"Call it what you will, incentives are what get people to work harder." --Nikita Khrushchev

I posted my thoughts on the StakerDAO Telegram channel, of what I learned over the last 24 months as a Maker Community member, and wanted to share here with the StakerDAO community–in the hope that the Staker Community innovates and does not follow in the same footsteps:

As a MakerDAO community member/participant—here are some lessons and “mistakes” that the Maker Community has made IMO, and others’—during the last 3 years:

  1. The MakerDAO/Maker Community did not focus on decentralization and instead became dependent of the Maker Foundation.

“People think that just because they own the token, they don’t have to do anything… they need to get off their ass and do something, don’t expect me to do everything” -Andre Cronje via the Unchained Podcast

“There are many different ways to participate. It should apply to almost everybody who has a complete body, sound mind, and is looking to work.” –Naval

  1. Per Maker Foundation CEO Rune Christensen, the foundation became more focus on the quick adoption of DAI usage by the masses (scaling to the average Jane & Joe) and did not focus on innovations/adoptions of the ever so changing DeFi space

  2. When black swan events occur, people will point fingers—therefore decentralization is the best path to prosperity. Unfortunately, the foundation is now entangle in litigation because of the Black Thursday events.

  3. Incentivize: if you don’t motivate your community via incentives, then more than likely they won’t move their behinds to participate. Here’s a nice vid on Incentives from Startup Founder Sam Williams:

  1. Reward your Users for participation: in the early days of MakerDAO, Olaf Carlson-Wee stated in an interview with Laura Shin, that they had considered rewarding Users for opening Vaults ( CDPs) via Liquidity Mining. But they decided against it. :man_shrugging:

  2. Overwork your foundation Devs and other foundation Teams, and the output will be stressful/less efficient—which will lead to departures. Some of the best Devs in Ethereum have left the DAO, including the co-inventor of DAI.

  3. Incentives, incentives, and incentives. Incentivize your community.

All in all the Maker Community is resilient and it has now focus on decentralizing. With the leadership of many community members, I believe any DAO can do the same. We just need to pay attention to the mistakes that have been made along the way to full decentralization.

I hope the StakerDAO Community avoids such miss-steps, and rallies around the DAO to create a memorable experience for many future generations.

And last but not least–I’ll leave you with this quote:

" Communities of today can be the greatest generation of the 21st Century. This is a moment for you to show who you are, and what you want your life to stand for. The present has stopped working. We must create a different future." -Mike Maples, Jr.


Thanks for sharing these points. I’ve been following MKR and have seen these concerns manifest. When we first designed the governance model for StakerDAO, we borrowed from Tezos, where there has been an overwhelming level of participation in governance.

I feel that the model where you have 2 governance bodies - in our case the community that creates ideas, and endorses them, and then the council that votes for them - mimics the Tezos model where our elected council is their delegated bakers.

Decisions like the kind being made a stakerDAO will have long term implications for our community - should we launch a wrapped Algorand? Its a non trivial build out with long term ramifications. I think its great to have a serious council that spends time understanding the implications before it approves these kinds of investment.

I also am really looking forward to the launch of the liquid STKR governance token to bring many more people into the governance process. I think the community will also then have significant funds they can use to incentive new projects.