Here’s this right away, so you don’t have to scroll if you’re here for the meetup :)
Wait a minute, what even is a “guild”?
A guild is any group of people with a common interest or a goal; be it building a certain product, offering a certain service or both.
This piece is by no means definitive. It is mostly focused on building guilds around a product idea in the Ethereum space, and is based on what worked for me 🤷♂️
Off you go
So, you’ve decided to set out on an adventure?
In all likelihood, the end you’ve decided to pursue cannot be reached by one person alone - regardless of how powerful. If you’re a builder, you could use some help memeing your project. If you’re a memer, well.. There just isn’t much you can do on your own in terms of actually building it.
Whereas you might have it a bit easier if you’re a builder yourself, don’t assume that if you build it, they will come - they won’t, not on their own. I’ve encountered many amazing builders religiously abstaining from promoting their project. If you’re one of them, get over it. It your duty to promote it. There is a finite amount of attention to be grabbed and if you don’t grab it, some other shitty project will.
Memers don’t have this bias against promoting stuff, but they have enough of a problem of their own. As they can’t build their project before trying to attract people, they need to shill something that doesn’t even exist yet. Selling dreams is not easy but is far from impossible; start by giving them away for free.
Building a Community
Unless you have a lot of money & are ready to start hiring people to build your idea, you need to start building a community right away.
Your people are your evangelists; they will talk about your project & refer others to it. They will help you source any kind of help you need to make it real. They will help you steer toward what’s useful and away from what sucks. Most importantly, having them around will keep you motivated.
Your community is your marketing department, your builders, your consultants, your funders, your most faithful supporters & your earliest adopters. Get it? Build it.
Start a telegram chat. Yeah, simple as that. Start a chat and invite anyone you talked to that seemed interested in the idea.
Start making memes about your idea. Write an article & ask for feedback. What is unclear? What sucks? Improve it and ask them what they want explained next.
Set up the first content distribution channel. I recommend you start here, on Substack, simply because it’s easy and you get to “own” your audience. It’s important you start building a mailing list as soon as possible.
Your project will need a Twitter account, but don’t shy from promoting it through your personal account. Also distribute the article to whatever reddit, telegram or facebook group seems relevant.
Keep on writing. It is important that every (known) aspect of your idea is understood. Nobody will help you if they don’t understand your idea. Writing also helps you flesh out the idea and signal that you’re actively working on it.
Share each one in your chat, on Twitter, other telegram chats; both 1on1 and group chats. Think harder about where else you could share it; subreddits, facebook groups, other forums & community gathering places.
Being in the MetaCartel is what made most difference to me in the beginning. So, join other communities, but don’t just barge in and spam your articles. You don’t want to be seen as a spammer, you just want to be seen. So be useful!
Keep asking for feedback. Don’t just say “some feedback pls”, you need the people to tell you specifically what sucks & what isn’t understood.
So you’ve written a few articles and your chat is, say, 50 people strong. Good job, you hatched a community! If you still have no community, you either haven’t tried hard enough or you’re building something nobody cares about. Nobody needs another wallet app.
If you’re looking for a technical “co-founder” and you still haven’t found one, try harder. You should be checking & asking everywhere; development subreddits, Gitcoin, Devpost, whatever hackathon is going on, 1MillionDevs, MetaGame, MetaCartel, Raid Guild… Get it? Everywhere there’s builders. Focus on that now.
Accounting, Giving Back & Moving Forward
Depending on how you want to be spreading the ownership of your project (tokenizing?), you should probably be keeping track of the things you do. Before we had SourceCred, I was simply taking notes of time spent doing active work. I arbitrarily decided 1 hour of work is worth 10 points + multiplier depending on impact, keeping it simple.
All the while doing the above, NEVER forget cherishing the people helping you. You can never thank them enough, but you can thank them. So thank them for every feedback & advice you get; even when useless. Thank them in public & thank them in private. Assign them some of those tokens. Important.
Keep on asking for feedback & implementing it when it makes sense. Your people should feel empowered and think “Oh, I say something useful and they listen!” When you get negative feedback, don’t be jumping into defense mode. Take time to reflect first. If true, affirm the feedback no matter how painful.
If you’ve been doing everything right, and the thing you’re pushing forward is something the people want, you should by now have a triple digit community.
The innermost circle is where the people who helped you are. They might have only given you some feedback, retweeted something or told their frend, but they did something useful. The ones shining the brightest are the ones activated and helping more regularly.
The outermost ring is simply all the twitter followers or newsletter subscribers. They are only lurking for now but consider them a part of your community. If they’re here now, it’s a matter of time before you deliver enough for them to get more active.
Point is, by now, your idea is alive. It might have been only a figment of your imagination just a bit ago, but now that it exists in the heads of other people you may consider it alive. You are expected to keep delivering & make it more tangible.
It’s time to start thinking about migrating to a multi-channel chat app, eg. Discord or Matrix, or at least start using Telefuel.
Also start thinking about launching a DAO & actually distributing the tokens to formalize the thing. Implementing SourceCred?
There will probably need to be a whole blog post about choosing the right DAO framework; let us know if you want it or just need some help choosing.
Starting a project is not as hard as you may think; people massively overestimate what it actually takes to get started with something. They keep on waiting for the “right time”; when the idea has developed enough in their head, when they have acquired the right knowledge & skill, when they find the right people…
Some keep on waiting for that perfect moment forever - never starting their project.
Good news: it’s not hard to get it started, and now is the perfect time. So just dao it.
Don’t lose momentum
Off you go!
Whatever you’re doing to push your project forward, do it publicly - even if it feels embarrassing and you’re failing.
Start fostering a community & regularly expressing your gratitude for their presence. You probably can’t make it without them.
Don’t. Lose. Momentum.
Have this video that Peter of MetaCartel shared with me when I was just getting started with MetaGame:
Need more help?
I wrote this post on building effective teams, that should help too.
Message me @peth on Twitter, Telegram or Discord with any questions.
Join the MetaGame Discord & ask for help.
Join the Summoners Monthly (message me for invite)
Tell me what you want to hear about next, and I’ll keep them coming :)