One of the most powerful features of Colony is Motions—reputation-weighted governance proposals that automatically trigger events on the blockchain. Whether you’re paying contributors, minting tokens, or creating teams, Motions play a fundamental role in the day-to-day operations of your DAO.

But what if your DAO wants to decide on other types of outcomes? Some agreements need to be carried out by human beings and cannot be executed automatically. This is where the Simple Decisions feature comes in.

Simple, efficient, accountable

Simple Decisions lets your DAO use reputation-weighted governance in virtually any Yes or No question. The process is similar to Motions:

  1. A proposal is submitted: “Should our DAO do this?” with rationale provided in the description
  2. The proposal is backed by staking the colony’s native tokens
  3. After a period of time, if there are no objections, the proposal passes
  4. If there is an objection, a vote is triggered and DAO members vote with their reputation

This process—known as Lazy Consensus—maximizes efficiency while remaining fair to contributors. DAO members are incentivized to participate in the process by the staked tokens: if they’re on the winning side of a vote, they can walk away with rewards.

Ready to dive into creating Simple Decisions of your own? Skip right to the walkthrough video!

Proposal outcomes

Simple Decisions are recorded on-chain, which means they’re preserved forever and free of shenanigans. No one can go back and edit a proposal after it has passed—it exists as an agreement between contributors that was ratified at a specific point in time.

When it comes to ensuring that the results of your proposals are carried out, Colony helps contributors keep each other accountable. Failing to deliver or adhere to the outcomes of an approved Simple Decision can result in a loss of reputation for the responsible parties, by way of a Smite Motion.

Sample use cases of Simple Decisions

From casual choices like “should our colony’s mascot be a Pharaoh ant?” to nuanced proposals that could shape the future of your DAO for years to come, a Simple Decision can wield tremendous power.

In order to understand the impact that Simple Decisions can have in your colony, it’s helpful to take a look at some sample use cases.

Example #1: Ratifying a colony’s guiding principles

Every organization needs a mission statement and a set of guiding principles. DecorativeDAO’s founding member, Ribbons, wants to tie together contributors with a compelling and informative mission statement. Ribbons creates a Simple Decision:

“Should DecorativeDAO ratify the following mission statement?
Our mission is to nurture and inspire the degen’s spirit—one greeting card, one bow, and one spool of tinfoil at a time.

Next, Ribbons stakes some of their DecorativeDAO colony tokens to back the motion and leaves a comment letting people know—for full transparency’s sake—that the statement was inspired by Starbucks. There are no objections, and the decision passes. DecorativeDAO members can now cite this powerful statement when amassing their horde of decorators.

Example #2: Suggesting organizational pivots

BirdPerson11 doesn’t like the direction AviaryColony is going in. For one thing, most contributors don’t seem to be focused on birds, instead spending most of their time shitposting on crypto twitter. After talking it over with several fellow contributors on Discord, BirdPerson11 has an idea for a proposal that would help separate the real ornithologists from the posers.

They create and back a Simple Decision:

“Should everyone who fails to list their top five favorite birds in their Colony bio be smited of 100 reputation points?

If passed, I, BirdPerson11, will be responsible for creating the Smite Motions.”

The Decision passes and BirdPerson11 identifies three members who have failed this task. One contributor even appears to have proffered a list of cats. BirdPerson11 now creates Smite Motions for each of these misaligned members. These members object to the Motions, and voting periods are triggered. Members of the AviaryColony cast their vote, and the Smite Motions are passed. The balance of birders is restored.

Example #3: A nuanced debate

Governance proposals can be complex, even in the context of a Simple Decision. Each colony can have their own processes for ensuring that proposals are thoroughly mulled over before getting blockchains involved.

In this example, the Legion of Concerned Cartographers is debating whether to revise a previously published set of maps. Although this colony had passed a proposal to publish a set of maps last year, some DAO members are concerned that the data used in the proposal has become out of date.

This brings up an interesting challenge. Since proposals are immutable, they cannot be changed after being published. Likewise, external links within a proposal, such as to images or videos, should be hosted in an immutable way such as on IPFS so that they cannot be altered after the proposal passes.

That means that this colony of cartographers needs to pass a new Simple Decision that amends their previous one. Before launching the proposal, the DAO members want to be confident that everyone has had a chance to provide their expertise. They utilize a version of the advice process which gives several weeks for contributors to give their input. After the advice is integrated into the new proposal, the Simple Decision passes without a hitch.

Creating Simple Decisions: a Walkthrough

Creating Simple Decisions is easy. All you need to do is navigate to the Decisions tab in your Colony and click New Decision. Then, follow the onscreen prompts to back your Decision and make it official.

Check out this walkthrough video to see the Simple Decisions process in action: