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Club Network Journal 🌱 002
What's on the mind of a web3 builder in the days leading up to launch + the Accelerator team invites you to connect.
Welcome to issue 002 of CLUB Network Journal, your biweekly check-in with the ever-growing Seed Club ecosystem 🌱
In this issue:
A conversation with Studio project Serif, launching tomorrow June 8. We find out what’s on the mind of a web3 builder days before mint.
A brief update from the Accelerator Team. Are you interested in applying to SC05? This section is for you.
From the Studio Desk: a conversation with Serif
For this week’s Seed Club Project spotlight, we sat down with David Stevens, one half of the instigating team at Serif, “Serif is a community of LGBTQ+ creators & leaders assembling spaces for us, by us.” They’re opening their Founding Member mint tomorrow, June 8th. We caught them a few days ahead of their mint to find out what’s on the mind of a web3 builder in the days leading up to launch.
David! Welcome to Club Network Journal. Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us, over a digital doc and some tea. Speaking of which, what are you drinking right now?
Thank you for having me! I’m drinking an iced matcha latte. It's been my go-to order lately.
Yum, nothing like some EGCG to keep you motivated. Let’s back it up a second – what were you doing before finding yourself at the Seed Club Studio?
Wandering around in the web3 jungle, lost and waiting for Seed Club. Okay, maybe not totally lost but starting out in web3 can leave your head spinning a little from all the new information. Before joining Studio, we were in the process of transitioning Serif from a web2 community to a web3 community. By web2 community, I generally mean a top-down organizational structure where we built a centralized platform for community members to engage with each other IRL and URL but realized that this structure was too likely to fall into an attract-extract model which was precisely the opposite of what we wanted. Serif’s mission is to empower the queer community and so we knew had to explore other community governance structures that, instead of extracting value from the community over time, added more and more value to the community as time went on.
So now you’re here, in web3. Talk us through the evolution of Serif from a robust community in the physical world, to a digital community-governed network?
Our focus is first and foremost on queer community building and making sure that queer people have a hand in shaping the way blockchain technologies are used because without any sort of intervention I believe it has the potential to increase disparity and disportionately impact marginalized communities. We essentially had a community who had signed up for finding queer community that was now being introduced to all of these wild new web3 concepts. For the most part, their reactions were quite positive but there were certainly skeptics as well. I’m sympathetic to crypto-skepticism because I was in that seat not too long ago and I believe we need healthy, constructive criticism of this technology for it to reach its full potential. I think the most fascinating thing to me about the most ardent web3 skeptics early on was that they were often transformed into our most ardent supporters after getting more involved.
As for the logistics of evolving our existing community, we first announced our intentions to our current members and explained why this would benefit them and the community as a whole in the long term. Our early Founding Members are core to Serif’s DNA and we wanted to make sure anyone who was interested in making this transition with us had the tools they needed. For that, we started a web3 bootcamp to show members how to create a wallet, buy Ethereum, and understand blockchains and NFTs. We’ve been heads down building our Founding Membership NFTs in order to take our first big step towards true community governance.
Serif’s got a big day coming up (June 8!) What’s on your mind as you’re preparing for launch?
There’s been so much effort from so many talented people and teams to make this launch a reality (Seed Club included!). To be honest, it’s kind of surreal that this is actually happening but life is surprising like that sometimes. I think one thing most people in web3 agree on is that UX in general leaves a lot to be desired. At our launch party, we’re trying to make an experience out of minting an NFT that’s more communal and fun. And as the tech guy, I’m sweating it out a little hoping everything goes smoothly with the IRL mint!
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned so far building in web3? How are you building differently?
The thing I was most surprised by is that there are no rules, no playbooks. It’s still so early that we’re inventing best practices as we go, from marketing to governance to smart contract design. The other surprising thing is how collaborative everyone in the space is and how willing they are to share what they’ve learned with other projects. We’re building differently by building based on our core principles of (1) adding value to the queer community and (2) emphasizing user experience and all of our decisions stem from those tenets.
What lessons (if any) are you taking with you from your pre-web3 days?
I’m definitely bringing some web2 do's and don'ts over with me.
Treat the organization as a living organism
Put people first
Use data as a sensory mechanism within the organization for decision-making
Strive for self-management. Give people as much autonomy as possible and the latitude for localized decision-making without an overreliance on hierarchy.
Treat organizations or the people within them like machines to be optimized all the time (“pull lever”, “adjust resources”, “increase bandwidth”, “spare cycles” etc.)
Treat data as the be-all and end-all of decisions. Not everything that is important can be measured
Try to funnel all information up to centralized decision-makers at the top
Do you have any words of wisdom for people beginning their web3 building journey?
Immerse yourself in podcasts, Twitter spaces, newsletters and don’t get overwhelmed by all the new concepts. Web3 is a big shift in mindset so have some grace with yourself in the moments when it feels like things aren’t making sense or the space is moving too fast. Allow yourself some time to gain an intuition for which projects to pay attention to– it can take some time to be able to discern hype-based projects from purpose-driven projects.
We have to ask – how are you celebrating Pride?
Serif is having our NYC launch party on the rooftop of the Williamsburg Hotel right on June 23rd–the perfect way to end NFT NYC and kick off Pride. After that, I’m most looking forward to spending the weekend with my partner and our dog and catching up with friends who are in town for Pride!
That sounds amazing, we’ll see you there! In the meantime, thanks for hanging David – before we send you on your way, where can people find you?
You’re most likely to catch me on Twitter these days. Great hanging with you too, Steph. Thank you!
From the Accelerator Team
Thank you to all the projects who submitted the SC05 interest form! As of May 31st, 111 projects submitted the interest form, and 60+ projects scheduled 1:1s with our team 🤯
For June, we’re hosting three additional touchpoints for prospective projects to engage with our collaborators and alumni. Submit this interest form for more details on how to get in on the fun 👇
In other news… Dropping some additional alpha on what we’ve been working on 👀
We’re looping in collaborators earlier in the selection process. Our growing network is our greatest strength.
“We want the very act of applying to the Accelerator to be an immensely valuable experience for projects, through exposure and meaningful community feedback.” - Steph Alinsug, Seed Club Media Team
Through our June touchpoints, we’re providing prospective SC05 applicants with an opportunity to initiate conversations with our community and build deeper relationships within our ecosystem.
In the spirit of building in public, here’s a peek into our day-to-day:
We’ve transitioned SC04 projects to alumni.
We’re revamping our Accelerator curriculum.
We’re supporting upcoming product launches.
We’re outlining our path for introduction to nodes of influence.