Setting comparisons to the legendary Silicon Valley forum where, in 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak debuted the first Apple computer aside, what Friends With Benefits (FWB) currently exists as is equal parts music discovery platform, online publication, startup incubator and an almost-Bloomberg terminal for crypto investors all wrapped into one. The crypto-backed Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) and social club is a group of cultural creators using Web3 tools to build community and foster creative agency. Investors and supports of the DAO, which raised $10 million at a $100 million valuation in a round led by West Coast Kingmakers Andreessen Horowitz, believe the creative class is among the most under-monetized talent pools and that the FWB DAO offers an attractive opportunity to, well, properly monetize them.
The way it works, is that members must own FWB tokens, and once they do, depending on the amount they hold, are given tiered voting access to group decisions, as well as similarly gatekept from content, events and more FWB offerings. Proposals for everything the group does are put to a popular vote, and before buying tokens, prospective members need to be approved by a committee of current members. It is an intriguing model, and both FWB and its investors are full of heady optimism about the new method of organizing communities and aligning incentives to funnel creative energy DAO’s offer.
With the rise of DAOs or member-owned communities, rather than joining a passive membership program, consumers are able to register their commitment to a creator or initiative by legitimately buying into the business. In return, these super-fans are awarded benefits and an active voice in determining how the community, business, or initiative grows and expands.
This article originally appeared in the PSFK iQ report, Consumer Creators: Selling To Gen Z.