Apiary - Community Insights Report

Hi everyone!

We are excited to share our Insights/Recommendations Report with you. Since January 2023, we have been reading about, talking to, and analyzing the Radicle ecosystem. As part of Phase I deliverables, we conducted 23 stakeholder interviews, speaking with the general Radicle ecosystem, core contributors, founders, and investors. We’ve summarized what you as a community shared with us in the Insights & Recommendations Report.

Our goal with the report is to mirror back as neutrally as we could what we heard from your community. As a result, the report is extensive – and long. This post is intended to provide you with the TLDR.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Contextualize our research and approach. stakeholder mapping/interviews/analysis.
  • Explain our methodology.
  • Summarize our Insight Report findings.
  • Introduce recommendations and high-level next steps based on our learnings.
  • Provide opportunities for you to engage with the learnings and listenings.


Our research was intended to assist the DAO in creating a framework for governance. However, to achieve this goal, we recognized the importance of gaining a deeper understanding of the community, their perceptions of the DAO’s purpose, and how ownership and social dynamics affect the current governance system. To fully grasp these dynamics, our Insights/Recommendations Report aims to:

  • Identify how the community defines and understands Radicle’s purpose, mission, and values.
  • Map the community’s identity, e.g., mission, language, cultural norms, etc.
  • Analyze how current (un)official ownership and social dynamics impact governance.
  • Assess the current governance system.

We provide a neutral mirror for the Radicle community to reflect on important topics such as mission, culture, product, governance, and future. We’ve gathered quotes directly from our interviews with you all. To make things easier to understand, we’ve grouped our findings into five themes: mission, community, information, org development, and governance. Our recommendations are based on careful listening and reflection.


To kick off our research, we reviewed all of Radicle’s documentation, including governance documents on Notion, previous proposals, and discussions on Discourse and Discord channels. Based on this, we created a stakeholder map and tailored interview questions for different groups, including the (1) General Radicle ecosystem, (2) Core Contributors/foundation/the founders, and (3) Investors.

During the interviews, we used various question formats to explore Radicle’s community values, strategy, distribution of token ownership, governance participation, operational flow, compensation, and understanding of transitioning to the DAO.

Summary of findings

We had 23 conversations with a range of Radicle’s stakeholders. We conducted interviews and analysis in Q1 2023, during which Radicle underwent a brand evolution that affected its organizational structures and information flows, addressing issues identified in our research. Our recommendations were impacted by these changes, but we’ve included all insights for transparency. Below is a very high-level summary of the key challenges identified from learnings/listenings:

  • Radicle has a commitment to decentralized code but struggles to clearly articulate its purpose.

    • That said, our interviews found that many are hesitant to articulate the project’s mission clearly. The general community is more comfortable sharing “what” Radicle is building rather than “why” Radicle exists, and this duality/division of Radicle’s products is a natural part of the development process. With the development of the DAO, we can now work toward a cohesive vision of a unified future.
  • The community is passionate about Radicle’s vision but has diverging incentives and motivations, leading to a lack of cohesion and clarity around decision-making.

    • While this divergence is actually a strength of the community, as it fosters healthy dialogue and encourages a wide range of perspectives, there is undoubtedly room for more community cohesion and clarity around decision-making processes.
  • Governance faces challenges with decision-making transparency, reliance on individual contributors, and concerns about governance participation.

    • While the community is passionate about delivering a product, Radicle’s governance struggles with both soft (social, process, etc.) and hard issues (voting).
  • The overwhelming amount of information published by Radicle leads to a need for consolidated documentation to facilitate onboarding and create a more collaborative community.

    • Specifically, we heard that there is a wealth of institutional knowledge amongst the council/foundation that the community would benefit from knowing. As a result, members’ one-on-one relationships dictate their comfort level by asking questions and raising concerns. To this end, almost all stakeholders have requested consolidated documentation to facilitate onboarding, which is a clear step toward creating a more cohesive and collaborative community.
  • Contributors feel that their work is siloed, and a lack of cross-team communication results in hesitancy about the viability of Radicle’s product and the transition to the DAO.

    • While these findings have changed as the transition to the DAO progresses, we heard that contributors generally feel that their work (specifically within product teams) is siloed. A lack of cross-ecosystem (and inter-team) communication results in individual members taking on the essential role of connecting siloed teams. Without cross-ecosystem cohesiveness, individuals remain in the dark about product updates, and this gives rise to contributors’ hesitancy about (1) the viability of Radicle’s product and (2) the transition to the DAO.


Based on the stakeholder mapping, interviews, and analysis, we have put forth a series of recommendations that are integrated into the Insights Report. These recommendations propose both operational and governance changes to address the opportunities and concerns voiced by the community. Many of these recommendations are already underway and being operationalized by the Governance Committee and others. We’ll be updating on our progress on these fronts in the coming weeks.

Opportunity for engagement

We would love to hear your thoughts! We will be hosting a community town hall where you can ask specific questions, share reflections, and raise concerns! If you’re interested in joining the town hall, please drop your email here and we’ll reach out in the next week or so with an exact date and time.

If you would rather weigh in asynchronously, feel free to comment on this post and/or reach out to us [hello@apiary.xyz].