Proposing a Growth Working Group (Pt. II)

Proposal: Growth Working Group II

Situation

I, Lemonade, along with @reganbozman, am proposing the funding of Growth Working Group II for 3 months, ending on June 15th, 2021.

What is the core problem(s) you want to solve?

GWG I was formed to address inefficiencies in small project funding for growth initiatives. While successes were had in the first iteration, we have identified a number of opportunities for improvement.

The core problem we want to tackle now is: the Coop is not guided by a holistic growth strategy

GWG I

What happened:
-Unincentivized AUM from $9m to $90m
-PoolTogether Program
-Analytics Infra
-Loopring Liquidity Mining
-Research/Content Arm
-AMAs with Exchanges
-Paid programs in motion
-User survey funded
-Bitmart listing

What we liked:
-Bias towards action, quick allocation of funds
-Attempts at reporting transparency
-Venue to get involved
-Growth of unincentivized AUM & supply was strong

What we didn’t like or could do better:
-Too focused on experiment solicitation, not holistically owning growth strategy
-Focused too much on top level metric out of our control (AUM > Impressions)
-Memo solicitation wrong model > needs to skew more top down
-Splitting payments w/ treasury
-More substantial updates from us

Why is this worth addressing today?

Growth is necessary for survival and success of the Coop. Growth means we are successfully continuing our mission of evangelizing and making our products available to customers who can benefit from them.

Without a clear growth strategy, it makes it hard to know what efforts to focus on.

How will you address it?

The GWG’s overarching goal will be:

  • Executing the following growth strategy to guide the Coop through at least the end of Q2-21
    • Distilling our core value into the right message
    • Prioritizing channels to meet our customers where they congregate (en masse)
    • Making our products widely available when customers decide to buy
    • Maximizing productive opportunities to assist with retention

Activities the GWG will oversee:

  • Product Launch marketing
  • Awareness/Acquisition (Impressions):
    • Paid/Sponsorship
    • Content
    • Social
    • Viral (Referral, etc)
  • Activation (Conversions)
  • Exchange Listings // Wallet Integrations
  • DeFi Partnerships

What impact will this project have?

  • Impressions (across Twitter, Content, Paid/Sponsorship)
  • Unincentivized Supply Growth // Unincentivized AUM
  • Exchange Listings
  • Productive Integrations
  • Secondary KPIs:
    • CAC/LTV
    • Supply locked in secondary (non-LM) contracts
    • DEX Liquidity
    • CEX Availability
    • Retention
    • Unit Retention
    • Holders
    • Avg Holdings

Working Group Leader(s)

Request for funding

Proposed Budget:

$450k over 3 mos + $6,000/mo per Leader

Use of Funds:

Funds will be allocated toward contributor stipends and both known and unknown programs.

Estimates:

-Contributor Stipends ($100-150k)
-Contributor ad hoc rewards
-Zerion Partnership ($100k)
-Referral Program ($35k)
-Ad Programs ($60-90k)
-Impression Mining ($20-50k)
-PoolTogether ($25k)
-Exchange Listings ($100k)

Organization - How will it work?

The GWG will be managed by a council of four members, with two members coming from Set, and two from the Index Coop community. The role of council members is to prioritize and execute against growth programs which are sourced from members within.

The GWG leaders will have leeway to assign stipends for regular contributors—both full-time and part time—and will have discretionary funds to reward and incentivize activities (I.e. impression mining).

The GWG will continue to use an experiment-based approach with a key difference being that the generation of ideas will be sourced from regular contributors and leaders themselves. With GWG II, there will be little to no reward for idea submissions. Instead, the operating structure will have a heavy focus on rewarding execution of the prioritized initiatives.

GWG Leaders will meet weekly to discuss the progress of initiatives and strategize on how to allocate funds to best serve growth functions. New experiments will be sourced from each leader from conversations around the coop and individual brainstorming.

How will you interface with the community?

Weekly Reports. GWG will generate a weekly update on their progress and publish to the Index Coop governance forum. Reports will include:

  • High Level Metrics per product (w/ trends): TVL, uTVL, Holder Count, Impressions
  • New initiatives
  • New Content Pieces
  • GWG Financial position

Commitments

I am committed to Index Coop principles

I am committed to serving the entire Index Coop with my work.

I am committed to open, rapid communication: I know that clear, constant, public communication lifts up the entire Index Coop community. I am committed to this style of communication.

Shared learnings: I will share my progress, learnings with the entire community. I will ensure that anything I create is accessible beyond my own tenure for future generations of Indexers to access & build on.

Intellectual honesty: I am committed to growth and improvement. I am open to feedback and will use feedback to improve my work for the benefit of the entire Coop community.

I am committed to making Index Coop a welcoming, fun, and engaging community to work in!

Approve GWG II
  • FOR
  • AGAINST

0 voters

7 Likes

This is super exciting :raised_hands:

My substantive feedback/questions have already come through on all the calls you previously surfaced this on, so here I’m just sharing a few quick notes & reactions:

  • GWG’s overarching goal: You might want to make step 1, “define the growth strategy.” I love Lenny Rachitsky’s posts on strategy. It’s kinda implicit in the activities you’ve laid out, so I’m suggesting the strategy be made explicit. To sharpen this → I’d especially be curious which activities you think are highest leverage and deserve the most focus today
  • Activities: Exciting to see this big of a list! I’m here to support in any way I can.
  • Proposed Budget: glad there is an itemized list here to understand the “why” behind $450K
  • Outcome focus: :heavy_plus_sign: " heavy focus on rewarding execution of the prioritized initiatives."
  • Use of Funds: awesome to see that funds are allocated to go specifically to contributors. I’m just flagging to myself 1) that there may be some operations work here to make distinct from Treasury Rewards and 2) this is a new way to distribute funds in the Index Coop, happy to lend help in any way here as we learn together
  • uTVL: I have already stolen this abbreviation

P.S. A tip of the hat for using the template from Laying the rails for Working Groups (WG) v1 :nerd_face:

1 Like

When I first saw the GWG II proposal in Thursday’s call I was caught unawares and I didn’t really participate in the discussions.

My understanding was that the GWG was planned initiated as a stop-gap to allow some more free-flowing of INDEX resources to help the coop move faster.

It was certainly successful in this regard and we have seen progress in a number of areas.

However, the GWG seemed to expand to include activities that I wouldn’t consider growth (Dune subscriptions / Loopring LM etc) purely on the basis that the GWG could deploy cash quickly. As such, it felt like the entire coop was sucked into the GWG (apart from Engineering who remained under Set).

After sleeping on this proposal a couple of times (and noticing that the GWG II proposal was framed around @gregdocter’s Laying the rails for Working Groups ), which I hadn’t read until this morning) I can better appreciate the aim of the proposal.

On concern, I still have it that given the current broad scope of the GWG, it will constrain the available space for other WG’s to work (given that WG’s should avoid overlap).

However, I don’t think we have fixed the underlying issue. The coop doesn’t really have a common vision, structure or method for allocating our resources.

Before I could feel happy about approving any single working group proposal I would like to understand:

  • The coops vision / North Star / KPI’s.
  • The coops overall organisational structure (Treasury, analytics, engineering, research, product, growth, org),
  • Does it all fit within WGs? if not, how do we capture the exceptions?
  • The coops budgetary targets.
  • The proposed roles, scope, and resources for each WG.

Given that this proposal (GWG II) includes a go-live data of Monday the 15th March. I can not vote in favour of it.

I think we need to thrash out the details above, with the aim of multiple complementary WG’s being proposed in parallel with a common start date (1st April?).

5 Likes

Looks like a nice proposal.I don’t have specific comment on that.

Just one question

What does that mean ?

1 Like

Overall, I really like this and big fan. I have some comments, largely detail focused that I think may help tie into other things going on.

I like the clear scope of work outlined by the " Activities the GWG will oversee:" section that is really clear. :slight_smile:

Around the tracking of progress, I really want to see the direct impact GWG has and be able to measure it:

Impressions (across Twitter, Content, Paid/Sponsorship)

  • Can we have a specific KPI target, a number to be precise?

Unincentivized Supply Growth // Unincentivized AUM

  • How do attribute this to GWG, are there other factors that influence this ?

Exchange Listings

  • Can we get a list of targets, and then track against the list. This has been an ongoing thing, I think the legal letter is the main thing holding us back here.

Extrinsic Productivity - Productive Integrations

  • Great idea, but I find this vague, can we get more details around this ?
  • Is there not an element of engineering involved, say with getting DPI on Aave as collateral for example
  • Does Liquidity Mining fall into this as it is not in the budget. Thinking about Loopring or SushiSwap as examples.

Regarding Secondary KPIs, I think we fall into a trap of assigning all things in the market to GWG. Meaning, the following may be the result of things beyond GWG control, so i’m not sure what is general market and what is GWG.

  • DEX Liquidity
  • Retention
  • Unit Retention
  • Holders
  • Avg Holdings

For instance, Liquidity Mining (LM) APR is going to shape DEX liquidity but LM is not within GWG budget or control - based on how I read the post. So retention, liquidity, holders could all be affect by things outside of GWG control.

  • Contributor Stipends ($100-150k)

I actually think it is great we have a budget!
But this should be apart of the broader community rewards budget - so not in GWG specific budget. Contributor rewards should be centrally managed such there is consistency in rewards distribution across an array of working groups. The GWG leaders, like other working group leader have the oversight to ensure those people supporting each team are sufficiently reimburse from the treasury.
Adhoc payments, 1 off nature bounties etc, that should be within GWG but regular contributor rewards should be centrally administered in my opinion - values agreed upfront for key roles. I think this would be a better approach when thinking about consistency across multiple working groups.

  • Exchange Listings ($100k)

Did we not already approve $100K for this already ? or is this another $100K or is this shown for transparency - something worth clarifying.

Perhaps the “GWG Financial position” should be externally communicated via the treasury reports and substack article. I don’t think if we have 3 working groups we produce 3 financial reports. I would suggest GWG start with a number of Index and then tracks to that internally with the financial report created by the treasury showing the external USD values etc… GWG can contribute to the monthly financial report and use that forum to highlight achievements from a financial perspective, ie: the report and substack article. Just thinking we really only need 1 external facing consolidated financial report for Index Coop.

Great post overall and the above are minor details are just refinements to incorporate in.

2 Likes

I am really glad to see this proposal and just voted FOR.

I do think there’s a few details and process points to think of longer term re some things getting sucked into the GWG (when they could be in their own discrete WG) and specifics around reporting/results, but I think we can work this out in the wash - the important thing is to empower the community and get moving, which we haven’t been that successful at this last few months. I personally like the WG leaders being able to allocate stipends/rewards to WG members, as they have the best context re value add and, in my experience, dept heads in TradFi firms also have such powers.

Go GWG!

I hope we can see this model rolled out in similar or different scales for other functions, such as Analytics, Design, etc.

2 Likes

Thanks, @LemonadeAlpha for the proposal - happy to support GWG2.

The only question I have specifically on the proposal is the process/mechanics for pulling the funds. Are the funds going to be allocated in INDEX based on pre-set price, in USD, monthly or all at once and, if allocated in INDEX, for example, how do you think about price fluctuations & the impact that might have on your ability to execute? Any colour on this would be great.

Another point I wanted to talk about, and I apologise in advance for bringing it up here (it would be better under the working groups post but this is where the discussion is at the moment), is the overall organisational structure. My concerns echo those of @overanalyser. Specifically:

The working group solution and the proposed execution of it seem rather passive and reactive. It looks like we think we have to do something, so we are just throwing the working group option out there.

In my mind, we need an organisational structure and we need to be proactive about it. The Coop has been around for 6 months now, we know the areas that require constant effort and time commitment. Those areas are growth, BD & partnerships, treasury initiatives, analytics, product, meta-governance & research content. I’m sure I missed some. I can’t really grasp why we can’t proactively come up with a structure of working groups (however many we need to cover these main areas), their scope, resources and targets.

If we do it passively, we know there will be overlap, we know there will some things that should but won’t be funded and, compared to a proactive approach, there will be continued uncertainty for members not knowing if their work actually adds value. To clarify the last point, if we lay out the structure for 5 (or any other number) working groups everyone will know that if they work on things that fall under the purview of those working groups, they will be adding value to areas that are considered high-impact. With the passive approach, members have no such visibility.

Again, sorry for putting this here but sort of building on OA’s comments.

1 Like

I am really looking forward to contributing and seeing the value creation the GWG II will achieve over the next few months. However my only concerns are similar to @overanalyser and @verto0912 in regards to other working groups that are vital to success of the Index coop and the GWG II activities in general. I do believe we can still proceed in funding this next iteration of GWG but I would like to see the funding of other working groups as well, I do not know how far AWG is in regards to a formalized structure and treasury funds proposal but I would love to see another working group funded especially because AWG is vital to one of the core principles of the Index Coop namely being data driven. Additionally, after spending majority of my time contributing to GWG we always need some form of analytics to track the success of our programs. I would also say the same for Marketing and Design. Our growth initiatives are only as strong as the other working groups that are willing to support them.

I encourage anyone who reads this reply and agrees with my sentiment as well as @overanalyser and @verto0912 to go and read @gregdocter Laying the rails for Working Groups (WG) v1 we need more initiative to get these working groups funded and operating! The most encouraging thing is that these groups already exist in the discord and are full of community members with talent and passion that are aligned with the general vision of Index Coop. I look forward to seeing other working groups develop and I am more than committed to throwing my support behind any other working groups creation and success thereafter.

1 Like

So I agree that Tradfi firms do manage it kind of like this, but they have the luxury of a lot more framework/structure. Levels, renumeration bands, set policies for tangible and intangible benefits. We don’t have said structures but are working on things like Full Time Contributor and the Contributor Ownership Token Plan. Is it then working group lead scope or do we manage that stuff in a different way. The current working group structure implies this all for working groups to manage and within their budget. Which doesn’t seem right to me.

Like the scenario I fear is different working groups, with different leaders, develop different perceptions of value. Do we assign rewards based on a task basis, hours spent or value added. Different people maybe more generous than others, or one team might have a lot of work with less funds etc… By fragmenting reward distribution control, we risk some of these issues emerging. Like there is even the petty scenario, group leads view some people more favourable that others.

Having a budget is great, having lead roles with known expectations and rewards is great.

I think the sum of funds being allocated to say a Community Rewards budget and then group leads play a large role in how thats administered. Probably has someone not a group lead sitting in just to ensure fairness and a bit of independence.

Sorry to hijack this forum post. I don’t think this is specific to GWG but more structural around how working groups and rewards are managed.

I think we need a bit more thought in this area. The way we have now works quite well IMO, but can be tweaked to accommodate working groups. I see working groups as human capital allocation, community rewards being budgeted for and then collectively managed.

Perhaps in GWG case it would be to basically say we have an estimate Contributor Rewards budget, incorporate that into IC over Contributor Reward budget. Then each rewards cycle a meeting where by it is all reviewed, keeping things consistent across the board. Might not be the most efficient way, but it mitigates potential risks.

Again this is not GWG related but over how IC approaches community rewards.

2 Likes

I think all of these concerns are totally valid. We should be moving in the direction of the GWG in that leaders of functional areas have a large degree of autonomy and can set goals/reward contributors (as they’re closest to the work).

This proposal improves on the original GWG proposal in that it fixes some of the main issues - and it extends it, so that we don’t lose momentum from the original GWG.

However, it does not really address concerns with how the coop is organized outside of this (which we definitely need to address). My hope would be that during these next three months we make substantial progress on general coop org structure

2 Likes

@LemonadeAlpha and @reganbozman you guys did a great job with GWG 1 and I’m glad that we are moving this forward. I believe that we are in general alignment as a community regarding the need for this working group and it’s uses. However, @verto0912 and @overanalyser bring up important points that we will need to address sooner rather than later.

These two points overlap and get to the heart of the issue.

We know that we need strong commitment and effort in the areas outlined by @verto0912 . Each will need its own working group sooner rather than later. The Coop is growing in size and complexity at a blistering speed. We are already at the point where it is impossible for any one individual to keep up with all the information much less manage it.

GWG 2 works best as an incubator for our other working groups. It provides an umbrella for some functions to develop their organization and structure. An obvious example of this is BD- currently @Mringz @fallow8 @Metfanmike @ansteadm @romario and @MrMadila are each working on separate BD projects. GWG helps us establish our structure while enabling BD to work more or less autonomously. The autonomy and administrative oversight provided by the current structure allows this group to grow and thrive.

While the incubator model is valuable it does not change the reality that @verto0912 laid out. We need to push aggressively to quickly establish working groups to oversee the outlined 6 functional areas.

BD will be actively working in partnership with the GWG to craft a BD Working Group Proposal for mid/late April. This gives us enough time to further establish our capabilities and make sure that we can come out the gate firing on all cylinders.

We as an institution need to have a bias for pushing responsibility to the lowest level. Each working group that is established moves us towards that goal and makes our community stronger.

This builds to a bigger issue.

We aim to attract the best talent at Index Coop. From the conversations we have throughout the weeks, it is clear that we are currently accomplishing that mission. We are building a world-class team here. In just a few short months we have attracted a level of talent that would be the envy of any start-up or corporation in the world.

The reality of attracting the top-talent is that talent will always want autonomy and ownership. If people feel constrained and cannot grow they will go elsewhere. We know the scale of the talent we have. We see the results of that talent everyday (hint: grab any crypto native/ community member off of twitter and have them outline the true complexities of liquidity mining or treasury management, they won’t be able to)

The key to keeping this talent around is by ensuring autonomy and ownership. The best people want to be in charge of their own projects - skin in the game. The working group framework established by Greg Doctor is a vital step towards building an organization that attracts and retains the exact type of individuals we need.

We are still learning as a DAO - the example you guys have set with this Working Group is something we should ALL seek to imitate.

2 Likes

Thanks all, great points and discussion. Will try and address some common points/themes and then individuals.

  1. On WG Structure -

I understand the yearn to create a more broad WG structure before continuing ad hoc. I don’t have a great answer here.

Growth itself is a little bit amorphic but we can kind of generally define it as growth marketing (social, content/seo, paid, viral marketing etc) and business development (exchange listings, defi partnerships). Certain activities will undoubtedly overlap in thought and require collaboration between analytics, product, etc but we shouldn’t be seen as the driving force.

  1. On Scope -

Agree here that the scope laid out in the KPIs is probably overly broad. I should have clarified between metrics we are actively trying to impact (impressions) vs certain metrics we’ll be using to monitor product/growth health broadly, which were probably not worth citing here (e.g. DEX liquidity).

  1. On contributor stipends

I am indifferent around who actually pays. I think that the WG leaders should have some kind of responsibility to assess and communicate the work of those who are working full time or part time under their groups.

@Cryptouf This meant that we designed the original GWG around growth experiment submissions from the community when it should have been focused on strategizing on the best path to growth and then executing against that (while still maintaining a culture of experimentation).

@overanalyser I hear you and fwiw it would be easier to come up with the structure and budget myself if I knew how it fit into the larger scope. Our goal in this proposal is to opt for speed of iteration and not delay the start of another GWG while we figure those out, but I see the argument for understanding how this fits into the wider whole.

@Matthew_Graham I’ll share the more specific goals for the KPIs in the early going of GWG II and hope to get feedback from community on those. Regarding the breadth of metrics and responsibilities, I think you are right. It is poorly communicated here but I mean this to say that these are metrics I will be watching in parallel to see if we can shift any efforts towards those areas (and you are right that we do not have the capability to directly impact in some cases). There will be a more core set of metrics that we are seeking to impact which I will communicate shortly.

And re: financial positon I simply mean the status of how much funds have been used from grant and what for.

@verto0912 You bring up a really strong point, perhaps we should do something like 3 tx (1 per month), and earmark against current INDEX price.

3 Likes

It’s hard to vote here because it is so easy to feel how big the scope is and understand that there are a lot of considerations.

I am voting for. Because the discussion here is being productive and, in short, the team is good, they have worked well, will provide updates and insight, and the upcoming three months will be turbo-speed — requiring the agility the group provides.

Pausing and trying to thrash out and spin up a new way of working seems unnecessary at this point because good work is already being done across the coop on org structure, treasury management, and incentives. If we wait until all that is settled, I imagine a lot of ground will have been lost. So, if the cost is tolerable and we can go ahead then, come June, we can review, integrate new findings and ideas, and move forward again.

Related to language ops, I would like to see the growth strategy include more specific intentions for internationalisation.

And, just in general and to put in type, I believe it is important to keep INDEX distributed widely and productively, and for the Coop to remain trusted, transparent, and agile.

3 Likes

Question: How many hours are the leaders expected to allocate to being Working Group Leads or is hours even the unit of measurement ?

I am curious what is expected to achieve the $6K reward ? The transparency would be great so other groups can follow the same pricing metric.

2 Likes

Leaders are expected to produce outcomes that impact Index Coop objectives.

WG’s ostensibly will vary in scope & leaders will vary in skill, so it’s hard to say how many hours an an individual leader must dedicate to produce the results they set out to create.

Let’s continue this conversation in Laying the rails for Working Groups (WG) v1, as it’s more general than this proposal. Edit: Also DM’d you :raised_hands: **

1 Like

Sorry i missed you message. thanks for you answer !

1 Like

91/9 vote in favor means we’ll be moving forward.

An important note: Contributor rewards will not be taken from GWG funds.

4 Likes

Update here:

The growth working group wallet has been funded. You can view that transaction here:

To arrive at the funding INDEX quantity we used the 20MA price on Coingecko as of April 4th 2021 ($35.81/INDEX).