The Building Blocks of a DAO

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What is Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) Tooling? What tools are available when building a DAO and what do you need to know to launch and manage your DAO? 

As DAOs grow in both users and assets, the community requires a level of structure and operational execution to help the DAO operate. Tools are a necessary part of DAOs because they make it easier for users to meaningfully contribute, they help maintain operational efficiency as DAOs grow, and they centralize decision-making at scale without violating the decentralized nature of the DAO. 

source: pet3rpan.net


Like a traditional company, a DAO needs support in 7 core organizational functions: 

  1. Community -  Tools to facilitate community discussion 
  2. People - Talent and  knowledge management
  3. PR & Marketing - Tools to support contributions and reputation
  4. Business Development - Tools to create the foundation and framework of a DAO,  governance, member participation, and voting
  5. Treasury Management -  Tools to manage a DAO’s funds, tokens, and compensation for members who work for the DAO
  6. Product - Front end, analytics, and design
  7. Engineering -  Tools to manage access to the DAO 
source: Nichanan Kesonpat

Also like a traditional company, a DAO leverages outside providers and suppliers to execute on day-to-day business operations. Due to the decentralized nature of DAOs, they have unique needs that are not widely offered in the market today. Below is a landscape of many of the current tools DAOs are using today, but we anticipate this landscape will continue to evolve massively over the next few years. Many of these tools will be mixed and matched to build the unique infrastructure that each DAO requires. 

source: Nichanan Kesonpat

Some common DAO tools are: (source: C. Turley)

  • Gnosis Safe - Multisig wallets commonly used to manage community treasuries.
  • Snapshot - Off-chain voting platform for easy token-based governance.
  • Discourse - Forum commonly used to discuss governance proposals.
  • CollabLand - Bots providing token-gated access and tipping to community chat groups.
  • Coordinate - Coordination game to determine which contributors(s) deserve token rewards.
  • Parcel - Treasury management to easily track and send payments.
  • SourceCred - Instance to track community participation and reward active members.
  • Mirror - Finance creative projects through tokenized crowdfunds.
  • Tally - Governance dashboard to track on-chain voting history across different protocols.
  • Boardroom - Governance hub for tokenholder management to empower key decision-making.
  • Sybil - Create and track on-chain governance delegation.
  • RabbitHole - Reward tokens for completing specific on-chain tasks.

As of now, DAO tooling is not vey user friendly and has not been widely adopted, yet. Given the possibilities theses tools can unlock, it would be worthwhile to investigate these projects for great opportunities.

Suggested Follow-up Reading - if you’d like to dive deeper into any core area of DAO tooling: