Pivoting the EthernautDAO's Mission to "Cultivating Real Value in Web3"

Title: Pivoting the EthernautDAO’s Mission to “Cultivating Real Value in Web3”
Authors: Alejandro Santander a.k.a. Ethernaut
Date: 5/10/23


The EthernautDAO has made significant strides in transitioning senior Web2 developers into the Web3 realm. While this initiative has been fruitful, there’s an opportunity to expand our horizons. This proposal aims to shift the focus from individual developers to entire teams, transforming EthernautDAO from a grassroots educational entity to a grassroots value-building community. By identifying budding projects, providing comprehensive mentorship in areas beyond the technical realm, and ensuring a symbiotic relationship between mentors and projects, we can cultivate a more profound impact in the Web3 ecosystem.


EthernautDAO’s inception was driven by the need to address the scarcity of senior Web3 developers during a bull market. Through organic mentorships, we’ve not only bridged the gap between Web2 and Web3 but also built a robust community centered around the idea of unstructured contributions. Anyone can participate in the activities of the DAO. We now see that this community ethos transcends our initial mission, acting as an organization that amalgamates funds, talent, resources, and knowledge to foster value creation on a larger scope. Recognizing this, it’s time to broaden our mission: Cultivating Real Web3 Impact.

We can expand our ethos from helping devs enter Web3, into helping projects enter Web3, nurturing them from inception to success.


1. Identifying Seedling Projects

Determining which projects are suitable for EthernautDAO’s assistance is pivotal. Rather than setting rigid criteria, our approach leans towards a flexible framework. This allows both the council and the broader community to evaluate and decide on proposals on a case-by-case basis, reflecting the evolving ethos of our community.

Our aspiration is to center community decisions on supporting projects that promise genuine value to Web3. But what defines “real value”? One could argue that while the first Ethereum cycle birthed intriguing experiments and the second ushered in DeFi, there’s an anticipation for the third cycle to bring forth projects with tangible utility—applications that extend beyond just financial realms.

To unearth projects that align with EthernautDAO’s principles, we propose an evolution of our bounty initiatives. Rather than limiting them to experimental purposes, we can orchestrate online hackathons or competitions that champion the development of value-centric products. Hackathon victors would naturally emerge as ideal candidates for EthernautDAO’s holistic support.

While the exact methodologies for project identification and selection remain to be detailed, our intent here is clear: EthernautDAO should leverage its collective resources to pinpoint and engage projects that resonate with our values. Our ultimate goal? To assist these projects in achieving success, fulfilling our mission of nurturing genuine value in the Web3 space.

2. Project Mentorships

While our foundational model underscored the educational role of mentors, it’s evident that mentors, particularly those well-versed in the Web3 sphere, offer a diverse array of expertise beyond just technical know-how. Their skill set encompasses:

Fundraising and grant acquisition

Audit navigation

System design and execution

Code assessments

Engaging and managing communities

On-chain procedures

Building networks and fostering collaborations

Implementing security protocols and preventing breaches

Ensuring legal adherence

Offering ethical and value-driven insights

Providing technical counsel

Sharing historical insights

Assisting in team formation and growth

And more…

This expansive skill set implies that EthernautDAO’s mentorship potential extends beyond just developers. Our community is a reservoir of expertise, including specialists in community engagement, communication, management, finance, and more.

When a budding project collaborates with the DAO, the nature of mentorship is tailored to its unique needs. For instance, a project well-acquainted with the Web3 landscape but lacking technical prowess might seek technical guidance or even developer support from the DAO. Conversely, a technically adept project might approach the DAO for assistance in fundraising or grant acquisition. The support structure is adaptable, evolving in tandem with the project’s growth trajectory.

3. Bridging Mentors and Projects

EthernautDAO’s potential extends beyond just aiding projects; it encompasses empowering those who empower these projects: the mentors. Our vision is to elevate the traditional consulting role into something more powerful.

While an individual might offer consultancy to a project in return for equity, EthernautDAO can redefine this dynamic. We can transition a consultant into a mentor, providing them with the flexibility to cater to a project’s evolving needs. Furthermore, the DAO can offer a blend of compensation, converting a portion of the equity into immediate payment. This approach not only incentivizes mentorship but also appeals to those who value immediate remuneration.

By adopting this model, EthernautDAO can amplify the potential of relationships between projects and their contributors, especially during pivotal growth phases. While the specifics of such agreements between the DAO, projects, and mentors are yet to be detailed, this proposal underscores our intent: EthernautDAO as a facilitator, strengthening and simplifying these crucial relationships.

Pioneering with Grateful: A Case Study in Mentorship


To actualize the vision outlined in the preceding sections, I propose that EthernautDAO take a tangible step by formalising an ongoing mentorship between myself and the Grateful project, converting it into a relationship between the DAO and the Grateful project.

Approximately a year ago, I had the privilege of guiding Agustin Duha into the Grateful team. This mentorship was unique, as it entailed the transformation of a developer into a pivotal role - the CTO of the team. Through this journey, my role evolved from merely being an educational mentor, to acting as a holistic consultant for the project. This transition underscores the seamless shift from viewing mentors as educators to recognizing them as consultants.

Grateful has since developed and launched its product and is now in discussions with me for an official consultancy role. While our collaboration is ongoing, we have yet to finalize the terms of our partnership. Specifics regarding my contributions and the compensation structure remain undefined.

This is a perfect scenario for the DAO to present a 3-way proposal, as per the ideas presented above.

What is Grateful?

Grateful is a Web3 subscriptions payment method for recurring payments to content creators, projects, service providers and organisations where balances generate yield.

Project site: https://www.imgrateful.io/


EthernautDAO is at a defining crossroads. By adopting this forward-thinking vision, we position ourselves to magnify our influence in the Web3 landscape, fostering a future rooted in sustainability and genuine value. The journey with the Grateful project can be the beacon for this renewed vision. Through its success, we can set a precedent, illustrating to emerging projects the depth of support they can harness within the Web3 ecosystem.

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