Web 3 needs to re-think how people get–and stay–involved. If we don’t, we’ll miss out on the greatest talent migration in recent history.
Every week we see dozens of new DAOs come into being. Each has a fresh Discord, Twitter and token. Many of them begin with a bang and see extraordinary growth during their initial weeks and months. The problem is this: the concept of a DAO is miles ahead of the actual experience of one. And while thousands if not millions of new participants want to contribute to these new spaces, most of them end up doing very little. They buy an unfamiliar token, join the Discord, and just… sit there.
Why They Don’t Stick Around?
There are a few key reasons why so many people join DAOs but never actually contribute. Let’s cover them:
Discord is (almost always) a mess
Google Drive won’t cut it
The result of all of this is a graph of DAO contribution that looks a lot like a barbell. At the high end are those who’ve made full-time commitments to building and managing the project—community managers, engineers, designers, project leads and so on. At the low end are hundreds if not thousands of bystanders who are “in” the community and hold the token, but are otherwise inactive.
If DAOs are ever to live up to their potential, we’ll need a different way. We need a healthy middle class of DAO contributors. The good news? This population already exists–they simply haven’t been activated by DAOs in the right way.
So, what defines members of the DAO “middle class”?
Only with the right set of tools and community-based incentives will DAOs be able to tap into this talent in the coming year.
The explosion of interest in DAOs is part of a macro trend of talented knowledge-economy workers leaving full-time jobs to pursue more varied part-time work and side projects. This coincides with an evolution in how talent, work and equity are intersecting in 2021. Whereas traditional equity was (and is) a major draw for full-time talent in Web2, in Web3, part-time contributors are rewarded with tokens.
Today, all across the DAO ecosystem, we are seeing a clear market need for talent, and a population who wants to contribute.
To leverage this talent, DAOs need to do a few key things.
At Layer3, we are building a platform that—you guessed it—addresses this very problem. We are designing an experience for this “middle class” to engage with DAOs on an adhoc basis, and to apply their skills and receive token compensation in a fast, more streamlined way. For DAOs themselves, Layer3 can help them acquire new members, strengthen their community and increase the output of their organization.
With the right platforms, we can give DAOs the talent they deserve to usher in this next iteration of the internet. One that is user-owned, powered by DAOs and allows for flexible and efficient contributions from a global network of talent. We’d love to see it. Wouldn’t you?
Let’s activate the middle class.