Tell your own DPI/INDEX story - Extract Growth Implications

Hello all!

Something I’ve been turning over in my mind is that almost all of us are consumers who became aware of DPI/INDEX, took an interest in it, and had that interest become a passion. My own has been a lightspeed, recent journey. So it’s fresh in my mind. I wrote it down to organize my own thoughts and then figured it was worth sharing.

KEY INSIGHT: We are all customers with replicable experiences that convinced us to buy or contribute to DPI/INDEX. If we analyze our own customer journeys, we will come up with new approaches or angles for Growth.

I will run through my own story below, but will disclaim that the growth implications may be redundant or obvious. If there’s one takeaway, it’s that I think community members should go through this exercise and share.

Deciding to Buy DPI

I was a relatively dormant ETH longterm holder whose attention was brought back to crypto by the EOY 2020 market cycle. A friend and former co-worker (MetFanMike) gave me a bit of a download on DeFi and spitballed that an indexed approach might be the right play. I did some high-level “research” (just googled some protocols and looked around) and was on board conceptually but hadn’t gone too deep yet. But, Mike had recommended DPI, I looked a bit into the methodology, checked that against market caps and what the components were doing and was on board! Why not? I’d just had a run-up in my ETH, I wasn’t pouring any more fiat in just yet. Aside from the referral, DPI appealed to me because in the fiat world, I’m very much an indexer (mostly in VTSAX/VTIAX) because I don’t want to spend the time searching for alpha.
DPI was actually my first on-chain transaction and the reason I signed up for a wallet. I was previously only transacting on Coinbase. This is a good time to pause.

Growth implications:

Word of mouth - This is the most obvious and boring marketing “insight” of all time. But, it’s literally what got me here. Do we have a nuts-and-bolts “refer a friend to buy DPI, get a small amount of INDEX” program? If not, is that because it feels very basic? If we’ve tested it and it failed, is there a chance for a new audience/venue to test this out?

User profile - If someone has done some work on user profiles and segmentation then great, but if not we can start by “typing” ourselves. I was a crypto-aware, fiat index investor who had never transacted on-chain before learning about DPI. Now my “growth” instinct is that it might not be worth spending too much time on people who haven’t yet dealt with wallets and keys. But my own story runs counter to that! There are people not yet on-chain for whom this would be the product to make them take that step. Where do those people congregate? How can we get in front of them?

Let’s pick back up with my progression

Becoming an Enthusiast

I bought DPI because I had been a long-term ETH believer, learned enough about DeFi to believe in its capabilities generally, and was a fiat index investor so this came naturally to me. My investment decision was a bit hasty and retail, but I’d seen enough to move some capital. I then started to go one by one on the protocols I now owned a piece of through DPI (stealing that approach from MetFanMike but also doing that along with him).

And then I caught the DeFi bug. Most of you will know what I’m talking about. For me it manifested as a state where I was constantly reading whatever I could get my hands on and had frantic split-second thought cycles that went something like this: “This is how all value will be exchanged in ten, no five, no two years or maybe it’s nothing but air but also regulators/central banks might ruin it and oh is this 1998 dotcom? or am I looking at Amazon in 2004? or is this electric vehicles in the 80s? and I should probably eat something or sleep.”

This is when I also learned about impermanent loss the hard way and burned a lot of gas fees just seeing how everything worked.

But through that insanity I did retain a “what’s the right play here and how does that fit with my investment philosophy when I tamp down all the noise?” I’m bullish on the lending protocols and DEX. But how to pick the right one? My answer was in the exact same approach that I’d taken in fiat. Index it. Don’t try to hit the home run, win the game with doubles. I had the most conviction around DeFi overall, and I’m not going to be the guy who picks the right horse between, say SUSHI and UNI. So why do that when I don’t have to?

Growth Implications

DeFi is overwhelming for new entrants - Working with Rabbit Hole is a great partnership that addresses this point. I learned about it from the Growth call earlier today (Awesome stuff Brian!) If I’d known about Rabbit Hole a few weeks ago I might have covered partial expenses on my “experimentation gas fees.”

Indexing can be positioned as a port in the storm - I think we already market this way, but something like “Just buy all the best stuff efficiently; set and forget” is a message that can appeal to someone overwhelmed by all of the possibilities for their capital within DeFi.

Deciding to Contribute

During the bug phase I’d started following a few people in the ecosystem on Twitter. One of them was Anthony Sassano and the occasional drip of info about DPI and INDEX was validating for that first investment. But within ten minutes of each other, Sassano retweeted this and MetFanMike sent it to me: https://twitter.com/AlphaLemonade/status/1360259594275065857

That’s your very own Lemonade Alpha making a value case for INDEX. Revenue! Value capture! P/E analogues! If Charlie Munger weren’t so busy poopooing Bitcoin, Tesla, and Robinhood, he’d read through this and shed a tear. I almost did, but instead I let MetFanMike say the words for me: “We have to get involved.” He connected with BigSky and now we’re rolling up our sleeves.

Growth Implications

-Let’s bottle up LemonadeAlpha’s tweetstorm. That should be evergreen content somewhere (if it isn’t already).

-Again in the realm of boring and obvious, Twitter influencers are a big deal. I was following Anthony Sassano mostly because of the sheer variety of ETH long takes and NOT just because of Set/DPI. So it might be worth thinking of new overlaps of influencers besides the already clear true believers. Gaming? NFTs? You tell me?

Why I skipped the evangelist stage

I think before stepping in to contribute a lot of people will evangelize to friends and family. Most people I know would need to be sold on Ethereum THEN DeFi THEN DPI. And the wonderful thing about this community is I’ve been able to plug in here before getting around to having conversations with crypto-friendly or crypto-curious friends.

Growth Implications

-I wonder if there’s value to creating a one-pager: ”Sell your Uncle on DPI in one conversation.” Something that just provides simple answers to simple questions that will often frustrate me like “How do you know ETH has value?” I know there’s a concise and near-universal way to get a smart person from zero to interested pretty quickly.

Concluding Thoughts

I’ve typed a lot, I’ve run out of steam. Oddly this exercise might be MORE useful for people who are new to the community because they might be more likely to give us insight on growth opportunities in the market right now. But I think it’s worthwhile for anyone to do.

Cheers,

Nate (fallow8 on Discord)

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I’m excited to learn about other’s “paths to DPI/INDEX” :raised_hands:

My abbreviated path:

  • Had never meaningfully participated in defi protocol community
  • I find index products delightfully easy & “boring”
  • Saw Anthony Sassano tweet referencing “Introducing the Index Coop”
  • Some lightbulb went off along the lines of, “oh, crypto index products really make sense now”
  • Decided to join some community calls to see what was up
  • Found the calls to be super well run, and the Set team & the Index Community to be fun/interesting/kind. The sort of folks that I want to be around.
  • Earned some $INDEX from making contributions
  • Got hooked :sunglasses:
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Growth implication: New ad copy: “The boring way to invest in DeFi.” :joy: But maybe also serious?

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cool thread.

Mine is super easy. I like Index because it’s a nice way to be long when you don’t know what do buy. So I started to look at all indexes available in the space.

And then, because i have a blog about crypto/defi, and i like to speak about cool projects, I started to speak about indexcoop and translate some articles.

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I’ll do my best to provide my version - tried to go back in time a bit to add some context :slight_smile:

2013 - Found Bitcoin randomly online by googling “how to make money” and buying at the absolute top of the cycle. (Very glad I never sold)

2014 - Got fed up of being massively down on BTC and started stock picking, some terrible losses (GoPro, KNDI) some pretty good wins (AAPL, TSLA, SNE) - I still hold ALL of these today, I’m terrible at selling.

2015 - Decided I didn’t particularly like working in a corporate environment, so googled “how to retire early” Discovered MrMoneyMustache and the FIRE movement.

2016 - stopped stock picking and invested 100% of my savings each month into various Vanguard products - I’d decided this was the safest way of possibly growing my wealth.

2017 - Continued investing in Vanguard, but had my interest in crypto re-ignited in the Q4 bull run.

2018 - starting buying BTC and ETH again, attempted to start a family based crypto Index fund with my brother - with limited success due to poor quality alt coins at the time. Eventually rolled everything into BTC.

2019 - lost interest in Crypto during the bear market, full attention back on Vanguard Index Funds.

2020 H1 - Covid hit, watched stock prices drop massively and my net worth plummet. I’d been waiting for a moment like this, so went almost all in with my cash into Vanguard funds. (So glad this worked out okay!!)

2020 H2 - watched in awe as stock prices but also Crypto went crazy. Re-ignited my interest in Crypto for the third time in Q4. Discovered DeFi and began spending stupid amounts on gas playing about with platforms like UniSwap / AAVE. (I was just amazed something now actually worked in Crypto!!)

2021 - fully invested in crypto, this time for real. Having used and experienced DeFi, played about and made some money on NFTs like Hashmasks I decided that this time maybe was different. For the first time there was a proven usecase and seeing the TVL grow in DeFi platforms reaffirmed that thesis. I was / am certain that DeFi is the future and the upside is astronomical, I just didn’t know in what exactly to invest.

March 2021 - My journey to find $INDEX.

I tweet out “Can anyone recommend a solid Defi Index fund? Looking to gain broad exposure to the market.” and get exactly 0 responses.

I watch UpOnly with ParafiCapital - @santiagoroel directly mentions buying DPI for those wanting broad exposure to DeFi without having to coin-pick.

I immediately google DPI, spend ages researching it and determine it’s the right fund for me. It matches my investment thesis completely, time in the market beats timing the market and that people far smarter than I can’t outperform the Index, so I won’t bother attempting it! I load up my MetaMask and press buy!

It didn’t immediately click for me how the relationship between DPI and the Coop worked. In fact at the start I actually thought they were two entirely separate funds. initially I thought SET was the “Vanguard style company behind DPI.” (I had heard of Set before from LedgerStatus)

It wasn’t until I found the IndexCoop website and from there the Discord channel that I fully understood what IndexCoop was, or how it works. But now I’m here I’m completely sold. The range of products being discussed, the intelligence of the people working here so far, the friendliness of the community - all these things ticked all of the boxes I had in my head of a community I’d want to join, coupled with a product I can 100% stand behind and support, as it matches COMPLETELY with my entire lifes investment thesis.

So, I loaded back up my MetaMask, bought some INDEX on UniSwap, and here I am. looking to engage more in the Discord, contribute where I can and broaden my exposure to INDEX over time whilst dollar cost averaging into DPI. I really do believe in the potential of the Coop and I can’t wait to see what the future holds! :slight_smile:

The one comment I have however is that for someone actively looking for a DeFi index fund in the space, it did take me a while to find DPI and the Coop. There are potentially a lot of others where the product fits their needs, but they are unaware of where to look / go!

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Back in 2016 I was working out w a good friend and he told me that he had stumbled upon some money from a blockchain project he had bought the premine to. I follow his lead and ride the eth train up, get involved w some ICOs, start a cryptokitty farm etc etc then ride the eth train all the way down.

Now my workout buddy is working for the EF and w all the eth 2.0 hype im trying to tell some of my friends where to invest and find DPI which was an obvious choice for people not looking to trade but i cant figure out where the methodologist fee is going, i look all over for a defi pulse coin or a set coin but nothing going then a couple of weeks ago i finally see someone mention the IC and the other things yall were working on and it all clicks.

Just went to look at the tokenset page for DPI and still there is nothing mentioning the Index coop so i think thats a quick fix there

Agree with this piece here around linking IndexCoop wherever possible to DPI. This will make it far clearer to understand from a newcomers perspective.

100% this is me as well! There are plenty of us who dipped in and out of crypto and woke up to the fact that you can actually do things with these protocols now. I wish it were Q2 2020 for me but hey…we’re here now =)

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This is awesome, bookmarked this a while back so sorry for the late reply.

My story is probably not going to yield much insight but:

  • Parents restricted my computer usage growing up
  • Was behind the curve on software / web / mobile
  • Go to college (intended to be a lawyer)
  • Drop out of law school
  • Immediately took a job in agency tech recruiting with college buddy
  • Learn to love Tech, recruiting comes easy
  • W/in 1 year recruiter at Google (shortly after, Facebook/Instagram)
  • Spend 15 hrs a week hitting recruitment quotas, majority of my time spent as hobbyist tech equity analyst trading calls and leaps (thinking I’m a genius)
  • in mid-2017 see ICO mania and volatile prices, become interested in what’s going on
  • August 2017 - I enter market w/ ETH buy
  • December 2017 - I start to harden thesis on cryptoassets and web3
  • March 2018 - Make a short list of dapp projects I want to work for, cold email all
  • May 2018 - Begin working for Augur
  • July 2018 - Launch Augur v1, one of first dapps on Ethereum
  • July 2020 - Fast forward, launch Augur v2 (bit of a flop)
  • Sep 2020 - Augur a component of DPI, learn of DPI
  • Nov 2020 - Learn about Index Coop
  • Dec 2020 - Begin harrassing team members
  • Mar 2021 - Contributing full time, still harassing
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I don’t know how much index component interaction we have, but I feel like there’s not really a ceiling on how much or how systematic that could be and should unearth metagovernance, partnership, coordination, and recruiting opportunities. It’s valuable to share this stuff. Everyone who came here believes they learned about the Coop in an obvious or banal way simply because it’s their own story. But it couldn’t be further from the truth. And we’re trying to reverse engineer these moments (at least for DPI discovery) on the growth side every day.

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we can’t regret the past too much but I completely agree! when you’ve been outside of the space for a year or so, it’s incredible to come back and see the pace of change and the level of progress being made.

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Great idea and been interesting to read everyone’s posts. My story is actually very similar to some of the others:

I’ve always been a huge proponent of index investing outside of crypto–the long term math just makes sense. I first got into BTC/ETH in 2017/2018 and was captivated by all of the other tokens but didn’t invest because it seemed too overwhelming to manage - at the time a friend and I actually discussed how useful an index fund would be.

Cutting to this past year, I fell much deeper into the DeFi rabbithole and came across DPI on Twitter (and ultimately joined an Index Coop clubhouse which really got me interested in Index).

For anyone new to DeFi coming from the TradFi world, a product like DPI is far more approachable and just makes sense. For the subgroup of newcomers where DPI is just going to “click”, I think it’s a matter of making sure it is one of the first products they discover when they begin to learn about DeFi.

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Hey everyone!

I was clicking around on the forum to learn about your workflows and stumbled on this thread. I thought it would be a good first topic to post about!

I was a late bloomer to crypto, first getting into the space in early 2020. Coming from an asset management background, I initially struggled with the lack of indices. Similar to many of you, I understood the value of passive, buy-and-hold strategies. In order to get my initial footing, I found some benchmarks used by the larger asset managers in the space (e.g. Bitwise and Galaxy Digital). However, they were typically market-cap weighted across all of crypto and I noticed that some of the top currencies lacked real value. I ended up stumbling on Messari and found out about the different sector types (e.g. DeFi, Web3, etc.) and was immediately grabbed by the DeFi space. In my search for information on which protocols were worth looking at, I came across DeFi Pulse and DPI. That’s how I learned about the amazing work your team is doing.

I agree with Cedrick that TradFi investors are likely to gravitate toward these types of products. I also think a major growth implication could be around education. As a newer entrant to crypto and DeFi, I will tell you there is a heck of a learning curve. I think there is a market opportunity to spread awareness of different subsectors of crypto while linking that back to Index’s core products. For example, a whitepaper on “What is the Metaverse” along with a factsheet of MVI attached. A common feature of asset management is for wholesalers of different firms to provide research, outlook, and opportunities within their respective sector or specialty (e.g. a U.S. REIT fund company would likely send updates to me on the U.S. Real Estate market). We could maybe find value-adds here.

Hopefully that helps bring a fresher perspective given I am newer to the industry as a whole. Happy to answer any follow-up questions if you have any.

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Hey @AcceleratedCapital Loved reading your post!

The portion below really resonates with me, I think you’re right that Marketing the absolute basics would be very successful. E.G. an article titled what is DeFi, with different sections explaining DEXs or AMMs, and why you want exposure to all these sectors via the DPI product.

The question I’ve got, is what other strategies do you think we can adopt to help capture traditional finance types earlier in their crypto journey? Having just been through this experience it would be great to get more of your ideas.

Some great stories here - thanks for sharing Owls.

The bit that chimes most with my story is the steep, intimidating learning curve getting into DeFi and learning how to buy DPI.

I think we can build a content ladder to help people get up that curve faster and with less anxiety. However, I wouldn’t look to get too general in this ladder - ‘What is DeFi?’ - as that sort of stuff is well covered by Coindesk, DFP et al who nuke us in terms of SEO scores and positioning.

We did create a how to buy DPI guide, but there’s lots more we can do outside of this.

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Great question! Industry standards like factsheets, marketing decks, and ongoing analysis/reporting would all be helpful I think. These types of resources provide a familiar frame of reference for traditional investors. The more Index Coop can look and feel like a typical asset manager (e.g. Blackrock or Fidelity), the more confidence we can inspire in TradFi types.

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