Hey everybody, a few weeks ago, I circulated some questions to the more active members of our discord/discourse. Trying to gain insight into their processes regarding Fei, what attracted them, etc. Below is a summation of that report, and the collection of questions/answers from each user.
The purpose of this report is to inform the core team, and community at large of the behaviors and positions of our core contributors. I aim for this to be a recurring report, with fluctuating questions based on the timeline of the protocol. Currently as we are in the initial stages of protocol development, these questions aimed to glean insight into what initially attracted members to the project in its infancy stage. Questions were submitted to members via Discord DMs and answers aggregated into separate documents. Answers have been collected from the following contributors, note these are all members who have contributed to the protocol altruistically in terms of discussion and discourse, building, and discussing the very nature of Fei. Over time I plan to develop this report further to gain information from a broader scope of the community. Please excuse my citation system here, each interview has been assigned a number 1 through 8, quotes attributing to interviewees will be marked correspondingly.
Arcology(1), Bruno(2), CountVidal(3), Elee(4), Eswak(5), Firefalcon(6), Kala(7), Pavel(8)
The following questions were sent out to the aforementioned users.
- What initially attracted you to Fei?
- When coupled with the first question, this paints a clearer picture of the initial method and how effective it was in drawing a specific demographic of users.
- What brought you into the community?
- The purpose of this question was to assess the various ways different members joined, or were brought into the community. IE through different social media, crypto news, word of mouth, etc.
- How do you envision the future of Fei Protocol?
- While developing strategy to bring in specific contributor demographics is valuable, these users may not be aligned on specific goals. Being deterministic about internal protocol goals, with ideal contributor goals is important.
- What goals do you (personally) have for Fei?
- Similar to above, this question is to assess (on a more individual level) how each of these contributors desires to contribute to Fei. This information will help us with delegation, and motivation of projects that the core team wishes to work on in conjunction with the community.
- Where do you envision Fei Protocol in DeFi?
- Again similar to above, but this information informs user posturing on Fei in regards to the state of DeFi.
- What would you like to see the team to focus on moving forward?
- To gain feedback on the direction of the protocol, and teams progress thus far, areas they can improve, and direct desires of the community.
One of the goals of this report is to help develop a strategy to attract more like minded contributors. While attraction of this type of user (intrinsically motivated) is a given based on a slight snowball effect of user contributions improving and motivating the project, this will give a clearer idea of how these users came to join the community and what strategies we should pursue to bring similar contributors into the fold.
- Intrinsic motivation stems from curiosity and alignment with ethos of project
- Community outreach and marketing should aim to market to intrinsically aligned individuals
- Pursuing more community interaction through community calls/speaking is imperative
- Marketing juices must flow.
- Highlighting community development via social media could be a great way to attract like minded individuals.
The general consensus here was that members were interested in the mechanics of the project, the visionary nature of Fei, and the whitepaper itself. The general uniqueness of Fei, Direct Incentives, PCV, were reasons provided for being interested in the development of Fei. The backgrounds of the founders was also of note for discerning interest in the project, “Linkedin profile of Joey & Brianna. Really. I liked Joey’s background… Whitepaper seemed 5head.” (2).
Another item of note is that every response pertained to an interest in stablecoins, and participation in the nascent stages of development “The opportunity to take part in a decentralized stablecoin.” (3) This level of curiosity is something we should foster, when moving forward with marketing we should be sure to highlight Fei’s decentralized nature, the DAO, and that it is algorithmic as well. There is generally a strong level of hype when looking at launches. In the case of Fei, the downturn of community activity can be attributed both to stability and lack of interaction. Initially much of the discord activity was negative in nature, with users feeling rekt by genesis, DI, and further. During this initial period it became apparent that several members of the community were strong intrinsically motivated members who wanted to see that project prosper.
These members all became active participants in the community/project after initially joining the discord, reading articles on medium, hearing about genesis etc. The friendliness and activity levels of the initial community were also reasons cited for becoming more actively engaged (pre genesis). I think it is safe to assume that community interactivity and gaining new members who wish to engage in productive ways can be correlated with a level of interested like minded members; i.e. a collection of smart, engaged, active contributors will attract similar, with proper marketing and outreach. In addition, it was noted that several of these members were 100% preswappers, who became more active after genesis and had a vested interest in helping to develop the community through participation and engagement to protect their investment. “I had a sense that Fei was pretty overwhelmed with the FUD and needed some help back on its feet. It is a way of investing (my time) as well as to protect my investment.” (1).
Widely agreed here was the strong belief and sentiment that Fei should be the backbone of DeFi. Fei becoming a crypto household name like DAI, or USDC, Fei currently has few uses outside of (now) lending and staking. Generation of use cases, such as becoming more deeply integrated into payment systems would bode well for the future of Fei. Imagine Rarible, or Opensea, adopting fei as a payment method. As Fei’s goal is to become THE stablecoin for DeFi, we would hope to solidify it in that position, by providing a tight peg and solid mechanics. “I hope that Fei would become a staple like Yearn.” (1). Fei is in a strong position financially right now, with a relatively aligned DAO that is looking to utilize DAO funding/PCV for beneficial means. Embracing user interactivity and providing thoughtful guidance and collective thought to further build the protocol. It is my current perception that potential intrinsically motivated contributors may be driven away, or look past Fei due to lack of team / workgroup interaction.
The general sentiment here was a willingness to work to develop the protocol, build use cases, and posture Fei as a serious player in the DeFi landscape. Establishing a broad scope for Fei is again an item of note. “I want FEI to establish as many possible integrations to grow its use case. I would like to keep contributing and assisting in anyway I can to make this possible.” (3). Working to improve the systems at large, namely reweighting was mentioned as well “I think the current reweight system is not great and expensive. finding a good improvement is a goal of mine.” (4). Contributive efforts also speak for themselves in this regard. Eswak’s staking tool, Pavel and Bruno’s strong analyses, to name a few, are great indicators of their willingness to contribute and help the protocol succeed.
There was a wide array here regarding Fei’s definitive posture in DeFi. Themes included surpassing / replacing Dai, and becoming a strong piece of financial infrastructure in DeFi, akin to a venture fund or central bank “hopefully somewhat of a hedge fund / bank which provides liquidity to projects,” (4) Fei positioning itself as an altruistic, DAO run investment firm could be a beneficial position to pursue in terms of building community. Inviting members who are intrinsically aligned with this message to help develop and reach out to budding protocols may lead to successful partnerships down the road. It is one thing for us to look at existing products that have shown success, but performing risk analysis and research of pre launch projects is a route that could be financially beneficial to the DAO.
One response from Pavel stuck out to me however “Fei should learn to understand the changing DeFi landscape and adapt itself to it, follow and embrace emergent trends, new actors and regulatory environment.” (8) Fei SHOULD grow and evolve with DeFi as a whole. Sentiment like this is very in line with Fei’s ethos. We are rewriting the rules of finance, DeFi is ultimately tied with developing completely new systems that allow for those without, to become those with.
Integrations and protocol growth were of note here “more integrations, more education, and to have a sustainable strategy of growth that drives the value of TRIBE up” (1). Overall building and developing the protocol, “Tune the peg mechanism, New bonding curves, FEI lending/FEI Bonds,” (2) Fei lending and Fei bonds are interesting items to note, we have begun to pursue lending through Cream and Rari, and hopefully soon AAVE as well. Bonds would be an excellent offering to the community. Frax and Olympus have just partnered to sell bonds, in conversations with members of both communities, I believe they would be interested in pursuing something similar with Fei/Tribe. Providing true value for tribe is another goal here, “Creating better tokenomics for tribe holders would bring in more new users” (3) “so far there is no apparent relationship between FEI and TRIBE” (1) CountVidal and Arcology are right in his assessment that currently there is no direct correlation between Fei and Tribe, and that the tokenomics of Tribe are not so strong for it to be a highly desirable asset by itself at the current time. A move to perhaps transform Tribe into an interest bearing coin based on kickbacks from the PCV, or other investment initiatives would be beneficial to our preswappers who were rekt by genesis. This would be a perfect project for a community work group to pursue moving forward, which is another way we can both develop the project and grow the community, “strengthen the marketing and the interactions with community” (2) utilizing community work groups in marketing would not only drive intrinsically motivated people to join the Fei community and ecosystem, but would drive Fei’s development as well.
There are many theoretical ways to build and develop community. Ultimately our goals should be to attract as many intrinsically motivated members as possible to participate in the development of the protocol. P3ter-pan, a notoriously good builder of communities defines the two types of member, intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation comes from belief in the success of the Fei, as well as being aligned with Fei’s ethos. These members will continue to participate even when financial upside is uncertain. Extrinsic motivation is based on financial incentives, and not necessarily rooted in being aligned with the ethos of the project. These members will flock to the potential of 100x, and when it doesn’t happen overnight will flow away like water through a grate. Attraction of intrinsic motivation can be done in a variety of ways. I am of the mind that elevating community workgroups, and showcasing community initiatives to develop the protocol will be excellent for building a strong community in the long term. Pavel’s thoughts regarding a reputation system are something notable as well. Encouraging users to participate via manual incentives such as airdropped NFT’s, Tokens, or other gifts provides a clear path towards development of position within the community.
The current motivation to be a participant within the Fei community is rooted in a desire to help a protocol in its initial stages, developing a strategy for when it grows out of its youth is imperative. Creating a stronger atmosphere of development and interaction will help us get to that stage of the protocol. An influx of members who are of like mind through something like a series of hackathons could be exactly what we need. Setting out bounties for projects within the ecosystem also would be strongly beneficial to building a better community. Additionally, pursuing more interactive engagements such as podcasts, community calls, etc could strongly help not only our internal community but allow for us to establish a constant system of community interaction.
I would like to highlight the below image from P3terpan’s medium. His approach to community building and engagement shows a type of snowball effect in regards to attracting more community contributors. Highlighting an initial WG that is working to develop the protocol, through social media exposure (twitter, medium, discord even) is a great way to attract more like minded members to work to develop the protocol. In the case of the PCV diversification WG, acknowledging them in some capacity to showcase their work could go a long way in terms of building the team’s relationship with the community.
I believe that it would be in the best interest of the protocol, community, and team, to invest more time in the development of structures to adequately build up the protocols community. We currently face a strong level of inactivity due to few intrinsically motivated members to converse and develop with each other. Fostering a community of hyphy development and thoughtful open economic discussion would remedy the current problems we face. Utilizing our members to help solve the problems associated with lack of tribe and fei use / value is an excellent start. Encouraging participation through manual means such as POAP giveaways generates activity and movement in the community. We sit atop a sleeping hivemind, ready to wake and collectively work to solve the problems we face.