I spent a bit of time today thinking about how this might go wrong. I can see a few obvious failure modes. These are not mutually exclusive and certainly not exhaustive. I’d bet we could come up with many more together.
Trap 1, Breadcrumbs from the elites’ table: Power remains centralized, participation is stymied as lower-status participants lose interest in participating in a system without incentives.
Trap 2, Narrowed mission: The DAO’s mission is narrowed to something achievable for the current core group, but too narrow to be truly relevant in achieving One Billion Bankless.
Trap 3, FOMO: Status-seeking creates a frenzied environment early in DAO formation as people strive to gain recognition and nominations to inner circles, recognizing the brief window in which power is consolidating. Rapid-fire, highly visible contribution is incentivized over deeper work on critical problems for which there are no easy solutions.
Just a guess here - I think this environment will likely produce structures similar to those in traditional organizations because these are familiar and easiest to reproduce (I’m failing to remember the awesome word RSA and David have used that describes this perfectly, when early generations of new tech resemble old tech… Help)
Trap 4, Too much founder involvement: Founders react to chaos, providing strong direction but too much dependency on their own abilities. Unless the founders are 9th dimensional chess players or characters in Tenet, it is probable that they will limit the potential of the DAO proportional to the level of control they exert.
Trap 5, Too little founder involvement: Founders provide too little direction when and where needed, the cats stay unherded, and the DAO flounders after people lose interest once formation energy wears off without traction.
Trap 6, Placing the cart before the horse: The DAO tackles too much, too fast. Even if the perfect projects projects are launched, by failing to work out the fundamentals such as DAO governance at both the social and the computation layers, the projects spin out or spin off due to an underdeveloped DAO being unable to provide the needed support.
Trap 7, eggs in the wrong basket: The DAO ties itself to one chain or project which fails, bringing the DAO down with it. This is a non-zero risk even with Ethereum, though I think it is far more likely to happen with a newer DeFi protocol
I’m done for now. I really do think it’s worth considering how a plan will most likely go off the rails before aping in. Ethereum wasn’t built in a day. It was the slow pace guarded by the core devs and founders that allowed it to become what it is today, despite all the screaming for faster pace from the sidelines. This discussion can be a kind of security audit of our social governance layer.