@darian_parrish

DeSo Enthusiast | #startups #investing

Seattle entrepreneur and 3x founder. Experience at Microsoft and industry depth in both software and finance. I focus on innovation and progress, mixing business and science, and preparing the world for Web3.

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Latest Posts

Since Ed ( @mossified ) gave permission - here is the entire doc on chain:

Originally here: https://diamondapp.com/posts/d77b74b01bf04b169dad5ab8f09064a21aef5e6cd9404a38d5015ecf54d9e19a

and here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vXEkBLofyKp_3c7zlHZOsW86OuQkLjBIOWl5EcUk91Q/edit
---------------------------

Author: Ed Moss (@mossified)

In reply to: https://diamondapp.com/posts/13daa8c22bd9cdc057e22b934536856cea6186089170625143dbe0ae44079846?tab=posts

This feedback is very representative of the frustrations I’m hearing from the entire community. And agree that we never really did a good job at setting expectations properly, so there's a lot of ambiguity in the process, especially when we don't communicate them and address them in a timely manner, which needs to be improved.

I have a TREMENDOUS amount of respect for you guys, and this type of criticism that is super constructive and well-articulated is incredibly favored in my eyes, so thank you!

You guys made a lot of great points here, so will try to reply in a structured way. I think you’re all used to my long threads by now :) however, as many know, I do my best to understand and share perspectives and insight where I can.

Re: “Octane Fund not working out as we have hoped”
On this point, for venture-backed companies, I think it’s important to add the context:


1) Investing in pre-seed stage companies
2) Investing in apps on a very early-stage protocol in Web3
3) Octane Fund started seven months ago (10/4/21)
4) The crypto market has been in a down-turn cycle since the fund started (over $1T loss)

I think this context is overall important to have because it lets everyone know that it’s not entirely fair for our “portfolio founders”, not DeSo Foundation — to assume things didn’t already work out as we hoped. Building successful companies takes time, and when you factor in the above, it takes even more time due to the difficulty and risk involved, which is amplified by our industry. And it’s safe to assume in Venture Capital, that 99% of venture investments might not always work out, but the 1% might turn into a unicorn in 10 years to cover the investments.

However, I do believe that venture-backed founders have not received nearly enough support from the Foundation, which may allude to the “gone-missing” problem. This was also a misguided and unclear expectation on our part. We didn’t fully understand if we were trying to create a Fund (that just allocates capital) or an Accelerator/Startup Studio (that works closely with founders to help them succeed) or a mix of both with adequate support structures in place. This has never been clarified, as far as I know, and likely means we’ve failed in how we communicated expectations to our portfolio companies.

So on that note, some action items for us:
We need to give current and future founders an answer on how the Foundation should support venture-backed founders that raised through Octane. We need to specify whether we are only allocating capital like a traditional fund or whether we are supporting portfolio founders on an ongoing basis in a direct way (offer time & resources) or a high-level way (offer strategy and connections). This needs to be clarified, otherwise, we are setting up founders for ambiguity and not for success. In regards to this, we also need better checks & balances with existing founders, which I believe is a process that Alex started prior to leaving, but should be continued.

We need to provide an update on our hiring process for the App Ecosystem Lead (formerly, Director of Octane Fund). This has been quite a difficult search for us as we’re looking for someone with 1) investing experience, 2) who has founded a company, and 3) is experienced in Web3. Most of the people we’ve chatted with thus far met a fraction of the criteria, and the really good ones all want to start their own company. However, we still have candidates in the pipeline for us to sift through that we’re excited about.

I want to note that this does have a time-constraining implication which does have downstream effects. This sadly means it will be hard to respond to inquiries about funding on a consistent basis until we fill this role. I do fully acknowledge that this is tough to hear, but with Alex no longer working on Core operations, we have a huge gap to fill. I am also trying my best to juggle many things, and while I can’t promise exact responses to every inquiry with urgency, I’ll keep trying to be responsive to the community as I have been.

However, I drew out an inbound pipeline to make the process a little more efficient than what we have today which should solve some of the communication problems where things get lost or stale in someone's DMs or Inbox.

Action item: Get this CRM pipeline implemented before June.

7 months ago