Impact Report - Permissionless

Impact Report - Permissionless

First, a moment of reflection. Let’s celebrate a few achievements:

Permissionless 2022 is where Harmony took the usual “guerrilla” style approach without a booth, when attending a crypto/blockchain conference, as was the approach used pre-Covid, spending prudently around $15K for the entire week with a team of 5. This approach meant we were not a Permissionless conference sponsor of any level and only hosted two TGI events (or small community dinners) with modest budgets. We went in with a very specific goal, clear objectives and a small team to execute.

Going into the conference, and after consulting with the conference organizers, we expected to meet more investors than builders, with a 70/30 split. After 3 days, that was the sense we got. We managed to strengthen relationships with existing partners (XYZZY & Nansen), create new ones from the expo floor (Fireblocks & Parallel Finance) and surprisingly ran into newly minted scholars (from EthRio & Blu3DAO).

The TGIs we hosted were successful in creating a calm and relaxed space for new and existing friends to convene and share their dreams. The larger TGI event was co-hosted with Coin-Ex, and this helped us split the cost more effectively. We had a total of 207 guest RSVP to our TGIs via Eventbrite. The attendee list was exported and sent to add to the One Weekly newsletter list. Merchandise was also given out at the TGI events, namely T-shirts and laptop covers. That said, the TGI was a major success, as we received a lot of great feedback from guests that praised and thanked Harmony for holding such an intimate and low key event where they could actually have a meaningful conversation with someone they’d just met.

We also kicked off open office hours — fireside chat sessions — with a mix of entrepreneurs, investors, and DAO members from other chains. This was in light of the recent Terra ecosystem collapse and an attempt to reach out to anyone who wanted to have a private chat, and this last minute attempt manage to round up 4 unique sessions, which is covered further below.

Investor List — 🤫 not shared as we may not have their permission to do so

Retrospective Step 1: Start / Stop / Continue

Start: Actions we should START taking to improve future events.

Stop: Actions we should STOP taking to improve future events.

Continue: Actions we should CONTINUE to do for future events.

Start 🎬 
Stop 🛑 
Continue ✅ 
@Jack Chan
Start collecting attendee information via QR code pointing to a Typeform will do, collecting name & email/Telegram at the entrance. Learned from ChainLink party. Implementing Covid best practices: supplying Zinc + Vitamin C boosters daily for each attendee, make available hand sanitizers for all, Covid test kits, 1 person per room, and provide masks, if not available
Attending the same side events with more than 2 people. We can cover the grounds better, even with 1 person attending a side event
Organizing open office hours using Calendly’s “group meeting” to let people drop in with an open agenda. worked really well and gained insights we would’ve not have thought of. Seek first to listen and understand, while not barraging people with “grants” and “build on Harmony”. It’s a longer sales cycle. Running these light touch, guerrilla style expo booth visits have been super effective. Light weight teams are easier to organize Arriving and registering for the event the day before to receive the passes. Day 1 is crazy, the lines went around the block, took people hours to get in.
Starting using 1Wallet onboarding as a means to attend/register to TGIs. Have a 1W TGI chat with the event’s name on it where all attendees are connected (i.e. TGI Permissionless).
We should aim to have at least 1 representative of the /venture projects attend these investor-targeted conferences with us. As we are “an intermediary” introducing investors with these investment-ready projects, it would bring even more value in this setting to have the investor meet the leadership of the project team they could potentially invest in.
@Al Cheung
Start 1st TGI on T+2 of conference day. Giving runway for selective contacts to join TGI. T+0 objective is to network with every NEW contact. Start to have a least one /Venture representative attend conference to solicit ecosystem projects.
Stop directing initial IRL meeting-new projects to apply for grants on Talk.Harmony. Remain cognizant of quality projects into Talk.Harmony via below process Sequential KYC quality funnel: Everyone > IRL meeting > 1:1 > Core > Talk.Harmony
Continue identifying networking opportunities with /Venture prospects. Guerrilla Marketing Team of 5🚹🚺: 1 technical Core, 1 /Venture rep, 1 Media rep, 1 Ops, 1 Socialite
@Miguel Velasco
Start TGI lunches at conferences. Every day we saw conference attendees go out to lunch at nearby restaurants. This is a big opportunity to gather Harmony enthusiast in the middle of the day. Start 1st TGI on 2nd day giving the team time to invite attendees at a personal level. This will improve networking and lasting relationships. While this was discussed in the planning stages, we need to revisit business cards for each team member to engage investors. 90% of investors had business cards to give out. Business cards still have a strong networking engagement. Implement health and covid best practices. Encourage team members to take breaks, drink plenty of fluids, eat meals at proper times. Conference days are very long and taking care of one’s health is important. Buy bulk water, Gatorade, snacks, and vitamins to keep cost down and to have them readily available for team. 1 person per room and sanitizer on hand. Create a google form to gather information of attendees at TGIs and create QR code for faster and seamless execution. Pre plan what information we would want from attendees. (Email, TG, twitter, experience, dream, etc.)
While cost is an important factor this should not be the only factor in choosing a hotel. Many opportunities of networking are lost if hotel is not relevant to conference. We must choose a hotel as close to the conference as possible and ensure lobby is welcoming, areas for meet-ups and restaurants. Some of the best networking will come from lobbies of hotel.
Continue to have small teams attend conferences. These” guerrilla style” networking are easier to organized and build stronger relationships with team members. Continue to register for event a day early to save time and headaches. Continue a mix of networking as a team but also continue 2-person group and individual time for effective networking.
Start TGI on second or third day of the conference week to get a chance to meet people and have a chance to give out “personal” invitations
Holding a TGI before the conference or on the first day of the conference as attendees are still traveling into the city and settling in. Can save $$ and allocate them somewhere else
Continue collecting attendee information by using Eventbrite pages to capture emails

Retrospective Step 2: Planned vs Final Budget

1 - Not effective, do not spend in future and reasons why

2 - Effective, but need to make the following changes in the future to maximize its impact

3 - Strongly effective, should do more in the future, and reasons why

Score (1-3)
@Jack Chan
We targeted investors but also found there were new builders, and existing partners onsite. Re-engaging existing partners were a pleasure, but it was difficult to focus on new venture partners Glad to see our guerrilla approach worked well. But we were spread quite thin across the venue with only 4 pair of boots on the ground during the day.
Meeting investors in person has a different and lasting impact on a new relationship, establishing trust and an enriching experience that is not garnered via virtual communication. During Permissionless, investors got to know Harmony, but not the people behind an individual project that they would invest in via /venture. Though an F1 analogy, investors can meet a few individuals from Ferrari corporate, but they didn’t meet the driver and team that is on the race track. As investors put a lot of focus on the teams they invest in, we could have greater impact in the future by having some of our Investees present, so that the investors can meet “the full circle” and feel even more confident to participate in /venture.
@Al Cheung
➕ “Guerrilla” style was effective ➕ /Venture rep presences was effective ➖ Retail level Product-to-Market not yet fit 💡Attendees were retail level by Institutionals. Product would need to be seamlessly simple with guaranteed security for such target audience of Permissionless. We can make changes such as UI/UX simplifications to current Harmony platforms for ease of use before soliciting Permissionless attendees 👍0.56; Actual vs Est Cost, ref Budget/Cost Est 👍41.4; TGI attendees per Harmony, ref Eventbrite 👍1.40; Conference 7.2k attendees vs 5k projected, ref Tyler (Blockworks Organizer)
@Miguel Velasco
3- Sending a small team to the conference made for cost effectiveness and great execution. The “guerrilla style” worked very well. Starting with Noura planning and set-ups allowed the team to focus on the people. Working alongside a core member and a seasoned conference attendee like Jack Chan was priceless. As a new contributor to Harmony learning from Jack’s actions, getting great feedback both positive and as opportunities allowed for my continued development. Engaging investors, listening to investors and learning their needs allowed us to build lasting relationships.
I thought our budget was extremely effective — we were given a $25k budget to execute this event: we held 2 TGIs, sent 5 team members to Permissionless conference, sponsored travel for 3 team members and board for 5. Having a precise budget with precise objective made it much easier to plan and execute.

Retrospective Step 3: Survey


Survey Results:

The team was asked to rank, on a level of 0 to 10, 6 questions regarding the performance of Event Operations. The questions and the average response is listed below:

  1. Event Operations worked effectively as a team.
    1. Result: 9
  2. Event Operations worked effectively with the venues, sponsors, and event managers.
    1. Result: 9
  3. Event Operations fulfilled the goals of Harmony at Permissionless.
    1. Result: 9
  4. Event Operations met their deliverables.
    1. Result: 9
  5. Event Operations produced high-quality work.
    1. Result: 9
  6. I would work with the Harmony Event Team again.
    1. Result: 10

Retrospective Step 4: Qualitative Feedback.

What is the BEST thing about your experience at Permissionless?
What was the WORST thing about your experience at Permissionless?
Would you want to work with Event Ops again?
Added investor/institutional perspective was the most valuable takeaway for me. I was able to focus my attention more towards the other person’s interests and motivations, learning where they look for value, and where they draw a line with risk.
Honestly, the food choice/availability. None was included with the event, and they had poor choices onsite at the conference venue (many of which sold out). On my first day I survived with 2 protein bars I luckily found on my backpack, until later in the day I went to a restaurant 10min away, separated from the conference location.
Absolutely. Working with engaged, supportive people that care about what they do is in my experience the best teamwork to form a part of.
@Jack Chan
a good mix of investors from DeFi and NFT spaces. Very interesting to see a spread to fractionalized NFTs (FNFTs) as a new way of investing and gaining liquidity, shifting the learnings of TradFi and DeFi, to NFTs
Not much other than the side events are very competitive, very last minute choices opened up with a lot of teams competing for attention. Buy the tickets early, super early bird tickets were like $75. Grab them early, can always transfer later onsite.
Event ops team did a good job in running this, and I’d like to thank them for the diligence and coverage
@Al Cheung
Venue was grand and well organized by Blockworks Attendance of Investor vs builder ratio was most compelling. It was easier to navigate the responses during IRL conversations because of TradFi attendees. Their frequent feedback to why Crypto was a centralized motive of arbitration (for profit) in a decentralized space.
Value to Cost ratio was low (0.25) Reason: 👍Booths were Blue Chip crypto 👎Ticket cost was too expensive 👎Food was excluded 👎Prominent side events were speakeasy
100%!!! with Harmony Team and the culture it shows to the community
@Miguel Velasco
The Permissionless conference was well organized, the booths were high level, engaging, and informative. The speaking engagements were informative and great for networking. The group that was chosen to represent Harmony did so both effectively and professionally. Jack’s leadership and engagement set the tone. Noura’s planning and seasoned knowledge of events help keep us organized and use of our time effectively. Al’s vision of Harmony’s venture program and knowledge of investments was a great resource. Gaby’s engagement of people was a great example how to connect with people. For the attendees of the conference to see Harmony in our blue shirts and engaging our community in-light of the recent events of Terra and market conditions was a beautiful sight to see and be part of. To have people see us only focus on the technology, projects and the resilience of the Harmony protocol is exactly what the community needed. For us as team members we needed to hear all the love and support the community has for our technology and our projects.
Traveling 12 hours with no time to rest or adjust was difficult. Rethink strategy to improve travel of long distances.
The events team did a great job putting this conference together.

Retrospective Step 5: Open Forum

Click on the “triangle” to expand each section

Met with a number of new and existing investors. Crypto native investors are still bullish for the most part around investing in the space. NFT investors are flushed with their ability to stave off the recent downturn and in fact, is a poster child for being the lucky investors.

Overall, investors are at the sidelines with some saying the Lehman Brothers moment hasn’t happened yet (UST/Terra being the Bear Stearns moment pre-cursor to Lehman), while others are quietly buying during this downturn as “everything is so cheap”.

  • Ivan — goes way back working with the Ethereum Foundation, learning about their ZK initiative
  • Stephen — one of Osmosis’ launch grant DAO contributor using DAOs approach to approve. they see the same issues of off-chain voting to on-chain implementation issues, and sentiment lashback “degen burning grant members” on approving/declining grants that the community think should go the other way (like ours)
  • Jeffrey @ Metablox — a Decentralized ID (DID) investment from Project X
  • Eric @ TCG — a Metaverse Project investment from Project X
  • Mischa @ Popcorn — a social impact DeFi initiative that’s fully decentralized
  • Fireblocks (institutional grade digital assets service provider) — strongly advised by the Stably team who knows this space well to integrate with them.  Having them will help onboard institutions into Harmony chain and using Stably as an entry point and Fireblocks as the underlying fiat onramp that's a compliant infrastructure.
  • XYZZY (Kart Racing League game) — caught up with the team; they’re continuing to build and will be launching KRL within 4 months time. This partnership gained interest from the Fireblocks team which can be utilized by Stably, the upcoming Harmony native stablecoin
  • Covalent & Cronos — they held an event by Drive Shack, a lot of attendees, took out an entire top floor with a full bar; understood now why Cronos rose to success really quickly due to partnership with They’re basically the BSC of Binance. Covalent is also signaling a tokenomics from a decentralized indexing model, trying to replicate what Pocket Networks is doing for RPC nodes.
Fireside chat

Had 4 private fireside chat-style meetups,

  • a smaller with a single builder with Roberto (new co).
  • an impressive mix, with Ingi Kim (States DAO nearly launched on Terra, a Grant Aggregator & Learn-to-Earn Platform & Web3 Developer Fellowship/Bootcamp), Chase & Tanya (Chapter X) and Nat (Alpha Ventures DAO) — Covered the ecosystem sentiment around UST/Terra, strongly agreeing on working on a multi chain partnership, the state of DAOs itself (on-chain vs. off-chain governance), hear a lot of interests around a Foundation-based Venture fund, and multi chain grant is also a positive beat
  • a zkSync game dev, investor John Fan (Sky9Capital), Labhesh (ex-Jumio CTO, new co) — discussed how ZK use cases could impact the industry.
  • lunch with a mix crowd of Eowyn (Trust Wallet CEO) and her husband Paul Chen (Ripple), Edward Tsai (Alumni Ventures), Anish (Panther Privacy CTO) — discussed the sentiment of the market, how to setup and kickoff the venture fund, privacy concerns about breaking Tornado Cash.

Met with several potential partners

  • QCP capital — interested in Venture Fund, as syndicate or to soft commit into fund
  • Giddy — Travis Tidball with an interesting wallet, will connect with 1Wallet
  • Binance Labs — Ken Li, will follow up soon
  • Verilog — met Daniel and understood we cancelled 1ANC project due to Terra collapse

In this retrospective report, Harmony aims to reflect on our experiences at Permissionless. This feedback is taken from the Harmony Event Operations team, contributors, and ecosystem partners. Establishing an open forum allows us the feedback needed to celebrate victories and humbly review areas that we can improve on as we move forward.