DAOs — No one really knows what they are doing yet. So be objective.
The greatest opportunity crypto is right in front of us, DAOs. DAOs can solve the biggest problem in crypto, onboarding. By changing business models, the concept of employment, decision making and compensation, DAOs will onboard the world. They truly are the key to mass adoption. But we have a lot of work to do. We need builders, we need contributors, we need infrastructure, but most of all we need to be objective. Guess what? No one really knows what they are doing yet, your opinions are valuable, better yet they are needed, so speak up and help shape the future.
I’ll go first…
DAOs stink at getting people involved.
I think it goes without saying that the vast majority of “members” of a DAO do little to no work. Which is fine, but what if they want to contribute? DAOs should know why members join! Just want to lurk? Fine. Want to build? Great. Not sure, no problem. If DAOs know why members join they can get them involved quicker and on right path to contribution. Send members down a learning pathway to achieve their goals and help the community. Community Managers should give thought to onboarding flow before communities get too big. Managing and debugging the onboarding process for 50 is a lot easier than 500. Community Managers should spend time understanding who their members are, and how to engage them. The various reasons for joining a DAO mentioned above require different approaches. So learn who your members are, and experiment with ways to help them achieve their goals.
Community Knowledge Management
Without question one of the most frustrating things I’ve noticed in DAOs is knowledge management. Core contributors have worked hard to create DAO related material, only to find it siloed in GDocs or lost in one of many channels on Discord. DAO tooling seems to be a hot topic these days, and I am truly excited to see a better solution to community knowledge management. This will help keep community members up to date on all things DAO related, generating better conversations, increasing engagement and hopefully adding additional value through contribution.
We’re also losing so much valuable info! Every “Tea Time,” “Hangout” or community call could recorded! At a minimum have someone take notes (Bounty idea!). There is amazing information being lost in these conversations!
I recently fell in love with the term “Divergent Thoughts,” a term coined by Caroline Nguyen, Forefront Community Lead. The gist is simple, as DAO participants we’ve come to accept certain elements of our environment, without question. For example, why do we use Discord? It’s probably best suited for DAO needs right now, but is it constraining innovation? Why do we adhere to a strictly decentralized decision-making process, when perhaps a hybrid model would work better in early stages (This one usually stirs the pot). And in later stages of a DAO should a large token holder who is inactive have the same voting rights as an everyday core contributor with far less tokens?
It makes perfect sense that we all accept these truths, because we know nothing else. We’re all new here, building, make assumptions, gathering data and iterating as we go. But I guarantee we didn’t get it right on the first try.
Having these conversations will help accelerate DAO learnings and that is at the core of innovation. Let’s applaud divergent thoughts.
What is the Plan
Hurray! We have 5000 members in our DAO. Wait, what qualifies someone as a member? Do they need to own tokens? Do they simply need to join the Discord? Putting aside the definition of membership, what are we actually doing?
“In Web 2.0 we build products and find community, in Web 3.0 we build community and find products.”
So we have the community, but what product, service, value add or goal is your DAO creating? https://twitter.com/sianmorson/status/1447730766180409353?s=20
Community Managers(CM), message your community members independently and ask them “What are we building at XYZ DAO,” group together their responses and share them. I suspect you’ll be surprised. These answers may help provide data on where your onboarding and community management process are falling short. Key take away here is it’s hard to build in a DAO and impossible if everyone is on a different page. The CM should help to build processes to bridge the gap between governance strategy and community actives and knowledge.
With that said. It’s important to encourage divergent thoughts and discussion. Just because our mission is “XYZ” today doesn’t mean it can’t change in the future. But too much change, breeds uncertainty, reduces morale and is ultimately negative for the DAO.
The Inspirational Wrap Up
We live in a world that has been shaped by people choosing to do the difficult things. So frens have divergent thoughts, ask stupid questions, question the status quo and think outside the box. Everyone wants the moon, but very few are willing to build the space ship. Let’s build.