DAO is growing popularity this year and we can see many DAO organizations attempts in different area, such as foundation DAO, investment DAO, gamefi DAO, DAPP DAO, etc. Ideally, DAO is a more advanced form of organization, which is democratic, fair, open and protect everyone’s interest. However, if you have a in-depth research of these DAO attempts nowadays, you will find that many DAOs are just gimmicks to play financial tricks while many others are just doing very simple things, not be able to truly run a organization. In that case, maybe DAO is not suitable for all area and is not a medicine to cure all diseases in today’s company.
However, there is one area I consider is well suited to be run in the form of DAO, that is open- source project. The open-source community was born out of the Free Software Movement, which didn’t operate as a company in the first place. Back then, the purpose of developing open-source software was to break the monopoly of big companies in software industry. Therefore, the open-source community was a group of like-minded people gathered together in a loose way, not in the form of company. Traditional open-source projects, such as Linux, usually have a core team to make decisions, and many developers who agree with the project contribute their own strength to commit code to the project, developing the project like building blocks.
The development of open-source software broke the monopoly of big companies in software industry and brought about the rapid development of the software and the Internet. The Internet we see today should really be attributed to the Free Software Movement and open-source community. However, the once brilliant open-source community has become lack of strength today. Open-source projects play an unimportant role today and are mainly dominated by large companies. A t the same time, the intention of open source has nothing to do with freedom but just a strategy to occupy the market. The main reasons for this are:
First, open-source projects cannot develop internet services. Now we all use Internet services instead of software, which only run on the internet companies’ own servers, and cannot be required to be open source based on the GPL protocol. However, developing and running an internet service in the way of open-source community faces many difficulties, such as the cost of servers and the requirements for service maintenance, making open-source projects cannot become mainstream in today's internet era.
Second, open-source projects are always lacked a profit model. Free software on those days also were difficult to make money, and the developers at the time also volunteered to contribute code to open source projects. There are some historical reasons why this mode could achieve success. Because of the high price of proprietary software and the control of patents had nearly destroyed the possibility for public to develop and use software, the development of free software is an urgent need for developers. However, this demand is gone today. It is very difficult for pure open-source projects to survive and attract capable developers to join if there is no profit model and incentives. That's why today's open-source projects are actually dominated by big companies. Big companies use open source as a way to seize the market, and open-source project contributors are just there to improve the competitiveness of their resumes.
The development of Web3.0 brings light to the solution of the first problem. The transparency, decentralization, and freedom that Web3.0 emphasizes is actually very similar to the idea of Free Software back then. Web3 project is built on public blockchain, which greatly reduces the difficulty of operation and maintenance, enabling open-source community to develop web service. Also, the complete open-source of web3 services is the inevitable result of web3 development in the future.
DAO becomes very suitable here to solve the second problem. The open-source community is originally a decentralized loose organization. If the open-source community can be organized in the way of DAO, the organizational power of this loose organization will be greatly improved. In the past, only the core group made decisions in the community. Now, the core group, open-source contributors, product users, and investors can all participate in democratic decision-making. Which is more scientific, for the voices of all parties can be heard. The profit model and profit distribution model can be guaranteed in DAO, protecting interests of all parties. In that case, developing open-source project is no longer a thankless thing, but a good thing for everyone. Investors and project core teams can make money, open-source project contributors can also get rewards according to their contribution, and users can use products that really serve them.
In this way, the open-source community will revive and gather the power of global elites. The open-source community will burst into great creativity. I assert that the open-source community will replace the company model as the mainstream in the Internet industry.
In order to realize such a DAO, there must be a completely decentralized git management tool. Accounts and data are controlled by individuals and the tool cannot rely on a centralized background server. Then, on this platform, establish DAO rules. If only the rules of DAO are implemented with smart contracts, but git management still uses Github, the DAO cannot really run for people who control Github can control everything.
If such a DAO can be realized, it can be designed as contagious as the GPL protocol to let the mode be extended to the world. I believe this will be an epoch-making creation that can change the IT development in the next two decades.