Tips for new DAO contributors

Advice for DAO newbies

Yearn’s Culture
Yearn is a friendly global collective where everyone is welcome and free to add value however they see fit. With contributors spanning the globe, Yearn is teeming with builders, self-starters, and collaborators seeking an opportunity to improve DeFi. Token-holders make up Yearn, but Yearn is more than $YFI. Contributors populate Telegram and Discord to work on this protocol, and the price of $YFI isn’t the primary motivation of those within Yearn.

Why join a DAO
“We are all here for different reasons, we all have different goals,” page 19 of the Blue Pill states. Everyone joins a Dao for different reasons, for some, it’s the allure of leaving their 9–5, for others, it’s the chance to work in a new and constantly changing space, and for others the ability to earn income by accomplishing tasks (also known as bounties). Working within a DAO is akin to freelance work: by completing tasks you get paid. Similar to freelance work, you have to stay on top of your workflow and manage your own projects in order to stay on top of deadlines. But unlike a freelance business, DAOs are wide-reaching and the responsibility falls on the shoulders of hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of contributors and token-holders. This requires a shift in mindset, going from that of an employee to an owner, and representative of the DAO.

Adopting an owner mindset
Owners can do things that employees cannot. Not because of their position, but because of their mindset. As Roxine Kee of Cabin writes, “Finding, developing, and empowering owners within a DAO is the key to sustainable decentralization. This is essential to scaling a community without losing context or quality. But how do we do that?”

To me, becoming an owner within a DAO means taking responsibility for outcomes and being empowered to make the decisions that will lead to those outcomes. Instead of thinking about tasks and deliverables, you focus more on trends and outcomes. Every decision has an opportunity cost, so the goal should be to optimize for the long-term success of the DAO.

Helpful skills for new contributors
I talked to several Yearn contributors to learn more about what tips they had for new DAO contributors. Here’s a summary of what they said!

  • Tracheopteryx
    Team/focus/ function: Governance, ops, compensation
    How long have you been at Yearn: July 2020
    Advice or tips for new DAO contributors?: “Do the work that you love, that you’re best at, that you can get paid for, while also keeping in mind the needs of the DAO.”
  • Storm0x
    Team/focus/ function: Security team/core protocol development/strategies review and risk scoring/yearn watch PO
    How long have you been at Yearn: 12+ months
    Advice or tips for new DAO contributors?: “Get involved, don’t feel bad about being overwhelmed or asking questions. Plenty of folks are here to help newcomers, and we have a much better onboarding process these days.”
  • DefiGlenn
    Team/focus/ function: Support team and onboarding team
    How long have you been at Yearn: 5 months
    Advice or tips for new DAO contributors?: “Show initiative and be persistent when trying to contribute, if one thing doesn’t work, try another”
  • FarrahMay
    Team/focus/ function: onboarding team
    How long have you been at Yearn:
    Advice or tips for new DAO contributors?: “1-Read the docs 2-Use the product 3-Learn the culture 4- Get your hands dirty 5-Talk to everybody 6-Rinse and repeat”
  • Anon
    Team/focus/ function:DAO operations, governance, and culture
    How long have you been at Yearn: September 2020
    Advice or tips for new DAO contributors?: 1. Understand our culture. Read everything you can get ahold of. 2. Build trust. 3. Absorb your cost of onboarding. 4. Write onboarding docs. 5. Meet everyone. 6. Figure out what the hell is going on. 7. Have an opinion on that direction. 8. Delegate.
  • Loki
    Team/focus/ function: Pm for yMechs/ Tenderly
    Product Team Member
    How long have you been at Yearn: August 2021
    Advice or tips for new DAO contributors?: “Having a willingness to dive in and tackle things is important. Communication — share where you are at, what you are working on, and blockers. Confidence — if you mess up, you have to regroup, learn and move forward.”
  • J
    Team/focus/ function: ySupport, helping users with product and UI issues, troubleshooting, bridging the gap between users and teams
    How long have you been at Yearn: January 2021
    Advice or tips for new DAO contributors?: “Respect everyone and everything. Do not feel pressured to perform or deliver more than you can. Remember to take care of your off-chain and offline life. When the time comes that you need a break, take it. Yearn is here to stay and will welcome you as always. gm”
  • PhoenOix
    Team/focus/ function: Product Manager on the protocol team
    How long have you been at Yearn: one month
    Advice or tips for new DAO contributors?: “I see a lot of comments about being afraid of doing things the right way, like the right way always, which leads us to perfection but also restricts experimentation. We should encourage people to make mistakes. Like the Spotify mindset, ‘we fail a lot, but we fail fast, and we fix faster’”

Stay tuned for more updates about contributing to a DAO and what it means to be an owner in Web 3. Interested in joining Yearn? Visit here.

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