Decentralized Autonomous Organizations — a glimpse into the future of work
I was working in a good company with good people, and earning good money. Why did the entire thing feel so meaningless?
Every generation probably feels like they are the most screwed in history. Yet, this belief is especially true for millennials. Lazy, entitled, and self-absorbed are few of the labels the press loves to use when it comes to Generation Y.
Being a millennial (and hanging out with a lot of others), I know that these cliches couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Made in crisis
As millennials, we understand the possibility that the money we earn won’t guarantee us any security later in life. Thus, we are less willing to settle for an unsatisfying job. The harsh reality has made us more flexible, more cooperative and more daring to pursue projects that we believe in.
The primary reason I quit my job is that I sensed a lack of transparency and I felt like everyone worked for the benefit of a few. I exchanged my time and efforts for a fixed salary, and crucial decisions about the project were made by a few select people only. That made me feel detached and easily replaceable. But isn’t it everywhere like this?
DAO and the future of work
“We are living through a fundamental transformation in the way we work. Automation and ‘thinking machines’ are replacing human tasks and jobs, and changing the skills that organizations are looking for in their people. These momentous changes raise huge organizational, talent and HR challenges — at a time when business leaders are already wrestling with unprecedented risks, disruption and political and societal upheaval.” (the workforce of the future)
The rise of blockchain technologies in recent years has been the foundation of a new breed of organizations called DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization). It works like a board game where each person knows the rules on how to win or lose. The difference is that the rulebook does not come inside the box — the players are the ones that set the rules for each game. Let me give you an example.
Each player who rolls the dice on a Monopoly board knows that the end goal is to become the wealthiest player by buying, renting, and trading properties. Similarly, each DAO player knows what the common goal is. Whether it is too build software for self-driving cars, train a stock-market-outperforming Artificial Intelligence, or whatever else you can think of — the DAO unites people committed to the same objective.
Once set, the rules are hardcoded, meaning they are independent of their creators and cannot be affected by outside forces. Furthermore, a change of the rules could occur only if the majority of the organization has agreed on it.
Example of DAO rules could be:
1) How to make democratic decisions.
2) How much to pay people and how to evaluate work.
3) How to share the income.
A clear set of rules ensures that everyone involved in the DAO is working towards achieving the same goal. The benefits are practical — there is no centralized legal entity which demands your trust and tells you what to do. The players of the game have equal votes to decide the path of the project. The players manage their own resources and time to get the job done. Your peers evaluate your work.
A major difference between DAO’s and regular companies is that DAO’s don’t have a single point of failure. If a key person stops delivering towards the common goal, the rest of the group will be able to vote the path forward. If Elon Musk decides to quit Tesla (a centralized organization), he would still own the 27% of the company. If a person quits a DAO, he won’t take equity but only the amount of tokens he earned based on the contribution on the project.
This is the transparency we need as dear as breath to the body. And now we have the framework and tools to build the organizations of the future.
The switch from a 9–5 job to becoming a part of a DAO gave me an entirely new vision of work.
Find meaning in what you do by working with like-minded people. Decide your own rules and work with each other, not for one another. Achieve goals.
Now, I have become the manager of my own work. I track hours on the tasks I complete. I review my peers’ work and we all vote on the next steps of the two big projects we are building. This allows us to keep everything transparent and each member’s contribution is rewarded with a share of the profits. The system is fair, and all the rules and decision we make are recorded on the Blockchain.