Companies like WeWork extract their main value from users, why shouldn’t their users keep that value for themselves?
WeWork, a coworking company, at its prime used to be worth $20bn but now as the dust is settling, the valuation has been reduced down to “only” $9bn. Critics have argued that even this massively reduced valuation is still overblown and that the company ought to be valued more in line with what other property management companies are worth — as it effectively does the same of taking long term leases and providing short term rentals, the key difference being that WeWork has a slick website.
Yet, when you really get down to it, you begin to wonder why there even needs to be a full-time management and investor team at all, beyond people hired to maintain the premises. After all, organizational structures enabled by blockchain technology, such as Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) allow for the joint ownership of property and decision-making.
In other words, future versions of something like WeWork, might just require users to become a part of a DAO and jointly gain ownership over properties. Then, any expansions would be decided by a decentralized vote based on network and participation financial commitment.
DAO are means by which groups of people can regain a sense of community, and jointly invest in projects that benefit them and the community. As such, the business model and needs would be decided based on community need, instead of the whims of venture capitalists, who want to squeeze every last cent out of the business.
The problem though is that presently DAOs are in a rocky regulatory landscape — while they are technologically feasible, and many are already in operation, their legal standing can be questionable. This is the type of novel application that the WACEO wants to enable by providing regulatory frameworks that protect them and allow them to operate as legal entities.
WACEO is a non-profit organization that seeks to advise DAOs and regulators to come to a mutually beneficial legal arrangement. The future lies in decentralization and community-driven organizations, not monolithic mega-corporations!