Season 3: A Retrospective

Before Season 3 there was no Good Growth channel in the Protein Discord, despite its significance in shaping our Seasons up until this point. For Season 3, we set our sights on “making Good Growth tangible” to support the nascent Impact DAO ecosystem around us, as well as becoming more GGth ourselves. Up until now, we had been playing a supporting function, so we set out to understand how we could be of service.

In addition to exploring and understanding our place within the web3 and impact landscape, we looked at the existing Protein brand and ecosystem. Through this work, we recognized our alignment with Protein Agency and Studios and the potential for fruitful collaboration and integration of the lessons we’ve learned in our web3 Community into the web2 parts of Protein’s ecosystem.

In what was our most challenging Season, most of all, we learned about the intricacies and complexity of growing a community pre-liquidity, during a bear market, with a looming global recession and a pretty tight runway. So, we’ve split this retrospective into two parts, 

First, we’ll cover Good Growth - what we did and our conclusions. Secondly, we’ll cover broader happenings and lessons that we’ll look to take into next Season.

🏆 Community Wins

Before we dive in, we’d like to first celebrate our collective community wins:   

🍏 Making Good Growth Tangible

There’s all manner of GGth waiting to come into web3. And a whole lot of growth looking to get into web3 who could use a guiding hand to join us down this winding path for good through the woods. 

Many of us have stories of stumbles through web3 undergrowth, a conversion (or hybridization) from degen to regen, and a notion that the school of hard knocks was how we learned. But if we’re going to help both the shift into web3 and the transition into economies for good, this journey needs to be easy. It needs maps, guides, and signposts.

We started compiling resources for a playbook. In it, you will find an ever-growing set of resources curated to help people navigate the new territory. It is compiled from the insight gleaned from roundtables with stellar operators, 1-to-1s with the sharpest, and, of course, our own community.

What’s clear through building this is that Protein doesn’t have the wide diversity of expertise within its walls to be able to cover all 8 capitals. We’ll need to form relationships with DAOs, researchers, academics, and more to provide a wide-ranging view of comprehensive growth.

It may be that the ultimate repository of this knowledge, having been nurtured within the amazing Protein Community, sits within the loving embrace, but technically independent, of the community. This is not to be taken lightly. Perhaps we can better see it as a mutation. The splitting of a superorganism that shares a DNA, shares members, but has a different vantage point, and a different role in the ecosystem.

Part of that process would involve finding people to join the new organization, people to swarm, to the hive that tends to be the knowledge commons.

🫂Community lessons

In this section, we’ll cover more general initiatives and feedback received throughout the Season.

Community Calls

We revamped the Town Hall into bi-weekly “Community Calls”. The community shapes the content of the call by voting on or adding topics to be discussed one week before the event is scheduled. This way the call schedule is collaboratively created and there is more room for discussion during the call.

This replaced the previous Town Hall format, where the team would prepare a slide deck to present for most, if not all, of the hour. The sessions became an information overload and members were unable to interact with each other on the call. 

Season Pass NFTs

In Season 3 we introduced the Season Pass NFT, which replaced the previous mechanic of airdropping $PRTN to all successful applicants. The Season Pass was active for the whole season and throughout the Season, members were given opportunities to earn 5,000 $PRTN to stay past the Season.

Check out the Season Pass NFT Article we wrote during the Season.

Team Initiatives

During the intermission right before Season 3, we came together with the community to determine the pain points from previous seasons and things to be done in the next season which align with our Season 3 objectives. We picked 4-5 initiatives that the teams can work on.

But in reality there were too many initiatives to start with. New members had difficulties in picking and understanding what the initiatives are and how they can contribute. Having a clearer purpose and plan for an initiative worked better as people understood what the phases of the initiative are, but the ones that relied on emergent contribution and thinking failed.

Team Updates

We received various feedback from community members that they have no idea what the teams are up to and our weekly roundup mailings weren’t sufficient to keep up to date with all teams progress. We opened a #teamupdates channel to share team-specific updates with the whole community, typed and shared by each team lead each monday.

General feedback

One cannot maintain and sustain a community without listening to members' needs and wants. Throughout the season, we hold the space with various methods to hear what our members had to say so we can reshape what being a member of Protein Community is about. For this purpose, we reached out to Olivier#8546 to conduct qualitative research on our contributors and run a survey at the end of the season to better understand our wider community. For transparency, we’ll share some of the insights here:


  • Joining the community is a purpose-led decision, motivated by the “good growth” ethos.
  • Protein brands influenced many members to join the community
  • Meeting like-minded people and making frens was one of the main benefits mentioned
  • Protein Community feels like a cozy, safe place that feels different from other DAOs, an online home where you don’t “need to be a crypto-bro”
  • For most members Protein was the first web3 community they joined, “a guided pathway for creative people into the still-a-bit-nerdy world of web3” 
  • In general, learning seems to be another big benefit for members: we provide lots of resources on Web3 and GG, plus opportunities to discuss and apply them: “without Protein knowledge would be less empirical.”
  • Members found it intriguing to participate in open discussions
  • We have a great onboarding experience.

Needs improvement…

  • The opportunity to get paid in USDC for contributions is by far the most frequent feedback/request we got from our members
  • It’s too time-consuming to stay up to date – most members offboard after being overwhelmed by all the discussions on Discord and/or feeling lost about what to do
  • Except for interns, most members spend less than 5 hours a week on the DAO, which includes catching up on Discord 
  • As a result, many members couldn't understand where and how to contribute in S3
  • We should work on contributor experience, which includes team-specific onboarding, 1:1 calls with leads, pairing/buddies – we can't expect members to figure out by themselves what to do just by some Discord conversation
  • Protein Community needs to be more transparent about our ties with the Protein holdings (Protein Agency and Protein Studios)
  • Decision-making felt not transparent enough and it’s easy to miss important decisions if you only attend weekly calls – moving more conversations to the forum, as well as better documentation that’s easier to access could help 
  • We should provide more members opportunities to work on their initiatives and gather support for it, “use $PRTN to support great curated ideas and present them to the broader web3 ecosystem”

🌇 Conclusion

We are grateful to everyone who made Season 3 possible and humbled by the feedback our community is willing to give collectively to make Protein Community a place for “people and ideas” to not only grow but flourish. Despite the ups and downs, the never-ending uncertainties, and a bear market that left DAOs under scrutiny, we are determined in Season 4 to address all the areas we need to improve and find the find ways to drive value for the $PRTN token thus, the value of our community and it’s sustainability. Because the the longer Protein Community exists, the longer good growth will live.

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