I recently received funding from a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO. If this sounds futuristic, it is. It could also become the future of work. Let me first explain what a DAO is before telling you how to get funded by one:
A decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) is an organization that is run through rules encoded as computer programs called smart contracts. A DAO’s financial transaction record and program rules are maintained on a blockchain.” -Wikipedia
I’ll explain how my Dash proposal got passed and give you tips on how you can get funded by a DAO like the one in Dash. Last night I learned that the founder and lead developer of Dash, Evan Duffield, is planning to fund more DAOs in the future so learning how DAOs work is important. The steps below detail my experience getting funded by the Dash DAO.
Decide Which DAO to Work With
It’s important to realize that DAOs are made up of humans who are interacting with technology. My Dash proposal was approved because people voted on it, not because a robot thought my ideas were good. Humans are still making the decisions within DAOs, so you need to focus on the social aspects of communities and figure out how you can become useful to a particular human community.
Once you’ve decided which DAO you want to work with, join that community online and begin contributing right away. Don’t expect anything in return in the beginning. Be humble and try to figure out what that community needs and give it. People in that community will see that you’re a decent person and will have a favorable impression of you. Don’t be fake. People can see through that. Instead, give your gifts freely. You’ll be surprised how people will like interacting with you. So, if you don’t know where to start, here are some decentralized autonomous organizations that you can learn about: dash.org, steemit.com, ethereum.org.
I’m active in Steemit and now Dash. I haven’t delved into Ethereum before. If you decide to join Dash, contribute to the forum and start becoming active. On steemit.com, start posting like you would on Reddit or Facebook. In Ethereum, you tell me as I have no idea about that one.
Get to know the community by commenting and sharing info about yourself in their forum and Slack channel. Become a very active member right away.
When I decided to create a proposal for the Dash DAO, I had already made a video and written some articles about Dash because I was curious about it. I did this before even entertaining the idea of submitting a proposal. I joined the Dash forum to begin learning about the project and community. I created an introduction post there, and began interacting with people, just like on other social platforms. I realized that no one would vote for my proposal if they didn’t know who I was. Trust is not such an easy, quick thing to acquire in any community. Then I joined the Slack channel and started to learn a lot about Dash and the people who are passionate about it. Take time to understand social rules and ways of interacting with people. Each community is different, so it’s crucial that you figure out how to best communicate.
Casually talk about your proposal with community members in Slack and get their feedback before you submit your real proposal.
I asked several high-ranking members what timeframe I should use for my proposal and I reduced mine from 3 months down to one month based on their suggestions. With Dash, make your proposal as short as possible if you’re brand new. The community is not going to pass a year-long proposal if you’re new. Even someone as highly respected as Amanda B. Johnson makes her proposals 3 months long.
I also asked Dash members how much money I should ask for. This was the awkward conversation! I started out a bit too high, at 45 Dash, but after speaking with around 8 different people, I decided to lower it to 25 to ensure that my proposal passed. For me personally, it was important to get my proposal passed and I was willing to do whatever it took to get that. I’m kind of scrappy that way. Artists and creative people like me are used to this kind of thing. If I bring great value to Dash, I will ask for what I think I truly deserve in the future.
In the Dash Pre and Budget Proposal thread, create a pre-proposal that outlines your idea in as much detail as possible.
Make a video of yourself describing your proposal. Post that in the Dash Forum area called Pre + Budget Proposal Discussions. Also, post it in the #proposal channel in Dash slack. After you do this, pay very close attention to any comments or questions and answer them quickly and thoroughly. Your every move is going to be scrutinized carefully at this stage of the game. Be on your feet and be committed to good communication. It was definitely nerve-wracking, but be calm and continue to interact with people on the forums and in Slack in a casual manner. Engage with people about your pre-proposal, but also ask other questions not related to your proposal. This will make people feel more at ease about you.
After you have answered everyone’s questions and gotten feedback about your pre-proposal, it’s time to submit your proposal to the Dash blockchain.
Write out your proposal in as much detail as possible and also make a video of you presenting your idea. People thanked me for making a video which resulted in saving them time reading. Your proposal should wow people and be very clear in describing what you’re offering. Watch Amanda’s video to help you through this process because it can be rather intimidating:
And remember, to submit a proposal to the Dash DAO, it will cost you 5 Dash (approx. $385). This fee is to prevent people from spamming the Dash community with crappy proposals. The other thing you must do before anything else, is get an official Dash Core wallet. You need this in order to submit your proposal to the Dash blockchain which can be accessed through this wallet. https://www.dash.org/get-dash/
After you submit your proposal to the Dash blockchain, you will need to announce this puppy to every platform as if your life depended on it.
You can see my Dash proposal here. Post it to: Dash Forum, Twitter, Facebook, Dash Slack, and Dash’s Reddit page. I’d even suggest posting on Steemit too since a lot of Dashers are on that platform as well. Even though I’m a fairly new Dash community member, I’m not new to digital currency, community building and writing. You can ask me for feedback in the Slack channel, I’m @stellabelle in there. I’m usually hanging out in the Women of Dash chatroom. You’ve been warned in advance: I don’t tend to sugarcoat my opinions and I will tell you my honest thoughts about your proposal. But you’d be better off asking a long-time Dash member.
I’ll be completely honest about this process: it’s definitely not easy. The part I had the most trouble with was submitting the long computer codes into the Dash Core wallet. Charlie Shrem helped me with this because at one point I did get confused. I’d recommend becoming friends with some of the more technically savvy Dash members and arranging a time when they are available so you can ask questions if you get stuck at any time while you’re submitting your proposal. Sending $385 into a blockchain is something you don’t want to mess up!
With that, I want to emphasize, if I can do it, you can, too. Personally I feel that the creative and social areas of Dash could really use some attention. The people who own the masternodes are the ones whose votes count, so you have to win them over.
Good luck and may the decentralized autonomous organization be with you!
Join me in the Dash Slack to learn more. Here’s your invite code: https://dash-nation-invite.herokuapp.com/
To learn more about Dash, check out Dash For Newbies, a new community-driven Medium publication of which I am the editor.
ps- my Dash approval has been passed but since it runs through the blockchain and is dependent upon votes, there’s always the slim chance that a number of masternode owners could suddenly vote no and un-pass my proposal. The funding takes place when new coins are created in a few days. It’s exciting and will be very interesting to experience!
About the author:
Leah Stephens is the editor of Dash For Newbies and a full stack artist. She has written one book, Un-Crap Your Life which is now available on Amazon. She wrote for Interesting Engineering before discovering the blockchain. She runs a zany YouTube channel and is now working within the Dash decentralized autonomous organization. Most days she can be found lurking on Twitter and in the Women of Dash Slack channel. She’s also a top writer in Steemit. Her favorite quote is by Rimbaud:
“I have researched the magic shapes of the happiness no one escapes.”