2021: Looking back on a Glorious year 🌟

Seasons greetings :christmas_tree:

Owls, Owlettes, and Comrades,

Rejoice - for we have completed a truly glorious year together! 2021 was the best year of my life, not for any personal accomplishments, but for the amazing memories and relationships formed at IC. Together we accomplished a lot. Every day brought new challenges and opportunities, and we navigated each of them together. I hope everyone reading this feels incredibly proud. We will be telling our children and grandchildren about our time leading the Web3 revolution.

Looking back at the past year brings a flood of memories. Around this time last year, many of us were making our first tentative steps into a new kind of world. Desperate for community and purpose, somehow we found our ways to the IC forum or Discord. At first, we felt intimidated and out of place, but we pushed through. We reached out to people and started writing governance posts. We started to build rock-solid relationships and bonds of trust. Slowly, we built one of the best and most supportive communities in the world.

We live in a rapidly changing world. Some of these changes are frightening. At times the future can feel dark and uncertain. Thousands of miles separate us, and many of us may never meet in person. Many community members face lockdowns, civil war, and tremendous economic upheaval. In times like these, we must remember to look out for each other and take care of one another. The battles of a changing world are too great for any individual, but together we will triumph.

Regardless of what the future brings, we must hold strong to our memories and faith in each other. Here are some of my favorite memories and stories from this year.

Memories :scroll:

December 2020

Call For Non-Technical Contributors, the post that started it all. I moved down to Mexico City in December of last year. Burned out on business school and disillusioned with banking, I needed to make a radical break to build a new life. After spending the fall diving into DeFi and Crypto, I knew that if I didn’t take immediate and radical steps to find a place in this exciting new world I would regret it for the rest of my life.

I spent my first few weeks in Mexico City reading whitepapers and researching DAOs. I would go on four or five-hour walks and just think about Crypto. I felt incredibly intimidated and uncertain. After leaving the Marines I didn’t know anyone who worked in tech, much less in Crypto. Every day I asked myself, did I have the skills I needed? Do I have what it takes?

And then one day I stumbled on this post - this was something I could do! I reached out to @puniaviision and sent him my resume. He laughed and told me I didn’t need a resume, I just needed to show up. Slowly I started to help out. At first, I edited slide decks and FAQs, over time I started to do more.

January 2021

Suddenly, I found myself immersed in Index Coop. At the time we only had two meetings a week. @ LemonadeAlpha and @ reganbozman had just started the first Growth Working group. I still felt very intimidated - everyone was so brilliant. I had to learn so many skills. Twitter, Discord, Telegram, even Google Meets felt new.

The entire month was filled with calls and 1:1s. I woke up every day at 6 am and filled every waking hour with Index Coop. I first met some of the incredible owls who would become some of my best friends, @ DarkForestCapital @ overanalyser @ Mringz @ dev.

Slowly we started to organize ourselves and coordinate. Everything was hard. Our Twitter account barely had any followers, and we were neck and neck with Basket DAO, Pie DAO, Indexed Finance, and others. The future of IC was far from certain.

Within a few weeks of working at IC I knew that it was all I wanted to do. One day I called up the investment bank where I was supposed to work after graduating from business school and told them I would not be working there. My hands were shaking. Was this the biggest mistake of my life? What if everything crashes tomorrow?

But I trusted my intuition and I trusted the community.

February and March 2021

These were slows months with lots of hard work. We established Business Development as a working group and started to reach out to every team in DeFi. But no one wanted to talk to us. Index funds weren’t sexy or cool, vaults with 1000% APY were sexy and cool.

I became closer to more members of the Index Coop community. @gregdocter and I slowly became friends - we started to develop a relationship that nurtures and inspires me to this day. When everything felt like it was falling apart, as it did almost every week, his calm voice and energy kept me going.

One day in March a new community member reached out to learn more. He had a background in fintech. During our first call, I explained how I wanted to start reaching out to more traditional financial institutions. He spent the next hour asking me questions and giving me amazing advice. By the end of the call, I realized that he knew far more about FinTech and TradFi than I ever would. If anyone was going to lead our Institutional Business push, it was going to be him. He asked if he could invite his best friend to join as well. Since that day @Metfanmike and @fallow8 have become two of my closest and most cherished friends in IC.

April and May 2021

Suddenly everything started to click! Index Coop had its first massive influx of new community members. Suddenly we went from 5 or 10 people on our weekly calls to 20 or 30. @Matthew_Graham and @ MrMadila would spend hours on the phone every week talking about the future of Index Coop and our plans. I will never forget those calls - walking in endless circles in my parent’s living room, sketching an amazing new future.

In late April @Pepperoni_Joe and @mel.eth, both told me they planned to leave their jobs to contribute full-time at IC. For me, that was the moment when I knew we were going to make it. If these two brilliant people believed in IC so much that they were willing to risk everything to be a part of it- we were going to be UNSTOPPABLE :muscle: .

We also started to plan for our Treasury Diversification. In late April, I didn’t know any Venture Capital funds. And then suddenly @ reganbozman and I were talking to four or five funds a day. After less than six months working in DeFi, I suddenly found myself on calls with the Founding Partners of LightSpeed and 1kx. This was an incredible learning experience and forced me to seriously level up as a DeFi professional.

The Treasury Diversification was far from a certainty. Most investors wanted to take a wait-and-see approach. They were not used to talking to DAO community members, and they wanted to see how the market evolved. I will never forget when we got our first yes from 1kx and Galaxy Digital. I went outside, jumping up and down and yelling at the top of my lungs. I’ve never been more excited.

May also brought a major market crash. With the Treasury Diversification only partially complete many investors started to balk and think about pulling out of the deal. Regan, @dylan and I spent a stressful weekend trying to salvage the deal. We spent hours on the phone reassuring investors. When everything finally closed we all sighed in relief.

That month I also graduated from NYU with my MBA. I spent graduation week telling my friends about Index Coop and how amazing it was. They all looked at me like I was crazy. “Dude, what are you talking about?” was the common refrain.

June, July, September, and August 2021

These months were a blur. We went to Bitcoin Miami, ETHCC, and Blockworks. I first met the brilliant @ oneski22 and @ chasechapman in person in Miami. I met @ Dmitriy_Berenzon, @ pet3rpan, @ samuelharrison and many of our other passionate supporters. Suddenly Index Coop was all that anyone was talking about.

@Metfanmike and @fallow8 hosted the first major Index Coop event in NYC. Mike spoke in front of a 300 person crowd of bankers, and finance professionals. After the event that night I rented a CityBike and rode for hours through NYC - dreaming of our future.

I spent a week in Paris with @ verto0912 and @ Lavi. AG and I had spent much of our first months at IC butting heads over random things that feel petty in retrospect. In person, we realized just how much we had in common and how much we enjoyed hanging out. There is no better way to bond than spending a week in Paris sneaking into random DeFi events and telling people how awesome IC is.

Discord and Telegram went from 10 or 20 messages a day to 100s and 100s. New leaders like @ pujimak_in @ bax86 @ Miza, @ Cavalier_Eth, and @ afromac emerged and lead new efforts. Major new working groups began to form and attract a huge swathe of contributors. Women in IC and APAC both hold a special place for me.

In August I traveled to Maine for my best friend Caleb’s wedding. We spent six years together in the Marine Corps stationed in Hawaii, Japan, and Korea. I wore my uniform for the wedding. On our way to the ceremony, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I stared at my medals and rank, and I knew that it would be my last time in the uniform. But I also knew that I had joined a new brotherhood and sisterhood that would help guide me into the future.

October and November 2021

These were the months of the DeFi Pulse and Index Coop discussion. @Felix @fallow8 @scott_lew_is and I spent over four hours every day for almost 12 weeks discussing the relationship between IC and DFP. What began as a simple discussion on fee splits quickly evolved into a deep dive into every aspect of IC.

When I first spoke with Scott, I remember feeling intimidated. But during those months I found that he is one of the kindest and most genuine people working in Crypto. His friendship and mentorship have been a true blessing.

Felix and I both have strong personalities, but over time we learned to trust each other and work together. He is a true warrior. During those months I gained a tremendous appreciation for his vision. During the most stressful weeks, we would spend a few minutes meditating every day. That was when I knew he was a true leader and a powerful ally for Index Coop.

I spent these months driving through Northern Mexico. Surrounded by the desert and mountains I felt a kalidscope of emotions. These were the first really hard times, I had to dig into the very depths of my reserves and summon the energy to keep going forward. If we were going to build a global financial powerhouse we would need to be at our absolute best.

We emerged from those talks exhausted, but with an incredibly strengthened relationship between IC and DFP. Our future together is incredibly bright!

December 2021

One word - TIRED. After a year of 24/7 Index Coop, I crashed. But Index Coop didn’t crash! Huge steps forward occurred and we elected the Wise Owl council. This marked the culmination of INDEX 2.0 and helped secure our future for many years to come. We went from a small team to an army of OWLS capable of accomplishing ANYTHING.

Onward and forward into 2022! :partying_face:

I hope you enjoyed my memories from this year. Together, we accomplished a lot, but it is a small fraction of what we will accomplish over the coming years. We are building a collective history and a collective future. The new year will bring many new challenges, and we cannot be certain what they will be. But we know that we have each other, and together we can accomplish anything​:rocket::rocket::rocket:

If you have time during this busy holiday season- I would love to hear your favorite memories and stories from 2021.

20 Likes

This is an awesome review! I’m the new guy here. I been obsessed with TradFi and DeFI ever since I was exposed to Trading. This is such a nice post! It just shows the community that you guys have built! I hope to contribute in anyway possible with you guys in the next year of 2022!

2 Likes

Welcome to the best team on Web3- we are super stoked to have you on board!!!

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Happy New Year buddy! Just keep being amazing :clap:

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Happy New Year!
I have just joined this community. Reading this article has convinced me that I have made the right choice in coming here. Thank you and best regards.

1 Like