Making Governance Fun: A Rehash x Avenue Discussion

With Avenue fast-becoming the tool of choice for many web3 workers and their organizations, the way we work is very close to our heart. That’s why we invited Diana Chen, founder of Rehash DAO and Meg Lister, DAO contributor to talk all about managing DAO operations, managing contributions, and what the world of work will look like in 5-10 years.

Here are six top takeaways from our conversation – and a link to the full transcript if you’d like to read along.

1. Your work should belong to you

In our conversation, Diana shared how Rehash was largely built upon the idea that she could have more control over her work output in a more lasting way. She said: *“I had been podcasting for Crypto and Blockchain companies for the last couple of years. I'd recorded over 150 podcast episodes for these different companies, and it just suddenly dawned on me that when I leave a company to go to another company, those podcast episodes kind of stay with that company. And at the end of the day, I don't really have anything to call my own. So part of that desire was to be able to start my own podcast that I could really have ownership over.”

*Like a lot of us, Diana also experienced the tension of doing work in one job but not being able to carry it with her long term. Since so much of web3 leads back to shared ownership, Diana saw an opportunity for Rehash DAO to exist as a combination of two ideas: An experiment in creative ownership and a community of media and podcast professionals. So, a podcast DAO was born.

2. Learn what your community wants and deliver it

Very few web3 communities have tight enough feedback loops that effectively listen, synthesize, and then react back to their communities. As we learned in our discussion with Meg and Diana, Rehash DAO is the exception (not the rule). Diana shared that their community members have complete say over which guests are featured on the podcast, a process which ultimately reinforces the effectiveness of their content. She noted: “It's almost like a bit of a cheat to let your community decide which guests come on the podcast and which topics you talk about, because you know that the content you create is content that people already want because they already asked for it.”

At the start of every season, Rehash DAO opens a guest nomination and voting period where community members (their NFT holders) vote on which guests they want to hear on the next season of the podcast. Meg added: “It's no surprise that the topics the community cares about and are voted on most highly during our joke races are the episodes that everybody listens to. As a former marketer, it's an amazing advantage to actually know what your community wants.”

3. Decentralization is a tool, not the ultimate objective

We spoke a lot about the intricacies and nuances of managing a community with both top-down and bottom-up influences. (As we’re learning in building Avenue, a tool that sets out to manage both, we know how tricky this can be!) Today, Rehash DAO runs based on a combination of centralized and decentralized decision-making. This approach lets their founding team (who each specialize in a key area) make decisions quickly while also deferring to the community on the topics they care about most.
“Full decentralization is not always the answer and decentralization is a tool that we have in our toolkit that we can use to create a better media experience for everybody,” Diana said. “As we started building Rehash, we realized that the optimal thing for our community to help us decide is really the things that they hear. So what they consume, the guests that come on the podcast, and what they talk about. And these are the things that are most impactful for the community to help us decide.”

*Not every internal decision goes through a community vote. Instead, their lightweight core team of three people divides up areas of focus where they each govern. And the elements of the product that are consumer-facing (or, listener-facing) are things that their listeners own.

4. Make governance fun

One of the moments that grabbed us was when Meg and Diana shared how they make governance fun for their community. While a lot of effort goes into the creative process for a podcast, Rehash sees this as entertainment, not work.

“I think the way that we run governance is really fun for people because people get to nominate their favorite people in the space to come on the podcast,” Diana said. *“They get to hear their favorite people speak on the podcast. They get to hear their name, shout it out on the podcast for nominating that person for voting that person on.”

*Meg noted that the actual voting process is fun in itself. Rehash uses JokeDAO to distribute governance tokens with no financial value to their members. The number of tokens they receive is equal to the number of episodes that podcast season. People can spend their tokens however they want. They might toss all 15 tokens toward one speaker, or spread them out among a few top votes. As it turns out, when you do what you love, you have fun along the way.

5. The role of web3 in work

Since we had a couple of DAO-native experts in the room, we wanted to hear what Meg and Diana had to say about obstacles and opportunities in the way we work in web3 today. The biggest pain point? Feeling lost in a new job and not knowing where to start. As Meg shared:

“One thing that's so specific about joining DAOs is that you join with a kind of completely blank slate because each of these organizations is so new and so different. A lot of the kind of mental shortcuts that we take in the corporate world just don't apply. So frequently in DAOs, those shortcuts just don't work because DAOs are set up differently.”

From a cultural standpoint, Diana mentioned that DAOs need to do a better job of onboarding new people. She also spoke about a separate set of opportunities around better structures for crypto-native business that help freelancers get up to speed and accelerate the way they can start to contribute. (We’re clearly biased, but we can’t help but agree with this one.)

6. How will work get done in 5-10 years? We’ll work in 6-month sprints.

One of our favorite questions to ask is where the world of work will lead us in 5-10 years. As Diana noted, COVID made remote work a lot more prolific, but we’re banking on a much bigger groundswell of change in the months and years ahead. Here’s her take: 
“I think today, and moving forward, we're just going to see a lot more different ways of doing things. Freelancing is going to be much more common, but it won't necessarily look like freelancing as we have known it up to today. When you think about it that way, we should probably all be working in six months sprints at a time on different projects. If we are people that want to continue to learn and continue to grow, that is probably the sort of structure that makes more sense than trying to stay at a company for 20 years of your life like people used to do.”

*We’ve long admired the flexibility and freedom that you gain from a fractional or freelance way of life. Add to that the empowerment of determining exactly where you want to be, and who you want to work with, and what projects you want to take on. Maybe we’ll also be working in six-month sprints soon, who knows?

Big thanks to Diana and Meg for having this fascinating conversation with us. We invite you to join us on for a new way of working in web3 and beyond. Create your account and start tracking your contributions today so that you can make the most out of your work – for as long as you like.


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