Machiavelli for DAOs; NFT resources; Crypto Startup School goes to London
📖 Deep dive: How Machiavellian principles could help fix decentralized governance
Whatever you make of Renaissance-era Italian philosopher and political operator Niccolo Machiavelli (who inspired the word “Machiavellian” for better or worse), many of the principles he explored in his writings remain relevant today. For instance, we can see echoes of such principles -- on leadership and the preservation of political liberty -- in both the Federalist Papers and design of the U.S. Constitution.
But several Machiavellian principles can also be applied to fix decentralized governance, particularly issues with DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations) in web3. How? Because Machiavelli’s philosophy during that time was developed with a very pragmatic understanding of the struggle for social power, as well as the premise that no mechanism exists to guarantee virtuous actions. And while most DAOs have developed, as a first step, simplified models of governance based on direct democracy, indirect democracy, and corporate governance -- these approaches have failed to overcome the complex sociopolitical realities involved in decentralized governance.
So in this set of articles, Jennings examines issues facing DAOs today; and outlines current solutions such as subDAOs, delegate programs, governance minimization, and others, as well as their limitations. Jennings then shares how 4 Machiavellian principles can help design more effective DAOs and better decentralized governance, including minimizing governance and checking-and-balancing the leadership class.
“a16z suggests Machiavelli to fix decentralized governance”, by Ana Paula Pereira in Cointelegraph
“Lightspeed Democracy: What web3 organizations can learn from the history of governance”, by Andrew Hall and Porter Smith on a16zcrypto.com
🇬🇧 Announcing: Crypto Startup School goes to London
Crypto Startup School (CSS) is our popular accelerator program for early-stage companies, providing expert guidance, capital, and resources tailored for crypto founders. Focusing on speeding up the path to product-market fit for participating companies, the 12-week program will next take place from March-June 2024 -- in person, in London -- following the opening of a16z’s new London office this fall.
We’re searching for founders intent on taking big, bold swings in crypto/ web3, so applicants should be builders who are developing a crypto product, or interested in learning a web3 programming language to do so. For more on how to apply, go here. Applications for CSS London close October 20!
🎨 Resources: NFT Day every day
Last week marked the 5-year anniversary of the NFT, when Dieter Shirley (chief technology officer at Dapper Labs) introduced the ERC-721 token standard that defines many NFTs today. Since then, these tokens have become an internet-native unit of digital ownership -- representing art, media, intellectual property, real estate, and much more. Communities around the world commemorated "International NFT Day" on September 20 with mints, meetups, and other activities; so we’re sharing select resources on NFTs for creators and others, from our archives, below:
…stories as told by NFT artists --
On interactive storytelling, a creator’s journey from Emily Yang aka pplspleasr
On art, authenticity, and anarchy from Victor Langlois aka Fewocious
…NFT resources & tools for creators --
An NFT Canon by Sonal Chokshi, Chris Dixon, Denis Nazarov, Jesse Walden, Linda Xie (2021)
On auction design for web3 with Scott Kominers, Tim Roughgarden, and Sonal Chokshi
On a new NFT launch strategy: the wave mint by Scott Duke Kominers and 1337 Skulls Sers
On building partnerships with NFT projects and communities by Pyrs Carvolth and Maggie Hsu
On identifying authentic NFTs (especially against attackers) by Michael Blau
…NFTs, the why and what use cases --
On NFTs and a thousand true fans by Chris Dixon
An overview all about NFTs with Sonal Chokshi, Jesse Walden, and Linda Xie (2021)
On NFTs & the creator economy with Chris Dixon, Kevin Chou, Jesse Walden (2021)
-- Sonal Chokshi, Robert Hackett, and a16z crypto teams
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