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Dear community…

February 29th, 2020

We need to get better. There are a great number of things that need to be improved in order to avoid a catastrophic loss around DeFi.

We need to get better at holding people accountable. Everyone. Those who build and those who comment and those who use.

I don’t think that making an example of individual products or people in the way I’ve been doing is ultimately going to prevent all further fuckery. I don’t think hurting people is the best way or a good way or the only way to improve the wider issues in this space surrounding responsibility and accountability. There has to be a way to achieve our goals without hurting individuals.

The way I (and likely others) have been going about this is to shout from the rooftops and make examples of people making bad choices with the hopes others may not make the same mistakes. With the hope that we don’t walk into a total foreseeable fuckup. When most of the ecosystem seems to deeply believe that everything is fine and defend the bad choices being made, the few who are scared and don’t think everything is fine default to screaming louder and being more extreme.

This is mildly successful in some ways. Bc of how Twitter and social works, the extreme negative can spread faster and further and have a chance of overtaking the pervasive “it’s fine” attitude. Also, fear is a very powerful motivator. In fact, it’s the only one I’ve found that overcomes the powerful motivator that is greed and FOMO and hype.

Ideally, we should be able to hold people accountable and prevent future people and teams from repeating past mistakes without regressing to a state of complete negativity.

The only way I can imagine this happening is if we all help each other understand the risks and dangers of what we are building constantly. We all have to be more diligent and pass this diligence and skepticism on to those who are using and building the products. It takes builders being diligent, it takes investors and users being diligent, it takes commentators being diligent.

User and commentators…

I urge you to not give products the benefit of the doubt. I also urge you not to yell at products or attack them. Ask questions. Expect thorough answers. Share information. Help them learn. Help everyone learn.

Product and teams and builders…

I urge you to answer questions and be transparent. I urge you to respond quickly to address fears. I urge you to ask for help when you can’t do it alone. I urge you to have a circle of people who you trust who can help notify you when things are blowing up and help you distill a message to everyone. During the DAO and MEW days we had private channels called “friends of the dao” and “friends of mew.” These were safe spaces we could work together to address fears of community and have others check our responses to ensure they didn’t cause more fear. These are not circles of people to defend you or attack others. They are so you don’t say something on no sleep that creates further fear. They are so you can turn on alerts for that channel instead of every channel. They are so others can spread the information to reduce fear and combat misinformation and educate.

If something goes wrong, I urge you to comment quickly and thoroughly and publicly. You don’t have to make it ELI5 but you do have to provide ALL the information that someone super smart needs to know so they can make it ELI5.

I urge you to be transparent about what you know is problematic about what you are doing and not attempt to hide it. Pretending you don’t have a kill switch protected by a single private key is infinitely worse than just having one. You made that choice for a reason and you should 1) stand by that choice 2) share why you made that choice based on what you know and 3) accept that other people may know things you don’t know and try to read between the lines when people criticize your choices. Are they really just an angry troll? Or do they know something you don’t? Expanding your knowledge lead to you making different choices and it’s okay for you not to know things. It’s not okay for you to willfully not know things that are there for the taking.

Users and commentators…

If a products answers aren’t satisfactory, we gotta figure out a way for that to be known to everyone without devolving to a negative shit show. I don’t know exactly how to do this but surely, if we have managed to build a whole new fucking money, we can figure that out. Together.

Learning from the past

Lastly, I have been working on collecting all my random things from a variety of bookmarks and apps and our security channel and more. These are the bad things that have happened in this space over the past decade. This is step one — to gather the raw data. Step two is to distill this data into lessons to be learned. Things not to do and things to do. Things to watch out for. Things to learn from. I hope the existence of this database will allow people to start working on step two faster.

It’s in Notion bc that’s what I use but I suspect there is a better way to do this. I need your help though.

Bad Things™ (Crypto / Security)
A new tool for teams & individuals that blends everyday work apps into one.www.notion.so

As always, I love you all. 💖

And, PS, I’m putting this out here, in public, so you can hold me accountable. 😉

ps: please excuse typos or incomplete/incomprehensible thoughts. I have to run out the door now for an appt, but I wanted to get this out there and will add clarity when I can.

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