Summoning the Spirit of DAO Ops
This post assumes prior understanding of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations. Here’s a great resource if you’re new to DAOs.
DAO Ops is, as originally described in the Signal DAO intro post:
“A set of practices that aims to systematize the management of DAO functions and reduce coordination costs associated with resource allocation, decision-making processes, and membership administration.”
The Evolution of Organizations
We are nearing the inflection point where the average person spends more time online than offline.
Online communities have always been at the heart of the Internet (ie Usenet, Reddit, Clubhouse). Members contribute time & effort to push toward a common mission or goal. Oftentimes they’ve only ever met online and yet they thrive because members adhere to social norms specific to their communities, creating trust and camaraderie.
Why is that important?
DAOs take these online communities to the next level by encoding those social norms and programmatically meshing them with economic incentives.
For the first time, members of a community now have economic upside for putting in the time & effort to adhere to and propagate its social norms! In the same vein, those who go against the community’s mission/goal risk real economic penalty. This is possible through the possession of DAO shares that represent a capital claim on the efforts of the community.
Therefore DAOs emerge as effective vehicles to ensure alignment within a community through transparent enforcement of its values.
So what should be taken into consideration when implementing DAO Ops?
The following segments sum up DAO Ops:
- Seeding — Community with clear values/norms & rewards/penalties
- Configuring — Initial parameters of the DAO (ie quorum, proposal voting periods, membership tributes)
- Collecting — Channels for capital inflow (financial/human/social)
- Summoning — Smart contract & UI deployment
- Communicating — Idea exchange forum amongst members
- Allocating — Mechanisms for redistributing resources internally & externally
- Learning — Feedback loops for UX, governance, security
It’s important to note that the maturation of each segment move at the pace of innovation within the Web 3 community. I predict savvy entrepreneurs will build new categories of thriving businesses by addressing specific challenges within one or more segments of the DAO Ops methodology.
When implemented holistically, DAO Ops should empower your community with:
- Highlighting and enforcing core values
- Breaking silos that stifle communication
- Decreasing steps from decision to action
- Facilitating resource allocation
- Increasing community engagement
- Deploying and maintaining secure DAO software
Through emergent design, we may find that certain classes of organizations need to emphasize specific segments while downplaying others. For example, a DAO that is intended mainly for signaling purposes (ie SignalDAO) may not need to focus on the Allocating segment while a DAO that executes the distribution of milestone-based grants (ie Student Capital DAO) will need to significantly overweight their efforts on Allocating.
DAO Ops represents a broader shift in organizational management, one that elevates a decentralized community with skin-in-the-game as the centerpiece. The recent pandemic only adds to this by accelerating the normalcy of the remote/distributed culture.
This shift increasingly heightens the paradox of modern society where the individual is granted unprecedented autonomy while finding identity and contributing value within a communal whole is crucial.
This means that the success of the community-oriented organizations of the future is highly dependent on the cohesion of its members. Taking cues from DevOps which brought effectiveness into software development by breaking down intra-team silos, DAO Ops will bring effectiveness into an organization by breaking down intra-communal silos.
It’s early days and projects like Moloch, MetaCartel, Aragon, Raid Guild, and Abridged’s Collab.land are paving the path for community-oriented organizations to take the spotlight (ie MetaCartel’s DAO incubator). There’s a lot of work to be done, and now’s the time to jump in as we’re writing the playbook.
If you’re curious on learning more or have suggestions for improving the DAO Ops framework, reach out to me on Twitter @ericwchung. I’d also recommend checking out DAO Rush Week, a week-long showcase of the DAO ecosystem, to get plugged into a DAO!
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
Abridged website: https://www.abridged.io
Abridged Twitter: https://twitter.com/abridged_io
Abridged Telegram community: https://t.me/joinchat/GzdYLUQYAN5ALnGTXmqUcg
Best of Abridged Newsletter: https://abridged.substack.com