Product Feasibility Awareness

Situation

Currently, there is a big lack of awareness around how products get built at the Index Coop. Everything from the different requirements around product launches to their dependencies is largely unknown by the community and currently lives inside the heads of a few individuals spread over the Product and Engineering orgs at Set and IC.

As a result, methodologists that want to build products for the Coop do not have clarity on what is possible and what isn’t. BD teams that are looking to onboard more methodologists also suffer from a lack of clarity on what sorts of products the Coop can offer methodologists. This has led to confusion and frustration in conversations held at the Coop.

Increasing Transparency

In order to increase that transparency and knowledge sharing, the PWG has created a spreadsheet with help from Set engineers to describe what can be built out of the box today.

You can find the spreadsheet here: Product Feasibility Analysis

Requirements are divided into three categories that represent a holistic consideration of what goes into launching a product: deployment, distribution, and maintenance.

Additionally, we included tabs to enumerate features that have been requested but are not supported yet. Often times adding a feature may be simple to do at one layer of the stack but will have cascading effects on other layers that significantly increase complexity. A great example of this is adding mint and redeem fees to Simple Indices. We hope to illustrate those dependencies.

A high-level description of what is possible was given by @dylan in his post here. Copying directly from that post, what we can launch today includes:

“As a refresher, Simple Indices (like DPI, MVI, BED) generally:

  • Rebalance using DEXs (Uniswap V2/V3, Sushiswap, Kyber, Balancer)
  • Do not include rebasing tokens
  • Do not include wrapping or staking functionality
  • Do not include mint/redeem fees

And Leverage Indices (like ETH2x-FLI, BTC2x-FLI):

  • Rebalance using DEXs (Uniswap V2/V3, Sushiswap)
  • Post & draw collateral available on Compound protocol”

The excel doc linked above aims to provide a more granular look into each of those requirements and what goes into them.

Prioritizing New Features

There continue to be many features requested by the Coop that are not supported today. Some features can be built out by Index Coop’s own engineering team, and others can be contracted out to third parties. However, when it comes to features that only the Set Team can currently build, the PWG and EWG will work on prioritizing them and communicating those feature requests to the Set Team.

The Set Team bases its own roadmap and prioritization of features based on what has the highest expected value. This is an optimization between the impact a new feature can have and how hard it is to build-out. At times, this may not be what specifically the Coop wants. For more understanding as to the depth of considerations made, please take a look at Alex’s doc here Set Engineering Retrospective and Changelog.

Next Steps

We would love to get feedback from methodologists, BDWG members, and the community on how else we can increase transparency around this area. Currently, the spreadsheet only includes requirements for Simple Indices, but will soon be upgraded to include information on Leverage Indices as well.

One key thing that is missing from this post and discussion is what exactly the Set engineering team is doing and what the roadmap looks like in the future. The first step in providing that clarity was taken when Set’s CTO, Alex, posted the Set Engineering Retrospective and Changelog. However, this is not forward-looking and is only the first of many steps in providing clarity in this area. The PWG and EWG will be collaborating with Set in producing a forward-looking roadmap and sharing it with the Coop.

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Hi @puniaviision,

This help the autonomy discussion a lot. I believe the broad consensus is for Index Coop to have the competency in-house to fully operate with full independency from Set Labs.

Can we gain access to the mentioned roadmap ? I think a roadmap from where Index Coop is now to when index Coop has full eng/dev independence is needed. I believe @Pepperoni_Joe is looking to do a workshop around this topic and others.

I’m thinking out aloud here, I think it would be reasonable to hire and onboard to enable by end of Q1 2020 Index Coop trying to fly solo without out reliance but rather a safety net from Set Labs for technical support.

Definitely. This includes having a mature product and engineering institution within the Index Coop, which is the focus of the work that Dylan and I are doing.

There is no roadmap on the product hiring side, nor a feature roadmap yet either. We’re just beginning the exercise of looking into the future as opposed to reacting to what is on the forum.

I don’t know if there is a roadmap on the engineering hiring side.

In general, product and engineering roles are the hardest to hire for [in silicon valley at least] so building up those institutions is going to take a lot of work.

@dylan would have the most context here.

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Thank you @puniaviision

I think this is a fantastic post to help everyone understand where we are, and what we can build.

When I read the analysis (and Alex’s post) , I realised that I had underestimated the complexity around intrinsic productivity.

My mental model is now more of a compounding issue:

  • Adding a wrapped token adaptor (e.g. yETH) to a Set is relatively easy
  • Exchange issuance including a wrapped token compounds the problem
  • Reabalancing a wrapped token compound the problem again
  • aTokens and their increasing count, add another level of complexity.

We have lots to learn, and lots to share with our community.

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Fantastic post Punia- everyone in our community is striving to build context around our engineering and product capabilities. Great reference for everyone at Index Coop.

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I was advocating for this communication and I am glad I am seeing progress made! Thanks, @puniaviision @gregdocter for driving these comms forward.

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This is the vision, but it’s going to be difficult. All smart contract engineers that Index Coop hires at the moment will still need to have their code reviewed by Brian/Richard at Set for safety.

The goal with the Head of Smart Contracts hire is to find someone to help pull the code review process out from Set, so the Index Coop can conduct its own code reviews and engage with auditors independently.

This will be a lengthy process. One avenue we’re considering is a catch-and-release type program where a Head of SC (or simply a senior solidity engineer) embeds into Set Labs for 3 months (similar to Noah) and is hired back by the Coop (also similar to Noah). Having two engineers with a decent knowledge of smart contract safety practices & processes will allow them to check each others work, hold each other accountable and start iterating on the process from there.

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