5 Things Every DAO Must Look To Improve
To become World’s Best Workplaces in the next decade
You might have heard of DAOs as decentralized autonomous organizations by this time.
A decentralized autonomous organization is a digital, blockchain-based cooperative whose members collectively own it, fund it, and operate it instead of any central entity.
DAOs have a higher level of transparency in their operations, and the transactions executed by the DAO are visible in the block explorer. I have been associated with a few DAOs for over half a year and have mixed feelings about them. I agree that DAOs can be great future workplaces, but we are not there yet. These are certain things I felt every DAO must think about to become the Best places to work in the next decade.
1. Better Talent Hunting
DAOs generally have open recruiting or can say no recruiting. People are free to join in most DAOs by joining a discord channel and agreeing to the guidelines, just like we all agree to the Terms and Conditions of any software usage. This has advantages as the entry barrier is very low, attracting most people to join. The disadvantage is that most people who join would not have the aptitude or interest to contribute to the specific purpose the DAO focuses on. So they just hang in there and most likely become an inactive user soon. Also, this can only add to more clutter and confusion in meetings and other interactions. It is as simple as I went to a badminton tournament and, being an amateur at the game, I could not play well, which severely affected the fun of the whole game and my partner, who could all play better than me. Most DAOs provide options like talking to a real human for onboarding, but that’s not a viable option for DAOs as many people will be looking to join DAOs every day. Also, talking to a real human sometimes is as bad as having a job interview.
Screening new joiners
There is a need for every DAO to have an automated screening enabled to encourage the right kind of people to join the DAO. So this can be simple like a Google form with questions, and based on the user's answers, there can be a simple calculation of a score or an algorithm that can recommend the best course of action if the user joins the DAO. This could include recommending further learning or working on operations or administrative jobs before taking tasks requiring special skills.
Staking threshold for higher membership levels
Some DAOs already implement a staking threshold of their native tokens for access to higher membership levels with more access and rewards. This is a great working model because anyone can be in a guest or temp role and still experience or contribute to the DAO and earn more of their native tokens through tipping and other payouts and eventually earn to become a level 1 or level 2 member when they can meet the threshold.
A self-service onboarding experience
This is a must-have for every DAO. Member onboarding has to be self-service, and project onboarding has to be as much self-service as possible. Project workspace tools like Notion can be the best place to store all artifacts related to the project for easy reference to new joiners. There are better build-for-DAO-like tools that can be a Notion alternative like bip.
2. Work in seasons
I am unsure when this 9 to 5 five days week work started in most workplaces, maybe post world war or during the industrial revolution with factory workers. Human beings are the least productive in this form of work. The billionaires and entrepreneurs benefit more from this work schedule and become richer, and the workers stay poorer. Post-pandemic we have seen this form of work schedule dying in many industries. In the digital workspace, the working class like more options like location independence and time flexibility. Also, with an aging planet, we don't have much time to waste our life working for 30 to 40 years and then living with retirement benefits.
DAOs can offer better freelance work if they can operate in, say, seasons or multiple short periods in a year and maybe a full shutdown for a week between seasons to recharge. For example, a DAO can set an annual calendar where they allocate funds and projects every three months in a year. This gives more flexibility to people to live a digital nomad life. People can skip some periods or seasons of work based on their needs and availability but still can make revenue. The DAO projects need to be more agile and lean, ensuring better time management.
3. A more decentralized and less centralized governance model
Governance is not for everyone. I have lived in two different democracies and paid little attention to elections or voting. Either I felt no candidate matched my ideologies or my inability to understand the greater goodness a collective decision could do for a nation.
Most DAOs focus a lot of time and resources on governance and voting for almost everything. But I have felt that we cannot rely on decision-making ability from the voting by every DAO member because of the varying levels of understanding by different members on a particular matter of importance. This leads to a slower and less efficient decision-making process. That led me to think every DAO still needs dedicating, qualified people for governance and who must be decided by a DAO-wide campaign process and election. This core governance group will take key decisions for the DAO, but the DAO needs a mechanism to hold them accountable for their decisions. These groups will hold to their positions in a time-bound manner.
DAO Tooling is currently an active space for product development. Different software tools help to consolidate every decision taken in a DAO with the voting process and member notifications into a single dashboard for better transparency.
Along with off-chain voting, Token voting and on-chain governance are also key to any DAO, and new governance models are studied and researched by every DAO. Governance and Tokenomics are key to the success of any DAO, and there are a lot of efforts going on to identify the best model. Unfortunately, my knowledge in this domain is very limited to comment.
4. Move out of Discord
For various reasons, discord is a great social collaboration tool and has become the de facto standard for DAOs compared to their competitors. But discord must stay as the entry point of DAO, not the actual workspace, because of the limitations of a collaboration product. Join some of the DAOs via their discord. You will find the amount of cutter that is accumulated in each of those channels as threads, channels, group voice chats, etc that can be overwhelming for anyone new to the DAO experience.
A lean discord or any other collaboration product can be the gateway for a DAO. Bots should be used as integration points to other DAO tools like forums, workspaces, wallets, and other dapps specific to DAO need. Composability should be a key aspect of the DAO tools used, and discord provides good integration with many of them.
5. Better remuneration management
There are several payout models in a DAO. A popular one is tipping in native tokens. Then there are bounties. Platforms like Coordinape enable a more structured form of decentralized payout in DAOs.
But we cannot promote DAO adoption with crypto enthusiasts and Hodlers alone. People should be able to do groceries with the revenue they make from DAOs. Bankless DAO has come up with a great initiative in the form of a Bankless card that functions like a bank card where a user can convert crypto to fiat money and use the card like a debit card. This is a key feature for the long-term adoption of DAOs as alternative workplaces.
Another long-term revenue option for DAOs is to generate a yield from the total staked tokens of members in the DAO Treasury using yield pools in popular DEXs. This revenue can function like a 401k for the DAO contributors. Overall revenue generation and remuneration are key to the success of DAOs.
Disclaimer: The above statements are solely based on my limited understanding of the DAOs and should be considered opinions.