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March 23, 2022

Hiring Talent in Crypto

with

Paul Veradittakit, Partner at Pantera Capital

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Paul Veradittakit and I dig into the ins and outs of crypto hiring in this episode of WTF, Crypto. This is a great listen both for crypto fans who want to break into the space professionally – as well as crypto founders who want insights on how to source great talent.  

Why? Crypto founders are flush with capital and want to move fast, but the biggest bottleneck to speed is usually people – because people do the actual moving. This is especially true when it comes to crypto, since this industry hasn’t been around for very long and much of the workforce hasn’t had enough time to up-skill and meet growing hiring demands.

Paul is a partner at Pantera Capital, a US-based institutional asset manager focused exclusively on blockchain projects. Since joining Pantera in 2014, Paul has helped launch Pantera Venture Fund II and the firm’s currency funds, executing over sixty investments. Paul also sits on the board of OpenToken and BitOasis, is a mentor at The House Fund, Boost VC, and Alchemist, and is an advisor to Orchid, Origin, and Icon. Prior to crypto, Paul helped manage investments in the mobile space at Strive Capital, and worked with LECG and Hatch Consulting.

 Mark Lurie:

Welcome to WTF, Crypto, where we explore the crypto universe to understand what's really going on and how it affects you and your portfolio. I'm your host, Mark Lurie and as a caveat, nothing in this podcast is legal or investing advice. Today we're talking about talent in crypto with Paul Veradittakit of Pantera Capital, one of the oldest and largest crypto investment funds. Welcome, Paul and please, correct my pronunciation of your last name because I think I got it wrong.

Paul Veradittakit:

You're really close. Paul Veradittakit.

 Mark Lurie:

Well, Paul, thanks for joining us. A lot of money was raised for crypto companies in the last year. I mean, we're talking tens of billions of dollars, right?

Paul Veradittakit:

Yes. If I remember, I mean, there might have been stat recently that three to 5 billions has gone into crypto within the last year or something. So the numbers are enormous.

 Mark Lurie:

Okay, that's a lot of money. It's really an absurd amount. But as I think about that, it makes me ask where does that money actually go? And I think in most businesses, the number one line item is payroll, which means this money is going towards talent, but there aren't actually that many people who have experience in crypto. I mean, the industry is only a few years old. I mean, that's a tough situation right there.

Paul Veradittakit:

More and more folks are thinking about graduating from college and not going to your typical Goldman Sachs or our finance route, but we're starting to see this straight off from the universities. Actually interesting set, I have four interns, two from Stanford, one from Berkeley and one from Harvard. And we're starting to see blockchain clubs emerging at all of these different universities. And great thing is that a lot of these larger organizations and DAO are sponsoring these individuals to actually go and network and learn about blockchain and crypto at conferences like EatDenver.

Paul Veradittakit:

I know that the Harvard Blockchain Club. I think 20 members are sponsored to go to EatDenver. So it really is starting at the university level where computer science is becoming, and in economics and other majors are starting to become more popular because of crypto and people are starting to get internships in crypto really, really early on. So we're really starting to see younger talent joining crypto companies and even starting companies right from college. So I think that's been a great sign and a great source of talent.

Paul Veradittakit:

Another thing is for companies to really just go out there and see what's worked in the past from other companies and try to find talent from those companies, especially around engineers and around community, especially for some of the older companies. And we say older, we mean maybe four or five years old, not you're sort of like Googles and Facebooks, but those are the older companies. Guys that have been there for a while, done well and maybe have vested quite a bit to bring some of the older town back into the fold.

Paul Veradittakit:

And I think the other strategy potentially is around M&A. So some of these larger companies that are raising these large rounds are now thinking about acquiring companies early on as they are hitting the next round of funding or companies that haven't taken off or gone so well. And for us, I mean, that's a great way for us to create values for some of our earlier portfolio companies that maybe haven't found a product market fit or haven't found a way to monetize. I mean, one of our biggest exits actually was the sale of portfolio to FTX.

Paul Veradittakit:

It was a great initial acquisition of 150 million, but FTX has done very well since. And that was a mixture of user base and talent acquisition and a lot of those portfolio folks who still work at FTX. And I think the last strategy, and when we dive into a little more detail on how these folks are coming over is really going after talent from existing Web 2.0 companies or larger tech companies. Guys that have been there for a while, guys that can potentially see the upside in crypto and guys that see some of their skillsets translating well to the crypto space. That's becoming more of a common source for talent.

 Mark Lurie:

Interesting, so what I'm hearing is companies are already going beyond the existing talent pool in crypto because there's just not enough. So there's probably a talent war there. And then people are going to great length to find talent elsewhere, whether it's as early as university or other companies.

Paul Veradittakit:

Exactly.

 Mark Lurie:

And that's really interesting. And this seems important to a lot of people because ultimately people build products and people build businesses. So if you're an everyday person buying and selling crypto, actually the best signal you have for the future potential of a product is their team and their talent. Whether it's a new project with a few advisors and a founder or a larger company hiring at scale to interpret the signals, you really need to know what's going on behind the scenes and how companies are actually doing this and what it means about them based on whether they're successful or not. So Paul, I'm excited you're here with us today because I think you're going to help us with that. Why don't we start with... You started talking about your portfolio, an FTX in portfolio, I'd love to just step back for a moment and understand your background and particular what makes you a credible expert and guide on this subject.

Paul Veradittakit:

Yeah, thank you so much, Mark. So as a reminder, I'm a partner at Pantera Capital. And Pantera Capital was founded in 2003 actually by Dan Morehead. He used to be the CFO and Head of Global Macro Trading at Tiger Management, one of the world's most renowned hedge funds working under one of the most famous hedge fund managers, Julian Robertson. And Dan started Pantera as a global macro hedge fund in 2003. And then in 2013, we focused because he felt like Bitcoin was so disruptive to gold, store value finance and potentially payments that he started Pantera with the first fund, which is a Pantera Bitcoin fund.

Paul Veradittakit:

And that was a fund that was investing into Bitcoin when it was around $40. So the returns on that fund are about 60,000% returns. And shortly after, maybe about six to nine months after that fund launched, I joined and I joined in March of 2014 having spent an early career in economic consulting. So I think this is highly relatable to a lot of folks where I came from finance, I came from the consulting world working in financial services and felt that it wasn't entrepreneurial, it wasn't fast paced enough, it wasn't innovative enough.

Paul Veradittakit:

And so I left the consulting world to join a startup doing business development and growth. This was in the daily deal space where people were still buying Groupons at the time and going that route. But shortly after that, I got into the wonderful world of venture capital. So before joining Pantera, I was a VC focused on mobile. So I've had experience focusing on sectors and picking the right sectors really early on.

Paul Veradittakit:

And mobile has obviously turned out to be a wonderful sector. And then for the last eight years, I've been focusing on early in private investments for Pantera. So sourcing, executing and doing probably close to 200 deals and building out our investment team and our platform team to execute now over 5 billion in AUM for Pantera investing across equity and tokens.

 Mark Lurie:

Great, so you have spent a lot of time over a number of years evaluating companies based on their talent and number of other factors and you help a lot of portfolio companies with their talent strategies in hiring. So you've seen this over and over again across the industry. So I'm really glad you're here with us today. And for those of you who don't know, Pantera is one of the oldest and most well respected crypto firms. So thank you.

Paul Veradittakit:

Yeah, and an interesting part of our investment strategy is we are actually investing into companies that are helping to bring more talent into the ecosystem. Now we haven't done anything like... I think we're supporting things the DeFi Alliance, which is the YC for crypto. And that's bringing a lot of startups into the ecosystem and a lot of talent. I think there's a lot of interesting things around... You probably heard of Hack Reactor. But there's a bunch of developer boot camps that are emerging that are helping convert existing engineers into developing on solidity, developing on rust, et cetera.

Paul Veradittakit:

And I think the last category, which is interesting is bringing a lot more talent into the ecosystem are gaming guilds. Being able to educate folks on crypto gaming, the types of games out there, how the tokens work, the play to earn model, how to get better at these games, the tooling to monitor their progress performance analytics and of course being able to be part of this new software layer that can basically help train people to basically not only enjoy these games, but actually make money off these games.

Paul Veradittakit:

And so that's bringing a bigger talent pool into the ecosystem too as they get more educated and they are part of these games. They might actually end up joining these companies. And so I think it's one of those things where even our investments are feeding into bringing more talent into the ecosystem.

 Mark Lurie:

Interesting, I mean, it makes sense because you see the struggles of companies firsthand and so you know that that's a need. I would also guess that the more people, the more your portfolio grows and the more companies there are to invest in. So talent means more deals, which is the [crosstalk 00:10:57] of a VC.

Paul Veradittakit:

So we have a platform team and our platform team is, it's growing to about maybe five or six people, but the first platform person that we hired was a director of recruiting from Kraken. He was one of the earliest recruiters at Kraken helping with getting technical talent. And so his sole job is to go through our portfolio and figure out which types of roles are in most demand and specifically even focusing on a few different companies that are in that huge scale up mode.

Paul Veradittakit:

And it ranges from consulting these companies to go in there and teach them how to build a funnel and teach them how to evaluate and bring in talent to even actually just going out there and just helping with top of funnel, getting candidates out there and just sending them resumes. So we knew that talent was the biggest need and our first platform hire was a director of talent.

 Mark Lurie:

Interesting. Okay, great. Well, so why don't we start with assessing companies based on talent. So when you're looking at investing in a new company, how do you evaluate the quality of the team and how important is that to you?

Paul Veradittakit:

It is important to bet on teams that you're excited about. And depending upon the use case, it could be choir, a team that looks a certain way. I think at the end of the day, I mean, if you come across a team that has built a startup before regardless of what the type of startup that they've built, I think that's extremely valuable because they've been able to go through the pains of fundraising, of telling their story, of being able to go through the hurdles of hiring and operations and all that thing.

Paul Veradittakit:

So serial entrepreneurs are definitely helpful. Some have learned more than others in terms of their past experiences. And then from there, trying to see if some of their skill sets are applicable to the use case that they're trying to tackle. So if they're trying to tackle something around financial services and payments, have they been in companies or firms where they've had some of that experience, whether it's on the entrepreneurial side or whether it's maybe even evaluating that use case or those sectors as maybe in financial services or consulting or things like that?

Paul Veradittakit:

So applicable skill sets, especially around technical talent is also... If they're trying to build a decentralized foul story system, have they built anything in the past around distributed systems or things like that or exchange technologies in the past that would lend itself well to building an exchange or any transactional platform? And I think the last thing that I would look at would be just, or a few other things I'd say it's really the balance of the team knowing if they are going after something in financial services that is heavily regulated, do they have someone on their team that has that mindset?

Paul Veradittakit:

And then I think lastly, it's just a passionate, perseverance. What company do they want to build and their vision? And is that align with your vision? Because at the end of the day, I mean, if you're going to be working with this company for a long time, to have those expectations at the same level is, whether it's the direction of the company or whether it's a return expectation, all those things should be aligned with your closest partners.

 Mark Lurie:

Do you think this differs between... Do you think your approach to this differs if it's a startup with a deck and not much to show versus a company that's had some scale? And also how do you see through a lot of the noise in the space, especially in crypto, a lot of people have multiple side hustles and there's advisors and there's founders, but they do something else, how do you see through that noise? What are the red flags?

Paul Veradittakit:

Yeah, so it really does differ depending upon the stage of the company. If it's really early on and there's nothing really there and you're betting on the team itself, then you really have to be sure that this is a team that you want to bet on, especially if it's in a sector that will be extremely competitive. And so in traditional venture thinking, you bet on one team in one sector and that's your horse. You don't bet on many teams unless you are a seed fund or an angel investor.

Paul Veradittakit:

And so if you're betting that early, you want to really make sure that that team is special. And for us, I mean, it's again, going through do these guys have some edge in their backgrounds that really lend itself well to executing in this particular space? Are these the guys that you want to bet on in terms of their personality? And I think lastly, knowing that a lot of deals are being done over Zoom these days and a lot of the personality and perseverance, it's hard to be seen over a video call.

Paul Veradittakit:

It's either trying to meet them or doing very, very deep references trying to really figure out how it is to work with these guys and how do they react in certain situations and things like that. And I think what also folds into how do they work with the investors and how they work with each other is really around focus. I think there's focus on a company to make sure that you are doing things sequentially so that the company can be successful, but also having focus on just the company itself.

Paul Veradittakit:

Looking at 2017 during the last bull market, one of the biggest reasons for attrition was that people within companies were day trading and they're setting up these investment funds that would be investing into these early stage token projects and they're making so much money there. And so you really want people that are aligned and it starts with the top. And if the people at the top are aligned and maybe even sets policies around things that can keep the company focused, then the rest of the company will be focused.

Paul Veradittakit:

And we really want folks that are aligned with building their company and focusing on their specific use case. Obviously there are things that could be helpful that they can do that feeds back into the business, but really not getting to a lot of that gray area where they're doing too many different things that will be more of a distraction versus helping the initial business.

 Mark Lurie:

Make sense. I guess, especially the early stage alignment, clear alignment between the founder and the subject matter and the purpose of the company is super clear because otherwise they get distracted. And I guess, that's important to make sure is aligned for whomever and whenever you hire. Interesting, and I guess, the ways to evaluate that from the outside are how many years has this person been focused on this exact topic? If they're building a trading product, maybe they've been a trader. If they're interested in carbon offset, maybe they've been in the carbon offset industry for a decade. Hard to fake a decade. And I guess, those are the things you look for.

Paul Veradittakit:

And one of the things that... That's a great point because if you are seeing someone jump into a completely different industry, let's just say if it's someone that's been in hardcore attack and they're now trying to create the next TikTok, that's a little... It's like trying to figure out if this person is going for a trend or a money grab versus this is something that they're really passionate about.

Paul Veradittakit:

And another thing that you can look at is, and this goes back to reference check is if someone's hopped around a lot or they have a lot of different projects on their resume, especially at the same time, what's going on? Is this person, almost like you're dating, is this person a serial dater versus does this person have a commitment issue? And why is this person doing so many different things or has moved around so many different times?

Paul Veradittakit:

And that's a big risk because you do see, especially with doing a crypto project. And it's more important, especially on a token project where the vesting schedules for team members can be a lot shorter and the returns, the liquidity can be a lot easier and higher that there is a tendency for folks that start crypto projects to see their token pump. And then they get a little bit of liquidity. And then all of a sudden, they get distracted and they decide to move on to the next token that they can create and have it pump. And yeah, it's a cycle.

 Mark Lurie:

Yeah, how do you deal with that? I mean, you've got all these founders and equity is a long established thing. A founder cannot cash out of equity unless the investors cash out of equity because they have a fiduciary duty. But with token projects, there's no explicit fiduciary duty. And furthermore, in traditional venture and startups, there's this thing called vesting, which means a different thing than it means in the token world.

 Mark Lurie:

In the traditional venture world, vesting means if your token's vest over four years, if you stop working on a project or you're fired, you don't get the rest of those tokens. Whereas in token land, people use the term vesting to mean you get those tokens even if you quit, but you can't sell them all at once, which is a very different thing. And there's no fiduciary duty. So how do you think about alignment with these founders that you're investing in and the talent when there's almost nothing that, I mean, there isn't actually alignment?

Paul Veradittakit:

Yeah, it's gotten a lot better. I mean, in 2017, there would be, and partly because it was the wild west in terms of just knowing what to do and what regularities may say, but there wasn't really any vesting for investors. There wasn't really a process in terms of token listing. So you had some of the early exchanges listing everything. And so with liquidity right away, tokens getting listed, lots of pump and dumps happening then and there and wasn't really a thought on, well, if investors are getting their tokens right away, then I'm sure all the team members were also getting their tokens right away.

Paul Veradittakit:

And so it just made for extreme volatility and extreme retail heartache. But now things have shifted, especially going through a bear market where the leverage went back to investors. And a lot of these terms sheet are looking more like traditional VC term sheets, where you are getting equity and you are getting tokens and there's investing schedule for both the team and the company and also the investors themselves. And while the liquidity is still better than 10 to 15 years from a traditional startup for both sides, especially if the company does end up doing a token, it does have a lot more alignment where the company themselves or the team members shouldn't be able to sell before the investors.

Paul Veradittakit:

So I think the investors get unlocked before the team and the company. And these investing unlocked schedules go for years. There's a trust afterwards that hopefully the project is doing well enough where once vesting does end and they can throw on some more vesting or they're incentivized enough on both sides where they will hold because there's a greater upside to the project after, let's just say three to five years, but that is at least decent sufficient of time to really see from both the investors and the entrepreneurs if this is really going to go somewhere.

Paul Veradittakit:

And so that's been a huge shift. This has been even talks around, or even mechanics around not having the capital be given to the company right away. And the capital gets deployed based off of, I think it was one of the more well known projects. I think they actually publicly said this where they raised a certain amount of capital, but they only get released if they hit certain milestones.

Paul Veradittakit:

And so that was an interesting way to align knowing that, especially there's just so much money going into this ecosystem that it just didn't feel right to just be able to raise so much at that early in Sage with tokens and everything and feel right about it. So they tied everything to milestones. So that's an interesting way to go about it too.

 Mark Lurie:

Interesting. Okay, thank you. Okay, so we've talked a bit about how you evaluate companies based on talent, how you evaluate talent, let's move into thinking about it from the company's perspective. How do companies hire? That seems almost naive question, but I think it's good to start there and just ask, how does this actually work at a functional company?

Paul Veradittakit:

It really depends on the stage of the company. So I'd say let's focus on someone that's just raised a pretty decent Series A, let's just say $10 million. And one of the things that I urge them to do is try to find a director of talent in house. Someone that could really help with creating both a structure to bring in candidates. And that means everything from figuring out all of the top traditional or crypto focused recruiting firms to work with to source different pools of talent and then going beyond that to even going out there and sourcing talent themselves.

Paul Veradittakit:

And I think certain ways to find talent outside of the other ways that I mentioned around M&A, which we would be helpful with. And obviously the candidates that we send is really around just going out there and using LinkedIn, going after certain companies that are maybe in certain similar spaces that either you can go after big companies like Coinbase and FTX and the longer standing guys or you go after guys that are tackling similar use cases that are going to have similar skill sets of talent and going after those guys on LinkedIn.

Paul Veradittakit:

I think engineering-wise, that's been a pretty good strategy. I think on product, you might want to go after the traditional companies because there hasn't been a lot of... We don't have too many product people in this space yet. I think it's not one of those, in terms of, especially consumer facing products, not a lot of products that have actually made it to a ton of users. And so I think it's one of those things where just bringing traditional product folks into crypto I think makes a lot of sense.

Paul Veradittakit:

And then I think on the legal and regulatory side going after certain law firms that they've worked with before and trying to figure out which lawyers make sense to bring in house, that's also been a very, very popular hire for folks. But I actually think outside of engineers, outside of product, outside of legal and business people of course, there's a whole bunch of MBA schools that people are going to and finance is a little bit easier like finance firms. And there's a lot of recruiting firms that can help with that.

Paul Veradittakit:

I think the toughest role to find is around community and you're building community yourself, a lot of our great podcasts of course. And then other folks are trying to find other ways to build community. And we can have a whole other discussion on how to build community, but in general, to find someone that can actually spearhead that community building is tough. I mean, crypto community versus traditional startup community is a bit different. A lot of things happen over Twitter and a lot of things happen over Discord.

Paul Veradittakit:

And so for that role going after companies that have people that have built up really great communities where there's the chain links or other guys out there that have done a lot of that, I mean, that's been a little bit more tough. And so you can go after the companies that have guys that have done it before or one easy way for folks to go out there and find challenges. Really who's passionate, who's already a community member in your community that's passionate that could potentially go out there and figure it out?

Paul Veradittakit:

And so even looking in your own Discord and seeing who's mostly sad about your project, seeing what their backgrounds are, I mean, that's been an interesting way to find talent over there. So that's the one thing is finding talent. And the other thing is really developing processes for when that talent actually comes in-

 Mark Lurie:

To actually put a follow-up-

Paul Veradittakit:

... yeah, make sure that there's anything process, yep.

 Mark Lurie:

... a follow-up on the first part. So just out of curiosity, what proportion of hires do you think come from recruiting firms versus come from inbound versus come from proactive outreach, from founders and teams?

Paul Veradittakit:

I think on the engineering side, engineering and finance, there's a decent chunk that can come from financing thing, but I'd say, but especially for the other roles, not as much. And I think if you put it all together, still a majority is coming from inbound, from referrals and from just proactive outreach. And so that's why one of the best tools for recruiting is, even outside of all the things that you can do around building the community and that revolves around content and marketing and all of these different channels around press releases and podcasts is really that these funding rounds getting this out to as many people as possible.

Paul Veradittakit:

And that's what journalists want to cover. They want to cover the 10 million plus rounds. They want to cover these investors have invested. So there's validation around this team is credible. This use case is really interesting. These guys have enough money where they're not going to go away. And so that's a big thing too is stability. You want to join a startup and know that equity's not going to be worth anything, the startup's going to blow up. And then just getting it out to a broader set of people, the valuations.

Paul Veradittakit:

I mean, there's been an interesting strategy right now too, where you can break up the funding round into two tranches. And the second tranch is a much smaller tranch of the fundraising round, but it has a much higher valuation. And so the marketing is tagged to the higher valuation. And so yeah, I hit unicorn status. So I think a lot of this is really just playing off of making sure that people are knowledgeable about the use case, excited about the team, it's going to be around for a while, it's a great place to work, culture, that thing.

Paul Veradittakit:

Culture is an interesting thing too. I mean, we're starting to see companies doing Instagrams of what they do for their offsite and things like that. And it's like, oh, that's such a great place to work. I mean, look at them. They really enjoy what they're doing and the mission and all that stuff. I mean, that's all important.

 Mark Lurie:

Hmm, interesting. I mean, that's a good point because you can source talent, but ultimately you have to close it and make them want to work there. And I guess, there's presumably some companies that are much better at that and some that are much worse at that. I guess, you got to make everything line up so that there's right incentives, there's right stability and ultimately the leadership can be convincing.

Paul Veradittakit:

Yeah, and that's where we come in too. So whether it is in engineering talent, I'll admit you're way better than me on the technical stuff. And I'm not going to be able to evaluate them from their skill sets, but I do come in on the interview process at the end to basically tell them what I think about the company, why I invested, why I'm bullish on the company and the use case and why I think that the team is at a certain level, pros and cons of the team, pros and cons of the business, what I've seen with the culture and how they work together and lastly, around the industry.

Paul Veradittakit:

I mean, again, this is all tied to the industry. If the industry doesn't do well, the company's not going to do well. And so one of the questions is why is this the right time to be joining crypto company? Why is this the right use case? What can I expect in terms of working here from, everything from a risk reward profile and all that? And so I go in there and I give them my genuine thoughts. And a lot of times, that's a pretty crucial factor on whether they end up joining the company. People are wanting to talk to board members and lead investors as a closing process.

 Mark Lurie:

That make sense, make sense. I mean, that's a big reason I guess, to have an investor. So one more question, then I'd love to pull out to how the macro talent environment as a whole is how are companies actually incentivizing these employees? Are they giving them tokens or just normal equity? And presumably is a talent we're going on, so how much are people getting paid? What are the most absurd things you've seen?

Paul Veradittakit:

Yeah, I mean, it's tough right now to pay more in terms of just base salary and I guess, known stock options more than the Googles and the Facebook's out there. So there has to be a combination of cash and equity and there has to be a belief that the ecosystem and the company's going to do well for that equity to really eclipse in the longer term, what they're going to be making in that time period with Google and Facebook.

Paul Veradittakit:

And so that is why a huge part of it is me coming in there and selling them on how disruptive this space is and how crucial that use case is and why this company versus other companies within the same sector, why this company is best positioned. And I think it really depends on the stage of the company, but as a Series A, Series B level, it's trying to figure out what is that right combination.

Paul Veradittakit:

And I think in terms of equity versus tokens, I think it make sense to have alignment where if the value of the company is going to be on the tokens, they should be compensated with likely both if there is equity in the company. If there's no equity in the company, then the tokens. And so one way to do it is you just think about it as a normal startup and you give away equity. And whatever that equity turns into tokens later on, then that person ends up on the token side of things. Now if there's no equity in the company, then how much tokens should you give?

Paul Veradittakit:

I mean, there's been a ratio of the value of tokens being approximately one to three times the value of equity. So depending on where you feel like that should be in terms of that range, you could basically go about it that way of thinking about how much tokens to give by using a ratio in that range. At the end of the day, I mean, it is still very early, even that range of one to three times. I mean, that's a pretty big range. And so what we're doing right now is providing as much data as possible to our portfolio companies.

Paul Veradittakit:

So that means everything from how token rounds are being done and what some of those ranges should be between equity versus token ratios in terms of comparing value. And then also compensation benchmarks, knowing that for certain stages, certain sectors, certain types of roles, it might be different for crypto. And so now that we have a set of portfolio companies up to about 200, we are able to really have a lot of data on what some of those levels should be. So we're actually working and getting that data ourselves. And so we might publish some of that for the industry, which I'll be really, really... AngelList has some startup, so the numbers-

 Mark Lurie:

Oh, that would be helpful.

Paul Veradittakit:

Exactly. But of course there's going to be some data where we'll keep to ourselves and it's proprietary for portfolio companies, but it's going to be hugely helpful.

 Mark Lurie:

Yeah, I mean, it's funny. So we get option impact through our investors, which is a database of thousands of VC backed portfolio companies. We upload our compensation to data, to them and in exchange, we get data on compensation, equity by region. Honestly, it's a travesty that individuals don't get access to this. It's really a shame because they can't even see how their compensation develops over time. But even so it's just not that accurate for crypto because crypto has such a talent war going on that everything is a little different.

 Mark Lurie:

And so it's really hard to figure out compensation and that's a shame because it's important for recruiting and it's important for compensating your existing talent. So I know we only have a few more minutes. Why don't we take one step back and tie off on how we solve the talent war and unlock the potential of crypto. And obviously to your point earlier, there's not enough people in crypto with experience in crypto for them to fulfill the need. So we need to get them outside, whether it's colleges or bootcamp or other experienced hire.

 Mark Lurie:

And for us, we do that a lot and it's a little tough, but what we prioritize is onboarding, how to teach people about crypto so that we can hire people outside and onboard them into not just the knowledge about crypto, but the zeitgeist and the culture, which is especially important for a role like head of community. I mean, it's just such a random and wonky thing. So how do you see recruiting people into this space, getting them up to speed? And what do you think their biggest concerns are about joining this space?

Paul Veradittakit:

Yeah, so the most important thing that I look for, whether it's hiring internally or whether it's talking to other folks thinking about joining the space and again, this is one of those things where you have to evaluate and see how far along they are in this spectrum and what their skillsets are and whether it makes sense or not, but how passionate they are about this industry and how mission driven because on a day like yesterday where the market drops a ton, a lot of people are going to, and people see their net worth going down a ton too, people are going to be very discouraged and a little spooked.

Paul Veradittakit:

And so I think we want to get people to that level. Sometimes they're not there when they interview and so you have to evaluate and try to get them to that level, but it really starts with the education process. Educating people and part of the education is content, but part of it is actually having products out there where people can actually try and experience crypto, whether it's getting yield or whether it's gaming or things like that, where they get a little bit crypto in their hands. And once they get crypto in their hands and then potentially giving them something to do with that crypto, whether it's yield or whether it's making payments or whatever, I think that's huge.

Paul Veradittakit:

And then from there, they get more excited about it, they join the community, they try to learn, they get into Discord. And then from there, they may think about joining a startup because they get passion enough where they feel like there's something here in terms of long term potential. And so I think that's the step for us to get to is having more and more products, having more and more content and getting us to a certain place where these folks are going to want to join and are going to be likely to stay with these companies for a longer term.

 Mark Lurie:

Super helpful and super informative. Talent is the biggest and most important issue for any company. And so it's so critical to understand it. We really appreciate you helping us understand it today. Thanks so much.

Paul Veradittakit:

Definitely, thank you for having me, Mark. And of course if anybody has any questions about talent, we've been doing this for a while, so feel free to reach out to us, Pantera Capital. We're happy to give some insights.

 Mark Lurie:

Great. Yeah, Pantera Capital. And is there anywhere else people can follow you, on Twitter or a blog?

Paul Veradittakit:

Yeah, so my Twitter is my last name, Veradittakit. And I also have a blog post called veradiverdict.com. So you can just go to my Twitter handle, Veradittakit and my blog link is right there. And I share insights and interesting use cases on the industry on a weekly basis.

 Mark Lurie:

Great, it's a fantastic blog. I highly recommend. And we'll put those links in the podcast notes. Thanks so much, Paul.

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