Index Coop Hiring Guidelines v1

I think “clear violation” doesn’t quite address this point.

@gregdocter @Pepperoni_Joe
We have a code of conduct which can help paint a clearer picture. I think rephrasing to say something like:

“We will hold hires to the standards set out in our Code of Conduct. Demonstrating any of the unacceptable behaviour listed there will result in immediate termination without severance.”

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Has any thought been given to tax optimization here? This was a little easier in the early days, but as it stands a straight-up grant leaves someone in the spot of having significant tax obligations come due as the grant vests (true in the US for sure and I’ve been told also the case in the UK). You can do an 83b election in the US to avoid the vesting sell pressure, but that’s also a mixed bag from a risk/reward standpoint (essentially forcing further long commitment). I think it might be worth seeing what other protocols have done or possibly even looping in (or hiring) some tax structuring advice.

The other thing that keeps our offers from being competitive in the US is health insurance. That keeps great talent from further committing to us. The solutions could be outsourced, but I figured it was at least worth raising here.

I think the framework should acknowledge these factors and have a roadmap for addressing them, but otherwise like it as a starting point.

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Love to see the push for the coop helping out it’s contributors tax wise, but I want to highlight that we are a global organization we should not optimise for the US/UK tax code blindly because that might be detrimental to other juridictions.

I would love to see the coop providing accounting/tax advisory to it’s full time contributors.

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Completely agree. Just speaking to what I know. And the UK bit just comes from conversations with fellow Coopers. My main point is jurisdiction-agnostic. Organizations seeking the best talent in the world provide thoughtfully structured compensation vis-a-vis tax.

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Not sure what standard practice is but I know that Badger accounted for tax advice and insurance in their FT hiring structure.

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Thank you for this post @gregdocter. Clearly lots of thought has done into this.

I’m mainly for this initiative, directionally, and there’s lots of value to add to the IC here - but I voted against the proposal for now, purely due to compensation numbers.

I have the same issue with $INDEX allocation going down 33% versus previous awards, especially given the $INDEX price has notably dropped, but note some follow up comments.

I also don’t think the comp is inspiring enough for successful (experienced or inexperienced) individuals in high-cost metro areas in the most developed nations - especially if they have families and higher fixed costs than single, young folks. In my assessment, if these individuals see such a compensation offer and rationally appraise it, they would be better off in risk-reward terms to: i) invest some of their salary in $INDEX and not contribute their time, or ii) contribute part-time. I assume we want to be able to attract such talent more than that though! I’m also mindful talent needs to prove value.

If we want to appeal to all talent, and values of it, we should think about this.

Generally, I would suggest increasing the technical talent comp 50% on the USD salary and the $INDEX allocation. As discussed here, lack of engineering resources is a huge issue for us.

Also generally, I think an issue here is trying to codify a one-size-fits-all approach re non-technical and technical contributors - in other orgs there’s a scale of talent. Ie - junior engineer, senior engineer, engineering team lead, CTO. Very high value DeFi engineers aren’t’ catered for here and neither is someone with 3-6-months experience with Solidity or Web3 trying to quit tradfi.

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Glad you highlighted these points! I think most of them are addressed in the current version of this post :fire:

Couldn’t agree more, that is why this does not propose a one size fits all approach :raised_hands:

instead [bold added for emphasis]

to hit your other point about the guidelines being uninspiring, i’ll point to that :point_up: as well as [bold added for emphasis]

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I don’t know if I have much feedback surrounding the numbers thrown around here - it sounds to me like there are some base numbers as starting points, and then the hiring team works with the candidate to agree on something within those ranges - I am totally fine with that.

I will say that I think we are missing something (or some things?) I saw @BigSky7’s tweet saying we are “pioneering full-time hiring for DAOs” and started thinking about that - are these guidelines “pioneering”? Up front, I do think it’s interesting that we don’t have any other “benefits” aside from a base salary and a vesting schedule. Tech startups compete heavily on benefits outside of salary and equity (and DAOs will soon do the same) - and this seems like an opportunity to do some unique / attractive things. Ideas:

  • health insurance stipend (probably the biggest consideration outside of salary and equity for talent leaving well-compensated positions)
  • tax/accounting stipend
  • travel stipend to attend conferences / meetups with other contributors
  • signing bonus
  • equipment stipend (for a new monitor, desk, grid+ lattice, or something of that nature)

These are just initial ideas and I am sure y’all have better ones, but the point is that maybe we can think more holistically about our package being attractive because it covers the potential downsides of leaving a well-compensated position elsewhere.

Also, I just wanted to understand how the package offered to the original 4 full-time contributors effects the thinking here? I ask because I would rather update their packages as well to go after something then not go after something because it would somehow put them at a disadvantage… I know these hiring guidelines will be an iterative thing as the months go on, so I think it is beneficial to chart out how past hires are effected by new guidelines being introduced?

Thanks @gregdocter for pushing this forward!

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Solid points @jdcook - glad you layered this in here. I echo the sentiment

Thank you @jdcook you raise a number of very good points and we need to explore this issue further.

In my mind Index Coop Full-Time Contributor === Employee at a top-tier VC backed Start-up

When you look at the backgrounds, resumes, and work experiences of the individuals who are competitive to be retained in a full-time capacity by Index Coop - it is clear that these individuals are world-class and could work anywhere. We need to start thinking of our full-time contributors in this light and begin to compensate them accordingly.

Not only are our contributors world class talent but they have a level of deep institutional knowledge that can only be gained from direct experience working in the DAO. For example:

  • @jdcook is likely one of the top people in the world right now working on Ethereum analytics.

  • @Matthew_Graham is pioneering treasury management in ways that almost no other protocol is even thinking about.

  • @overanalyser has developed and executed extremely complex L1 and L2 LM campaigns at a massive scale

  • @DevOnDeFi has built an absolutely powerhouse design team from the ground up, capable of executing extremely complex projects

We simply cannot go out and hire these people. They need to be developed from within. This is a totally new kind of work and it takes significant amounts of time to develop the ability to execute effectively in this environment. I personally would not support on-boarding anyone to a full-time position if they do not already have a track record of meaningful contribution to our community over a time period of multiple months.

I believe that within crypto a bias still exists that posits community members as a lesser level of talent than what is attracted and retained by leading tech companies or start-ups. Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only are the contributors at IC every bit as talented as FAANG employees - they have courage to make the massive leap of faith to contribute to a form or organization that is still extremely nascent. These are exactly the people we need.

Our community needs to do away with the idea that one day we will start hiring more capable people from outside our organization. We are rapidly growing the talent we need internally, and starting to build the infrastructure to develop home-grown talent in the areas we most need it. ( I want to point out @ncitron - whose Solidity skills continue to grow at an incredible pace).

One of my biggest realizations over the past 8 months is that traditional hiring structure exists mostly to provide a false sense of security. When you are hiring people without seeing their work - you need a framework to screen them out. The beauty of the DAO is that we are hiring known quantities. If they were not already doing the work at an extremely high level, they would not even come up for consideration.

A major reason we executed the last fund-raising round was to raise the funds to support more full-time hires and give them compensation packages every bit as competitive as traditional tech companies and start-ups. One of the main reasons IC has been able to attract the level of talent we have over the past 8 months ( and make no mistake the reason for IC’s incredible growth has been our community) is our generous approach to contributor rewards. We have the funds and ability to take this same approach with on-boarding full-time talent.

If Index Coop Full-Time Contributors === Employee at a top-tier VC backed Start-up we need to carefully examine the compensation offered at similar start-ups to early stage employees ( and probably adjust upwards for the extremely high risk of joining a totally novel organization that has essentially never been tried before.) A good starting point would be to have an open discussion with our two closest comparable companies Set Labs and DeFi Pulse and see how they structure compensation for their early stage employees.

In my mind the following things should be absolute no-brainers.

  • USDC / USDT living stipend on top of any token grant: I am tremendously grateful to the community for voting to approve my Full-Time Contributor compensation. I firmly believe that if I work hard and give 1000% to the Coop over the next two years, the upside potential of this package is essentially limitless. However, the reality is that $5k a month in tokens is extremely difficult to live off of in a big city and provides very little wiggle room for spending without selling precious Index. Even $3k a month of a stable coin would go a really long way.

  • Health Insurance This is a must solve for our community. I do not have a family, but I cannot imagine the stress that this creates for our contributors with families.

  • Stipend to attend industry conferences This is an absolute must. Conferences are a valuable forum for networking and building industry contacts. Investments here will pay off ten-fold.

  • Support for continued education If we want to develop top-tier industry professionals in our community over the next 5-years we need to invest in our community members. I am currently paying $200 a week for programming tutoring and expect to pay even more for in-depth courses on Solidity over the next 6-months. We are a cutting edge tech company and need to ensure our community members can grow and develop as industry professionals.

One final thing to think about - the skills our community members are currently developing are extremely competitive and hard to replace. I am sure that I am not the only community member who has been contacted by other DAOs or crypto companies. As we continue to grow as a protocol our top-tier talent will become even more in demand. We need to place an absolute premier on retaining home grown talent.

Index Coop will be the single largest crypto asset management platform in the world within three years. We set the industry standard as a DAO and crypto community. This is not some part-time DAO that is just playing around. We are here to win, and we are here to win big. We need to take this approach to talent acquisition and retention. :rocket: :rocket: :rocket: :rocket: :rocket: :rocket:

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Think you make some good points in that post JD. A lot of those perks don’t really exist in the UK so it’s easy to forget what others might be sacrificing to go full time crypto.

To give some extra context on the above, when we negotiated the original package it was explained at the time that the amounts were on the conservative side to start, with a view to scaling over time if things changed. Given the v1 guidelines are just firming up some of the things that have already transpired, I’d expect some ongoing flexibility to ensure those who came in the first cohort aren’t put at a disadvantage.

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Aware this is getting away from the original thread but want to add the below…

Agree strongly with much of @BigSky7’s comments around nurturing in-house talent, leveraging the expertise we have, and supporting each other.

  • Support for continued education If we want to develop top-tier industry professionals in our community over the next 5-years we need to invest in our community members. I am currently paying $200 a week for programming tutoring and expect to pay even more for in-depth courses on Solidity over the next 6-months. We are a cutting-edge tech company and need to ensure our community members can grow and develop as industry professionals.

One final thing to think about - the skills our community members are currently developing are extremely competitive and hard to replace.

Have been thinking about this a lot recently. As I move over to GWG I am looking to eventually spend > 1/10 days on self-training (reading books, watching youtube [educational!!], attending online courses, programming, etc etc)

Personally, I would love to see this type of culture incentivized where individuals do not feel the pressure to contribute 100% of their time to do 100% INDEX stuff and invest in themselves and in turn the coop over the long term. The NET ROI (return on investment) here should not be underestimated + is also a perk.

+1 for a proportion of rewards to be of fixed USDC etc amount’s + equity on top

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I think this is the right approach - look to the types of people we want to recruit full time and compensate accordingly. In my opinion, there should also be something of a premium given the potential regulatory and/or reputational risk associated with DAOs. Joining a DAO as a full-time contributor is not the same as joining XYZ tech company (at least not yet!). Risk/reward needs to be aligned in order to incentivize the jump from TradFi to DAO. I don’t think this is present in our current full-time rewards levels.

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Has there been discussion about adding a team member from the recruiting world to the IC? A good technical recruiter might be resources well-spent …

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This is a great thread, and I think it can set the tone for our upcoming success as a DAO. I’m going to offer a couple of thoughts after having a while to look this over:

Is this necessary for internal hires (silver and gold owls?), or is this mainly for potential external hires? For internal, this (as well as a formal interview process) seems to be unnecessary if the owl has contributed for a while and we know their names. Interviews exist in the old world to vet a resume, and resumes get weird in the metaverse.


I think @fallow8 and @verto0912 make great points here that I’m seeing expressed elsewhere in this thread. Guidance on taxes, healthcare (at least in the US), and maybe even some advice on other big financial matters would be a huge helping hand. For instance, this tweet thread from DeFi_Dad on buying a house from crypto gains.

Having ready-made advice for big moves like this that Big Brother likes to keep his thumb on. Perhaps that’s better suited for a blog post that the entire crypto community can get some use out of and I’m just rambling at this point?

Much of the above is very US centric, but I think it’d be a great extra-mile move to do this for any FTC, and socialize that information to the rest of the Coop for any part-timer contributors that may be from the same country.


I also want to echo all of the BSE here

But more specifically

Stable diversification for FTCs should be a must. I am not aware of the personal lives of our current FTCs or anyone in consideration for such a position, but it’s inevitable someone has a mortgage, children, etc that is going to require them to be a bit more predictable. Don’t get me wrong, I want the $INDEX and I want it long, because I like where we’re headed. But that’s an investment, not a paycheck.

This is a moat builder if used correctly, regardless of the specifics on implementation.


All that said, I think we’re headed in the right direction, and another example of the Coop paving the way for other DAOs. All the responses so far have been great and additive. Looking forward to seeing how we tackle this long term.

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Ostensibly the hiring team will need to know who is actually vying for the position.

Seems like a basic “application” (for lack of better term) is a sufficient way for folks to raise their hand for consideration.

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:man_facepalming: duh, @0xModene you ding dong

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At the moment I’m spreading my work throughout the web3/blockchain community, however the rewards I was able to generate during May (my first month contributing) finally gave me the incentive i needed to finally leave my engineering job in TradFi.

I didn’t view my monthly rewards as a complete replacement for the twice monthly paycheck i receive from BoA. Rather, it made me quickly realize that i could generate just as much money (if not more) if i was to focus my efforts entirely within the blockchain space. I really can’t express how significant it was to see the coop value my work while working as a part time contributor was. To say that this felt amazing would be to put it lightly. :slightly_smiling_face::partying_face:

This is my own personal experience as an unmarried, child-less individual in their late 20s. I know it’s not going to be the case for everyone but i think this catalyst effect could def occur for others.
I guess I’m somewhat of a test case but I’ll certainly report back after my 1st month in the wild. the forecast looks sunnier than ever, especially after taking into account forum conversation like this one.

In regards to payout in $INDEX, i would be in favor of discussing this in greater detail. I plan on generating a very solid stream of revenue from my work within the coop. Index long all day!! However I’m going to ultimately need to use some of my revenues to cover everyday living costs. While i can just swap some of my $INDEX for $USDC and then use a CEX to cash out, I feel like this isn’t really the route we want contributors to have to take as it means that more and more $INDEX will end up in the hands of ppl who might not be remotely involved in the DAO. Just my thoughts :thinking:

lastly, I want to quickly mention that i almost always perform absolutely terrible while interviewing for positions that im more often than not competent capability of succeeding in. While i hope no1 fares quite as poorly as i tend to, I imagine some will agree that the traditional interview process isn’t just miserable for those involved, but it’s also incredibly ineffective, especially within the engineering realm.

that said, i feel the index coop’s approach of having candidates contributions sort of speak for someones abilities is volumes more effective than
the awkward multi-round speed-date, interview process. some may disagree :man_shrugging: IMO tho

tl;dr I’m forever grateful for the index coop & getting the ability to work with others in the space to make real, impactful contributions to the coop. All the while making new connections and crafting relationships with others who i grow from working with , and hopefully vice versa!

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Synthesizing the feedback, I’m seeing the following suggestions:

Bringing us back to this post. Three quick underlines:

  • It is an intentionally specific “v1 proposal for how the Coop hires future full-time core-contributors” and it provides some compensation guidelines.
  • At the same time, it is intentionally flexible to allow “the ability to adjust accordingly to ensure our ability to hire remains effective and efficient.”
  • Any hiring decision by the Coop will ultimately be on the forums & Snapshot on via IIP, there will be room within those future IIPs to introduce new features.

I’d suggest we move forward with this “how” and then explore layering on more. We’ve seen this sort of iterative approach work well in the past :raised_hands:

Following @Fallow8’s suggestion, I plan to add a section:

Area(s) for Further Exploration

  • Additional benefits (i.e. health insurance stipend, tax/accounting support stipend, educational stipends, travel, signing bonus, equipment)
  • Implementing USDC denominated salaries [note: seems reasonable & easy to implement. However, I’m not 100% certain so want to confirm before committing outright]

As for updating current full-time contributor packages, echo’ing @DarkForestCapital on the ongoing flexibility to ensure that folks aren’t put at a disadvantage. That’d be bad.

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