Dan's DAO Resources - August 2022

DAO Resources - August 2022

Starting points

I think we have a huge leg up after building volunteer organizations from scratch, because a lot of the setup feels similar: getting work done in an org that is extremely egalitarian and community-driven, where roles (and even membership itself!) are extremely fluid, and reputation must be built up over time. That said, DAOs today mix in those elements with a lot of technology and organizational baggage that feels foreign.

The best overview

I would start with the How to DAO course notes. It places DAOs in an interesting historical context but also carries through to implementation styles and challenges today. I was so taken with the doc that I invited the author, Stephen Reid, to come speak at my work.

Keep up with the latest

Next, there are a few folks who I think are thinking very deeply about the challenges for DAOs and frequently share what they’re learning and interview others in the space:

Follow these and you’ll quickly be talking the talk of socialware versus trustware, crafting lore, identifying schelling points, and all the other buzzwords.

Two Projects I like, as of August 2022

You asked for specific projects to learn from. I’m unimpressed with the vast majority of DAOs I encounter and many others I just don’t know well enough to comment. Of the groups I’ve seen, these two have given me the best impression:

Voting and Reputation

You asked specifically about these two topics. I don’t think voting and reputation are solved yet for large groups. Gitcoin is probably the closest that I know of. Most DAOs today are still just plutocracies with a veneer of open participation.

Two DAO governance protocols that I think tackle these issues in interesting ways are:

I also have a proposal for a standard protocol for reputation that’s under review by Ethereum community: https://eips.ethereum.org/EIPS/eip-4974. Eventually, this or another standard, could be a de facto way for people to develop reputations and keep them consistent across ecosystems.

Getting started

I started thinking about what are the minimum-required building blocks to set up a functioning DAO and came up with this messy, off-the-cuff list:

Off-chain basics

(Discord and Telegram are standard, although I doubt how useful they actually are for running a DAO)

On-chain basics

Each building block already has several well-funded startups offering implementations. The links in the next section are the best compilation I’ve seen of all the different tools.

Kitchen Sink Resources

If you want to go very deep down the rabbit hole: