The world is changing.
We can work on what we love, and get paid in the process.
Today - I’m going full-time DAOs.
I stand up internet communities and create tokens that represent ownership in them.
This post will dive into the ethos of working for a DAO, and the key learnings that come from life as a crypto native.
Here’s how I work for DAOs, and how you can too.
All DAOs Lead to Coopahtroopa
DAOs have been a topic of conversation since my earliest days in Ethereum. I wasn’t around for The DAO, so my DAO journey started in 2018 by contributing to grant-giving organizations like MetaCartel and Moloch.
I worked my way in by writing. I earned one share by spreading the group’s mission, giving me just enough governance weight to get into the club.
This social capital allowed me to contribute to many communities, mainly on growth and external communication.
I got involved in governance, drafting on-chain proposals and creating forums for community discussions. This led to the creation of Fire Eyes DAO - a collective to launch tokens and participate in governance.
When I joined Audius, I learned what building a core team looked like. The leadership team showed me that building a DAO is much more than just building hype - there need to be systems and processes in place to motivate and align contributors over a multi-year time horizon.
These days, I’m a core contributor to many leading social clubs.
I launch tokens, participate in governance, organize community and act as a voice for the next generation to do the same.
Here’s a drastically oversimplified version of my DAO timeline.
Note: My level of involvement in each of these DAOs varies. There are other DAOs which I am a part of and a huge supporter, but have left off this list due to a lack of personal contributions.
Working for Ownership
Being full-time DAOs means I’m kissing traditional compensation structures goodbye. No salary, no healthcare benefits, no 401k - just ownership. Or, more specifically, tokens.
Silicon Valley has known about the ownership secret for a long time: to get the best talent in the world to work for your startup, you need to offer equity. DAOs are the newest evolution of this Ownership Economy.
I will not be receiving any payment in fiat. Only on-chain assets. This may include ETH and USDC, but it will generally be represented in governance tokens.
My goal is to eliminate USD-denominated contracts to entirely token-based compensation.
My challenge is finding productive ways to put those tokens to work so that I can sustain myself without having to liquidate tokens.
So far, I have not figured this out. Getting paid in tokens is one thing, finding ways to make them productive and sustainable is another.
My intuition is something along the lines of liquidity provision, but I’m still thinking through this process each and every day. If you have ideas, please DM me.
DAOs as a Skill
So what do I actually do?
I’ve been fortunate to be a part of major launches like $RARE and $GTC through 🔥_🔥, and have been front and center for more experimental launches like $FWB and $FF.
Here’s a look at what that looks like.
Organize and coordinate core contributors using tools like Gnosis Safe, Snapshot, Discord, Coinvise, Mirror, Parcel, Coordinape and SourceCred.
Help establish working group norms and create touchpoints for eager individuals to get involved.
Design and iterate on token models and initial distribution mechanics.
Less focus on the long-term token design, more on initial issuance to kickstart the flywheel.
Bring tokens to life.
What is your position in the DAO landscape?
Why should someone contribute to your DAO over the other 100+ that exist?
Work closely with teams to build out core narratives and identify unique selling points.
Help communities draft and pass proposals - typically using this template:
Synthesize community decisions into clear and concise votes.
Act as a value router to connect core contributors to capital partners after sufficient decentralization and community ownership has been achieved.
Participate as a liquidity provider and act as a touchpoint for larger funds.
Positive Sum Games
DAOs are collaborative by nature.
My goal is to take learnings from one community to another and help reduce, reuse and recycle time and energy.
The more templates we can create around DAO structures, the faster we will move as a whole. While we’ve reached an inflection point, we have a long way to go before DAOs function at scale.
To this, it’s important that we share resources and talent to keep DAOs energized and evolving - especially as we start to see more DAO mergers, and more DAO partnerships.
When possible, I hope to be a key connector in brokering those relationships.
If you’re new to DAOs and looking to get involved, here are five ways to start adding value today.
- Take notes at community meetings.
- Interview core contributors and share their stories.
- Engage in governance discussions.
- Vote on every Snapshot proposal.
- Organize a local meetup.
Do not expect quick recognition. It took me years to get to a place where I felt confident in the ways that I engaged with communities.
Instead, challenge yourself to learn and relay as much information as possible. The more you can position yourself as a community beacon, the easier paid DAO opportunities will come.
Always Be Learning
I’ve talked quite extensively about DAOs over the past few weeks. Below are some places you can hear about my journey to going full-time.
I’d also recommend this DAO report for more first hand experience on working for DAOs.
If you’re in a similar position and looking to chat about the future of work, my DMs are open!
I’d like to thank all the people and projects that have played pivotal roles in my development. Without you, I would not feely nearly as confident to explore the unknown.
We’ve got a long way to go, but I could not be more proud or excited about how far this space has come.
The next few years are going to be unprecedented, and I look forward to being in the trenches every step of the way.
Special thanks to Kevin Owocki, Jesse Walden and Lucas Campbell for their feedback. To the other people who said, “looks good” - you get partial thanks :) \n \n Care to support me on this journey? Drop some gwei to a fellow traveler.