S2:E3 DAOs vs. Internet Communities with Jon Yan from Vector DAO
After working as a designer at Coinbase for several years, Jon decided to take a leap of faith, quit his job, and he began working for himself as a freelance designer. After realizing that the work he was doing was highly integral to the success of his clients, Jon began to feel that taking an hourly wage for his work was a bit old school. So, to better participate in the upside of his work and more closely align his incentives with those of his clients, he began taking a portion of his earnings in their native tokens.
After connecting with a friend who was also a great freelance designer in the space, the duo decided to pool together the tokens they were earning, invite other designers to do the same, and socialize their gains and losses. Thus, Vector DAO was born.
By aligning incentives, socializing risk, and giving independent freelancers a community to thrive in, Vector DAO became a perfect storm for success. The collective worked with over 40 organizations in their first year and grew to a point where they could no longer accept applications.
Drilling down into the details, Vector DAO actually considers itself an internet community as opposed to a DAO. Yes - there is a decentralized component to how they make decisions about their treasury, but ultimately, Vector DAO is not fully decentralized or autonomous, and that’s okay! By keeping the team relatively small (about 90 people) and creating a shallow hierarchy, Vector is extremely efficient and doesn’t face many of the coordination issues that “true” DAOs face.
In this episode we discuss the differences between a “true” DAO and an internet community, and we dive into the ins and outs of Vector DAO, how it works, and how they have attracted some of the best talent in the industry. We address the importance of great design in the crypto space, and Jon leaves listeners with some advice if you’re thinking of starting a DAO.