Removing the WTA from the product onboarding process

Authors: @DocHabanero

Simple Summary

The product team, in partnership with the WTA team, has decided to remove the WTA from the standard onboarding process and only complete it on an ad-hoc basis.


All products introduced into the onboarding process are evaluated and must meet certain criteria for it to be considered for launch. In most cases, products hit a roadblock based on one or more of the criteria and are taken off the roadmap. If a product does not meet the criteria but still has a compelling business case, a WTA will be setup on an ad-hoc basis.


When Index Coop was originally created it needed a way to evaluate ideas coming in from external methodologists. As the product team has formalized it’s onboarding process and taken control of their roadmap, products that were reaching WTA had already been vetted for the standard criteria. This meant that the WTA was producing similar results for each product, as bad product ideas have already been denied by the product team.


By removing the WTA process we’ve been able to streamline the product onboarding process while still maintaining product quality. The WTA process is now incorporated into the entire product onboarding process.


A cross functional group setup the Work Team Assessment process to evaluate new product ideas from external methodologists. To validate products the WTA looked at the following criteria:

  • Market Opportunity: Is the product novel and many people would want it
  • Revenue Structure: Is the product profitable from a fee structure and fee split
  • Methodologist Impact: Does the methodologist provide expert knowledge or branding
  • Financial: Will Index Coop pay for seed liquidity or liquidity mining incentives
  • Operational: How often will the product rebalance
  • Technical: Does the product require new engineer work

The product team has changed the onboarding process to cover the above criteria during the discovery phase for new product ideas. Below is the same list but with a description of how it’s handled in the new process. The onboarding process can be broken into three phases: Discovery, Design and Launch.

Discovery phase: this is completed prior to including a product on the public roadmap

  • Market Opportunity: Has this product been validated in any market research done by Index Coop or a secondary source. If no research exists, the product team will try to validate through interviews or market surveys.
    • If a product does not land on the top list of products, it is held on the backlog
  • Technical: Based on accumulated knowledge of our tech stack, products are evaluated on a scale of: no development required, minimal, or multiple months.
    • If a product requires multiple months it will be held on the backlog until the technology is more readily available
    • A subset of this is whether the market can support a product. Often times, the underlying liquidity is too low

Design phase: this is when the product is specced out, including technical requirements

  • Revenue Structure: While the product team works on a long-term pricing strategy, products have been priced more competitively and all products must meet a 70% contribution margin as outlined in the Product Profitability Initiative
  • Methodologist Impact: The product designers and quantitative analyst at Index Coop have gained extensive experience in building products and are now the experts compared to external methodologist
    • Branding partners are being explored for appropriate products.
  • Financial: In an effort to streamline and optimize launch activities, Index Coop has taken on the responsibility of providing seed capital for all product launches. This reduces outside coordination when the capital is not deployed by the methodologist on time or for the promised amount.
    • Liquidity mining incentives now run through growth and have largely been removed from the launch process
    • Products are prioritized based on seed capital required
  • Operational: All new products being produced are optimized for profitability, which includes reducing operational costs so this point is not necessary.

In summary, the WTA process was necessary as Index Coop needed to evaluate products from external methodologists. As the product team sharpens their skills the above criteria is being incorporated into the entire onboarding process. The WTA process will be used on an ad-hoc basis when products are interesting, but don’t meet the above criteria.

No IIP will be requested for this change.