Minimum Viable Network (MVN): A different framework to analyze and validate DAOs
On the startup world we are used to be evaluated based on our Minimum Viable Product or MVP.
“A minimum viable product (MVP) is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for future product development. Gathering insights from an MVP is often less expensive than developing a product with more features, which increase costs and risk if the product fails, for example, due to incorrect assumptions. The term was coined and defined by Frank Robinson about 2001, and popularized by Steve Blank, and Eric Ries. It may also involve carrying out market analysis beforehand.”
Or as Eric Ries itself said:
"The minimum viable product is that version of a new product a team uses to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort."
For products and services created by private companies, this is a good and useful model. But what happens when we are creating a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO)? Yes, I know, we love acronyms!
DAOs need strong networks
For a DAO to exist and be validated, I believe that the most important element is not the product or service itself but the network: The group of people that truly cares about the idea.
It is striking that most of current projects are being funded based on a whitepaper, a concept, not an MVP. This is not to say that having an MVP is not needed, but what I have seen in practice is that having ONLY a MVP is not enough to kickstart a DAO.
So, my proposal is that whoever wants to create a DAO, first needs to think, work and create a strong MVN.
MVN as an ecosystem
A minimum viable network (MVN) is a network that has enough diverse stakeholders on board to be able to create the basic amount of interactions and activity that the DAO requires to function. Creating a strong community committed with an idea is key to the early success of any decentralized project.
Having an MVN implies creating a network, at least, with the following attributes:
- Shared values
- Complementary needs and objectives
- Able to publicly support the project
A project with a strong MVN, in my opinion, shows real potential.
MVN in practice
I have been collaborating in a project called MAGNI, a DAO for the startup Ecosystem. This is a short video we did to participate in #EOSHackathon
A little intro about MAGNI:
MAGNI will help entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, developers and other stakeholders to acquire the mindset to design, create and develop DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations). MAGNI will be a connecting layer for the entrepreneurship ecosystem through the MAGNI token economy.
The MAGNI token economy will incentivize collaboration, trust and value exchange among participants. Using MAGNI tokens the entrepreneur can connect with developers, consultants, mentors, investors and other community members to get them on board the project. You can start at MAGNI as entrepreneur, and after earning MAGNI tokens you can become an investor… or a mentor for other projects.
So, what we are doing? we are starting first building MAGNI MVN in Campinas, Brazil.
We are connecting with entrepreneurs and other key stakeholders from Campinas startup and innovation ecosystem, to introduce the idea and gather their support. We will be launching soon a website to invite people and companies to join our MVN and start creating traction for the project. If you are around, keep tuned.
That way, we can be sure that MAGNI is needed and appreciated by the community, that they will be willing to participate, collaborate and make it better over time. If we eventually run an ICO, this community will be a strong message to potential funders. And when we create our MVP, the community will be ready to test it and improve it.
So, this is it! I wanted to share these ideas an see what other people think, share your thoughts on the comments below!
Photo by Clint Adair on Unsplash