The community overwhelmingly passed the Sushi 2.0 Restructure for the Road Ahead on May 11, 2022 with a total of 9.6M in favor. The Sushi 2.0 proposal included a mandate by the community for SUSHI to source a Head Chef. Sushi team immediately orchestrated a leadership search process. Candidates were able to apply or nominate themselves, were put through multiple rounds of interviews, and had the opportunity to meet and interface with major Sushi stakeholders. We’ve sourced the candidate we believe represents the best option for Sushi and are now looking to present this candidate to the Sushi community for community dialogue, community vetting, and finally community election for Sushi’s Head Chef.
With that we’d love to introduce the team’s nomination for Head Chef to the community: Jonathan Howard.
Jon is a full-stack engineer and multi-time founder with 3 exits. He has a unique background in computer science as well as art, which sent him down the NFT rabbithole in 2017, then DeFi in 2020. He has founded 4 startups as CEO or CTO, including two in crypto, raised from top tier investors including Matrix Partners and Khosla Ventures, along with bootstrapping one company to an acquisition. Over his career, he has also served as a growth tech lead at companies with 40M monthly active users, and 9-figure revenue.
Currently, Jon is CTO at an NFT studio he cofounded called Bighead Club, partnering with projects and independent NFT artists. Notable partnerships include Stoner Cats with Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher, and Ghostbusters. Jon has the experience, passion, network, and unique skill set to usher in a new era of Sushi.
The Head Chef at Sushi should have unique responsibilities for optimal day to day management of operations. These should explicitly include:
- Define and request an ops budget from the DAO
- Strategize and execute on the product roadmap in support of the DAO’s wishes
- The ability to hire/fire contributors
- Define performance metrics
- Oversee token holder and community relations
- Evaluate team performance on compensation committee
The first time I encountered decentralization was as a child looking for aliens with SETI @ Home. I was in awe that my family’s home computer could play a small part in something so big. Then in college, I worked at a bio lab coding cancer research algorithms to work the same way. I’m consistently in awe of the power that decentralization can bring, with more examples of its importance every week: a friend gets his bank account frozen without warning; an uncle can’t sell stock he ostensibly owns because Wall Street went home; you can’t get a paycheck because it’s the weekend. That’s people who have access to modern financial systems.
In contrast, Sushi was started as a community-owned alternative for everyone. People see it as fun, friendly, and packed with utility. You can collect a salary, source a loan, swap to virtually any token, put it to work in Bento strategies and more, all within the Sushi ecosystem. I believe Sushi and its world-class dev team can play a key role in revolutionizing financial systems, with the DAO becoming a generational fixture that’s still making an impact long after we’re all gone.
Achieving this means we work with users and protocols to create interoperable Sushi “money legos” that fit their needs perfectly and grow deep into DeFi. It means a NFT marketplace built for NFT lovers by NFT lovers. It means partnering with emerging new tech to unlock valuable user experiences that weren’t possible before. It means a permissionless, enduring DAO for everyone in the world.
It also means Sushi becoming the best ecosystem for devs to build, launch, and learn. We don’t just deploy useful contracts, we also build the necessary APIs, sample code, and documentation that anyone can use to prototype something innovative in a weekend. We can further widen that funnel by seeking to partner with communities that train new web3 developers, positioning the Sushi ecosystem as an on-ramp for a generation of builders who then add value themselves. These tools would be used by everyone from talented young anonymous developers, to $1B DeFi protocols, to indie NFT devs.
The result is greater than the sum of its parts: Beloved DeFi and NFT products with durable moats; useful components on every chain; developer on-ramps into the Sushi ecosystem; competing in stableswaps and concentrated liquidity; and the new cross-chain dex will combine to make material impacts on Sushi’s market share.
On the way there, we also refocus on fundamentals. We’ll make sure we’re driving value, not busy work, by measuring what matters, regularly talking to users, shipping features quickly, and testing their impact. We’ll do the unsexy work on internal communication, finances, and organization. We will have every team fix unnecessary technical, legal, and operational drags, to focus on what matters and move quickly.
Sushi is on the verge of launching tons of new products and features so the #1 priority is getting the dev team back to consistently shipping, as the team has demonstrated recently. The first order of business is to ensure we become world-class at the fundamentals and ship the existing roadmap as directed by the DAO in the Sushi 2.0 proposal. Next is the NFT marketplace, Shoyu, where my NFT experience can add immediate value in terms of measuring, designing and shipping updates that our users love, and building durable moats over time. Other notable milestones to achieve will include stableswaps, concentrated liquidity, and growing Kashi with key updates to increase supported collateral, all of which should impact volume and TVL.
Support marketing with the staff and budget we need to stand out and drive volume. Relatedly: design already talks to users regularly for a variety of purposes. I’ll also be looking to meet users and potential partners to build relationships and learn from the community.
Become “default alive”. Work with world-class lawyers and accountants so that we and the DAO are building on a solid foundation. We will build/update internal dashboards to track what matters in as close to real time as possible. Then as needed: improve the core DeFi business, launch revenue-generating features and partnerships, cut costs where possible, and ensure we can aggressively build for the long-term.
Invest in speed. Investing time to update code, tools, processes can feel unnecessary in the moment, but a subset of those changes make you move faster once they’re done. We will save time and effort in the long run. To accomplish this, we’ll have an internal hackathon: a small number of weeks dedicated to initiatives that would speed us up and make our lives easier, that have historically not been prioritized.
With the core roadmap launched and changes made to speed us up, we can fully capture the horsepower of the incredible team we have, executing toward future DAO priorities as directed, such as revenue, users, TVL, and/or partnerships. Particularly exciting are low-hanging fruit to cross-pollinate existing products, in order to both differentiate products and drive usage. Just a few examples: swap directly into Kashi for yield, use LP positions as collateral, stream your salary into Bento Box, buy NFTs with any token using swaps behind the scenes, and who better to innovate in NFT-Fi than teammates who built SushiSwap and Kashi?
The Head Chef candidate Jonathan Howard is being presented with a market rate compensation package that is highly incentivized for performance.
In the event that the candidate does not meet the terms or duration of employment awards the compensation will be returned to the treasury.
Salary: 800,000 USD annually, paid on the 1st and 15th in stablecoin
Guaranteed Sushi Incentive: 600,000 total $SUSHI vested over 4 years with a 6 month cliff. 12.5k $SUSHI vested per month for 48 months.
Roadmap Performance Bonus Incentives: one-time 350,000 $SUSHI divided into milestones.
We want durable value creation and for Sushi to ship useful, meaningful products for users. As such, 350,000 $SUSHI will be set aside as one-time shipping bonuses to incentivize past due and delayed products being shipped. The specific roadmap items that will be eligible for a roadmap performance bonus will be mutually agreed upon between the Head Chef, team, and compensation committee to ensure full alignment in these initiatives.
- This will be judged and awarded by the compensation committee by unanimous vote in their sole and subjective opinion.
- The 350K $SUSHI will be broken up into milestone-based issuance. Smaller for getting out smaller items, and larger for more involved products.
- Examples of roadmap based incentives: Each of Trident’s remaining AMM’s, Shoyu hitting usage targets, on-time feature launches.
- Each month revisit whether the forecasts, timelines, and deadlines made on day 1 make sense.
- If a team deadline is missed, move the others back so as not to create a downward spiral where everything is missed. Ex: if Project 1 launches 3 weeks late, adjust the remaining deadlines back 3 weeks, so that they start from the end of the previous one.
Sushi Price Target Incentives: 1.2M $SUSHI issued at various price tranches. Price means time-weighted average price (TWAP) over a 30-day period. Each is paid in increments of 1/12th for each month that the 30-day TWAP of $SUSHI rises above that tranche’s price. Earning a full tranche allocation would require the 30-day avg price being above that tranche’s price in 12 different months.
- 200,000 $SUSHI tokens @ $3
- 200,000 $SUSHI tokens @ $5
- 250,000 $SUSHI tokens @ $7
- 250,000 $SUSHI tokens @ $9
- 300,000 $SUSHI tokens @ $11
Details: Team members’ current price-based bonuses from the bull market are so high they don’t carry much weight in motivating. They’ll be lowered to these same price tiers and ratios to adjust for bear market downturn.
Severance: Sushi requires a commitment to a long term overhaul and turn around. To do so all stakeholders (token holders, team members, community members) share in that risk and commit to good faith efforts to make this work.
To align incentives for the long-term without removing optionality, if the Chef is terminated for any reason, severance would be X months of the base USDC + Sushi comp. X starts at 24, then decreases by 1 each month working for Sushi, then once it hits 6, it stays at 6.
This would not apply if the Chef resigns, or if termination is a result of professional malfeasance such as crime.
CEO will make and execute a plan with the legal team for:
- Sushi entity framework and improved governance of the entities created
- DAO official ownership of off-chain assets
- Multi-sig signers who commit to 7-day turnaround
We’re committing to accomplish these necessary fundamentals within 6 months of his starting at the latest (February 16th, 2023). If these items are not addressed by governance and community vote in 6 months, the Head Chef and team will not be able to do the job effectively, and that failure will automatically terminate the Head Chef’s leadership following the severance calculation above.
- Start date: August 16, 2022
- The Head Chef joins the compensation committee. To be Neil, Matthew, Jon.
- Establish employee and corporate policy (payroll, HR, vacation, employee health and wellness).
- Sushi will engage high profile strategic advisors, with the goal being to get some of the best in the world on our side helping us win. Discretionary budget not to exceed $100,000 per advisor for 3-5 strategic advisors (this is the max not the goal). An example structure would be a bi-monthly meeting + ad hoc communication, for vested Sushi over 1 year, approved through comp committee and revisited annually.
- Legal Risk: Any potential legal action filed against Sushi (or testimony, document production, etc) may be filed against the Head Chef personally as well. Sushi agrees to pay any and all legal bills for any needs arising from his work at Sushi, including any time after he is employed, should that become the case. This would not include cases where the company is suing him, or for contract violations.
- Angel Investor: he has investor and advisor relationships with a small number of web3 companies. He can’t and won’t share any confidential information with them, but he’ll be allowed to continue investing and advising, provided that it doesn’t detract from his duties to Sushi. To clear any potential conflicts of interest, he’ll inform the compensation committee of any new investments.
- Future token compensation: Any future rewards or airdrops for spun out projects will come from the team allocation, if there is one.
Sushi is one of the largest community owned and operated crypto projects, and it holds a special significance for me, since I’ve been a user since its first week. It’s important to me to make a commitment to the community: I’m excited to listen, participate, and serve as an advocate for the decentralized, community-governed, Sushi DAO.
I will also serve to ensure that the core team builds and innovates great projects that solve real problems for real users. Sometimes, this will require balancing a maniacal focus on product and building with strategic governance needs. I deeply align with the decentralized community owned nature of Sushi and will work to ensure that this ethos remains.
My ask is that you give us time to realize this vision, and to give us your enthusiasm for the road ahead. Sushi has been a cornerstone of DeFi and it is my goal to ensure Sushi 2.0 is the cornerstone for many years to come.
With that we’d like to open up discussion into the election of Jonathan Howard as Head Chef. Proposal will follow usual process of Heat Check in the form of a poll below, forum call on Thursday to discuss further, and following snapshot implementation vote to ultimately decide.
- For Jonathan Howard as Head Chef
- Against Jonathan Howard as Head Chef