Learn from my mistakes

Projects

Fantom — token economics — team didn’t keep enough themselves, the projects in the “top 10” are all highly centralized and controlled token economics. The more distributed, especially amongst retail, the more volatile. Plan for this.

Yearn — can’t really say I’m the founder, I feel more like the guy that planted the seed and let a much more capable community take over, they did amazing.

Eminence — don’t test in prod, it works when you are small it fails when you are known, I was applying the same methodology from when I was relatively unknown to when I had attention.

Keep3r — expectation management, from day 1 I knew keep3r was never meant to be the size of Fantom or Yearn, it was meant to be a small, yet accessible and decentralized devops platform. It did achieve this, but expectation was another Yearn or Keep3r. Happy how it turned out, sad about the expectation and pressure it put on the tokenomics.

Fixedforex — started out good, kept to strong principals, but it was released during the same cycle as USDN, UST, etc, ended up wanting to compete, adopted methods they used, ultimately this caused a failure that the current team are still trying to recover from.

Solidly — the AMM was great, I’m still incredibly happy & proud of its design, decentralization was the failure point, you can’t have decentralized participation and complexity, they simply don’t work. The successful forks that went on from Solidly’s code base all centralized the participation to some extent. Simplicity works decentralized, complexity doesn’t. Actors aren’t rational, they don’t behave in the best interest of the ecosystem. If you don’t build in punishments, expects anarchy.

Narratives

Fantom foundation wallets at one point had over 1.5bn in value. Next a rumor starts I exited $1bn from crypto due to my association with these wallets. This is false, but because I wasn’t violently and aggressive screaming at these falsehoods on twitter, they stuck.

No different than the Dunsters article, just because someone with the Surname Cronje worked at the firm, all of a sudden its my sister and other insanities, again absurd, but that's how it works.

I post a meme about metaverse, next thing I’m supposedly building metaverse on fantom, it was suppose to be a joke about narratives and how you should ignore them, not that I was embracing it.

Social media works for engagement, so the most ridiculous story will become the real one unless you are prepared to violently and aggressively defend anyone that says otherwise.

Be careful of teams that deploy this method inversely, by violently and aggressively attacking anyone that speaks out against their lies, shutting that narrative down. The thing is, these are all narratives.

Don’t deify people or projects, accept and discuss the flaws, thats the only way to grow.

Don’t assume what worked at a small scale works at a large scale. It simply doesn't.

Everytime we tried to play by other teams narratives, or tried to play by their rules, we got burned. What works is the slow grind

When I was spending 20 hours a day architecturing fantom consensus, or 20 hours a day trying to perfect yearn strategies, I not once thought about the end result, I was simply enjoying the process. Somewhere after Fantom & Yearn it changed to caring more about the outcome, than the process, if you fixate on that, it makes you rush, it causes mistakes, and it takes enjoyment away from the process

Feedback loops

Be careful what you use as feedback inputs.

After Solidly, the feedback I was receiving was that my reputation is completely ruined, the best thing I can do is distance myself from any projects I was still engaged with, again, a decision influenced by my perception of what I saw on social media — this ended up causing even more damage.

Carefully analyze your feedback inputs, try to get the most objective ones. Typical survivorship bias.

Lessons

Stick to your own pace.
Don’t look for attention. Crypto loves killing the main character.
Enjoy the process, not the result.
Avoid subjective feedback loops.
Don’t get caught up in competitor narratives, if you believe something won’t work, but you see it works for competitors, just give it time.
Don’t assume you are wrong because their design is currently working.

Back to basics, sticking to long term grind mindset. Outwork, don’t try to outplay.

We apply all the above at Fantom, we tried a few times to copy the narratives of competing L1’s, and got burnt everytime.

A quote, I always loved, from a person I consider the greatest founder in defi, told me “It works, until it doesn’t” when we were discussing most of the narratives that occurred in the last 4 years.

There are no shortcuts, there are no quick wins.

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