by Head Chef candidate Jared Grey
Recently, I announced my candidacy for the Head Chef role here (Announcing Head Chef Candidacy for Jared Grey); this post focuses on my plans for the Sushi brand and how I would lead it as Head Chef to new success.
Over the past few weeks, the Head Chef search has generated many new candidates, ideas, visions, questions, and proposed solutions to help revitalize the brand. I believe that Sushi needs a versatile and experienced Head Chef at the helm who is battle-tested in crypto and embodies the war-time CEO methodology. In addition, the optimal HC understands business administration and development and can implement a nuanced strategy required for guiding crypto projects. Ideally, they will have the grit to help navigate this highly evolving and complex industry and lead effectively through empowerment and experience. I believe I can provide those attributes and help elevate the Sushi brand, increasing product usage and adoption.
Over the next twelve months, my plan for Sushi would focus on product delivery and optimizing user experience, brand messaging, and operations. Sushi’s existing products provide a strong base and are well-built. Much time and thought went into the products and their design, though areas for improvement exist, mainly in user experience (UX) and brand messaging. While new products will likely get ideated and join the pipeline, maximizing the current product line’s revenue potential should remain the core focus. Sushi has a sufficient runway for operations but needs lean fiscal management to focus on generating revenue from its current product suite.
It’s no secret that easy-to-use products make happy customers. User experiences are a constantly evolving blend of optimal engagements with the customer while they use your product(s). Unfortunately, crypto and many Web2 companies fail to deliver optimal UX for users. As a result, onboarding friction and bounce rates suffer, leading to user attrition and a loss of revenue and brand equity. I believe establishing procedures for analyzing the current suite of Sushi products to help optimize the UX across all products will provide valuable insight for the best product-market fit, driving unique user engagement and product usage.
Focusing on our customers, we take a proven path toward sustainable revenue. By aiming to improve our existing product line, we build demonstrable value. Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, successfully built his company by relentlessly focusing on the customer experience. For example, Amazon spent endless resources to develop its One-Click shopping functionality. Amazon leadership knew that the antiquated checkout process caused a poor user experience and caused high shopping cart abandonment rates. With the development of the One-Click shopping feature, they drastically improved the customer experience, resulting in a tremendous reduction in shopping cart abandonment rates and a massive increase in revenue.
In short, because Sushi is historically a retail-first product suite, it needs to reduce the burden on its users using its products with better UX. So here’s my high-level strategy planned:
- First, perform UI/UX audits and gather feedback from focus groups to define current strengths and weaknesses in each product.
- Second, implement a tiered strategy based on cost and ROI of improvements, focusing on the highest ROI changes first.
- Third, effectively communicate to the marketplace with clear and concise product updates on how these changes increase the utility of the existing products.
- Next, request feedback from focus groups and the Sushi community and implement feedback collection processes for customers to help define further improvements.
- Lastly, iteratively cycle this process with increased data to constantly improve the UX to provide the most intuitive experiences possible on all products.
Once the current product suite is optimized, we can start conceptualizing new products. I believe that Sushi has an opportunity to build a mobile-first app that can help increase brand awareness and generate further usage. In 2021, 59% of all Internet traffic was on mobile devices. Currently, Sushi does not have a mobile app, and while the website is mobile optimized, it doesn’t offer a native user experience for mobile users. However, before committing resources to this initiative, we would perform market research to justify its utility.
Sushi has Kashi, a strong lending product, but lending in crypto is generally limited to digital assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc. Building an addition to the lending platform to support asset-backed tokens featuring real-world assets would provide lower price volatility and risk. Furthermore, an ABT marketplace offers a unique opportunity for Sushi to capitalize on its current tech and attract new TVL with a limited capital expense. I have a detailed plan for this proposal I worked on for my last project, accompanied by the relevant legal framework for compliance, which I can elaborate on further if chosen as HC.
No product roadmap is efficient without a lean and agile team with the resources and treasury to execute its milestones. Therefore, as HC, I would focus on operational efficiency by defining a budget and highlighting the projected ROI of roadmap items to the Sushi protocol and token. In addition, instituting or optimizing an Agile framework that is likely familiar to the developers within the Sushi team will help create operational efficiency to help meet the delivery of scheduled product updates and releases.
Sushi’s branding and mission statement has become diluted over the past year. I would help the team cultivate a cohesive brand messaging and marketing campaign to reestablish Sushi as the premier DeFi toolkit for swaps, lending, and yield. A successful brand conveys its vision clearly to the marketplace, and I believe Sushi is falling behind in this arena. In addition, I would lead the hiring of an independent or in-house branding and marketing team so that each product communicates its utility and value to the market.
Liquidity is one of the ultimate measures of success. Traditionally liquidity providers to AMMs, like Sushi, were incentivized via token rewards (i.e., emissions) and protocol fees in rev-share models. This model works for a time, but because liquidity is mercenary, capital flight from protocols is an issue that continues to plague our industry. Nevertheless, I believe that there are several paths to growing liquidity. First, focusing on UX will increase users and usage, and a percentage will become LPs in the Sushi AMM. However, to further improve LP participation, we need to adopt tokenomics that incentivize users without diluting supply and create a synergistic feedback loop with the protocol subsidizing its liquidity via revenue.
Currently, the Meiji proposal addresses several of these issues by adopting a Curve-like token model to reward LPs. And I believe it will mainly create a positive effect for Sushi and its token holders. Still, a third-party token engineering firm reviewing the proposal could provide extra insight to increase its utility for LPs. Therefore, I urge their inclusion in the process before the community votes to pass the proposal. Lastly, as a former CEO of a crypto CEX (centralized exchange), I understand the challenges of attracting liquidity. I believe this area needs intense focus, and performing market research will be vital in determining Sushi’s best path forward.
You can find my final Head Chef proposal and answers to the team & community FAQ here: