The Tension Triangle in a DAO

    Voice, loyalty, and exit describe the relationship between the three key elements of any organization or community. There is a dynamic tension between these three elements, and changes in one can positively and negatively affect the others.

    The tension triangle plays a central role in the operation of DAOs over time. It is essential to know how each element interacts and familiarize ourselves with them in detail.


    In a community or organization, voice refers to the ability to voice opinions and feedback. Open communication can take many forms, including feedback surveys, suggestion boxes, town hall meetings, etc.

    An organization’s members must feel they have a voice in decision-making when they have a strong voice within it. An organization’s success is more likely to be achieved when its members feel like their opinions matter.

    However, the lack of one’s voice being heard can result in frustration, apathy, and disengagement from the organization. Negative behaviors can also result in gossiping, backstabbing, and other passive-aggressive behaviors.


    In an organization or community, loyalty refers to a sense of commitment and allegiance to the group. Shared values, belonging, and belief in the organization’s goals and objectives can play a role in this.

    It is more likely that members who feel loyal to their organization will be committed to their success. They will strive to achieve their goals and support other members. By creating a sense of unity and a shared purpose, loyalty can be a powerful force for achieving common goals.

    Allegiance can lead to blind allegiance to leaders or the status quo, however, if it is taken too far. The result can be stagnation and complacency because innovation and creativity are stifled.


    When a member is dissatisfied with the direction of a group or feels that their needs are not being met, they have the right to leave the group. Depending on the situation, it can take many forms, such as quitting a job or leaving a social circle.

    Members’ options to leave can be powerful motivators for organizations to listen to their needs and work to satisfy them. Members are more likely to remain engaged in organizations when they feel they have the option of leaving if they are unsatisfied.

    An overemphasis on exit, however, can create a culture of individualism and short-termism. Group members may care more about their own needs than about the group as a whole, resulting in a lack of collaboration and cooperation.

    The tension triangle

    Voice, loyalty, and exit are the three dynamic forces that make up the tension triangle that must be balanced in a DAO and any organization. There can be a complicated web of relationships created by changes in one element that can affect others. These can include relationships based on support, loyalty, and friendship, or those based on friendly competition, or, on the downside, unfriendly competition. As a reflection of a human organization, that organization, including a DAO, will have issues with political blocs, social blocks, or other groups within the DAO. These groups will act in their own way, and maybe not benefit all the members of the DAO.

    In situations when members don’t feel that their voices are being heard, they may lose loyalty to the organization and consider leaving. A lack of loyalty can lead to a lack of voice if members are not motivated to speak out and provide feedback. It can also lead to “rage exiting.”

    The Rage Exit

    A rage exit in a DAO is a term used to describe a situation where a member of the organization abruptly and emotionally withdraws from the group or sells their tokens in the DAO due to frustration or disagreement with the decision-making process or other members of the group.

    Various factors, such as a contentious vote, a disagreement with the organization’s direction, or a perceived lack of transparency or communication from other members, can trigger rage exits. These exits can be sudden and emotional, with the member feeling compelled to take action at the moment to express their frustration.

    Rage exits can be problematic for DAOs, creating instability and uncertainty within the group. They can also lead to losing valuable members and resources and damaging the DAO’s reputation.

    To prevent rage exits, DAOs must prioritize transparency, communication, and inclusivity. Members should feel heard and have a say in decision-making. DAOs should also strive to create a culture of respect and collaboration, where members can engage in constructive dialogue and work towards shared goals.

    In addition, DAOs can implement measures to address rage exits when they occur, such as mediation or conflict resolution processes. These processes can help members express their concerns and work towards a satisfactory resolution for all parties.

    Creating a culture of engagement and commitment requires listening to members, providing opportunities for feedback, and creating a culture of engagement and commitment. An organization can create a sense of shared purpose and a commitment to success by focusing on transparency, inclusivity, and collaboration.

    The tension triangle is a powerful model for understanding the interplay between voice, loyalty, and exit in organizations and communities. It’s not just a DAO issue, but because of the open nature of a DAO, it might be more apparent than in the standard corporate hierarchy.

    Here is a cool video I made for my upcoming DAO class about the Tension Triangle

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