X1 Interim Feedback and Internal Pain Points

Hi all,

It’s understood that there is ambiguity between Sonar Labs and the Orcanauts. This ambiguity has led to some processes being uncertain with not enough clarity around domains of autonomy for Orcanauts.

SL is working to formalize its internal structure currently as well (work that is very similar to what Orcanauts are going through now). Once this process is further along it will be easier to articulate and be explicit about the differences between Orcanauts and SL.

To make this easier, this is an invitation to Orcanauts and Sonar Labs members to bring up open issues, frustrations felt and pain points that they currently observe.

Please share any feedback, blockers that exist or unanswered questions you have in this thread.

If you prefer to share feedback anonymously, please use this anonymous form.

On Tuesday 5 April at 9:00 AM ET an event has been scheduled to talk over unresolved issues. All Orcanauts and Sonar Labs members are invited to participate.


I’ll start. I’m almost 5 months into my involvement with Orca Protocol, so it’s a good time to reflect on this topic.

Quick orientation on where I am coming from: A key value for me is helping others solve problems - it’s where my day job is focused, and I never thought I’d find a better way to do that than there. That changed when I found out about Orca Protocol and DAOs.

I participate here because I believe that if we can help DAOs realize their full potential, humanity will be more likely to solve the problems that urgently need attention. This is one of the reasons I am impatient for progress - I literally feel in my bones that what we do here can meaningfully alleviate suffering in the world and open up opportunities for those that too often don’t have them today. If I can also make phat loot while doing so, so much the better! :wink:

I’m frustrated because of the pain points I am seeing that prevent us achieving this adventure-vision. Here is my list of items that I see. I’ve not filtered for things we are already addressing or plan to address, as I just want to make sure the things on my mind are in front of others. This is challenging for me as I don’t like to complain or even hint at pointing fingers at others, but I’ll do it because I am concerned that if we don’t, we are NGMI.

My list of pain points to surface:

  • Lack of visibility into Orca Protocol product intent including the following:
    • When the product is intended to be generally available
    • What criteria will be used to determine when to make the product generally available
    • The current status of beta initiatives and regular updates regarding progress and learnings
    • The monetization approach for the product once it is generally available
    • The role that Sonar Labs intends to play in the Orca Protocol product over time, including any intent to fully decentralize ownership of the product
    • The intended role for the Orcanauts in regards to the Orca Protocol product
    • Guidance on the potential for tokens, airdrops, and other recognition and reward mechanisms from involvement with Orca Protocol
    • Roadmaps for evolution of the product after it is generally available, including support for other blockchains and offerings intended for other DAO types beyond the large DAOs included in the initial scope of the product offering
    • Impacts from this pain point:
      • Reduced credibility of the Orcanauts to serve as experts on Orca Protocol due to inability to answer reasonable questions from those interested in the product
      • Increased difficulty in planning for how to incorporate participation in the Orcanauts with other opportunities
      • Increased disconnection from the Orca community due to inability to influence or understand product evolution
  • Issues with rewards and recognition:
    • No clear expectations regarding how contributions to the community will be rewarded and/or recognized
    • Community leaders have responsibilities yet there is no consensus on how good leadership (or any leadership) should be rewards and/or recognized
    • No clear plans for if and how any community contributions to date (spanning over 6 months for some Orcanauts) will be retroactively recognized or rewarded
    • No consensus on how any revenues earned from Orca activities will be distributed between Sonar Labs and the Orcanauts
    • Impacts from this pain point:
      • Reduced ability to attract and retain valuable community contributors due to uncertainty regarding rewards and recognition
      • Reduced motivation from Orcanauts to contribute to the community due to uncertainty regarding how those contributions will be recognized and rewarded
      • Stress among Orcanauts that need to earn a living from other work and are facing difficult choices in how to make time available for meetings and other community needs
  • Issues with X1 initiative and related efforts:
    • Lack of clarity regarding the exact scope of X1 milestones has required considerable time and effort to attempt to parse and translate into recommendations for how much to grant for individual workstream efforts
    • Many Orcanauts do not appear to be involved in any X1 workstreams
    • X1 workstream efforts are disproportionally being driven by only a few members
    • There is no agreement in how we should structure distribution of the X1 grant within some pods to individual Orcanatus for their contributions and efforts
    • There are varying levels of detail for different X1 workstreams, with some workstreams having detailed (and perhaps overly detailed) task structures, while others are loosely (and perhaps overly loosely) detailed
    • There is no clear timeline for when X1 activities are expected to be completed
    • Orcanauts are finding it difficult to stay sufficiently engaged across the full range of X1 activities
    • Issues that need to be surfaced to make the best use of our limited resources are sometimes not being brought up until significant amounts of work have been performed
    • Many pods do not yet have clear decision making mechanisms for taking action on their X1 workstreams
    • The relationship between the X1 sensemaking initiative that Chase Chapman is leading and the Orcanaut X1 efforts is unclear
    • The X1 sensemaking initiative was introduced with a defined set of action items and scope without meaningful discussion within the Orcanauts before actions were taken
    • Impacts from this pain point:
      • Rework from attempting to discern original intent of proposed efforts and translate them into specific workstreams
      • Wasted time and effort from work undertaken ahead of consensus
      • Reduced ability to prioritize activities between workstreams
      • Disengagement from Orcanauts due to frustration with attempting to complete tasks before the community is ready for them to be done
  • Other issues and concerns
    • Significant activities are being announced externally that have not been communicated to the Orcanauts and appear to overlap with Orcanaut pods responsibilities and X1 workstreams
    • Lack of clarity around whether the Orcanauts are or intend to be a DAO, or if it is intended to be a community adjunct to Sonar Labs similar to the community for a musician or a brand, or something else entirely
    • Impacts from these pain points:
      • Frustration by Orcanauts that they were not involved in efforts that would appear to fall within their areas of focus
      • Reduced motivation to take on activities due to concerns that those efforts will be made redundant by others
      • Reduced likelihood of success of Orca activities undertaken without full support and commitment of the Orcanauts
      • Lack of credibility with other DAOs when they ask if the Orcanauts are a DAO and we are not able to say for certain

I appreciate the opportunity we have here to create something wonderful that can make a real difference and look forward to helping address these pain points in our future efforts.


Really appreciate Pupil’s share. Thinking from a growth mindset, I think in self-managing orgs tension/pain points can be amazing opportunities for growth and helpful realignment.

How will this tea time be structured and facilitated? Might be helpful to have someone from outside Orca and Sonar Labs to facilitate this discussion, so everyone can focus on speaking freely for themselves, not moderating/facilitating a discussion.

I also think it may be a good time to lean into defining and consenting to shared conflict resolution practices:
Resources that might be helpful:


Pupil covered my issues better than I could articulate. Thanks Pupil!

I want to add a simple clarifying question:
Why does SL want a community?

Plenty of successful examples of what a community can do (marketing, education, crowdsourcing, recruiting, etc.), but I want to hear it from SL.

This is an amazing opportunity for us to make an impact and I’m grateful to be here now.


I don’t think I can as clearly articulate pain points as Pupil just did. The only thing missing for me is explicitly being curious about the technical opacity that seems to be built into the current system as well. I may not have the Solidity knowledge to be/have very specific useful input at this time, but considering that we get Solidity Devs coming into our server too, I think this opacity hurts Sonar Labs (SL) ultimately, unless it is trying to protect IP.

I will also express shock at learning today that SL has it’s own Governance Survey in the works with an art-naut member involved, but no other Pod active Orcanaut having a clue about this other Orca related initiative that on the surface clearly overlaps a long expressed Orcanaut X1 initiative. The optics and reality of this faux pas are bad in so many ways.

SL really needs to get clear in itself, and then to the Orcanaut community about its desires and intentions for the Orcanaut community. When pressed, we will hear some ideas from Chun, but I personally have never taken that as a true SL perspective, because it is clear that there are domains he is neither expert nor authority in with respect to SL issues.

Finally, as Chun himself has pointed out, there is no Pod relationship between SL and Orcanauts currently. We overlap in the Discord Server, and SL participation in the server is completely irregular and seems haphazard except for Chun’s participation as the primary Server Admin, and partial SL liason.

I also appreciate what @wgow has pointed out above, even if I disagree with the detials as shared. I have said myself already, that facing and dealing with the reality of these issues, is a great opportunity for deeper understanding, commitment, and efficiency of common purpose. I think it is wholly worth dealing with the discomfort directly as an exercise in growth and learning for all involved. I think wgow has shared with us that in Sociocracy this is reffered as “navigating via tension.”

I am not sure I agree on the need for conflict resolution, because I have yet to see conflict. The truth is we just don’t know what SL thinks or why, and I believe that is what clearly needs to be expressed first. With that knowledge, there may, or may not, be actual conflict to be resolved. I do hope this includes at least an admission of error in not communicating about an alternative Orca Protocol Goverance Survey by SL, even if just as a way to establish an environment of greater trust.
:pray:t5: :sparkling_heart: :sparkles:


@aia Could you please help me understand what you mean here:

… curious about the technical opacity that seems to be built into the current system as well.

Asking questions in Discord about why on technical decisions got very little feedback. I think some of the information I had been seeking since my first week here was only partially answered by the big share from Sonar Labs at the last community meeting.

When asked explicitly about why no L2 chains, I have always seen feedback be not really answering answers. I think this was answered, or partially at the last community call as well, but not strongly enough that I even remember. Just enough that my trust went up. :laughing:

As memory slowly comes back, I am recalling it is a combination of staffing time and control. However, I didn’t feel either fully made sense except for some ambiguous fear that I just decided not to worry about.