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How do we DAO?

A new breed of organizations.

Reap MeetUp hosted a Lunch & Learn to talk about DAOs which are the foundation of Web3. DAOs are driving a new breed of organizations wherein people have freed themselves from the burden of a majority owning them and they are changing the way we think about how organizations may work in the future.

Our speaker, Jennifer Sanasie, a serial innovator with a passion for making Web3 accessible presented how to create, lead or manage a DAO.

Watch her entire presentation here.

About the Speaker

Trained as a journalist, Jennifer has 15 years of experience in marketing, branding and editorial. While doing her executive MBA, she started to pay attention to crypto in 2017 and joined the Creative Destruction Lab, an incubator at the Rotman School of Management. She joined the blockchain stream and met her two cofounders for her first startup Streambed Media. While working on Streambed Media, Jennifer became passionate about what Web3 technology meant for creators. Jennifer has worked with numerous Web3 projects. Today she is a contributor to Decent DAO and Game7 and hosts a daily news show on CoinDesk TV called The Hash.

What is a DAO?

Watch this short video for a quick overview of a DAO.

Traditional business structures are top down. There are one or few people at the top that make all the decisions which are mainly focused on maximizing profits. As a result, shareholders benefit when the company is successful, often instead of the employees. This has led some people to see traditional organizations as being rigid, competitive, inefficient, and unfair.

When people can form together around things they are passionate about, they can use a DAO structure to organize themselves. Oftentimes, each can contribute funds and receive shares in the DAO in the form of governance tokens In a DAO structure anyone can join the community, and community members are granted votes for participation. Community members are empowered to vote on proposals that will determine how the DAO operates and makes decisions.

Instead of relying on top-down decision making, the DAO is led by the community, and as a result, DAOs tend to be more creative, collaborative, agile and fair.

Members get to choose their own hours and level of involvement while enjoying the shared benefits of a larger organization.

No Central Authority, and Built-in Security and Transparency

In a DAO, every proposal creates a record on a blockchain, an open public ledger that cannot be censored. DAOs promise to be community-led, and transparent with rules written into smart contracts. The organization's decision lies with all the members in the group rather than a small group of executives or a board.

The promise of DAOs is that there should be no more gatekeeping, and each participant should have a voice.

We’re used to corporations and a competitive environment where everyone is climbing the corporate ladder.

DAOs are still working out this business model, but it’s definitely a stark contrast to some corporate environments the working class has become accustomed to.

The DAOs Landscape

The DAO landscape is evolving quickly. Here is the current snapshot.

What is The State of DAOs?

Today, DAOs are a dream for a better future. There is still tooling that needs to be built to make them effective and efficient. Many DAOs are not actually decentralized or autonomous and that’s because it’s going to take a lot of work to get there. We don't live in a world that is used to operating in a decentralized environment, and it comes with its own regulatory and design challenges.

If you want to start a DAO, start small. The lifeblood of DAOs is the community, so start there. If you’re able to build a small, engaged community who stands for your DAO’s mission you are moving in the right direction.

So if you have a small engaged community who shows up every day and wants to discuss and participate in your organization, it’s a really healthy sign compared to than having 1,000s of people on social media and in your discord channels not engaging.

Decentralization needs to be achieved in stages starting with a small group of co-founders who came up with the idea.

The key is to find a simple way to embrace the DAO principles of community driven-decision. Let people submit proposals, vote on the proposals, and then allocate funds to proposals that are passed.

How Do you Start a DAO?

To start a DAO, all you need is a shared purpose, a voting mechanism, a governance token, a community and a way to manage funds. As suggested by Binance Academy, you need to explore the following elements:

  • Shared purpose: create a clear mission statement and set a clear goal.

  • Voting mechanism: Be prepared to be transparent.

  • Governance token: tokens are a key part to launching a DAO as they are used for rewards governance and benefits. Yet, they also present a key challenge as it can also be the most daunting part.

  • Community: The two most popular community building tools in the data ecosystem right now are discord and telegram. Twitter is where a lot of people in the crypto community congregate to share information.

  • A way to manage funds: the treasury of your DAO is its lifeblood. A tool like Gnosis safe can help you secure your treasury by leveraging wallets that require multiple signatures to execute a transaction. It’s important to remember to present the information in an accessible way to your community if you want to engage your community.

To get started and learn more, explore some of the following tools:

  • Aragon, all in one DAO toolkit including governance and dispute resolution.

  • Colony is a plug-n-play DAO platform that takes 90s to launch.

  • Alchemy, a web3 development tools to build and scale your dApp with ease.

  • Metamask wallet, you can go in, connect your wallet and play around with some of some of the tools.

Watch Jennifer's full 30 minutes presentation here and to join a group of entrepreneurs interested in exploring these alternatives, join the Reap MeetUp.

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