Beyond KPIs: Rewarding Passion and Unmeasurable Impact in Decentralized Ecosystems


In recent years, decentralized ecosystems have gained significant traction, revolutionizing the way we approach technology, finance, and various other sectors. These ecosystems are built on the pillars of decentralization, transparency, and democratization, with the core ethos of fostering a collective community. However, the excessive use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure success can hinder the organic growth of these ecosystems, much like an overemphasis on winning can harm the sportsmanship in a game. This essay highlights the pitfalls of solely focusing on KPIs and emphasizes the importance of rewarding individuals who contribute to the underlying ethos and soul of decentralized projects.

The Downside of Excessive KPIs

Although KPIs serve as a useful tool to measure and track progress, an overemphasis on them can lead to unintended consequences in a decentralized ecosystem. KPIs often reward arbitrary metrics, which may not always align with the core values and objectives of a project. As a result, this can lead to short-term thinking and prioritizing immediate gains over long-term sustainability, similar to focusing on the quantity of trees planted without considering the quality of the forest ecosystem they form.

When individuals are motivated solely by measurable outcomes, they might overlook the intrinsic values that drive the decentralized movement. This can result in a loss of passion, innovation, and commitment to the core principles that underpin these ecosystems, much like a band losing its distinct sound when its members prioritize commercial success over their artistic vision.

The Need for Rewarding Unmeasurable Impact

To maintain the integrity and success of decentralized ecosystems, it is crucial to recognize and reward not only those who contribute to measurable impact but also those who dedicate themselves to unmeasurable impact. These passionate individuals often work behind the scenes, pushing the beliefs and vision that define a project’s soul, like the unseen roots that provide vital support and nourishment to a tree.

By acknowledging and incentivizing the unmeasurable impact, projects can nurture a robust community that is driven by a shared purpose and a commitment to the long-term success of the ecosystem. This approach fosters a strong sense of ownership and collaboration, which is crucial for maintaining the resilience and adaptability of decentralized projects, much like how a healthy family thrives on love, support, and shared values.

Building the Soul of the Project

While the technological aspect is an essential component of any decentralized project, the soul of the project is equally significant. This soul is shaped by the individuals who work tirelessly to uphold the values, principles, and beliefs that underpin the project, like the spirit of a well-crafted novel that goes beyond the words on the page. They champion transparency, inclusivity, and collaboration, driving the project forward in alignment with its core ethos.

To ensure the continued success and longevity of decentralized ecosystems, it is essential to reward those who contribute to both the tech stack and the project’s soul. By valuing both measurable and unmeasurable impact, we can foster a more holistic and sustainable approach to growth and innovation, one that honors the foundational principles of the decentralized movement, much like a balanced diet nourishes the body and mind.


The excessive use of KPIs can negatively impact a decentralized ecosystem by rewarding arbitrary metrics over the passionate individuals who uphold the project’s core values, akin to prioritizing the flashy exterior of a car while neglecting its engine’s performance. To preserve the ethos of the decentralized movement and ensure the long-term success of these ecosystems, we must prioritize rewarding not just measurable impact but also unmeasurable impact. By recognizing and incentivizing the contributions of those who help build the soul of the project, we can foster a more sustainable and resilient decentralized ecosystem that thrives on shared values and collaboration, much like a well-tuned orchestra creating a harmonious symphony that transcends the individual talents of its musicians.

This holistic approach ensures that we nurture an environment where passion, innovation, and a commitment to the core principles of decentralization are not only recognized but celebrated, leading to the long-term success and growth of the decentralized movement as a whole.


Hey @Alucard,

Thank you for sharing such a thought-provoking post on the importance of recognising and rewarding unmeasurable impact in decentralised ecosystems. We wholeheartedly agree that a balanced approach that values measurable and unmeasurable impact is crucial for the long-term success and sustainability of projects like dYdX.

In our forum post about “Revitalising the dYdX Rewards System”, we touched upon rewarding long-term users and early adopters. After reading Alucard’s post, we realise that it’s essential to expand our focus to include those who contribute significantly to the ecosystem in less quantifiable ways, such as providing valuable community feedback, participating in forum discussions, and contributing to the general development of the protocol.

To account for these unmeasurable contributions, we suggest perhaps implementing a peer-recognition system where community members can nominate others who have made a significant positive impact on the project. This system could be integrated with the rewards mechanism, allowing users to earn rewards for their invaluable contributions to the community and the project’s soul.

Furthermore, we could introduce a “Community Builder” badge or similar recognition for those who consistently engage in forum discussions, provide constructive feedback, and help drive the project forward. This would not only reward their efforts but also encourage others to follow suit and contribute to the growth and success of the dYdX ecosystem.

Best regards,


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Hi Kagan,

Thank you for your detailed response. My recommendation would be for the community to look into implementing something similar to Optimism’s AttestationStation. I believe this could be an effective way of creating a framework for the peer-recognition system you are describing.