data.
Vocdoni has done a fantastic job of First Public Institution in Spain Holds Vocdoni Referendum. We need more use cases like the above.
How does it help the ambassadors program?
At the moment there is a lack of clarity on the progression path for an ambassador to move forward after they organize a couple of sessions. Would the ambassador remain a volunteer? Instead, if we find a way to monetize traditional organizations, local ambassadors could potentially provide a source of local leads thus ambassadors could be recruited with future plans to become local business developers or promoters of Aragon where they could arrange pilots and gain data.
What is the vision for the success of this work?
Enterprise and Government require on average 5 decision-makers to proceed as they are cautious and have limited bandwidth to take risks, building relationships, having patience and doing low-risk pilot projects can put their foot in the door and for us to collect data which we can use in the future.
Enterprises and governments are massive, bureaucratic and slow, if Aragon can create an environment where people at the bottom could share their opinion and if we could enable DAOs on a small scale (like a division) and then enable company-wide consensus, we would live up to the motto to provide a platform to enable consensus and thereby increase engagement.