Working with the DAC: It's Not Personal

in #daclast year (edited)

And at the same time, it couldn't be more personal.

We've been operating as a DAC since before the EOS mainnet launch (almost a year now!), and we're constantly learning new things about the process and about ourselves (and maybe even patterns within human nature). I was struck by something Rob said during our eosDAC Custodian meeting this morning which prompted the writing of this post.

When custodians comment on worker proposals, it's not personal.

This, I think, is a very important aspect of how a DAC functions. A Decentralized Autonomous Community removes the unaccountable hierarchy and brings things into focus in terms of value creation. The budget is clear, the resources available are there to be seen, and the work to be accomplished is known. We then, as a community, come together and vote in custodians who will decide which proposals will get approved and how the funds will be allocated. If there is not enough value created by the proposal or there is not enough stored value within the DAC to pay for the proposal, then it may not be approved. That does not at all reflect negatively on the individual who submitted the proposal.

One of the things I've noticed as a Custodian for the DAC and a worker for the DAC, is it's very difficult not to take things personally. When we put a price on our work (or the work of others), it can easily be seen as a reflection of self-worth or perceived worth of an individual. The work we do is our art and in some cases it's the result of decades of experiences, study, and effort to obtain those skills. It stings to hear our community say, "Sorry, that's not valuable enough." Because a DAC is completely voluntary and those creating value can come and go as they please, it's really important to foster and atmosphere of cooperation and encouragement so people's feelings aren't hurt in these situations.

Another dynamic of these value exchanges has to do with fear. When we align our lives to participate in a DAC in exchange for value to support our families, it can become an expectation. If that expectation isn't met, we get frustrated and worried. We've been so trained by the employee/employer dynamic, that we want a sense of security knowing the check is in the mail. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), that's not what a DAC provides. Everything is voluntary and there are no guarantees. Participating in a DAC is like participating in something larger than yourself that you take responsibility for, both in terms of the upside and the downside.

Many of us have worked with slackers who get paid just for showing up and draining value instead of creating it.


Unless you've owned your own business, you may not realize how destructive this can be. Those who provide cherished services to their communities may disappear if they can't sustain themselves. In a DAC context, the lack of traditional security provided to those who submit worker proposals is offset by the level of freedom and autonomy they enjoy. Unlike traditional corporate structures, everyone is free to come and go as they please. Once a worker proposal is completed, people often move on to other adventures and areas of interest.

To explain the subtitle of this post, it couldn't be more personal, I also want to highlight how this voluntary dynamic requires us to be extra kind to one another. Since there is no guarantee the current active worker proposal will be renewed again next month, we have to put in extra effort to communicate effectively and work through any "drama" as adults because there is no boss to settle things and demand we get back to work.

This is a new paradigm for structuring human work (which I see as value creation and changing reality). I'm realizing it's not for everyone. If people have some inner healing or false-ego work to do, those issues may become immediately apparent working with a DAC. Our assumptions about our self worth, the value we create for others, and the fear we have about being "enough" or even the impostor syndrome can all mess with our emotions. If we're on a path of self-improvement and self-discovery, this can be a beautiful thing.

I hope you'll join us in this DAC experiment at eosDAC. You can find out more about what we're doing via our beautiful website at

If you'd like to see a walkthrough of the DAC Member Client we're using to run the DAC, you can do so here:

If you're interested in building your own DAC, keep an eye on the eosDAC Factory Github repo:

If you have any questions about DACs or have a project you think could benefit from becoming a DAC, you can book my time as an advisor and consultant here:

As it relates to my role as an eosDAC custodian via my lukeeosproxy account, I want to clarify my priorities so you can know what to expect when voting for me as a custodian:

Currently, I'm leaning towards focusing my votes in three areas:
  1. How does this directly impact the revenue of the DAC via increasing block producer rankings? Is there any evidence to show success so far?
  2. How does this directly impact the core value offering of DAC Enabling? Does it improve the software directly in some way?
  3. How does this help educate people on and communicate the value of the DAC software?

The last one is going to be lowest on my priority list based on our current budget.

Luke Stokes is a father, husband, programmer, STEEM witness, DAC launcher, and voluntaryist who wants to help create a world we all want to live in. Learn about cryptocurrency at

I'm a Witness! Please vote for @lukestokes.mhth


Great post, Luke!

“Embrace Reality and Deal With It”

Great video! Thanks Justin. :)

Yes it is voluntary for some people but you get paid ....along with the other staff who also happen to be custodians. eosDAC has created some good DAC administrative tools but it has also provided exactly the template of what a DAC should not be.

You’re still paying attention? I thought you left with your criticisms a long time ago. You’ve built nothing for the DAC, but only bring criticisms that aren’t even productive. When we took your unorganized criticisms to our lawyer he dismissed them. I even heard from someone who joined our discord that you were taking time to private message them and tell them how bad the DAC is. Why do that? Why do you seem to care so much about something you’re not even involved in? Are you just trolling and if so... why? Can’t find anything more constructive to do with that energy?

I’m not trying to be mean here, I’m just pointing out how strange your actions seem.

Do you think those who create value shouldn’t get paid? If the custodians aren’t providing value according to EOSDAC holders, they should be voted out. Those “good DAC administrative tools” didn’t just materialize out of thin air. We’ve been working hard on them for almost a year.

“Exactly the template of what a DAC should not be” is a ridiculous statement. If you have better ideas and can build them, then do it, and we’ll learn from you. Otherwise, why bother posting or commenting?

I see you still haven't lost the narcissistic behavioural patterns. The treat people as naughty wayward children approach to manipulation.

It so happens I went into hospital and while I was there the people I was representing decided that they had had enough of eosDAC after consultation between the various rings/communities. They all decided to drop their vote. You and your team's arrogance knocked yourselves out of the top 21. It's never going to come back. Saro and Rob going to China won't help as it will be the wrong people they are visiting.

Treat everyone with respect. Even those you disagree with. It's a good lesson to learn.

For your info quite a lot of actual DACs are being set up at the moment. And as I said before the eosDAC admin tools are quite useful for this so thankyou (a genuine one not snarky)

I call out a childish statement. Saying we’re the “exact example of what not to do” is ridiculous. You said to me privately:

“Then lets agree to respect each other in public chat - I have no problem with that”

and then you come to my post and basically tell me we couldn’t have possibly failed worse while throwing in a backhanded compliment about what we’ve built?

You are the one saying I have narcissistic behavior. I’m asking a question to better understand why you act like you care so much while not actually being involved in a productive way? I’m calling you out as you have no skin in this game. I love and appreciate valid criticisms, but as I already explained to you in our chat, that’s not what I’m getting here and me pointing this out is not gaslighting you or attacking you.

I do treat everyone with the respect they deserve and earn, IMO. When you continually publicly criticize something you’re not involved in or helping to improve while speaking to me with a completely different tone privately then you’ll see my level of respect go down. For you to come back four months later and still criticize even after all the work we’ve done? Nah, I’m going to respond pretty strongly to that. If that’s not your preference, don’t comment on my posts or try a different approach with me.

I’m not sure which hospital or which rings you are referencing, but if they or you have something constructive to say beyond vague criticisms, please lead with that and actually help build. It’s a waste of time to cater to complainers who don’t bring solutions.

Example: If they are meeting with the wrong people in China, then who are the right people? Bring solutions otherwise it sounds like noise.

Posted using Partiko iOS

Again, a petulant post that shows people exactly the reasons why eosDAC is no longer a top 21 producer.

In the future when you mature as a businessperson you will eventually learn not to call people out when you don't know what they represent or more importantly who they represent.

With regard to the right people to have met while in China ......well I'll give you a while longer to think about that one. If you wake up in the middle of the night thinking OMG then you are on the right track.

I ran a successful business for 10 years. If someone says something disparaging to myself or the teams I work with that I consider inaccurate, I will speak up about it. That's leadership. If someone makes an agreement to be respectful in private but continues acting differently in public, I'll call that out also. It's not about who you or anyone else represents. I don't change the way I interact with people based on their titles or their influence. I make decisions based on my interpretation of my interactions with them. You're being non-transparent with your identity and your solutions but openly criticizing me, eosDAC, and our team while not addressing any of the concerns with your approach I've mentioned.

In short, it sounds like you're trolling. I gave you a simple opportunity to add value by making a useful suggestion about who they should meet with and you chose not to. How is that helpful to the DAC? To me, it demonstrates you are not actually interested in helping which means there's no point is spending energy responding to you.

Am I wrong?

As to eosDAC, I'm just one person. I don't represent the DAC by myself. We have 12 elected custodians. Many top, technically excellent BPs have dropped in the rankings along with eosDAC.

It's quite possible we just have different personalities and approaches. You think it's worthwhile to criticize the hard work of many dedicated people as being the exact wrong way to do things. I not only don't think that's worthwhile, but will go so far as to state my opinion and respond to it.

Still refusing to learn. It makes me wonder if all the time in the world would be enough.

It wasn't just you that was the problem in eosDAC but Saro, Michael and Rob too.

Oh and I gave more than enough clues on who they should speak to in China.

Also leadership is knowing when to speak and when to shut up. Leadership in the Far East is knowing when to shut up even when you are right.

I am not a leader in the Far East. I don't have the cultural or experiential knowledge to be effective in that role at this time. I'm glad Myra has joined the custodian board to help fill that role. If you could also contribute in this way, campaign as a custodian.

As to knowing when not speak, would that include not saying things like "it has also provided exactly the template of what a DAC should not be"? Seems pretty offensive to me.