Product Development Process Outline - seeking feedback before adding to documentation

Diamond DAO Product Development Process


To date, Diamond DAO’s product development process has been adhoc.

The primary consideratiion has been maximizing the time of a small group of initial technical contributors. This was difficult because they had different levels of availability and worked in different time zones.

As Diamond DAO grows, we want to broaden participation in product development.

All organizations have to choose between exploration and exploitation. Implementing features well is hard so many start-ups feel intense pressure to limit exploration to focus on “building.”

At the same time, many start-ups are resource-constrained, so they can only build one idea at a time. This creates a backlog of promising ideas that are never considered or validated.

We chose to structure ourselves as a DAO to solve the “explore/exploit” dilemma; by devolving ownership to the community, we can lean on our community for research & development implement and scale the most promising ones.

Through community ownership, we can test many ideas in parallel and implement the best ones for our users.

Guiding tenets

  • Including diverse perspectives will ensure our products are useful and accessible
  • Including community in the product development process will help us identify, validate, and implement new features more quickly
  • Including community in the product development process will benefit marketing, content creation, and business development
  • We don’t have it figured out; there are not many SaaS DAOs, so we will have to experiment and iterate

Process: Discovery, Validation, Implementation



  • Identify new opportunities
  • Identify trends or patterns
  • Explore emerging data sources
  • Identify new product use cases
  • Identify under-appreciated customer pain points
  • Identify under-appreciated market opportunities

Contribution characteristics

  • Compensation designed to recognize not incentivize
  • Choose your own adventure – can be very open-ended or very defined
  • Good for new contributors
  • Opportunities for learning, experimenting, networking
  • Can be collaborative, can be solitary
  • Flexible; work can be done syncronously or async



  • UX interview to test assumptions behind new feature
  • Build & gather feedback on proof of concept
  • Publish research findings in blog post or on social media

Contribution characteristics

  • Modest but meaningful compensation
  • Tasks are tightly scoped
  • Often collaborative / project-based
  • Flexible; time commitment required but work can often be done asynchronously
  • Bounty examples:
    • UX interview to test assumptions behind new feature
    • Discuss proof of concept with potential customer or partner



  • Implement application front-end
  • Build application database
  • Expand DAO dataset with qualitative research
  • Write weekly newsletter

Compensation notes

  • High comp (cash / shares) in return for high ownership and accountability
  • Area of responsibility versus task – scope changes, need to be flexible
  • Collaborative & project-based
  • Some work can be done async but availability for synchronous communication critical

Where we stand


What do we think about this process? Once we reach consensus how should we communicate? What steps do we need to take to migrate existing workstreams into whatever process we build consensus around?

@Xqua made an interesting point in Discord. How do we determine whether or not someone is “qualified” enough to own an area of responsibility?

@amphiboly.eth I was thinking back on this proposal and the share you did about

This might be a tool that Diamond DAO wants to use to organize and reward the work of contributors ?

Also, I think one proposal for the Seniority is “experience points” based on how many actions (GIVE in the coordinate landscape) you got and for “skills” at minima self declared, or other confirmed. Thinking of tools like GlassFrog here which I think has a thing inside to self delcare skills ?

Also, actually, GlassFrog is dope, and maybe a good idea as well ? Seniority as a circle? Holocracy as a model for DAOs with a monthly renewal or trimonthly renewal ?

Yes – we’ve considered using Coordinape. I think the first place we will experiment is the Research Labs squad. Discussed with the developers and they think they need more time working together before taking on new tools.

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