This article was published on February 25, 2022

A beginner’s guide to joining a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization)

You're not too old for baby steps

A beginner’s guide to joining a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) Image by: Jernej Furman/Tim Mossholder (edited)

Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff.

The 2022 Super Bowl featured a parade of commercials for companies in the crypto industry. While the majority advertised exchange platforms, one slot was reserved for a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).

DAOs are community-led organizations that share common goals, from making profitable investments to building impactful products.

Instead of leaders making decisions, DAOs are managed by their members and governed by rules that are enforced on a blockchain. For more details on how they work, check out our explainer here.  

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DAOs can be used for a vast array of purposes.

PleaserDAO, for example, purchased the sole copy of an unreleased Wu-Tang Clan album, while MakerDAO maintains and regulates the Dai stablecoin.

In the case of the Super Bowl ad, members of the Nouns DAO voted on a proposal to feature the brand’s NFT in a Bud Light commercial.

If you’re interested in joining a DAO, here are some tips to get you started:

1. Establish your goals

DAOs are highly mission-driven. Your personal passions and expertise should play a key role in which organization you join.

2. Find a DAO that fits your goals

DAOs are extremely diverse. You could try exploring DAOlist and DeepDAO to find one with objectives that align with your interests.

Most will have some form of charter or mission statement that outlines their goals, guidelines. and governance. These can give you an idea of what to expect and how you can contribute.

3. Join the community

You’ll get a better sense of a DAO’s culture by participating in the community.

The most common entry point is via the DAO’s Discord, where you can introduce yourself, get involved in conversations, and learn how to contribute. Take your time to learn how you can help.

4. Get involved

DAOs are particularly popular for developers, but they can benefit from a range of other skillsets, from project management to design.

Your own contribution will depend on your abilities, as well as the community’s needs and governance.

5. Be careful

DAOs have unique benefits and appeals They can provide democratized governance, transparency, pooled resources, and the chance to make a real impact — and cash.

On the other hand, there is the potential to lose money and for code to go wrong.

But if they live up to their promise, perhaps one day a DAO will run a team at the Super Bowl — rather than just advertise there.

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