“Dedicate your liver to the DAO”: those who think the DAO is the future of work

Through interviews with some important figures of the current mainstream DAO (including the famous MirrorDAO creator Rafa, PleasrDAO operation director Dulanto, FWB operation director Hauseman, Seed Club core member d’Avis, etc.), this article vividly and humorously depicts the current DAO Life Status, explores some of the issues facing today, and the possibilities of DAOs as the future of work. “The DAO is a wonderful combination of socialism and hypercapitalism” is also a golden sentence in this article.

What is it like to work at DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization)?

“It was the best day ever,” Willy Ogorzaly said with a smile. He will tell you the same tomorrow. He’ll tell you the same thing next week. Because in the past five years, it has been like this every day, and now it has become a ritual. “It’s the best day ever!” Ogorzaly exclaimed happily.

Ogorzaly’s best day ever starts like this: He wakes up on time for his 7am meeting. By then he had more than 100 instant messages on his phone, mostly from Discord. He’ll be staring at the screen for the next 12 hours. He’ll take a break to cook dinner with his girlfriend, but while she’s sleeping, he’ll keep doing more work. “I don’t have a good work-life balance,” Ogorzaly said, “but luckily, I love my job.”

Why is Ogorzaly so crazy? It excites him because he works at DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization). He actually works for two DAOs – ShapeShift (a decentralized exchange) and Giveth (a decentralized charity). I was talking to Ogorzaly six months ago when ShapeShift was transitioning from a company to a DAO. It was Ogorzaly who drove the change, and he expects it to succeed. now what? He felt like he was proven right. “It’s working, it’s working well, man,” he added with a smile. “As a DAO, we’re growing faster than ShapeShift has ever been.” Then he added a catchphrase: “We’re giving our livers away. to the DAO.”

More and more people are participating in DAOs, and Ogorzaly believes DAOs are the future of work. He is not alone. DAOs say the new structure is empowering, dynamic, and a natural fit with their flexible work-from-home schedules. “It felt more collaborative, there was a sense of unity of purpose,” says Patti Hauseman, who left the music industry to become the head of operations at Friends with Benefits, a well-known social and networking DAO. Hauseman says all of her colleagues seem to genuinely care about what they’re doing, which reminds her of those rare “artist-connecting” moments in the music industry.

The adrenaline rush, confidence in the company’s vision, the joy of the job itself, and, well, the chance to get rich, these are some of the most intoxicating parts of startup culture. And here is the lure of the DAO, which takes the culture from a spark to the whole organization: everyone feels like a CEO, and everyone feels like a founder. “In a traditional organization, you have three or five founders who own the majority of the company, and then a few investors who own another share,” said Juan Dulanto, PleasrDAO’s head of operations, “while the DAO…. ..it’s been truly community-owned from day one. It’s really refreshing.”

In a traditional company, it’s easy to feel like a cog in the machine, it’s easy to feel like your work is pointless, or the bureaucracy is stupid, or that your brilliant idea is ignored by an ignorant boss. What about in DAOs? In theory, your contribution will be rewarded and you can do whatever you find interesting.

Rafa, “rafathebuilder” on Twitter, is the head of the Mirror DAO, trying to explain this to me from a personal perspective.

“Do you like writing?” Rafa asked me on Zoom.

“A little bit?” I said, sidestepping for a moment the existential dread that the question creates for all writers.

“If you don’t get paid, do you still write?”


He explained that since I love writing (sort of), I should be able to find creative opportunities in DAOs – adding value to the community and then getting paid for my work. Maybe I can find a blog that needs content, or, if it doesn’t already, maybe I’ll suggest the DAO to build one, and then maybe the blog will generate ad revenue that’s shared by all. This is the core of DAOs: creators have a way to collaborate, coordinate, and monetize their creations.

“People are self-organizing into groups and doing what they want,” Rafa said. “People have realized: ‘Oh my God, can I just do something fun and people will pay me?'” In helping start Before Mirror DAO (a Web 3 content publishing platform), Rafa had been studying organizational behavior for many years. He concluded that the reason most bureaucratic, wasteful, and bloated management exists in companies is simple: companies are stuck trying to get people to do jobs they don’t really want to do (which is why we have bosses and deadlines). While at DAO, contributors “like to work and do cool things,” Rafa said, “and it turns out that you can create value by creating cool stuff online, and people pay for it because they recognize the quality. “

So what does this actually mean in practical terms?

In DAOs, there are a lot of different ways to “create cool stuff” and then make money from it. This is part of the propaganda. At PleasrDAO (a DAO that collects and then subdivides digital art, allowing collective ownership), you can be a full-time contributor, a part-time contributor, or you can just complete some one-time tasks. These different levels of contribution are “one of the main strengths of DAOs,” allowing people to contribute as long as they have the time and bandwidth, Dulanto said.

"Dedicate your liver to the DAO": those who think the DAO is the future of work

Dulanto gave a theoretical example, “One of our DAO projects is to launch the XYZ project in the first quarter of this year, and we need someone to build a website”. So Pleasr will set up a “bounty” for the DAO. As Dulanto explains, this means, “Hey, here’s our one-time requirement, here’s a bounty. We need to build X sites in Y scope. That’s what we’re willing to pay.” The bounty then goes to all PleasrDAO is open to members, even “to those who are not yet members”.

Organize a DAO

DAOs are often thought of as “flat” organizational hierarchies, but this is not entirely true, they are usually structured. For example ShapeShift has six different “workflows” such as products and partnerships. (See the org chart here.) These can be thought of as divisions of a company. Each workflow is subdivided into “groups” and contributors. Thus, the leader of a workflow is similar to a vice president; the team leader is the de facto boss.

However, old-fashioned terms like “VP” and “Boss” are extremely objectionable in the DAO atmosphere. “I don’t feel like anyone is the real boss,” says FWB’s Hauseman, “everyone collaborates with each other.” Similar to ShapeShift’s structure, FWB divides the organization into six “teams,” such as editorial, product and Membership Department. These teams do regular business-type things like meetings and release deadlines.

In other words, it is not laissez-faire. “It doesn’t necessarily have to throw away all the old rules, or do away with hierarchies or accountability,” said Nicole d’Avis, core team member at Seed Club, an incubator of Web 3 projects. She said her DAO was “only bringing in the meaningful parts”.

He accidentally started intermittent fasting after skipping so many meals, and was thrilled to hear it was actually healthy.

Dulanto is doing the same at PleasrDAO, “We still need to organize and collaborate with people and figure out how to allocate resources,” said Dulanto, who conducts regular weekly conference calls to keep the team in sync. “I’m a big believer that organizations really need a rhythm and a healthy rhythm to function well.”

That’s one of the reasons why every Wednesday at noon, Ogorzaly serves lunch to the entire ShapeShift community. “Anyone can join ShapeShift Discord,” Ogorzaly said, “it’s a decentralized ‘ask anyone, any question’ lunch.” Lunch is a bit of an anomaly for Ogorzaly, who is often too busy with work to eat. Even on the best day ever. Ogorzaly skipped so many meals and accidentally started intermittent fasting, and later he was “very excited to hear that it was actually healthy.”

mouse feeding game

The DAO is a wonderful mix of socialism and hypercapitalism. Socialist, because they are essentially “employee owned”, like cooperatives. Capitalism, because in an incentive-based free market mechanism within a DAO, contributors bid on projects (like the website bounty example) and get paid.

Blockchain technology provides the rocket fuel for DAOs, but its roots go back to the 19th century. “The main philosophical ideas of Robert Owen’s idea of ​​co-ops have been in play ever since it emerged,” said Koray Caliskan, an associate professor of strategic design and management at the New School’s Parsons School of Design in New York, who has studied cryptography for many years. Caliskan, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, jokes that if he wanted to go to a real DAO, he’d walk down the street to Park Slope Food Coop.

Caliskan also joked that “A DAO is neither decentralized, autonomous, nor organized.” But he wasn’t really joking. He argues that DAOs are not decentralized because they are usually controlled by a small group of people who control most of the tokens. They are not autonomous because they are “created by human actors with certain interests and politics embedded”. They’re not even organizations, because a DAO is a technical “tool” or infrastructure, not an actual organization of people. (This is reminiscent of Voltaire’s quip that the Holy Roman Empire “was neither holy, nor Roman, nor imperial.”)

"Dedicate your liver to the DAO": those who think the DAO is the future of work

Wordplay aside, Caliskan argues that while DAOs may not be revolutionary, they are “certainly great” and “preliminary research suggests that they [DAO contributors] like to be a participant, an equal participant. , and have a say in the economic matters it cares about.” But he added two caveats, first, it’s hard to separate the DAO’s appeal from the temptation to speculate on price (you’re holding a DAO’s token, maybe you’re just hoping Token prices can “rush to the moon”).

Second, we don’t know whether workers’ appreciation for DAOs is correlated or causal: DAO enthusiasts might just be excited about the DAO project, and no matter what the organizational structure, maybe they’ll enjoy the work. Ogorzaly’s experience is a rebuttal to this objection. He worked at ShapeShift, which was a legacy company at the time, and is now a DAO. He’s totally “DAO Life” – even if it starves him.

Ogorzaly clearly loves his work, but the tendency of DAOs to eat into our free time is a concern for Quinn Dupont, assistant professor at University College Dublin who has studied organizational behavior and cryptocurrencies. One hidden risk of DAO work is the “deep financialization of everyday life,” Dupont said.

Because DAOs are financial and incentive-based mechanisms, we may increasingly use our spare time to push the levers that bring us money. “I’m totally convinced that much of cryptoeconomics is behavioral technology, as BF Skinner put it in the 1950s.” Skinner was a psychologist who came up with “operant conditioning.” The theory, or, as Dupont explains, “Human beings are put into a game of feeding mice.” (This does not mean that Dupont is against DAOs. In fact, he is just leaving UCD to start his own DAO: Alumni, Goal is putting a college diploma on the blockchain.)

part of a long-term trend

DAOs have some obvious drawbacks. Let’s start with the old-fashioned concept in the traditional work world called “salary.” Salary is rare (but not unheard of) in DAOs. The job security offered by DAOs is different from traditional jobs, both in appearance and in personal experience.

Usually, you get paid per project, which means you’re not entirely sure how much (if any) you’ll make in the future. Maybe you won the “bounty” for creating a website for PleasrDAO in Dulanto’s case, but what next? Or at ShapeShift, most workflows are only funded for six months. You only have six months of job security. “It’s not bad in the startup world,” Ogorzaly is as cheerful as ever, but he admits that it does take a leap of faith, and “if you can’t handle uncertainty, you’re hard-pressed to be comfortable in a DAO.”

Looking back, then, isn’t this a worse uncertainty than most freelancers in the gig economy face. “Web 2 companies and the traditional world of work aren’t doing well with job security either,” d’Avis said, and given all the work that needs to be done to build Web 3, “power is moving dynamically in the other direction,” says d’Avis. They have power, and there are no skilled developers, designers, and community managers hanging around. “I don’t know of anyone who works hard and delivers value that worries about job security. Right now, job security doesn’t Not a hot topic.” (Factual rebuttal: MakerDAO’s token holders voted narrowly 49% to 47% on Jan. 24 to shut down one of its core teams, effectively losing their jobs. Democracy Possibly fickle.)

Maybe we should broaden our horizons and think about work from a broader perspective. “As society evolves, job security will be defined differently,” says FWB’s Hauseman. She pointed out that decades ago, our parents and grandparents worked for the same company for 20 to 30 years. A generation later, “five to eight years” is considered a long time to work at a company. Therefore, extrapolating from this trend, Hauseman does not see the short-term nature of DAO work as a sudden collapse in job security, but rather as a continuation of a broader trend – employment fragmentation.

Maybe it’s true. But this “jump of faith,” as Ogorzaly puts it, doesn’t seem so feasible for those who lack financial buffers or are in difficult financial circumstances. “In the early days,” Dulanto said, “it was really just an industry for people who had the wealth and the fortune to take greater risks.” He admits that “for people with families or different needs in terms of job security, it’s an industry that It’s not the easiest option.” He thinks it’s something the industry needs to grapple with.

What about other perks of regular work, like health insurance? holiday? Even a retirement benefit plan? “Honestly, we’ve been trying to solve this problem,” says PleasrDAO’s Dulanto. “The metaphor is that we’re ahead of everyone else, paving the way as we go.” But he knows it’s important. If Web 3 organizations really want to attract and retain top talent, Dulanto says, “we have to pay more than a venture-backed startup.” Hauseman argues that offering benefits is a matter of principle. “On my own,” Hauseman said, “I feel very strongly that the future of Web 3 is not Uber at scale.”

Then there’s the thorny issue of “work-life balance,” and Dupont’s concerns about the rat game. For DAOs, it seems that work is life. “It’s interesting that most of the people who work in the digital community are working longer hours than in traditional jobs,” Rafa said. When you’re in a DAO, you’re pulling out a gushing Discord DM hydrant that bombards you day and night, most weekends and holidays. “There’s always something that has to be done in a DAO because we’re so early,” Hauseman says, which can easily keep you in “on” mode. Hauseman tries to end her workday at 6pm, but usually stays busy until 8pm. She is now trying to “better protect downtime”.

If you want to check in at 9am and check in at 5pm, you might be happier going to a banking startup.

D’Avis agrees that work-life balance can be a battle, but she believes that, as with any startup, finding the right balance is up to the individual. She usually takes weekends off, but given the global nature and 24/7 nature of cryptocurrencies, she finds that “there must be someone in your DM with a funny avatar at any time.”

Another limitation of DAOs: a large percentage of people have no real “passion” for what they do or do, they just want to clock in and get paid. DAO zealots might argue that these poor kids just haven’t fired up their true passion to merge into an organization’s needs, and that DAO might be their answer.

Perhaps. But I wouldn’t underestimate the number of “cube dwellers” who are toiling away in Excel and clocking in at 5pm, eager to forget their work and have fun. “DAO Life isn’t for everyone,” Ogorzaly said. “If you really need a lot of structure and organization, if you want your boss to tell you what to do, if you want to check in at 9 a.m. and check in at 5 p.m., then Go to a banking startup and you might be happier.”

So can DAOs really be the future of work? “No,” Caliskan said, “we can’t eat bytes, we need bread, we need food, we need houses, we need things that are produced on the ground.” It’s really hard to argue with even the most optimistic DAOs Advocates also admit that its scope is mostly in the creative and digital realms, not factories or burger stands.

Then, consider the scope and scale of the “gig economy.” This is no longer a fringe group. In the United States, an estimated 55 million people are classified as gig workers, who are scattered and lack organization, collaboration, and influence. Every one of those 55 million workers feels powerless to the machine. Together, they can become an army. While many of them are indeed driving Ubers, delivering Postmates, or walking their dogs—not true “DAO-ready” digital jobs—the status quo is pretty bleak indeed.

Acquiring new customers is a daunting task. You never know if you’ll get paid next month. you feel lonely. So while I’m skeptical about whether DAOs will topple corporate America or revolutionize the workplace, in theory, if things go well, I’ll see them improve the pay, career prospects, Coworker camaraderie and job satisfaction. This is no small matter. It might even really be the best day ever for millions of programmers, artists, graphic designers, and project managers.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/dedicate-your-liver-to-the-dao-those-who-think-the-dao-is-the-future-of-work/
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