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πŸ€” The What, Why & How of Your DAO

"To ask the right question is already half the solution of a problem." - Carl Jung

While in our case here, knowing the solution is only the seed of a solution, it is nonetheless critical to ask the right questions.

Originally made by Felipe Duarte, DAO Canvas is a simple tool for you to answer some of the most important questions when starting a DAO.

You may not have all the answers now, but you should at least try answering them.

  • To start answering these questions, open this doc then go "File" > "Make a copy" and off you go πŸ™ƒ

If you need any help, don't be afraid to ask us anything πŸ˜‡


Name your DAO

Just don't make it generic; this is not San Francisco.

What do you want to achieve?

Take time to really think it through & condense it into a sentence.

What are the three most important values to this organization?

  • TBD
  • TBD
  • TBD

What decisions are made through voting?

Budget allocation? Hiring? Investments? Everything? Nothing?

How would the success of this DAO impact the world?

Think long term & aim high.

What/who is needed to achieve the goals of this DAO?

What are the things that need to happen? Who are the people that need to join? What do you need to do?


What is the backstory?

Why are you here & why are you doing this? Why should people care? Tell a story, people love stories!

Communication platforms

How does your DAO communicate? Where do you chat daily? Where do you do meetings? What about async long-form thought-sharing? Where do you store knowledge? How do you inform the less active members & the wider community? Where do you share your message & recruit new members?

Here's what we use for MetaGame:

  • Daily chatting: Discord
  • Long-form async: Discourse forums
  • Less-active & wider community: Substack newsletter
  • Knowledge repository: Docusaurus wiki
  • Outside comms: mainly Twitter & related community channels but also niche-related forums/reddits

Community’s rhythms and rituals:

Weekly meetings? Meetups? Newsletters? Podcasts or AMAs? Do you celebrate birthdays? Do you play games together? Do you take time to check-in before each meeting? This is something better figured out over time, but worth thinking about.

  • Weekly: Ex: a community call or something?
  • Monthly: Ex: a regular time to address token allocations?

Who is responsible for what?

Who are the people responsible and who keeps the pulse of the rituals? As you might not even have the people yet, this is something you'll need to figure out over time. Alas, make it a habit to make sure there is 1 person responsible for keeping the pulse on any task or initiative lest you end up with the story of Everybody, Somebody, Anybody & Nobody.

Member journey

Describe the new user onboarding process

How do people discover and join your DAO?

How do new users catch up?

Getting started page, calls to action, newsletter, etc...

How do you keep users engaged?

Why should people stick around after discovering your DAO?

Why do people leave your DAO?

Eg. lack of clear direction & widespread understanding of what is going on. Failure to properly onboard people through clear written information & human connection. Failure to engage people and let them know of all the little ways they could contribute. Failure to reward them. These are the things you need to think a lot about.

Governance elements

How do you know you are succeeding?

What are you optimizing for? Are there any key performance indicators?

  • # or % active users (per week)
  • # of proposals made/passed (per week)
  • Any other concrete outputs you're looking for?

Reflect on these governance polarities

  • Global - the organization’s physical infrastructure - Local
  • Decentralized - how distributed amongst people is its decision making - Centralized

Caps and global constraints

Is there a cap on the tokens to be minted? Maximum burn rate of funds? What are users not allowed to do?

Common issues

What are the decisions that need to be made daily and are not considered critical? Do you want them made by the people on the front-line or do you want it all through voting?

Critical proposals

What are the critical decisions that the DAO can take that need a high degree of consensus?

How does the DAO negotiate its legitimacy with the legacy legal system? Think about legal wrappers if needed.

Doubts and concerns on the parameters

Questions, comments, and concerns go here.

Stakeholder Analysis

From the users’ point of view, what is the DAO’s primary objective?

Should be one sentence or less.

What connects your different user personas?

They might share goals, ambitions, ideology, or a problem. What is it?

How do members coordinate strategy, planning, and direction?

Where/how does the community coordinate so that the DAO can operate in a peer to peer way?

How can users leverage participation for individual benefit?

What do people get out of the DAO? Connecting their needs/desires to the collective process is important to keep your users engaged.

Describe your user personas:

Think about their age, lifestyle, and goals.

  • Persona 1
  • Persona 2
  • Persona 3

How will you fund it and why would someone invest in your DAO?

Will you need a lot of money to build this DAO? If so, what is the incentive for people to fund it? How do you plan on making a return on their investment? Will you go the VC way or the crowdfunding way? Membership fees?