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Oct. 31, 2022

Vikram Aditya: Everything About DAOs, Explained Simply | Ep #029

Vikram Aditya explains simply what a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) is, in Web3, clears the air around legality of DAOs, and elucidates the opportunities for DAOs to become the future model of governance.


Vikram Aditya explains simply what a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) is, in Web3, clears the air around legality of DAOs, and elucidates the opportunities for DAOs to become the future model of governance.

Resources:
Vikram's Website: https://meetvikram.com
DAOLens Website: https://www.daolens.com
Transcript and Chapter Markers: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1968123/11600144

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Transcript

Prasant Roy:

Well, hello there. Welcome back to yet another episode of the MetaRoy Podcast, where we break down the complexities of Web 3.0 and make understanding the space simple and fun. Now, Web 3.0 is going to change the world as we know it, and it is bringing the whole world closer than ever before. Can you imagine a way of organizing with other people around the world without knowing each other and establishing your own rules, making your own decisions to work towards a common cause, while everything is autonomously controlled through a blockchain? Well, DAOs are making this real. And today's episode is going to help you understand everything about DAOs or decentralized autonomous organizations, because today we have Vikram Aditya of DAOLens with us in the house who is going to make it simple for us to understand how DAOs work. Vikram actually dives pretty deep into DAOs during this podcast. So use the chapter markers to listen to the part which interests you the most. If this is your first time here, welcome and if you're already familiar with our podcast, smash that like button and leave a comment about what was the best part that you liked about this episode. And don't forget to subscribe to this podcast to get notified when new episodes are released. Without any further ado, let's get started. Vikram, thank you so much for joining us on this podcast, and it's my absolute pleasure to welcome you. How is your day going so far?

Vikram Aditya:

Prasant, First of all, thank you for having me. It's a pleasure for me as well, and the day it's just started, it's a beautiful day out here. All good so far. How are you?.

Prasant Roy:

I'm doing well. Thank you for asking. So Vikram, let's start with knowing more about you. What has been your journey so far? Where are you from? Can you talk about those aspects with our audience and let us know more about you?

Vikram Aditya:

Absolutely, and I'm gonna keep it very candid and transparent, unlike what I may have done previously on any of a similar shows. So , Prasant I come from a very, very, very rural background, right? Like, I come from North India, Bihar, like the state Bihar, where there's a city called Sitamarhi. It's as remote as it gets. Like, just to probably draw a parallel, I guess, up until 2005, 2006, we still had like roughly 18, 20 hours of power cuts, back at our home, right? Like my childhood was working with lanterns. We, we of course, like everybody in my family was a doctor, so we were very well positioned as far as education and activeness towards like, Hey, let's, let's step out of the city and do, and explore what's out there, goes. But still, I resided there, and it has a lot of impact and influence on you because a hundred meters north of my house, you'd walk into homes where people were really struggling to make their ends meet right? Like, you don't have enough food on the plate at the end of the day.

Prasant Roy:

Correct. I've been to Darbhanga. Some of my best friends are from Bihar. I've been to Darbhanga, I've been to Patna. So, but that has been more of recent past, recently than what you are saying, so yeah.

Vikram Aditya:

Awesome. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now, now a lot of the things have changed, in fact Darbhanga and Patna both happen to be the nearest two airports. So, anyway, so Prasant, coming back to my background, I grew up in Bihar. Things flow down smoothly, but given our proactiveness towards like, Hey, let's get the best education out there. I stepped out in very early days. I think it's been almost 18 years, 19 years for me, since I stepped out of my hometown. And I am like 27 years old. So you stepped out at a very young, young age. My upbringing was in a gurukul, gurukul in its truest sense where you really have monks. We were part of this mission, like this group called Ramakrishna Mission, right? Like, and it happened, I, because Ramakrishna mission is somewhere where there is a lot of really, really, really good students. Like, to give you a context, some 25,000, 30,000 students and 80 people or so get in. It gets pretty competitive. So everyone has their eyes on and the best institutes in India. And that's how I ended up going. The JEE preparation route. Landed into IIT Guwahati. In IIT Guwahati I...

Prasant Roy:

By the way, I'm from Guwahati also, so we have another common connection that way...

Vikram Aditya:

Brilliant, brilliant, beautiful city. No doubt about that. Specifically, North Guwahati. It's, it's lovely. So, anyway, IIT Guwahati. Now that brings me to my professional setup, right? Like, so I have a product and design background that is what I graduated with, from IIT Guwahati. I think this was 2013 to 2017. And in 2015 is where I got first time introduced to crypto. I want that to come in now because crypto is going to be very central to our talk, hence forth. And from then there was no looking back. So I graduated, I joined this company called Sprinklr, and I initially just wanted to like, try what working for a early stage or a mid-stage startup was. Sprinklr had a reputation of being the best startup out there back then in 2017, 2018, I remember people left their jobs at Google, Microsoft to pick Sprinklr, and that always stood out for me. So when I got an opportunity, I was like, Oh, this is a blessing. Let's see what the, what the culture at Sprinklr is like. You get in and it was around a billion dollars back then, valued at a billion dollars roughly. And the company's based out of New York, like it's headquartered in New York. The founder is, of Indian Origin, Ragy Thomas, and it deals with social media management, right? Like social media management, customer experience management. So you can imagine any insight that you want taken care of from what people are talking about. If you are as a brand, let's say you are Nike and you wanna know what people are talking about shoes, what are their interests? What cars are they driving? When are they active? Are they using TikTok? Are they using Instagram? What are they even really consuming? What should someone say? Like if the MetaRoy Podcast wanted to reach out to everyone who's using Nike products, what would be the best way for you to position yourself? And from there, like today, you go, you buy products on social media, right? Like, so there is a commerce angle that comes on it, which is a massive industry. You have customer care. You do not go in and call the call center, you go onto Twitter and say, Hey, AT&T or Airtel, your service is pretty bad. I'm having this issue. Right? Like, so you expect it to get getting for, for it to get resolved if you go in and rant about it publicly. And this is what, Sprinklr was after.

Prasant Roy:

I think I used Sprinklr back into 2017 itself, as part of my agency's work with Diageo. So they they were managing the entire...

Vikram Aditya:

Diageo is a client.

Prasant Roy:

...Diageo line. And that's how I used Sprinklr at that point.

Vikram Aditya:

Diageo as a client, I have gone to London to like, oversee some of Diageo's projects back then as well. And anyway, that, like those four years, they were super packed with a lot of new explorations, right? Like, so I think in over four years we ended up in my personal capacity and with the help of my team, I joined in a team which was three, four members strong. By the time I graduated, we were some 43, 44 people across four continents, right? Like in my personal org, I joined in as a fresher, by the time I walked out I was a senior director, of product design and growth. And like, to some extent, while all of this was happening, we were churning our products one after the other, right? Like so very, very fast-paced environment. I think we built some 64 plus products that have a revenue of a million at least, which means you may developed a hundred or more out of which half didn't work, right? Like, and. It, it, it just like spells growth. You, you're growing left, right, and center. You're always doing things you never expected to. As a fresher, I was sent to, Brazil to oversee the product merger of this company that we had acquired, in Brazil. And I was like, Okay, I have never done this in the past. I'm a designer for all it's worth. And then from there, like you see, so you start managing products, you start having people under you and it was just like highly, highly meritocratic is what I would say. But in the backdrop of all of this, there was my crypto story bulging up, right? Like, so 2015 I got into Bitcoin. You never really stop once you have really understood the tech because there is a lot happening. So you keep running into things like, Oh, there's something called Ethereum now in the market. Oh, there's a hack that has happened. Hey, prices are really going up. Back in 2015 when I saw Bitcoin was I guess some $200. By the time I was earning money, by the time I got my first salary, I saw that, oh, Bitcoin had probably gone to something around $4,000, $5,000. And it was just going up and up and I was like, Wow. I was an idiot to not invest into it. So I'm just gonna put all of my money into crypto. And for the first four, five months, everything that I was earning just went into crypto. I was like surviving on the bare means, bare minimum. I like, okay, I'll probably only take a walk, not take this auto, let's save that a hundred rupees and put it in crypto. Because I was as very hungry to catch on that growth that crypto was having. Right? Like, and it led to some beautiful things because as you're really trying to chase what is to be invested in, to understand, because I understood Bitcoin, I was not really blindly putting money into project. And when you're trying to understand what a project does, you run into really, really interesting projects. So I ran into this thing called CryptoKitties. And I remember sitting in my office and joking about it. I was also a big proponent of crypto at Sprinklr. I was like, getting people left, right, and centered or, Hey, you'll regret this. I'm telling you, please get in. But essentially what ended up happening was I got into CryptoKitties. It was like funny because you were breathing cats and kittens and like, it just felt like a game. And I was like, Hey, this is so fun. I don't know what's happening in the world of Cryptocurrency. And jokingly, I think I interacted with over a hundred, 120 CryptoKitties at one point in time. I wish I had not let them go because I had no clue...

Prasant Roy:

This is before NFTs were a thing, right?

Vikram Aditya:

And that, that, that is probably the genesis of NFT as far as I see.

Prasant Roy:

Yeah.

Vikram Aditya:

Like, so it life would have been very different if I would have like kept all of it. But it was for fun. 2017 crash happened. I survived pretty well because I was like diversifying. I had my assets at the right place. Essentially I realized that, okay, it's too volatile for me to understand, so let's keep understanding the tech a little bit more. And that is where Polygon and all started coming up. There were proposals being floated. I had dismissed DAOs as a fact, in 2018 because someone was saying, Hey, we'll replace Governments. And I was like, Okay, that's too aspirational. Not really gonna happen, right? Like, and Polygon came up. I was very, India was like getting very harsh on crypto. Companies were shutting down. The company I had invested through Koinex, it doesn't exist anymore. And they went through that phase where the government said it's illegal. So a whole bunch of stuff was happening. I continued working at Sprinklr, but of course I was very well aware of what's happening. Like DeFi gained heat in 2020. But in 2019, 2018 as well, there were mentions of some experiments. They were not still using the term DeFi. Web 3.0 was a term that was not being used back then, but essentially, Blockchain, what it can do. I was like, too, really, really engrossed into it. So when I left Sprinklr, and this was right before Sprinklr's IPO, Sprinklr was gonna go, I wanted to pursue some things around growth. Sprinklr was filing for an IPO. So of course you don't really wanna experiment a lot when you're trying to go public. And I was like, Okay, I'll step out and try these things that I've run into, which was around product growth. And I think I took a detour. I, I took a break from Sprinklr and I went on like a month long, like sort of random journey across India and I was just talking to each and every founder I could. So the goal was, hey, it looks like in four years we have spent 40 years in the industry at Sprinklr. But is that all a bubble or am I really like onto something here? Do I really have some maturity or some understanding which may be, good for like establishing a business? And by then I had some ideas that, okay, probably I'm gonna start something of my own because when you are doing so many projects, one after the other, you realize that a lot of times you're just thinking from scratch. And if you're thinking from scratch, you can pretty much like have higher, higher, higher rewards. And then you start questioning some things around why are we even doing it? So all of that had happened the way it happens with every single employee in the world. And that on top of me going on that one month long trip. I think I met around 60, 70 founders. I, I don't recollect the exact number. It was pretty much around 60. I have it actually documented somewhere on my LinkedIn, but it was more like, hey, breakfast with someone else, lunch with someone else, dinner with someone else. I was flying into all the big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune. I flew to Bangalore. I was taking a break in midway. So I, I went to Pondicherry for a short while. Then again came to Coimbatore where there is a lot of tech companies coming up. Then I went to, this Isha Yoga center and then to Ooty. Then again, I went on like a detour and went to this place called Mulki for Sea Surfing. Then again, came back to the city of Pune. A whole bunch of stuff was happening, right? Like, and then I realized that people who had started out as entrepreneurs in my batch, they had certain learnings. People who had built companies somewhere, like very seasoned CEOs. I don't really wanna name anyone here because we don't wanna get into the specifics, but some people were very established CEOs. They had their own views, and to a large extent, I was like, okay, I am not really too far away from whatever they have learned in whatever number of years they have invested in their industry. So like I wanna really work for some super early stage company because Sprinklr was still a billion dollars when I got in. It was 5 billion, four and a half billion when it did its IPO. So that was a different exposure. There were still engines in place and in the course of it I ended up meeting someone from my own college, Mrigank. Of course, when you meet founders and they, they get that pulse on you. Like jobs start flowing in, left, right, and center. I think I ended up getting some 50 plus job offers from here and there, and I was like, Okay, this is too overwhelming, but I really wanna do something very, very, very early stage where I have freedom. So growth was on my mind ever since I left Sprinklr. And I was like, Hey, Mrigank happened to be an IIT Guwahati alum. He was doing something which was supremely interesting, at least on the outset, right? Like he was doing crypto forensics. Now crypto forensics for people is like, Hey, there's a scam. Someone comes and takes away your Bitcoin, what are you really gonna do? You go complain to FBI, you go complain to whoever your local police, What are they gonna do? How are they gonna trace where the funds went? And then the second thing is, how do I really protect you from not interacting with someone who may be trying to scam you, right? Like someone who may be trying to do rug pull. So you are talking like sitting in rooms with the likes of folks like Crock and Coinbase, Bank of America, right? Like Hong Kong police force, FBI. And the very idea seems very interesting. It's like, Oh wow. I am talking to criminals on a day-to-day basis. So I joined Merkle Science as the AVP of Product. Very interesting phase. Again, because the company was in Singapore. They were trying to have the positioning US first. We were establishing the sales function, the marketing function. The very first few people were getting hired. The mission and vision were also getting defined. So it was a brilliant time for me to get in. And that is where of course I was professionally back into the crypto sector. So once you are professionally back into the crypto sector, everything that had been happening in the backdrop since Sprinklr's time suddenly comes to fruition. And that's it. There was no looking back. So I was like, okay, now there is suddenly a lot of maturity. 2018 DAOs were out of the way. Suddenly DAOs had become big, They were becoming mature. They were talking about making money. It was not really looking like it's a bunch of millennials just trying to like, play around with money, right? Like it's, it's not trying to do stupid stuff. And I was like, Oh, wow. DeFi had shown itself a lot. There were scams happening in DeFi given I was in Merkle. We were of course in the middle of all of that as well. And a typical day at Merkle Science would look like someone from Italy messaged us. I remember this lady who was 45 years old, she went and said, Hey, I was dating this guy online. He was from Nigeria, and he was almost spending like four to five hours with her. Virtually every day. They fell in love. They decided they would get married. She was 45. He was a little young. And he says that, Okay, I'll move because Nigeria is not a place where you wanna come in. And Italy is a better place. I'm gonna move in, but my currency is devalued, so I need you to help me relocate. and she ends up spending all of her net worth, everything because he pro. I don't know how that happened exactly, but long story short, she ended up transferring everything she had in the form of Bitcoin to him. And he disappeared after nine months of dating, right? Like, and never to be found again. So she's like frustrated. This was like a day to day activity at Merkle Science. We would wake up reading a message from someone saying, This has happened, can you please help me? So we were right in the center of everything and that kept on, That kept on and on, and then Covid happened. So I was, I was really, really, really sick. Now, when I say really sick, I developed some post covid complications. This was the Delta variant. And because of some post covid complications, I was pretty much in that stage where I was not able to move. Like I had to be very cautious in how I was getting up. Otherwise there was excruciating pain in my chest and so on. In that process, I was like, Okay, I'm anywhere lying on the bed. What do I do? I'm very bored. I can't work because you're not able to focus with Covid. There is also some cloudiness. You time in again, blur out. So you're like, okay, let's, let's take it slow. So like, I'm not working but I can talk to people. So I started pinging anyone and everyone who's building in Web 3.0, like literally going onto Twitter, typing, DAO, Web 3.0 crypto, seeing a bio shop surface up cold messaging that person 10%, 20%, 30% hit rate, like people in crypto still engage with random messages. And I was like, Why are you building someone who was building Metamask on Terra back then? And I was like, Why? What do you see you are gonna do with it? Right? Like some developer who was saying, Hey, Postman is a big company in Web 2.0. It is about APIs. Like you can try a whole bunch of things and it's brilliant. Developers love it, but product managers also love it. But then in Web 3.0, you do not have an equivalent of it. And we are talking like billions of dollars here because Web 3.0, it picks it up. If it picks up, and which it will as far as the signals say. There will be a need of a company like that, right? Like, so how do you go about solving for what developers use today as a tool called Tenderly? So basically, why are people building in Metaverse? What's with the NFT? Why is everyone going and launching an NFT? How many projects have a depth? And I think the, we ran into some seven, eight verticals. Now when I say we, I became we here because Apoorv, who was my batch mate, Apoorv Nandan, he's a mathematics and computing graduate from IIT Guwahati as well. And we are friends from like almost 9-10 years now. There's a very different chemistry, right? Like so he was at Observe.ai in the role of a founding engineer. Prior, prior to that, he was leading the voice intelligence team at Samsung Bixby division, right? Like, so he was all into AI machine learning. And I was like, Apoorv I know you have also been in the crypto space because we had shared chats in the past and I don't know how much you have thought about building it, but here at a bunch of ideas, right? Like, so he was like, Oh, I'm already trying to build something on Shopify. Do you wanna like explore that route as well? I was like, sure. I, I'm anyway bored, so let's, let's try a few things. And that's where we started doing something for Shopify. But because the topic and our minds were really fixated on crypto Web 3.0 and it looked like this is too big of an opportunity to miss. I have never mentioned it before, but what we really set out to build on Shopify had really garnered traction. There were at least seven, eight big D2C brands in India who had committed to paying us. And we said like, Hey, you know what? We can build this any day. Like what we are really trying to build here it can be built a year later as well and it would still be relevant and if someone else builds it, you'll still have scope of improvement because it was a massive, massive, massive project that we had taken up. But Web 3.0, it looks like it's too significant to let go. So Apoorv also joins me on the journey of like cold messaging people. I think we speak to some 400 or so people. We identify seven, eight verticals, which are all going to be relevant. Now the story is Sprinklr, Merkle Science, Apoorv's Observe.ai, Samsung Bixby but for the business division, we're like, Hey, we understand B2B and SaaS way better than B2C. I could totally build a dating app today on blockchain. I don't know how to distribute it. I, I don't feel comfortable. I can figure it out, but I, I don't think that's my forte. So with that in the backdrop, we were like, Okay, let's figure out something which is under the hood, because we don't want the tool to be in the eyes of people. Like, that's brilliant if you can do something which is powering technology. So infrastructure, think infrastructure, think operating systems, and then pick a sector which is going to be relevant. My dad always used to say, Hey, he was a good student and he chose pathology, which was pretty hard back. And there were people who chose radiology and so on, and he was like, radiology was not really that big back then. But today, in retrospect, that was a brilliant decision because look at how the number of scans have increased. And, and they chose something which places them as one of the top doctors in the country today. And he was like, Always pick something that's going to be relevant five years, 10 years down the line. Because when you are 35, when you're 40, you don't wanna be stuck in an industry which you do not think is going to be the top industry in the world at that point in time. With that in the backdrop, crypto happened, Web 3.0 happened. We realized Out of the 400 people we talked to, almost 80% of them said, Hey, we don't know if we'll call it a DAO, but we are gonna go the community first route of building a product. And that is where I was like, Okay, if this is what it's coming to corporates, like even if 50% of corporates convert to DAO in the ideal world, or maybe a hundred percent of them do in like 50 years. It's already too big, but it's not gonna stop there. Like there are these communities which are there for fundraising, welfare, everything can be positioned into a DAO and everything is going to be a super business, right? Like so how do you leverage all of that? And that is how DAOLens was born. So it started with conversations with a bunch of people. When you start diving deeper into DAOs, you realize, oh wow, there are a whole bunch of problems. Like you spend two days in a DAO and you will be able to identify 50 problems that needs some solution. The sad part is that it's so tricky solving for them because DAOs operate in a weird way and it that is where it's like, it seems that the problem is easy to discover, but finding a solution that will really stick with time is going to be tricky for you. And that's a very long and elaborated introduction into what my background has been, how DAOLens was born, who my co-founder is. But yeah, back to you Prasant.

Prasant Roy:

True. But, I appreciate you taking the time for that introduction because I know so much more about your thought process now, or how you arrived at it, your topic of interest, and, it took some effort, right? And you actually explored a lot of other stuff before making a choice to build DAOLens, I understood that much better now. But for people who don't know what a DAO is, can you please like a quick explanation what yes, exactly a DAO is and how it works, What is the purpose of it? How those communities or organizations are built?

Vikram Aditya:

Yep, absolutely. And we'll keep it very short and simple and crisp. DAO stands for decentralized autonomous organization. Throw the definition out the door, right? Like, now DAO can just be seen as a group of people, right? Like, so let's say there are five people in the room. The group pulls in $10 each. So you have $50. That collective $50 becomes the treasury, and you decide that, hey, this is our funding. This is the $50 we have. All five of us can use it. As long as we can make a case that whatever I'm gonna do is gonna help the five of us make this $50 to $100, $200, $300. That's at least applicable for 70%, 75% of the DAOs. Now, there are doubts that have come in where the treasury is not meant to grow with time. It's supposed to do welfare, But the idea is that a group of people have a pooled resource or a shared bank account or a shared, I don't know, like a real estate, a shared whatever, right? Like so it's, it's a shared treasury. Now, to make anything work, one person in that group has to go make something that is called as a proposal. So that proposal is, Hey, I think we should paint the wall of this room red because if you paint the wall red, it's gonna look good. And more and more people are gonna come and sit and we can charge them. You have to make a case basically, right? Like now let's say you make that case and more than 50% of the group agrees. They will vote on it and they will say, Oh, yes, I, we should do it. Right? Like, and you have made a claim saying, I need $12 out of the $50 that we have pooled in to paint the wall red. Now, if everyone of the majority of the community agrees, your proposal passes, and if your proposal passes, that means whatever you wanted to do is now possible. You have $12 in your hand and you basically have to deliver on the promise that you made, right? Like so group of people, shared bank account, anyone can raise a proposal. Now what's interesting here is that in traditional companies, it's usually a board. Or a CEO or a VP who's making a call that, Oh, we are gonna expand into Southeast Asia now. An employee or a janitor in that company who may not really have that much of a say, they also sometimes have opinions which are super valuable and there's no way for them to take that up. Like they have to go through the hierarchy. Most of the time it gets squished. DAOs basically enable anyone and everyone to get that opportunity to speak, so you can go in and say, Hey, I wanna do this. Here is the case. If you write a story that's convincing enough, the proposal is gonna get accepted, so you can decide whatever and things very interestingly, like let's say an employee feels that everyone in Melbourne office in Australia is underpaid. Let's say, let's take a hypothetical scenario. You pretty much can't do anything about it, right? Like in a traditional setup, you can complain to the HR, say people are unhappy, some people will leave. It is still for the company to decide whether. Like the CEO or the board to decide whether they really wanna increase salaries. But in a DAO, that person can just go in and say, Hey folks, see here is a proof, that these people are working as much as people in America, but they're still getting underpaid and it's unfair. I propose that we increase everyone's salary by 50%, right? Like and if the compelling argument is convincing enough, like if the argument is compelling and convincing enough, the proposal is gonna get voted and accepted and you can do whatever you want it to without really the CEO because there is no CEO, right? Like so it's a flat hierarchy. One more thing that you should understand, and that is why I said like get the definition out of the door because like decentralized autonomous organization, it, it'll all make sense, but if you start thinking from that lens, it becomes complicated. There's something called a smart contract at the base of all of it. The way I usually go on and talk about this is, let's say your mom promises you hey Prasant if you do your homework, like when you were a kid, of course that's not the case today, but Prasant when you were a kid, like if you do your homework, I'm gonna give you this big chocolate bar, right? Like you're super excited. Oh wow. Oh yes. So you start doing your homework and then turns out it's 8:00 PM. So you go in and say, Mom, I'm done with my homework. Give me the chocolate. And she says, You know what? It's nighttime. You shouldn't be having chocolates. How about I keep this and give it to you tomorrow morning? Let's have dinner. You pretty much have no option because mom has all the power. So you succumb to it, right? Like, but basically what happened here was mom changed the decision, right? Like, companies do that often. Hey, I'm gonna give you an appraisal. Hey, we are gonna do this. And then they's say, You know what? Market has changed. We can't really do that. Smart contracts is computer acting as the judge. So you have a conditioning. If the homework is done, the chocolate is granted, it's already there for you. As soon as you submit a homework and the homework shows that yes, it's been done, the chocolate will be yours. No one can change that decision. And if you really wanna change that, you have to again, go to the community, make a case and say, Hey, 50% of the people agree that changing it is the right course of thing. Which, which becomes very tricky because you can't like change things. And, and communities are very supportive that way. So if someone goes and says, Hey, if I deliver this, I wanna get or position myself as the chief community officer here and you deliver it, it's already been accepted. So it's like a computer's code. Right? And that is what ensures that any of the promises that are being made, they're not like at the whims of people or at the whims of the people who started the DAO. So a group of people, a shared bank account, everyone has a say through proposals, you usually vote and there is something called a smart contract, which ensures that whatever promises were made, they will be delivered upon. That is a DAO. Now that's for you to understand in the depths of it. On a very high level, think of it DAO as a community of people who are working towards a shared cause and everyone is a boss pretty much, right? Like so that's, that's a DAO for you.

Prasant Roy:

Absolutely. I read a few use cases and, some interesting stories around DAOs. The most interesting one was people got together, built a Constitution DAO, and tried to buy the US Constitution back in 2021. I think they were unsuccessful at it, but I think that's one of the most interesting stories that I had. What are some of the use cases that you have seen personally, around DAOs? How do we replicate some of the current organizational structures, let's say for an agency or something like that. Can you take an example and explain that to our audience as well?

Vikram Aditya:

Absolutely. Constitution DAO is very interesting. It came pretty close actually, to getting, they were out bidden by a billionaire, and they were not trying to buy, like they were trying to buy a copy of the Constitution. And there are similar examples like that. People have bought teams, like football teams, basketball teams as a collective. Like imagine you go on and say, Hey, I'm gonna be an owner in Barcelona tomorrow, right? Like Barcelona Football Club. Like, it is possible if you can get really enthused fans together and like pool in money and so on, you can make that happen. So you can decide whether Messi should be playing or not, right? Like you, you can decide, now, now that is not true, but let's say this was 2018, you could pretty much decide that. Like the club is gonna wear a yellow attire. You, you could do whatever you wanted to, honestly, and that, that's interesting. But, coming to real use cases, right? Like, okay, so see, DAOs can be set up for absolutely anything, right? Like you can set up a DAO for just reviewing stuff. You can set up a DAO just for purpose of fun. You can set up a DAO for producing movies. You can set up a DAO for running a business. But some models are definitely more useful. So the most same, like the most useful or the most successful model so far has been Investment DAO. See DAO because by the idea or by the rules of it, It's a group of people where everyone has a say, you have collective intelligence or hive mind in the DAO. Which means if Prasant has a secret or he's really specialized in podcasts, or let's say, you know, the nitty gritties of things that I don't know, and the two of us pair up, I also bring some similar skill, right? Like, and the collective is way more stronger here, but that collective is often not really given a voice because decisions are made in closed rooms in traditional companies. In DAOs, you have a voice, right? Like you, you can go on and do whatever. You can comment on stuff. You can make a case against why the proposal that has been floated doesn't make sense. So investment DAOs, what they do is like, imagine a traditional company and you are trying to decide whether you should expand into a country like Philippines. The CEO is gonna send a team of people, right? And they'll go in and say, Hey, go spend a month out, do some market research, and come and tell us whether we should expand as a company to Philippines' market or not. That team is gonna do a work and they will come back, but. Is it going to be as effective as picking 10 people who have spent most of their life in Philippines doing business and asking them to comment on it? Probably not, right? Like, so that is what DAOs enable. DAOs go on and say, Hey, I'm trying to invest into art. Get the best person who has knowledge about the art to comment on it. Hey, I'm gonna try and invest into climate. Get the best person who has knowledge about the climate to comment on it, right? Like, let them take the lead in terms of whether we should vote yes or no against it. So that is collective intelligence. And investments are a massive use case. There are DAOs that come as service guilds, which means you come to me and tell me, Hey, I want a gig done, I want a design piece done. And there are people sitting in. So you will just have to float a task saying, I'm looking for a designer who will be able to do this. And then designers will come back and say, Oh, I'm gonna charge you $10 an hour, $30 an hour, $50 an hour. Right? Like, and there is a smart contract to guarantee that the day I have delivered the product, I'm gonna get paid. Like there's no contractor freelancer that hassle that comes in, right? Like, so that is one of the examples, so service DAOs are very popular. There are product DAOs. So what I mean by product DAOs is like you come together and you build legit software, which means, for example, imagine how Mozilla came up, right? Like Mozilla was built by a team, It was built by a community, it was built by people who were frustrated with the existing browsers. And it worked really, it was not structured as a DAO, but imagine for doing Mozilla, you were also to reward people. And DAOs had some very interesting angles. So see, when I do a project, when I did a project at Sprinklr, and let's say the company made $10 in a recurring fashion every year. All I got was a salary, right? Like because I was working as an employee there. DAOs changed that. DAOs come and say, Hey Prasant, if you have contributed to building a product that's gonna bring in $10 every year, you are gonna get $1 every time the company gets paid $10 for lifetime, which is like a royalty or a perpetual earning of sorts for you, right? You do not get questioned around, oh you wanna do music but you have a technical background or you have an agency background, you really can't do it right? Like that is how people work in traditional setups. You question people, Hey, do you have a resume? But your resume, you know, doesn't speak like you have an expertise in economics. DAOs change that. DAOs go in and say, Okay, you wanna do economics, you wanna do music. Prove it that you can do, submit what you wanna do. And as long as the community feels that you did a good job, we do not really care about what your resume was , right? Like so that is brilliant because you could work on your own terms. You could decide that I will only participate in things that are gonna pay me a $100 an hour or $2,000 an hour. If you are convincing enough, people will agree to it. You could work for five companies at the same time. So you could be a part of Constitution DAO that's trying to buy a part copy of US Constitution. You could be a part of a football club DAO you could be a part of a product DAO you could be a part of a music DAO and imagine work for you now is like spending five hours on music, two hours on football, three hours on this, right? Like, so it's, it's fun and there is no rules. Like there's nothing like, oh it's an office and you have to come at nine in the morning and work till five in the evening. Work on your own terms. If you're on a vacation on a Monday, so be it like you're just away and you tell people that I will take 20 days to do this and you get it done in 20 days. That is all that matters. It doesn't matter whether you work on day one or day 19, right? And it's community driven, so everyone like volunteers to help you. But again, primary use cases that have given, like a PMF or like have a hit a real good outcome so far are mostly investments and things like services and products. But you can imagine there are people who are trying to do Philanthropy as a DAO. There are people who are trying to do education as a DAO. There are people who are trying to do charity. We had, because of the ongoing situation in Russia, Ukraine, there was a fund that was created, to aid and there are people who are like just coming and like, aiding, right? Like people who are getting affected because of every, thing that the military is like doing and all the atrocities or whatever is happening there. You get it right? Like you can pretty much build a DAO for absolutely anything. Use cases could be, Hey, I'm gonna do a movie. We are gonna produce a movie. Let's say the two of us collaborate and we go on and say we are gonna buy Olympics. Right? Like what that means is you, of course you can't buy Olympics, but you, you, we go in and say we're gonna buy the sporting rights. And that's been actually discussed lately that hey, all of these athletes that come in when they're performing at Olympics, the footage and everything that they have is all owned by Olympics. So they are in their prime for the 8 years, 10 years, 12 years that they're playing, right? Like they get medals, they, they make money and then what? They're retired, they're done for life. They spend most of their life training for the sport. So they do not have skills where they can deploy. All they're supposed to do is like act as a motivational speaker and everything that they have has become an IP of someone else. So there was this proposal lately saying, Can we really go on and ensure that we go on and buy the rights for that, which means Olympic players can come together as a DAO and say that, Oh, we are gonna own that, right? And then every time that video is watched, I am gonna get paid, not like, or maybe I'm gonna get paid 50% as opposed to everything going to the person who recorded or who owns the IP and so on. So, interesting things can really be done here. You have people trying to fight healthcare as a DAO, right? Like they're coming in and saying, Oh, let's collate resources to fight these spread of viruses. Someone is coming in saying, We'll create a DAO that will only fund cancer research, right? Like someone is coming and doing longevity. So we have people who are coming and doing like DAO, like VitaDAO, CureDAO, they're working on research, biotech grants and everything that will ensure that we as human beings can have longer lives, right? Like there is a DAO that recently sent someone to space. And then they actually plan on sending someone to Moon as well. So interesting things are happening on that front. But yeah, those are some of the use cases.

Prasant Roy:

Absolutely. I think that's how they say the collective is stronger than the sum of its parts. Right. So I think that's one thing that is absolutely true for DAOs as well. What are some of the common misconceptions that you have seen around DAOs? I think one of the frequent one is like DAOs are not legal, You should not join them, But what are some of the other misconceptions that you have seen in your experience around DAOs?

Vikram Aditya:

I have a very different answer to it, so, because I'm pretty sure anyone who goes and Googles misconceptions around DAOs, you will have a whole bunch of things like, Oh, DAOs are a scam. It's terrorism, it's it's fraud, it's, it's whatever, right? Like, you'll be put in jail if you do it. Well, you can be technically put in jail if you were to contribute for a DAO that did something really bad. But the thing is that it's all hyped up. And essentially what's happening is DAOs as a phenomenon have been existent only for, I'd say four years properly now, right? Like 2018. Up until 2018, there were like very gimmicky experiments that were done. Of course, the DAO, the first DAO that was there, that was, that came up in 2016 itself, but it collapsed. It was hacked. They, they were still trying to figure out. 2019 onwards suddenly there was a maturity, right? 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021. Those four years there has been majority in the industry in terms of what DAOs are supposed to do. And it's still too early because you, like four years is nothing in the course of how we have established traditional legal systems and hierarchies and structures in place. So what ends up happening is that a DAO is not recognized as a legal entity, right? Like most of the DAOs, because they're communities, no one really knows because there are no rules and guidelines in place today around what should it be considered? Should it be considered a company? In a company you have a owner. The directors of the company are usually responsible for any wrongdoing, right? Like if the company goes bankrupt, the directors are the ones who are answerable. If the company does some scam, the directors are the ones who are questioned. In DAOs because the ownership is spread. And like you can imagine, there can be a hundred thousand owners. What are you really gonna do if something goes wrong, Right? Like, so these structures are undefined right now, and there are ways to navigate it. For example, you can't really interact with real world entities without having a legal structure. So what some DAOs have done is they go position themselves as a DAO. And then they also open what is known as an LLC, limited liability company, right? Like a limited liability company has certain rules that it can't have more than a hundred members. So in that case, they go on and say all the funds that are sitting in the treasury of the DAO, that will be in the bank account. Like, because you need to convert it to Fiat. The bank account is associated to the LLC. And that LLC is a part of, let's say that that LLC is a part of like it, it could be in any state. So if you're doing it in US, you could be having a Delaware LLC or a Wyoming LLC, right? Like, and you will have to follow the rules of the LLC. But it's just a way for the DAO to ensure that the fiat side of things are taken care of. And in that case, to set up the LLC, probably you'll have to pick 2, 3, 4 core team members who are going to be the founders or the representatives of that LLC, right? Like so essentially the DAO still exists. But as far as the bank account goes, the liability is on those four people, right? Like, and it's sort of unfair as well because hey, they, they volunteered to do it. They were asked to do it, or maybe they were the founders and they had no option but to do it. But still, the DAO as a collective made the decision and if something goes wrong, the liability will come completely on it. So if like the treasury was to like, let's say, get hacked, the liability would be on the four people because they are the representatives on paper. And that is the closest structure that most people, so they like, It's not like it's as bad as, I'm making it sound like you can really have an LLC structure and it works because you have the DAO doing all the structures. The LLC is just for the sake of representation and for the sake of interacting with real world businesses through the fiat route. But it's not like DAOs are illegal. There is nothing that goes and says there have been no examples. That go on and say, Oh, a DAO because you're working at a DAO, you're doing something wrong. What ends up happening is you will be getting paid for doing gigs at a DAO. So if you're writing, let's say a Twitter thread for some DAO that has floated at saying, I'm, I'm asking people to write Twitter threads, you're gonna get paid $10, $20, $100, $1000 and you will have to pay taxes for it. So if you skip doing that, because there is no guideline, like in companies, taxes get deducted while your salary is getting paid, right? Like in DAOs, because that structure is missing. You will be accountable for taking care of all the right things that need to be done, in terms of reporting, taxation, accounting. And if you skip that, you will of course end up in like in the crossroads of like a lot of queries around why you did it. You didn't report it, which is wrong as well because you didn't really pay taxes on what you made money on. But there's nothing like it's illegal. It's more on the lines of, Hey, It's still getting defined and it's, it's a little ambiguous. It's a little fluid, but there are, I guess, some 8,000 to 9,000 DAOs today in the world, and there are maybe a hundred thousand people who are working on it, and no one is sitting in a jail. So, that's the first thing, and I just wanted to touch base upon it because that actually happens to be the biggest concern for people that are DAOs illegal. They're absolutely not illegal. It's just that what is the right legal structure is an experiment, and it's, it's a little fluid as a state right now, the best example so far is the LLC route. Like have an LLC take care of the bank account that the DAO needs to have, where, so DAO can store its crypto in a treasury and they don't need an LLC for it, right? Like it can store it in a wallet, but as far as the fiat side of it goes, they will need a bank account to interact with it. A bank account can only be opened by a legally recognized entity. So there is in fact a lot of movement happening on how DAOs should be recognized. What is the right way? And I think in the next 4, 5, 7 years, a lot of it would become clearer. But some other misconceptions also are like, Oh, I don't know how to get started in a DAO. I don't think I belong here. Right? Like, you, you go see a DAO that is into movie making. That doesn't mean that you have to be a movie maker to be a part of that DAO. If the DAO is into movie making pretty much, there's someone there who's into graphic designing, helping the DAO with the graphic stuff. There's someone who's into coding, who's helping the DAO with its website and it's technical platforms and whatever software that the DAO is using, there's someone who's into economics who's actually working on stuff. So, so the first thing that I would wanna talk about in misconceptions beyond legality is don't assume that you can't contribute to a DAO. Pretty much any DAO you go to. You ask people, What can I do? I bring these skill sets. You can define your own scope. If no one in the DAO is talking about why the DAO needs to have a blog, You as a content writer can go in and make a case saying, Hey, this blog is gonna help us. Do you think I should be owning it? And if you agree, please pay me this much. Right? Like, so everyone can contribute to any DAO. The best way to do is start, start in one DAO you really don't need skill sets? People in DAOs are still human beings. They are content designers, they're writers, they're authors, they're developers. They are not crypto enthusiast like, right? Like, so the second misconception is that DAO is really built off only nerds in crypto. Again, not at all true. Most of the people in DAOs, they also don't understand how crypto works like a couple of them do. The core team members do. But it's, it's just as a collective, you come together and you wanna make stuff happen, right? Like that's, that's the gist of it. The crypto side of it. You can always get a couple of specialists to come and comment and advise you on how it's to be done. You can always build a tokenomics community, which is of crypto pros. But there's nothing like that. The third thing is that DAOs do not pay you. Right? Like, or DAOs pay you a lot. Like both spectrums I have seen. When you go to a DAO, you will not make a million dollars because you can write a Twitter thread, but you could make a million dollars if you were creative enough to understand what that doubt really needs and align with the vision and propose that, hey, I know of someone who has recently by NounsDAO, they were given a grant of some 900,000 plus dollars to get a YouTube channel launched, right? Like on the other day we were discussing, we have produced more videos than that in our company in the last two months and we, we have some one person taking care of it. This person or this group of people, they got $900,000 to launch a YouTube channel. But they were smart enough to identify that it has not been done, and that it aligns to what NounsDAO really wants to do. They showed that they have the relevant skill sets to, to be able to deliver on it, and they made a case for it. And the DAO agreed because the DAO wants to make, like make it work, right? Like so, so you could like, and you just have to start, like start with small things, $10, $30, $50 task. Once you start earning a reputation, you can go make a proposal for $200 million also if you wanted to. But to be able to do that DAOs are not stupid also. Like the people, that's a collective intelligence. It's a hive mind. People will catch your BS if you're just trying to like fool around. So there, there are these things and then it's not like DAOs are just for the sake of it, or it's like ultra rich people trying to like, you know, just show off their money or do things for the sake of it. Like, I know folks from Constitution DAO who wouldn't even qualify in the bracket that you would consider Rich, right? Like, but they were there because they had this feeling, this alignment that, oh yeah, we can demonstrate that a community can make stuff happen, Right? Like so, we in fact have hosted some of the core team members of Constitution DAO in couple of our podcasts here at DAOLens. And it's very interesting. The people are very passionate. Some people do work at DAOs and they get paid for it, but they still have a job on the side. And for some people they have just decided that they wanna move full time into it. It's basically your call, how comfortable you are with ambiguity, and it is completely possible to make a stable income or a stable livelihood by contributing just to DAOs and having a very solid work life balance. And it's also possible to spend time in like 50 DAOs and make nothing because you are just trying to consume content. Like, so it's like if you are always scrolling through Twitter and not really adding anything, , you will just be someone who knows everyone, but no one knows you. If you start publishing content, people start noticing you as well, right? Like they will have opinions of you and it's, it's the same for DAOs. You could go on and be on the sidelines thinking, Oh, maybe I'll do it the next time. Maybe I'll do it the next time. Maybe I'll do it the next time. And you will just realize the time has passed by and you did nothing. Sometimes the best answer is actually going and saying, Hey folks, I'm a designer, or I'm a developer, I'm a music producer, I'm a video artist, I'm an influencer. I really like what you're doing here and I don't know how I can contribute. Could somebody help me? This simple message, in any DAO, you will see there are 10 people who extend their hands saying, Hey, we have been looking for something like this. Why don't you come and contribute? Right? Like so now that brings me also to, it shouldn't be that way. It should be very clear why a DAO exists and what are the opportunities and which is why there are so many toolings coming up. Saying like, Hey, this is where there is opportunity and so on, but it'll still take a while before things start maturing. So yeah.

Prasant Roy:

Absolutely. I think you brought out some very important points, firstly around the legalities of it because, that is the main concern that have people have when they think about those, legal things and the regulatory frameworks and the compliances will follow because it obviously takes a lot of time, more than what it usually takes for the crypto world to move things around. Right. But as you mentioned, there are some frameworks in which DAOs can operate and that's how they are been doing it. So, this gives us a lot of, clarity around DAOs for that matter. And the other thing you mentioned about contributions going into DAOs, also, these are some misconceptions that I have personally heard as well. Let's talk about the tooling part of it, As you mentioned, right? we have been traditionally using a lot of different tools, Web 2.0, Web 3.0, combined, Discord, Twitter, Reddit communities maybe, to form, these sort of DAOs together, right? What was the market need that you saw when you were researching about it? As you mentioned, what was the need in terms of what are the toolings that have been missing? You said you identified about 50 plus problems that currently exist when you talk to DAOs. Right? I personally, I know about a lot of, tools that are missing, for example, accounting for DAOs, or you know, how these royalties should be redistributed. So can you talk about what are, what are those aspects which you identified, and what are the tools that DAOLens is building, for creating those DAOs as part of your product?

Vikram Aditya:

Yeah, absolutely. So, I'll talk first about how we see the ecosystem, right? Like then I'll come to what we have done so far. But see, for understanding the ecosystem, you really have to spend time into it to get a grasp on it. But long story short, we foresee four bucket areas and four pillars. And this is like me saying it, so someone else could probably classify it into three. That's fine. Someone could say that there is no bucket. That's also fine. But essentially the first bucket area is how do you discover stuff, which means out of all the 10,000, 8,000, 5,000 DAOs out there, what am I good at? Where do I belong? Right? Who are the people I should talk to? Now, one pretext to the answer that I'm gonna give to you is think of a traditional company. You use a tool like MailChimp, you use a tool like HubSpot, you use a tool like HR management salary disbursal. You use tools like Gmail calendar for scheduling Zoom and so on. And that is how the company functions, right? Like any companies may be using 30, 40, 50 tools. If a DAO has to function as a business or a group of people have to coordinate, you maybe need more tools because groups of people have a lot of need around coordination and effective coordination, right? Like, so anything that you see in the Web 2.0 world, if DAOs have to replicate or replace companies, or if they would eventually become a parallel of companies as an alternative way of structuring things, there would be a tool that is existing in the Web 2.0 world and all of them would find some way or defining or use case very similar to what they do in Web 2.0 in the DAO world as well, right? Like, so with that context, coming to the point of discovery, how do you discover a DAO? Who do you run into? Like who do you talk to? What are the projects? Hey, I'm a designer. Where can I make money? Right? Like, hey, I'm a designer. I'm gonna learn about stuff. Where do I go learn about stuff? The brilliant part about Web 3.0 is that you can do stuff and you can get paid for it. For example, you write a review on Zomato and you get nothing today. You write a review on Uber, you get nothing today. But there could be a Uber, which will, I'm not saying there should be Uber because people often misinterpreted saying, Oh, let's launch a token and let's reward people for adding reviews. But there could be a system if, if, if you can come up with a sustainable way of a token working as you are writing a review, you are adding value to the network. And as you are adding value to the network, because some other rider is gonna get some insights into it. Let's say Airbnb, you list about your experiences at this place in Portugal Lisbon, right? Like, and I am traveling to Lisbon. I find that useful and maybe because I look at your review, I'm gonna also stay at that place. Now because of your review, Airbnb got some business. So out of the money that Airbnb is making, it's only fair that you also get paid a little bit, right? Like it's, it's not a bad thing to ask for. And that can be done through the mechanics of tokens. But again, it shouldn't be misinterpreted that every review should be converted into tokens paying you back, right? Like, so again, we digressed a little bit, but coming back to the discovery part of it, where are these avenues for me to earn, right? Like everything around discovery. Who are the top contributors? Who are the top DAOs? That is a first problem. And you have a lot of solutions in Web 2.0 World, like think Glassdoor, right? Like what was your experience working for a company? It's listed on Glassdoor. Where is the Glassdoor for something like a DAO or Web 3.0 world? You have LinkedIn for job searches, right? Like where do I do And something similar for people who are working for DAOs. So that is how I would want you to draw parallels between whatever I mentioned about discovery and whatever is there in the Web 2.0 world. Once you have discovered something comes the idea of onboarding. Now in onboarding. There is an HR who holds your hand. They go in and tell you in a company, Hey, Prasant, come here. Here's an elevator, here is a cab. This is your table, this is the cafeteria. This is your boss. This is your laptop. Great. In a DAO, you are essentially thrown into a digital server. It's like Discord. It's like Slack. It's like Telegram. It's like WhatsApp. You don't know what you're supposed to do. Are you supposed to scroll through all the stuff that has happened in the past to get context? Because there is not going to be an HR who's gonna come and say, Hey, Prasant, welcome. Right? Like, so things around onboarding include, how do you ensure that people really attain success in the first seven days? How do you define why they are there? You always ask employees, What do you really wanna do? There are these managers. How do you do it in a DAO right? Onboarding also includes sort of like, Hey, I'm trying to move from pod A to pod B in the same DAO. How do I do that? Right? Like, so. All tools and facilitations that come around this bucket is the second pillar for us, right? Like, which is onboarding in my head. The third is, once you have discovered something, you have onboarded yourself in a way where you now know how things work. You're educated with the workings. How do you become an effective contributor? So think Web 2.0, again, effective employees, you need better skills, right? Like, how do I upskill yourself in Web 3.0? How do you upskill yourself in Web 3.0? Effective employees, they get recognized. How do you reward people? How do you grant them certificates or issue them something as a proof of the contribution they made In Web 3.0? In Web 2.0 world if you were to get paid, you get paid in Fiat and Web 3.0 World because you're getting paid in crypto, and crypto is volatile. How do I hedge your risk right? Like, because how do I tell you? Let's say you get paid something like octopus token, 10 octopus tokens. Great. How do I redistribute it so that you have a part of octopus, but you are also not in that stage where if octopus goes down by 90% tomorrow, you also lose all of your salary by 90%, Right? Like so, Or maybe how do I make that a hundred into 200, right? Like where do I reinvest it? That could be made into a tool. Think of proposals, right? Like you use something like Grammarly in Web 2.0. In Web 3.0, there are people who are drafting proposals. Proposals are how things move forward. You could have a Grammarly for writing proposals and if you have a Grammarly for writing proposals, that's again like a billion dollar idea there if DAOs become significant. So N number of things around contribution management. How do you promote people? How do you coordinate with people, right? Like everything that happens in Web 2.0, what do you do in a DAO like setup? And then the fourth pillar, so the three pillars we have talked about is discovery, onboarding, contribution. And the fourth pillar is operations. The operations is where you came and said, Hey, legality. Hey, accounting. Hey, I'm trying to, structure my company, restructure my company. Should I have five subbranches or should I have one sub branch? How much should I be paying people? Like I'm listing this job. What is my salary benchmark, Right? Like, should I be having a certain documentation processes in place? Should I be having, how do I find out what DAOs like me are doing in the world and so on, right? Like, how do I onboard people? How do I manage my treasury because I have like a billion dollar in my treasury. And I, I'm not the expert. Companies have experts of people who reallocate that fund, right? Like how, how do you do that? How would a DAO go about doing that? So that's operation, everything around operations. So four pillars, discovery, onboarding, contribution and operations. That's how we see pretty much every problem fitting in into the DAO space. Now, coming to what DAOLens does, we have built two products so far, which are live, a third product which was made live and it's being taken back and it's again, being published in a bit. So the first product is onboarding. We simply go talk to all the tools that are there in a DAO, the DAO stack, we bring around relevant information that is sitting in. So if you're a designer and there is an Excel sheet that says these are the open opportunities for a designer, I'm gonna pick that row from that Excel or from that native Web 3.0 tool, which is around compensation. Let's say some DAO is using something like Gnosis for paying people. I have insights in there. I can go talk to Gnosis and bring around relevant info insights that a new joiner needs to read. So a new joiner shouldn't be really thrown into discord or telegram and asked to scroll through stuff. Or like, what usually happens is today you have this thing called, Hey, click on the emoji to unlock access to the right servers. That is usually what happens in a Discord. And no one really clicks on just one emoji. Like if I see a monkey and a banana, I'm gonna click on both of them and then I have like 200 servers open with me and I'm lost. And then I'm just gonna probably mute it. So maybe it would not really be a bad idea to tell a newcomer what the last proposal was. So which is where I can go talk to your proposal management tool and bring along the latest proposal that was there and show that as a block or as a step to you. And you go through that proposal, you go through what is the open role, you answer a few questions. You connect your wallet, you do some hygiene checkups. If you are holding a lot of tokens or you're already an enthusiast, you hold some NFTs, your NFTs have certain traits. You participated in certain things which give you some flexibilities or which, which enable you like, which give you a grant, you a VIP access. I should be able to define what your role is, right? Like, so that is what we do gating onboarding. So that when members are coming in, they're not really lost, they go through our steps and then they unlock server that is fit for them. The journey for a designer needs to be different for that from that of a developer. That's the first thing. The second thing is it's a little complicated, and for people who have never really talked about DAOs, it's gonna get a little wobbly. I'll try keeping it simple, but here is how thing works in a DAO, right? Like, so we talked about proposals and discussions. Usually you have something like a Slack or a Discord where people float something. Let's say I say something, I see Prasant is very enthused about it. He's commenting a lot on it. I, I, I ping you. I say, Hey, let's hop on a Zoom call. And then we decided, oh, based on everything that has happened in Slack or Discord so far, it looks like this is something which the community wants to discuss. . So the two of us go on and float the proposal on a platform like Discourse, right? Like you put it out, community members can come comment on it. Now, there is a lot of discussion happening there. Again, because the two of us floated it, we'll keep an eye out on signals and if we feel that the community feels that whatever we have talked about is a legit problem, we are again gonna go into Zoom and huddle around what should be the budget, how much do we need to spend if you wanted to really make that product work. And then we would simply come back to the community and float a proposal in a tool called Snapshot. So we did something on Discord. We did something on Zoom, we did something on Discourse, then we did something on Snapshot. Snapshot is where the proposal gets listed and people were saying yes or no. Once the proposal is accepted, which means most of the community voted yes, then you and I got the money we needed, right? Like, but we still need to deliver on the promise we made. So we need to do it into tasks because we can't do hundred tasks on our own unless we want to. And if it was a big proposal that we wanted to take care of, we'll probably need to rely on the community to help us. So what we are gonna do is we got a hundred dollars, We are gonna go in and say, Hey, you know what, Someone who writes a Twitter thread on this proposal or manages my social media page is gonna get paid $1 per month. Right? Like, someone who can get this piece of code written is gonna get paid $3 per month. And you, you basically leave out these bounties. Now people come and claim, right? Like they will discover your bounty. They will come and claim it. They will do their own submission and we and I and you will again review it saying, Oh yes, this is good. This is not good. And then once we've reviewed it, we promise them $1 per month. So we have to pay them. So now there are a, there's a lot that happened in this step because the proposal got accepted. There's tasks that got created, task and bounties list on something like Bounty board. So you maybe use a tool like Trello there and then from Bounty Board, because the payout is done, you do not have banks. So you pay out people by a Gnosis safe. Discord Zoom Discourse Snapshot, Trello, Gnosis safe, right? Like all of this happened over different tools. What ends up happening is there is so much of silo that half the context get lost. And then because people can work for multiple DAOs at the same time, if you are working for even two DAOs, you're working on 12 instances of tool, it becomes really messy. So we are simply trying to give that unified interface for a contributor where they don't have to jump between 20 tools. If there's a voting happening that's happening in the same place, if there is a payout happening that's happening at the same place, your bank account is linked at the same place, your community is talking at the same place, and it's also not noisy at the same time because we don't wanna like throw everything in your face. So that's the second tool. We call it contribution management. That has also been made live. The third tool that I talked about, which was made live, which was taken back, is discovery. So we just want a five year old to run into you. You go to any DAOs website, you will read all of these terminologies, like smart contract, right? Like, EIP 101, and then you're like, Oh my God, what are these protocols? What, what, what frameworks are we talking about? ERC 715? Like, you're like, oh my. Like it gets really messy. So our goal has been that can we make it easy for a five year old to run into a DAO and understand how they could contribute to the DAO, why the DAO exists? What were the real tangible steps for them to start making money, right? And if that is even a place where they belong. So we do it in a very simple way. We go look at all the DAOs, we do our own research, and then we put a simple one pager saying, Hey, this is what the community is about. You know, this is mom giving you lollipops. We really give you, we make it that simple. And then you can decide whether you really wanna do it or not. So we took down the discovery tool because we are now adding a whole bunch of new functionalities to it, and we'll push it back. So those are the three products that we have already made live in some form or the other. On top there are experiments that we are doing around, okay, someone is getting a grant from a DAO. So usually you can get one and tell our ecosystem saying, Hey, I think this is really broken. We the just like proposals. It's, it's actually like proposals. You have to make a proposal saying, Hey, we need a hundred thousand dollars to do this. And they, the community can pay you a hundred thousand dollars. But once they have paid, it's really tough for the community to track what happened to the hundred thousand dollars, right? Like so we are working on that direction. We are working on all of these people get paid NFTs. So as opposed to certificates of completion, as you do a course, you get NFTs today, right? Like now NFTs, let's say I get an NFT from someone named DAOLens and you get an NFT from someone named MetaRoy and I got an NFT because I worked for two hours. You got an NFT because you worked for 20 hours and both of us are applying to a job. And I applied through my NFT. You applied through your NFT. How is the job person really gonna decide which one is a better one? Maybe yours is better because you had to work a lot more, right? Like you earned it with a lot of hard work. But that's not easy to do because you maybe got it from DAOLens on Ethereum. Sorry, I got it from DAOLens on Ethereum. You got it from MetaRoy and Solana, like what's really gonna happen? So a whole bunch of like how people navigate on that front. Then can I really segment, For example, today you have users, so you can run ads to them. Now in Web 3.0, there are no ads, nothing. But it becomes tricky because if there are 50 people in my community and I wanted to like classify people who are sports enthusiasts and put them in a group, how do I do it right? Like, so can we really identify segments of people? That is another experiment, which we are conducting. A whole bunch of these smaller ideas and like there are tons of them, which we do in two week, three week sprints, and then we keep building or like throwing them, down the drain if they don't work out. But yeah, that's what DAOLens is all about. Like we, we just envision ourselves to be a suite of tools, one after the other. And the goal is we want this suite not to be like just a tool. We want it to be an infrastructure, which means as we are building onboarding, it's very important. Infrastructure is a critical term to understand. So as we are building onboarding, we want these blocks to be available as a Lego block, right? Which means I built it, You can use whatever I built, but if you're not happy with it, you could tweak it in whatever way and you could build your own version of onboarding, which means people can build on top of whatever we have exposed. And that would really be a win-win, win for everyone. So we are like, Hey, there are these building blocks and you can define whatever infrastructural structure you wanna do with it. And that's, that's how we foresee ourselves. But again, all of this suite of tools or comprehensive tools, Everything that I talked about, discovery, onboarding, contribution and operations, everything hitting all of it is maybe like a 50 year plan. So, we, we, we take things one step at a time. There is a lot of projects that are coming in and yeah. That's, that's what all this is all about.

Prasant Roy:

Absolutely. Even, I think it's a 50 year plan, something your dad also mentioned, Right. You should always plan ahead for the next 50 years if this will be a existing need. Right. So I think your roadmap, your features look awesome to me personally. What was something that you found was the most challenging when you were building DAOLens? Can you share some stories around some challenges that you as a team overcame when you were building DAOLens?

Vikram Aditya:

Absolutely. See, DAOs are ambiguous because people prefer being anonymous. So you don't know who Prasant is. Prasant is sitting behind an Ape picture. And you don't know what Prasant's interest are, what Prasant's Facebook handle is, what's his LinkedIn or Instagram is. You can't show an ad. You don't even know his email, right? Like Prasant hangs out on Discord. Discord doesn't allow you to run ads, and then Prasant maybe has turned off his DM so you can't even reach out. That is what becomes tricky because I see a Prasant and MetaRoy and I don't know if he's the one who's the boss, right? Like what I mean by a boss. Again, in a DAO there is no boss. But is he someone who's enough understanding. Is your core contributing member of the DAO, right? Like is he someone who can guide me on whether the thoughts that I have on whether DAOLens can really help that community or not can really be like tested, right? Like, and it becomes tricky because you have to do a lot of lot of cold outreaches before you really hit the right person who, who can route you to the right places or tell you what the next steps are. And DAOs are evolving. So we do not have a lot of complaints around, Hey, why, why is there no process for me to go and then make a proposal visible to others and so on? But it is still a little messed up, right? Like, so that has been a change, like a challenge for us to, And the only answer to that is you have to hustle. You have to go work with these DAOs, you have to become friends with them. And it's a moat also because if you become friends with everyone, anyone else was to start tomorrow, they will still have to do the hustle that you already did. So it's, it's good. It's, it's good as well from that pov. But again, that has been a personal, challenge as well. We, we have ways of tackling that. The second thing is being DAOs are very fluid. So what seemed an obvious thing to do nine months back changed when suddenly crypto winter happened and everyone's only focus was on saving treasury. And then what seemed obvious three months back has also changed because DAOs are still experimenting with how much decentralized is good. What is the right governance model. We talked about people vote, but not every time 51% of the people are gonna vote. In elections, in a country like India and US, 30%, 40% of the people only vote. So in that case, half of the community is never really gonna agree to it. So what are the right ways? Like what is the governance? Should we only accept a vote when 10% of the people have voted? There are these experiments which are being done, and those experiments change a lot of stuff. So we are dealing with something, I don't call it a challenge. I, I really like drive my energy out of it because it, it makes it fun. It makes it interesting that, oh whatever we were doing for the last 15 days, it's all useless now because this is obviously the right step to move ahead. So it keeps you on your toes. So I would rather frame it that way. DAOs are very fluid and they're evolving so much that. The ideal vision of a DAO being the go-to way. See here is the goal. Like I think Vitalik has also at some point in time said this, that DAOs are going to be the end state of any, any community, any org, right? Like, if you really wanna be decentralized, DAOs seem to be the end state. Maybe it will change as well. Because like we, we, Web 3.0 is always ways of surprising us human beings, a ways of surprising us. So maybe we'll discover something else, but for that to happen, there is a lot of experimentation. There's a lot of groundwork that needs to be done, and that is being done today. So you, you keep seeing a lot of changes, headwinds, like variables that, that there is no right answers to. Someone comes and says, Hey, I'll help you figure out a growth plan. That's the other day I was talking to someone, they're like, on a call, we'll solve a growth problem. And then we started talking and I was like, You know what? This is an anonymous set up right. And they're like, Okay, half the assumptions that I had go out the door now. So you have to be really, really, really fluid on that end. That's it. It's, it keeps you on your toes and I think that's the fun of it. Like, I would regret not building DAOLens, whether we fail or survive, that's not even a thing. It's more about if DAOs become a thing, I wanna like live the last day of myself on earth knowing that okay, I, I tried giving my best shot at building something that was relevant and meaningful. So, yeah.

Prasant Roy:

Awesome. Awesome. So, Vikram, the next question I have is I wanted to know about the team behind DAOLens and, our audience would love to know what was the story, how you came together. You mentioned briefly about your co-founder, but can you elaborate a bit around that as well?

Vikram Aditya:

Yeah, absolutely. So, Apoorv, again, like, like I said, we are both batchmates and, there's a history to what happens. But we at DAOLens today are a team of around 19-20 people, and that team is structured in a way where we know that the trickiest part is navigating outreaches, right? Like, so we have a group of people who are focused on building these relations. The second tricky part is really identifying pain points. So for identifying pain points, you can't really just go in and talk to a DAO and say, Oh, this DAO is always saying they need this because trust me, if you build it that DAO is going to be the only customer that really needed it. Every DAO has its own needs. So we essentially, run into situations where we spend a lot of time in these communities trying to identify how stuff is moving in the core team in the closed rooms, right? Like, and that is where it gets a little very energy intensive. So that is where a large part of our team structure also spends, like a large part of our team spends their time on like spending time in DAOs to helping people out doing things that we don't even do at DAOLens, right? Like someone comes and says, Vikram, I need help with my Twitter banner. I'm gonna do it. It doesn't, it's not gonna bring money to DAOLens, it's not gonna drive my business forward, but I know that unless you do it, you'll probably never become one of the community, right? Like so. And then the third focus is like our biggest and most valuable assets, or like energy, like that we are spending actively here is on tech. Because whatever we are really hoping to build, it's very aspirational. It doesn't have to be that you, you need Einsteins to build it, but you need people who are first problem, like first principle thinkers. They can think from an independent pov. They, they are very fluid. They, they grasp the essence of why are we even saying we wanna build infrastructure? They are okay changing directions, right? Like, you see, I don't know if people here are pet owners, but when you are supposed to be like training a pet to walk, right? The usual instruction is go front, then suddenly take a turn and go back so that the pet is always on their toes. They, they know like, okay, I, I can't run in any direction, right? Like, and I don't mean it in a way where we want to dictate which direction people are running in, but essentially everyone has to act as if they're always on alert, right? Like, Oh, we are doing this thing. There is a signaling that it'll not work, dump it. Let's do something else. Right? So that is what we spend most of our time evaluating people on. And that's pretty much it. So we have a small community team, we have our own community, we have our own Discord community. And, you can simply like go to our website and join our Discord community, or if you like, aren't interested at all in the product, like you will have someone from the business team show you how the product works, if you are at all, like even managing a community, the tool is free of costs, so you can really deploy it for yourself, but essentially a small community team, a small marketing team to like create that presence to keep driving. Because a large part of our focus also has been on educating people. When you go into a DAO and tell them that, hey, you need onboarding, sometimes DAOs are so immature that you have to tell them why they need onboarding, right? Like and they agree, they believe like they understand why they need it, but maybe they're not having the bandwidth to foresee all the needs on their own on day one, right? Like, so that is, again, something which we have been working on internally here a lot. And that's how the team is structured. So engineering, outreaches and like partnerships mostly that is our core focus area. And then a small efforts around marketing and community. But we pretty much host podcasts every week. We have internal Discord sessions every week, where we get in, we feature DAO folks who have like made it big or like, who have some original thoughts. And the only reason we keep doing it is because the idea is if someone really comes to DAOLens and says, Hey, DAOLens I need help with accounting? I'm not an accounting expert, but I know 10 people who can help you with accounting. And my answer to you should at that point in time be Oh yeah, absolutely. Let me connect you to Tom or Mark or Rebecca or Hillary or whoever, right? Like and anyone for that matter. And we simply want to be in that spot where we are not necessarily only always thinking about building a business, but we are also thinking about people are really lost when it comes to DAO. Like if you were to like establish MetaRoy as a DAO, you are gonna have to make some really, really tough decisions. And it's not easy. Sometimes the answer is, I also don't know, but we can figure it out for you. Right. Like, so that is what we, we spend our time and energy on.

Prasant Roy:

Absolutely. Absolutely. And for people in our audience who actually want to know about DAOLens, I will put the links in the description below, so you can go check that out as well. Vikram, I have a few other questions around your personal journey, towards building that. So, when you started DAOLens, how did you kinda explain it to your parents? Like what are you doing with your startup? How do you explain your work to your parents?

Vikram Aditya:

It's a very good question, and the answer is that I took like my fair share of time to explain what we do to my parents, right? Like, so I got into crypto in 2015. I started investing in 2017 and I discussed my finances a lot with my dad. Like he's also someone who understands stuff. He's always, he shaped me, groomed me a lot. I look up to him a lot. And I think it was in the process of explaining to him why with everything that has been happening in the world, like government comes and says, Oh, crypto is illegal. And then of course parents have high alert on, they say like, Oh you did something. Are you going to go to jail because you put money in this asset, right? Like I was always having very frank discussions on what exactly is crypto. Their understanding of crypto is like way better than what someone who's a 65 year old in India would have. And that has only happened because we have had these conversations over four years. So I don't know if it was that or the fact that I was working at Merkle Science and they already knew that. What I mean when I say that someone has been scammed and that FBI would use us, they of course don't know the technicalities, but on a higher level they know that okay, a group of people are there. It's a community. That community needs tools to function and this is what they're gonna do. Right? Like the tricky part has been explaining to them because they are people with medical backgrounds that, What do I mean when I say that? A company needs a suite of tools to function. So because they don't know MailChimp, they don't know HubSpot, they don't know, like they use Gmail, but they don't see it that way. Right? Like that Gmail is a tool that they're using to do their day to day. As long as they get that, I think it's fairly easy to just draw a parallel and for them to understand. All they need to know is that we are trying to work with a group of people where everyone is equally a boss. That's it. So, I simply go in and explain a DAO to them, the way I explain to you that it's a group of people, everyone has pooled in money and then things like smart contract and so on, right? Like I, I distinctly know my dad now knows what a smart contract is because at one point in time we were talking about, hey, you know, like smart contracts are really cool because essentially what ends up happening is when you're applying for a car loan, right? Like when you're applying for a car loan, you can go to a bank, the bank will do its own check. Then you go to the agency, the agency will do its own check, and it takes like somewhere, 10 days, 15 days. If you're really lucky. Sometimes it can take months for the loan to get through. In crypto. Everything you do is getting stored on chain, right? Like, so the first thing I explained to my parents, I think four years back was like in blockchain, whatever is written is most likely the truth, right? Like, so you trust it. If it says that this is a five star rated restaurant based on reviews from 30 people. It is probably true because it's very tough to cheat blockchain like, or to like, it, it, it has to go through something like 51% attack and so on, which is not easy. So they understood like, okay, something written on blockchain. That's true. So it becomes easy for me because I go in and say, Hey dad, you know what? Everything around your money, your habits are there on the blockchain. Let's say if there that's on the blockchain, then I trust it. When blockchain comes and says that, Oh, you are a credible person or a creditworthy person, it's on blockchain and I trust it because it's, it's by nature of how blockchain is built. And from there, if you go in and apply for a car loan, a smart contract has simply to go in and look like basically what the bank people or the car dealership people are doing is they're going and checking things out. They're doing background checks, they're checking for conditions, requirements, and then they're doing, If this is true, then we'll sanction alone. Now, if you encode it in a smart contract and I go in and apply for a car loan, the smart contract is gonna check on my blockchain profile, and it knows that, it doesn't have to verify further because it's already on blockchain. So it's gonna give me the car immediately, like my loan can be sanctioned in like two minutes. I can get a job in two minutes if my profile says that Vikram is a super reliable person, right? Like that is what interviewers do. They come and they try identifying, Oh, is Prasant really a good person? What kind of a human being he is? Like, I, I start asking you questions. Prasant, what's your motivation in life? Right? Like, do you need money? And if your work, if there's proof of work that you have always delivered, or if you've delivered 95% of the time, I am more like confident making a bet. So if I could encode it in a smart contract, again, job applications would become very, very, very fast. So they had these insights. All through in their life. So when I went and really told them that, hey, it's a group of people who are coming in and we are building tools for them to function, it was really a piece of cake for me because they themselves started interpreting things like, Oh, now you say this is what the smart contract is gonna do, this is what it gonna do. But essentially for any five year old, I would really always use, like if, if I had to go in and explain it to my maternal uncle who I don't think understands DAOs, I would probably simply go in and say, Hey, a group of people are there. Everyone is a boss. You can do whatever. And I usually take an example that you see this wall behind me. I wanted to paint this map into golden colors and I feel we should do it golden because anyone who comes into the room is gonna spend more time here. And I'm also offering drinks. So they're maybe gonna order more and it's basically help, gonna help my business. I'll just draw some sort of a parallel with them. And it usually helps if you can draw parallels, for example, When dad has a lot of questions around crypto and I just go on and draw medical insight saying, You know what? Take a hospital and this is gonna happen. It's really easy for them to understand. And again, the goal is not to tell them how the tech works. The goal is to tell them that this is true. You just imagine that it's true. But it's not very comfortable, honestly, like explaining it to, it's not comfortable explaining it to VCs, let alone parents. Like I I I've talked to so many venture funds and like, we still keep getting questions. What, what is your hypothesis on DAOs? Do you think DAOs will work? Is Polygon a DAO? I'm like, See, you can, you can again, like you can have your own fluid definitions by, if you are really brutal on DAOs being entities where everything is being done on the chain, where everything is truly decentralized, we probably have no DAO in the world, like we would've zero DAOs in the world. So your definition of decentralized autonomous organization needs to be a little fluid because we are still evolving right now. Yeah.

Prasant Roy:

Absolutely. Absolutely. I think, that's a good way to put it. So, Vikram, my final question to you is you had such an interesting journey so far, across Web 2.0, across Web 3.0. What was the most interesting part of it? What is the part that you remembered the most, and what is the most important thing that you have learned in your journey so far?

Vikram Aditya:

Whew ha. I am not prepared for this question, but, okay. So here's the thing, right? Like, I think because of my exposure at Sprinklr dealing with ambiguity or when you have your back against the wall, when you're facing situations where you don't know the answer somehow I have never felt that I have lost confidence in those environments because you have done it so many times. Like we have had one liner briefs. Sometimes, like I, I have converted products out of like thin air and I really mean it. Like there was this raw law called GDPR, right? Like, that came in 2018. I think it went live on, Yeah, it went live on 25th of May. And the reason I remember the date is because it was, a big headache for us back at Sprinklr. And I remember I was given a 88 page, like there were 88 pointers in that document saying what GDPR is supposed to do. And you were given that, I was given that by my CTO and I was asked, Vikram, convert this into a product and we have only two days to do it, right? Like, and I'm like, what, how are you even gonna do it? And you turn those pages and those are purely legal languages. Like, the reportee admits to the use of appropriate resources and. And I'm like, Oh my God, I don't know what is to be done here. Like we are probably all gonna end up in jail because we are not going to be GDPR compliant, or the company's gonna shut down. You always assume the worst. And we went through it. We went through it. It was messy. We had like a couple of sleepless nights. I, at one point in time remembered every point, like you could ask me what is point number 54 in GDPR? And I had it on memory. I was given a sales book and I was asked like Vikram convert it into a product for our sales team to function, right? Like so that we can go in and make this happen through a product. There were some pretty weird briefs that we got in our lives, and I think it was that and on top my habit of learning and reading a lot of stuff here or there that I think there have been enough things that have been stored in subconscious, be it in the form of a habit, be in the form of a muscle memory, or be it in the form of an insight or knowledge. And I think it really helps, which is why I still till date try reading as much as I can. Like sometimes I'm reading philosophy, World War II, I don't know, like sometimes I'm reading Buddhism, sometimes I'm reading text, sometimes I'm reading things like there was this book called Why Social Media and Became Money, and then it was followed by a book called Death by SadhGuru. And, and I just keep reading all of these things because the more it stores, I think like creativity or sparks of ideas, right? Like they're just fancy terms. No one is really in that spot. Maybe you have a higher IQ because science Proof said that some people have a higher IQ when they're born, but it's not like you are lucky or you are really, really, really creative. Like you can make yourself to be someone who's really creative. But for that you will have to dump a lot of information into your brain. And then when you're sleeping on a problem statement, maybe five years later, something from what you read five years ago, or what you experienced five years ago is just gonna connect the dots for you and you are gonna have a spark saying, Oh wow, this, this worked. Right? Like, so that is essentially what has been a realization for me. And I think because of everything that happened at Sprinklr, my conversations, I always try talking to people. Anyone who reaches out to me on LinkedIn, now it has become a little tough because it's getting noisy. But anyone who reaches out on me on LinkedIn, I'm like, Hey, I can't really get on a call with you. Can you just drop a Loom video in under 90 seconds telling me what you really want. When I go on international trips, I spend time in lanes talking to people. I think it's, it's these exposures that help you a lot. So today in the situation, we are in at DAOLens. I see 90% of the crypto companies that were launched in India in the last one, one and a half year, Web 3.0 first companies, they're all pivoting, right? Like, and. I could flip out and say, Oh my God, DAOs are becoming this thing. We don't know if DAOs are going to be what they are, but I'm still very calm and composed about it in my head, and I think this is, this phase that we are going through is something that I'm really, really, really gonna cherish in my entrepreneurial journey. Whether we build DAOLens into a big entity or not, it's irrelevant, but this particular phase, I'm always going to be proud of it because I think even now when we sit, we know sometimes our days start with, Okay, we don't know what we are really trying to solve, and we still spend our time talking about the right stuff, which is why I'm super proud of the people we have put together here, like the kind of team we have here. I would go to a war with any one of them. Sometimes we actually end up questioning that. Do we really need three people to do this? But it's more of like, how do we in an optimum fashion, use the people we have as opposed to. Is that person good? The question here is never about like, you could pick any random person from people sitting here at DAOLens and you'd be proud of talking to them, right? Like, so, I think I'm really gonna cherish this aspect more and this is the question that has been asked to me previously as well sometimes. And when I was in college, I was like, I'm really gonna cherish this phase I am in. I think it keeps evolving like you, which is great because it's almost like you are always living the high point. You're always like, right now is the highest point that I have spent. Or like, right now is the best way. And as long as like I'm, I, I would be happy if I were to die tomorrow because to me it looks like whatever I'm doing today is the best thing I could have done given all the experience over the past few years. That's like a very personal unfiltered perspective on stuff. I don't know if day after tomorrow there have been these smaller moments, like we closed our funding. We're like, Oh wow. Five days, seven days is all it took to close the process. And we were like, oh, seven days before I was like flipping out. I don't know how VCs go. They ask for these tough questions and then things just went on for us. So, so, but, but again, those are not really like the things that I cherish, cherish, like they are their happy memories. And there are a lot of happy memories like that, right? Like sometimes just two, three weeks back we were playing a game of mafia with everyone here, or I don't know who all knows mafia, but it's, it's really, really interesting. There's a card game, you can go out on Amazon and for a team of 15, 20, it really is very fun. Like, we were doing it. And then there are those memories. And I think those are also memories that I cherish as much as I cherish us closing a fundraise and as much as I cherish me, like getting a 200% return on an investment I made or me, right? Like, like, but there are a lot of those stuff like we, we do whatever we feel is the right way to do things and. I was very blunt about it. Even during my funding, like a lot of people came and said, Vikram it's a Web 3.0 company, don't you think it should not be a SaaS play. And I was like, Why do you even say that? Like, I don't know why you are saying that, because we are human beings. SaaS, to me, software as a service, as long as software is going to exist in the world, everything should be a SaaS play, right? Like, and it's fine. Like Web 3.0 as a technology. You see today, Metamask, crypto, it is all gonna become invisible. Like when you are doing a transaction on Visa or MasterCard on a card machine, there are like 700 things that are happening in the backdrop. You don't know that. We know that today in crypto because it's, it's, we have still not become that smooth or that matured, right? Like so everything is gonna become pretty invisible and human beings will continue to be human beings. So this is all like a weird argument that I don't understand that why something should be SaaS or Web 3.0 and what is even the definition of a Web 3.0 company as opposed to a SaaS company. Like true. You can go in and say, Oh, you have a token, you have a community first route, and so on. But that doesn't necessarily say that you are not a SaaS place. So it's, it's been a very personal, and I don't know, like I digressed a way more from what your original question was, but I think right now is going to be the moment, that I probably cherish the most once we have gone through, like two years later when I look back, these would be the days. Like we, we work really hard. Some days we are we are dropping dead. And we have always wanted to build a culture where like we are an early stage company, but we don't want anyone working on weekends. Very sure about that. Like I have done that enough at Sprinklr and it's, I'm proud of Sprinklr. Like whatever they did, I'm always gonna be thankful for it. But we don't wanna like unnecessarily create panic where things can wait and we just wanna build things the right way. Sometimes people come and tell Vikram, No, you know what? You need to hustle more at this point in time and good. That is a good nudge to give to me because it's always helpful when someone comes and nudges you saying, Hey, are you sure you are being frugal enough? Are you sure you are being like on your toes enough? And those are small nudges and I always welcome people to give their feedback and comments, but at the end of the day, we wanna do it in a way where people really feel happy. Like I would be fine with $2 million less in my bank account if the team that I am with is gonna be happy. Any which way when I was down with Covid Prasant, I have someone who optimizes, like I have over 20 angel investments today. In my personal capacity, I have invested in fine art, I have invested in stuff that you can't even imagine, right? Like. The, there are these websites that democratize investments where you can invest in, Like, I, I don't even know how horses run, but I remember the running into this website where you could bet on a, not like bet, bet in the form of a gambling, you could like pretty much raise or fund the raising of a horse. And if that horse wins money, you would get a fraction out of it, right? Like, which is insane to me. You could buy a part of a private plane, you could, like, there are these things where you could buy a whiskey bottle that is 700 years old and that's value at like some 35 million. You could buy a part of it. So I, I'm someone who keeps investing or like exploring a lot of these things. If I'm not putting my money, like because of rules and regulations, I'm still very, very off where to put my head and nose into stuff. But essentially what I'm coming to is like, I have been so much into it and when Covid really hit me, the thought was not about, Oh, how up is my portfolio today? Or like the only thought was, Oh , I didn't build a business and I have always wanted to build a business. I, it was not even that. I didn't build a billion dollar business. It was just like I didn't start my own venture. And I've always, that was my only regret. And if I would have not seen the other side, given a lot of people went through really tough times in Covid and lost their lives, that would have been a regret. I, I have traveled world. I traveled to 28, 30 countries, right? So of course there were this number in my head, and that still is true because I'm not 30 yet, but I've always wanted to travel to 50 countries before I'm 30. And I don't know if that's gonna be true anymore with Covid eating away the last three, years. But essentially all of that has like really small milestones. Like when I was a kid, I wanted to buy car when I grew up. That was my first thing. And today I have been in a job like, which is paying me very nicely, handsomely for like four or five years. I didn't, I don't still own a car. Like it's, it's a headache, right? Like, so things change. And I think the real, real world shift, I've spent a lot of time in spirituality. I go in and do things like Vipassana. I, I have spent time doing Art of Living. The reason I talked about SadhGuru twice is because his hypothesis, what Buddhism is about. And I, I spend my time there as well. So in the grand scheme of things, I think it was more about like, do a business and make people. Now it is about like, if I have any regret today, it's simply about how do we make it better? Like, how do we make it more happy? How do we keep ourselves on our doors and still make sure that everyone is absolutely in love, right? Like there are people who joined the company saying, Vikram, I wanna give my blood and sweat to the first job. And that is exactly what I did for Sprinklr. Like, I, I was doing whatever was needed. Like I remember once Saturday evening we called my team up. At 11 in the night on a Saturday evening, people were on their dates, they were sleeping, and they still showed up because that was a team that really loved you, right? Like, so that is what we are working towards today. I would not even call it a regret, it's just where my energy is going into, but fairly satisfied with how things have grown so far.

Prasant Roy:

Absolutely.

Vikram Aditya:

That, that a lot of personal, personal input. Sorry.

Prasant Roy:

No, absolutely. It was a wonderful journey that you shared with us, across so many different aspects, Vikram, and I'm thankful for you for taking the time out today to share all the, all of that with us, with our audience, your journey towards, making DAO management simpler is also something that we are all learning from. And we got to know so much about DAOs from you today. So thank you so much for your time. This was a great episode. Our audience will definitely love it. We really appreciate your efforts in helping DAOs and the overall Web 3.0 space as we know it. So thank you for sharing these insights with us, Vikram, and it, I wish you and DAOLens all the best in your future endeavors as well. So thank you so much.

Vikram Aditya:

Thank you, Prasant. It was a pleasure chatting with you. And, we'll talk more. We'll keep talking.

Prasant Roy:

Absolutely, Absolutely.

Vikram Aditya Profile Photo

Vikram Aditya

CEO

A Polymath & Web3 Enthusiast
Currently, I am building DaoLens. A while back, I built Woww App while I was leading the product as the AVP at Merkle Science. Before that, I was the Senior Director of Product Design at Sprinklr. I enjoy building products, occasionally consult startups in 0-1 stage and mentor a few junior or mid-level folks.