The Benefit of the DAO
Blockchain seems to have paved the way for the next stage of evolution in governing ourselves. We have come a long way so far. Historically, we seem to have experimented with different forms of social structures that fit the current collective consciousness. There was monarchy, imperialism, federalism, dictatorship, communism, and so on and so forth.
The fact that some forms of governance are no longer existing implies that they are not useful anymore. They probably served their purpose at the time they were in place, but not anymore. As our social matrix becomes more complex, with globalization and the internet, we surely need to reinvent the way we interact with one another.
Sure, we all have our own opinion as to what makes a good organizational structure. One Englishman, Paul, that I spoke to, who is very intelligent, said that after pondering over the idea of governing ourselves, the best, according to him, is benevolent dictatorship. I know the word dictatorship connotes something negative. We all have our frames of reference as to how dictators in the past have committed such atrocities as genocide, ethnic cleansing and the like. But he prequalified his proposition with the adjective “benevolent.”
He must have observed the limitations of the current political system where at least two opposing sides may just end up in a deadlock. This, in turn, affects the citizens. It’s like two spouses not willing to compromise in their stand, each imposing on the other his/her own agenda at the expense of the kids. The kids suffer. Therefore, finding that sweet balance between totalitarianism and absolute anarchy, Paul inferred that a benevolent dictatorship may be the best chance we got.
The advent of blockchain has given birth to DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organization). Wikipedia defines a DAO as “ an organization constructed by rules encoded as a computer program that is often transparent, controlled by the organization’s members and not influenced by a central government. While the implications of DAOs are still being studied, it has already penetrated such domains as both the public and the private arenas.
I won’t go into the details here of the technicalities of being part of the DAO. However, I just would like to emphasize that although many people are threatened by technological advances, we must remember that humans are still in control. The codes embedded in DAOs or blockchains are just tools that we can use to achieve our objectives. They’re merely a means to an end.
Speaking of humans still having a measure of control over computer codes, I cannot help but be impressed by Sheldon Dearr’s philosophy in life and background. He exemplifies qualities and traits that future leaders must have. I got to interview him as part of my ‘getting-to-know’ series. Sure I watched tons of videos of him being interviewed on Youtube. I was fascinated to have discovered that he’s also a musician.
“This guy must be another Renaissance Man,” I thought to myself. A Renaissance Man is a polymath of many talents and expertise. Think about Leonardo da Vinci. Who doesn’t know da Vinci? But did you know that this polymath was not just a painter? He was also an engineer, a scientist, a theorist, a sculptor, an architect and so on. If you have this kind of person who takes the lead in an organization, there may be an advantage.
But you may argue that hard skills are not the only thing that matters in a leader. It’s true, soft skills matter too, as do character, qualities, traits, and values. Regarding Sheldon, I already had a hunch that he’s of high caliber. After all, Octopus Network would not have hired him if he’s not a cream of the crop. And so he is. Sheldon’s profile is impressive, consulting with Fortune 500 companies in IT security/network engineering.
But don’t let his technical prowess fool you. This guy also has a soft spot for human beings. In addition to his amazing accomplishments, I got to discover his top 3 values: Intelligence, purpose, compassion. The third is what hit me the most. Let me quote him when he explained each:
“Intelligence- I want critical thinking to be as normal as air for Americans and the West, the same way it is normalized in Asia and Europe. Most people of privilege are unaware of the suffering of others, and while I don’t expect them to become aware, I hope that this new age of information can pivot intelligence from “knows a lot” to “knows how to learn well” or “knows how to question”.
Purpose- I believe intent is only realized with action; action starts with illuminating conversations. In intending to grow purpose, I know that my purpose is not to serve myself, but to enable others. As others refine their goals and passions, I hope they become committed to purpose along the way, ensuring their passion is not a lonely moonshot.
Compassion: Trust is hard to start and easy to end. Sympathy for the complexities and challenges of life makes every engagement more smooth and lower risk. Giving too much ground is untenable, but giving no ground is a journey of consistent disappointment.”
Although the first two are great, especially the second where Sheldon only wants to enable others become the best versions of themselves, and I have seen his passion for his work (operating almost 24/7), what touched me was the third: compassion.
You see, running an organization doesn’t only require brute force. Testosterone-laden macho leaders may have tried to push their organizations to accomplish their goals, but this is not sustainable. employing compassion for another human being, especially for your teammates and/or subordinates, can go a long way. This is because we all have challenges in other areas of our lives outside work.
We’re multifaceted beings. Yes, we do have our professions, but our careers are not a representation of our whole person. And when we struggle in one area of our lives, our work seems to suffer with it, too. This is something that Sheldon understands. He must have seen how compassion maintained the unity of organizations he worked with. I think we all need some sort of understanding when we fall short. We deserve second of third chances. We are eligible to receive the benefit of the doubt.
If we were more compassionate towards one another, look how many marriages could have been saved, corporations could have been salvaged from bankruptcy, friendships prevented from crumbling, business relationships strengthened. Compassion can go a long way. I think one way we can enhance this quality is that we can look at ourselves first and see our own failings. Only when we understand that we are fallible ourselves can we start to understand that others are also trying their best to measure up to what is expected of them.
We all fall short; this is a fact. If we deny this truth, we are delusional. It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when and how often. The question is, are you ready to flex your compassionate muscle when it is called for? Sheldon is. That’s why he’s fitting to be the technical lead in Octopus Network.
He is already demonstrating has already demonstrated this with me. After attending an offline event to represent Octopus Network, I was able to collect a pile of business cards from project founders. I sent them all to Sheldon for him to sift through, separating the wheat from the chaff. Even those projects that did not fit the bill for Octopus Network to potentially work with, Sheldon still advised me to meet with the founders just to give them the insight on how to proceed. I thought, “This man is a tech philanthropist!”
Once Octopus Network has achieved a 1000-appchain ecosystem, it becomes like a bustling continent of operators and participants from different walks of life. We need people like Sheldon, a conscientious and capable professional with a quality that can sustain the tightness of our cohesion as we achieve the ultimate Web3 state.
Whether DAOs are the future of governance, time will tell. But one thing’s for sure, we need people of authorities whose purpose is not totally selfish, but effectivity with a big heart. Therefore, Sheldon, we support you in your purpose and values.
We are Octopus Network, where Web3 happens.