Building a DAO and not a DINO
My personal vision of ultimately what Fingerprints DAO should be
Fingerprints DAO’s current mission is to assemble the greatest collection of smart contracts used as art in the world.
The progression we went through was the following
Identify a thesis: Autoglyphs (on-chain art)
Gather a small group and deploy capital in this initial thesis
Form a DAO to deploy even more capital and start to evolve the initial thesis with inputs from the new members: smart contracts as art
Open up to more members, expand the collection and the curatorial vision even further, and start building assets around the collection itself: website, content, derivative artwork, metaverse space, real-world exhibitions, etc.
That’s where we are right now.
And this is my personal view of what should happen next
All the assets become the litmus test that the DAO is a functioning organism, that can form a vision, deploy capital and build it
Leverage the knowledge of DAO building to help build other DAOs, providing more than just capital: a framework for collective decision making and an association with a brand known for doing this right
Wait, wasn’t this only an NFT collection?
Yes and No.
Let me tell a story:
Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz were successful startup founders. After two exits and multiple lucrative personal investments, they decided to create one of the main brands in the VC world: a16z.
In its beginnings, a16z differentiated itself by only having partners that were formerly founders. The thesis was that they could not only identify the best companies as former founders, but they could help the portfolio companies with both advice and networking because they have gone through exactly what the founders were going.
They also heavily invested in branding and marketing when this was not usual. Capital was no longer the only thing a VC was expected to bring to the table.
Fingerprints DAO has something similar going on here. Our brand is both the collection and the assets we build. Our expertise can be made evident by the DAO we’re building ourselves. If we fail to build it well it will be obvious because we’re building in the open.
But it will be obvious if we succeed too.
For this, it’s essential that we’re not a DINO: a DAO In Name Only. A closed group of people calling themselves a DAO.
A DAO needs to be open.
Making an art collection may be an attainable objective to be doing with a DINO. But building organizations to tackle the largest capital allocation issues we’ll have over the next decades — aging, expanding into space, poverty, climate change — will require DAOs.
Only a fully open DAO will have the relevant expertise to be helping the building of other DAOs. And only a fully open DAO can lend its brand to other DAOs it’s involved.
Our collection is our sandbox
When we acquired Autoglyphs, it was because we collectively agreed that this artwork was innovative and meaningful. It was a great Schelling point to form a DAO around. Every single other collecting decision so far has been very carefully thought out because, in a way, we would be lending Autoglyphs validation to these other artworks.
Now, the collection it’s more valuable than its constituent parts, because it shows good decision-making. Every other item that is associated with this collection gets the benefit of the previous decisions — and, conversely, bad decisions take away from the whole collection.
So, in a way, assembling the most important collection of smart contracts as art is the perfect game to play to prove to ourselves and to the market we can:
Make multidisciplinary decisions: cultural, technical, financial
Run an efficient, open organization
Produce assets that increase the value of the collection
It’s a stepwise approach. We’re starting with conspicuous consumption, the most obvious Veblen goods (high art), end evolving into an organization that can help build anything.
In a similar fashion, the early a16z partners had the “proof-of-work” of founding successful startups, we are forming a “proof-of-stake” network, where members are putting their capital at stake and proving they can make good decisions.
It’s an experiment, and I should reinforce this is my personal view. I’m not even the first or second largest token holder in the DAO and my vision needs to be validated by us all collectively.
But I find it interesting to be building with this long-term vision. The art is more than the collection. The art is the DAO itself.