The future of work is here, it's just not evenly distributed yet.
Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) are creating their own micro-economies, issuing bounties to members to complete tasks to achieve their mission.
By earning bounties that are denominated in a DAO’s native token, members are rewarded with ownership, in a way that makes web2 startup equity options look antiquated.
Whether you are a writer, designer, or developer, there are bounties available for work that you can claim (or create).
But how did we get here?
The Gig Economy is used to refer to app-enabled work created by startups such as Task Rabbit and Uber back in 2008 - 2009. Gig work allows people to be in charge of their own hours and how much they earn. People are self-employed, but they don't have their own business.
The Creator Economy was born by web2 platforms, which enable creators to turn their content into their own business. Its first usage was said to be by Youtube back in 2011. Creators are able to make a full-time living in a number of ways, such as ad revenue from Youtube, paying subscribers of a Substack newsletter, or a paid podcast on Patreon.
The Creator Economy has been a hot sector for startups and venture capital over the last 18 months. Patreon got a $155M Series F at a $3.8B valuation according to Crunchbase and Substack got a $65M Series B at a $585M valuation.
However, the Creator Economy pits creators against each other in a zero-sum game.
Indeed, Ana Andjelic writes how the passion economy is actually a trap:
Just as Uber drivers have to work an ever-increasing number of hours to make a living, while Uber takes home an ever-increasing cut, turning one’s passion into livelihood is self-exploitation. Workers who sell their passion — the so-called cognitariat in place of the unskilled proletariat — and capitalists who own means of production — VC-based companies like Substack — are deemed to have an antagonistic relationship as the new sources of creation of wealth.
The platforms create a setup where every creator has to not only build but also maintain their own audience, whilst constantly cranking out new content.
It’s exhausting and can lead to a race to the bottom.
Fortunately, web3 communities have the solution.
Through bounties, DAOs enable creators to contribute to something far bigger and more valuable than anything they could do themselves.
Whilst I felt I had taken my web2 Substack publication as far as I could with a 6 figure valuation/exit, web3 communities are already way into the 7 and 8 figures.
Patrick from Mirror believes there will be many billion dollar community DAOs.
If you're finding that a stretch, just look at what’s happened in the NFT space, where Bored Ape Yacht Club currently has a 40ETH floor giving it a $1.6B market cap. If it were a cryptocurrency, it would be in the top 100 on Coingecko.
Web3 communities typically reward contributors via bounties in their native governance token. Bounties can either be recurring or one-off for projects. Let’s look at some current examples.
Forefront ($FF) has a range of bounties available for writing, growth and culture activities. With the Writers Program, you can earn $FF by writing about social token related topics, as well as editing if a member of the Forefront Writers Guild.
The Bounty Brief by Flipside Crypto lists new bounties every week across DAOs. In a recent newsletter, there were Aave bounties for analysis and tool creation (dev work), and you could earn LUNA for data visualizations about the Terra ecosystem. Indeed, Terra has created their own pirate themed bounty program which offers weekly written content bounties:
And it’s not just about what bounties are currently published, it’s also about what you can pitch to the communities / DAOs. As a creator, if you have a useful idea, then project-based bounties can be awarded by grants committees to fund it.
Coinvise have also recently launched reputation scores to identify high-value contributors - a talent pool for communities based on your wallet is your resume approach.
If you are new to web3 communities and wish to contribute, the first thing to do is to set up a wallet (such as Metamask) and start using your Ethereum address to access communities and platforms in order to build up your on-chain resume.
Web3 communities will enable a whole new wave of self-employment where people are adding DAOs to their linkedin profiles and portfolios.
The true reward of being paid in ownership is if the value of the token rises over time, as the value, revenue and reach of the DAO increases.
If you don’t need to sell all of the DAO tokens you earn to pay for IRL expenses, then your contribution becomes an investment that could end up being something truly meaningful.