Post-Mortem from my contribution as a PM (Q3 report)

This is my end-of-mandate report from serving Public Assembly as a project manager for the last couple of months. The report includes a breakdown of observations, organizational improvements, and additional notes on the sustainability of the DAO.


Background + Proposal [PAP18}

PA is an onchain collective identifying opportunities to create what’s missing and to foster a community based on the principles of building public goods infrastructures. **Curious technologists in the Ethereum ecosystem often struggle to navigate the space, from application users to product builders. Public Assembly has spent the better part of the past year exploring those gaps and creating open-source tools and educational resources to empower creators to build their ideas on their own terms.

On June 23rd, I submitted a proposal to serve as the project manager for PA. You can find more information about this proposal here. My objective with this proposal is to experiment with finding a balance between achieving personal goals as a contributor and expanding the organization’s potential as a mutualist infrastructure.For example, leading monthly community calls as part of a leading PA has been a great learning experience. It has taught me how to facilitate dialogue between different perspectives within a community. This experience has greatly shaped my public speaking skills and has inspired me to seek more panel moderation roles in the future.

Objectives of the report
The objective of this post-mortem is to provide feedback on the recent months and assist the organization in improving efficiency, communication, and coordination as a whole. It will also serve as a template for other contributors to use when submitting proposals to contribute to Public Assembly and providing a post-mortem of their experience as feedback for the organization as a whole.

Achievement and highlights

Key milestones and accomplishments
In short, I believe the key milestone of this project manager mandate was to provide PA with regular check-ins with the community as a whole. Since many members of the organization have an asynchronous workflow, this helped establish a routine and set deadlines for projects. It also allowed me to connect with members by understanding their needs and personal goals and facilitating effective communication as a collective. Moving forward, I think this initiative can be further expanded in the coming months as core contributors become more involved within the organization.

Projects and initiatives
In the last couple of months, Public Assembly has shifted its focus towards becoming a developer-friendly organization. Having Assembly Press as its main infrastructure is crucial for this transformation. However, before it can become an essential part of the organization, there are several key details that need to be addressed to ensure that PA can sustainably exist as a mutualist infrastructure:

  1. Establishing the org as a UNA + clear communication of mission & values

  2. Public Assembly Website 2.0

  3. Community spaces: create structures and mechanisms that support spaces for discussion and collaborative exploration of shared interests.( Reference P.30 of Web3work by Other Internet). I believe that once these three components are effectively established, we can transition into a momentum that encompasses both growth and autonomy as an organization.

Partnerships and Collaborations
Initially, I pitched a project called demoView in PATH #3. The purpose of this project was to serve as a community outreach initiative for developers in the ethereum ecosystem. The first 3 livestreams, which can be found here, provided a great introduction to opening up public assembly members to more public-facing digital activities. However, I decided to pause the project at the end of this summer because it was a bit overwhelming given the scope of my role as a PM.

I also made some changes to the format as I realized that not everyone is comfortable with the “working in public” model. I plan to resume this project in the fall and winter of 2023/2024. Ideally, I believe this project will help showcase the developer community in a stronger light and attract more contributors to the public assembly organization.

Challenges and lessons learned

Obstacles faced
I had some preconceptions about DAO’s working models when I started in this role, based on my experience with other DAOs. However, I found it challenging to effectively communicate the concept of what public assembly is to an external audience. At the beginning of summer 2023, my mindset was focused on “growing the DAO,” but I didn’t consider the current needs of the members at that time. The main obstacles I faced were communication-related, as it was difficult to coordinate the goals and objectives of different members when the central vision of the organization wasn’t clear to me.

Having constructive conversations with members from other DAOs, at different stages of their lifecycle, helped me gain a clearer understanding. I learned that this type of environment is a work in progress, and flexibility in organizational structure is necessary. Additionally, speaking with Laura and Tara from the other Internet team (I highly recommend reading their report) provided me with the insight that these processes take time to develop within a community, and that trust among peers is essential for progress.

Strategies implemented to overcome challenges
An effective strategy here would be to create more irl/URL activities to facilitate team bonding opportunities for members of the org. It’s one thing to get to know members from working on a project and another to get to know them in a work environment. It would help get a better understanding of members as individuals and help build effective trust & mutual respect for each other. For example, I had the chance to spend time with Kevin Neaton at the ethwaterloo hackathon in June. It was a cool opportunity to get to him on a personal level and develop a relationship to build on in the future.

Lessons and best practices
Valuable lessons and best practices that I would share here are the following:

  • Check in with your fellow PA collaborators from time to time.

  • Even though it might take a bit more time to do so, document and share your processes as you make them. sometimes that helps connect the dots for us to expand our understanding of creating what’s missing in PA could look like. Eg. Max loom videos are an example of that, where the format doesn’t always have to be in a written form.

    • To add a note on that, I’ve been thinking that introducing the Open blog project would be ideal at this moment. It could serve as an interesting stream of consciousness for pa members to communicate with each other in an async manner.

Sustainability and future plans

Provide a more tangible north-star: In the short term, I discussed the suggested priorities for PA in the project & initiatives section (see above for more context). I believe it is crucial to close out 2023 by focusing on these projects to establish a strong foundation for 2024. To make this a reality, it is important to provide a clear direction that aligns our efforts as we navigate the ups and downs of this ecosystem. While change is inevitable in this space, we can minimize the underlying risk of uncertainty by setting milestones for the organization to operate on. For instance, FWB has established Fest as their annual event, and Water & Music releases seasonal research reports. These time-bound checkpoints have created momentum within their respective communities to move forward.

Sustainability measures
Since we are taking the “pro-social” route (refer to Insight #3 from the web3 report by other internet), this focus is on public assembly through the UNA approach. It is important for us to define potential pathways for contributors that prioritize informed decision-making rather than speculation.


Thank you all for creating a space that has expanded my learning and growth as a contributor in this ecosystem. The points elaborated above in this report are my personal views on what works and doesn’t work at the current stage of public assembly. They are open for conversation, and I highly encourage feedback. If you don’t feel comfortable discussing in public, my direct messages (DMs) are always open for further discussion.


Quotes from the web3 work research report that I found interesting

Recommendations for DAOs as an excuse for collaboration

  • (1) Building structures and mechanisms that nurture spaces for deliberation and
    exploring interests together, having clarity around org structure and value tracing tools
    allows organizations to maintain the magick of collaboration as a key motivation and
    intangible reward for DAO contributors
  • (2) Distinguishing between the structural realities of different DAOs - voluntaristic
    social clubs, companies with on-chain characteristics, or emergent orgs - prevents
    misaligned expectations and conflicts. Encouraging educational contexts and initia-
    tives (mentorships, peer-learning, skill sharing) enables people to stay involved and
    pursue their interests across organizations
  • (3) IRL opportunities are important chances to build collaboration and community cohesion beyond structured conferences

Transparent tech does not equal to transparent work practices

The myth: Tech + economic incentive = effective emergent coordination

The reality: Unclear work processes were reported by over 80% of contributors as a
leading factor for conflict and burnout. Further questions demonstrated that it was
not simply the unclear working processes, but had more to do with unclear power
structures, informational asymmetries, and problems with context asymmetry

  • (a) Many contributors reported a mismatch between stated organizational aims and actual organizational practices.
  • (b) In a few circumstances, it appeared that working processes were left unclear
    because they were misaligned with the promised goals of democratic, fluid, and
    decentralized decision-making.
  • (c) Many contributors suggested that being open and transparent is more essential than
    being decentralized in the organizational structure.

The challenge: Keeping organizational structure as transparent as possible while
also leaving enough room for undiscovered and evolving organizational models to emerge.
Similarly, finding methods for roadmaps that let organizations disaggregate their aspirations from
their working reality would help provide more transparency

Recommendations for DAOs as mutualist infrastructure

  • Developing a collective, intra-and extra-protocol memory (for example, through documentation, soulbound tokens or token-bound accounts) enables people to contribute to many organizations and be acknowledged for it, which is a principle at the core of DAO values in the long-term
  • Creating more mechanisms to facilitate collaboration by DAO contributors and linking work within the ecosystem with DAO-to-DAO infrastructure could be better suited for the realities of DAO work and provide a more realistic working paradigm for these contributors long term.
  • More work needs to be done to align DAOs with mutualistic projects from the past when it comes to their org structure. This means borrowing from cooperatives, mutualist funds, unions, guilds, and public utility collectives. We found that too many DAOs are overfitting a start-up model despite their contributors being much more aligned with a mutualistic organization.
  • Leveraging the strength of the ecosystem because of the shared fate many DAOs and DAO contributors have. This means providing equivalent sector-wide mechanisms like unemployment insurance funds or job market boards that help mitigate market volatility through solidarity, taking over some of the mechanisms provided by states, just like many other mutualistic ecosystems have in the past.

theres so much to say besides this but just want to state publicly that river is v close to being able to facilitate this in what is hopefully a very meaningful way

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I really appreicate you taking the time to document this. I believe its things like this repeated over time with purpose from many individuals/groups that eventually leads to new + meaningful knowledge bases. one of the points I find most interesting is about establishing PA’s north star, which is something we discussed at length over the summer.

the feeling i have at this specific moment of writing this is that the idea of focusing “all” efforts around AP as a “product” was misguided – and something closer to the original ideas of PA focused on r&d + research + facilitating interactions between its network – feel most most achievable AND importantly, most meaningful


I’m happy to hear you saying this Max. I think my initial impression was that the focus on AP would be too limiting. I still really like the “create what’s missing” mantra and think that we can build on that to identify PA’s North Star.

A call might be a better forum for this type of discussion, but I personally interpret this mantra as a call to action and see PA potentially playing a support role for those that heed that call by enabling them with the tools, resources, knowledge, and community needed to be successful.

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