What kinds of DAOs are there?
In the early days of DAOs - as with the early days of any new frontier - the most productive and prolific DAOs focused on building DAO infrastructure. Only recently have DAOs with a more consumer-focused orientation emerged. DAOs run the gamut from operating as the architects and VC firms of web3, to mission-based groups trying to impact the "real world", to exclusive social clubs. There are no limits to what a DAO can represent other than the limits of will and imagination.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of some types of DAOs and some examples. Note that multiple labels will apply to many DAOs.

Art DAOs include digital or tangible art as a central interest (Squiggle, Flamingo). Some art DAOs emphasize supporting support up-and-coming artists, or artists from specific demographics.

These DAOs are designed to unite collectors with similar assets (Squiggle, Pokemon Trainers) or around a common collection-related mission, such as compiling a collection of art.

Data Union DAOs aim to redistribute value and control in the data economy by crowdsourcing and crowdselling data at scale. Individuals can opt-in to sharing their data, collectively decide upon the sales or use of that data, and share in the profits from those sales. Data Union DAOs can center around broad (Pool Data) or specific (DIMO) data sets.

DAOs related to banking or personal financial management for crypto, such as Idle.

Grants DAOs award funds to projects aligned with their interests. Early web3 Grants DAOs typically support projects that enhance the web3 ecosystem (MetaCartel). Other Grants DAOs focus on supporting specific recipients (MGD).

At their core, Investment DAOs involve profit as an objective; some serve as the VC firms of web3. Types of investments vary across DAOs and range from physical or digital assets (Whiskey Pioneers, Flamingo) to web3 product/service development (The LAO, Neptune).

IRL DAOs involve tangible assets and investments that exist ‘in real life’. Examples include Whiskey Pioneers, Pokemon Trainers, Krause House, and Real Estate DAOs.

Liquidity Protocol (LP) DAOs are designed to provide liquidity on decentralized exchanges for the DAO’s native token, or tokens they support, in efforts to boost and build the native infrastructure. Examples include PoolHaus, iRobot.

Research / Analysis / News - Media DAOs serve as researchers, analysts, and promotors of the web3 space, sharing their findings to public audiences or their own investors. Examples include GCR, Rekt Capital, and Forefront.

Some DAOs make a point to prioritize supporting minority communities. Examples include AfroFuture, MGD, GoldenDAO.

These DAOs are centralized around NFT creation or delivery (Rarible,, or NFTs as the asset, investment, or common interest (Squiggle, Flamingo).

Philanthropy DAOs exist to do purely philanthropical or charitable work.

Political DAOs are made up of individuals with aligned interests, who pool resources to advocate for policy change.

Product DAOs build and operate products and tools for web3. Examples include DAOHaus, Metafactory, PartyDAO.

Protocol DAOs are developing, operating, and expanding the fundamental building blocks of web3, DeFi, and more. Examples include Yearn, Uniswap.

These DAOs are centered around physical real estate as the (intended) primary asset or investment (CityDAO, Build).

Retail DAOs are focused on developing and commercializing consumer products. Examples include Metafactory, VitaDAO.

Service DAOs are collectives of individuals who provide specialized work (marketing, development, design, etc) for other DAOs and organizations in web3. They are often organized as freelancers sharing infrastructure and a client base, and serve as the consulting and service firms for the web3 community. Examples include RaidGuild, Yap DAO, and Vector DAO.

Social DAOs unite people with common interests or histories (Pokemon Trainers, Krause House, alumni associations), assets (Squiggle), or simply with exclusivity as the unifier (FWB).
The types of/uses for DAOs will expand considerably in the coming months and years, as the applicability of transparent distributed collaboration seems limitless. Is there a certain type of DAOs have we missed or that you want to build? Let us know what you want to know at [email protected]
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