Time flies in the crypto space and we can’t believe that 2020 is already here! In this post, we wanted to give you a brief overview on what our team accomplished in 2019, in terms of product development, user research, content and funding.

Product updates

Without a doubt, our most significant achievement in 2019 was releasing Open Enterprise on Ethereum Mainnet in November! Built on the Aragon technology framework, Open Enterprise is a suite of coordination tools for open organizations, which supports bounties, work prioritization, dividends, budgeting, and multi-recipient financial allocations. We aim for the suite to become a one-stop shop for worker-managed organizations, as well as other organizations interested in exploring more democratic, participatory and co-creative management. You can create your own DAO on mainnet now or test drive it on Rinkeby.

Since we launched on November 12th, Open Enterprise has become the #1 configuration for new mainnet DAOs on Aragon.

From November 12th until December 31st, there have been a total of 99 organizations created, and 39* of those are Open Enterprise organizations. We feel pretty excited that the new users are most interested in using the software we have developed to power their open organizations.

(* Note: this number was updated from what we initially published (60), after determining that the counts on https://scout.cool/aragon/mainnet/ included failed transactions that occurred due to gas issues that the user had. This value of 39 has been determined based on the number of app installs on Apiary, and then deducting the count of new orgs in 2020.)

We used data tracked on https://scout.cool/aragon/mainnet/ to determine the metrics

Beyond having launched Open Enterprise and it becoming the most popular set of tools for new Aragon DAOs, our team has been busy with some other challenges. At the end of December, we released more enhancements to mainnet, including a new budget detail view in the Allocations app, a redesigned bounties experience which supports bounties that don't require applications, and deep linking integration across all apps.

We also completed development of an enhanced Open Enterprise template that will support token-weighted reputation and the Agent app. This needs to undergo a security audit, and then it will replace the Open Enterprise template seen when creating a new organization on mainnet.aragon.org.

Web3 Summit

As far as other updates from 2019: earlier in August, we managed to showcase our tools in real life during the Web3 Summit which took place in Berlin, where we attempted a live DAO demo… that worked!

Following our progress

For anyone who wants to stay up to date on our product development, subscribe to our new product repo on GitHub to follow along on the progress of our development before the features are released. To further our commitment of transparent reporting with the community, we introduced rolling updates on Aragon Forum where you can read high-level summaries of our development efforts.

The cumulative flow of GitHub issues we’ve been addressing since July 2019.

User research updates

While the creators of decentralized applications take a visionary approach in building their services, UX issues still constitute some of the biggest challenges with regards to adoption. Being aware of that, in 2019 we’ve committed to put more effort into user research, trying to understand the needs of communities looking for decentralized governance tools. We’ve carried out 10 in-depth interviews with various communities, and we found out that an interest in creating more transparent, non-hierarchical and community-owned organizations is shared by projects both inside and outside of the crypto space. We heard from various projects, ranging from those looking to create DAOs for urban farming, changing the narrative on migration, accelerating adoption of regenerative culture practices, or popularizing on-demand AI teams.

User research is a continuous process, and we plan to interview much more people in 2020, especially now that we have a product in the wild. If you are interested in participating while also receiving hands-on support from us, please fill out this form and we’ll get in touch.

Content updates

Other than building Web 3.0 software, we wanted to keep up to date with the developments in the decentralized governance space. We published a lot of content in our blog in 2019, covering topics such as governance, self-organized communities, building Web 3.0, digital cooperatives, and legal aspects of DAOs. We interviewed some inspiring people working hard to transform the existing distribution of power in the world by creating alternatives.

We talked with Magenta Ceiba, the CEO of Bloom Network about the role of communities focused on reviving regenerative cultures and indigenous healing practices, we explored the potential of cooperatives to create self-managed post-capitalist societies with Nathan Schneider, and learned about the best practices for building tools for grassroots political activists in a conversation with Gemma Copeland from Common Knowledge co-op. These communities are paving the way for a better and brighter future and are looking towards decentralized governance tools to facilitate that.

Funding in 2019

In January 2019 we received a grant of $390,000 via Aragon Network Vote #1, and in July 2019 we secured another round of funding of $1,600,000 via Aragon Network Vote #3 to continue building the Aragon ecosystem. This is a unique funding milestone, as it sums up to the largest amount of capital allocated from an ICO’s treasury, to a non-founding team, via token governance on the Ethereum blockchain. To find out more about what we are building with this funding, review our proposal from the July 2019 vote.

Devcon 5 & Team offsite

We had a great opportunity to attend Devcon 5 in Osaka, where we got inspired by the many talks and workshops which focused on nailing down the state and future of decentralized autonomous organizations - getting into the organizational first principles, figuring out the DAO taxonomy or sharing learnings from the DAO experiments the Ethereum community has been carrying out this year. We found all those topics and themes to be very much aligned with the vision behind Open Enterprise.

We were also glad to get some face to face time with our remote team for our offsite which took place the week after Devcon in Osaka. We got to enjoy Japanese culture in between working long hours on our mainnet release in a cozy garage at our Airbnb :)

Thank you

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for reading our update, and for everyone’s continued support and feedback. As usual, feel free to join our community chat on Keybase to get involved or ask anything! We are so excited for 2020 and are looking forward to continuing to create collaborative futures.