Community tools as layers
March 20th, 2023

When we think of DAO tools, we often think of platforms that we run our communities on, or interfaces that our contributors use to connect with each other. Often, we view these tools competitively, in the sense of one vs the other (ie “should we use this tool or that tool?”)

DAO tools should be seen as layers, not monoliths. They should be thought of as ‘these, and’ instead of ‘this, or’. They should not be one-stop-shop platforms that seek to be the only place where “DAO stuff“ happens. This leads to the formation of monoliths, which eventually puts us right back to the high platform centralization of Web2.

What we need to remember is that DAOs are extremely fluid. Different communities have different needs, and even a singular community may have very different needs throughout its lifecycle. Pushing them into monolithic platforms takes away their ability to move, change, and even exit over time.

Building the tools as layers within a stack allows these communities to shift and change over time, maybe adding or removing layers during different seasons/cycles, or switching a tool in one layer with another. At the end of the day, the communities should be in control, not the tools.

Instead of one platform trying to do everything and solve every problem (ie be every layer in the stack), tools should seek instead to solve one or two problems extremely well (ie focus on one layer in the stack) and then integrate with other tools that are solving very different problems in other layers. The integrations are key to filling in any gaps.

Govrn seeks to be the contribution layer for DAOs, but as one important layer in a full stack of many layers
Govrn seeks to be the contribution layer for DAOs, but as one important layer in a full stack of many layers

Of course, let’s not gloss over the fact that it can be difficult for communities to use multiple tools simultaneously. How do we make this easier and more seamless?

The answer largely lies in how the tools themselves interact with each other. Integrations should, of course, be seamless and easy to use: they should unlock a strong value-add without much friction for the user(s).

Beyond that, there’s vast opportunity for further stack-oriented behavior: creating collaborative content, documentation that explains in detail how the tools interact, and other real-time examples of tools working together in the wild (see tweet above).

If DAOs are networks that can connect and combine to create an ecology of composable communities, then the tools that they use should synergize in similar ways.

Let’s push to break down the silos, and let’s build more collaboratively.

Govrn is a community tool that’s focused on the contribution layer. By doing so, we can work amazingly with tools for other layers.

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