Decisions out of fear VS logic

Hello ShapeShift DAO it is that time again and the race to the bottom is still in full effect. With WorkStream renewals starting, who will be left standing as contributors?

Given that “Fear” is a common motivator and many make decisions based on emotions, this is a frequent pitfall of “leaders”. Compound this in an environment where the bait has been taken and you get a “feeding frenzy” of, I follow suit or I am a target. This can become overwhelming without experience, the confidence of value, ability or, misinterpretation of compensation. Once this cycle is established on a larger scale it becomes harder to revert because fear grows and now it is a me VS them mentality.

I am sorry to say but the DAO is very ripe for this, yes we are in a “BEAR market”, yes we are not leveraged safely with treasury stable coins, diversified with different treasury assets, don’t generate enough income or inflows of assets, or positioned with a large user base that we can rely on, and yes fear is very present both privately and publicly within the DAO.

^^^^^^ Realizable Problems^^^^^^^

You should fear for the future but placing that above logic in determinations and believing that you can look at others as expendable pieces to the larger puzzle is just going to leave you with an incomplete puzzle that becomes harder to solve.

Logic would dictate that there’s always room for efficiencies and budgets do get bloat, especially new ventures (the DAO) and during times of prosperity (BULL market), but as I have always stated actions should be taken logically and adapted to address fluid situations, and when possible protection of valuable assets. A large-scale removal of any such assets without a clear determined and realizable goal is a very short term and can lead to the compounding of future problems.

Ok so here comes the we have limited runway and we need to act now; a powerful narrative that even in its statement conjures the sentiment of fear. So I will say that I agree that a strategy/ course of action is needed or I would never have gone to the DAO WOW, the question isn’t if we need to do something, it is do we want to do it together or as individuals. The public narrative at the DAO WOW was we had the group to do it together, in reality we are still looking to pick each other off in an effort to last the longest and impress by racing to the bottom for the perception of making the “hard” decisions.

And let me state that the narrative of runway is now a common CONVENIENCE, the limitation of stable coins is just that; A form of a singular asset that has a few desired effects

  • It makes it easier to convert to living fiat for compensation
  • It doesn’t directly impact the value of FOX on the open market
  • The optics of the strength of the DAO to not use the token that it has the most of in its treasury.

One could very well argue that fear and loss of capability could be almost as dangerous or have more undesired effects. The fact that they don’t always present immediately doesn’t discount the outcomes.

I would say that if any organization was serious about survival then utilization of assets to accomplish this comes in many forms not just the removal of personnel (one form of an organizational asset). Would it hurt if the value of fox is depreciated further, yes. Can we truly control that with just our individual treasury and try to predict the personal needs and financial determinations/perception of all the holders in summation in volatile markets? Very doubtful. I would say that beyond that singular focus we have glaring additional concerns that will lend to the end of this form of the ShapeShift organization.

  • The confidence of the of the community and the contributors willing to participate
  • The limited resources of contributors that are willing to lend the ability, experience and time to work in uncertainty.
  • This race to the bottom
  • Hive mentality

I will say that this can very well continue to fall on deaf ears, and waved off as oh well it doesn’t affect me at this point so I can squeeze by; Maybe you can. I am not normally one to participate in this game but by all means that doesn’t even slightly mean that I can’t. I have just chosen not to because I know the destructiveness that it ultimately causes.

Hello Neverwas,

To be honest, I don’t really understand what you are trying to say with your post (what is the problem, suggested action?). Could you summarize the point you are trying to get across in two or three sentences? That would be helpful to me and probably others within the broader ShapeShift community.

Hello Jafo,

I believe that the problem was stated in the title, suggestion action, I don’t think a single action provides a solution, these are complex issues and takes diligence and thought. If it was a simple 2 or 3 sentences you wouldn’t see so many crypto projects and companies going out of business. If you believe that cutting contributors is a viable and sustainable solution that is an option and it seems a common opinion, and best of luck maybe a combination of drastic cuts and small income streams can prolong long enough to salvage a few contributor roles. I posted to begin difficult conversation or at least allow for it within the community. If you want a solution I can provide you services specific to tasks of that magnitude and value but I doubt it would be within a forum post provided with limited scope and in a summation. Thank you for your post as it is here to help generate comments, thoughts and a safe space for community concern.

Thank you for your response. Maybe a clear problem statement would help to identify potential solutions to the issues you are raising (i.e. How to find new revenue streams so we don’t need to reduce the number of contributors to the DAO?). Or maybe not, I’ll leave that up to you since this is your forum post :slight_smile:

I was looking for a post that I provided the last time renewals were happening and this was first taking root, but with the transfer to this forum I am not finding it right now. Within that post I had a spreadsheet relevant to the time it was made with I don’t know 7 or 8 various options that pertained to workstream budgetary options and retaining contributors. This topic didn’t go into strategies for income or user generation or retention.

Ok heard a clear problem statement,

How to identify and prevent treasury and budgetary decisions/concerns being made out of emotional fear over logical determination and assessment.

And because I took the time to see that you stated that you are or were a management consultant,

“How to avoid the common management misnomer and mistake that you can simply cut your way into successful teams or fix the bottom line.” or “What are the pitfalls of management ignoring capability and capacity for the quick gains of eliminating expense.”

I will leave it for you to choose

My understanding is that @Neverwas is against further trimming of the human resources of the Workstreams which are trying to get renewed for the next 6 months term (Marketing, and Globalization). He does not see it as a long term solution as we are cutting bridges with valuable contributors and demoralizing the ones who are left (for now)… with as only “profit” a slightly longer DAO runway budget.

For context, what prompted this post is that critiques have asked these WS to reduce their planned budget or to increase their objectives. Considering the current bearish market conditions it seems pretty clear that the only valid option is the former, which leads to firing people eventually. For even more context, the past two terms have already been marked by drastically lower budgets and lead to people being fired/let go in both Workstreams (despite them completing the set goals to the best of their abilities as far as I know).

Obviously correct me if I’m wrong in this summary @Neverwas, I will gladly take these opinion as mine if you think something else actually.

EDIT: Seems like he gave a summary in the end, so don’t mind me. That being said, I do share the concerns, so thanks for posting this.

I also think that this focus on the runway and short term profitability is counterproductive to the greater goals we try to achieve, it is a metric we must watch but if we cannot manage to make it on the already much shorter staff we have now, I doubt prolonging it by few months with even less personnel will change much.

Nonetheless and because I am positive on this, I do think the set of individuals we have had to select after the previous “trimmings” are a great fit to accomplish the common goals we have.

Thank you @Fireb0mb1

I am against the belief that one standard solution works for completely different teams and every DAO WorkStream. I was last term and I am currently against the priority that is placed on this as the only and best solution for ALL WorkStreams to be able move forward. I am against the seemly public acceptance and opinion that all WorkStream leaders should gladly sacrifice individuals vs efforts to build and sacrifice as a whole for the ability to work our way out of both short and long term problems as an organization, it would be wise to do so. And I am against from learned knowledge and experience standing by and watching as common management pitfalls are happening that have lasting and compounding consequences.

Take my posts with a grain of salt, but if you are curious, and with the transfer it might not work, go back and look at my dedicated posts and check see if I am full of shit or if I called it way before the realization set in. Oh and it will take some reading and thought to see between the lines. Up to this point I haven’t had any desire to tell adults what or how to do.

I am for transitioning, building, and maintaining a DAO and what that can be for a global community on a larger scale, not a corporate iteration that mimics trendy ideas and follows the same limitations with a new shiny spin. I am against the vailed and telegraphed threat of votes that may come if someone doesn’t follow the spoken desires of influential contributors and holders that keeps them from trying out of fear of a failed proposal, I am for trying and getting shot down that is governance let it experience due process.

I hope that clarifies things if anyone cared.

Moving conversation from Discord here per @Neverwas

I can not speak for anyone else, but I don’t think that these conversation around runway are meant to be fearful. I think they are meant to provide an accurate picture of the DAOs finances to the community. I do understand why they could illicit a sense of fear, but I think that risk is worth the added transparency. There are many horror stories of startup founders who don’t share anything about the financials of their company with their team and shut down on a dime without notice, I think the transparency is a better approach even if the uncertainty can lead to some people being fearful.

It is impossible for me to add any insights into a specific workstream leaders state of mind, but I can see many logical reasons for reducing budgets that aren’t fear based given the current state of the DAO. I say this with no additional knowledge or understanding of the inner wokstream decisions other than what has been shared with the community, you may very well have much more information than I do.

Thanks 0xean,

I agree that disclosure and transparency were likely the initial and a positive intent. The focal point primarily on stables and the associated compensation doesn’t provide an accurate picture of the totality of the DAO’s finances to say so is in my eyes a large misnomer. I know that we can liken our DAO to a startup, but I wouldn’t discount the previous existence, history, and legacy that it brought and continues to bring to the table. That said I would also add that Individuals and workstreams frequently do not operate under a startup or entrepreneurship mentality.

True transparency could be used to alleviate or remove fear, partial or inaccurate transparency has a very different effect.

As the maintainer of the runway projections spreadsheet and someone who starts literally every Tokenomics Workstream call talking about runway, I can assure you that (at least from my own perspective) there is no intent to create fear. The primary goal is simply to present the DAO’s finances in a transparent, fashion. In other words - these are the facts; here’s where we stand.

Individual Workstream leaders are free to interpret these facts however they want, and make corresponding decisions around that analysis.

“The focal point primarily on stables and the associated compensation doesn’t provide an accurate picture of the totality of the DAO’s finances to say so is in my eyes a large misnomer.”

I believe the DAOshboards are a complete and 100% accounting of the DAO’s finances. @Neverwas Is there anything you think is missing, and is preventing us from presenting an accurate picture? I agree that we shouldn’t focus on only stables. This is why the runway spreadsheet also has tabs taking FOX and the entire treasury into account. (Although as I discussed yesterday, I think it would be very risky to assume that we could get by relying solely on FOX).

Thank you kent,

Let me clearly state that I never said that you or for that matter anyone is intentionally spreading fear, that doesn’t mean that unintentional consequences should just be dismissed. As tokenomics I understand the financial aspect to the conversation. Sorry for those who feel this is a recent perspective, I have been talking about this for 6+ months. I also didn’t say that workstream leaders could’t make their own determinations, if anyone believes that I have ever said that please show me where. I have asked the question to the community if we are better for making decisions out of fear vs logic I made a title for a reason.

Organizational health and assets are not solely tied to financial balance sheets or for this sake the treasury, this in itself is a point, the singular focus of this as the only means to gauge the DAO’s ability to survive is shorting itself in looking at a piece of a larger picture. Even in traditional organizations any experienced individual could agree that, assets have many different classifications and determined values, and depreciation of any such assets can have a plan of action.

I feel like the binary of fear vs. logic is a misnomer on the situation. I totally understand that this is a complicated topic that you have brought up before in forum posts and in DAO discussions. Labeling the Workstream Leader responsibility of staffing as something that should solely focus on maintaining the highest staff numbers possible seems to be the flavor of your posts on the topic. The DAO is not about keeping seats warm or participation trophies unfortunately and in such a transparent work environment, the needs and subsequent resources to fulfill these needs are on display at all times.

Bear market lens or not, the DAO is smaller in salaried contributors, more efficient in daily processes and continually optimizing its dependency on any resource in the name of efficiency and agility than it was last Operations renewal and does not have the same need or requirements of administration and testing as it did 6 months ago. Part if this is due to obsolesce, part of this is due to prioritized focus, part of this is due to our contributors getting better and more efficient at their tasks over time.

There was no fear motivating the decisions surrounding the next Operations renewal that just dropped here:

I’m happy to go into further detail beyond what is listed in the proposal on all of the motivations leading to this proposal having a leaner staff if the listed reasons are seen as insufficient evidence.

It is a difficult time to be a DAO in crypto winter. Some here have argued with survival tactics that have been implemented by various workstream leaders (actions well within their governance approved responsibilities) and offered loose ideas about not caring about future spend/revenue at this time, or equal (or unequal) paycuts across the board to contributor salaries. While trimming staff size does leave some contributors without salary and roles, it can be one of the leading tools in budget restriction that can protect the focus, goals and objectives of the workstream or larger DAO.

@Neverwas I am sorry that you were not able to be included in this next workstream proposal. These proposals are intentionally ephemeral to force accountability and transparency with the community. You were additionally provided a month severance to help with the transition. This was never outlined in any proposal and was given as a gesture of good faith and the acknowledgement that the Operations workstream could complete 100% of its tasks without you on salary.

Perhaps you are trying to have a discussion that is larger than the circumstances we find ourselves in with the next Operations proposal? It seems to me like this is more motivated in hurt feelings than substance toward anything actionable.

Tyler, thank you. I appreciate all input and conversation around this from the community as a whole, and welcome your thoughts. By all means if you like we can discuss particular events here. If you would like to bring up transparency and claim a misnomer of the situation then share the totality of the situation in your perspective and how this played out. Please do share the motivations and note conversations on Monday the 2nd, Thursday the 5th, and the reasoning that you shared Friday the 6th when you spoke to me.

When did I ever say or imply that the DAO is about keeping seats warm or maintaining the highest staff numbers? Is that what you get from the terms capacity and capability? If so you might want to double check.

Thank you for sharing. I will look further at the proposal you posted.

Thank again @Fireb0mb1 I just took the opportunity to list out some stuff and ran with it lol, I do acknowledge and very much appreciate your statements and observations, didn’t mean to slight in any way.

last people standing win a great prize I assume, had to lighten it up a little. I think I might be scaring people from posting and I don’t want to do that.

Hey guys, I’m not sure I still totally understand the problem that’s being outlined here. However, as a fellow workstream leader, I have to say that none of the decisions on product have come out of fear. What’s important, as I believe Tyler has done, is truly access the needs of the workstream, the DAO, and determine if the spend of the workstream and headcount is too high, on point, or too low for the responsibilities they have. As Tyler has outlined in his proposal, he seems to solidly believe that Ops can accomplish the workstream goals and responsibilities within the DAO with fewer people and a reduced budget, and consolidating those responsibilities into fewer roles.

Thanks Diggy, appreciate the time and the post. If you don’t feel that it has affected the product WorkStream that could truly be the case. I know that some of your team members have fluctuated but you have also been able to add a few and work on a skeleton crew with a few part time contributors.

I could assume that your team has felt the pressure to present lower and lower budgets and to work with fewer resources, that challenge has been presented to all and I have never disagreed with that. That said I am not sure if that was in the contributor space as well or if people were asked to work more for less or leave, were not pro-forming up to the task or maybe just felt that they could do better elsewhere. Managers have made logical decisions and I didn’t say that they can’t or haven’t over this extended period of time.

As stated on the last governance call, having a plan or strategy is a form of using logic, changing determinations in very drastic measures in very short timelines is usually an emotional response, I can speak on it further if needed.

To everyone,

I understand the desire to come to a person’s aid and maybe even you could be asked too, while many can try to work in attributing this post to an individual or recent actions. These are DAO wide observations and it has shown for an extended period of time across the organization and community. I haven’t tried to make this into a personal discussion but it looks as though people have taken actions to do so and make it seem as I am speaking out of context. This by all means is an individual right of choice but please remember this was a community discussion.

While I am willing to discuss this with a few others that have lended thought, many may have discomfort and maybe not wanting to deal with topics like this. I, as others in the community have stated, believe that it’s the difficult discussions that make us better, I tend to steer clear of the “feel good” or even some standard topics. I am sure that is why I can have a polarizing effect in the DAO but I am fine with that. If you are not comfortable or feel the need to put yourself in an awkward situation that is your choice.


I appreciate you bringing this up - this is an important topic that is difficult to broach. I can see that the timing of this post is unfortunate, and you made it clear during yesterday’s governance call that you perceive there to be at least some degree of community skepticism about your motivations for this post given recent events.

I do not share that skepticism. I think many of the points that you’ve written here and spoke about during yesterday’s governance call are spot-on and absolutely worthy of an open discussion.

@TylerShapeShift, I recognize the proximity of this conversation to the recent Operations budget cuts, and want to make it clear that I am speaking entirely in the general case here and that none of what I have to say in this post is meant to have anything to do with you or the current Operations proposal. I do not think that you have engaged in any of the behaviors that I’m describing here.

@Neverwas, there are two of your statements that I’d like to focus on:

1.) “Given that “Fear” is a common motivator and many make decisions based on emotions, this is a frequent pitfall of “leaders”. Compound this in an environment where the bait has been taken and you get a “feeding frenzy” of, I follow suit or I am a target. This can become overwhelming without experience, the confidence of value, ability or, misinterpretation of compensation. Once this cycle is established on a larger scale it becomes harder to revert because fear grows and now it is a me VS them mentality.”

I am almost certain that there is some component of this going on. Near the beginning of the season of budget cuts last year, more than one individual from the DAO expressed to me directly their intent to create a social environment inside the organization where “workstream leaders [felt] pressured to make strong budget cuts”.

That is not good.

Every strategic or financial decision made by the DAO should be made on the basis of merit and merit alone. In just the past couple of weeks, I have heard the point of view that it would not be appropriate for any workstream to propose a budget that exceeds the spending from the last cycle. That is an arbitrary expectation, and we should not be making decisions that way. Above all else, we are trying to succeed in hitting a moving target. Cutting spending is a tool that we can use to that aim, but minimizing spending that is not the objective. If we spend too much, we exhaust the treasury and we miss the target. If we spend too little, we can’t do enough per unit time. We exhaust the treasury more slowly, but we still miss the target. What we have to do in order to hit our target is to allocate resources optimally. If any workstream needs to expand its budget to accomplish the objectives set, and that need is clearly demonstrated to the DAO with a strong argument and consideration of all viable alternatives, that has to be okay, and any workstream should feel comfortable making that request.

Influence peddling, politicking, social manipulation, and the like do nothing whatsoever to promote well-informed, well-considered decision-making by the organization; instead, these sorts of strategies promote groupthink, dissuade DAO participants from engaging in open and honest debate, and tend to very quickly poison the environments in which they are deployed. Without establishing a proper set of ethical principles and without the work required to ensure that those principles are consistently upheld, social and professional environments are likely to rot and become toxic very quickly.

I’m sure that many DAO participants have seen first-hand what this process looks like from inside other organizations - instances of toxic behavior go unchecked, the environment at the organization becomes toxic, and toxic people tend to thrive in toxic environments. As a result, the structure of the organization shifts to favor those who are most adept at navigating toxic environments, baking into the structure of the organization a systemic cultural problem. This is extremely difficult to fix. I have seen this happen at other organizations previously, left one of them because of it, and very much do not want to see that ever happen here.

2.) "The public narrative at the DAO WOW was we had the group to do it together, in reality we are still looking to pick each other off in an effort to last the longest and impress by racing to the bottom for the perception of making the “hard” decisions. "

Have you ever known a person who seems to think that they have free license to be infinitely rude by prefacing statements that would be otherwise wholly unacceptable with something like, “I’m just keeping it real”?

The option to proclaim oneself to have “stepped up” to shoulder the burden of difficult responsibility and made “hard decisions” that negatively impacted others in the interest of the greater good provides very much the same function, and is fundamentally worse. To the unscrupulous, this provides a very ugly, very convenient mechanism to not only justify any sort of self-serving, malevolent, or machiavellian actions precisely when times are difficult, but also to falsely claim unearned moral virtue for that sort of behavior. That is about as reprehensible as it gets.

We should not congratulate one another for making “hard decisions”, because there should be no hard decisions. With every strategic or budgetary decision made purely on the basis of merit, and with every attempt made to gather and consider all applicable information available in order to make the best possible decision for the organization, there can only be sensible, well-informed, and well-considered decisions. The outcome of some of these decisions may be uncomfortable or undesirable, but these decisions will not be hard - they will be necessary, and the obvious choices given all of the available information at the time.

This is a tough conversation to start @Neverwas, but I’m very glad that you did. Getting these sorts of issues out on the table and discussing them openly brings us closer to the standard of discourse and cooperation that we will need in order to maximize the DAO’s chance of success. Thank you, sir!

Thank you @pastaghost

As always your thoughtful eloquence is a pleasure to read, and I am happy to have your input on this topic. I believe that you added some great context. As stated these are tough conversations, I am not the biggest proponent of polls but maybe I will attempt to crate one for this so people can have some anonymity in the space. I don’t know, I just hope for truthfulness and that it wouldn’t be seen as a threat or need to gamified by having people pad the numbers.

Update I don’t see the option to add a poll after a post has been created