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Introducing BanyanDAO: Training and supporting Web3 product leaders to promote human flourishing :: with Priya Baveja, Jake Varghese, and Mike Anderson

In this episode of Ventures, my guests Priya Baveja (https://www.linkedin.com/in/priya-baveja/), Mike Anderson (https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeandersonjr/), Jake Varghese (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jake-varghese-498335/) and I (https://www.linkedin.com/in/wclittle/) talk about Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) structure, governance, incentives, and participation. We are a subset of founders currently launching BanyanDAO (https://banyandao.xyz/), which is growing a community of Web3 entrepreneurial leaders to promote human flourishing. Our first training event - to level up Web2 product managers into Web3 - will be in April 2022 (exact dates TBA). For more details and to participate, join us in our Discord server (https://discord.gg/bYnxySgw34) and follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/BanyanDAO).

You can watch this episode below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts (search for “Ventures”).


1:56 - Tee-up and background/motivation for the episode & BanyanDAO

2:49 - Mike intro/background

3:34 - Jake intro/background

4:34 - Priya intro/background

5:28 - What is a DAO?

7:58 - Why DAOs are not simple to define. Institution vs. Organization

9:29 - We’ve had “Decentralized Organizations” for quite some time. The “A” in DAO can be thought of in terms of both autonomy for the individual and for the organization. (Dr. Sims’ PhD thesis on DAOs → https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3971228)

11:12 - the DAO/Web3 spirit of coming together to build something as a collective to make the world a better place

11:56 - How are we thinking about incentives in BayanDAO?

15:44 - Brief history of BayanDAO from Will’s perspective. How and why it came together.

17:44 - A lesson: clarity of vision, mission, incentives can easily get lost

18:16 - Mike’s story/motivation for forming and being in the DAO

19:06 - Priya’s story/motivation for forming and being in the DAO

20:06 - Jake’s story/motivation for forming and being in the DAO

21:22 - Invitation to join BanyanDAO. Help bring clarity. Discord can be confusing. Modes of communication / learning best practices for DAO communication. A community of DAO of DAOs.

22:30 - Meaning for web3 beyond [adjective] [animal] NFT clubs. A hope and vision for a better future.

23:00 - For some, a better future is money. Navigating the advantages and disadvantages of financial incentives in Web3. Human Flourishing in Web3. Collective goal is to help each other win.

24:00 - Initial compensation model and token nuances for BanyanDAO. Using https://coordinape.com/ - GIVE token dynamics.

25:18 - Additional thoughts about compensation. (trust needs to be built)

27:10 - Building a DAO in a repeatable way. A great opportunity to learn how to build a DAO

27:52 - Origin of the name BanyanDAO

29:00 - What projects are Mike/Jake/Priya working on? // First project: event upcoming in April to train Web 3 product managers.

30:37 - Is there a date set yet for this? We’re going to be finalizing speakers and then setting a date. A call to action for Web3 Product Managers to join us in this event.

31:06 - An invitation to everyone to join us for this upcoming event.

31:21 - Mike’s project: working on how to collaborate as a team. How do we define projects and set a leader. Mike has been running an 8am PST Twitter Spaces with a representative from DeveloperDAO.

32:25 - The balance between idealism of DAOs (“it will magically work”) and burning out / tragedy of the commons.

34:14 - The four modules of our upcoming event in April.

36:20 - What is the vision for the capstone (module 4).

37:39 - The training event will be on a weekend (saturday and sunday)

37:55 - Intent for the capstone

39:16 - Avoiding tragedy of the commons. Software is eating the world (https://techcrunch.com/2016/06/07/software-is-eating-the-world-5-years-later/) - and this is expanding into finance and government now in the 2020s.

41:00 - Bringing order to chaos, seeing outcomes happen will make things clearer.

42:01 - To avoid the tragedy of the commons, we’re going to get things done, collectively structure ourselves and make it clearer as we go. There are more incentives than just money.

43:31 - Final thoughts. Mike: analogy to the US Chamber of Commerce setting up a playbook to set up and build a new town. We’re doing this for DAOs. In the future, hopefully it can be a viable option to join BanyanDAO instead of a university/college. In the DAO, they can learn practical skills and build a career.

44:30 - Cohort-based training for a product manager training. This training is just the beginning. You are going to be part of the community for the long haul.

45:02 - Coming back to the purpose: human flourishing.

45:25 - Where can people find Mike/Priya/Jake/Will online to continue the conversation? https://twitter.com/mikeyanderson, https://twitter.com/PBaveja, https://twitter.com/jakevarghese, https://twitter.com/wclittle