A founder comeback (Letter to ANT holders)

October 30, 2019

To ANT holders:

Jorge and I started Aragon almost three years ago. It feels both like yesterday and also centuries ago.

We are now in a unique position in which we are one quarter away from delivering everything we promised in the token sale. Few teams can say that.

But even after spending a significant amount of capital on getting here, Aragon's treasury is still over $40M+ in the middle of a bear market. We are in a fortunate position.

Yet we could be doing more. Coming back to our motto:

Experiment with governance at the speed of software

We are pioneers in decentralized governance. The AGP process, Flock, and Nest are bleeding edge governance. We aren't only building bleeding edge technology, but also exploring the frontier of human organization.

We shouldn't be afraid of iterating fast. But iterating doesn't mean changing direction every day. We should always iterate with a clear vision in mind, following the Aragon Manifesto.

The last weeks have been cathartic for the Aragon community.
When all the Flock discussions were going on in the forum, I wanted to stay out of them. I didn't want to influence the Network. But I realized everyone in the community wanted to hear my take as a founder.

The truth is that these past two years I have been very focused on product. Building the team at Aragon One and shipping one of the best decentralized apps out there took time and effort.

But I now see our governance as a product as well. Its users are ANT holders and the Aragon community. As a product, we need to iterate on it. It needs to get better over time.

For me, seeing what happened with the Flock program was a catalyst. At first, I saw it as our governance process failing, but now I see it as a wake up call for us to do better, to improve our governance and be consistent with our motto.

I see that as the role of the Aragon Association. The Association should serve the project by:

  • Spreading the values in the Aragon Manifesto.
  • Creating value for ANT holders.
  • Managing the project's treasury.
  • Ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Aragon project.
  • Ensuring Aragon's adoption by overseeing development and awareness efforts.
  • Nurturing Aragon's governance and curating governance proposals.
  • Decentralizing itself over time and transferring governance power to ANT holders.

As you can imagine, those duties are quite challenging. A few weeks ago, it became clear that a founder was needed to lead the Association and the Network into this new era.

As Stefano points out, the Aragon Association needs founder-level leadership now.

This new era entails architecting a new version of the ecosystem and its processes. Processes that should help us achieve our mission, instead of constraining and slowing us down.

The Aragon Association plays a key role in that, as its architect. But it won't be able to do it alone, and it will need support from the whole community and the buy-in from ANT holders.

To kickstart that new era, I'm stepping down as Aragon One CEO to become Executive Director of the Aragon Association.

This hasn't been an easy decision. I'm very proud of my work at Aragon One. From putting together a world-class team to building one of the best products in the space, it's been an incredible journey. I have learned so much, and I'm very grateful to everyone along the way.

We are now building an Advisory Board for the Aragon Association, and Stefano will continue helping Aragon from there.

Jorge will step up as Aragon One CEO effective immediately.

I am convinced this is the best move for the Aragon project and the new era it's entering into.

Onwards and upwards,


PS: I will soon conduct an AMA for ANT holders to voice any inquiries, keep posted. You can already check some of my vision for the Association at its work-in-progress website