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Des Femmes newsletter - Issue #17

Des Femmes newsletter
Des Femmes newsletter
Hello and welcome to the Des Femmes newsletter! 👋

Our first print magazine is officially on shelves at Barnes & Noble, Chapters, and Books-A-Million bookstores across North America!! Tell us what you would like to see in future issues by contacting us at or reach out on Twitter via @desfemmesmag.
Lots of people have questions about what the Des Femmes ecosystem actually is. We are forming DAOs (community-managed crypto wallets) and have an LLC for paperwork and bureaucratic needs (our mainstream magazine distribution deals, from Whole Foods to Barnes & Noble, required bank accounts and legal paperwork). But I guess the short answer is: we’re still figuring out what this hybrid project looks like! 
We are so lucky to have brilliant women like Alice Albl and Sasha Hodder working on the compliance aspects (paperwork and the like). Our other community members are busy building up their own brands and we could not be more proud of them!
Leigh Cuen
Already w/@desfemmesmag we’ve had:
+ 1 keyholder start her own DAO
+ 1 community leader launch her own company
+ 1 keyholder raise $ for her startup via our intros
+ Many women managing their own crypto wallets for the first time 💪
We are pleased to intro Des Femmes community member Chase Chapman, one of the crypto industry’s leading DAO strategists, to share a few thoughts about what it means for a project to “exit to community” through gradual decentralization.
When people say “Web3,” they’re often imagining a more democratic internet – one where platforms and products are owned by those who build and use them. But what does that actually mean?
The playbook for most web3 projects goes ~something~ like this: 
Projects are built by a small, centralized team. Once they’ve built a product, have users, and are ready to begin progressive decentralization, a token is often retroactively distributed to team members, users of the project, investors, and other partners who helped make the project successful. This token typically gives holders special rights to governance or other useful functions, like attending IRL events. In the traditional startup world, this would look something like an IPO.
What counts as an “exit” in Web3 is still a bit blurry. Before we get into why, let’s take a step back and investigate what traditionally happens during startup exit. Exits for startups typically entail one of two things: Going public or getting acquired by a bigger company. 
In both cases, exits change who owns (or has the opportunity to own) a company. When a startup has an exit, there are almost always downstream effects because changes in ownership change company dynamics. Whether that be governance, business goals, leadership, etc. ‒ who owns something has massive impacts on how that thing operates.
Sometimes change in ownership means a company succeeds and returns value to shareholders. Other times, it means the startup is acquired by a larger company and products are slowly put to rest. In any case, what’s clear is that ownership is a massive responsibility.
In the crypto space, we’re exploring a fundamental shift in how we think about the distribution of that responsibility. Rather than limiting the opportunity to acquire ownership to founders and investors – Web3 projects often redefine who the owners should be. All this is happening in a world where we spend more and more time online. As we find ourselves frequenting digital spaces (increasingly over physical ones), it’s more important than ever that we have a say in what those spaces are like, what values they’re built upon, and how they’re governed.
Platforms and protocols are no longer “features” of our lives – they’re the cities we inhabit. When we say “exiting to community” we mean giving us, as citizens of these platforms, the right to vote, to have our voice heard, and to effect meaningful change. “Exiting to community” isn’t just about decentralizing or distributing tokens. It’s about acknowledging that digital spaces should be owned and controlled by those that inhabit them.
Highlights of the month:
🔥 Merch is live!! Check out the Des Femmes merch store here and be sure to tag us on Twitter of Instagram  if you rock any of these fantastic items online!
Community spotlight:
Next we’re excited to hear from an early Des Femmes community supporter, Leah Wald, about her entrepreneurial journey:
Pitching my startup, Valkyrie, to U.S. investors during the pandemic required a lot of late-night phone calls from my balcony in Singapore and a nightmarish scene from a low-budget horror film courtesy of my ~less than ideal~ quarantine hotel. 
I eventually flew back to the U.S. with my husband, whilst midway through my pregnancy. I consistently worked straight through any hint of a lunch break and learned quickly that launching an ETF while pregnant meant I truly had no energy after a long day to go grocery shopping or meal prep correctly. 
It would be easy to gloss over those months threading the needle of modern pregnancy and modern entrepreneurship but why should I? Every ‘project’ comes with a library of unwritten rules, etiquette, and expectations and pregnancy only made mine that much more unique. Depending on who was speaking at the time, critics often implied that I either didn’t care about my baby or my company. The usual sexism, now compounded by pregnancy judgments, never stopped. 
I’m here to tell you, even though it is hard, you don’t have to choose one over the other;  family planning or career growth. I know I’m not unique in my experience so I hope sharing my story of this wonderful, exciting, horrendously stressful time creating a business and a baby (in the same year!) will inspire you today and my daughter someday too. 
Let’s continue to share our stories and remove sexist stigmas. 
Des Femmes Classifieds:
Have you connected with our friends at Dirt? Dirt is a daily dispatch about entertainment and digital culture. It is a tasteful guide to the metaverse for people who love their witch NFTs and HBO logins. Sign up for the free newsletter and follow Dirt on Twitter
Interested in being spotlighted in our Classifieds? Reach out via email or twitter!
If you have any questions about the Des Femmes community, have any news in need of a shoutout in our highlights, or know someone worthy of a community spotlight, reach out to us on Twitter or Instagram via @desfemmesmag. Not a member yet? Buy an official membership here.  
Until next time, stay curious!
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We’re a community of badass women building wealth, together, thriving at the intersection of tech & finance. We create media & networking experiences.

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