Lessons from the Createbase Guild

Createbase had the opportunity to learn a lot so far since the guild was established in late 2020. This post is our way of sharing some of those lessons with the creatives guilds community. We hope it can benefit the community, and we welcome comments and suggestions, as well as testimonies from other guild coordinators to expand on practices they find useful.

First things first, this is how I see Createbase’s main goal:

Support people doing creative and innovative things with Mintbase NFTs on the NEAR blockchain.

This support can come in many forms. NEAR generously provides the guilds with a budget in NEAR tokens that can be given to the guild community. Besides that, non-monetary forms of support can be also extremely valuable, from networking contacts to consulting about individual projects, as well as amplifying people’s voices on social media and rewarding contributions with other forms of acknowledgment (NFT badges can work as a reputation currency for example).

Our guild is open to proposals for projects of varied scope coming from the community, as well as open bounties we create to fulfil specific needs identified by us.

What we found helpful regarding project proposals:

  • Be clear about the criteria on which proposals will be evaluated

Criteria can of course evolve and get refined with time, so communicate clearly what they currently are. We chose to post them on our website in an article stating what we fund and what we don’t fund, and also providing detailed explanation about how to apply for funding:

  • Help people turn their great ideas into great proposals

We see as part of our job helping community members format their idea into a clear proposal. Our goal is to have proposals be of such good quality that we can approve an outstanding majority of them.

Besides our post above explaining step by step how to apply for funding and write a proposal, we offer “office hours” in the form of “AMA”: voice & screenshare meetings on Discord, and also provide space during our community calls for people to present project ideas and chat at Airmeet tables. Proponents are always welcome to share their proposals in draft form before posting them, or if they prefer we can give feedback directly as comments on the proposal.

All proposals are public, and this transparency allows successful proposals to serve as examples for people looking for formatting tips when writing their own proposal.

  • Structure larger proposals into several phases, each with their own deliverable

We want people to aim high, and we do get some awesome proposals for big projects. In this case we ask proponents to plan several phases, breaking the grand plan into smaller concrete steps we can support gradually as the project develops.

One of the most important parts is to identify a concrete deliverable for each phase. The first phase deliverable can be as simple as a blog post outlining the project. This can be used as a reference for the future, as well as a “kickstarting” landmark, establishing the project name, team and product, like a foundation stone. It also can be very handy in order to start promoting and bringing awareness to the initiative.

As the project progresses, more concrete deliverables can be planned, for example in the form of NFT collections minted, or code written and deployed (if that’s the case). We also ask for people to provide us appropriate metrics as they complete each phase, for example: NFTs minted, wallets onboarded, NFTs transferred and sold, etc…

  • Pay each phase after the work is delivered.

This provides a tangible incentive for the teams to advance in their project, and protects the guild from bad actors. We do provide small funds in advance for onboarding (creating wallets and deploying stores). After that, we ask for at least a small deliverable (like the blog post mentioned above) in order to release the first payout. We work with the proposers to make sure they have enough funds for all the project costs and are not stuck in a loop where they need to have funds first to complete deliverables to earn funds.

After a community member has already completed projects successfully, we do make exceptions to this rule and pay projects in advance, as they have already owned trust in the guild.

We did have only one instance in which someone was provided with onboarding funds and falsely claimed to have onboarded several wallets. As the blockchain transactions are all public, we could see that this person had instead only staked the funds. In the end we had the funds returned, but if the person had refused to return them, it would have been just a small loss.

What we found helpful regarding bounties:

  • Be clear about the criteria on which bounty entries will be evaluated

Again, this is very important. We found useful for some bounties to offer a max payout instead of a fixed payout. This way submissions of varying quality can receive a each fair reward, and people who submit extra quality do not feel undervalued. On occasions we also added extra payment when we felt the work exceeded the criteria we originally asked for.

  • Provide a timeframe or indication of when the bounty is active

The popularity of some bounties took us by surprise, and we found it good to be clear from the beginning about when a bounty will end. For example: after x number of submissions, after x days, or a combination of both.

  • Have bounty participants submit their DAO payout proposals only after the team gives their OK

Bounty entries sometimes need to be adjusted in some way to fulfil the bounty requirements, and payment should only be done if the bounty entry is correct. If a payout proposal is submitted before this is checked, it can result in failed or expired proposals, causing frustration.

  • Give plenty feedback and communicate in the forum

This may seem obvious, but it’s key to keep the community going. We have weekly internal meetings to evaluate projects, so if a more detailed feedback cannot be given until the following week, we communicate that. For simpler feedback we can reply right away.

:smiley: Thanks for reading so far, we humbly hope this post will be useful, and we welcome comments!


Thank you @lenara
As a new guild this insight is super helpful.
Will take this into consideration as we finalize our bounty announcements.