Preface I: Intro
We’re thrilled to announce the launch of Boys Club DAO, S2. This Season, we’re onboarding new contributors, reforming existing guilds, and taking the first steps to actualize ownership and contribution for our members. All in an effort to create a strategic flywheel that fuels our long-term sustainability & growth.
This blog post illuminates:
- What Boys Club is and does.
- Our biggest learnings and takeaways from Boys Club DAO S1.
- What’s changing in Boys Club DAO S2 (and why).
Preface II: Terminology
I’m new here — What’s a DAO?
DAOs are “decentralized autonomous organizations” centered around a specific mission or goal. DAO members collectively own a pool of funds (the ‘DAO Treasury’) and conduct democratic decision-making processes (‘governance’) to decide how to best use those funds to advance the mission of the DAO. You can learn more about DAOs here.
What is a DAO ‘Season’?
“Seasons” represent a fixed period of time within a DAO, and provide time-based parameters by which to structure our work, milestones, and retrospectives. You could compare the function and concept of DAO “season” to a financial “quarter.”
- Season 1 of Boys Club DAO was launched in June of 2022. Now, we’re moving into Season 2. Moving forward, each DAO ‘season’ will run on a 6-month cycle, with S2 of Boys Club DAO concluding in November 2022.
First — WTF is “Boys Club”?
Boys Club is a social collective bringing new voices to the new internet. We do this through media and events — notably our podcasts, newsletters, and physical ‘Zine — and within our community, where a robust ecosystem of builders drives forward community-driven projects and finds abundant resources for social support, learning, and networking. Boys Club attracts people across the spectrum of web3 experience, from those who have yet to set up their first wallet to crypto-native founders & operators who have been building in the space for years. Read more about how it all got started.
“Recognizing that crypto and blockchain are reimagining how society functions at a base level, we envision a world where women and non-binary individuals are at the forefront of building new avenues for wealth distribution and creation, in turn mitigating the replication of existing inequalities in web2. We strive to elevate underrepresented communities, enabling them to not only participate but shape the future of this multifaceted industry.”
- Boys Club was founded in November 2021. Since then, we’ve… completed the Seed Club accelerator cohort (SC04). Grown an application-gated Discord to 2,000 (capped) deeply engaged members — averaging 300+ new applications to join our community per week (at peak). We’ve been featured in Vox, Fast Company, The Atlantic (2x), Business of Fashion, and Bankless. We’ve produced two educational roadmaps, launched three podcasts & two weekly newsletters, thrown educational panels and absolute bangers worldwide, and much more — which we’ll dive into later in this piece.
First Principles: Why is Boys Club DAO’ing?
Aligning incentives has been a core priority since day 1. DAOs enable community-driven participation, engagement, and value creation to be captured more fully than ever before.
The overarching mission of Boys Club DAO is to oversee, maintain, and grow each of the critical components that make Boys Club what it is today — community & membership, programming, internal operations, and entrepreneurial incubation/experimentation. The second-order mission of Boys Club DAO is to experiment with new ways to create value for the wider Boys Club community and to drive value back to the community (and DAO) itself.
Where does the ‘DAO’ fit into the rest of Boys Club?
Currently, Boys Club DAO comprises the core team members working on Boys Club day-to-day. Why not the entire community?
While we may open up DAO membership to a larger group in the future, starting with a smaller “minimum viable community” approach allows us to test aspects of our DAO design with a smaller group, collect feedback on what’s working/not working, and iterate on our designs and processes to ensure we have a robust and effective framework before rolling out membership to the entire community. We elaborate more on the rationale behind this design choice in the blog post linked above.
The Boys Club ecosystem has many layers. Let’s break it down, starting at the most peripheral layer of our community ecosystem and working inward:
- Audience: The outer-most ring of our community ecosystem is our audience: anyone that follows us on Twitter or IG, reads our newsletter(s), or listens to our podcast. Our ‘audience,’ as referenced here, consumes our content regularly.
- Community: Our ~ community ~ is where the vibes really start hitting diff. Community members are in our Discord, saying gm, asking & answering questions in the #no-dumb-questions channel, and generally just vibing. Admission is not determined based on financial privilege — membership to our community is gated by a merit-based application. (Apply to join here.)
- DAO (Core Contributors): Contributors are our core nucleus, powering everything that makes Boys Club what it is today. Members of Boys Club DAO are the teammates working day in, day out on Boys Club — anywhere between 5–20 hrs/wk. Currently (S2), our DAO has ~30 brilliant members.
How We Got Here — A Recap of Boys Club DAO, S1
In June of 2022, we launched Boys Club DAO S1. We followed a ‘minimum viable community’ approach, which you can read more about here.
In S1, we aimed to design and deploy organizational structures & practices we could test, iterate, and operate at scale. Our goal for S1 was to test and validate our organizational design and methods before opening the DAO to a broader group of contributors in S2. After sufficiently experimenting, testing, and iterating upon our design choices, we concluded S1 hitting the 5 KPIs we’d initially set out to achieve. (KPIs noted here). From there, we were ready to open up the DAO to new contributors and move into the launch of S2.
Brag Reel: Boys Club DAO — S1 Highlights ⋆｡°✩
UwU in a colossal way. S1 marked key accomplishments for our organization and team. We accomplished a lot in S1. Highlights include:
(1) Sh*t We Shipped
We shipped a ton of cool sh*t in S1 across a wide range of verticals. This included:
- A physical and digital Zine exploring the intersection of internet culture and tech. Initially proposed by Noa, led and supported by Monty, Sam, Alana, Mattie, Deana, and Natasha.
- The Zine surpassed ~85K mints in 7 days on OpenSea, launched in partnership with OpenSea, Ledger, Lens, and Celo.
- Decentralized, community-driven distribution enabled us to disseminate Zines in 50+ communities across the U.S. — from LA to Portland, to NYC, including an exclusive launch at SXSW’23.
- Deana and Natasha led a successful spinout of the Boys Club Media Company to build new media properties and audiences, acting as a flywheel effect for all Boys Club efforts.
- Currently, we have three podcasts (Boys Club — covering our internal and external work on this project, Context — exploring the world of NFTs with Blake Finucane, and B*llshit Machines — a podcast dedicated exclusively to AI ). We also have two weekly newsletters.
💡 Bettie — Our first beta product/experiment (!)
- Amax pioneered the creation of Bettie, an NFT portfolio-tracker & storytelling tool enabling users to quickly and easily see if their portfolio is up only or down bad.
- Bettie was one of our first experiments around product development within Boys Club DAO. Contributors: Robyn, Sam, Lane, and Kelly (kellygiles#2790).
💸 The Boys Club DAO: Treasury Management & Investment Policy
- Parker, Taylor, and Marine founded the Boys Club Treasury Management Committee and developed the Boys Club ‘Treasury Management & Investment Policy” — a minimum viable framework of principles, best practices, and standards to approach DAO Treasury management and diversification.
- Our policy has been referenced by a16z as an essential resource for DAO-builders beginning to think about treasury management strategies. We’ve also presented our policy to Ernst & Young and BNY Mellon in closed-door, teach-in sessions, showcasing our approach as an example of a ‘best-practice’ DAO treasury management strategy.
… And more. Other notable S1 accomplishments include:
Successfully diversifying the Boys Club Treasury (led by Parker), instating a DAO Governance Committee (led by Parker and Amy), instating a DAO Treasury Management Committee (led by Taylor), making our first Angel investment in JokeRace (led by Deana), and launching Boys Club Labs (led by Natasha, Mattie, Riyanka, and Lexie). More on this later…
(2) Governance Stats
Our DAO governance stats were lowkey super hot, and we must share them.
- Throughout S1, over 85% of our DAO members were active participants in the governance process.
- We passed six proposals in 6 months, averaging ~1 new proposal per month.
- 100% of proposals exceeded the minimum participation quorum.
- 100% of proposals put exceeded the minimum consensus quorum.
- 100% of proposals put up for vote passed with a ‘yes’ on execution.
- → Note: We see ‘no’s’ as indicative of robust debate and as healthy for building a diversely-opinionated and well-rounded community. With this in mind, moving into S2, we hope to see more ‘no’s’ in proposal outcomes!
(3) Funding our Treasury
- In May of 2022, we raised 150 ETH (~$300k at time of raise) to fund the Boys Club Treasury through a community-driven NFT sale (specifically, the ‘Zaddy’ NFT sale).
- This was a non-cap table raise funded by ecosystem allies and partners like Framework Ventures, PleasrDAO, Bankless, Blockworks, Seed Club, Poolsuite, FWB, FireEyes, DAOHaus, and more. We are incredibly grateful for our ecosystem partners, without whom none of this would have been possible.
🔎 Learnings & Takeaways from S1
With S1 also came many learnings and takeaways. “DAO-ing” presents many unique challenges, like staying in sync (simple human coordination), ensuring context is sufficiently shared, aligning expectations, and executing priorities cross-functionally in the absence of a single decision-maker.
To understand our most significant pain points and identify areas for improvement, we conducted an anonymous exit interview survey at the end of S1 — gathering feedback and qualitative & quantitative data to inform our process moving forward.
From the research we gathered & analyzed at the end of S1, some of the most prevalent pain points our DAO faced in S1 included:
- Contributors feeling siloed within their teams/workflows (i.e., not knowing what team outside of one’s own was working on or having an easy way to track the status of a specific project across external teams).
→ Solutions implemented:
- In S1: Decentralized all guild (aka team) channels, opening them up to be completely transparent and collaborative across the DAO.
- In S2: Implemented best-practice procedures (and aligned shared expectations) around how we work, communicate, and collaborate, as well as how and where we track, manage, and document information. (Introduced more ‘corporate-y’ practices like creating and utilizing shared, team-wide project trackers and SaaS boards).
- In S2: Created more opportunities and initiatives for cross-team collaboration and team-wide bonding/syncs, such as holding a bi-weekly standup call with all DAO members rather than just team leads (as we did in S1).
2. Struggles with context-sharing, leading to fragmented projects and inefficient communication streams across teams.
→ Solutions implemented:
- In S1-S2: Delegated & recruited for specific roles to lead efforts around organization, consolidation, and operational efficiency.
- In S1-S2: Produced a robust set of evergreen documents and materials to help new and existing members build context around our DAO and how it works. Specifically, we spent a significant amount of time creating onboarding materials for new members. This included (but wasn’t limited to) a ‘DAO FAQ’, an org chart detailing each individual member’s role and contact info, a deeper articulation of our mission statement & short and long-term goals, and one-pagers on each existing team within the DAO.
- In S2: As noted above, created more opportunities and initiatives for cross-team collaboration and team-wide bonding/syncs.
3. Logistical inefficiencies, particularly around locating, sharing, and organizing data and information.
→ Solutions implemented:
- In S2: Initiated team-wide efforts from Day 1 to standardize, consolidate and streamline information in a coordinated and process-driven manner. Created tighter procedural practices and expectations around how we document, share, organize, and update information (creating repositories, having meeting & note-taking procedures, etc.)
4. Lack of confidence around the DAO governance process, specifically on when (or when not) it is appropriate to bring a decision to a formal vote.
(Ex: ‘I have an idea, but is it ‘legit’ or ‘big’ enough to create a DAO proposal around & put up for a formal vote?’ ‘When should I seek formal governance approval vs. just soft-pitching to the homies?’)
→ Solutions implemented:
- In S1: Created governance documentation with clear parameters distinguishing what necessitates a DAO proposal & governance vote vs. not.
- In S2: Drove cleaner, clearer onboarding onto the governance and proposal process from Day 1. (For ex: Emphasizing clear examples of formal proposals & what they’ve been used to achieve in the past within our DAO, providing ideas for hypothetical example proposals, illustrating the types and range of proposals seen within other DAOs, and illustrating by way of example what might constitute a non-DAO or “informal” team vote.)
- In S2 (ongoing): Team-wide workshop sessions for a step-by-step walkthrough of the governance process, Q+As on governance in our DAO, and team-wide brainstorming sessions for new proposals (guided by a driving question related to our high-level aims and priorities during said time).
- In S2 (ongoing): Creating more resources to aid understanding and execution of governance within our DAO, such as graphic depictions that equip the reader with a clear and simple understanding of governance ‘at-a-glance.’ Here, we are also optimizing to resonate with a diverse array of learning styles by utilizing a multi-media approach.
✔️ What We’re Doing Differently in S2
In addition to the initiatives noted above, to combat challenges faced in S1 and to maximize our longevity, impact, and success as a DAO, there are a few core, critical changes we’re making in S2: (1) Opening up our DAO to new contributors. (2) Reforming our existing Guilds & DAO Guild structure. (3) Actualizing ownership and contributions for DAO members. Let’s break it down…
(1) Opening up our DAO to new contributors
As mentioned earlier, S1 of Boys Club DAO was all about testing and iterating. Once we’d battle-tested (and wholly reformed) our design choices, we were excited to open up membership and participation to new contributors for S2. Our intent in doing so was to welcome new members to the DAO, in turn engaging new talent and activating new ideas. Every step in preparing to open up DAO membership to our wider community was methodical and intentional. There were three key steps involved in opening up our DAO to new contributors: A) DAO Rush, B) Onboarding, and C) Kickoff.
A. DAO Rush 👯♀️
In mid-March of 2023, we hosted a ‘DAO Rush,’ an open call and info session for Boys Club community members to learn more about our DAO and better understand actionable, immediate opportunities for participation. You can view the slides we presented during DAO Rush here (or below), which include hyperlinks to each one-pager created for every Guild.
We saw over 100 applications to join Boys Club DAO, each as thoughtful, enthusiastic, and intentional as the last. If you applied, thank you. The response was overwhelming for everyone on the team, and we were wholly impressed with the volume and quality of applications we saw. We read and appreciated every single application.
When assessing candidates, there were a few traits we selected for 1) abnormal levels of ownership, 2) intrinsic motivation, 3) earnestness, and 4) demonstrable experience and/or deep expertise. From there, selection bias became narrower and more specific, depending on the needs of the team (and role) the candidate was applying for.
Through the interview process, we narrowed our cohort of applicants down, ultimately inviting 20 new members to join Boys Club DAO S2. This equated to roughly a 20% acceptance rate, skewing to a lower ~15% when accounting for new vs. returning contributors. As noted earlier, Boys Club DAO S2 will run on a 6-month seasonal basis from May 2023 — November 2023.
B. Onboarding 🛬
We spent much time thinking about the best way to onboard new contributors into the DAO. We held a welcome/onboarding call (pioneered by Elle) and created an extensive list of resources and documentation for new members, detailing everything from our DAO’s cultural norms and expectations to a graphic visualization of our DAO-wide org chart.
You can view the slides we presented during our DAO S2 Onboarding Call below, which include an org chart, hyperlinks to a one-pager for every Guild, and more.
C. Kickoff ⌚
From there, it was kickoff time! Each new member was onboarded into their respective Guild channel within our Discord, and we hit the ground running with our regular bi-weekly DAO-wide meeting.
(2) Reforming Existing DAO Guilds & Org Structure
~ Guilds in Boys Club DAO: A Crash Course ~
- Boys Club DAO comprises several different teams, aka ‘Guilds’. Each Guild is centered around and focused on, maintaining and growing a key operational focus area of Boys Club today.
- Guilds are responsible for executing the area of work relevant to their specific Guild.
- Each Guild is distinct in its freedom to create and champion its own mission statement, culture, organizational practices, and more.
Guilds in Boys Club DAO S2:
To close out 2022 (and before launching S2), we held intensive, hour-long team-wide workshopping sessions across several months. Through these workshop sessions, we worked to clarify our goals and priorities moving forward — both for our DAO and for the wider Boys Club ‘world’ & universe beyond it. We asked — What DAO structure would best support our goals moving forward? What might need to change? What composition and types of Guilds within the DAO would best support this? What areas of Boys Club should the DAO focus on this season? (Which Guilds should be preserved? Which Guilds would be more effective combined? And which Guilds should we eliminate entirely?)
Coming out of our EOY 2022 workshopping sessions, we reformed the initial seven (7) Guilds we had instituted in S1 into four (4) Guilds for S2.
Our S2 Guilds — THE LINEUP:
- Programming Guild: Responsible for creating the daily environment that makes Boys Club THE place for connecting, learning, and building in the new internet.
- Membership Guild: Responsible for protecting and nurturing our community vibes, activating and retaining Boys Club community members, and making Boys Club membership fun and valuable — personally and professionally.
- DAO Operations Guild: Responsible for designing, iterating, and maintaining our DAO’s on and off-chain operational & organizational structure, ensuring DAO members (and the DAO at large) can collectively & effectively get sh*t done.
- Labs Guild: Responsible for providing a landing spot for innovation within Boys Club and a tangible space for members to make their mark on the new internet.
The cumulative mission of each of these guilds — which make up the overall mission of our DAO — is to oversee, maintain, and grow each of the key components that make Boys Club what it is today: community & membership, programming, internal operations, and entrepreneurial incubation/experimentation. The second-order goal of our DAO, and by proxy, the Guilds working within it, is to experiment, test, iterate, and ship new projects and initiatives which (1) create value for the Boys Club community and (2) drive value back to the DAO and DAO Treasury, in turn accelerating our ability to drive value back to the wider community.
C. Actualizing Ownership & Contribution
Another question top of mind for us moving into S2 revolved around how to better actualize and quantify on-chain contribution and ownership for DAO members. This is a hairy question for all DAOs, especially one like ours, which doesn’t currently hold enough sustainable recurring revenue to employ (or pay) people full-time.
We’re still in the process of exploring the best solution for representing, quantifying, and rewarding ownership — especially with the backdrop of an uncertain regulatory environment and in light of the recent legal actions taken against Ooki DAO. Once we’ve reached a final consensus on the best path forward, we’ll move into the implementation phase.
Still, we’ve done significant work to solve the question of representing contribution and participation towards the DAO in service of the Boys Club wider community. Over the past 6–8 months, we’ve conducted extensive research and blueprinting on potential solutions to reward participation better and delegate ownership. We engaged in consistent dialogue and deep thinking with killer teams like FireEyes and DAOHaus (shoutout to Lucas, James, Ven, Callum, Cooper, and Ξ2T), as well as the Disco team and our new DAO governance advisor, Shannon. Each of these individuals has played a significant role in guiding our thinking on this initiative and supporting our momentum forward.
While this piece of our DAO is still a work in progress, it’s significant and important enough to share. As a high-priority item on our roadmap moving forward, we’ll enthusiastically keep you updated on our progress.
What’s next for this Season? In S2, we’re still focused on perfecting our systems, processes, and practices — utilizing our learnings from S1 to continue driving and improving on an iterable, smooth, and efficient operational design. In this sense, if S1 was about “learning the motions,” S2 is all about “getting our reps in” — perfecting our form as a cohesive, coordinated DAO unit as we continue to grow.
And at a higher level, as mentioned before, our DAO will continue commitment to overseeing, maintaining, and growing each of the key components that make Boys Club what it is today. For S2 specifically, this means continuing to ideate, test, ship, and iterate upon products, services, & initiatives that drive value back to 1) the wider Boys Club community and 2) the DAO itself — creating a positive feedback loop between the two. “Getting our reps in” as a DAO will inadvertently help us do this. As will continuing to gather data and feedback from our community, testing new community offerings and opportunities, and experimenting with different ways to hone in on our community’s diverse array of skill sets.
By Wei of Conclusion
Closing thoughts. If you made it this far, congratulations!
By way of conclusion, the launch of Boys Club DAO, S2 marks an exciting new chapter for our community. We have embarked on a journey to onboard new contributors, reform existing guilds, and establish ownership for our members. We aim to create a strategic flywheel that fuels our long-term sustainability and growth.
In our previous season, S1, we focused on testing and iterating organizational structures and practices. We aimed to validate our design choices before opening up the team to a broader group of contributors. We achieved significant milestones, including launching the Boys Club Zine, the spinout of Boys Club Media Co, and developing a Treasury Management & Investment Policy.
In S2, we are implementing core changes in response to our learnings from S1 and to maximize our longevity and ability to create impact moving forward. Firstly, we are opening our DAO to new contributors, welcoming fresh talent, and activating new ideas. Secondly, we have reformed our existing guilds and organizational structure. Lastly, we strive to actualize ownership and quantify on-chain contribution for our DAO members. This allows us to engage our members further and align incentives within the community.
The launch of Boys Club DAO, S2 is an essential step in our journey to drive value back to our community and shape the future of culture in web3. We are excited about the possibilities and look forward to the growth, collaboration, and innovation that will fuel our collective success. Together, we will continue to make a meaningful impact on the new internet, utilizing our DAO to capture unexplored whitespace across social coordination, organizational design, and decentralized governance.
About the Author:
- Parker Jay-Pachirat: Parker is on the founding team of Boys Club, working as a core contributor and as the co-leader of the DAO Operations Guild. By day, Parker is on the crypto investment team at FinTech Collective’s DeFi Fund, where she works as an early-stage VC.
- → Parker’s Twitter
- → Parker’s Website