Hi, this article is Part 2 of a longer article from myself, Blake, with reflections and insights from my experiences building a Marketing DAO over the past year and half. I would recommend starting with Part 1 HERE, if you haven’t already read it.
But otherwise, read on for more musings, SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter, W3G Weekly, for more great web3 content, and have a great day!
Community is the hottest buzzword in web3, but what does it really mean? I think too many in our industry skim over the surface, but never dive deep enough. And once you dive deeper, you realize that community building is HARD.
The metaphor I like to use with community building is that you have to have a very thick skin, and it’s about throwing mud at a wall, knowing that 90% will fall off, but 10% will stick. And then we rinse and repeat until that 10% continues to build on itself and become something much bigger…
So how can you find your community? While I don’t have a magic bullet, I can speak about what worked for us.
The first hack was inbound volume. How did we get the word out? In addition to building our Twitter, upon launch, we put out several job listings for growth marketers on three different web3 job boards to raise awareness and drive application volume (hint: web3.careers is solid).
And while a lot of our earliest members were not the right fit, as many were looking for salaried positions, the ones who got it, got it, and some remain our most loyal and active community members today.
Another powerful initial hack we saw was !gm streaks. This is a standard within web3, but our unique twist was using gmBot, built by Layer3, to gamify daily engagement. gmBot enabled our community to start creating gm streaks, leaderboards, sparking the competitive animal in all of us.
Humans are creatures of habit, and with gmBot, we were able to drive daily repeat engagement, in pursuit of streaks, that helped members keep coming back to Myosin, creating a sense of familiarity, and learning about the awesome initiatives we were working on.
And to really give things a personal touch, every single day, for the longest time I manually emoji liked every single people’s responses and gms - it’s those small personal gestures that create the dopamine hits that make people feel appreciated! It’s harder these days but I still try and throw some emojis to give members an extra boost.
Finally, some very critical structural decisions we made early on was to group our DAO into a skills-based Guild system. Organizing our members as Guilds (Community, Content, etc.), allowed our members to more easily meet other like-minded folks, and feel a shared sense of community as we grow.
In summary, your community will inevitably evolve as the vision and scale evolves. So don’t take things personally, as the real ones will stick around. Be persistent, keep onboarding people, and eventually the good ones will stick and start to self-organize into a REAL community. Good things come to those who wait.
Building a community and DAO is like architecting a game or any good Product. What is the user journey, and how can you give members a sense of freedom, while also providing a clear pathway for them to get involved and contribute? We struggled with this at first, but have gotten better as we’ve scaled over time.
I recently watched a video about the incredible Open World game design for one of the best games ever, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which had some stellar insights into great user journeys.
You can watch it HERE but the tl;dr is that to create a delightful experience for gamers in an Open World map, that allows for maximum freedom, the game designers through many tests and iterations, realized the following:
The most delightful game experience was one in which players had a nice variety and hierarchy of visual signposts and landmarks that would attract and encourage players to visit all of them over time, and progress a series of stories, while also giving enough freedom that players didn’t feel constrained to a singular linear path.
And that’s the secret: sign-posting in a variety of ways. For us, we’re building our own, with our signposts & quests being bountiful and varied. Once members enter our world, they pick their own journey.
The primary quest is to co-own and help build the decentralized agency of the future, as members help pitch, win, and work on interesting and cool projects. But we have members who have worked on only a few projects.
Instead, members contribute to the DAO in other ways, from creating content, referring new members, showing up to all our meetings, guild calls, starting new community-owned initiatives, or even building products, we’ve strived to create structure while giving members a sense of freedom to help us grow in their own way.
Everyone can be a co-owner in the Myosin Open World map, and everyone can pick their own journey. Just start playing!
In the asynchronous, globally distributed, chaotic world that is Discord and DAOs, messages get lost in translation & transmission, all. the. damn. time.
And on top of that, people don’t read, are busy with their own lives, and are not required through a given salary to always be in front of their computer for a given time window every day!
So when building and working in a DAO, the reality is you simply have to overcommunicate. Always. I’ve found myself repeating everything multiple times a week to diff groups & individuals, as this is the simple reality of working in this kind of decentralized setting.
It isn’t easy, but it’s a different way of working, and part of the nature of scaling a large org. You need to repeat, condense, and constantly communicate the latest initiatives to each set of stakeholders, to make sure shit gets done, sometimes over multiple weeks at a time!
While you need to know when to hit the nitrous and go into overdrive, you also have to become comfortable with slowing down, setting some limits for yourself, and not burning out. I cannot overstate how important this is.
This is a general rule of thumb for entrepreneurs, but especially as a DAO leader, there’s always more tasks, plates to spin, and members to ping, etc.
But ultimately, we can’t always burn the candle at both ends. There will be some critical moments where you’ll have to grind, but set a deadline or milestone for when you know you’ll have to hand off or delegate tasks. Keep one eye on your present, but a wary one on the future.
This way, you’ll be driving fast with intention, from one destination to another, and constantly adjusting and improving along the way, instead of trying to race your car at full redline from start to finish.
There’s always more work on the other side - so go touch grass, take time for yourself, and make sure you’re doing ok.
In web3, when we all live in the metaverse and in digital spaces, conferences are perhaps one of the best ways to make deals, have a fun time, and ofc, meet your members. In this context, work is life, and life is work, and you have to be comfortable with that sometimes.
And while I’m the first to advocate for async work and trusting top performers to do their work well, nothing beats IRL connection, even between myself and my co-founders.
Sometimes, I’ve noticed that certain emotions or conversations are simply better had IRL, and I’ve had many miscommunications through text chat that I realized could be cleared up in a few seconds IRL, whereas they’d take far longer to resolve online.
So go live wherever you want, but make sure to find ways to connect IRL, whether you’re traveling or living in a city where you’ll encounter other people in the industry. It really does make all the difference!
As someone who came from traditional tech (ex. Web 2), I was so used to a world where collaboration was not the de-facto mode of operating. Perhaps because in traditional tech, every startup is thinking about their competitive moat, and how they can differentiate and own their special tech, product, or community/brand.
And it has truly been so refreshing to be in a space like web3, which is laser focused on collaboration, as we’re all trying to grow the same tiny sliver of the digital pie together.
Perhaps this is the nature of being early, versus riding the tail-end of late stage Web 2 tech. And it’s really not that hard - every time I do cold outreach, I’m reminded of how kind people are in this space!
It may be the perpetual optimist in me, but I think we should all seek to view the world with a glass half full approach, because even your direct competitors are your friends in this industry, as we can only all win if more people enter our space. The pie is big enough for all…at least, for now. ;)
Ultimately, for all the tokens, on-chain reputations, and governance we create, we need to remember that DAOs are about people.
Too many people lose sight of that, and nerd out on the tooling. But ultimately, the magic of a DAO is that it’s a new type of community-owned company that wasn’t previously possible.
Ultimately, as people, we all strive for connection, purpose, and agency. DAOs can help unlock that! Unfortunately, this is often forgotten or simply overlooked.
By the end of this month, we’ll have paid out OVER a million dollars to our members, all over the world. We’re helping democratize access to top compensation and projects, for top performers, in countries where they may not have had access otherwise.
And we’re not perfect - an analogy I use all the time is that we’re building the plane as we’re flying it. So we make mistakes (we’re human!).
But my Co-Founder and I try to lead by example: striving to be as open, honest, and vulnerable as possible. To give clear direction and vision, while also putting in the hard work to get shit done and empower as many of our members as possible.
It is constant, grinding work - it’s scary at times! And while I love my work, job, and career,I still get Sunday scaries, just like anyone else.
That said, when you start to see the community form, and people collaborate, some really exciting things start to happen! We’re building on the frontiers of what the Future of Work, web3, and the internet will look like - and quite honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂
Blake Minho Kim
Co-Founder | Myosin.xyz