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.
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?
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.
-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.
-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.
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.
Nate (fallow8 on Discord)