You’re reading the Myosin.xyz Blog: reflections and analysis from Myosin members that have been ideated, edited, and published by our Content Guild.
For more insights, and for the first word on newly published pieces, subscribe to Myosin’s W3G Weekly newsletter HERE! Now let's get this show on the road....
Rowan Spencer, Editor In Chief
Gm world! If we haven’t met before, my name is Blake and I’m one of the Co-Founders of Myosin.xyz, as well as Head of Product & Community. We like to call Myosin.xyz “the ultimate marketing network” — a marketing DAO and product studio that works with web3 companies to help them scale, and helps traditional brands (eg. Web 2) enter the space.
Prior to helping launch Myosin.xyz, my background was primarily in early stage tech and venture, ideating, building, and launching new companies in the NYC tech scene. I first entered web3 and crypto in 2017, when an engineer friend told me about ETH and smart contracts. I was hooked, bought some ETH, rode it up in the bull, rode it back down in the bear, and moved on with my life, continuing to build but largely leaving crypto behind. At the time, while the tech was promising, the tech was still too nascent, with few immediate use cases, outside of Crypto Kitties.
But as they say, new disruptive tech often "first looks like a toy."
Then 2020 happened. And in the midst of a global pandemic, when we first saw DeFi Summer, and the subsequent explosion of NFTs & DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations), I knew that this was the moment to finally make a transition. I cashed out all my stocks and investments, moved them into ETH & crypto, and never looked back.
So when my co-founder Simon reached out to me in February 2022 about launching a marketing DAO, I was all in. It was clear that DAOs were a revolutionary new idea, but very few builders were unlocking the immense potential that this new model holds.
Too many people were launching DAOs as decentralized entities from Day 1. And to be frank, many still are. But it’s important for EVERYONE to realize that DAOs are ultimately still run by people, and people still require leadership, ownership, accountability, and clear economic incentives. Something that is too often forgotten in our web3 corner of the internet.
And while Myosin.xyz is not perfect, as few companies are, I like to think we’ve done something right, as we’ve continued to scale our operations, cash flows, community, and reach, all in the deepest depths of the bear market. With each passing day, we are getting better. You can even read about how this entire “Agency/Studio as a DAO” thing works, through our thriving newsletter, W3G Weekly, or our Deep Dive on Myosin article that we just published last week!
And so below are my own reflections and insights, on building a marketing DAO. I hope that anyone who reads this can take some of my lessons to heart, keep building in the bear, and avoid making the same oft-repeated mistakes that plague so many founders, in web3 or otherwise.
Let’s be clear - not every community needs to be a DAO.
Before going down the DAO path, ask yourself: “Should this community really be a DAO?” And perhaps most importantly, ask yourself if you’re prepared to actually commit many many months and years to building a community AND a company, instead of just a company.If you want to just curate vibes and a community, maybe start there. And if you want to build a business and fast moving startups, start there. Building a business and a community as a DAO can work, but it is very hard work.
And then, If you still want to build a DAO, make sure you ask yourself:
What problem are you really solving, and how will you create value/cash flow, to build a meaningful community that feels bought in and is invested in the success of the community?
DAOs are powerful structures and mechanisms, but only when wielded effectively with strong leadership and an engaged community. While a DAO can unlock incredible network effects, strong economic alignment amongst the network, and a thriving more trustless community and value accrual, operating and effectively scaling one requires constant maintenance, iteration, and humility.
It’s not as simple as launching a Discord, a token, and asking random people on the internet to join your “community” and contribute. So think carefully before you embark on this journey.
DAOs are often seen as headless, which works in some situations. But very rarely does any effective DAO launch as a “headless” organization.
Ultimately, people still need leadership, structure, hierarchy, and organization. However, with a DAO, the org chart can be much flatter, flexible, and transparent, when done well. That’s why at Myosin, we view our org chart as a series of fluid concentric circles, driven by ownership and initiative, rather than a traditional pyramid top down structure, driven by privilege and favoritism.
And as someone who runs a community, I think it’s important to recognize that not everyone wants to lead. In fact, many want to be led and contribute in their own way. That’s ok, and that brings me to my next point, which is that its important to start centralized, and progressively decentralize, as you grow and scale. Ultimately, the founders and leadership team hold the responsibility for GETTING SHIT DONE.
Rome was not built in a day, and building a thriving community is about fostering connections, trust, and relationships, which takes time and MANY repeated efforts. So when community members inevitably drop the ball here and there, as a Founder, your job is to fill in the gaps and lead by example. As others see what you want, and you show them what ‘good’ looks like, top performers will eventually take ownership and do it themselves.
And that’s how a DAO becomes more autonomous, in a more natural way. It’s easy for perfectionists like myself to want to do everything, but it’s far more important to teach a person to fish. Even if sometimes your community members mess up and let the fish go! Which brings me to another hard truth….
The unpleasant truth few care to say is that building as a founder is hard, regardless of web3 or otherwise.
And in the earliest days, you will have to do things that don’t scale, to even get to scale.
The positive here is that your greatest weakness — that you’re small — is also your greatest advantage: the ability to move quickly and do whatever you want.
Don’t underrate the power of persistence. Move quick, and use your time to conduct lots of manual, heavy lifting and direct outreach. Don’t outsource the hard work.
In the first year of Myosin, I conducted hundreds of 1:1 onboarding calls with new members, and through the countless calls, was able to understand who our members are, who are good fits, and build connections to more easily facilitate connections. And even today I still talk to every single person who joins our community, although now with a couple more layers of filtering, which allows me to spend more time on more strategic initiatives.
So, as a founder, set the vision and start selling and closing like a maniac. Because only through the hard work of talking to your customers, community, and members, can you inspire, lead, and ultimately create customers and clients for whatever it is you want to build!
At the same time, just because you’re hustling and building in the earliest stages, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be thinking for the long term. One eye on the present, and another on the future, is the delicate balance that founders have to always strike. And that’s why you should be careful and deliberate when building out your infrastructure.
Leveraging simple and powerful existing tools, mostly in Web 2, can help you move quicker, stay organized, and make sure your work doesn’t all fall apart if and when you do scale. To pull this off successfully, it’s important to consider where you think your community, company, and product may be in the next six months, and explore all your options deliberately before committing too quickly to any one platform.
For Myosin, as an example, I knew that in early 2022, web3 tooling was still too primitive to scale a company on, so after lots of vetting, we chose Airtable + Notion as our two best bets to start building and scaling in the most flexible way possible.
To this day, we still use Airtable to power our member database, track all Treasury payouts, projects, applications, and so much more. And while we were Notion power users, we eventually were able to transition to Charmverse, which is a more web3-native shared workspace, that we’ve come to love.
In web3, it’s so easy to catch shiny toy syndrome. But make sure to take a look under the hood before you commit too quick to anything, as you may find there’s not enough there, there. And as they say, when the tide comes out, you’ll see who’s swimming naked. And trust me, you don’t want to get caught with your pants down because you didn’t do you research!
Thanks for humoring me and taking the time to read these reflections and insights. I have much more to share, but our editors and I decided to clip this piece into two parts to make for a more pleasant reading experience.
So be sure to follow us on Twitter @myosin_xyz, and subscribe to our newsletter HERE to get the first word when Part 2 drops!
Blake Minho Kim
Co-Founder | Myosin.xyz