Governing for the good of token holders

As we enter the building phase of Foundry, it might be good to take a step back and clarify what the objectives of DAO governance and Foundry specifically are.

DAO’s are held to be orgs that should not suffer from the frictions of normal organizations and therefore yield higher returns of whatever type is desired by their operators. This is still extremely far from proven to be the case outside of DAOs like Ethereum and Bitcoin at a chain level. On chain DAOs governed by token holder also differ significantly from the multi-constituency systems of Ethereum and Bitcoin. Ethereum for instance has Miners, Developers, Node operators and Users as various constituencies that must be won over for a change to occur. Currently Ethereum has enough community cohesion for one of these constituencies (the Developers) to make the majority of the decisions. Token owned DAOs however haven’t yet been proven equally robust and anti-fragile.

So what do profit driven token operated DAOs wish to accomplish? As the description states, at least a profit is desirable, but is that enough? We might want to extend the profit motive to include profit both now and in the future. We might also want to extend the means of making the profit to include a certain set of outcomes the DAO wants to accomplish. Apple for instance is a company that directs its profit making activities to include the future and be focused on consumer computing products.

So let’s say for the purposes of this thread that Foundry wishes to; make a profit both now and in the future and intends to do so by building free-speech and free-trade platforms that would not be easy to pursue for traditional entities.

If we narrow our goal to this and then become exact about what that would look like, we can have a coherent conversation about how to accomplish it.

I will reply to this post as I flesh out the various aspects to this problem that I can see.

So let’s say for the purposes of this thread that Foundry wishes to; make a profit both now and in the future and intends to do so by building free-speech and free-trade platforms that would not be easy to pursue for traditional entities.

Let me take a stab at refining this a little. The first half I like; the second half seems like it could be somehow condensed into something a little less particular, more principled.

Free speech and free trade platforms are what Foundry has now, in the form of SmokeSignal and DAIHard. But these feel to me like particular instances of a bigger theme. What are some common aspects of these products?

  1. Built products: these aren’t services that Foundry does for other entities; they are tools that have been “forged by Foundry”.
  2. Relatedly, once these tools are built, no entity on earth can stop them, not even Foundry.

(both these points tie in nicely with the name Foundry–an entity that forges lasting products–so we might consider hammering on these during marketing, and perhaps considering them more “core” than other points)

  1. Radical/Experimental freedom: SmokeSignal never allows censorship; DAIHard will never require KYC. These positions appeal to the libertarian spirit, even though a conventional viewpoint will have issues and fears about this approach.
  2. They solve systemic issues. SmokeSignal is a response to rampant social media censorship, and DAIHard is a response to the incredible friction regarding entry and exit into crypto.
  3. They are built in the firmament of blockchain tech, and strive to “pull up” as many positive blockchain dynamics as possible to the end user (uncensorable, unkillable, permissionless, pseudonymous, etc)
  4. They encourage pseudonymous use, and don’t care if the user is a person, a machine, or a dog.

Now, let’s see if we can collect this into a theme, something that can be packaged back into a mission statement. Point 5 isn’t relevant for a mission statement (it’s a how rather than a why or what). Point 6 is essentially covered in point 3.

Foundry builds unstoppable tools today for a radically freer world tomorrow.

I think that includes a lot of the spirit of the above points. To combine it with the first half of Schalk’s:

Foundry’s purpose is to make profit now and in the future, and to do so by building unstoppable tools today for a freer world tomorrow.

Interestingly, both parts of the sentence deal with a “now/future” dynamic. I wonder if there’s improvement hidden there.

Something that’s missing is Foundry’s “unbullyable” nature… which is central to the design criteria Schalk began this conversation with.