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#70: You Can't Escape DAOs

The Chomp
#70: You Can't Escape DAOs
By Cody McCauley  • Issue #70 • View online
Hey Everyone 👋 ,
Welcome back to The Chomp. If you’re new here and are not yet a subscriber, you can keep up with the latest by subscribing down at the bottom of this email or by clicking the ‘view online’ link above. 
With that, let’s dive into it.

🔗 Chum Bucket
Mario shares 10 of his favorite lessons after reflection on over 500K words he’s written since launching The Generalist
  • “When you see an exceptional opportunity, find an extraordinary potential partner, find the words, find a way to be absurdly, painfully persistent.”
  • “In reality, “obsession” connotes abnormality; it is not just “interest” but the experience of being haunted or unhinged by interest.”
  • “But in immature markets where funding may be hard to come by, and the first great use-case is harder to parse, preserving optionality can be the difference between outrageous success and quiet death.”
Packy breaks down the wildly ambitious vision of Fount, the Tesla for human health
  • “Often, before a booming industry starts booming, it’s like a pile of logs—it has all the ingredients of a fire and it’s ready to go—but there’s no match. There’s some technological shortcoming that’s preventing the industry from taking off. In the case of individualized healthcare, that shortcoming is the biomedical data gap. That’s the Starting Point.”
  • “Even with observational data from infinite people, or sets of small-n or single intervention trials from the same, you can’t get enough predictive power. But with clean, iterative, exquisite experimental data from a relatively small number of people, you can. So that’s Fount’s proximate goal: to collect experimental data from enough people to build useful predictive models.”
  • “If Fount is able to successfully ignite the industry, it could mean achieving the Goal of putting a big chunk of the $4 trillion we’d normally spend on healthcare annually in the US alone to more productive uses, helping people reduce stress and tension and increase self-understanding, and giving people the tools to maximize their potential (while still enjoying life to the fullest).”
The New York Times profiles the Friends With Benefits DAO, the VIP lounge for crypto’s creative class
  • “Friends With Benefits is what’s known as a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO — a kind of digital co-op that uses cryptocurrency tokens to coordinate access, make payments and vote on group decisions.DAOs, which have been described as “financial flash mobs” or “group chats with bank accounts,” are among the fastest-growing parts of the crypto ecosystem.”
  • “Friends With Benefits is not the biggest DAO, but it has become one of the buzziest. It has nearly 6,000 unique token holders, including musicians like Erykah Badu and Azealia Banks. Last year, it raised $10 million from investors such as the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz in a funding round that valued it at $100 million.”
  • “So far, most of what Friends With Benefits has produced has been geared toward throwing parties and growing its membership, but it is beginning to branch out. The group is developing a member directory with customizable NFT name badges, planning a music festival and starting a fellowship program for web3 creators from underrepresented backgrounds.”
Water & Music offers perspective into the current landscape and emergence of music DAOs
  • “Our most notable discovery on the topic was that governance models for Web3 music culture are still largely unestablished. The DAOs in our sample have experimented with one-off token-weighted votes on apps like Snapshot and emoji-react votes on apps like Discord. Still, they have yet to formalize governance systems covering all aspects of their respective operations. (Ironically, perhaps the organization with the most fleshed-out decision-making structure in our sample set, Ampled, is a cooperative that has decided not to become a DAO due to cultural/onboarding reasons.)”
  • “DAOs need to consult with and understand their community needs and how these might evolve before imposing complex structures when building for community ownership.”
  • “There is also the open question about the role of a visionary cultural founder in an organization as it becomes progressively more decentralized. Any new organization, cultural or otherwise, tends to benefit from the drive and energy of that first crazy person with an idea (the founder-dictator), rather than from the decentralized, self-organizing identity that a DAO would have. Should any creative DAO assume that the visionary founder will eventually have to step away and relinquish creative control to the broader community?”
The first post in an excellent series on building sustainable growth orgs from Brian Balfour, Casey Winters, and Kevin Kwok
  • “Most product teams are built to create or improve the core value provided to customers. Growth is connecting more people to the existing value.”
  • “Build a growth model that helps you identify the most impactful variables/levers around acquisition, retention, engagement and monetization. Understand the psychology of users behind those variables/levers. Develop hypothesis-driven experiments informed by your growth model and user psychology. Apply the learnings back to your growth model and user psychology to get better over time.”
  • “If you are establishing a growth team, we have five tips: (1) Find One Problem - Find a single problem that could help drive growth. Typically this is a neglected area at the company (see above). Don’t try to own all of growth. It is too wide and broad and will spread the team thin. (2) Evolution, Not A Revolution - Respect the culture and principles that made the company successful so far. Evolve from those principles, don’t re-write them. (3) Expect Failure - Seek quick wins, but expect the team will fail early and often. Give them enough time to work through it. (4) Communicate The Wins - Use the experiment wins as a carrot to display how you are approaching the problems. Change and resources gravitate towards those that have wins. (5) Don’t Call It A Growth Team - Some have the perception that they don’t need to worry about growth since there is a team that owns that. Some feel they aren’t getting the credit they deserve because “everyone contributes to growth.” Or one of the many negative biases around the term creep in. What to do instead? Don’t call them growth. Name the teams by the problems/missions they are solving for - New User Experience, Lifecycle Team, etc.”
🗓 Tweet of the Week
Douglas A. Boneparth
BREAKING: Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson is retiring. Plans to make coffee at home.
🎵 Song of the Week
Your Love | Tourist
📚 Books
💭 Parting Thoughts
One must simplify the world to discover something new about it. The problem comes when, long after the discovery has been made, people continue to simplify.
— David Graeber
If you found something that piqued your interest this week, please send it along to a friend. Until next time. ✌️
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Cody McCauley

The Chomp is a roundup of the most interesting content I've read, along with occasional musings on technology and the world. You can expect to find a mix of sub-topics including web3, tech, investing, philosophy, and culture.

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