Op-Ed: If the future of work is to be on-chain, we need to address how DAOs can better maintain governance, keep contributors actively engaged, and ensure proper compensation of all members.
There has never been a more opportune moment to establish a DAO. Remote work is still on the ascent, displaying no signs of slowing down, and the gig and creator economies are also scaling up. The future will be defined by on-chain communities, where progress is driven not solely by individuals but by collectives.
To get there, DAOs need to level up their approaches to governance, contributor engagement and retention, and improve compensation processes and methods.
Here’s how we can move closer to that point.
Move away from one token, one vote
So what can be done?
Since most DAOs are still one token, one vote, it’s early, but organizations like Gitcoin and the work done by RadicalxChange point the way towards a better future.
Truly put crypto on the back-end
Still, improving the governance structures behind DAOs is only a fraction of the battle. What about uncovering their greater potential to the world beyond the crypto-sphere?
How do they do it?
They make it as easy as possible to both onboard and stay meaningfully involved, pushing the DAO’s mission forward. All DAOs could stand to learn from Ukraine DAO’s example and put crypto on the back-end as much as possible.
The easier we make it for anyone to experience the future of coordination and work, the more people will realize that the future can be more distributive than extractive.
Introduce credentialing where necessary
Decentralized doesn’t always mean fully permissionless in every way. Yes, it could be said to be a hot take.
Still, some DAOs need gated workstreams.
No matter the type of DAO, some degree of credentialing is needed. For some, that means every working group. For others, that means only circles such as legal that require highly specialized skills need to be gated.
Judge what to do with your particular DAO based on first, what its mission is, and second, what working groups need to exist to bring it to fruition.
Start with what’s needed, pay contributors well
Not everything can be bounty-based or highly free-form.
Certain positions and certain DAOs need to be equivalent to salaried jobs. The individuals who hold these posts, however, should be both those who have the backgrounds that are most needed to drive the DAO forward and the drive to actually do so. Take VitaDAO, for example.
Longevity researchers, scientists, and funding experts should qualify as core contributors. Others can fall along different tiers, still compensated for what they do to further the DAO’s mission.
VitaDAO exists to tackle “aging with the power of a global community.” Who better to drive that effort than experts in the field?
Others like Bankless DAO can be more distributed in their approach to who qualifies as core contributors, by design. Onboarding the next 1 billion people to crypto is an effort that just about anyone in the space can equally contribute to.
In the end, there’s no one size fits all mold for DAO compensation but we can take pieces from our compatriots' approaches and apply them to what we do now and in the future. Moreover, we can develop better structures together.
Samudai, a DAO project management platform that enables collaboration and bounty management for admins, project managers, and contributors, is the hub for all on-chain work and collaboration, dedicated to spearheading the future of work. Samudai helps streamline DAO transparency and organizational structure including full automation of investment flow, job boards for the ecosystem, facilitation of payments to contributors, workflow management, collaboration between on-chain orgs, and more. The platform is backed by leading investors including Sino Global Capital, Coinbase Ventures, A&T Capital and Lunar Ventures.
Kushagra is the Co-Founder of Samudai, a DAO project management platform that enables collaboration and bounty management for admins, project managers, and contributors. In addition, Kushagra serves as a Kernel Block III Member at Gitcoin, where he successfully created a tokenization platform that enables content creators to conveniently generate and distribute social tokens to their dedicated community members. Since 2019, Kushagra has actively driven innovation in social platforms using blockchain technology, aiming to support the creator economy with enhanced community participation and engagement. Kushagra was previously part of IBM's Digital Transformation Labs where he developed an eLearning portal that allowed B2B clients to collect valuable analytical insights for effective marketing strategies. Kushagra holds a Bachelor of Technology degree in Computer Science from Vellore Institute of Technology.