Thoughts on DAOs – Viral Loops, Dunbar number and Forking

Its has been really truly amazing experience to observe the population growth rate of TrueSight DAO ever since its inception in August 2021. The catalysts for its inception was the growing problem of fake news which have finally gained enough moment to the point of destabilizing liberal democratic systems worldwide. The most recent symptom was the storming of the US Capital Building on Jan 6th 2021.

This problem resonated with a lot of folks when I first spoke to them about it. In response, many have rallied their efforts to support its purpose, mission and vision.

Our Purpose is to build a Better World based on Verifiable Truth

Our Mission is to fight Fake News by providing individuals with the clarity to make critical decisions

Our Vision is a universal credibility protocol that allows subject matter experts to publicly establish their credibility using blockchain as a solution

The vision itself was a very tall order and the solution itself unclear at the onset. An initial investigative project was launched with the goal of discovering a solution that would best bring about our desired social change. This project became the focusing point by which all community members actively channeled their efforts.

To provide public recognition and encourage continued voluntary grass-root contributions, as well as to ensure transparency and accountability, members are awarded governance tokens in exchange for time, effort and money they contributed to further our cause. These voluntary contributions are recorded on our contribution ledger.

Due to the inherent viral loop that was baked into our operating model, the population size of our contributor grew rapidly. Along with its growth were serendipitous magical moments such as when our DAO got invited to present our cause at various Conferences and Key notes

Davos 2022 – House of Balance Keynote

As the population size of active contributors in our project grew beyond the Dunbar Number of 150, we started observing symptoms of decline that closely resembled the tail end of an S-curve.

Symptoms of organic network decline come in the form of high levels of frustration/stress due to indecision, miscommunication and misalignment. The underlying root cause of it were differing world views and operating styles.

Organic Network starts exhibiting signs of decline as it scales pass the Dunbar Number

As the population size of active contributors in our project grew beyond the Dunbar Number of 150, we started observing symptoms of decline

We tried multiple different approaches to get around the network decline phenomena while still abiding with our values

Our Values are Autonomy, Integrity and Diversity

Our most recent approach that seemed to work is Project Forking.

A contributor can choose to fork a new child project off the original parent project to explore a new direction

Socially this approach was modeled after traditional Amish practices. In traditional Amish societies when the population size of a village grew past 150, a portion of the village members will self select, up and migrate to setup a new village nearby one day.

An Amish family observed traveling to a nearby village on their horse cart

We introduced two types of Forking. These are the Hard Fork and the Soft Fork. Conceptually they are similar to codebase forking activities on GitHub

The characteristics of the Soft Fork are

  • Contributions to a child project is still recorded on the parent project’s ledger but labelled differently
  • Contributions to the child project are still awarded governance tokens associated with the parent project
  • Eventual revenue generated by child project are held in the parent project’s vault
  • The parent project acts as the sponsor of the child project

The characteristics of the Hard Fork are

  • Contributions to a child project is recorded on its own branched off version of the paren project’s ledger
  • Contributions to the child project are awarded governance tokens in the child project.
  • Revenue generated by child project are held in its own project vault
  • Child project has claim independence from the parent project

Project Forking within a DAO provides additional benefits on top of solving the original set of problems, these are

  • ensures all prior contributors’ efforts are acknowledged and equitably accounted for in new descendent projects
  • creates the space to explore into new terrains for solutions discovery
  • creates more surface area to attract engage new and existing volunteer efforts to fight “Fake News”
  • spreads DAO risk over multiple projects as opposed to consolidating all eggs in one basket (a single project)
  • allow DAO to remain decentralized while still enjoying the benefit of a strong core leadership for each project

There are two types of forking in DAOs, the hard fork and the soft fork. They are modeled after traditional Amish society and functions to get around the Dunbar Number constrain and function quite similar to codebase management features on GItHub

With this new Forking mechanism in place we are now open to enlisting more members to join our movement to save our Liberal Democratic Societies!

Support Us!

2022 Key insights from Singapore Tech EcoSystem

Saemin Ahn – Venture Capital blockchain investment

VC challenges in cryptocurrency investing

A problem faced by traditional VCs looking to invest in cryptocurrency projects

  • VCs will experience problem exiting their coins when they need to pay their LPs
  • Developers of cryptocurrency projects might stake the liquidity provided by VCs on other currencies get the interest and then abandon their own project. EOS is a prime example
  • VCs are concerned about continued health of crypto project when early developers leave with out sized voting rights and tokens leaving not much motivation for newer developers

Proposed solution

  • A SAAS model that charges subscription fees to cryptocurrency projects that pretty much function like Developers are awarded tokens only upon job completion.
  • SAAS model will end up with a basket of cryptocurrency tokens. This can then function as a clearing house, exchange or a fund.
Additional Insights
  • Blockchain audits gain access to audit the protocol of blockchain projects prior to their listings. Utilizing this unfair advantage, they purchase stakes in stronger projects with their investment arm
  • Most cryptocurrencies have a offramp problem back to fiat. CHAI, LUNA and TERRA are good examples of how the offramp is managed.

On China

  • China CCP has utilized a very blunt tool to deal with the consumer software sector
  • Exceptions are Hardware and Electric Vehicles industry

Teck Chong Lim – Market Research

  • Never perform research and sales lead generation at the same. It corrupts the research data and discourages the research participant from future engagement
  • US seeking to expand into new Asia Pacific region will need to utilize research services
  • Research companies maintain a database of research participants. They keep their research database fresh by periodically giving out freebies in exchange for answering questions.
  • COVID has reduced the use of focus groups (one off) and brought most of the research activities online. Online research panels (ongoing) is now the prevalent form
  • Business developers function like lone wolf hunters. Conversion rates are low usually around 1%. Their job is to find new opportunities to extend their top line. They also work on bringing back customers that have lapsed.
  • Account managers function like farmers. They basically retain customers and grow their customer’s business.

Peter Thiel Lecture on Startup Strategy

Key take aways

  • Create X dollar of value for the world and capture Y% dollar of value for yourself
    • X and Y are independent variables
    • Google – relatively smaller market but profit margins are great. Accumulates so much cash year or year
    • Airlines – large market but profit margin are shit. Companies go bankrupt often in that market
  • Companies are either operating in perfect competition or in monopolies. Nowhere in between. Avoid markets where you have a lot of competition
  • The last mover advantage:
    • Proprietary technology needs to be 10X of the closest substitute
    • Gain monopoly and maintain monopoly in that market segment as it grows in size
    • ability to have durability in a sector is more important than growth rate since the bulk of the revenue is really really far in the future
  • As a startup it is important
    • you want to start in markets that are so small it has almost no value and people don’t notice.
    • It becomes really easy to saturate the market to establish a brand
    • You want to be a one of a kind company in that small market versus a company in a very large market with lots of competitors it is hard to differentiate
  • You want to figure out how to expand that market after you have saturated it
  • Monopoly characteristics
    • Software – Google, Facebook, Amazon
      • Economics of scale
      • Network effects
    • Vertically integrated complex monopolies – Tesla, SpaceX, Standard Oil
      • Very capital intensive to build
      • Very complex coordination
      • Not easy to convince investors to fund to build
  • Avoid the psychological blindspot where you think competition is a form of validation
    • While competition gets you better at doing something
    • Too much competition is not profitable
  • Other thoughts
    • Skeptical about lean startup methodology
    • By the time you figure everything out the competition has came. There is always a risk element to going into unknown terrain
    • Asperger syndrome
      • people who have high conviction and uneasily swayed very introverted
      • versus Harvard people who are super-extroverted and low level conviction

Chat with Priscilla on UX

  • The design of all analytics dashboard beings with a fundamental problem statement about the business.
  • All analytics dashboard need to be actionable. Shows the user an alert and prompts the user to perform a follow up action
  • The dashboard should leave nothing to user’s interpretation. The action to be taken needs to be very clear
  • Each well defined user profile will come with his own pre-defined dashboard configuration.
  • A single page dashboard that users do not even need to tweak or configure
  • Have sales person understand what the user’s business question is and then design the dashboard exactly to support that narrowly defined need.
  • Sales person to train the user on how to use the dashboard, what goes where and how to interpret the signals
  • Show users only the shortlisted options for actionable items. However it can not be too minimal, need to give users the impression that a lot of work went on to get to the insight. User’s has nothing to triangulate against if no none-options are presented
  • Reduce the number of user profiles we are catering to so as to get to the 80% faster use case faster
  • False positives and false negatives signals are a big issue when it comes to analytics dashboards. It becomes problematic when trying to monitor an environment that is very noisy such as COVID travel bubble since the landscape changes very fast based on situation
  • Different profiles have different needs some profiles are not very comfortable when presented with a lot of quantitative signals. It is better to just have a IF / ELSE signal
  • Palantir went down a very long journey of figuring out all the corner cases in a specific industry before finally generalizing the modules. It was only then did they achieve profitability
  • A lot of companies in Singapore just survive on government handouts. Most just shut down the project when fail to get government grant

Black and White Thinking by Kevin Dutton


Persuasion is not about convincing people to do something they don’t want to do but to give them a reason for them to do something they want to do.

When you cannot change reality, the only thing you can do is to change the way its interpreted.

Top level framing models for persuasion

  • Flight versus Flight
  • Us versus Them
  • Right versus Wrong

Perception of reality

  • Seeing is not believing. Seeing is belonging
  • People want to belong more than they want to be right

Additional resources:

  • Flipnosis

Insight on discussion with Tiffine

  • Deploying USD40 million per year
  • Deploying USD1-2 million per company
  • Estimated number of companies deployed is 20
  • Looking for companies that can return 10X of investments
  • Looking for companies that has potential to be big versus companies that are sold off as features
    • Companies sold off as a feature will fetch a maximum of USD30 million
    • Companies with successful exists should fetch more than USD50 million
  • Expectations
    • Seed stage to pull in USD 1 million dollar revenue a year
    • Series A to pull in USD 10 million dollar revenue a year
  • Company that has been around for 7 years without remarkable growth is not exciting for VCs trying to hit their own target
  • VC take the pitch deck provided by Founders and translate these pitch deck into a investment memo which gets forwarded to all her partners
  • At the early stage, VC fund not just the idea but their assessment of founder’s ability to pivot fast to another idea that could return 10x if current idea does not work
  • At latter stage, VC ok funding for 3X returns but deploying larger amount of capital

Key takeaways

To make the job of a VC easier do the following:

  • Make it obvious how this company is going to return at least 10X the capital deployed
  • Paint how big the company could potentially grow by describing the size of the market it is going after
  • Structure the pitch deck in such a way that it could almost be just copied and paste into an investment memo


Single man flying suites: The future is here

We are now a few stages before single man flying suites become commercially available for the masses. In this stage of the technology life cycle, it is common to see multiple companies coming up with their own working prototype.

In the next stage, some number of companies will figure out the business model and marketing channels while a lot more will fail. Many of the viable ideas and employees from these failed companies will get absorbed into the surviving companies.

The final stage would be when the manufacturing gets outsourced to China. During this stage, cost of production will drop by 10X. That is when adoption gains traction amongst the early majority .

The stage after would be when government steps in to define regulations for proper use in public.

#business #manufacturing #innovation #supplychain

Why I built GetData.IO

When training neural networks, until enough training data is collected there will be a period when the output of the neural network is full of false positives and false negatives (aka junk)

The same could be said of the human brain (a biological neural network), unless you have access to another human brain whose output you can totally trust and rely on, there will be a prolonged period when you fumble around while struggling to gather enough data to build a mental model of the new domain.

Based on my experience, the main challenge when breaking into new domains is that no pre-trained neural networks exists. During such situations, expect a prolonged period of confusion and fumbling around. Persistence (aka brute force iteration) is probably the only thing you can fall back on.

Thankfully, totally new domains seldom exists. Whatever “new domain” you think you are trying to break into, someone else is probably either doing it right now or has already done it.

That is why I built GetData.IO. It is to help people who need data to make good decision quickly find the data they need as well as people who might already have a trained model.