This post was written by Kagami. Thanks to DAO Masters contributors David Burt, Andi Schuster, and Maryam for their research, as well as Nelson for their edits and revisions!
Bounty programs unlock the power of decentralized work for DAOs. Bounties are tasks and projects that a DAO shares with its contributors and community to complete. These tasks may range from document translations and meeting notes to building products on top of Layer 2 chains like Optimism and Polygon.
DAOs are discovering how bounty programs may empower current and potential contributors to engage, organize, and complete value-added tasks. While there is no set template for developing an effective bounty program, many DAOs are experimenting with different types of bounties, structures, and platforms.
As we reached the end of S3, the DMGs came together to talk about what DAO Masters worked on, what went well, what we learned, and what we think we should do differently next season.
What follows is a collection of our thoughts, which we hope is beneficial for both our community and the broader DAO ecosystem!
The fiery debates around community decentralisation continue to burn in the furnace of the DAO ecosystem.
DAOs aren’t (yet) decentralised. While there are some useful and widely-adopted frameworks and playbooks for community decentralisation, there is no one-size fits all approach. A central reason for this is because DAOs are not fully autonomous: they require people to create decision-making primitives for governance, incentives, and growth. These rails are generally set by ‘leaders’ within DAOs. This has led to a recent debate around whether DAOs are leaderless and/or whether they should have CEOs.
Our view? DAOs are not leaderless organisations, nor should they have CEOs.
As DAOs have grown and scaled in size over the past couple years, a natural partitioning has occurred. DAO scaling challenges have not only resulted in the establishment of working groups and talent pools to handle particular projects, but also created sub-DAOs or guilds in many of these organisations (e.g. Moloch, Yearn, Bankless, Friends with Benefits).
To support these changes, many DAOs are leveraging structured goal-setting frameworks via the concept of seasons. Seasons are sprints of about 6-12 weeks which coordinate contributors around a series of measurable objectives.
Setting goals for DAOs ensures community consensus around objectives and timelines. It also helps to reinforce belief in the overall mission of the DAO through concrete actions at a project delivery level. While the opt-in nature of DAOs are great for brainstorming and discussion, they often lack the necessary focus and accountability to achieve outcomes in a timely manner.
The vision for DAOs spans traditional corporate structures and communities. To achieve success, they must navigate both how to establish a thriving culture and how to find a viable business model. DAOs have the opportunity—and responsibility—to build the community first, which forms the layers upon which solutions for long-term viability can emerge.
The best DAOs actively nurture community well beyond the period of initial excitement towards a long-term sustainable culture. However, we see DAOs encountering a number of issues on this path, with limited solutions at the moment. The systems for forming cohesive organizations with both a viable business model and thriving culture are ripe for innovation.
In this piece, we'll explore the challenges faced by top DAOs and some of the best ways we've seen to keep up the community’s momentum. While we wade through the volatile early days of DAOs, we hope this shines a light on the opportunity ahead and gives you and your DAOs actionable ideas.
Pseudo-anonymity or pseudonymity is like a digital pen name where a person adopts a new name to represent them online. It’s an important feature of web3 that allows a person to explore digital identities and areas of interest that aren’t associated with their in real life (IRL) names.
For many people, pseudo-anonymity is an important choice to protect their IRL identities. This is especially true for marginalized demographics, victims of harassment, and people that may not accept their interest in web3. Preserving and respecting their pseudo-anonymity is important as they explore and onboard onto web3.
DAOs are at the forefront of attracting and onboarding talented contributors into web3. While this practice isn’t new, pseudo-anon contributors are. With web3 being so nascent, DAOs are faced with an important question–how can DAOs attract, evaluate, and onboard talented pseudo-anon contributors while preserving their pseudonymity?
“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” — Henry Ford
Coordination is critical to the success of organizations. It separates teams executing in harmony from those that fail and fall apart.
Yet, effective coordination is challenging. Economists, psychologists, and organizational theorists endlessly debate countless issues that make coordination hard. Incentives, motivation, communication, organizational structure; the list goes on.
This post was written Nelson Jordan at Closer and edited by Tyler Whittle at Floodgate. Both Nelson and Tyler are DAO Master Guides at DAO Masters. They both worked on compensation for Season 1. Images sourced by Christopher Carfi.
Salaries are predictable; they allow companies to calculate cash flow and employees to understand what they’ll be taking home at the end of the month.
This post was written by Kassen Qian. Thanks to DAO Masters contributors Tyler Whittle, Behzod Sirjani, Nelson Jordan, and Angela Santurbano for their edits and revisions, as well as Jocelyn Hsu from Editorial Team!
You show up for work, and there are ten strangers hanging around in your (virtual) office. One says they know all about you and want to work with you, and a few others are asking if they can take a look around. How would you feel? Excited? Terrified? Like it’s time to get a new job?
In all seriousness, in this new world of DAOs, organizational boundaries become permeable and contributors can show up from anywhere. How are DAOs handling the deluge of interest from the vibrant crypto community and beyond? The process of onboarding new members is one that requires investment and thoughtful design. When done right, it can establish the foundation for a sustainable and scalable community. On the other hand, when onboarding is implemented poorly, a DAO can quickly fall apart due to lack of context, coordination, and focus.
Here at DAO Masters, we wanted to capture the progress DAOs are making with respect to onboarding and share our learnings with the broader web3 community. The goal of this report is not to critique the status quo based on what a DAO should or shouldn’t be, but to share observations of how these DAOs are onboarding members.
DAO Masters was launched as a crowdfunded research project with 122 backers in September 2021 with a mission to onboard the next million DAO contributors & operators. Season 1 ran for six weeks during September and October, 2021. The DAO Masters Discord now has over 1,800 participants, and its first product, a review of the top DAO tools, can be found at daomasters,xyz.
DAO Masters accomplished a lot in 6 short weeks. It all started when Julia fired off a tweet looking for contributors to crowdsource DAO market research. The internet came up with 40+ DAO tools, 80+ DAOs, and 30+ high-quality DAO write-ups for review.
With an overwhelming list of tools provided, the team quickly organized core teams: product, content, and community-ops.