From Our Discord: Composability and DAOs

This is a cleaned-up version of a Discord thread I posted on 2021/11/25. The intent with posting this here is to make this material easier to find, reference, and share as appropriate.

Appt Pupil 11/25/2021

Is there an inherent conflict between DAOs and composability?

One enduring observation in traditional organizations is a concept known as Conway’s Law. It’s often colloquially referred to as “you ship your organization design”.

For instance, if you have four teams that are collaborating on a messaging app, it’s likely that the messaging app will have four main components. This is because the build approach will likely involve dividing the work into four pieces and having each team work on one, then integrating the pieces to form the app.

One of the promises of web3 is that the products built will be composable. Each of them will be self-contained and can be easily used as building blocks for any other product. The promise, among others, is that we can get the benefits of scale while still maintaining a high degree of flexibility.

If we want products that are composable, though, then Conway’s Law implies that the organizations creating those products also need to be composable.

But the concept of DAOs for many people are that they obliterate boundaries and that everyone can (and should!) participate in as much or as little of the DAO’s activities as they want. Quite the conflict!

This is another reason why the pod concept resonates. Pods offer a primitive that could be used to help DAOs be as composable as the products that web3 demands.

Of course, just throwing a bunch of pods at a DAO isn’t going to make it composable. We have to design (and redesign) the structure of the pods in a way that supports the adventure-vision.

We also need to ensure an ability for DAOs to identify when they are better served by separating into multiple DAOs that can coordinate as needed, as well as forming partnerships with other DAOs that can help us be successful. No shortage of opportunities in this space!


Wow! This totally supports my belief that Pods, in time, or another name for the same idea, is the real “future of work,” and not simply being a DAO contributor. Small groups of people with strong skills in areas of composability like writing and editing, podcasting, coding, will naturally want to continue established relationships for the production of value with a team they know “works!”

I am imagining individuals working in 1 - 5 Pods only 3 or fewer of which are ever active at one time. Small teams that unite with other small teams to get isht done!

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