April 7, 2022

Becoming a Web3 Leader | BigSky from IndexCoop

Becoming a Web3 Leader | BigSky from IndexCoop

#001 - Welcome to another episode of Bounty Hunter, where we believe that contributing to a DAO is the best way to find engaging and rewarding work in the new Web3 economy. 
In today’s show Brandon speaks with BigSky, a contributor and leader at Index Co...


#001 - Welcome to another episode of Bounty Hunter, where we believe that contributing to a DAO is the best way to find engaging and rewarding work in the new Web3 economy. 

In today’s show Brandon speaks with BigSky, a contributor and leader at Index Coop -- who is passionate about pushing people to find and reach their highest potential.

We discussed how he likes to bring people into Web3 and DAOs, what successful people in this space do differently, and how you can get started today.

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Bounty Hunter Twitter: https://twitter.com/bountyxhunterx

Brandon Nolte’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/brandoncnolte

BigSky’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/BigSky_7

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This show is brought to you by BanklessDAO – a decentralized organization focused on helping you achieve financial freedom through education, media, and culture.

BanklessDAO Website: https://www.bankless.community/

Transcript

Brandon Nolte: [00:00:00] In today's show, I spoke with BigSky, a contributor and leader at Index Coop who's passionate about pushing people to find and reach their highest potential.

After joining the Marine Corps and becoming an infantry officer training troops in unforgiving mountain environments, BigSky left the military to pursue a traditional route of going to business school only to realize his passions were elsewhere.

He eventually found Web3, and after seeing the amount of freedom that he got from working in a DAO, he went all in and he hasn't looked back. One thing that's quickly apparent when you talk to BigSky is that he truly embodies a leadership mentality. He's quick to lift up others, he's genuine, enthusiastic, and always optimistic about the future.

I left this conversation thinking, dang, if I ever have the pleasure of working with somebody like BigSky, I would consider myself extremely lucky. 

In this episode, we discussed how he [00:01:00] likes to bring people into Web3 and DAOs. Well, people in this space do differently and how you can get started today.

All of that and more in today's show.

Brandon Nolte: BigSky, thank you so much for joining me on the show.

BigSky: Thanks for having me, and a huge shout out to the whole Bounty Hunter family, and the Bankless DAO family. Super, super stoked to be here and excited to talk.

Brandon Nolte: Awesome. Thank you. Love, bringing that great positive energy. I wanted to start out with this conversation, talking a little bit about something that's very interesting in the Web3 space, and that is the names that people use.

I'm curious, what's the story behind your name? BigSky.

BigSky: So when I was starting with Crypto, I started diving into DeFi in Web3 Summer/Fall of [00:02:00] 2020, and I remember one of the first things that stood out to me was that everybody has the coolest names, the coolest handles.

I didn't really have a tech background. I wasn't like a gamer guy. I wasn't used to that world. And as I was exploring. I was like, oh wait, if I want to do this. I have to get a discord. I have to figure all this stuff out. And I was like, and I have to make it really cool. 

So I was at home in Montana when I was setting some of this stuff up, and I remember walking around and being like, what's a cool name? And I was like... “BigSky country”, which is where I'm from -- “BigSky”. That's going to be my avatar, and then I settled on it and it's been a wild ride ever since. 

Brandon Nolte: I love that. Having a tie back to your hometown / home country, that's really awesome.

So when you got into this space, I'm curious, where were you before you got into DAOs? [00:03:00] What's your background and what were you doing for work?

BigSky: After college, I graduated with a degree in philosophy. I spent six years in the United States Marine Corps as an infantry officer.

And I just had an awesome experience there. I was stationed in Virginia and Hawaii and spent a year and a half as the Operations Officer for our jungle warfare school in Japan. And then I finished out in Lake Tahoe as a Mountain Warfare Instructor. And I think my first exposure to crypto was like 2017.

We'd just gotten back from deployment and we were in Hawaii. And I remember like all my Marines were in the army. We were cleaning our weapons, like getting ready to turn them in. And I overheard some of my Marines talking about it. This thing called like a theory of, and they're like, oh yeah, this went up like 20 acts and she's so cool.

They were all trading it. And I had like , a couple of weeks off after deployment. So that whole, whole time I just dived into crypto, learned everything. I could like [00:04:00] everybody, , I bought at the top of the bull market, I sold the bottom and, and it really stayed with me. So, it didn't really stay with me as a career.

I was just like, this is. And I got out of the Marine Corps in 2019. And there's, , when you get out of the Marine Corps, even as an officer, there's kind of a couple of paths you take, you either become your, you go to business school, right? Like that's what everybody does. And then you either become an investment banker consultant.

So I got out of the Marine Corps. I went to NYU for business school and. My dream. My vision was to become like a big time, New York city investment banker. So I got to business school, worked super hard, landed a job at a big investment bank in New York city. And I spent the summer of 2020 working at this investment bank, doing a technology MBA, and the bank was cool.

People were really smart. It was like my first exposure to non-military work. I enjoyed it. But that summer [00:05:00] DeFi summer, it was also happening. And I found myself just getting more and more sucked into the DeFi universe. And I got done with the internship in the investment bank. I went back for my second year of business school and like that whole fall, I was just diving into DeFi diving into DAOs learning about.

And started to get really involved in a few communities. I got really involved in Badger DAO. I got really involved in index co-op right around kind of like the time that they both had launched. And I remember I started just doing little words here and there for the Index Coop, like slide decks, editing the FAQ, all the basic things you do.

And like within like, oh week before DAO, I said like, this is the only thing I want to do for the rest of my life. This is amazing. I love working in crypto. I love DeFi love web. , this is going to be my path. And ever since then, it's just been an incredible journey.

Brandon Nolte: So what was it that was pulling you towards this, this new world you, [00:06:00] you had?

What seems to be a great job, but if there was something on the side kind of pulling at you, what, what was so compelling about that? 

BigSky: So I love the investment bank. I saw the people were extremely smart. I thought the work was interesting. Very dynamic environment. However, in a lot of ways it felt like I was joining the Marine Corps all over again.

It was a very old structured institution. There were very specific ways of doing things. There was a very specific hierarchy. There was a very specific career path and the, the box, the box was different from the Marine Corps, but it was still, it was still a pretty confining box and. When I truly dive into a theory of them and the universe, it felt like it felt like this tremendous wave of freedom.

Like you could do anything, you could build anything like you set your mind to it and you can make it happen. And that was, it was just an [00:07:00] incredible experience, feeling that freedom and seeing people come together to make. Incredible things happen. Somebody has an idea one day and you work really hard for a few weeks and all of a sudden that ideas are reality.

And that was, that was just intoxicating and incredibly powerful.

Brandon Nolte: So when did you get into BadgerDAO, can you tell me a little bit more about what that looked like? Who introduced you to that?

BigSky: So I was just stumbling around and I found the index co-op forum around the same time. I found the Badger DAO forum, and I was just kind of stumbling around.

I was like poking around Pote, making little forum posts here and there. And. I was trying to help out at Badger DAO and they, they were kind of, the team was pretty much built out there. Wasn't a whole lot of room. And then , one of my now best friends Poonja, who was really involved at index, co-op made a post on the next club saying, Hey, we need non-technical contributors to do [00:08:00] X, Y, and Z.

And, I just jumped on that. I like, I sent him my resume and he laughed and he was like, dude, resume, just like, come in and help out. And I was like, this is super cool. And I just kind of started helping out from there.

Brandon Nolte: That's really cool. Yeah. It's, it's kind of like a total new shift in mindset from a traditional job, , you think here's my credentials.

Here's what I need to be a part of this, and contribute. But for a lot of doubts, it seems like if you can communicate the value that you have and you can show your skills, that's really all that people need to see. They're there. They'll welcome you with open arms.

BigSky: Absolutely. And I think the next, the next really important thing is just being relentless.

Just be relentless. I talked to so many new contributors, new community members, new people entering the Web3 space and I've seen it play out over the last year and a half. We'll have somebody come and , on our first call like Simon, , I'm not sure like [00:09:00] where I fit in. I'm not sure what my skill set is.

I'm not sure how to add value. And I always tell them, I say, find the thing in Web3 that you love doing and just be relentless with it. Just be relentless. Don't take no for an answer. And every single person that has taken that advice I look around Index Coop today that they're there. Our best leaders are our most valued community members, every single one.

Brandon Nolte: So, what do you think it is that holds most people back?

BigSky: I think people are scared. I think it is a radical new form of organization. I think it's a radical new structure. People are very, very used to having, having somebody in charge, telling them what to do. Somebody who can give them a pat on the back, somebody that says, we need you to show up at nine.

We need you to do XYZ and you, we want you to leave. People have been conditioned to that since childhood with teachers, professors, coaches, all of that, and being in an environment where that doesn't necessarily exist, or if it does exist, exists in a radically new way. It's [00:10:00] very, very scary for people.

People don't know how to. How to really create their own destiny. And, it's a skill, right? Like I'm still learning it. I think everybody in Web3 is still learning it. But when you take that leap and you say, Hey, I am in charge of my future and I'm going to do what I want to do to create the future.

Brandon Nolte: Yeah, 100% agree without the traditional structure. Sometimes it can feel like a vacuum for people. It's like, well, I'm not sure where to go or what direction to be in. And you're right. I think it requires a new mindset for people to shift into being proactive.

And as you say, relentless with pursuing what, what interests them and where their skills are.

BigSky: Exactly. I had a conversation the other day with a new community member, no background in finance, crypto business, any of it. And I said the most valuable, well, thing you can do today, and for the next few months [00:11:00] is build your own vision, build your vision of what you want to do in Web3.

Figure out what that thing is. And then when you find it, just pursue it.

Brandon Nolte: Do you have an example of someone who you've worked with that's done this or, or how somebody can do that?

BigSky: Yeah, absolutely. One of my best friends and index co-op is dark forest. He is the methodologist for our metaverse index, which has been incredibly successful. Prior to crypto, he definitely didn't have a technical business crypto background and he joined the next co-op a little bit before me.

I remember he was, he was just incredibly passionate about crypto gaming, about the concept of the metaverse. And this was in 2022 or 20 when nobody was talking about it. And I remember he proposed the metaverse index. He said, we need to track these tokens. This is going to be the future. And it took him six months.

He had to fight tooth and nail to get that [00:12:00] index launched. And nobody got it. Nobody saw it at all. But he was just relentless. The other methodologists just fought so hard to make it into a reality. And it launched in early April and the first month it was out, we thought it was a flop.

Like even then nobody in April, like people are kind of talking about the universe, but not really. And then all of a sudden in June, like the metaverse just blew up. Everybody was like, this is it. And these guys have created these incredible products, the metaverse index that tracks all of those tokens and.

To me. That's just a great example of like, if they had spent their time looking around, waiting for somebody to tell them what index to create or what product to create, or what idea to have, they would have totally missed it. They would have created something boring that wasn't very interesting, but instead they filed their passion, what they were into and just created this pyramid.

That's awesome.

Brandon Nolte: Yeah. Admittedly, I don't know much [00:13:00] about DeFi and this show is also fairly non-technical, but I'm curious if you can give kind of a background on some of the tools that y'all are working on at index fund at a high level.

BigSky: Yeah. So, so index co-op, our vision is really to become the BlackRock of crypto.

We are built on token sets, which is a core technology that allows you to hold a basket of ERC 20 tokens. And you're able to create incredibly, incredibly compelling index funds. On top of that basket, our DAO really curates the indexes we launched and we earn a portion of the streaming. For, for each index into our DAO treasury, which is controlled by our governance token.

So right now we have, I believe 10 different indexes that have been launched. Some of our biggest indexes are the DeFi pulse index built in partnership with DeFi polls, which you can really think of as [00:14:00] like the S and P 500 of crypto of DeFi index. We have our metaverse index, which I spoke about, which is really everything, VR, gaming NFTs.

Metaverse has our TMI going to make its index, which is built in collaboration with Bankless, which you can really think of kind of as a small cap DeFi index, which has been incredibly successful tracking a number of those tokens. And then, and then we have a number of full range of other products.

Brandon Nolte: That's really cool. So can people participate outside of the doubt or do you have to be in the doubt to get some of the value from these indexes y'all are creating?

BigSky: Everybody in the world can buy our indexes. , we view. When I, when I think back to kind of the history of modern finance, the, the passive investing revolution that really kicked off in the late 1960s, early 1970s with with the launch of the first traditional index funds, it was an incredible wealth [00:15:00] generating opportunity for people who really didn't have exposure to.

Traditional markets. Cause , before 1970, if you wanted to invest in stocks, you had to make very specific plays. You had to know a lot about the market. You had to be really in it. And all of a sudden passive investing, the next one said, Hey, there's a better way. There's a way for everybody in the world to gain exposure to these assets in a safe, reliable way.

And that just opened up a tremendous amount of wealth for the global middle class. And we see that as being our vision index. Co-op. Allowing everybody in the world to build a rock solid financial foundation in DeFi. We are the evolution of passive investing that started in 1970. And we see that being an incredible wealth generating opportunity for, for the people of 2020.

Brandon Nolte: That's awesome. So what if somebody comes in with pretty much zero knowledge, but they're excited to be a part of it. Like how do you take somebody from [00:16:00] that stage to participating in the DAO?

BigSky: So, first of all, I love nothing more than taking somebody from zero, to just an absolute DAO rockstar, absolute DAO superhero.

I have had, I think back to the conversations I've had with people really coming into the space, who have no knowledge saying, Hey, I just discovered this. I just, , I'm just getting my feet wet. And, the first thing I told them, I said, Hey, if you are smart enough and did enough to find that. You are good enough to succeed in this because not everybody finds DAOs, not everybody finds their way in and not everybody gets to the point where they're having a conversation with like an actual DAO contributor.

And that's like, that's 90% of the church, , from there, I tell them, Hey, I want you to spend three or four months doing nothing but gaining context. I want you to go to as [00:17:00] many meetings as you can. I want you. Take notes. I want you to read about all the products. I want you to read the white paper of token sets and just really try and understand what we were doing at a deep level.

And, they always say, yeah, sure, sure. And then they go off and they do that. And then they come back at the end of those three months and they'll be like, Simon, I'm working on this, I'm working on this, I'm doing this with these guys. I'm doing this with this team. , we're making this happen, we're doing this, we're doing this.

And. It's really that, that commitment to gaining context, to gaining, understanding, and being relentless with pursuing it, that that really makes people successful.

Brandon Nolte: Yeah. It's hard to know where you can participate if you don't really know what's going on. So I love that as a first step, just get out there, get your hands dirty, get some context for what is actually happening in the space or in the DAO.

And then from there, it sounds like naturally you just kind of find your space and where you practice.

BigSky: Absolutely. I think right [00:18:00] now there's this kind of weirdness. There's a lot of focus on job boards and like DAO tool in saying, Hey, we're going to put our tasks on this. And random people are going to come and do those tasks.

And like, that's great. If you just want a million people flipping burgers. Right. Doing some basic routine things. But what we find in Web3 is that people don't really like it. It's great. Having a million people write medium articles or a million people. Re-tweeting something that's, that's awesome.

Everybody should be doing that. But if the real value, like the real value drivers are coming from the people that have the deep context that have the deep understanding and, and the only way to, to gain that deep understanding is to gain context and then start taking action on that.

Brandon Nolte: Yeah, that makes sense.

It sounds like it really taps more deeply into the inherent interest of the individual, which allows for more creativity and more exploration, rather than with a [00:19:00] job board where it's more, here you go. Here's the outline of tasks that fit neatly into a box. That you may be able to, to work on.

BigSky: A hundred percent.

My first six months at Index Coop, I'd get a new community member and I'd tell them what to do. I'd be like, don't do this X, Y, and Z, and then they'd do it and it'd be, it'd be great. And then they'd be like, okay, what next then what next? And what next? But when I think of the people that have been truly successful in the DAO, it's people that I talk to, we had a great conversation.

They went off, they built context and then they just figured out what they wanted to do. I think a great example is one of our greatest community members: Crypto Texan. And he joined the community in April, kind of poked around. And then one day he said, Hey, I'm just going to do AMS. And I'm going to do an AMA for the community every single week.

And I'm going to get the biggest names in crypto on this. And he's been doing it for almost a year. At this point, we've had basically every single person who matters in [00:20:00] crypto on the index co-op AMA is, and he has an incredible network and that's generated just tremendous value for our community. And nobody told them what to do.

Nobody said, Hey, we need this. He's just identified a gap and filled it.

Brandon Nolte: Yeah. That's the kind of thing you probably wouldn't even find on a job board, but it just came out of his own interests.

BigSky: Exactly. Like I think the thing is that people don't realize that. The best contributions could never come from a job board because it's, it's really like, that's so unique.

So original, so different. That's the thing that moves the needle, not the routine work of like, Hey, we need somebody to do X, Y, and Z. And do that every day for a year. It's not saying there isn't hard work. There's hard work in the DAO. And there's a lot of things like there's, it's like there's things that need to get done that people don't want to do.

But generally, as long as people are gravitating to what they're passionate about and being really into it, it's incredibly powerful. Like I think a great example is the DAO treasury, when we were [00:21:00] setting up in a kind of February, there was, if there were real need for people to manage our treasury, to do the accounting, to, to really dive into that.

And , there was a time where I was like, oh, I could do this. I'm going to dive in. This is obviously very high leverage. I want to kind of go to where the problem is. And then I came to a point where I was like, We have like eight accountants who just want to do this and are super passionate about it, let them run with it.

Don't like to force yourself to do something that you're not super into. Just cause it's super high leverage, like get the accountants to do it. They love it.

Brandon Nolte: Yeah. I love that example because it just reminds me, , something that, that one, I might not enjoy accounting, but there are people who are out there that really do enjoy it.

And, and that's one of the best parts about DAOs for me is you just get to meet. Mix of people with different interests and skill sets. And the great part about DAO's is that they allow for that flexibility for those people to seek those opportunities, [00:22:00] even if it's outside their own traditional skills and experience.

BigSky: Absolutely. And as I've kind of done my journey into it, it's like there's no. XYZ path of saying, okay, you were a Marine infantry officer. This is what you do in Web3. This is what every Marine has trousers done in Web3. Right? Because there's no original pastors. And you just, you hone in on what you love doing.

Like, I love leading people. I love mentoring people. I love finances and DeFi. I love technology. And you just, you start just to really hone in and focus on that.

Brandon Nolte: So tell me what does a day in that life look like in the Dal? Like what specific things are you doing on a day to day basis?

BigSky: So it varies a lot.

What I, I guess, so I'll start at the highest level. So we have a shared calendar and we have a number of meetings on their show calendars throughout the week. So we [00:23:00] do a large like community wide call every Monday, where basically everybody in the community is on and our big verticals give their updates.

Like, Hey, these are the big things. We're working. We have a leader leadership forum on Wednesdays, where we dive really deep into meatier topics and really try and go in depth. And then throughout the week, each of the different groups and parts and verticals is doing their own meetings and , working on their own projects, a lot of our asynchronous.

Communication obviously happens in discord. We try to have all our external communications happening on telegram with our, with our different partners throughout the ecosystem. And , throughout my, my day to day is usually what I'll have. An index cooperated meeting two or three times a week. I will meet with three or four contributors throughout the week as we either just catch up or dive super deep into a problem.

And then there'll be a number of calls with like external [00:24:00] partners throughout the week. And then I would say, , every couple months. There'll be some big thing that really requires a lot of attention from a multi-functional team in the DAO. And when, when that comes up, we're really good at kind of coming together, getting like the right four or five people to work on the problem and working super intentionally on it for however long it takes to get it.

Brandon Nolte: How many people are in Index Coop?

BigSky: So we have just about 30 full-time contributors who are salaried and paid by the DAO. And then we have, I would say a broader ecosystem of about 40 more people who are either working part-time or, or in some other capacity.

Brandon Nolte: Gotcha. Well, that's amazing to be able to do what y'all have created, , with a nice tight-knit team there

BigSky: it's been incredible.

One of my biggest focuses. And then I know the biggest folks who have a few other committee members, specifically, Greg doctor [00:25:00] has been just building a really, really good culture. And we focused on that with tremendous intensity, really from day one. And, we have been able to generate a culture with, , real leadership, real mutual support, real, real bonds of trust between community members and like that is the secret to a good.

Because if you don't have a good culture, if you don't have good values as your organization, it just becomes a bunch of avatars who end up hating each other because they have no, no deeper bond.

Brandon Nolte: I have quite the visual in my head right now from that sentence. Yeah, I totally get that. I mean, it's obvious that culture means everything and whether you've intentionally created one or not, you have.

So, what kind of steps did you take? It sounds like you're also on the leadership team. Do you have a set role or title? Do you guys have anything like that? And in next co-op, [00:26:00]

BigSky: So the steps we've taken with culture is I'm a firm believer that culture is something you do every single day, and it is a, it's really a discipline.

And like, when I think about it. So something I think about a lot is like mountain athletes and extreme kinds of adventure people. And like what kind of mentality you need to succeed in that environment. And if you look at, , the best mountain climbers in the world, the best rock climbing. The one mentality they have is they're just relentlessly positive.

They're positive every single day, every single second, 24 7. And that is a discipline. And that's like the discipline that you need to get yourself out of a really tough survival situation. And every single one of the toughest guys I know from the Marine Corps or the people who have survived the most are that they are just relentlessly positive and they bring that every day.

And that is something I [00:27:00] have. Really approached as a discipline that I bring every single day to index co-op. And I know many of our contributors do that and that sets the tone every single day. And that is what gets you through the bad times, because there's always going to be bad times, , at index co-op, I've, I've held a number of different roles.

I led our BD efforts for the last year, , really focused on our venture capital financing and a number of. Kind of bigger BD problems, what's BD business development. Gotcha. Yeah. And then, and then right now, , very much floating as a, as a community member and just dive in, in kind of across the board and on interesting stuff,

Brandon Nolte: Honestly, it sounds like you've got the best job in the world.

I can hear the enthusiasm in your voice and also just knowing how much you enjoy helping other people. It sounds like you've kind of created the role of your dream.

BigSky: It's absolutely incredible. Working in DAOs is hard. It can [00:28:00] be very stressful. It can be very, very intense and, and working in DAOs at a high level is that times, , times 10 and , when you're on crypto Twitter and everybody's floating around and it's just kind of all Sunstein and.

That reality is never really talked about, but when it works and like the team comes together and everybody's clicking and people are executing things well, and everybody's really , playing their piece in the band, there is no place more magical than index co-op. Well,

Brandon Nolte: Let's talk about that.

I know, obviously it's hard to have the sweet without the sour. What are some of the biggest challenges you've had in your career in DAOs so far?

BigSky: So, first of all, these organizations are always changing. So when I think back to the Marine, to the Marine Corps, it's like, you knew you were up for promotion after X years, you knew you were going on deployment in six months, you had a super rigid [00:29:00] hierarchy that you were part of, and you knew exactly where you were in that hierarchy at all times.

You knew you had a ton of certainty there and. That is like, that's very difficult being in these organizations that are kind of constantly evolving, constantly progressing. I think people discount the level of change that happened. And it's both a feature and a bug, right?

Like, it's amazing that we attract these super high energy contributors that can come in. And after a few months, like do this radical new thing that totally improves us. But like with that also comes a lot of things. And I think managing change is very difficult. And then I think, I think the other thing that I've really come to appreciate over the last few months is like working in crypto or DeFi and working at, at the highest level, it's a mental game.

It's an absolute mental game. You need to be [00:30:00] extremely, extremely aware of your mindset. You need to be extremely aware of your mental health. You need it. Just take that incredibly seriously and treat them. As like a true, as a true discipline. And that's really, I think what it takes to succeed, not over the short-term.

Right. I think it's very, very easy to go into Web3 and ride like a wave of enthusiasm for the first six months, the first year. But what it takes to succeed over the long-term is mastering that mental game and, and mastering that discipline.

Brandon Nolte: Yeah. I'm curious. What kind of things did you, or do you take from your experience at the Marines to help with that?

And he takes tips or tactics that will be helpful.

BigSky: So I definitely focus a lot on physical fitness. I think it is really, really important to like to take care of yourself outside of the digital world. It's very, very easy to, it's very easy to be on 24 7 and to be on Twitter, on [00:31:00] the forum, on the discord and just doing it.

Because the DAO doesn't sleep. The DAO goes 24, 7 day in day out 365 days of the year. The DAO doesn't take his off, but like the DAO it is not yet. And you need to take days off. You need to sleep, you need to work out, you need to eat. And like, those things sound very basic, but it is such like the web through the world can be so all encompassing that if you're not very, very careful, it just, it, it can lead to extreme burnout and.

Different people have different pain thresholds, right? Like I see community members join and they'll be burned out after a month though. You need to take a break after two months. I definitely have a pretty high pain threshold, but you, you don't want to get to a point where you're pushing through the pain threshold.

You want to get to a point where you never reached the pain threshold.

Brandon Nolte: Do you have any tips or tricks for people who want to do that besides focusing on [00:32:00] physical fitness?

BigSky: I think you need to take time off. I think you need to disconnect. I think you need to like very, very carefully managing your input.

So if there's one piece of advice, I would say manager input. So what do I mean by that? Twitter is a good example, like managing who you follow on Twitter and managing your interactions on Twitter. If there's always negativity coming, , from some input, get rid of that input, curate your days. So you're talking to people, you enjoy talking to you.

So you're enjoying, , you should. There's so many incredible people working in Web3, there are so many energized people. There's so many, just incredibly powerful spiritual people in this space that if you're, if you're leaving conversations, feeling drained and exhausted, like don't be having those conversations.

Find the people that empower you, find the people that inspire you and focus on only having those conversations because. It's very, very easy to get sucked into a thing where you're surrounded by you're in [00:33:00] some Twitter echo chamber, that's randomly really negative. You're talking to people who maybe aren't super positive at that time in their life.

And that can really, really drag you DAOn. If you're not.

Brandon Nolte: Yeah. One of the first things I noticed being at bank Listowel was just how large it was at the service level. Even in discord, I don't know how many channels they have, but at one point they were meeting the max. I think it's like 500 and being new to it.

It was. It was definitely overwhelming. One positive thing that they did was assign roles and have some sort of onboarding flow to help you kind of pick and choose. And thankfully, I've been able to kind of dig my heels into a very specific part of the bank list, our ecosystem, which is the audio video Guild.

And even, even within that, I'm not even participating at the department level. I'm kind of more on the project level with other podcasts and [00:34:00] stuff. So. Yeah, I think it would be very easy to just let the projects spiral out of control. If, , if I wasn't careful, I can imagine that could happen to a lot of people, very easily,

BigSky: A hundred percent.

It's very easy to like jump on, , one little thing and then jump on another little thing and then help out with another little thing. And that first little thing becomes a big thing. Then the second thing becomes a big thing. Then the third thing becomes a big thing. And before it, you're just like, you're just getting crushed day in, day out.

I tell people you're the hardest part of Web3. It's not, it's not like leaving Goldman Sachs to join DeFi. The hardest part is not bringing Goldman Sachs to DeFi. Yeah. And like not bringing that mentality and not bringing to like 24 7, like grind yourself into the ground mentality.

Cause that's not the web through mentality. That's not what we're trying to create.

Brandon Nolte: Yeah. And it's not sustainable. It's not sustainable for anyone.

BigSky: No, like we want, [00:35:00] like, I want us like Brandon. I want us to do these podcasts 20 years from now. I want us to do it 30 years from now and talk about it. Right.

And talk about our journey and our talk about our last three decades in Web3. I don't want people to like to go and like to do it for six months and then burn out because it's too.

Brandon Nolte: Yeah. It's interesting talking with you. I can tell just how future thinking you are, you're not helping people just get started, but also you really want to help them be sustainable for the long-term.

If this is something that they're going to do for a while, it's not like a diet where you can just slim down for 30 days and put back the weight, right. It's not going to be sustainable.

BigSky: Absolutely like this, this fall, I got really, really into the Russian revolution of 1917. I read about it constantly.

And one of the lessons that really stuck with me is like how dedicated those guys were to that revolution. [00:36:00] Like all the, all the big leaders of the Bolsheviks they went when they even kind of formatted their ideas in, in 1900. Like that was 20 years, like 17 years before the revolution happened and they spent the next, like 17 years of their life, like in and out of jail and fighting for it, like making it happen.

And like, if you want to change the world, if you want to really change the world and you want to actually do the, do this kind of , radical change, radical revolution, like you need to be able to dedicate your life to it. And like that doesn't come from just like. Riding an enthusiasm high for six months and burning out and leaving.

Like, we need people who are going to dedicate the next decade of their life to this that are going to be all in. Like, that's what it takes. And that's the mentality people need to bring.

Brandon Nolte: What would you say to somebody who's kind of on the fence? They're maybe unsure about it, their commitment level.

BigSky: So I think a lot of it comes down to [00:37:00] faith and having faith that this is the future, that this is the way the world is like, this is where the direction the world is going. And having faith in something that's bigger than just money or bigger than just five vaccines this month and saying, Hey, like I am a hundred percent committed to a decentralized future.

Like the future we were building and understanding like the broader implications. And, and really like asking yourself like, Hey, is this, is this the future? Is this a future that I see happening? Is this a future where I can have a pardon? Is this a few trembling to fill? And then, , when you have that question answered for yourself, committing to it, like going all in, , there hasn't been, I've had a lot of conversations with people who've been.

On the fence. And then like a week later, if they quit their job to do [00:38:00] this and whatever, like takes that person from like zero of like, oh, I'm thinking, , this is cool to say, I don't care. I'm just going to make a future here. And I'm going to do whatever it takes to make a future here.

Like that's a very, very personal transformation. It's a very personal decision. I think everybody. Web3 has gone through that. But like what, I can't really tell people how to go through that. But what I can tell people is once you walk through the door, like it's incredible, the future is amazing and it's possible and it's right there for you.

Brandon Nolte: So what is it for you? Like what is, what is that compelling vision for you? I'm curious why you're committed to this.

BigSky: I think this is. It kind of goes back to the freedom part, over the last, really, since the industrial revolution, in order [00:39:00] to organize people in order to coordinate in order to do these things at scale, , we we've built these, these really kind of rigid structures that have allowed us to accomplish great things, right?

Like they've allowed us to build a railroad to do the internet, to do all this. And we're at a point in human history where those really rigid structures are starting to stop working. And the reason they're stopping to work is because the world has simply grown too complex for them. And like hierarchy, you can't like hierarchy. It is very, very bad at managing a company.

And you think about modern nation states, modern governments that are struggling so hard to manage their economies. They're struggling so hard to create a really livable future for their people. And what I see in decentralization, what I see in DAOs, what I see in this new new structure is, is the ability to [00:40:00] manage complexity at scale.

And so it's a new form of organization that allows people to do that. And not only does it allow us to manage complexity at scale, It changes. It empowers the individual in a way that nothing else does. And we live in a society where, where in many ways, the last a hundred years we've been gradually erasing the individual, people have just kind of become numbers on a spreadsheet. They become a certain amount of debt that they hold. They become, what their wages are, what they do at their company. And. That's not like the future I want to live in. I don't want to just be random, like checking a box that exists in some organization and then, or like a Lego piece that existing organization is replaceable immediately.

I want to be an individual. I want to be free. I want to create the life for myself that I see. You can do that. And web through, you can do that in crypto. You can't do that at Goldman Sachs. You [00:41:00] can't do that in the Marine Corps. You can't do that in any of these other organizations. And that, that is what, what makes me just so incredibly passionate about this?

Brandon Nolte: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And I know, there's a lot of other people who really can get bought into that freedom and having the autonomy to, to kind of choose and do what you want. It's very personal. Feeling, but I'm right there with you. I would not change it for the world. And I'm glad that we're moving in that direction.

So with that said, I'm curious, I'm going to pivot for just a second here. I'm curious, kind of who are some of your favorite creators to learn from? If somebody were to, , want to kind of get started and get some context outside of a DAO specifically, do you have any favorite people you lean on to, to learn from about DAOs?

BigSky: So I'll give a couple shout outs. So first of all, Chase Chapman is one of my good friends. She's absolutely brilliant. She has [00:42:00] an incredible Twitter account where she does great work with crypto tax and does an incredible amount of DeFi related content. And when I was first getting the space DC investor and DeFi dad were incredible.

But I think beyond that, where I'm at in crypto right now is, is that. Very much really rely on personal relationships at this point and figuring out the people who I really, really vibe with and who are thinking about things in a cool way. , one of my really good friends in the space, Emma Waldron Poonja, those are, those are people, dark forest people that I just really, really respect their opinion.

We have really, really strong relationships and, and I think that's where I get my best ideas. Also Joey, it Fe , the whole fake teams. Incredible.

Brandon Nolte: Have you met anybody in person from Web3 that you know?

BigSky: Yeah. So I've met a bunch of people. I've done a few conferences. Conferences are incredible for meeting people, [00:43:00] connecting.

I went to Pittcon Miami this summer. You'd CC two in Denver at conferences are just great. You meet. I think it's cool when you suddenly meet people in person and you're like, wait, There's a whole community of people who are kind of weird just doing their own thing, just doing it, creating their own vibe.

And these people are awesome and they're super accepting and super welcoming. And like everybody has social anxiety right now. Right. It's 20, 22. Like that's the, there's the, , one of the plagues of our generation, but then you, you meet people in person and you realize like, wow, like these people are real and they're out there and they're just as passionate about this.

Brandon Nolte: Yeah. And meeting them. I'm sure it makes the work much more tangible. Obviously it just brings much stronger bonds to actually see the human behind the avatar

BigSky: 100%, 100%. It's it's, it's very empowering.

Brandon Nolte: So I'm curious if you were to look forward to, [00:44:00] to where you're kind of heading, how do you see your work evolving over the next few years?

BigSky: So, I would definitely want to continue the work I do in technology. I want to continue the work I do with leadership. I'm really, really passionate about both those. I'm spending a ton of time, really, really diving into the EVM and understanding the underlying technology. And I am also incredibly passionate about leading people into Web3 and, , I, I see those two intersect in interweaving over the next 5, 10, 20 years.

And I anticipated just to be an incredible adventure.

Brandon Nolte: That's cool. It sounds like you keeping it loose and leaving lots of room for exploration.

BigSky: Yeah. It's too easy. I think the problem people get into is sincere on Twitter all the time. Right. And you're just getting all these inputs on Twitter and all of a sudden it's.

Your vision has [00:45:00] been replaced by the mass Twitter vision. Right. And all of a sudden, instead of working really hard on what you're passionate about, you're, you're kind of just following this mass, like an echo chamber herd, and that's really dangerous. And it can really, like, they can mess with people because all of a sudden your.

The thing that the crypto Twitter herd is doing might not be the thing that's like fun for you. It might not be the thing that's like empowering you. And it's, it's really important just to stay on the thing that you really like, makes you the best version of yourself. You may not like the best version for Crypto Twitter.

Brandon Nolte: I love that. And as somebody who hasn't spent much time on Twitter, I'm curious, what have you seen the herd mentality do?

BigSky: I think NFTs are a good example. I'm not super into NFTs.

Like, it doesn't really interest me that much right now, [00:46:00] but , for a few months last year, that was all that was on crypto Twitter. And if you were just kind of dipping your feet in, you would think that was like all that was out. And like there's so much more than just not right. Or there's so much more than just one thing.

Like whatever's hot right now. And if you're, if you're just chasing whatever's hot right now, you're just kind of always like skating tight or like, , run into where the ball was, not where the wall's going.

Brandon Nolte: Well, that's well said, you got to look out for what you are interested in and, and heading that direction

BigSky: A hundred percent.

And it's like, I think something that isn't really talked about a lot, but I think it's. Really illustrative of what it takes to succeed in crypto is like you think about the, the people that were like early into Bitcoin in like the guy, the people who are billionaires now, who are like in Bitcoin in like 2010, like they weren't there because it was like, kind of go to a trillion dollars.

And they were thinking about it that way because they [00:47:00] were just weird people who are into cryptography and they were super passionate about cryptography. There were like a hundred people in the world. Doing a lot of buying.

Brandon Nolte: Like Pizza.

BigSky: Bitcoins. Exactly. And like, they were just like messing around with it and having fun with it and exploring it.

And like, a lot of those people were really weird. They were far out people, right? Like they weren't like normal, like your run of the mill people. They were just far out and like that. What it takes is you have a vision, you have something you're passionate about and you just do that and you don't know where it's going to go.

Right? Like you don't, you have no expectation. Like you, you do, you divorce yourself from the result, right? Like you can't get too tied into saying, oh, like, I'm going to do this. Then I'm going to do this. Then I'm going to do that. And then Go and like, this is finally going to get me to the place where I'm happy.

It's like, no, just create the thing that makes you happy right now and do that. Just like the rest will come.

Brandon Nolte: I was going to say, you have a quote on your Twitter right now. What is [00:48:00] on your banner or not your banner, your bio?

BigSky: Slow DAOn and realize that everything is accomplished.

Brandon Nolte: Yeah, what's that about?

BigSky: I talked to people a lot about this, about the idea of. Everything that got you from like a, to B like everything, like who you are that got you from a to B, like where you are right now. That is the same thing that will get you from B-to-C and it's not going away. And it's important for people to realize, hey, like you've done the hard work.

You've done the personal work. You've done the research. You've done the work it takes to succeed. And like, that's that work? Isn't going to just disappear tomorrow. Like you don't, don't worry about it too. Just walk it out. Just keep showing up every day and keep doing it. And like, it's going to come together.

It's going to work out.

Brandon Nolte: Yeah. I like the phrasing there because it is kind of a subtle head-nod to just keep focused on what's right in front of you, not focusing too much about [00:49:00] the desired outcome or where you want to be, but more about where you are and being happy there. 

BigSky: Exactly. Like it's the thing crypto is built around.

It is like, there are so many brilliant people solving. So many problems doing just incredible work across the space in every single facet, whether it's these incredible podcasts, whether it's building the technology, whether it's building these communities, like the work is happening and like the work is going to continue to happen.

It's going to continue to prove it's not about to stop tomorrow. It's not about just disappearing. Like we're at the point where there's too much energy. There's too much passion. There's too many people. Like truly, truly believe in this for it. It gets just unstoppable. There's nowhere else in the world where you have hundreds, thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people waking up every day, just incredibly excited about something like this.

This is that thing. And, and just recognizing like, Hey. Like this thing is [00:50:00] happening. Like it's real, it's, like the revolution is, is so much farther along than anybody even realizes at this point. And all it is from this point, it's just walking in.

Brandon Nolte: I love that. Well, as we start to kind of wrap up the interview here, I have a couple remaining questions.

One of them is I'm curious how you think you've changed since working in a DAO.

BigSky: So there's this idea that I think about a lot, like you are a reflection of the five people you spend the most time with. And there hasn't been a single moment since I joined the next co-op. When I thought about the five people I spend the most time with, I didn't feel like I was spending time with just absolutely brilliant, cutting edge, incredible people.

And like the five people you get the most time with, it shifts throughout the year. Sometimes you're working with one group or sometimes with another, but every single time it's just been [00:51:00] incredibly inspiring and just incredibly powerful. And I think that's like, it's just, it's really, it's really helped me level up as an individual.

It's helped me get better. And that's just, I'm just so, I'm so thankful for that.

Brandon Nolte: That's amazing. Yeah. I can imagine coming “into” (I'm using air quotes here), work every day and just being so thrilled, to be working with friends, to be working with partners who. You can trust and you can learn from, I mean, that is, that's the gold standard right there.

BigSky: A hundred percent.

And it's just like, it is such a blessing it's forced me to, or it's allowed me to learn. It's allowed me to upgrade, who I am and it. The thing with crypto is like, you're never the smartest person in the room. You're never the most X. You're never the most wild, like there everybody's brilliant.

Everybody's passionate. Everybody is just incredible. And that, that really forces you to [00:52:00] level up. It forces you to bring your A game and. , if you're in a work environment where you have to bring your A-game every day you're in the right place, like you should feel when you feel uncomfortable and you feel like at the verge of failing, like when you feel like you're like, not quite good enough, like that's the sweet spot.

That's where you want to be. And enDAOs Def like crypto, DAOs the right place like that puts you there and that's where you want to beat.

Brandon Nolte: No, that's really interesting because yeah, I think there, there can be kind of an idea for songs. Things should be comfortable. And , if you want to learn and you want to grow, it's kind of the antithesis of that.

If you're not a little bit unsure and you have a little bit of hesitation, you're probably not pushing yourself enough.

BigSky: Exactly, exactly. Like you want, like the comfortable being uncovered.

Brandon Nolte: That's awesome. I'm curious if there's any other exciting DAOs out there in the space? [00:53:00] I know you're, you're working obviously in index coop right now, but are there any other ones that are kind of on your radar that you think are really cool that people might want to check out or that you're curious about?

BigSky: So lately we've been working really closely with Faye labs and the Rory team. We have a really incredible relationship there and. I think , Joey, Brie and sabot Fe have just this incredible vision for, for DeFi and, and communities and what are they working on? So, so phase and algo stable coin, and they're, they're essentially like vertically integrating all of DeFi into one platform and it's just incredibly powerful vision.

I'm really excited about that. And then I'm, I'm, I'm working on a few. Helping out a few early stage DAO's as they start to kind of like, think about launching and, and what that looks like.

Brandon Nolte: That's awesome. Well, I know there's a ton of people. I get questions, a lot asking to help start a doubt. [00:54:00] I don't know the first thing about starting a DAO myself, but I do know that there's a lot of people looking for it.

So I'm sure that, , with your skills, that would be extremely valuable for a lot of people.

BigSky: Nobody knows how to start a DAO. That's the dirty secret: you do it live.

Brandon Nolte: Fair enough. Okay. Well, thank you so much. I really have appreciated being on this call with you. I've learned a ton and, I can tell your passion and energy is just coming through the microphone.

So I just want to say thank you so much for bringing that today and for being, just being yourself and helping share your knowledge and experience with everyone on the show.

BigSky: Absolutely. Brandon, thank you for this podcast. These podcasts are just incredibly valuable. If I go into these thinking, you just need one listener, you just want to change one life.

Right. That's all that matters. And, and, , that's who you're reaching, you're going to change, , these podcasts like that. It'll change one [00:55:00] person's life and that's enough. So, thank you for everything you do. Absolute pleasure being on. Incredible energy. And I'm incredibly excited to do this again in 10 or 20 years.

Brandon Nolte: Awesome. Yeah, we'll put, we'll pin that in the calendar and Google calendar for another.

BigSky: 10 years, 2032. We're going to be Bounty Hunter again. I love it.

Brandon Nolte: So where can people find you online if they want to learn more about you?

BigSky: So the best place to find me online is on Twitter. It's BigSky_7.

If this podcast resonated with anybody. If you enjoyed listening , please reach out. I always love talking to people as they embark on their Web3 journey.

Brandon Nolte: Awesome. Thank you so much. BigSky.

BigSky: Okay, Brandon. Thank you.