DAO Design Best Practices

Hey everyone,

Now that we’re starting to think about the DAO as a product itself, I wanted to create a quick schelling point for information about DAO Best Practices. I know we’re all consuming diverse information about how to build DAOs, and I’d love to invite you all to post what you’re learning on this thread. The result will hopefully be a compilation of useful information which can serve as a basis for sensemaking about things to try (or avoid) at GitcoinDAO.

If you have seen a great DAO design resource, please post it below.


One person I think is brilliant and has deep experience in DAOS who we should listen to is Tracheopteryx. In his talk at schelling point about DAOS, he talks a lot about the DAO contributor experience. He claims at each dao you need :

  • process fidelity - trust that my actions will replicate in the way i expect them
  • operational access - how do I access the levers of powers in the dao?
  • network topography - can I see what else is in the DAO, and what they’re doing?

I also think these takes from Chase Chapman are brilliant:


I put together my proposals/notes, my research during my four months of Gitcoin, optimized them for web and published my blog: https://dthoughts.blog I don’t know if they can be considered as best practice but currently, they are to me.


1Hive created the dao template/dao creation wizard to help people create daos. They can use the 1hive token $HNY or bring/create their own token. There is a handy video explainer. Gardens

It uses a few key tools to help daos be their best. Conviction voting is one of them. Community Covenant (Code of conduct) and the decentralized court-like protocol called Celeste. (aragon court fork)

Here is the launch article https://gardens.mirror.xyz/

DaoHaus is another one that is pretty well known. https://daohaus.club/


Just listened to Will from Protein talk and he shared this article on their first 100 days.
Topics (some real gems in here):

    1. Creating barriers are important
    1. Your onboarding experience is everything
    1. Intentionality and diversity beats expertise
    1. Ask the tough questions
    1. Be explicit about your call to adventure, compensation, and reward regularly
    1. Build it if it doesn’t exist yet
    1. From generalists to specialists
    1. Proposals shouldn’t pass with 100%
    1. Ethereum isn’t for everyone
    1. Include your community in conversations about funding

I enjoy the website - DAO Masters

another good one:


I just read a book about Impact Networks + posted some notes here: Lessons about Impact Networks - worth checking out IMO!

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I’m investigating Daos’ best practices too. Still do not have much experience myself, but also from one episode from Chase Champan (unfortunately don’t remember which one), they talk about three components of community engagement:

  • Governance
  • Structure
  • Onboarding

I would highlight the third one, onboarding, also commented by @ccerv1, which I think is very important. I’ve been around a few days and I still don’t know what are the first steps that I should give in order to participate (I’m not even sure if I can participate in this forum directly or should go to Discord).

Other notes that I have:

Given the history of The DAO, an IRP (Incident Response Plan) could have prevented this kind of incident.

Humming Consensus: Take action and optimize for feedback, because it’s too difficult to get people involve in voting. So, just do a proposal and ask for objection, if none, then proceed.

DAOS works better with small units (check Orca protocol).

Soft Quorum.

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Thanks for sharing Layn. Others have echoed your thoughts around how difficult it is to determine first (or later) steps in a dao. Including the Gitcoin Dao…we are working on it.

I really appreciated the statement that “…an IRP could have prevented this kind of incident.”( The DAO hack)

While I don’t know how accurate this is, I do know IRPs are used at many organizations, and are key to how military and government respond to emergencies like earthquakes and floods. The are also key to the crash-response plan at our biggest airports where seconds can make a life or death difference to people. I wonder if GC has one? If not…

I think you figured out how to participate! Build Gitcoin’s IRP! Have you any experience in this area and would you be willing to try? I’m sure you will find supportive folks happy to help, plus, in creating our IRP draft you will get exposed to some of the deeper crevices of the Gitcoin Dao rabbit hole and gain familiarity.

Gitcoin Dao is quite good at recognizing participation. Unlike traditional employment where your supervisor gives you a task things are occasionally inverted here. In some daos you choose a task that you believe adds value to the dao, then go show people who seem to care (no real supervisors anymore, we try to use councils in the GCFDD). If value is created or added it is highly likely you will be rewarded well, and possibly offered greater responsibilities.

For now, it’s only a record in my notes, basically:

Had an effective system of governance been in place, an Incident Response Plan (IRP) could have given people in key managerial positions the ability to quickly freeze funds and patch the code.

I’ll be happy to dig a little bit more and prepare a summary, if it has positive feedback i can take care of it.