S1:E5 Iris' Kristen Stone–Mercenary VS Missionaries in DAOs

Katherine Wu

Katherine

Hello everyone and welcome to episode five of Cross-Chain Examination. I'm your host, Katherine Wu. Every week on Cross-Chain examination, we have on the smartest and most authentic people working full time in the crypto industry to tell us what's top of mind for them.

A big trend in crypto from the last year is a concept of DAOs, which stands for a decentralized autonomous organization. With roots much like your traditional cooperatives or co-ops, this new hierarchy and structure of work has really ushered in a new way to work and to contribute to a collective. So with us today, we have Kristen Stone. Kristen is an OG crypto figure. She's been working in full time crypto for the last, I think at least eight years. She's one of the very first 50 or 100 employees at Coinbase. Most recently, she is the CEO of Balancer Labs. She's currently a powerhouse DAO contributor and founder of Iris, so you should definitely check them out at irisrising.xyz. With that said, welcome to the show Kristen.

Kristen Stone

Thanks Katherine, how's it going?

Katherine

So I know we were saying this before because you were like what's your goal of the podcast? And honestly, I just want to get people I like and my friends to be on this and talk to me. So this is your forced hour to speak with me today.

Kristen Stone

I'm grateful for that. I have always enjoyed our time and I know the listeners probably don't know the deep history of that, but I call Kathryn K Wu because I often go by K Stone. So if you ever need to refer to both of us together, you have K Stone and K Wu.

Katherine

Yes, K Wu and K Stone.

Kristen Stone

Now your listeners know it too.

Kristen Stone

So I wanted to start off our conversation today by briefly talking about the future of work and corporate structure that are DAOs. So first of all, my first question to you is why should people care? So in other words, what's so great about DAOs is and what is its importance?

Kristen Stone

The most interesting way I can define the importance of DAOs, and I want to be clear for everybody listening, there are so many ways to define DAOs and I think we use them in this very nebulous way. I actually heard somebody say to me today, they said, I'm starting a DAO, but not like a crypto DAO. It's just a group of people hanging out.

DAOs have this crazy giant spectrum of what they can be and what they mean. So I'm going to summarize it. The importance of a DAOs is that it is allowing individuals to reclaim their time. What we saw is we had the gig economy come up and now people started to realize, look, I don't need to work for one person. At the same moment in time, ownership in crypto became very granular, so now you could issue tokens where everyone could be an owner and a participant. My sort of look back on the world says that a lot of people became freelancers. A lot of people understood the gig economy. We also have the tool because of the Internet to be more self empowered so we can be stronger decision makers than ever before. At the same time, you saw the fall of hierarchical organizations, and with all of this, it's just a moment in time where individuals are empowered. They're empowered to work in new ways. And that's what I think DAOs offer at their core. What's most important and what I see most empowering people.

Katherine

Yeah, I think one of misconceptions that people have about DAOs is, well, if there's no one to make decisions how did decisions get made? And I think the fundamental misunderstanding in that is that you perceive any kind of group or structure as having a clear hierarchy where one person or maybe three people make a decision. And so instead, this is maybe actually democratizing decision making. And sure, I think that comes with probably some headaches and processes, but it doesn't mean that no decision can ever be made.

Kristen Stone

Beautifully said. The two aspects I think that are coming into focus for this is, one, we have to educate communities about how to make decisions. And what world have you been able to make every decision or most of the decisions? And so whoever is the co-creator or the founder of that protocol does have a responsibility to educate their community, to have thoughtful rhetoric. And then to be able to make decisions. And the other thing is that there are some epic tools. And one I just found out about that, that allows people to come together and make decisions through conversation with sort of audio AI, so they can kind of piece together what decision here came to the top, not just because that person is popular or they elbowed their way in, but because this is what the group spent the most time thinking and caring about. So those two pieces combined new tools, new ways of decision making at a large scale, paired with educating people about how to make decisions and be adults in themselves, and I mean that in the best way, no one ever really taught us. We all make that joke - no one taught us how to do taxes in school. Yeah, it's true. No one taught us how to make decisions in the collective, in the community and we're going to learn.

Katherine

I mean, the other thing is also I think it's also about choice, which is that right now I don't have any decision making power, any of the products I use or any of the companies in which I'm shareholders in. And so I think it's more just about choice and not “I'm going to force you to make these big decisions,” but it's that you have a choice if you want to. So I think that's also another point that's worth actually saying. So just switching gears for a second, I remember a few weeks ago, I read one of your tweets that went viral and maybe it was like a little bit of a hot take. And I'm going to read it verbatim for our listeners. And this is kind of where you opened the tweet with you said “in Web3, we start giving early contributors tokens to a project would incentivize participation, instead it incentivized greed.” And I know that one caused a lot of ruckus in the comments section. But I think on the flip side, I do think that a major downside of the DAO model is that there is something a little bit broken with the status quo. So let's dig into it and just talk about it. In your mind, what do we really need to do in order to make sure this pattern does not repeat itself and how did it become this way?

Kristen Stone

Just to admit this, I really do not know how to use Twitter. In fact, Elitzer afterwards he was like, wow, you really engaged with people on that tweet. And I was like, is that not what you're supposed to do? Do I not have to respond to everyone?

Katherine

You're not supposed to feed the trolls.

Kristen Stone

I have actually had to learn a lot about boundaries. What am I willing and comfortable to respond to? And what do I think is someone taking an inappropriate amount of my space or commentary? And that's been really that's a whole other podcast for how do we handle conversations on Twitter? If you could host that, I would love it.

Katherine

For my next season. That'll be an episode.

Kristen Stone

So back to your question, which I just sidestepped for a minute, the primary thing I learned from that tweet, first of all, is that it's not necessarily true that greed is a bad thing. I especially love this engagement. Luke and a couple of people posted videos from different thought leaders in the world pre crypto and one person wrote “Greed is good. Greed brings innovation. It brings freedom. It drives growth. We wouldn't even have web3 without greed.” To which someone responded to that “drinking alcohol is fine, but being an alcoholic isn't.” So I think that we are learning a lot in that spectrum of what is good and what is bad? And things don't necessarily fit into a black and white box. They tend to be on a spectrum with all the work that you do.

So. Well, I still haven’t answered your question. My first comment is that I did have to rethink because of that tweet, whether greed is a bad thing or a good thing and how I think about having it in the right proportions.

Katherine

This is just reminding me of something that a few years ago someone said to me, right? In crypto, there are two types of people. There are the mercenaries and there are the missionaries. So the difference is the mercenaries are people who come into crypto. they're like, Oh, I can make whatever, like mercenaries, right? I can make a lot of money if I act a certain way, say certain things. And then there are the missionaries who are just like, I'm in crypto because I love this, right? I got in for a personal reason or my passion is in it. And so I think about that a lot even today with every bull market, you see a lot of mercenaries come in the space and then when prices start crashing or when the bear market hits, it's really the missionaries that stay. But is that a net good or bad to be a mercenary or a missionary? Either way you are contributing to the ecosystem in some ways, right? So maybe to kind of tie that back into your tweet and your framing of maybe mercenaries in greed is not a net bad because people are doing things. I think it’s just more if you came into the space as a missionary, you probably look at this and you don't love it.

Kristen Stone

Wow. I feel like K Wu just summed up my emotional experience. So thank you for that.

Katherine

Well, it's not mine. Someone said this to me.

Kristen Stone

I mean, what are our ideas these days except just passed between the collective until they come into reality?

Katherine

Let's talk about it, though. You give tokens to contributors and maybe that model, I don't know if it's good or bad, if it's broken, but it certainly attracts the people who maybe just want to collect tokens, right? And kind of see this as a cash grab behavior. I mean, I don't know that there's a clear good or bad here, but what do you think that means in the grand scheme of participation, especially in the long term?

Kristen Stone

What I saw and what was so disappointing and I think is the reason that I ended up putting that tweet out in the first place is that the first group came in and they were not ill intentioned. Right? I think they were early contributors. They saw an opportunity. It's a great business model, get in early, make money. So no fault there. And then over time, the people who joined later and did more work would sort of look back and feel like, oh, my gosh, those people didn't do the same amount of work that I'm doing and we didn't get compensated fairly. And I think this is the problem with transparent compensation models - they're very hard to do and make sure we all feel good about them. So the problem with this incentivization of greed is that then people thought that was the value that was happening. If someone comes in, takes tokens, leaves, and doesn't produce work because the lockups aren't long enough - and genuinely you need eight year lockups, five to ten years but I think eight is a good number - and my personal experience is that at Coinbase, it took us eight years before we saw any fruit from our labor. Before we went public. But that time was really, really important, right? Because we learned a lot. We were not inundated with the market at that time. We weren't focused on whether or not we were making money. We were there for all of the reasons that we loved and cared for it. So in comparing those two things, I think one thing that's very hard in DAOs is that you give people money and now they can associate both their worth and their value to a number that is deeply fluctuating and that we have no experience in doing. And then you end up just with short term incentivisation-like behaviors.

Katherine

Aside from longer lockup periods, what do you think are some of the other things that perhaps DAOs or people who are thinking about compensation to contributors, what are some of the considerations that you hope to see more in order to incentivize people who are really in it for the mission and less so people who are in it for a perhaps more kind of greedier purposes?

Kristen Stone

Yeah. Or business models that work for them, but not for the collective, right? So a few things. I love what Climate DAO did. What did Climate DAO gave or thought about at least giving, I don't think that they've launched this out yet, but they wanted to put it into the hands of climate experts, which serves two purposes, right? You bring a whole bunch of people who are not in crypto into crypto, and you put your token in the hands of the experts who are the correct decision makers.

Showing up early to something is fine if you're incentivizing creating a line out the door, which helps create a network effect. But it doesn't help if those are the people who are going to be decision makers and you want some value out of them that's clear and tangible. So by that I mean Climate DAO wants to put their tokens in the hands of climate experts, right? Think about what your project needs to succeed and then make sure the tokens get into their hands and be very careful about giving your tokens, like, I think a lot of people reach out to me and they're like, “Oh, can you be an advisor?” The truth is, I can't effectively be an advisor to 100 people. So be careful of the people who say yes to that without being thoughtful about your product. And that's where I just think the most important thing you can do is focus on what your project needs to succeed in terms of experience, skill set, and overall value. Be very clear about the request that you're making out of the people you give tokens to, set an expectation early on the way you would with anyone you're providing value to and then follow through and hold people accountable. And then I think we can talk more generally about compensation models for DAOs, but that's a bigger topic.

Katherine

Yeah I mean, I know that's one of the really big projects that you are working on over at Iris, but which I want to touch on in a second. You know what you said just now for me, when I think about accountability in DAOs and accountability in DAO contributors and people who maybe get a token grant and don't really live up to, as you said earlier, expectations, do you feel like accountability is lacking a little bit in DAOs and among DAO participants?

Kristen Stone

A lot. This is where we had another idea wrong. Honestly, I wish I had a clear and direct answer for you. I think the first thing we do is, and companies have to learn this every time, you value people based on the results that they produce, you value them based on their performance. And just to be clear, that feels good for everybody. Because if I'm not doing a good job somewhere, I don't want them to keep paying me. That feels bad for me, even if I'm not explicit about it, because I may be scared of losing a paycheck. It's not in line with my integrity to be somewhere where people don't want me. And I think that's an important individual lesson that we all need to learn. If something doesn't feel good, learn to have a conversation and then learn to exit. And then as a community at the DAO level, learn that part of your job as an organization is to provide learning and growth to the people who are participating. They are going to be more freelancers and more entrepreneurial than your average worker. But that doesn't mean that our organizations can offer people learning and growth. And that's a huge value add to them as individuals and to us in our collective consciousness. Why would you lose that opportunity? So really defining this around learning and growth and using accountability as a way for learning growth.

Katherine

Yeah. I mean, the other thing is also DAOs as a structure have really just not even been around for that long. And so part of it is that we're all learning as we're kind of doing it. But in my mind when I think about to the extent that there are people who have been in the trenches and really thought through all sorts of issues, I think you're actually one of the top people that come to mind. And I know that's probably what let you also to start Iris is which is what you're doing now. So switching gears and kind of digging into where you're building at Iris, which I think started as a super DAO contributor group and now kind of more into like a Web3 crypto collective. Let's chat through kind of the origins of Iris and kind of the broader trend of freelancers in crypto getting together, forming a collective and participating and contributing to DAOs.

Kristen Stone

There's a design collective called We3 that I just had the privilege of spending some time with. And they're a group of freelance designers who have gotten together. And you can. I mean, it is palpable how incredible it is to have a group of people who are good at dealing with ambiguity but who've missed support. They get together, and this is to say that, you have a whole bunch of freelance designers, their number one pain point of being freelancers is “we miss a team, we miss peers who can help mentor us and support us.” Then they get together as a collective in a group. They now have their peer mentorship support and the benefit to the community. And the DAOs is that they can outsource things and they don't need to worry about longevity. They can do things on a project basis that the community approves. Right? Because if your community approves, I want a full time designer forever. You've just bloated your treasury. You've bloated your DAO and you've committed your treasury without the structures of accountability. But if you can chunk things at the level down to a project basis, then you can hand them out to freelancers. So the freelancers get the benefit of staying independent.

And again, this idea of reclaiming their time, their time becomes theirs. They didn't lose mentorship and support. And then the DAOs also get the benefit of really reclaiming decision making. Because if you put a person in a DAO full time, they're naturally going to be a point of origin, someone who has contacts or makes decisions. Whereas if you put something out on a project basis, you're handing it over to an expert and then you're not going to continue that. And you can always revisit accountability. You do need someone in your DAO to hold your service providers accountable, but that's a bit further in how we think about the structure of this. The benefit of seeing this incredible team was to really watch them evolve what collectives might mean in DAOs in the future? And, while I think about Iris offering that for operations. I don't think we're at a place where I would feel and someone did ask me today are you going to scale Iris up? And the honest answer here, and it comes back to your question before, this is incredibly ambiguous. We've done similar things like this in the world, and I'm not as educated as I would like to be to decide the trade offs based on our history and everything that's happened. How have consultancies worked? What's gone well? What hasn't? What have the major mergers been and why? I want all of that context before I commit to scaling something in a big way. So when I think about Iris today, I just think about a group of people who can come in and help DAOs scale their operations right when they're in that stage of getting very popular because this is what happened at Coinbase. So any time that they're in that growth phase and they need to put some processes in and there are tradeoffs to be made. Which does come back to your last question around, how do we think about compensation? Well, the truth is, we don't have models for transparent compensation that don't leave people feeling bad over time. So we need to rethink it and probably we need to keep some of it less transparent until teams can grow to a larger size and then it feels safe. Or they're always like outsourcing it to service providers, which I think is a model we'll probably get into next. Collectives are happening and I think Iris has a place in that, but it's important to me to be thoughtful about how we get there.

Katherine

I love so much how excited you get when you talk about DAOs and just really nerdy topics. And I love that because I'm also a nerd at heart and I think that's why we're friends. I want to fill in just a little context for people who may not be as familiar with Iris. I knew you before. And I remember Iris and your thesis, at least you were telling me, was as company as crypto companies and protocols become more decentralized, you kind of start to imagine a future of work where maybe every, let's say in a traditional web2 company, every department is within the company umbrella, but maybe in a decentralized crypto company or protocol like each department per se, maybe kind of spins out into its own individual group. And these groups can be the marketing department or the department, they spin out and essentially contribute among multiple protocols that way. And I do think that's a really interesting kind of future work trend when you really think about what it means to build a decentralized company by way of a DAO structure.

Kristen Stone

So excited. Did you ask me a question in there?

Katherine

Yes and no. That was like a thought that I was like, you can follow up. No. But my question actually was, DAO consultancy and collectives in my mind are two pretty different concepts. And so I think I'm just kind of sitting there like, how do I reconcile the Iris is a DAO code consultancy to now as a collective thing in my mind, and what's that journey or what's that after getting there?

Kristen Stone

So do you have a definition between what the difference between consultancy and collective would be for you?

Katherine

I don't know. I mean, when I think of consultancy, I just think of the McKinsey's of the world, right? They go into a big company, maybe propose something and then they leave. A collective to me feels a little bit more permanent and maybe a little bit more free flowing in terms of like who can be part of this consultancy or who could be part of this collective?

Kristen Stone

Beautifully said, I've been wondering the exact same thing, and my response to your thought was also like, I have so much excitement for what this will be because getting to watch a group of people decide to be a collective in crypto and figure out what that means live was so special and they have a lot of structures already set up. But then as you keep going, you just keep asking, Well, what does this mean? Is this right for this space? Is this right for us? And that question, ping pongs back and forth. And no one wants to be a consultant because as you put it, consultants just show up. They point out the problem and then they leave, right? Now, the consulting firms I've worked with, it was really more expertise that was outsourced. And it's okay to outsource expertise if that person has tax context or if they have legal context, right? There's some expertise that should be outsourced. DAOs, though, they need both expertise and execution. So if we are to separate those two concepts, which is like a collective is your expert executor as opposed to your consultant that is just your expert. And so you pay for their expertise, but you don't actually get their execution. That, I think, is where collectives have come to. And I worry about the model for a couple of reasons, and I'm very excited about the model because to your point, like marketing can now be done across multiple DAOs. Design can be done across multiple DAOs. So we get this network effect of information that we otherwise wouldn't have. The downside is there's not a single group of people all contributing and therefore building consensus and trust with themselves. So we can also think about some of the downsides in this logic.

Katherine

Wait, let's dig into this a little bit more so. Pros and cons of a collective in web3.

Kristen Stone

I feel like that's putting me on the spot. I haven't even seen enough of them K Wu.

Katherine

Okay, fine. Maybe just…

Kristen Stone

No, no, no. Let's answer the question. This is my radical theory. And if in three years I'm right, I'm going to have you buy me a beer or a drink or flowers or something lovely.

Katherine

Perfect. You can get all the margaritas and all the flowers you want.

Kristen Stone

I mean, I might even request a full trip to, like, Mexico or the by Cancun at this point, because this is a big one.

Katherine [00:25:19]

Okay, now I really want to hear it. I'll bear the brunt of the burden.

Kristen Stone

My hypothesis is that full time contributors of DAOs are project managers. So like my thesis is that project managers end up leading the way for DAOs because what you need is glue and people bridging these together. You need them to hold service providers accountable. You need them to put the information together in a really cohesive and concise way, and then you need them to share information. We cannot get away from having humans being the glue. I think we can automate some of it. And that was the goal with DAOs, right? Decentralized autonomous organizations were supposed to mean we didn't need humans in the middle. We haven't made it there yet, and I don't think we'll ever fully make it there. So my guess is that project managers are being that glue and they're bringing things together. They actually sit in the seat of power in DAOs five years from now.

Katherine

Wait. Okay. I actually like this so much. Like one of the big gripes I have with so many of these, even like the name DAO, was such a misnomer because everyone just kind of walks away thinking, Oh, these crypto people want to take humans out of everything. That's why they named these, they call these things DAOs and they call these things like smart contracts. And at the end of the day, and I say this all the time, so much of either behavior or pattern or really what makes a world tick are literally humans. And so you can't take the human out of anything no matter how much you want to automate it. And especially not in making decisions and running a company. And even if a lot of it is decentralized and we're talking about power that's decentralized, we're not talking about humans that get taken out.

Kristen Stone

Right. There's always work for humans to do. And it's how we have belonging, right? Like we belong with each other. That sense is important. Yes, a proposal could go up for, okay we need like we need to work with a group of marketers and then, yes, that agreement could be put into a smart contract. But, what does quality control mean? Who's beating the drum? Who's holding the culture? That all really matters. And project managers and someone put out a tweet about it. I think it was the Gitcoin founder put out a tweet about the glue, who's the glue of the organization? And DAOs are going to need glue to make culture to be drums and project managers, of which I know a lot. They're very good at executing tasks, they're very good at beating the drum, they're very good at understanding stakeholders and stakeholder management. Now DAOs have like multiple stakeholder management because you think about your token holders really a lot more as like your board, they're the ones making the ultimate decisions here. So I think project management, which has been historically undervalued in teams and that glue role has been undervalued, is going to take the charge in five years and then you're going to owe me a trip to Cancun.

Katherine

Speaking of humans and DAOs, really humans in web3, what are some good ways…So I know you've also done a lot of work around bringing talent into web3 and especially bringing people who are maybe not in web3. So web2 to web3, what are some important lessons like things to do not to do. And you also, I think, do a lot of work in up-training folks who want to onboard into eeb3. So the question is kind of more around, what are important lessons? And also very importantly humans are web3 if you want work to really take off and be inclusive, you need 50% of the population that are not really represented a lot so far. And so how can we enable a more inclusive and diverse future in web3?

Kristen Stone

So the first thing to do, if you want to bring talent in from other places into your DAO or your project, is to create a discrete project. This behavior we used to have in DAOs that was like, Oh, just come in and do whatever you want. It's not going to keep working and it's not motivating to the people who need to be upskilled and who need to learn what a DAO is. They don't want to come in, learn crypto, and have to sort out this mess of an organization where no one has full context ever. So that's very, very important in terms of just chunking the project down to a discrete project. And then offering it to someone so that they don't have to learn about the project. They can just learn about crypto in that time. And you also want to serve it out to someone who's an expert in that space so that they have the confidence to step into that.

Katherine

Yes, I think that is so key to building confidence in anyone who you want to work with. There's so much of it that's like, oh, come in and do whatever you want. And that's really not how you empower people. You empower people by building up their confidence, especially in a really intimidating industry. And that might start off with being a little bit more guideliney. And then eventually build it up. But such a big plus one to that.

Kristen Stone

Yeah, we've both been freelancers in our lives, and it's so hard when someone says, Just come in. I know you'll figure it out. And that always rubs me the wrong way, because I think I have no context about your team or your company or your priorities. So you should start and then we'll iterate. But I think that this is, again, where project managers come in. They can chunk projects down into discrete tasks and then do a bid for those projects so that you get the expert in the role.

Katherine

Yes. There's also, there's no faster way for me to feel like such an imposter when I just come into a place and are expected to immediately know what to do. Right? At the end of the day, when you're onboarding someone to either a new group, new organization or new industry, you want to make them feel like they have a little bit of guidance. And so many times I've been in the room where I look around them like, I don't belong here because I don't have a context that their people do. But it's just because no one's there to up-train me or get me up to speed.

Kristen Stone

Yeah. Or marry this idea of, you're the expert and they have the context, right? So this is my hypothesis around DAOs will have people who have context inside of them and then give the work of the expert over to the collective along the way, providing context about it. And so there's shared context that's now traveling both ways.

Katherine

Yes. Okay. That was your first point and I derailed us. I'm going to let you do your second point.

Kristen Stone

The second question was, how can we enable and include diversity in the web3 space? Is that right? I wish I was an expert at this. And the truth is, I have to stand on the shoulders of giants and find my community and my network who can better answer that question. I can speak for my personal experience. There is nothing worse than having someone expect you to have all the answers. Exactly what you said. There's nothing worse than feeling like you're not good enough. And I think diversity is a group of people who have never been advocated for in another space. So the most important thing we can do is advocate for them here and to give them that sense of psychological safety so that they can show up and they do know what they're doing. Push forward a space that they want to be in because it's clear, because it's safe, because it's understandable, and because someone cares about them. And again, this is where the humans come back. We can't put everything into code. You need another person to talk you through things all the time. It's why we have relationships.

Katherine

It was a totally a big question to ask and maybe an unfair question to ask. Neither, I'm not a DEI expert and I think it's a cause that's very near and dear to our hearts because I would love to see more, more women in web3. I would love to see more POCs in web3. And I think maybe at least from our seats and maybe our listeners, hopefully who work at a crypto company or a DAO or organization is, be mindful of the people you are on board and be there for them. The main thing that's so scary about crypto is that it can be a little bit intimidating. There is a lot of jargon and so just be there for people and give them the context, as you say. And this is going to be super important more so when we get into when DAOs kind of get more popular is that context is always important. And you hire good people they can execute but with no context. They don't have that confidence to execute. So I think if there's only one take away, I think that's a pretty big one.

Kristen Stone

Yes, we can chunk it into like the three things that people need to feel safe. They need the context. They need to know that they're getting clear feedback. If someone never says No I cannot trust their Yes. So it's incredibly important to be giving feedback, to give context, to give feedback, and to help form and make sense of this very nebulous world because we're all going to do it together.

Katherine

Yes, we will. Okay. I think that, honestly, I wasn’t really expecting to touch on this. But this was the perfect time to end the discussion. With more people in DAOs who are working on solving problems with humans involved, I think that's really important for the future of DAOs and the future of work, and I think we're trending that way. And so I'm really glad that you're working to do this full time now. And again, I'm going to give you an opportunity to plug where can listeners find the work that you're doing?

Kristen Stone

So the best place to find the work is my Twitter. So you'll hear the insights that me and my co-founder learned through my Twitter. You'll also hear them if you are on irisrising.xyz and you click like Stay in Touch. And what we do is we just send out what we've learned in these  chunked down sizes once a week. So if you care about operations and how DAOs are working, we're going to send learnings directly to the people we follow. And then we're just pretty explicit that we take on one client at a time and we don't have any capacity right now. So our goal is to give you and people who want to follow us as much information as we can without sacrificing the quality that we're producing for other teams. So stay in touch with us. Watch the Twitter, subscribe on irisrising.xyz, and make sure you let us know if there's questions you have because we are absolutely listening to those. I respond to almost every tweet. For better or worse.

Katherine

All right. Well, thank you so much, Kristen, for coming on. Thank you for your time. And I absolutely can't wait to follow Iris and all the work that you're doing.

Kristen Stone

Thanks, Kathryn.

Katherine

Thank you everyone for tuning in. Please like and subscribe wherever you're getting this podcast. So whether it's YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify or the like. Leave me any thoughts, questions, suggestions for either this episode, past episodes or future episodes. Thank you again and I'll see you next week.

accelerating the decentralized future

Ep.1: Crypto Coven–Building An Inclusive And Sustainable NFT Community

July 13, 2022
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36:04
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S1:E5

Katherine

Hello everyone and welcome to episode five of Cross-Chain Examination. I'm your host, Katherine Wu. Every week on Cross-Chain examination, we have on the smartest and most authentic people working full time in the crypto industry to tell us what's top of mind for them.

A big trend in crypto from the last year is a concept of DAOs, which stands for a decentralized autonomous organization. With roots much like your traditional cooperatives or co-ops, this new hierarchy and structure of work has really ushered in a new way to work and to contribute to a collective. So with us today, we have Kristen Stone. Kristen is an OG crypto figure. She's been working in full time crypto for the last, I think at least eight years. She's one of the very first 50 or 100 employees at Coinbase. Most recently, she is the CEO of Balancer Labs. She's currently a powerhouse DAO contributor and founder of Iris, so you should definitely check them out at irisrising.xyz. With that said, welcome to the show Kristen.

Kristen Stone

Thanks Katherine, how's it going?

Katherine

So I know we were saying this before because you were like what's your goal of the podcast? And honestly, I just want to get people I like and my friends to be on this and talk to me. So this is your forced hour to speak with me today.

Kristen Stone

I'm grateful for that. I have always enjoyed our time and I know the listeners probably don't know the deep history of that, but I call Kathryn K Wu because I often go by K Stone. So if you ever need to refer to both of us together, you have K Stone and K Wu.

Katherine

Yes, K Wu and K Stone.

Kristen Stone

Now your listeners know it too.

Kristen Stone

So I wanted to start off our conversation today by briefly talking about the future of work and corporate structure that are DAOs. So first of all, my first question to you is why should people care? So in other words, what's so great about DAOs is and what is its importance?

Kristen Stone

The most interesting way I can define the importance of DAOs, and I want to be clear for everybody listening, there are so many ways to define DAOs and I think we use them in this very nebulous way. I actually heard somebody say to me today, they said, I'm starting a DAO, but not like a crypto DAO. It's just a group of people hanging out.

DAOs have this crazy giant spectrum of what they can be and what they mean. So I'm going to summarize it. The importance of a DAOs is that it is allowing individuals to reclaim their time. What we saw is we had the gig economy come up and now people started to realize, look, I don't need to work for one person. At the same moment in time, ownership in crypto became very granular, so now you could issue tokens where everyone could be an owner and a participant. My sort of look back on the world says that a lot of people became freelancers. A lot of people understood the gig economy. We also have the tool because of the Internet to be more self empowered so we can be stronger decision makers than ever before. At the same time, you saw the fall of hierarchical organizations, and with all of this, it's just a moment in time where individuals are empowered. They're empowered to work in new ways. And that's what I think DAOs offer at their core. What's most important and what I see most empowering people.

Katherine

Yeah, I think one of misconceptions that people have about DAOs is, well, if there's no one to make decisions how did decisions get made? And I think the fundamental misunderstanding in that is that you perceive any kind of group or structure as having a clear hierarchy where one person or maybe three people make a decision. And so instead, this is maybe actually democratizing decision making. And sure, I think that comes with probably some headaches and processes, but it doesn't mean that no decision can ever be made.

Kristen Stone

Beautifully said. The two aspects I think that are coming into focus for this is, one, we have to educate communities about how to make decisions. And what world have you been able to make every decision or most of the decisions? And so whoever is the co-creator or the founder of that protocol does have a responsibility to educate their community, to have thoughtful rhetoric. And then to be able to make decisions. And the other thing is that there are some epic tools. And one I just found out about that, that allows people to come together and make decisions through conversation with sort of audio AI, so they can kind of piece together what decision here came to the top, not just because that person is popular or they elbowed their way in, but because this is what the group spent the most time thinking and caring about. So those two pieces combined new tools, new ways of decision making at a large scale, paired with educating people about how to make decisions and be adults in themselves, and I mean that in the best way, no one ever really taught us. We all make that joke - no one taught us how to do taxes in school. Yeah, it's true. No one taught us how to make decisions in the collective, in the community and we're going to learn.

Katherine

I mean, the other thing is also I think it's also about choice, which is that right now I don't have any decision making power, any of the products I use or any of the companies in which I'm shareholders in. And so I think it's more just about choice and not “I'm going to force you to make these big decisions,” but it's that you have a choice if you want to. So I think that's also another point that's worth actually saying. So just switching gears for a second, I remember a few weeks ago, I read one of your tweets that went viral and maybe it was like a little bit of a hot take. And I'm going to read it verbatim for our listeners. And this is kind of where you opened the tweet with you said “in Web3, we start giving early contributors tokens to a project would incentivize participation, instead it incentivized greed.” And I know that one caused a lot of ruckus in the comments section. But I think on the flip side, I do think that a major downside of the DAO model is that there is something a little bit broken with the status quo. So let's dig into it and just talk about it. In your mind, what do we really need to do in order to make sure this pattern does not repeat itself and how did it become this way?

Kristen Stone

Just to admit this, I really do not know how to use Twitter. In fact, Elitzer afterwards he was like, wow, you really engaged with people on that tweet. And I was like, is that not what you're supposed to do? Do I not have to respond to everyone?

Katherine

You're not supposed to feed the trolls.

Kristen Stone

I have actually had to learn a lot about boundaries. What am I willing and comfortable to respond to? And what do I think is someone taking an inappropriate amount of my space or commentary? And that's been really that's a whole other podcast for how do we handle conversations on Twitter? If you could host that, I would love it.

Katherine

For my next season. That'll be an episode.

Kristen Stone

So back to your question, which I just sidestepped for a minute, the primary thing I learned from that tweet, first of all, is that it's not necessarily true that greed is a bad thing. I especially love this engagement. Luke and a couple of people posted videos from different thought leaders in the world pre crypto and one person wrote “Greed is good. Greed brings innovation. It brings freedom. It drives growth. We wouldn't even have web3 without greed.” To which someone responded to that “drinking alcohol is fine, but being an alcoholic isn't.” So I think that we are learning a lot in that spectrum of what is good and what is bad? And things don't necessarily fit into a black and white box. They tend to be on a spectrum with all the work that you do.

So. Well, I still haven’t answered your question. My first comment is that I did have to rethink because of that tweet, whether greed is a bad thing or a good thing and how I think about having it in the right proportions.

Katherine

This is just reminding me of something that a few years ago someone said to me, right? In crypto, there are two types of people. There are the mercenaries and there are the missionaries. So the difference is the mercenaries are people who come into crypto. they're like, Oh, I can make whatever, like mercenaries, right? I can make a lot of money if I act a certain way, say certain things. And then there are the missionaries who are just like, I'm in crypto because I love this, right? I got in for a personal reason or my passion is in it. And so I think about that a lot even today with every bull market, you see a lot of mercenaries come in the space and then when prices start crashing or when the bear market hits, it's really the missionaries that stay. But is that a net good or bad to be a mercenary or a missionary? Either way you are contributing to the ecosystem in some ways, right? So maybe to kind of tie that back into your tweet and your framing of maybe mercenaries in greed is not a net bad because people are doing things. I think it’s just more if you came into the space as a missionary, you probably look at this and you don't love it.

Kristen Stone

Wow. I feel like K Wu just summed up my emotional experience. So thank you for that.

Katherine

Well, it's not mine. Someone said this to me.

Kristen Stone

I mean, what are our ideas these days except just passed between the collective until they come into reality?

Katherine

Let's talk about it, though. You give tokens to contributors and maybe that model, I don't know if it's good or bad, if it's broken, but it certainly attracts the people who maybe just want to collect tokens, right? And kind of see this as a cash grab behavior. I mean, I don't know that there's a clear good or bad here, but what do you think that means in the grand scheme of participation, especially in the long term?

Kristen Stone

What I saw and what was so disappointing and I think is the reason that I ended up putting that tweet out in the first place is that the first group came in and they were not ill intentioned. Right? I think they were early contributors. They saw an opportunity. It's a great business model, get in early, make money. So no fault there. And then over time, the people who joined later and did more work would sort of look back and feel like, oh, my gosh, those people didn't do the same amount of work that I'm doing and we didn't get compensated fairly. And I think this is the problem with transparent compensation models - they're very hard to do and make sure we all feel good about them. So the problem with this incentivization of greed is that then people thought that was the value that was happening. If someone comes in, takes tokens, leaves, and doesn't produce work because the lockups aren't long enough - and genuinely you need eight year lockups, five to ten years but I think eight is a good number - and my personal experience is that at Coinbase, it took us eight years before we saw any fruit from our labor. Before we went public. But that time was really, really important, right? Because we learned a lot. We were not inundated with the market at that time. We weren't focused on whether or not we were making money. We were there for all of the reasons that we loved and cared for it. So in comparing those two things, I think one thing that's very hard in DAOs is that you give people money and now they can associate both their worth and their value to a number that is deeply fluctuating and that we have no experience in doing. And then you end up just with short term incentivisation-like behaviors.

Katherine

Aside from longer lockup periods, what do you think are some of the other things that perhaps DAOs or people who are thinking about compensation to contributors, what are some of the considerations that you hope to see more in order to incentivize people who are really in it for the mission and less so people who are in it for a perhaps more kind of greedier purposes?

Kristen Stone

Yeah. Or business models that work for them, but not for the collective, right? So a few things. I love what Climate DAO did. What did Climate DAO gave or thought about at least giving, I don't think that they've launched this out yet, but they wanted to put it into the hands of climate experts, which serves two purposes, right? You bring a whole bunch of people who are not in crypto into crypto, and you put your token in the hands of the experts who are the correct decision makers.

Showing up early to something is fine if you're incentivizing creating a line out the door, which helps create a network effect. But it doesn't help if those are the people who are going to be decision makers and you want some value out of them that's clear and tangible. So by that I mean Climate DAO wants to put their tokens in the hands of climate experts, right? Think about what your project needs to succeed and then make sure the tokens get into their hands and be very careful about giving your tokens, like, I think a lot of people reach out to me and they're like, “Oh, can you be an advisor?” The truth is, I can't effectively be an advisor to 100 people. So be careful of the people who say yes to that without being thoughtful about your product. And that's where I just think the most important thing you can do is focus on what your project needs to succeed in terms of experience, skill set, and overall value. Be very clear about the request that you're making out of the people you give tokens to, set an expectation early on the way you would with anyone you're providing value to and then follow through and hold people accountable. And then I think we can talk more generally about compensation models for DAOs, but that's a bigger topic.

Katherine

Yeah I mean, I know that's one of the really big projects that you are working on over at Iris, but which I want to touch on in a second. You know what you said just now for me, when I think about accountability in DAOs and accountability in DAO contributors and people who maybe get a token grant and don't really live up to, as you said earlier, expectations, do you feel like accountability is lacking a little bit in DAOs and among DAO participants?

Kristen Stone

A lot. This is where we had another idea wrong. Honestly, I wish I had a clear and direct answer for you. I think the first thing we do is, and companies have to learn this every time, you value people based on the results that they produce, you value them based on their performance. And just to be clear, that feels good for everybody. Because if I'm not doing a good job somewhere, I don't want them to keep paying me. That feels bad for me, even if I'm not explicit about it, because I may be scared of losing a paycheck. It's not in line with my integrity to be somewhere where people don't want me. And I think that's an important individual lesson that we all need to learn. If something doesn't feel good, learn to have a conversation and then learn to exit. And then as a community at the DAO level, learn that part of your job as an organization is to provide learning and growth to the people who are participating. They are going to be more freelancers and more entrepreneurial than your average worker. But that doesn't mean that our organizations can offer people learning and growth. And that's a huge value add to them as individuals and to us in our collective consciousness. Why would you lose that opportunity? So really defining this around learning and growth and using accountability as a way for learning growth.

Katherine

Yeah. I mean, the other thing is also DAOs as a structure have really just not even been around for that long. And so part of it is that we're all learning as we're kind of doing it. But in my mind when I think about to the extent that there are people who have been in the trenches and really thought through all sorts of issues, I think you're actually one of the top people that come to mind. And I know that's probably what let you also to start Iris is which is what you're doing now. So switching gears and kind of digging into where you're building at Iris, which I think started as a super DAO contributor group and now kind of more into like a Web3 crypto collective. Let's chat through kind of the origins of Iris and kind of the broader trend of freelancers in crypto getting together, forming a collective and participating and contributing to DAOs.

Kristen Stone

There's a design collective called We3 that I just had the privilege of spending some time with. And they're a group of freelance designers who have gotten together. And you can. I mean, it is palpable how incredible it is to have a group of people who are good at dealing with ambiguity but who've missed support. They get together, and this is to say that, you have a whole bunch of freelance designers, their number one pain point of being freelancers is “we miss a team, we miss peers who can help mentor us and support us.” Then they get together as a collective in a group. They now have their peer mentorship support and the benefit to the community. And the DAOs is that they can outsource things and they don't need to worry about longevity. They can do things on a project basis that the community approves. Right? Because if your community approves, I want a full time designer forever. You've just bloated your treasury. You've bloated your DAO and you've committed your treasury without the structures of accountability. But if you can chunk things at the level down to a project basis, then you can hand them out to freelancers. So the freelancers get the benefit of staying independent.

And again, this idea of reclaiming their time, their time becomes theirs. They didn't lose mentorship and support. And then the DAOs also get the benefit of really reclaiming decision making. Because if you put a person in a DAO full time, they're naturally going to be a point of origin, someone who has contacts or makes decisions. Whereas if you put something out on a project basis, you're handing it over to an expert and then you're not going to continue that. And you can always revisit accountability. You do need someone in your DAO to hold your service providers accountable, but that's a bit further in how we think about the structure of this. The benefit of seeing this incredible team was to really watch them evolve what collectives might mean in DAOs in the future? And, while I think about Iris offering that for operations. I don't think we're at a place where I would feel and someone did ask me today are you going to scale Iris up? And the honest answer here, and it comes back to your question before, this is incredibly ambiguous. We've done similar things like this in the world, and I'm not as educated as I would like to be to decide the trade offs based on our history and everything that's happened. How have consultancies worked? What's gone well? What hasn't? What have the major mergers been and why? I want all of that context before I commit to scaling something in a big way. So when I think about Iris today, I just think about a group of people who can come in and help DAOs scale their operations right when they're in that stage of getting very popular because this is what happened at Coinbase. So any time that they're in that growth phase and they need to put some processes in and there are tradeoffs to be made. Which does come back to your last question around, how do we think about compensation? Well, the truth is, we don't have models for transparent compensation that don't leave people feeling bad over time. So we need to rethink it and probably we need to keep some of it less transparent until teams can grow to a larger size and then it feels safe. Or they're always like outsourcing it to service providers, which I think is a model we'll probably get into next. Collectives are happening and I think Iris has a place in that, but it's important to me to be thoughtful about how we get there.

Katherine

I love so much how excited you get when you talk about DAOs and just really nerdy topics. And I love that because I'm also a nerd at heart and I think that's why we're friends. I want to fill in just a little context for people who may not be as familiar with Iris. I knew you before. And I remember Iris and your thesis, at least you were telling me, was as company as crypto companies and protocols become more decentralized, you kind of start to imagine a future of work where maybe every, let's say in a traditional web2 company, every department is within the company umbrella, but maybe in a decentralized crypto company or protocol like each department per se, maybe kind of spins out into its own individual group. And these groups can be the marketing department or the department, they spin out and essentially contribute among multiple protocols that way. And I do think that's a really interesting kind of future work trend when you really think about what it means to build a decentralized company by way of a DAO structure.

Kristen Stone

So excited. Did you ask me a question in there?

Katherine

Yes and no. That was like a thought that I was like, you can follow up. No. But my question actually was, DAO consultancy and collectives in my mind are two pretty different concepts. And so I think I'm just kind of sitting there like, how do I reconcile the Iris is a DAO code consultancy to now as a collective thing in my mind, and what's that journey or what's that after getting there?

Kristen Stone

So do you have a definition between what the difference between consultancy and collective would be for you?

Katherine

I don't know. I mean, when I think of consultancy, I just think of the McKinsey's of the world, right? They go into a big company, maybe propose something and then they leave. A collective to me feels a little bit more permanent and maybe a little bit more free flowing in terms of like who can be part of this consultancy or who could be part of this collective?

Kristen Stone

Beautifully said, I've been wondering the exact same thing, and my response to your thought was also like, I have so much excitement for what this will be because getting to watch a group of people decide to be a collective in crypto and figure out what that means live was so special and they have a lot of structures already set up. But then as you keep going, you just keep asking, Well, what does this mean? Is this right for this space? Is this right for us? And that question, ping pongs back and forth. And no one wants to be a consultant because as you put it, consultants just show up. They point out the problem and then they leave, right? Now, the consulting firms I've worked with, it was really more expertise that was outsourced. And it's okay to outsource expertise if that person has tax context or if they have legal context, right? There's some expertise that should be outsourced. DAOs, though, they need both expertise and execution. So if we are to separate those two concepts, which is like a collective is your expert executor as opposed to your consultant that is just your expert. And so you pay for their expertise, but you don't actually get their execution. That, I think, is where collectives have come to. And I worry about the model for a couple of reasons, and I'm very excited about the model because to your point, like marketing can now be done across multiple DAOs. Design can be done across multiple DAOs. So we get this network effect of information that we otherwise wouldn't have. The downside is there's not a single group of people all contributing and therefore building consensus and trust with themselves. So we can also think about some of the downsides in this logic.

Katherine

Wait, let's dig into this a little bit more so. Pros and cons of a collective in web3.

Kristen Stone

I feel like that's putting me on the spot. I haven't even seen enough of them K Wu.

Katherine

Okay, fine. Maybe just…

Kristen Stone

No, no, no. Let's answer the question. This is my radical theory. And if in three years I'm right, I'm going to have you buy me a beer or a drink or flowers or something lovely.

Katherine

Perfect. You can get all the margaritas and all the flowers you want.

Kristen Stone

I mean, I might even request a full trip to, like, Mexico or the by Cancun at this point, because this is a big one.

Katherine [00:25:19]

Okay, now I really want to hear it. I'll bear the brunt of the burden.

Kristen Stone

My hypothesis is that full time contributors of DAOs are project managers. So like my thesis is that project managers end up leading the way for DAOs because what you need is glue and people bridging these together. You need them to hold service providers accountable. You need them to put the information together in a really cohesive and concise way, and then you need them to share information. We cannot get away from having humans being the glue. I think we can automate some of it. And that was the goal with DAOs, right? Decentralized autonomous organizations were supposed to mean we didn't need humans in the middle. We haven't made it there yet, and I don't think we'll ever fully make it there. So my guess is that project managers are being that glue and they're bringing things together. They actually sit in the seat of power in DAOs five years from now.

Katherine

Wait. Okay. I actually like this so much. Like one of the big gripes I have with so many of these, even like the name DAO, was such a misnomer because everyone just kind of walks away thinking, Oh, these crypto people want to take humans out of everything. That's why they named these, they call these things DAOs and they call these things like smart contracts. And at the end of the day, and I say this all the time, so much of either behavior or pattern or really what makes a world tick are literally humans. And so you can't take the human out of anything no matter how much you want to automate it. And especially not in making decisions and running a company. And even if a lot of it is decentralized and we're talking about power that's decentralized, we're not talking about humans that get taken out.

Kristen Stone

Right. There's always work for humans to do. And it's how we have belonging, right? Like we belong with each other. That sense is important. Yes, a proposal could go up for, okay we need like we need to work with a group of marketers and then, yes, that agreement could be put into a smart contract. But, what does quality control mean? Who's beating the drum? Who's holding the culture? That all really matters. And project managers and someone put out a tweet about it. I think it was the Gitcoin founder put out a tweet about the glue, who's the glue of the organization? And DAOs are going to need glue to make culture to be drums and project managers, of which I know a lot. They're very good at executing tasks, they're very good at beating the drum, they're very good at understanding stakeholders and stakeholder management. Now DAOs have like multiple stakeholder management because you think about your token holders really a lot more as like your board, they're the ones making the ultimate decisions here. So I think project management, which has been historically undervalued in teams and that glue role has been undervalued, is going to take the charge in five years and then you're going to owe me a trip to Cancun.

Katherine

Speaking of humans and DAOs, really humans in web3, what are some good ways…So I know you've also done a lot of work around bringing talent into web3 and especially bringing people who are maybe not in web3. So web2 to web3, what are some important lessons like things to do not to do. And you also, I think, do a lot of work in up-training folks who want to onboard into eeb3. So the question is kind of more around, what are important lessons? And also very importantly humans are web3 if you want work to really take off and be inclusive, you need 50% of the population that are not really represented a lot so far. And so how can we enable a more inclusive and diverse future in web3?

Kristen Stone

So the first thing to do, if you want to bring talent in from other places into your DAO or your project, is to create a discrete project. This behavior we used to have in DAOs that was like, Oh, just come in and do whatever you want. It's not going to keep working and it's not motivating to the people who need to be upskilled and who need to learn what a DAO is. They don't want to come in, learn crypto, and have to sort out this mess of an organization where no one has full context ever. So that's very, very important in terms of just chunking the project down to a discrete project. And then offering it to someone so that they don't have to learn about the project. They can just learn about crypto in that time. And you also want to serve it out to someone who's an expert in that space so that they have the confidence to step into that.

Katherine

Yes, I think that is so key to building confidence in anyone who you want to work with. There's so much of it that's like, oh, come in and do whatever you want. And that's really not how you empower people. You empower people by building up their confidence, especially in a really intimidating industry. And that might start off with being a little bit more guideliney. And then eventually build it up. But such a big plus one to that.

Kristen Stone

Yeah, we've both been freelancers in our lives, and it's so hard when someone says, Just come in. I know you'll figure it out. And that always rubs me the wrong way, because I think I have no context about your team or your company or your priorities. So you should start and then we'll iterate. But I think that this is, again, where project managers come in. They can chunk projects down into discrete tasks and then do a bid for those projects so that you get the expert in the role.

Katherine

Yes. There's also, there's no faster way for me to feel like such an imposter when I just come into a place and are expected to immediately know what to do. Right? At the end of the day, when you're onboarding someone to either a new group, new organization or new industry, you want to make them feel like they have a little bit of guidance. And so many times I've been in the room where I look around them like, I don't belong here because I don't have a context that their people do. But it's just because no one's there to up-train me or get me up to speed.

Kristen Stone

Yeah. Or marry this idea of, you're the expert and they have the context, right? So this is my hypothesis around DAOs will have people who have context inside of them and then give the work of the expert over to the collective along the way, providing context about it. And so there's shared context that's now traveling both ways.

Katherine

Yes. Okay. That was your first point and I derailed us. I'm going to let you do your second point.

Kristen Stone

The second question was, how can we enable and include diversity in the web3 space? Is that right? I wish I was an expert at this. And the truth is, I have to stand on the shoulders of giants and find my community and my network who can better answer that question. I can speak for my personal experience. There is nothing worse than having someone expect you to have all the answers. Exactly what you said. There's nothing worse than feeling like you're not good enough. And I think diversity is a group of people who have never been advocated for in another space. So the most important thing we can do is advocate for them here and to give them that sense of psychological safety so that they can show up and they do know what they're doing. Push forward a space that they want to be in because it's clear, because it's safe, because it's understandable, and because someone cares about them. And again, this is where the humans come back. We can't put everything into code. You need another person to talk you through things all the time. It's why we have relationships.

Katherine

It was a totally a big question to ask and maybe an unfair question to ask. Neither, I'm not a DEI expert and I think it's a cause that's very near and dear to our hearts because I would love to see more, more women in web3. I would love to see more POCs in web3. And I think maybe at least from our seats and maybe our listeners, hopefully who work at a crypto company or a DAO or organization is, be mindful of the people you are on board and be there for them. The main thing that's so scary about crypto is that it can be a little bit intimidating. There is a lot of jargon and so just be there for people and give them the context, as you say. And this is going to be super important more so when we get into when DAOs kind of get more popular is that context is always important. And you hire good people they can execute but with no context. They don't have that confidence to execute. So I think if there's only one take away, I think that's a pretty big one.

Kristen Stone

Yes, we can chunk it into like the three things that people need to feel safe. They need the context. They need to know that they're getting clear feedback. If someone never says No I cannot trust their Yes. So it's incredibly important to be giving feedback, to give context, to give feedback, and to help form and make sense of this very nebulous world because we're all going to do it together.

Katherine

Yes, we will. Okay. I think that, honestly, I wasn’t really expecting to touch on this. But this was the perfect time to end the discussion. With more people in DAOs who are working on solving problems with humans involved, I think that's really important for the future of DAOs and the future of work, and I think we're trending that way. And so I'm really glad that you're working to do this full time now. And again, I'm going to give you an opportunity to plug where can listeners find the work that you're doing?

Kristen Stone

So the best place to find the work is my Twitter. So you'll hear the insights that me and my co-founder learned through my Twitter. You'll also hear them if you are on irisrising.xyz and you click like Stay in Touch. And what we do is we just send out what we've learned in these  chunked down sizes once a week. So if you care about operations and how DAOs are working, we're going to send learnings directly to the people we follow. And then we're just pretty explicit that we take on one client at a time and we don't have any capacity right now. So our goal is to give you and people who want to follow us as much information as we can without sacrificing the quality that we're producing for other teams. So stay in touch with us. Watch the Twitter, subscribe on irisrising.xyz, and make sure you let us know if there's questions you have because we are absolutely listening to those. I respond to almost every tweet. For better or worse.

Katherine

All right. Well, thank you so much, Kristen, for coming on. Thank you for your time. And I absolutely can't wait to follow Iris and all the work that you're doing.

Kristen Stone

Thanks, Kathryn.

Katherine

Thank you everyone for tuning in. Please like and subscribe wherever you're getting this podcast. So whether it's YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify or the like. Leave me any thoughts, questions, suggestions for either this episode, past episodes or future episodes. Thank you again and I'll see you next week.

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accelerating the decentralized future
we strive towards the ideal. are you with us?