I think organizations require very different leaders at different stages. There are very few leaders who can stretch from org inception to customer validation to product-market fit to scale-up. The question then is which stage is the Coop at. Putting it bluntly, I think we’re probably in-between customer validation and PMF but not firmly at PMF yet. I also agree with catjam and your sentiments that we need a turnaround. I think there are signs that that turnaround is underway but it’s only just beginning.
With all of that in mind, at our current stage, I think leaders who can make hard decisions, execute a turnaround, and bridge to PMF would be preferable to a visionary or C-level exec who can scale a growth business. Once we’ve firmly achieved PMF and have a proven scalable business model then we’ll be in a much stronger position to recruit or recognize the leadership that we will have earned.
I would like to nominate myself for Index Council.
This was not something I had intended on doing. I would much prefer to focus on building out the product team as a world-beating organization. That said, I believe there are massive opportunities for Index Coop in the near future - that we run the risk of missing out on. I want to at least share my views with the rest of the organization, so everyone has the opportunity to decide if these are goals we should work towards.
Index Coop Mission Statement
I believe we aim WAY TOO LOW as an organization. While we have retired our original statement - “be the Blackrock of crypto”. I still think it does a fantastic job of reminding us of how narrow the scope of what we originally set out to do actually was - lets take a successful business model and apply it to a new niche within the industry.
We should not model ourselves on financial institutions. They are dinosaurs. We should instead model ourselves on the tech giants of the early 21st Century. And we should aim to surpass them in time.
We need to want to disrupt finance, not ape into it through a regulatory back door before the dust settles. Co-opting a line from Google, lets organize the world’s financial system and make it useful for everyone. That’s bigger than crypto. Crypto and blockchain is not our business - it’s just a substrate for us to build our business on. What our business should be focused on is creating access for the individual to the kind of financial opportunities that have only previously been available to experts and insiders. This a the key trend we see in DeFi right now, and we would be foolish to ignore it. The BASIS-ETH is a perfect example of this. A large part of our business model should be based on identifying middle men and removing them from the ecosystem. This is how we generate massive value. The REAL index is an example of this. We can disrupt billions worth of credit markets by enabling liquidity to easily flow from on-chain to off-chain. Our mission statement needs to evolve to encompass this understanding - that decentralized finance requires the active disruption of the paradigm that currently exists. This awareness will prime us in our understanding of the landscape and inform our decisions to pursue opportunities like BASIS and REAL.
Centralization vs Decentralization
Right now IC would benefit from operating far closer to a traditional startup than we had previously. There is an enormous amount of wasted energy and overlap in the coop, and at times it’s extremely hard to identify who should be in charge of what initiative.
I would suggest, we abandon the KPI model and instead focus on OKRs (Objective & Key Result) as our key metric. The main difference being that KPIs are purely quantitative and run indefinitely. OKRs are tied directly to an Objective, and run for a defined time period. As the owner of the OKR, you have limited time to reach your Key Result. Well designed OKRs start at the organization-wide level and cascade down to Nest > Pod > Contributor. Each level down on the cascade should design their OKRs to serve the OKRs on the tier above them. OKRs should be published and publicly viewable.
The Index Council should be tasked with creating 3 to 5 OKRs, and Nest and Pod leads tasked with creating OKRs to serve those goals. Each contributor should be tasked with creating their own OKRs to serve their Pod and Nest. This is how we create real alignment around goals in a diffused organization.
When a contributor receives a request to participate in an activity that does not help meet their OKRs, they should decline. This is how we save time and energy.
Creating greater alignment now is what will enable us to decentralize more successfully in future.
We need to make some smart big bets. As mentioned above, there is a clear lack of product market fit for on-chain indexes right now. We may simply be too early. It is our responsibility to operate as if that potential lack of PMF is an absolute fact. The organization is in the middle of a pivot, but I believe that pivot merely takes us from drowning to threading water. We need to make some smart choices and use our limited resources wisely. There are a number of fantastic ideas germinating in the coop right now - we need to clearly define what those are and decide what to focus on.
A couple of points that are important in making that decision:
Launching 30 products in a year might not be a wise use of resources. It will massively overly extend our marketing and distribution capacities, as each of our launches fights for bandwidth every couple of weeks. Instead we should focus on creating a smaller number of products that cover all bases, and also on building and distributing them as well as possible. This narrowed scope of action in the now, enables us to allocate more resources on the innovations we need to bring to market in 12-18 months. That should be at least 50% of our design and engineering investment. We don’t need 30 products to stay afloat. We just need to kill it with 5-7 that are attractive, reliable and profitable to run.
We need to remind ourselves that we are in an exponential tech explosion. The near future will look very little like the past. Much of what we recognize about DeFi today will be redundant incredibly soon. We need to focus less on what is around us, and more on where we see things going. This involves taking risks. If we don’t take risks we will be left behind.
I strongly recommend we shift our focus to zero knowledge solutions as we prepare for a future when most computation and data storage is executed off-chain, and far more sophisticated apps emerge that are not limited by the current constraints of executing on the blockchain. We already see this model emerging in dYdX. There is no good reason right now to believe that the future will not follow this trend. We can be ready for it or we can try to catch up when it happens.
We need to double down on our efforts to work with Set Labs. No marriage is perfect. IC and Set have fundamentally different business models, and divergence over time is inevitable as both of our organizations grow. This already creates much tension, and much work has been done to improve communication and alignment between our teams. We need to focus less on where we differ and more on where we compliment each other. Set wants to be the premier asset management platform. IC wants to the premier asset manager. The scope for synchronicity here far exceeds what has been accomplished to date. Historically, Set has acted as the initiator in much of the strategic communications between our teams. We need to reverse that relationship. Set is a service provider - they should not be leading the dance. IC needs to set clear objectives and then align Set on our roadmap. Both parties will be much happier in the partnership if we can get this right.
To be a great service provider, we first need to be a great product team. Partnering with the right teams can 80/20 our growth in the near future in a way that almost no other activity can. First we need to demonstrate to the market that IC’s internal product team can win without partners. I know that the product team as is today lacks some degree of legitimacy in the eyes of the rest of the coop - we have never designed any big winners in house. This will change soon. This current pivot towards FIXED, icETH and BASIS is the result of months of development and cultural shift in the team. We are now ready to deliver. A strong product team that can stand on its own two feet will build confidence in the coop, but also in our external partners.
I think the liquidity pod should be disbanded and the treasury function of the organization scaled back. The liquidity pod has never served it’s function properly - existing either as a lame duck that underperformed, or as a frustrating arena for contributors to push an agenda or pursue a pet project that does not tie directly to their remit in their home nest/pod. I say with absolute certainty, that @allan.g, @overanalyser and I could perform all important functions of the pod in a couple of quick messages a week. I strongly encourage the excellent research and analysis of @anthonyb.eth and @jackiepoo to continue under the analytics pod. They are adding a tremendous amount of value. I also thank @MrMadila for stepping up to lead the team when it needed it. However, the output of the group is not justifiable considering the time burden it places on high value contributors.
Having an activist treasury with resources dedicated to asset management is a distraction from our core business model. It should be paused completely until a later date when that function would be more appropriate to the business. All of the accounting and reporting done by @ElliottWatts , @Hammad1412 et al is excellent and should be enhanced and supported.
We need a far more focused traditional media marketing function in Index Coop. My previous experience in the music industry has shaped my perspective here. Music, as a business, has essentially been in decline for 20 years. People in that industry know how to get shit done with very little resources. We overly optimize for social media. Social media grows our awareness, but our legitimacy comes from association. This needs to come from traditional media and advertising. Sharing one article where we are featured by the WSG or equivalent is worth 500 of our own tweets. Orienting our organization towards Crypto Twitter is a huge mistake. We need to be far more focused on working with publicists and agencies that can bring our products into the reach of normal people who don’t follow web3 DAOs on twitter. I have had a number of excellent conversations about the opportunities we can leverage with @dev in recent weeks and strongly recommend he run for council and take a leadership role over our marketing function.
Edited the last paragraph to specify that I am talking about marketing via traditional media - PR agencies and ad campaigns.
Conflict of Interest Disclosure
Paid DAO contributor: Index Coop
Consultancies: Arbolus - DeFi advisor
Financial arrangements: None
INDEX token holdings: None substantial
Significant token holdings: None
Significant token equity holdings: None
Non-Disclosure Agreements: None
Management Fee arrangements: I stand to receive a management fee icETH, MNY, FIXED.
Token voting delegations: None
Any of the above disclosures for family or connected parties: None
Hi all - I’m self-nominating for the Index Council for S1. As @nic mentioned, I believe that the next few months are crucial to Index Coop’s turnaround, and we need strong leadership + product skills on the Council to help guide us. If elected to serve on the Council, I’d bring my executive-level leadership experience and product leadership & strategy expertise to guide IC towards our next phase of growth.
I want to be upfront that I have a full-time job outside of Index Coop – I lead product at Flipside Crypto. I can commit approx 5 hours/week to the Index Council if elected. Time expectations are currently unclear, but I’m hopeful that a well-functioning ICC can be efficient and effective within that 5 hours/week.
As an ICC member, I would focus on developing product strategy and recruiting additional senior product leaders with financial product experience. I’ve had the opportunity to work with the Product Nest and see this group grow remarkably over the previous year. I’m excited to support their growth in this next level by working with ICC + Product Nest to identify and focus on a narrow set of big bets to identify the right target market (Institutional Business, DAOs, retail) and launch products aimed at achieving PMF. I’m also passionate about creating a diverse, empowered contributor community and would bring my experience with Women of Index Coop and Community Nest to the Council to achieve this goal.
On transparency and decentralization: If elected, I will serve a max of 1 consecutive term on the Council, and step away for S2. I support a Council of 5+ members as decentralization is an important cultural, organizational, and legal construct for Index Coop. I will create frameworks for Index Council updates to be shared at the Nest level and build on PJ’s work to keep the full Coop apprised of ICC work through the Leadership Forum.
@JosephKnecht Hey fren. Thanks for this. I love the assessment and largely agree with your diagnosis here.
The only thing I’d argue with you for is taking a step back and asking “What does the Coop really need for a holistic turnaround?” I am absolutely convinced of this: Leaders of Character are vital to every stage of an organization’s maturity curve. In fact, without these leaders, the org will continue to have issues that in the end will block shipping, no matter who is at the Product helm and how talented they are. (Using bold here so people skimming have ease of reading and get the points)
I am a huge proponent of strong product leaders who can make hard decisions and execute a turnaround in the area of Product. In fact, we need Nest Leaders of Character in all areas of the business who are constantly thinking:
“Is this working?”
“Is it really working?”
“How do I make this group better, leaner, more efficient, to serve the Coops bigger vision and priority for shipping product”
“How do I ‘kaizen’ myself and iterate on my group’s vision.”
“Who is shadowing me and growing as a Leader I can train and replace myself with?”
“Where do I actively need to invest in my own growth? What book should I read, who should mentor me…”
Product is a full time + job. Being a board member here is a HUGE job. And I have a concern that having only product leaders to the exclusion of some form of C-Suite thinkers will definitely begin to steer us towards create/grow/maintain, but won’t result in the organizational turnaround that must happen. It’s a dance.
At the highest level - a board of an org would be connecting the puzzle pieces, and working with a genius level product team to execute, steering all the nests in the right direction. Additionally what I’ve seen successful in countless organizations both in my personal experience as a consultant, and with case study after case study:
With the right Leaders in the Council seats, we can trust that they’ll find the Product leaders we need and set them up for success. One begets the other - starting with the bigger vision and working our way in. The council should be first and foremost Leaders of Leaders - not only ‘Doers’, we have plenty of those.
One other note, I don’t want to confuse Leaders of Character with technical proficiency.
While Leaders on the Council obviously need some level technical proficiency in their respective areas (and I believe we should have representatives from every area), we need the ‘right people on the bus’, sitting in the right seats - who can cast a Vision and drive us towards it. We don’t need tweaks. We need large scale change and we need it fast. I’m not convinced the PMF and scaleability and all these vital pieces you’re highlighting can be driven properly without the right folks overseeing the turnaround.
Leaders of Character are needed at any and all stages of an organization’s growth. We need them now. And this is a singular opportunity to make a decision that shifts the direction of Index Coop.
P.S., We’ve never spoken directly, but I’m a huge fan of yours and will be reaching out here to connect.
I have the time and resources to dedicate to this role having delegated opportunities to team members @mrvls_brkfst@el@aakansha@Danilo_dg I would not be here without you guys or our world class growth team and the many other talented people in this Co-op. As mentioned to @metfanmike "…working Sundays is probably a sign to go 75% and will wind it back when I end up doing less, which is my personal performance target 1) automate (WIP) & 2) upskill / empower > hand off faster (WIP). My practice for over a decade has been to make myself dispensable
All of this may sound very unoriginal because I share (figuratively and literally) many of the sentiments already expressed by other nominees and contributors to this conversation
Position statement on decentralization vs. centralization at the Index Coop &
What their stance is on delegation of decision making,
Welcome to progressive decentralization, where transparency should be the default. The council while centralized is mission-critical at this point to define, communicate and socialise strategic objectives that align us with enabling and functional stakeholders like Set. The council can and should delegate quickly wherever possible to empower WIN teams. In my experience building teams - clear direction coupled with trust and autonomy empowers people to go above and beyond. Game theory informs my position on trust Play this, I dare you
Link to a current conflict of interest disclosure, public to voters
I am not aware of any conflict of interest. For transparency I am an elected member of the executive Sub DAO over at the Aragon Network DAO (AN_DAO) which I see provides potential for partnership rather than a conflict of interest. Should a conflict of interest arise I will create a similar statement on this forum as the one posted here
What they think Index Coop’s strategy should be
While I think this strategy could be better-balanced in terms of the way the partnership dynamics are communicated we are very fortunate to have been handed the basis of a strategy that we should work to deliver on.
What is their stance on resource allocation
A wise old owl live in an oak the more he saw the less he spoke, the less he spoke the more he heard. Why can’t we all be like this wise old bird.
At this point I can take a stance only on the allocation of resources within my own area of professional expertise (+15 yrs) which lies with startups and agency and consultancy growth and performance marketing. For everything else, I actively seek out and synthesise the wisdom of people considerably more knowledgable than me.
i.e. level of overall spend; any Nest, Pods or initiatives which should receive more or less funding.
Our Paid Performance and SEO team have assessed more than 200 opportunities since February. 95% of these are no go options. I would reallocate advertising funding to PR for it’s clear return on investment and other more innovative means to drive awareness, acquisition, activation, revenue, retention and reffereals “… identifying middlemen and removing them from the ecosystem” can apply equally to the antiquated models of paid advertising that leverage our attention.
I.e. what activity would they like to see the Council focus on, what activity would they like to see delegated.
To this point @JosephKnecht@anthonyb.eth@bradwmorris@DocHabanero and the AltGov crew have developed a solid set of council agenda topics here of the 18 there I would make the decision to delegate at least 15
Why they think they would make a good Index Council nominee.
2 x EDITS: for Grammar and to add quote
1 x EDIT to the owl poem which I see was wrong >> the more he saw, the less he spoke…
I am self-nominating for Index Council for Season 1.
I’ll do my best to articulate my thought process when answering a short summary below (feel free to DM me on Discord if you want me to explain further);
My position statement on decentralization vs. centralization at the Index Coop
I personally believe that any extreme on either side will not bear fruits and growth to Index Coop. Where we strike a balance between these two is very important. Especially at this crucial time in the Coop, like what others whom have eluded too. Although I’m biases on the ideals of decentralisation i also see the values of certain principles of centralisation. ICC in this respect should be the fulcrum to balance this two opposing ideologies of structural governance.
In my ideal state of ICC, i see it becoming a curatorship whereby it empowers contributors to realised the vision & mission of the coop. Co-creation and facilitating in goal creations between & across Nests & Pods. Decentralisation plays a huge role in this as the concept of delegating process building and growth of IC by cooperation between every level of contributors who are equally passionate about IC. That sense of empowering and giving ownership to every contributor & broadly the community is where i see the strength of any Web3 organisation/DAO lies.
Lastly I totally agree on @MrMadila position on this statement, especially when talking about centralisation is not something we should be playing fast and loose with especially when wanting to get things done & fast. This could be solved in a matter of delegating and empowering the WIN TEAMS instead. @anthonyb.eth actually summarised it pretty well of Index Coop being a progressive decentralisation and I agree on this.
Position statement on ICC transparency
This for me is paramount, over-communication is key when ICC. Clear and early communication should be one of the things ICC should strive for when it comes to informing the contributors and community alike. Working asynchronous in a DAO can be challenging on two levels (communication & proximity-biases; the more one has frequent interaction, the more it seems one seems valuable) simply because of the global nature of what a DAO is.
Link to a current conflict of interest disclosure, public to voters
In regards to COID, not sure if this counts as a conflict of interest but I’m also currently attached with Parcel Inc which is a DAO/Contributor Tooling platform as Community Growth & Strategy Lead. Thus my working hours will be split between here & Parcel. And as @catjam shared, I agree and hopeful that a well-functioning ICC can be efficient and effective within that stated hours mention by her.
What Index Coop’s strategy should be
If I could summarised Index Coop strategies, its a triumvirate of business (growth & product), finance (finance), and community culture (people & governance). This for me is quite unique because traditional organisation and businesses have either 2/3 of that said things. And usually when you have an organisation that have all 3, it tends to be incline and overlap in 2 of those 3, which cause frictions among the broader organisational structure.
I’m on board with what was shared by @afromac on his ideas of IC being Product Focus. I totally believe that churning out a market fit product will come eventually (the 2nd gen of products i would like to call it; icETH, FIXED, BASIS to name a few). And leveraging the talents we have from Growth when it comes to distribution & partnership is key in realising the this Strategy.
The faster we reach a positive turnaround in our cash flow, the better for the longevity & sustainability of Index Coop. Like what was ICC V1 has done by pivoting back IC to how a startup would run is a good first step; and continuing and reiterating the foundation set by them to make sure IC last for the next 100 years.
In regards to this, if i am elected, I will take a 30% cut of my ICC fixed compensation (Band 6) for the whole duration of Season 1 as elected ICC.
I really vibe with @nic posts in this thread. And I believe that not only empowering new leaders is key for the health of the Coop. Shifting towards Leaders of Characters is much needed and is one of my intent to make sure that not only we have talent pipeline but also leaders pipeline within Index Coop.
My stance on resource allocation
With the foundation set by ICCv1, flexible budgets is key to navigate resource allocation. I would say both Product & Growth would be the the top two in this order. While also opening up budgets (if there is enough allocations) for experimentation and R&D.
My stance is on delegation of decision making
The ideas of DAOs is automating organisational management. Delegation is a good first step forward, although less efficient in the long run. Thus I would be an advocate for empowering bottom-up solutions to increase efficiency, and top-down in curating strategic directions. Lastly empowering individuals or win teams in tasks without a clear DRI.
Why I would make a good Index Council nominee.
I’ve seen the organisation growth of Index Coop for the last 9 months, it has been reiterated countless times, with many highs and many lows. One of my key strength that I nurtured thus far is the ability to understand & empathised with broad worldviews (across different cultural, diversity & regional background) and find a common ground where all can sit into a room and discuss. Being unbiased (even to our own principles) when moderating a difficult conversation is no easy fit. If Index Coop wants to truly be a global leader in the space, it need more representations across different socio-political-economic background, only then we’ll be truly resilient. I have hope in Index Coop, the foundation is strong, and the time is now to build upon that.
Thank you for taking your time to read. And looking forward to the new ICC.
On Index V1
I’m proud of what the first council achieved in its three months. The organization was not in the strongest position in Q4. Index Coop lacked direction, financial prudence, a sense of urgency, and checks & balances. The net result was an increasingly bloated, uncoordinated organization burning through limited financial resources while failing to ship products. In addition, our relationships with key stakeholders (e.g., Set, Scalara) were strained.
Index Council I moved to turn the situation around. The Council set in place a vision and a high-level strategy, stood up Nests across the organization to foster coordination, onboarded a lean team of core contributors to more market-based compensation, worked with the Nests to sharpen their Season 1 proposals, and improved channels of communication with third parties, most notably with Set. On a monthly basis, budgeted Season 1 spending is now over 30% lower relative to Q4 budgets, helping to put the Coop on a more financially sustainable path.
An organizational turnaround is underway, we’re increasingly rowing in the same direction, but the work is not over. I would like to serve on Index Council II through the end of May to help continue the forward progress.
On Centralization vs. Decentralization
Neither. I reject the extremes and prefer a balanced approach in which the contributors working on this project every day choose/entrust high-context individuals to - temporarily - represent the group and make cross-functional decisions so that the organization can be more nimble than a maximally decentralized organization but also less dictatorial/capricious than a CEO-led organization.
The Council should communicate when a decision is made, the rationale for the decision, and, if applicable, the rationale behind dissenting votes.
On Conflicts of Interest
I don’t have any conflicts of interest.
On Resource Allocation
I have been a startup CFO multiple times in my career, including for my own startup. Financial sustainability is an indelible part of my thinking. What matters for an early-stage organization like Index Cooperative is to be lean and experimental to conserve cash while taking measured bets to validate a sustainable business model.
That doesn’t mean we have to hold ourselves to a strict timeline for becoming cash-flow positive. Rather, we need to manage our cash so that we have enough runway to execute our plan. If enough of our bets pay off and we subsequently gain traction and TVL, we should expect a higher token price and increased investor interest, both of which would tee up a Treasury diversification in 2023 at more favorable terms than today.
On Delegation of Decision Making
The guiding principle for the first iteration of Index Council was for the group to weigh in on cross-functional issues (e.g., overall vision/strategy, organizational structure, hiring process, third party relationships) but to delegate where a Nest or specific contributors had expertise (e.g, Nest- and pod-level strategy, tokenomics, liquidity, tech stack considerations). The Council should continue to operate by the same guiding principle.
On why I would make a good council member (IMO)
I am a fully committed, core contributor at the Coop. I have a high degree of context across the organization and am well-versed in the business.
My bent is simplicity and structure. If the problem is well-defined and prioritized, we’re halfway to solving it. We need to stay focused on the highest priority topics and park new ideas so we are not perpetually sidetracked.
I have highly relevant expertise in asset management and early-stage startups. I was a vice president at J.P. Morgan Asset Management for six years and then spent a decade in startups, most notably as a founder of a fintech platform.
I am both strategic- and execution-minded. We are an early-stage startup, and we need leadership that can not only devise a strategy but also deliver. During Index Council I, Institutional Business continued making progress without skipping a beat.
Thank you for your consideration and happy to answer any questions. Note: if I’m elected, Minotaur Ventures LLC would formally fill the seat.
In the interest of extreme clarity, is the above your indication of self-nomination?
While not required, linking to the above prompts that outline a self-nomination post should you wish to provide any stance or position statements to help voters that may not already have such context when you clarify. Thank you.
Thank you @mrMadila. I would like to nominate myself to join the Index Council.
Following on in @Metfanmike’s format, I hope I don’t bore you all. I must admit there is a lot of appeal in @LemonadeAlpha’s style.
On Index V1
Looking back, going from Q3 into Q4, Index Coop was drifting away from our core purpose. INDEX 2.0 despite all it promised, it did not live up to expectations and the need for a more structured organisation was borne. The council was the solution then and it remains our best path forward today.
The first iteration of the council achieved a lot but left a lot still on the table. The Council achieved what was the hardest task, it laid the foundations and started turning the ship. We will look back upon this time as a pivotal junction in our colourful web3 history.
Creating a remuneration structure, hiring a core team, creating the liquidity pod, launching products and moving the community towards more openly discussing what a sustainably Index Coop looks like, are all Council V1 big wins. Not perfect solutions, but big steps in the right direction. We have a high level vision now, we need to continue building on this, align all parts of our community and motivate our community to achieve excellence.
In Q1, I think the ship started to turn, we need to finish the turn, capture the wind and set sail. There is much, much hard work still to do if we are going to realise our ambitions. I would like to serve on Index Council II through the end of May to help continue the forward progress.
On Centralization vs. Decentralization
Neither. I don’t think we yet know what works best in Web3. We are pioneering things as we go but mostly things are built around narrative and ideology rather than proven tested web3 business models. In traditional companies, some specialise into a niche, others are more a group of business units within global conglomerates. For Index Coop, right now, I think a Council with “win teams” supporting is where we are at. Win teams receive strategic guidance from the council and then are expected to present their findings with the expectation they are adopted. The objective is to be nimble, make informed decisions and for us all to own the community outcome.
The Council should communicate when a decision is made, the rationale for the decision, and, if applicable, the rationale behind dissenting votes. The first 20 mins of the Wednesday call is perfect and the sCoop is a great way to catch up on it if you miss the call.
On Conflicts of Interest
For transparency, I am a contributor at Llama Community who has grants with various DAO for financial reporting and treasury management. I view this as a complementary relationship. I am a methodologist with Scalara for PINT & PAY, if you know if/when these products will launch, I’d like to know.
I will remove myself from any conversation that is seen by myself or others as having a conflict.
On Resource Allocation
I have led / managed projects spanning several continents with truly global teams supporting them. I have run teams in high pressure offshore environments, managed frame agreement contracts, successfully brokered multi-million dollar deals for a world leading engineering company. What I have learnt assembling teams, dispersing them and building again with the project life cycle is you really need to do the core things really well with a lean team and then resource up and down to suit what needs to be done. Index Cooperative should be dense in talent, lean in headcount and experimental at heart. To quote @LemonadeAlpha when something works “pour fuel on the fire”.
I could rewrite what @Metfanmike wrote, but we are cut from the same cloth in this regard. The below quote perfectly articulates what I hope to convey.
We can then evaluate if we need to do any treasury diversification. We might not need to but in time we will know what the future holds.
On Delegation of Decision Making
Looking back over V1, more EWG input would have been great. Our Dev team has grown so much and it would be great seeing more of their knowledge at council level. I think the Council does serve the cross-function role really well, it nearly became a cross-function pod at one point… However, V1 of the council can definitely be improved. Much like @catjam, I am more in favour of 5 instead of 7. We need to ensure the SME are a part of the conversion even if they are not on the Council as such. Delegation is key to scaling, if you boil it down, the Council can set high level directions and then Nests / pods / win teams can figure out the finer details.
I think we do need to figure out who we are before we decentralise out too much decision making. Index Coop is a bit fragmented atm, we don’t all rally behind the same vision. Are we an on-chain business or are we an on-chain local sports club ? We are philosophically divided and I think one of the first things the Council needs to do is figure out who and what is Index Coop. I suspect it won’t please all, but we need alignment.
On why I would make a good council member (IMO)
I am fully committed, a core contributor at the Coop. I have an extensive DeFi network that I utilise to benefit the Coop.
I am a hybrid type resource, mostly Finance Nest but dabble in business development and product stuff.
I like simplicity, structure and to move at speed. My opinions are dynamic which reflect the knowledge I have at the time and own my mistakes.
Execution-minded - I have built, managed and led teams in multiple countries and in some incredible high stress environments. I have experience in engineering, contract, financial performance and do a lot of project management/coordination in my professional career.
Strategic - I know DeFi reasonably well and I have informed connections that give me an edge. I created Finance Nest with a strategy and despite Index Coop’s continual pivoting, this team has stayed the same true to the original vision.
We are an early-stage startup. We need a strong mix of leaders that can craft our strategy and execute it efficiently.
I also want to give a huge shoutout to @Finance , who does a fantastic job in sharing the workload and ensuring everything gets done in a timely, efficient manner. We run a lean Nest and we work as a team which enables member(s) to step forward to serve the community on the council.
Thank you for taking the time to read the lengthy post and I really look forward to Index Coop pinning down its strategy and defining who and what is Index coop during the second council sitting.
As the engineering pod lead, I’ll make sure the Index Council considers the technical aspects of any topics being discussed. Simply put, technology is at the core of why DeFi can be a better alternative to finance as we know it today. Many of the products we’d like to launch require new functionality to be built, and this will continue to be the case for a long time as blockchains improve and new DeFi primitives come out. I have a special role to play in our relationship with Set Labs, as well as in evaluating other technology options that could enable us to innovate faster.
I want Index Coop to be where the best technology combines with the best growth and operations teams to create a wildly successful business. Not just in terms of eventual profit, but as a major positive force in the new financial paradigm we’re all now a part of.
We are at a turning point for Index Coop where we desperately need alignment across our organization, not just within a nest or pod. There are aspects of decentralization that I love, but there’s advantages to acting more like a tech startup and less like a government. We spend so much time and energy to make even simple decisions. I know this because I worked hard on the IIP for liquidity pod, and after spending dozens of hours getting stakeholders comfortable such that it passed unanimously, the result was a leaderless group that wasted hundreds of people-hours in endless debates with few actions being taken. Not ideal.
I cringe when I hear about v1 of the Council needing 4-5 hours per day. This is way too much for people who supposedly have other critical roles to play. I’m with @catjam that a more reasonable commitment would be 5 hours per week. My hunch is that having 7 people with an equal vote is still too many to reach 100% consensus on any major decision, especially when you consider all the details of that decision. If elected to the council, I will be hyper-focused on the issues that matter most, which in my view are strategic vision and aligning the priorities of the DAO as a whole. I commit to being transparent whenever there are opposing views within the council.
I don’t have any conflicts of interest to disclose. If elected, Defensible LLC will formally take up the seat.
I am nominating myself for the Index Coop Council.
Decentralization vs. Centralization
Tokens are the single most powerful tool for decentralized group coordination. The only way to compete and win in DeFi is by embracing the full coordination potential of token-based organizations.
Decentralization is a skill that takes practice. Poorly executed decentralization is harmful and inefficient for any organization. We are not here to play at decentralization. We are here to implement decentralization at the highest possible level.
In a 100-years, people looking back at this period will see many DAOs that failed to implement decentralization. However, that will not be the case for IC. People will remember us as one of the first DAOs to compete and excel as a fully decentralized organization.
Outstanding leaders build trust through effective communication and transparency. Transparency is a discipline that takes time and practice. We must commit to practicing the highest levels of transparency.
Hard conversations are a reality. By necessity, some conversations happen behind closed doors. However, the ICC must strive to mitigate this and ensure that Index Coop remains one of the most transparent and welcoming communities in the world.
Conflict of Interest
The vast majority of my personal crypto holdings are $INDEX governance tokens.
Index Coop continues to get better at resource allocation every quarter. We must run a tight and efficient organization while ensuring that we are still going for the moonshots and big experiments.
Delegation of Decision Making
Organizations win when decision-making happens at the lowest possible level. ICC’s role is to help each community member perform at their personal best. Every community member should be passionate about their work and feel in charge of the decisions that affect them. We must strive to delegate decisions to the people who are closest to the problem.
Index Coop is the most exciting organization on the planet. I care about the success of IC more than anything else in the world, and I believe that the next six months will be crucial for our long-term success.
If we want to truly transform the global financial system - we need to win and win now. Let’s do this!
I would like to nominate myself for ICC. I’ll point to my call in the leadership forum yesterday and the product strategy I posted as an indicator of how I can help drive overall growth at Index Coop. I also previously worked in the Growth nest so I have an understanding how we can harmonize efforts between the two groups.
The three strategic objectives I would like the ICC to focus on would include:
Diversify our product portfolio based on market research and customer segmentation [Product focused].
a. Focusing on our technology capabilities. Being platform agnostic could allow us to launch products that align more closely with our product roadmap. This would be considered on a per-product basis.
b. Creating a multi-chain strategy that doesn’t spread us too thin, but also allows us to make some calculated bets.
Continue to expand our existing products on-chain through partnerships and integrations. [Marketing focused]
Expand our product portfolio off-chain/on a CEX. [IB focused]
We’re at an inflection point in many parts of the business. Understand and digging into these will allow IC to head for exponential growth.
Product Market Fit, as @JosephKnecht pointed out is critical at this stage. We’ve seen tapered demand for our products, so my first initiative as Product lead was to focus on Market Research. This has helped us identify which customers to target and which products they want. Likewise, what core competencies does Index Coop offer that we can leverage to dominate the space. These should be at the front of any strategic investments we make. I view these core competencies as:
a. Marketing and distribution. I’m sure this is no surprise to anyone considering it’s why IC was created
b. Product curation. Over the last year and a half we’ve learned more about building structured products than anyone else in the space. Let’s use this to curate products for our partners.
c. Engineering. In partnership with Set we know how the intricacies of building products, going through rebalancing, etc. I think we still have room to level up in this competency.
Partners - the type of partners we work with and how we work with them has changed massively in the last few months. I’ve worked with a number of our largest partners and will be focusing on creating a standard partnership onboarding process over Season 1. A copy of our standard partnership agreement for branding partners can be found here.
Capital - IC is hemorrhaging funds at a frightening rate. Launching and growing products is expensive which will ultimately slow our growth if we continue on this path. The advantage, is that it forces us to be more creative in how we launch products. Our competitors, who have less cash, are bootstrapping launches by doing things such as auctions (at a 20% discount which would be $200k on a $1M product launch) and bribes (paying streaming fees out to LPs, which means no revenue to the organization). We’ve already seen a few creative ideas from IC, such as an NFT raffle to $JPG LPs and focusing on products like icETH and FIXED which require $100k vs $1M for sectoral products. My goal is to continue fostering creativity and innovative solutions so we can focus on profitability.
I look forward to the possibility of joining the Council.
Thank you to @MrMadila for your s/o. I would also like to return the s/o and self-nominate myself.
Re Index V1
I think overall, IC V1 was a decent success - achieving the things various people call out above - and this next Council will inherit a lot from their work. Thank you to all seven, especially those who stayed active til the very end. The ship is slowly turning to better shores - we need to kept it going and not lose our direction again.
Centralization vs. Decentralization
I just think it’s just too early to know exactly and I’m instinctively cautious about being maximalist/religious about anything. There is hundred’s over years’ of innovation and best practice to refer to re joint stock companies. But, we should also just focus on what works in our DAO and its mission. DAO best practice is emerging for sure, but we should be thoughtful re what we try and deploy - there are many different DAOs, with many different community types and sizes and hugely different missions.
Matt and Mike advised this framework, which I largely agree with: “The Council should communicate when a decision is made, the rationale for the decision, and, if applicable, the rationale behind dissenting votes.”
I’d also add that the Council should be transparent, or willing to respond to certain requests, where it can be; and not when it cannot be. It can be on things like internal resourcing, contributor renumeration, etc. It shouldn’t be where it gives away strategic information which affects a partner negotiation, major project, etc
Transparency when it’s reasonable and does not prejudice the success of the Council or wider DAO - and the Council gets to decide where and how transparency is needed. If the contributors don’t like the transparency balance, they can consider that at the next IC vote.
Conflicts of Interest
I have been a startup founder, worked in five fintech startups and lead bd and marketing teams within them. This has helped me learn to always think re resources in hand, strategic bets we’re making and of ways to generate more resources, at the right time.
I think we’ve very significantly slimmed down our organisation, and tightened focus, but there’s more tightening of focus to do and then more rigorous supporting of those efforts.
Generally, I don’t think we need to launch 50-100 products this year - which has huge costs and support loads across many nests - but a smaller number (guess: 7-20) while we focus on the 4-5 growth strategies which could help us 10x TVL this year. Other DAO initiatives should be supportive to and not get in the way of those few growth strategies - and key people on them should be kept as distraction free as possible.
While I’d be looking to 10x TVL as the DAO’s main goal this year, I’d also want to seek financial sustainability either this year or not long into next, while also supporting a diverse range of products and fee types enabling us to earn income in all market types. I think our product portfolio diversity is getting there - and by the end of Season 1, with yield products in the market, we will have made a large leap forwards.
Delegation of Decision Making
Delegation where it makes sense - operational, tactical, etc - and by Council where it makes sense - setting strategy, reviewing strategy, pivoting strategy. If I am NOT elected to ICV 2 I would support the Council by respecting this framework, where they set the limits/definitions.
Why (I think) I would make a good council member
I have been here since Q4 ’20 (through many ups and downs!), am full-time, and am happy to do this Council work even though in many ways it’s harder than a leadership role in a startup - with less clear remits - and potentially an uneconomic decision (more work, more stress, little direct increase in renumeration)(hopefully Council value add helps the DAO, results and thus, token price)
I just like to get sh*t done. That’s what we’re here to do. It’s pretty simple.
I don’t mind making hard decisions, sometimes with complex inputs and uncertainty, and have done this in many roles
I make mistakes but will admit to them and cite them - honesty re this should be a practice from bottom to top. If an organisation doesn’t talk about mistakes honestly (while also learning from them and not making them over and over), it simply becomes one of arse covering and hiding errors
I am a strategic leader but also a tactical doer - and won’t ask people to do things I wouldn’t myself
Thank you for reading this - I’d be honoured if I were to receive your vote.
If I don’t get voted in, I will continue to support the Council as I do today and ‘disagree and commit’ to overall strategy decisions I might not agree with.
I would like to nominate myself for Council, with the primary goal of filling the Council scribe position.
I recognize I am not an obvious choice for council, however I am specifically seeking the role of Scribe to facilitate a positive communication plan and take on a sizable chunk of the administrative burden.
The believe strongly in the mission of Index and therefore feel a sense of pride to help shoulder the responsibility for its success. My driving motivation for involvement with Index Coop is built on the intersection of 2 foundational principles: That index investing is the superior way for the vast majority of people to build wealth, and the power of DAOs to harness the “collaborative power of ‘individuals as equals’.” -Joshua Forman
I want to do whatever I can to further those two principles in the world that web3 + crypto is unlocking.
Position statement on decentralization vs. centralization at the Index Coop
I believe we currently need some limited, delegated, centralization with clear remits and guard rails as we work toward product market fit and profitability; while never abandoning the core principles of decentralization. I want to always keep in mind a clear effort to move towards increasing decentralization.
I agree wholeheartedly with @edwardk that the near-term focus of that centralization should be focused on “strategic vision and aligning the priorities of the DAO as a whole”. I think we need a small group willing and able to simply say ‘No’ to very good ideas; so that we can focus effort and resources towards the 2-3 fantastic opportunities on our roadmap each season that will get us to explosive success.
I think almost everything outside of that remit should be delegated to a nest or small team of capable, competent individuals at the tactical level where work is being accomplished.
Position statement on ICC transparency
I believe that in the DAO landscape that we are trailblazing into, transparency is the currency of trust. As we delegate authority upwards to a central body, that body operates on the ongoing trust of the decentralized ownership and contributor communities. Transparency is the transactional currency of that trust. I believe ICC v1 spent a lot of that trust, making good decisions for the organization and great progress on hard topics, but in a way that seemed ‘like a black box’.
Current conflict of interest
I do not have any current conflicts of interest. Index is the only web3 protocol that I currently contribute to.
What I think Index Coop’s strategy should be
I think we should establish a 3 year vision, 18 month roadmap, and 1 year product-focused plan. Each season should have 2 or 3 clearly defined outcomes every nest is working towards. An example of this for Season 1 based on our recent shift to yield products could be: “In season 1 we will launch, market and sell only yield type products.”
What is their stance on resource allocation
I am in agreement with several others, that we must operate like a start-up in regards to resource allocation. We must have a product-market thesis, a roadmap for reaching profitability, and a planned burn rate that gets us to success in a timeframe within our current runway with defined reserves. We cannot burn funds towards a goal of profitability but continue to stretch our runway to keep a fixed timeline of cash on hand. That serves to continually squeeze the organization of valuable resources to run as fast as we can toward success now. However, I think our current prudence and shift across the DAO towards applying our resources in the most efficient way possible is critically necessary based on an ever growing group of contributors and spend without clearly defined outcomes impacting our roadmap.
What their stance is on delegation of decision making
I think the ICC should focus on overall strategic vision for the DAO as a whole, and facilitating alignment across the Nests such that everyone is working towards the same clearly defined goal every season. Additionally, I think the council should act as a clearing house to source the best practices across IC and be a bridge of communication and facilitator for DAO-wide impacting items, ie Owl levels, pay bands, DSM. To be clear, I think localized experts in the nests should be the ones creating solutions and the Council should help source those solutions that deserve proliferating across the DAO to make us faster, more efficient, and profitable as a decentralized org.
My goal as a Council member
I would like to help shoulder the responsibility of growing this amazing idea of a ‘decentralized, crypto Blackrock’ by focusing on lines of communication in and out of the Index Council. I am no stranger to leadership of large organizations as I have acted as the operations officer of the equivalent of a small/medium sized airline. However, we have amazing and capable leaders at IC who are already nominated and have vastly greater technical/financial expertise. I would like to bring a unique perspective as a financial ‘outsider’ to the council with a laser focus on strategic product alignment AND building positive DAO structures on the bedrock of communication and transparency as our default.
These are the items I believe a Scribe should provide the Index Community:
Concise, written minutes from every ICC meeting, shared to the contributor community in a timely manner
Documentation of agenda and decisions made
Facilitate content that provides context surrounding decisions from the ICC perspective when needed
Support majority/minority decision communication when needed
Maintain and update ICC long-term focus roadmap
Facilitate inbound communication from Nests, Pods, and individual contributors for ICC discussion/consideration
Organize Leadership Forum slides and read-aheads when applicable
Simply stated, I am wildly excited for the opportunities that lay ahead of us and believe in our success with any combination of the other folks that have stepped up to lead. Thank you all for keeping the torch lit!
I will not be not self-nominating as I’ve made my positions regarding an in-season council clear. Serving on v1 was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, it forced me to grow, and I’m grateful to you all for that because it was each and every one of you that helped me grow, and I want that for those brave enough to serve this DAO in this way.
I believe a council trying to steer this DAO will provide a nice counterpoint to the ends I’d like to see this organization achieve. My current challenge as I see it: Can I move this org closer to a DAO (member-owned community without centralized leadership) by becoming part of the centralization problem or by attacking the problem from without? As I see it, a council allows me to express my vision for the org more viciously because it crystalizes a contributor-protection-and-upgrade function.
I’m going to (without a moments reservation in my voting activity) look all of you in the eyes as I push my will for this org to be a DAO against you and straight through you if necessary:
I need your decisions, and those decisions will drive this org, but it’s in the org interest for me to diminish your absolute power as an individual and craft constructs that allow those decision-inputs to drive good org-wide decisions and behavior. The more high-context inputs, the more considered the org-decision, and that’s better for the org. Being responsible for good distributed decision-making here means that individual deciders are the embodiment of risk to the extreme - I. will. decentralize. every. last. one. of. you. One braincell does not a complete human make. Council counterpoint: Create better deciders.
I would automate every one of you out of existence in 12-seconds if I could. We’re not there, yet, but in my view we should ALL be working ourselves out of the roles we have. Stay ahead of the automations to stay useful to this DAO. Council counterpoint: Create good automaters and capitalize on existing external automations or others will; that’s a threat to the the org I will not allow to persist.
Marrying the two above concepts - I will automate decisions to the extent this can be done - the ideal DAO? A turing complete organism that becomes a trusted foundational building block in the DeFi stack. Council counterpoint: Centralized Decisions → Decentralized Decisions → Labor Expenditure → Automation → Proven Execution → Automated Decisions (your council delegation mandate as I see it)
The proper beneficiaries of value-creation are product users. Full stop. If we are accruing fees they should return to users absent proven growth considerations. The gist: if we can’t add incremental value as a DAO, we should remove ourselves from the equation and we should be moving toward this outcome as efficiently as possible. Council counterpoint: Make a case this DAO deserves the fee for the network growth function we provide.
Index Coop user and ecosystem growth is more important than DAO growth. A network (as opposed to automation, for which I need your innovative spark and a bit of execution) is quite simple. We’ve so far failed to recognize that the DAO<>IndexCoop; this will become more clear. Ecosystem network growth has been wildly irresponsibly managed in favor of DAO protectionism. Council counterpoint: Don’t conflate the network of product-users with the network of product-builders; one provides value, the other grows it (or will be expeditiously liquidated in favor of automation).
My ideal DAO looks exactly like a DAO. As a fleshy node in my network you are only as useful as your ability automate processes, make good decisions, and grow networks in ways that tokenomics can’t. Humans complain too much, are unpredictable and unreliable. You don’t like to decide and will give that power away too willingly - I’m here to TAKE IT FROM YOU. If you want to check out mentally you may; others won’t; I won’t. I’m not here to take you on a journey in this sense; I’m the brutal forcing function. The council will try to protect you from everything I’M going to propose and vote that this organization do - they may use words like ‘responsibly manage’ - I will not:
I will vote to decentralize the influence you are trying to exert → to protect, grow, and drive the whole
I will vote to automate away your daily actions and decisions → to make the whole more efficient and trusted
I will vote to expose exactly how bad humans are at doing robot jobs (research) → to drive the above outcomes
I want to rip every inefficiency away and build an ever-more-useful perpetual-motion machine. Your near impossible tasks as a node in the network counterpoint to the brutal, clean, beautiful, automated world I’m going to drive this org toward:
actively and continuously make a case that ripping gains from users is a better use of capital than simply allowing the software in-place to function as built (aka just turning off fees),
innovate on top of automation (NOT accumulation; tokens in our treasury are waste in an automated world; undeployed capital should be returned to users expeditiously),
prove that you are a better decider/executor than the market.
Organizing for the purpose of coordination may protect you, may help you outrun me, it may not; however, Mr. Anderson, I will make Mr. Smith look gentle in this regard. You should be concerned; you’ll need every coordination tool available to you. The only way you will stay ahead of automated execution is through coordinated innovation and execution on top of it, because you stand no chance in the face of it, and you certainly stand no chance alone. I have inevitability on my side and will relentlessly take absolutely everything you have to offer and use it to push this org forward and outward.
I will be voting for the fittest among us as I see fit:
Those that reliably upgrade Owls
Those that reliably reduce Owl-Owl friction through good communication and tooling
Those dedicated to automating and integrating further automations
Those dedicated to decentralizing and iteratively improving decentralized strategic decision making
Those futurecasters that let the past inform a better future, rather than cling to it
Those that refuse to extract even one unearned cent from a product-user or allow the same to continue unchecked
Those that expose themselves to critical feedback, give meaningful feedback, and demonstrate bravery in this regard
I recommend you do the same.
Good luck v2, when you arrive at your posts I recommend you put the infrastructure in place to ensure the sustainability of your most sovereign self and your little seven-member decision-delegation network though term; take care of each other and my friends out there and I’ll support your efforts to the best of my ability regardless of personal philosophical leaning, and drive others to do the same, because most that push this DAO according to their will from within and without will not look you in the eyes while they do it.
Hi all. I really appreciate the nominations from @BigSky7 and @JosephKnecht. However, I will not be running for Index Council.
Having a board of directors is something I am fundamentally against. It is an apparent centralization risk and something I am not comfortable with considering my current residence. More importantly, it is ideologically incompatible with my view of DAOs. Since I joined Index I have gradually seen us move away from a model of decentralized ownership and fall back on the corporate models we are all familiar with. Having a board may be easier in the short term, but it is not the future I am interested in building.
I look forward to supporting this new council in any way I can, but have been extremely disappointed by the bureaucratic hoops this process has created. Over the past few months Index has been continually caught up in budget disputes and community-level conflicts. These items have caused us to become a slow-mover in a fast-paced ecosystem.
I hope this council can focus on answering some critical problems hindering our growth including; cementing the legal status of the Coop, delegating power to Nests/Pods, and assisting in launching our backlog of stable coin products. While these items are clearly my opinion, I hope that this new installment of the council can align on a few key objectives instead of being the last stop for contributors to push their problems.
I believe we have some fantastic leaders in the Coop. Those who lead through their work and actions. I hope I am included in that group and plan to continue providing leadership in the multiple roles I serve. I am confident all of us can get over these hurdles and build as one Coop.
Question: re the edits to term. @mel.eth can you please provide a link to where/when it was explicitly determined that council members should
only serve six months AND
that this standard was to retrospectively apply to council 1.0 members.
I recognise majority consensus voted YES to the six-month terms here V2 Index Council [contributor vote update] However, I [and others?] may have voted differently had that specified retrospective application to council 1.0 members. I know staggered membership terms were discussed and seen to be an advantage, but I do not see it was explicitly decided and wonder if the inclusion here differentiates nominees to some advantage/disadvantage. It’s seem the playing field is no longer level. The legitimacy of our governance processes is important to us all.
To clarify, I voted NO to an automatic rollover of existing council members. However, I also understood (because it was not specified) that council terms would reset to six-month for all nominees under V 2.0. That we were establishing standards for moving forward, as opposed to any retrospective application.