Being a member of the Solidity Guild costs $99 per month or $999 per year. We recognize that this is a different model for web3/crypto communities and want to expand on why we charge a monthly membership fee instead of some other model.
The Solidity Guild's purpose is to be an expertise-based community for Solidity and smart contract engineers. This means anyone learning Solidity, writing or auditing smart contracts, or developing on-chain protocols. To continue supporting members, the Guild needs some way of being sustainable. We considered many options and ultimately settled on a simple membership fee. Some of the options we ruled out are:
A token sale or NFT
A very common way for web3 communities to get started is to sell an NFT that grants you access to the community. While this is common and has many cases where it does make sense, it presents a few problems for us. Namely, in order to keep funding the Guild, we would need to keep selling tokens and thus keep growing membership. But we don't want the Guild to be a big community with 10,000 members. We likely don't want to have more than 500 members. We want a community that is small and focused and free of any noise.
Another option we considered was a referral fee for inbound contracting work. For example, if you are hired to write an NFT contract, the Guild would take 10% as a referral fee for providing the lead. This is another common way for specialized communities to fund themselves, but it again presents a couple of problems. The biggest problem we saw with this approach is alignment between the Guild and its members. The purpose of the Guild is to support you and your growth as a smart contract engineer. Being a middle-man is unattractive as a sustainability model from an administrative perspective (it would be a lot of work) and a community perspective (it's just a bad vibe). We don't want to be in between you and getting paid for your work.
In Favor of Member Dues
While not perfect, member dues are very attractive as a sustainability model for a couple of reasons.
We don't need to charge a lot to make the Guild sustainable and aren't forced into a position where we have to keep growing to stay sustainable. We also don't have to enforce fees, worry about being cut out of deals, or be involved in the messy business of being between you and getting paid for your work.
But the ultimate reason we settled on this approach is this: member dues are a question in the form of a financial transaction. Did you get $99 or more of value from being a member last month, such that you want to stay for the next month?
In the last year, many of our members have won over $100,000 worth of contract work through the Guild. Others accelerated their learning and expertise as a Solidity developer such that they were able to quickly transition into a full-time role on a protocol team. Others were able to quickly find a new job through the Guild. Others were able to leave their full-time job and support themselves independently through the Guild.
Each month or year, when you go to pay your member dues, we get to ask you if you received value out of being a member. Our goal as a Guild is that each time you pay your member dues, the answer is a resounding, "Yes."