Last week we identified the specific blockers preventing Index Coop product launches. That post dealt with the near term tactical next steps regarding automating product rebalances to unblock the Index Coop from launching new products and AUM growth.
Since then, we’ve begun to address those issues in the following ways:
- Begin documenting all technical operations relating to the Index Coop
- Begin consolidating tech ops work into a dashboard to hand over to the Index Coop on the Set Labs side
- Start forming a technical ops team on the Index Coop side
The original post leaves unanswered questions about the roadmap, vision & the future of engineering at the Index Coop. Upon further reflection in the community, there appears to be appetite and urgency in answering these questions now.
This post attempts to frame & answer the following questions:
- How are engineering resources currently organized?
- What are the structural weaknesses of our current organization?
- How can those weaknesses be addressed?
Right now, Set Labs is the primary technology provider and a mission critical dependency for the Index Coop.
Here’s what the Index Coop is currently handling:
- Deploying monthly contributor rewards
- Funding liquidity mining rewards
- Paying out methodologist rewards
- Ad-hoc non-protocol work like INDEX Sale execution
- Updates to indexcoop.com
- Recommending FLI parameter updates
Here’s what Set Labs is currently handling:
- DPI & MVI product rebalancing
- Metagovernance vote execution
- Product safety iteration & maintenance (TradeSplitter, Chainlink Oracle, Axie Migration, Product Rebalance MEV Mitigation)
- DEX arb bots for all products
- Rebalancing bots for the ETH2x-FLI & BTC2x-FLI products
- New product speccing, development, & deployment
- Updates to tokensets.com
The Index Coop is in the process of being onboarded to technical operations but any new product launches require Set Labs involvement and is subject to its internal roadmap & priorities.
Our organizational layout is suboptimal in a number of ways:
Visibility into Set Labs’ internal processes & decision making is low. This can be frustrating because mission critical resources are being allocated behind closed doors. The Index Coop rarely has satisfying answers to: What exactly is blocking? What trade-offs were made to reach our current priorities? How can the community help unblock these resources?
Low Cost Awareness
The costs of launching & maintaining products have been abstracted away from the Coop giving a false sense of abundance. Even simple tasks such as executing metagovernance votes can be time-consuming in our current process architecture.
We (the Index Coop) cannot confidently set our own priorities & roadmaps because of the Set Labs dependency. The black box of Set Labs’ decision making can interrupt the product/feature development process at any stage. Only those with high context around Set priorities can effectively navigate the space of feasible work. We’ve seen Index Coop working groups evolve around these black box processes out of necessity.
This is also suboptimal for Set, as it feels like its priorities are being dictated by the Index Coop. Set’s execution pipeline is being filled with commitments / priorities made by external parties with low visibility over the costs of their requests.
Engineering autonomy, its precise benefits, and the immediate value of those benefits have been widely discussed in the Coop and at Set. We now have clearer data and more confidence that engineering autonomy can solve or mitigate at minimum the issues described above. With a capable working group owning for the vast majority of Index Coop engineering work (e.g. product launch, maintenance, improvement) we stand to gain:
Visibility into the engineering prioritization process will be improved as meetings, roadmaps, and processes are public by default in the Coop. The groups that lead engineering resource allocation in the Index Coop are naturally accountable to the Index Coop & INDEX holders in a way that Set Labs engineering is not.
Better Cost Awareness
Increased transparency will give the Coop a more accurate understanding of the costs required to launch and maintain Index Coop products. This cost awareness will affect all working groups as the Coop can develop an intuition for the bar for high impact work that is prioritized by the engineering organization.
As outlined above, engineering is the most obvious mission critical dependency the Index Coop does not have control over. With engineering brought in-house Index Coop can confidently set it’s own priorities, roadmaps and a long term vision for its future.
On the Set Labs side, there’s no desire to stop contributing to the Index Coop. We’re highly invested in the success of the Coop and will continue to contribute to the Index Coop as community members. However, we believe returning autonomy to both Set and the Index Coop will lead to clearer decision making, higher trust, and better results.
As per Engineering Constraints & Next Steps technical operations handoff remains the top priority for Set Labs & the nascent EWG team.
Besides that you can expect a follow-on post with a more detailed breakdown of the engineering capabilities Index Coop will need, and a framework for which of those capabilities make sense to develop first.