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Governance, legal, and incentive structures for Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) :: with Angela Angelovska-Wilson and Mike Anderson

In this episode of Ventures, my guests Angela Angelovska-Wilson (https://www.linkedin.com/in/angela-angelovska-wilson-38600a1/), Mike Anderson (https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeandersonjr/), and I discuss three major issues with DAOs: (1) operational governance structures, (2) legal and jurisdiction issues, and (3) various types of incentives for founders and participants in DAOs. For informational purposes only, we talk specifically about our experience launching BanyanDAO (https://www.banyandao.xyz/), how Angela advises DAOs from a legal perspective given her background and extensive professional experience in the space, and how DAOs design incentive models. More than just financial incentives (which are, of course, important), DAOs should clearly communicate with their communities about the unique opportunity of learning/building together as a scaled and decentralized team from the start.

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


1:54 - Tee-up +  Mike & Angela intros/background.

3:29 - More info about the episode setup: Operational governance, various legal structures, and different types of incentives.

4:37 - Mike shares more background of what we’ve done with BanyanDAO thus far.

6:08 - Angela shares more background about how she’s approaching the DAO space with her legal background.

8:40 - What excites Will (and others) about DAOs is that it unlocks passion in a community setting to build together. However, doing this with appropriate legal considerations from the start is what BanyanDAO is attempting to do.

10:08 - Operational Governance from Mike’s perspective. Front-row seat into BanyanDAO. What’s that been like?

12:04 - Operational Governance in DAOs  from Angela’s perspective.

14:13 - Crawl/walk/run when launching a DAO. Discord, then Coordinape (for giving each other tokens), then DAOHaus (to manage proposals and treasury).

16:00 - How do we help encourage appropriate self-assessment, management, DE&I, and performance?

20:42 - Call-to-action for experienced leaders to step up and help with BanyanDAO, and for new leaders to learn how to lead from experienced leaders.

21:58 - DAO legal considerations. Angela’s background and how she approaches the space with regard to legal structures and strategies. (Hint: It’s more than just the SEC in the USA)

26:33 - What should DAOs be thinking about when hiring legal counsel?

29:36 - Alexandra Sims’ PhD Thesis: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3971228 // And Will’s notes on it: https://satchel.works/@wclittle/phd-thesis-on-daos-summary-and-reflections 

30:00 - All kinds of new legal structures being built for DAOs - how should DAO founders talk with their attorneys about the various entity types?

33:44 - Incentives. Financial and non-financial. How should DAO founders/participants think about these? BanyanDAO is all about Human Flourishing.

37:07 - Maybe at some point in the future the value of treasury tokens and governance tokens could go up, but that is TBD.

39:15 - How has Mike been thinking about the various types of incentives? (Thinking about it like a video game)

40:31 - Nuts and bolts of what BanyanDAO is doing with Coordinape and DAOHaus.

42:10 - How is Mike thinking about future incentive structures with BanyanDAO?

43:28 - Vision for BanyanDAO, training Web3 product people (architecture, design, and management). Different things that BanyanDAO can do in the future. Join BanyanDAO on Discord → https://discord.gg/T7s7zGNan9