How survey can help to develop absolutely new DeFi product

By November 23, 2021Ethereum
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In September we started a questionnaire of our XDAO users to better understand their needs, goals, problems and interests. It was important to us to conduct our own independent research, especially because a question “why create a decentralized autonomous organization (later — DAO)” is so frequently raised. A DAO can be utilized in many different ways that might not be so obvious from the first glance.

The questionnaire was conducted through the link to simple Google form located on our XDAO App main page. All our users were able to participate in it. From September to November 2021 we had 700 people using our platform, 264 of which participated in the questionnaire.

By the end of this questionnaire, we received honest, diverse and sometimes unexpected but very useful results.

The first question asked was about using other DAO builders. Our goal was to find out what prior experience our users had with DAO constructors and what they liked or disliked about them.

Among all responses, we weren’t surprised to see Aragon at the top of our chart of previously used DAO builders. This is perfect, because our questionnaire was mostly aimed at users who already had a prior experience with a DAO. Nearly 1/3 of responders had experience with DAOHaus and DAOStack. However, a combo Safe/SnapShot surprisingly was in minority.

1st question about prior experience

The second question was in regards to negative prior experiences with other DAO builders. Here, we were looking for feedback from already experienced users to identify the flaws of our competitors and create a perfect solution for our users.

The majority of respondees — 64% were complaining about the high gas fees. Taking into account that most of DAO builders are deployed on Ethereum, this makes complete sense. About 1/3 of participants were unhappy about poor functionality of other DAO constructors and another 1/3 were unsatisfied with their overly complicated interface. Indeed, nowadays there is no strong leader on the DAO builder market that would meet all needs at once, is simple to use, and is inexpensive.

2nd questions about experience with other DAO builders

What do you think is the main reason for people creating a DAO?Capital management turned out to be the main reason to create a DAO according to the questionnaire. Next two leaders were: interaction with DeFi, and voting on governance and developing issues — 68% of all respondees were using a DAO for these purposes.

Next — complete corporate management. Sounds inspiring, doesn’t it? Just imagine being able to run a large corporation in a complete decentralized way on a blockchain. At the moment, none of the existing DAO builders are capable to support DAOs with such a scale. But we see a growing demand for it, and many developers are beginning to work towards it. And finally Quality Project Support (1.5%). We deliberately segregated this into a separate section in order to see how different are the goals of DAOs in crypto community.

3rd question about main DAO goals

Now, let’s review what features are the most desired by DAO users.

Nearly 84% of participants responded that they are looking for an easy interaction with DeFi. And this is the feature that is missing in all of the existing DAO builders as of today. 72% would have liked to have lower transaction fees, which was foreseen because most of the existing DAO constructors operate on-chain and the gas, especially on Ethereum, is very expensive.

68% of DAO users also find existing solutions to be not user friendly. First, DAO market changes very quickly. Second, because of overly complicated UIs of existing platforms, the number of users who can actually adapt to them and utilize their full potential is limited to those with high level of programming skills. If DAO platforms had more user-friendly interface, we would see a lot higher interest in forming DAOs.

Another useful feature that is currently missing is dashboards and statistics. We saw more than half of our questionnaire participants desire to have this functionality.

Also, some of the respondees brought up a very good idea that would benefit a lot of blockchain projects: fundraising for DAOs. In other words, many DAO users are looking to attract investments from others who supports the same idea. We found this important as well, because people are now realizing that a DAO can also operate as a fund, which means it would need to attract investors. At this point this idea is only gaining popularity and we wanted to thank you those who brought it up to our attention. Good news is that XDAO had already predicted this to happen and made it as one of the core functionalities of XDAO version 2.

API support for TG bots and webhooks — a very creative thought that we instantly took into consideration when developing V2. Delegation — another useful feature which deserves its time in the spotlight. There are situations when a critical DAO member is not able to vote for some period of time but their voice is very important. So, governance token delegation could be pretty handy.

4th question about desirable features of a DAO builder

The next question was to rate V1 on a scale of 1–5. 4 out of 5 points were given by nearly 61%.

5th question about XDAO

With the first version, we achieved 2 main things: a simple and convenient project interface for creating a DAO and a unique idea. Respondees also mentioned low cost gas transaction fees. Interesting fact: initially we thought about creating our own blockchain for XDAO. But now this seems like an amusing idea.

6th question about XDAO pros

We also wanted to know how many people and projects want to vote with custom Governance Token. The results showed that it in the overwhelming majority of cases it is needed to have custom token to vote.

7th question about custom GT

What did we learn from this survey? We saw that there’s a requirement for a DAO which does not cost too much, is easy to set up and simple enough for financial management. By creating such a system we can help people to have their capital managed safely while the risk of fraud by anyone involved will be entirely eliminated.

Only one problem needed to be solved: Ethereum remains the main network for DAOs to operate, but at the same time people want to reduce costs in their DAO operational process. How to reach consensus, propose an acceptable price for DAO to operate, and still release the product on the Mainnet?

Our new XDAO V2 was born from the ideas and suggestions of our early adopters!

Taking into account all information above, let’s conclude our achievements:

  • We found a way to reduce the cost of creating a DAO by 50% comparing to Aragon;
  • We have made a versatile DAO builder that can function as both a small-sized and as a large-sized funds;
  • We have released a new version built on modules which will help DAO automate tasks. Modules will be able to set notifications in Telegram, automate tasks, delegate votes, etc..;
  • We have developed a unique DAO wallet for using with DeFi. The most frequent request is now satisfied in the best way;
  • We were also asked to make the constructor convenient for programmers with knowledge of Solidity. Initially, this did not fit into our concept of a no-code solution. But since we released XDAO modules, ant developer will be able to create a custom one for a specific DAO;
  • We have made a perfect tool for attracting investments in DAO. Directly on our platform, any user can buy tokens of any DAO, this way, anyone is now can become a DAO investor.

Let’s observe and compare XDAO interfaces:

Old XDAO UI

After the survey we came to this interface:

New XDAO UI

We could not have done it without our users! So for those who knows our project have a good chance to see if this new version meets their expectations. For DeFi entrepreneurs we want to say: “conduct polls and surveys, it is the best way for you to know your customer.”

Click the link to test it out XDAO here.

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