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DAOlicious tips for starting your first DAO

· 5 min read
Felixander

Do you want to know the surefire way to build a DAO with a small, strong community? It’s easy. Just start with a DAO with a large, strong community!

Okay, all kidding aside, if you are serious about venturing into the worlds of DAO creation, read on to learn some tips and tricks to ensure that your DAO delivers on its full potential!

Build a community

Whether your DAO is doing NFT minting, creating tokens for governance, bringing together a global community around a shared goal or interest, or just there to further some unique idea of yours, you’re going to need a community. The problem? Not all communities are created equal, and many of them struggle to find their footing in the hustle and bustle of web3.

Finding good community members isn’t easy, but keeping them in the long run can be even harder. If your DAO has no way to compensate good community members or suffers from lack of coordinate or mission-alignment issues, you will likely find qualified people sticking around briefly and moving on. Consider thinking carefully about your mission and about a way to make it enthralling for new members. Sell the idea, and show how that idea will benefit your contributors or the planet at large. Don’t be afraid to say no, and have your mission well thought-out before you open a discord and start trying to attract new members.

Decide on governance that works NOW

Many different governance systems exist, including 1-member-1-vote, quadratic voting, voting-by-tokens-held, and many more. Think carefully about how you’d like your own DAO to operate. Do you want everyone to have equal participation and inclusion? Then perhaps one-member-one-vote is the way to go. Or do you want certain members to have voting power because they are part of a core group? Do you want votes to pass with a 51% majority, or higher?

These are all important questions to consider. If you want a DAO that is more resistant to change, you may consider putting a voting threshold very high, for instance around 75% or above. This would ensure that only when the vast majority of your members agree on something that it will change.

If you want your DAO to morph quickly with changing times, you may decide to drop your voting threshold lower than 50%. This can also open you open to having your DAO hijacked by an influx of new members, so beware!

Regarding votes, how do you want people’s voting power to be represented? If you want to vote by tokens-held, then you are effectively allowing the wealthy to have greater voting power than the less wealthy. There is an argument here that the wealthy, who have invested the most in your project, deserve more voting power because they have more to lose. But new members entering your project may feel like voting is futile if they are eclipsed by others with outized voting power.

Don’t be afraid to adapt as you scale up

Consider what system you need right now, and be open to changing it. Regarding governance: If you are a small community with a core team, you may say that one-member-one-vote is the way to go. Do what makes sense at the time. If your project grows and you see another voting mechanism being more fruitful, go through the motions and suggest a change. Voting mechanisms are not set in stone, and shouldn’t be. Your DAO needs to adapt with the changing circumstances it finds itself in.

Regarding your discord server, Telegram or other service, consider changing it as your needs change. If your discord channels end up getting outdated, don’t be afraid to archive them. If your new members are getting lost in the onboarding process, consider adapting your process to be more open to new faces. Remember that by the time you start to grow, your DAO will be something you start to understand much more easily than a new member just coming in. It’s easy to lose sight of that perspective, so keep in mind to keep it simple and direct.

And most importantly…

Have fun! You are engaging in something new, and in a great human experiment! Issues around governance have plagued humanity for thousands of years, and now with the advent of blockchain technology we have yet another style of governance to play with. See if you can crack the code that so far no one has arguably cracked. See if you can create the perfect governance system. Good luck!

Considering starting a DAO? Check out our tooling suite that will give you all you need and so much more!

Want more? Come check us out at juicebox.money, and swing by our discord and say hello. Starting a project? Check out our blog and web3 literacy center, Juicebox High.