Why (and how to) join MetaCartel

Alex Masmejean
Nov 14, 2019 · 4 min read

MetaCartel is a community focused on making Ethereum used by people. All members coordinate through our DAO to allocate funding into application layer projects. The goal of this article is to set a loose framework for those who want to help out in the future.

I’ll give 1 DAI to whoever spots me first

First, why even join MetaCartel?

MetaCartel DAO has a unique structure that you can’t describe in usual business terms. It’s a community of passionate crypto people that hang out and has lots of fun together. But don’t get fooled by our community-elected Mexican chili logo: we believe DAOs and Dapps will change the world, and this drives everything we do.

Not only was I sold by the grand ambition and the fun, but the method employed is I believe the right one. It basically follows the lean startup playbook: fast and data-driven experiments. Any failure is a learning, we get better and move on.

That risk-taking culture might have emerged because we don’t have that much money. Paul Graham said that “ramen profitable” (just enough money to survive) is the perfect spot, and raising too much can kill your innovation by introducing bureaucracy and comfortable laziness. In that sense, we are the perfect startup. The pace of innovation and speed of execution is our moat. But unlike conventional Silicon Valley, the moat we are building benefits all Ethereum projects, and hopefully all humans.

The key difference between this new-age crypto culture and Silicon Valley is “composability”, the positive-sum property of Ethereum. Every project can openly make smart contract calls to other projects, meaning you can build on top of existing Dapps without their permission. DeFi is sometimes called “money legos” for that reason: building bricks that symbiotically benefit all projects. MetaCartel connects the current silos within the Ethereum community in order to foster this property.

Another big part of why I joined was because I can directly influence the future of Ethereum. ETH 2.0 research is absolutely crucial work, but only a handful of exceptional engineers are working on it; and have been for years. The new Internet is being built, now is the time to build “the new websites”, fund them, and support them. It’s up for grabs to anyone willing to put the work.

There are two waves in any deep tech revolution: the researchers’ waves and the entrepreneurs’. Vitalik Buterin led the research, similar to how Tim Berners Lee co-invented the Web in the 1990’s. But I would argue the highest impact (and value creation) came from people like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. With MetaCartel, we want to ride the crypto entrepreneurs’ wave. This is why I’m so freaking excited. As of today, this is the most ambitious crew I could be part of.

How to join (and how I did)

1. Give before taking (have some skin in the game)

Show proactive passion. I was so excited about MetaCartel that I showed it to a top Silicon Valley VC before even joining. A week later, Peter asked me whether I wanted to help out, and I tweeted that I was in straight away, literally forcing it into being “official”.

2. Do something useful you enjoy

Tweeting helps and works in my case, but anything you provide to the cartel can help. Just tell us what you want to do, execute, and you’ll earn our trust. In my case, I tried to help projects that MetaCartel was backing. At the time, Mintbase and Kickback were just being funded, so I tried to make people use these projects (filling the “Business Dev” role).

A great mix of VCs, founders, students and PR people.

Disclosure: I initially failed at both, but while trying to push Kickback, the event-ticketing Dapp, I managed to throw an event in San Francisco, promoting MetaCartel with top founders in the space. I may have only sold 4 tickets via Kickback before switching to Meetup (all 4 Kickback attendees showed up, though), but there was over 30 people in the room. I moderated a panel with Yaniv Tal, Roneil Rumburg and Zhuoxun Yin, an awesome experience with some of the greatest entrepreneurs in the space.

A few weeks later, I started participating in a small internal project that got me one share in the DAO. That’s it! I am now immutably a member!

I then became gradually more involved, helping out different internal projects, teams, organized another event for SF Blockchain Week, launched a Secret Santa Lottery, and I’m just having the time of my life.

What you can do today

Here is a list of what you can do to get into MetaCartel via work:

  • Organize a meetup in your city

I said “via work” because you can also pledge (minimum 10 ETH). Pledging implies more involvement than just a one-off donation, since you get to vote on which proposal to fund, proportionally to the amount you pledged. But not everyone is allowed, you have to be aligned with our vision.

To apply for pledging, feel free to post on our forum and answer questions about why you want to join!

That’s it! If you’re around in SF, Paris, Berlin or London, let’s chat!

Many thanks to James and James for reviewing this.

Thanks to James Young, DarrenM, and James Waugh

Alex Masmejean

Written by

Founder Rocket, part of MetaCartel, founding member Marketing DAO, member Stake Capital DAO. Technologists push mankind forward.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade