Chris Castig General Manager at Trust Machines. Adjunct Prof at Columbia University Business School.

Seven Takeaways from the DAO Tooling Survey

2 min read

How many DAOs are you in? What is your #1 priority for DAO tooling? What helps to motivate people to stay active in a DAO? Why do people join DAOs?

Two weeks ago I published a survey inquiring into the priorities, and preferences for building DAOs. Thanks to everyone who participated! We received 65 submissions.

For your convenience, I’ve extracted seven learnings from the data that surprised me (see below). If you see something I missed in the data, or have additional insights, I’d love to hear from you — leave a comment or reach out to @castig on Twitter.

What’s a DAO?

I’m of the camp that a DAO is an internet community with a shared bank account. In technical terms, that translates into two necessary primitives:

  1. A community with a token (NFT or FT) for verification
  2. A multi-sig wallet shared by all the members [Coming soon to Stacks/Bitcoin in Q2 2022]

From there I see voting, bounties, cap tables, and other modules as part of an extended set of tools used to manage the org. If all of this is new to you, or you’d like a refresher, here’s some DAO reading [1][2].

Who is this survey for?

Anyone creating or managing a DAO; or anyone building Web3 community tooling.

Want to get involved in building the first generation of Bitcoin DAOs?

I’m working with Trust Machines to build tools for Bitcoin DAOs (written in Clarity). Trust Machines is hiring for a handful of positions to help build better DAO tooling (e.g. a multi-sig wallet, on-chain community voting, bounties, etc). We’re looking for a talented Clarity Developer, Full Stack Developer, and Product Designer. Please apply and/or DM me on Twitter if you have questions or would like to contribute in some way.

Seven takeaways from the DAO tooling survey

1. Most people prefer being active in “A small number of DAOs”

One takeaway for me: On Discord most people are logged into dozens of servers (aka. teams/communities). From a UX perspective, IMHO Discord is noisy. But maybe there’s another way? If people prefer to be in a small handful of DAOs, could we build tools that members focus, and have more meaningful connections?
Q: “In how many DAOs are you currently active?” 93.8% said “Less than 5”

2. Nearly half of the participants plan to start a DAO

There’s a lot of potential for new DAO creation in 2022.
18% of people said “To create new DAOs” was their highest priority.

3. The DAO’s roadmap, mission and team’s background are highly important factors used for joining a DAO

“Roadmap, mission, values and culture”
“A dashboard with a clear roadmap”

4. Real-time chat > Threaded Discussions

As someone who personally feels like Discord is an abrasive circus , I was surprised to see so many people would prefer real-time chat, over threaded discussions. Personally, I’d prefer the later. I guess I’m part of the minority. If people prefer real-time chat, I wonder how we might be able to improve the experience? (DM me your thoughts).

5. Members would like to contribute to the treasury by staking tokens and buying NFTs

6. Pure consensus? Quadratic voting? It seems like there isn’t one preferred voting mechanism

7. Final comments? What did I miss?

I asked, “What did I miss” and you wrote the following:

  • I have the basic concept of my DAO laid out, working on a white-paper now — but as far as development I’m in no man’s land. I’ve started learning, but at this rate it’ll take years.
  • Hiro wallets ability to support native bitcoin. If we could reward work from stacking yields in Bitcoin, i think it would make all DAOs in Stacks, automatically become more prolific, pay me in BTC is a real thing.
  • I think a tiered system of management makes a lot of sense. For instance, perhaps a large amount of DAO authority resides in a handful of founders and builders. A smaller portion could be allocated to an inner council, a smaller portion still allocated to an outer council, each group getting larger and more inclusive.
  • Legal knowledge and guilds for people to funnel in their talents
    funds disbursements
  • Excited to join/participate in DAO’s!!! Thank you!
  • Social networks within the DAO
  • DAO legal structure.
  • Contacting DAO members on big votes , time sensitive mints etc — ability to share an email for important notifications?
  • We need better DAO education.
  • A complete starter kit. Legal, code, launch, marketing?, accounting
  • A treasury portfolio dashboard
  • Legal implications / education

Final Thoughts

Leave a comment, or get in touch with me on Twitter. Once again, Trust Machines is hiring if you’d like to get involved.

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Chris Castig General Manager at Trust Machines. Adjunct Prof at Columbia University Business School.