This will come as an unexpected bit of news to many of you, but I will be stepping down from my (informal) responsibilities at BanklessDAO and taking an indeterminate amount of time off as well.
Coming to this decision has been about two months in the making and checkered with guilt, confusion, uncertainty, and sadness. It’s really hard to admit that something may not be right for you when you’ve poured heart and soul into it!
So, before I take an indefinite sabbatical, there are a few things I want to touch on:
- A reflection on how far we’ve come and what we’ve built
- My reasons for stepping down
- What’s next for BanklessDAO and me
BanklessDAO is a massive fucking success. When we started, we were just a bunch of excited PFPs on a Discord. But we’ve genuinely built something that will last, in some capacity.
As a thought experiment, ask yourself: If BanklessDAO had 0 BANK left to allocate, where would we be?
A number of our projects would continue to operate. For the most part, our newsletters are self-sustaining. Bankless Consulting is exploding. The Rug generates its own revenue at no cost to the DAO. All of our software products (Bounty Board, DEGEN, DAODash) could probably go raise money from VCs. Many not-yet-live projects could continue on as passion projects or find their way into other DAOs.
BanklessDAO has been a springboard for many of us to familiarize ourselves with the space. We’ve built our networks, joined other DAOs, upskilled, and adopted new technologies. We helped ourselves go Bankless.
The PEOPLE. Good lord the people… BanklessDAO has materially changed the lives of many of us. I’ve made friends here that I will keep for life, and I think the same can be said for many others. I’ve had the pleasure to meet so many smart, funny, caring, and overall good people here at the DAO.
Consider that this is if our treasury was at 0! In reality, we’re vesting an additional 11M BANK on a monthly basis for another 27 months (we’ve vested for about 8 months so far) and are slowly accumulating revenue. We have a ton of runway left to utilize.
Throw on the fact that we have fresh talent joining the DAO and working on hard problems.
If we’re a success, why get off the rocket ship?
BanklessDAO scaled rapidly. Faster than I could have thought possible. In the wake of its growth, we have a number of challenges we have to resolve:
- Economic sustainability
- Organization design (including subDAOs)
- Compensation/Contributor Satisfaction
- Legal status
- Moving further on-chain
- Tokenomics, liquidity, L2s
These are all problems that I find challenging and fascinating, but feel the consistent burden of responsibility to find answers for.
Yes, I know that these are not my problems to bear and that I don’t need to handle these problems on my own, but I can’t help it. Given my position in the DAO as a leader, I feel the burden and can’t shake it.
All in all, it’s taken a massive toll on my mental health. I’m tired. I’m worn out. I put a lot of pressure on myself and it’s not fun anymore.
I played a big part in taking BanklessDAO from 0 to 1. I’m not excited about taking it from 1 to 100.
And honestly, in a way… I have this nagging feeling that I’ve been holding us back. I think there are others that are better suited to handle the tasks in front of us.
So what exactly does “stepping down mean?” It means I’m recusing myself from any leadership and coordination work (including the GSE role). I’ll have my 35,000 BANK minimum, join the CCs when I have time, maybe write for the Writers Guild, and chime in on the occasional forum post.
But I’m stepping down from ops, governance, strategy, and leadership.
The process for off-boarding will be gradual. I do a lot of work for the DAO, especially for ops. I’ll be gradually passing off those responsibilities, but otherwise, I’m pressing the brakes on all the other things I’ve been driving forward.
Hang out with me long enough and you’ll here me say “If you step back, someone else will step up.” I believe that wholeheartedly. I’ve experienced it myself. There are many of us here that are passionate about governance, strategy, operations, and coordination. With me out of the picture, I suspect others will take on these challenges. I trust in the community, you should too.
Before I go, I have one last brain dump, tentatively titled
My Vision for BanklessDAO. It’ll be a relatively comprehensive essay and roadmap on how the DAO can sustain itself far into the future. But it’ll be up to you to execute, should you choose to.
You may ask if I have a vision, why don’t I enact it? Again, I’m tired and don’t want that burden anymore.
As for me personally - I need to think through what I want to do next. I know that I want to take February to decompress. My topmost priory is my mental health. I also have a lot of writing I want to do - All these thoughts and lessons on DAOs that I want to get on paper. From there… I’m not sure. I still have my part-time role at HQ and that’s been extremely rewarding. But I also want exposure to other DAOs and how they do things. What’s the state of DAO tooling? How do VCs think about DAOs? I’ve had my head buried so long in BanklessDAO, this is an opportunity to canvas the rest of the ecosystem and level up my subject matter expertise.
Trying to wrap up, I feel like I should say something profound or inspirational, but it feels too contrived. So instead, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for this opportunity. Thanks for trusting me. Thank you for some of the most rewarding and meaningful months in my life.
Thank you for being my friends.
I love you all.
P.S. If you would be so kind, would you mind liking and retweeting this to signal boost?