Josh Reyes is the co-founder of DeFi app, Minke.
00:00 Josh Reyes - Multicam
01:22 Starting Work as the First Employee
04:34 Super Early Stage or Corporate?
07:01 What are the unique opportunities that you get from working at an early stage company?
08:31 What do people undervalue about early-stage startups?
11:50 The Remote State of Minke
13:01 How do they handle 'all person' remote meetings?
15:01 Company Culture in a Remote First Org
20:48 What is the future of remote work?
25:37 Advice for Graduates joining remote companies
29:43 What does Minke Do?
31:26 How does DeFi yield work?
37:12 Hiring as a Web3 company
39:19 How to differentiate yourself when applying for web3 roles
45:12 Contact Josh
You're really young. Like now I've been outside of uni for six to seven years and yeah, taking that risk early on, I think is if you're going to do it, you should do it. ThenJames:
hello, and welcome to graduate theory. My guest today is a serial entrepreneur who recently raised a 650 K pre-seed round to work on a web three startup that he co founded called Minky. He was previously the first employee and head of growth at smarter mail, where he scaled the team to $2 million of annual revenue and 20 plus employees. He's originally from. Please welcome Josh rise.Josh:
Thanks for having me, James.James:
Thanks. It was great to have you on night. It's exciting news yesterday. Your, your pre seed round got announced. So congratulations to yourself and congratulations to the team that's involved. It's a, it's a big milestone. So.Josh:
Yeah, it's, it's been great. It's been read to finally get the news out there. Uh, we closed it back in December, so, yeah, having the congrats is always nice and yeah. To have people really excited about what we're building and to be good to go and podcasts like yours is awesome.James:
Yeah, definitely. No, it's great to have you want to, and you've certainly had an interesting career in one that's. I'm keen to dive in to some of this with you. The first question I have for you. So, like I said, in the intro you worked at somato and you were the first employee that. And that is somewhat unusual, especially at that time you were kind of early on in your career. I think it made manifest job, correct me if I'm wrong, but you know, you're joining as the first employee. What was your rationale for doing that? And how did that call about.Josh:
Yeah. It's probably different from a lot of people that would get into that role. So I studied finance back in uni and in my last few semesters I was trying to find internships and looking for jobs. I'd always thought like, ah, I really like finance the topic. I really liked the subject matter. And that just seemed like the natural conclusion of what I'd work in. And I just found like, it didn't suit me from like a cultural level in terms of what I believe like work should be. And it was also, I also grew up in, studied in Vancouver, which if you're looking for a finance role, not being a finance hub, like New York or Toronto had limited roles and it was a lot more cutthroat with less opportunity. I started a few friends in graduate roles that were working in tech instead of, and they all seem really happy. They didn't have super crazy hours. They seem fulfilled in what they were doing and they seem to be working on really exciting problems. And I was like, Hey, I need to do that. My finance skill set didn't really match. So in my last semester, so if uni and then just in my free time, I taught myself marketing kind of from like a performance marketing and technical perspective and was able to get my first internship, which was helping actually a Shopify store build a customer. Called it was called make, uh, it was a store in Vancouver and that a custom apps that you could print on, t-shirts like my own hair, or you could print on tote bags and things like that. And you could bring a design in and upload it. Or you could just upload it online. So I did a bit of experience working with Shopify and their API APIs and like building apps on it. I, that was more like marketing and like, Product management just like reporting bugs and things. But I'd understood how Shopify worked and how, I guess how API has worked and had just had like market for an e-commerce store. Really. And so I moved to Australia from Canada and my rationale was to actually think, I, I want something stable, which doesn't really make sense going to in an early stage startup. But I wanted something that I could pick up quickly and I thought like, If I go into a startup that I have know nothing about there might be a good chance I get fired, but if I go into something where I really understand the problem that they're trying to solve, and I guess the software and the tech stack that it's being built on I can really hit the ground running and make an impact. So, I joined smart ML. Actually an intern, but the first employee they hadn't raised any money. Had essentially zero users and yeah, over three months, scaled it up to, I can't remember the user number now, but a significant amount that we're able to start getting a little bit of angel investment on and was able to secure my first full-time role working in a startup as the first employee. And then, yeah, I grew that to something I'm pretty proud of now. Yeah, 20 plus employees. I think it's serving, I think 25,000 merchants globally, all across the world, including a lot of small businesses.James:
Yeah, cool. That's exciting. And certainly, you know, being the first one, man, and see that growth, I think is quite rewarding. Uh, you know, like you said, I'm curious to hear though. I wonder if you have any thoughts on that approach. W I compared to. What is probably the more common approach where you go join a big company as part of the grad program, or, you know, you do an internship with a large corporate place. I mean, I'm interested to hear your you've actually done, you know, you've gone the alternative way and done and done this. What are your thoughts now, looking back, do you think, do you think it was better to do the way that you did in, in terms of joining a really early stage style? Or do you think it would have been more valuable to work in a larger.Josh:
I think it really depends on what you want. So if you have a pretty good idea of what you want to work in, I think in a corporate role, or even like a tech role, whether that'd be like a certain silo, like marketing or product management or development a larger corporate has these great training programs. I think a very structured way of going about it. So if you are dead set on that and you actually know, like have had friends that seem really happy in that role, or maybe have done a bit of work experience. I think that would be a pretty good option, but from my perspective, I was going into this with, I just didn't want to work in finance and I want to work in tech. I don't even know if that was marketing marketing seem to be the easiest way to get into that industry from someone who had. Study or a technical knowledge, but it would something that you could essentially teach yourself. So going into an early stage startup, I was able to do a lot and it allowed me to actually explore what I wanted to do and like what's my role and what my strengths were within a company. So things I did included Actually I'm doing customer support and doing product management tasks. And by the time I left smart amount, I was head of growth, which was actually more, I would say, 80% product management and about 20% marketing. So I was able to take that early stage experience and really experience a lot of different things within a company. And I guess within tech and startups and, and find something that I really enjoyed. And I guess. The end of the thing now as a founder, I think what I really enjoyed was beings at that early stage and like really forming a company, forming a culture, forming a team, and then yeah. Going and executing.James:
Yeah. Cool. I think, I think that's great. I mean, what, what do you think the unique opportunities are for people working with. These early stage companies. I know that you guys have touched on that. What do you think are really some of the big pros of doing that?Josh:
Yeah. W one, if you don't know what you want to do, if you do, you can experiment with a lot. And I think you can be upfront. I generally, if you're working on an early stage startup, you can expect a very high salary. But in return, I think the startup themselves, they are a good startup. They should give you an amazing learning experience, experience, and the flexibility to do what you want and explore. Sectors off that company. So being really upfront and saying, Hey, either I don't know what to do, or these are the things I want to experiment with or try my hand at. And then usually if the startup is open to it, that they'll give you small opportunities in that space. And I think also just making an impact, like when you're starting at zero adding one or two customers, Makes a huge impact, but if you're working for a billion dollar company or like a traditional company, that's been around for 50 years, your day to day impact while it might be felt within your team. It's very hard to see it on a company wide scale, where as a startup, you really see that every single day. And especially at really early stage startup that has zero customers because every one of those customers have signs up. It's like a little party in the office because he just getting started and you're just starting that like flywheel towards adoption.James:
Yeah, that's great. Not that early stage fives, almost that you're describing. I think that's hard to bait, uh, you know, differently. Uh, it's exciting. It's exciting when you're around that and when you're growing and when you're, when you're doing stuff what do you think, like, what do you think people undervalue. About working at a company that's in these early stages because often people will say, you know, oh, it's so risky. Like working, like you're the first employee. Like, what if it goes bad? Like, you know, at least, you know, what, why would I do that when I can join, uh, and be much more stable. There's, there's less risk. If I'm joining a company, that's got like stable revenues and things like that, you know? But what do you think people undervalue about, about working in release?Josh:
I think they Undervalue one, just their opportunity and their time first. Go into graduate role. You're really young. Like now I've been outside of uni for six to seven years and yeah, taking that risk early on, I think is if you're going to do it, you should do it. Then I wouldn't recommend doing it at my age. Of course now I'm starting a company so that maybe it was even crazier. But yeah, it's a lot harder to take. The older you get. You have family commitments. You have. Uh, mortgage, or you might have rent like a higher rent or just a higher standard of living from working at a corporate for a long time. So that decision gets harder to make. And I think the best time to do it is when you're really young, when maybe you're still living at your parents' house or all your friends are still not making that much money and you're going out to the cheapest place to eat on the weekends. So it doesn't really matter if you're making a low salary. So I think people just undervalue like. Yeah, the opportunity and the time in their careers, where they're able to make this decision. It's I think from a rational perspective, when you are 21, 22, maybe up to 23, that that is the time you can make it. And if the startup goes pear shaped, you've gotten a lot of experience. You've hopefully learned how to better idea of what you wanted to do. And you've actually made an impact at a company. And you can show to get your next job and say like, this is what I did, and this is the result that it ha that it created where it's really hard to show that in a big corporate, because you don't know what the end result of that whole corporate strategy is. Or sometimes you might spend six, seven months doing it. And it didn't result in anything and didn't even get launched, right. Because of all the bureaucracy. So, I think it gives you like really, uh, valuable resume building skills. Resume building. I don't have notches on, on, uh, I'm not sure what the term is, but that you can take throughout your career and there'll be valuable in the next role. And it's a super competitive sorry. It's a super The competitive market for employers actually, like it's really hard to find skilled employees these days. So, if the startup you join does go pear shaped room in a year. I don't think the market's going to change where you'll have a hard time finding another job. Yeah, there's a lot of roles around.James:
Tre Tre knows it's a good time to be a graduateJosh:
As like people are starting their careers now you know, often in. Locations often, you know, away from the people perhaps has a distributed workforce where everyone's everywhere. You know, is that the case for your company at the moment? Are you guys like in person at all or are you pretty.Josh:
Yeah. W we have a hot desk space here in Melbourne. Some me and our current marketing intern are working there. Yeah. The goal with Minky is to never have an HQ. We want to be global from day one and how we market our product and how we, our product is available. And that's the same for our company. Uh, we hire everyone regardless of where they live. We don't even consider. The time zones. We've learned to work asynchronously in our past roles. So yeah, right now we have eight of us and that's spread across Australia, Portugal, the UK, Japan, and Brazil. And it seems crazy, I guess, from different time zones. And sometimes it does require flexibility, but actually at smart amount, we were remote from day one as well. The two co-founders were in Melbourne and Adelaide, it's a bit different than different countries, but in a way that's the only way I know how to work. Yeah, I think, I couldn't imagine myself not working like that.James:
Yeah. How do you guys actually structure like the asynchronous nature of that? Because, you know, often in sort of traditional agile or whatever style of working you use, you know, you have some kind of meetings where everyone's there. Right. So how does it work then? Like how, like what approaches do you take that are different from that to make sure that everyone. Being across everything.Josh:
Yeah, so we do have all hands. So I guess the times that you actually can all get onto a zoom call or meet that is super valuable. And so you have to use a valuably and be really deliberate about what you're going to use that time for. So, We have one all hands meeting once a week where we kind of go through company updates sometimes give each person, individual person we'll give an update or, uh, an individual person might just present on something that they need to share with the team. But then day to day, it relies on a lot of tools to get it done. So slack is the big one. So just having like an instant messaging style chat that. Easily communicate with your teammates. But that, isn't the only tool you need. The one that's come up recently in the last few years is loom. So that allows you to take screen recordings with your face. So you can actually talk through things. And that's something that's only been around the last two years, but working remote for the last six years, I can't say. I imagine and how I used to work without it anymore. It's just a must have in your toolkit because you can actually take the time and walk through things and exactly how you're doing it and give it a personal touch as well, because your face is on the screen and, and then hand it off to the next person from when they start the day. And it's really cool because he actually kind of feel like the company never sleeps. It's not like a business that closes, uh, opens at nine and closes at five. Uh, it seems. The company is always getting stuff done at every time, at every time of day. And it makes it feel like it's moving really fast.James:
Yeah, that's cool. And I've actually, I've, I haven't really used the loom a lot, but yeah, I've heard good things about it as well. So I might have to just test it out. How do you go about then, you know, you've got the one all hands every week. How do you go about like company culture and things like that? Because it's something that's a little bit, is it more difficult? You know, when you're not in-person then.Josh:
Yeah, it is. And I think it's a really good thing that graduates should be aware off, but because I think everyone wants to go at a few uni and then go to like a big corporate. And one of the good things about working at corporate is there's a lot of people your own age, and you can make a lot of friends there. And you can kind of be part of this culture and it's really hard to do in a remote environment where you just don't have that. I think the remote companies that are doing it best have been doing it for a long time, whether that be base camp. The loom is another version of Zapier get lab. So while almost everyone is doing some version of remote since COVID there have actually been these really superstar company it's that I've reached billion dollar valuations that have been doing it since their company birth. So. One, I guess, picking a company that it's actually done it for awhile because it it's hard to get. Right. And it actually really depends on your team and culture and like the people within it, because some people might really like meetings where some company cultures might not. And working with people that have done it before and know how to actually understand, like, understand that and to tailor. Remote experience exactly for that culture and team I think is really important. And I think that's something that me and my co-founder Marcus are really good at because it was the same situation at smarter mouth. So yeah, we have these all hands, but. Do other things as well. So, for example, we have our public launch the app next week, so we're doing a launch party and we're doing it because the team is still pretty new. Like me and Marcus just started working on it, I guess in August last year, first pull request was in September. So while we've had whenever a new person has joined, they've have had an intro to kind of introduce themselves as a person, not just an employee. Uh, we haven't. Really got the chance to like fully meet everyone in a sense. So we're doing things like trivia, so you can kind of do a trivia on yourself or kind of on your country because people are in different places that people can learn about where you're from. And just like coffee meet upstairs. So. Either booking in an extra time, or maybe like every third or fourth time when we're supposed to do stand up, just skip it, say, Hey, put a message on slack, on what you're working on. And we're going to spend the time just like going into small breakout rooms of two or three people and just talk about things that aren't work. And yeah, if it's light for you, maybe have a beer or if it's early maybe it's a coffee instead.James:
Yeah. Yeah. Cool. No, I think certainly you need those, you know, you can't just take the in-person work environment and put it online and expect everything to still work well. So I definitely think like you guys have done, you need those certain things to be different. Like, you know, you need. Making time to catch up with colleagues or, you know, doing those extra things that you wouldn't have to do if you were in personJosh:
Yeah, and I think there still needs to be a physical element as well. At smarter mal we have. I think throughout my time, there, there was three retreats. So we had gone on one dev retreat to Lithuania, an old team retreat to Portugal. And then during COVID we couldn't attend in Melbourne, but we had done like many retreats, one in Cyprus for the European team and another one and Rio in Brazil for like the south American and north American team. And the. In-person events while they have not that often. So generally, maybe once or twice a year are really important because one thing you don't get on slack is really someone's tone of voice. So starting a startup and being in high growth and having like sometimes really demanding conditions, sometimes things can get heated. It's just the reality. And not understanding someone's tone. I can make you misunderstand the situation and their intent of how they're saying things, but once you actually meet that person in real life, you get an idea of how they talk and you can kind of hear their voice when you see them on slack as well, or when they send a message on slack. So, I think it's actually a super important thing as well. And it's our aim to yeah. W as we grow this year, having an in-person meetup for Minky as well and you can do it in some. In small bits too. So if you have your dev teams, I all in Europe and maybe your marketing team is all in the U S you can do one all team retreats once a year in one location. And then sometime during the year, just the dev team can meet up in Europe and just the marketing team can meet up, say somewhere in Canada. And it's possible. And I think some times companies will say, oh, it's really expensive. But office space is really expensive. And we found that if you run things efficiently, especially when you're early stage and. Are okay. Being a little bit more comfy, maybe sharing all the same Airbnb in LA, where there might only be two bathrooms for 10 people, which is like, you could only do it. If you're a close knit team, uh, it doesn't cost that much. It might cost 20 to 25,080 to run a T or a trait and get everybody in one location. And that is usually how much you're going to see. N even less than we're going to spend actually on an office space in Melbourne for the year.James:
thanks for listening to this episode of graduate theory. If you haven't already subscribed to the graduate theory newsletter you can do so by at the links in the show notes, the graduate theory newsletter comes out every single Tuesday morning with my thoughts and lessons from each episode. But without further ado, let's get back into it. Yeah, that's cool. It's suddenly, it's, it's really interesting seeing the different innovations and things like that that have come from that. Uh, they're, they're really explosion almost, you know, it might work out the last few years. Do you think people like, you know, you've said that, you know, the in-person element will you sort of made that in some ways and you're keen to have retreats and made option and that kind of stopped. Do you think the future of work is this kind of mode where we're saying. Yeah, we've kind of shot up like once a year. Well, a couple of times a year. And outside of that with whoever mode, or do you think it's going to come back to let's have the team in a certain city and then we'll just, yeah, we'll just work together on, on all the problems. What do you think.Josh:
I think it depends on the business for sure. In tech. I think that's generally the trend, I think, on a scale globally. It's really hard to do it just from one location. It's an advantage, having people from different cultures and different locations and different mindsets and different experiences that can actually bring that value to your team. And I think the teams that do it are going to be the ones that scale the fastest, uh, and scale the most efficiently too, because yeah. It's Martin. Well, we always aim actually not sorry, Minky. We always aim to Kind of do location-based pricing. So while salaries might be very high in San Francisco or even Australia we don't pay those salaries for remote employees, but we always aim to pay them at least above the market rate that they might get paid in Brazil or Chile. Uh, but it's still much lower than Australia. The talent, like talent is evenly distributed, just because someone's in Chile or Brazil. That doesn't mean they're less skilled or less talented than someone in Australia. And they just haven't been given the same opportunities. And if we can get three of those extremely skilled people in Brazil for the price of one in Australia, I think, and you actually have the structures in place where you're building a remote company. I think we're the ones that are going to be more competitive in the long run.James:
Yeah, I think, I think that's interesting. That's very interesting to be interesting to see over the next few years, how that kind of, you know, the talent, that's almost hasn't had access to opportunities or things like that. Them now getting access to remote companies really that don't really care where you are. It's going to be interesting to see how that plays out and sort of the global labor market reallyJosh:
Yeah, I'm really excited to say it as well. Cause we've been hiring me and mark has been hiring remotely now for six years. We always kind of manage the hiring at smart ML as well. And actually to see the shift in the market too, like before, when they started there was you find a lot of devs, throughout Asia. But now that's very much shifting what west, if you look good that way. So, Africa is a huge market, especially in Nigeria. Um, LA goes like it's become a huge tech scene there. And it's just exploded with like really quality candidates. And some of these bigger companies have come in and train people in those areas. And, and same with Latin America. It's like this huge FinTech hub where. the banks, there might not be so trustworthy. There's this huge explosion of local payment operators that have born local neobanks that people have worked for and really worked for them at massive scale. If you consider how big like countries like Brazil are in terms of population, and now they are able to work for companies like Minky or even like. Companies like Revolut or bigger fintechs and take that skill and experience, which is actually very valuable and very hard to find in a market like Australia. Yeah. And help our companies grow.James:
Yeah. Yeah. I think it almost goes both ways. Doesn't it with. now getting access to better talent ed, probably cheaper than they would have before, especially ones that are Western, you know, typically like Australia, U S and things like that. And then also people are able to access opportunities that they previously weren't able to access. So it's really a, it's a win-win for so many people around the world. I think this remote workJosh:
Yeah. And I think sometimes people will think like, oh, it's just going to be people in, let's say the global south taking our jobs, but it also opens up a lot of opportunities as well. I've especially working in crypto. Friends that are kind of working for exchanges or kind of us or Asian crypto companies. And really in APEC it's, it's a huge, the market here is crazy. Like the amount of growth potential it has. And in Australia were perfectly positioned for, to serve countries like Indonesia and Malaysia and still like English speaking. And so we can connect with these teams in the U S so, there's a lot of exciting opportunities. I think. Uh, for Australia in some interim mode perspective as well.James:
yeah, I think that's interesting. What let's say you're a, you're a grad, you know, joining a remote first company. Well, it just early career joining a remote company. What does, like, now that you've done this for a while and you're hiring people that you're into these kinds of roles, what are some tips that you like, or you would give to help someone like settle in? Because I think it can be difficult perhaps to settle into a company that where you're not with people. And then also like when you're actually working kind of what things can they do to like, you know, get involved in the company and like, get to know people and kind of set themselves up. Well, there.Josh:
Yeah. One is like be proactive, like as much as a team that has done it before it can help you with the cultural side and set up meetings for you. Realize everyone else is in the same situation, even though you're a grad and you have like a hunger to meet people, even people that are mid thirties they just don't want to work all day at home and not talk to anybody. Everyone is in the same situation and they're more than up to have a chat at the end of the day, even just, yeah, knock off like half an hour early and have a beer and just hang Generally people are more efficient working at home, I think are working remotely. So we are very flexible the way we tell people like, Hey, if it's end of day, Friday, or even just like during the week you don't have these like water cooler chats that you'd have in a normal workplace. So yeah. Just message someone on slack and say, Hey, do you wanna have a beer? Or did someone have a chat? And yeah, no one should feel any requirement to say, oh no, It's not five or I haven't worked eight hours yet. Yeah, the social aspect is part of work. And I think companies should be flexible in realizing that and allow yeah. Pay people to be proactive themselves and just like, go take those opportunities. Yeah. Because yeah, everybody's in the same spot. We all like social interaction.James:
Yeah, definitely. No, that's cool. Yeah. I think that's important too. I think you've got to, uh, I feel like. Remote, like for the first six month period recently. And, you know, I guess like, most people wouldn't live in Melbourne to some extent. Right. You know, and that kind of, you know, it was, it was a sort of eye opener for that kind of stuff. To be honest, you know where you're saying, okay, There's no real social, like no social contact is kind of forced, right? Like if you're in the office, you're kind of just forced to be social. But when you are remote, it's, it's kind of, like you said, you've gotta be proactive, go out and connect with your coworkers a bit more actively, so you can still have that social side to work. And you're not just like, you know, taking off the JIRA thing, do your tickets and then leaving. And it's just like a very, you know, and you're not getting involved with, with the broader mission and the broader.Josh:
Yeah. And one thing I'd say like on the proactive, but two is yeah. On the broader mission and company it is hard to find startups that have been doing it for a while or people that have been doing it awhile. I think it's smart. Through the same accelerator. That main key is going through back in 2017. And we were the only remote company then and everyone thought we were crazy and they were asking us like, how do you do it? And now three years later, they actually no five years later there's a lot of remote companies in our cohort, but even then, As founders sometimes it's really hard to do this culture while building a high growth startup. So actually get read like some books, like the base camp guys, like DHH and Jason fried. They've wrote written a book Call, I think it's remote. Okay. Or, yeah, there's a few like company culture and building a remote company. But actually just reading those yourself and trying to implement those within the team. And if you feel like, Hey, this company, isn't doing something, just reach out. Like everyone generally at a startup wants to make a great working experience for everyone there.James:
Yeah, no, I agree in that it's supposed to be, get good resources available, listening that are interested in, perhaps that you don't even have to. All right. You have a company to, to have those. You could just start doing them within a team or whatever it might be. If you wear modes, that's really useful. I'll uh, okay. Of them tonight. Good reads after the show today. Let's talk a bit more about, about yourself and what you're working on. So Minky is a app. Could you just give us a bit more information about what exactly you are working on? What is, what is the product? What benefits can we, can we gain for, for using.Josh:
Yeah, definitely. So with Minky, we're aiming to be the easiest way to save, earn, and invest with defy on mobile. And the product itself is a web three wallets. So similar to something like Metta masks that you might've used to buy your first NFT the last few years But it's designed to look and feel like your favorite FinTech. So whether that'd be Revolut, if you're in the UK or globally, or I guess up banking is the popular one for young, young people in Australia. So rather than having a lot of this really like crypto native language and jargon, we actually take the view that, Hey, let's look at something like a banking and totally power it with crypto and defy instead. And the benefit of doing that. In like a de-centralized way, we actually give people direct access to these lending and borrowing protocols. So with Minky you can save on protocols, like have a an M stable, which last year had a variable rate on average of 8%, which I think is 40 times higher than your bank. And even this year it's trending given the macro. Economic situation with Russia and the Ukraine. So it's trending a bit lower as less people want to take on leverage, but yeah, you can still save near three to 5%, which yeah, 10, 20 times higher than your bank is. And it's a really great way to save because if you're putting your money in a savings account given what inflation is really your money is going backwards.James:
Yeah. I've, uh, uh, been met. People are botanical question for you, but how like, cause I, I don't know a great deal about how this works. So how is it possible that you can, like, how does the yield work there? Like where is this the yield coming from in these situations and why is it so high compared to like a traditional.Josh:
So, so we give access to these lending and borrowing protocols that essentially work like peer to peer lending. So like a bank would take your savings and lend it out to bars. You're doing the same, but instead of a bank with a huge building and a hundred thousand plus employees, all it is, is a smart contract that enables this. So your money goes into a pool. And then lenders can borrow from that pool. The reason why it's higher, like one is just efficiency. You don't have to have this whole like compliance and infrastructure, and I guess like physical infrastructure of a banking operation. But two is also the price that people are willing to pay for money or borrowing in the cryptos fear. When people are borrowing are generally looking for leverage to either buy more crypto or usually buy more crypto. So what they're doing is they usually have a theorem or maybe some Bitcoin in the form of rapid Bitcoin and they D they want to donate to sell it so they can deposit it into these protocols as collateral and say, they can put a thousand dollars a Bitcoin in and they can borrow. $500 off your us dollar savings. And they can either use that to get some liquidity and buy some new boots or they can yeah. Use that to buy more Bitcoin and get more leverage.James:
Hmm. And how does it work then with like, perhaps someone takes a loan out of his pool, but then that, like, they're unable to pay back, like as their default on that loan, how does it work? How does that, uh, work with.Josh:
Yeah. Oh yeah, I guess I forgot to point on one aspect too. So the reason it is higher is because the people that are borrowing. They are essentially wholesale D banked from traditional finance. Like if you're a crypto company, it's really hard to get a bank account. Even for us, we were really lucky to get one. I won't name which one, because I don't want them to kick me off because the other three were unsuccessful, but it's the same goes for borrowing and lending. So, because it's so hard to get liquidity then, or yeah, leverage. Crypto companies are willing to pay more for it. So, whereas you can maybe get a mortgage for 3% as a crypto company, you can borrow at those same rates that traditional finance is borrowing at. So, that's why it's in the air, like, yeah. Eight, 9%, for example. And yeah, so, and if you are unable to pay your loan, that's all automated. It's based on your collateral. So if your collateral, because everything is over collaterized. So if you want to borrow $500, so you actually have to put in a thousand dollars worth of collateral, but if say the price of Bitcoin, which is your collateral drops and reaches a certain point where. Say your collateral isn't worth as much as the loan, then that collateral will actually get automatically sold back into the market. So, it'll go up for sale. And 50% of that can be bought by people who went to buy Bitcoin and it sold at a bit of a discount too. So they have some arbitrage opportunity. So I think it says 6% discount compared to whatever the market price is. And then yeah, you could, they can buy your collateral. And then now. will be used to re pay back your loan and then your loan will, again, we'll be in good standing because some of your collateral was sold to pay that back.James:
Cool. All right. That sounds good to have, so put my settings for a house in crypto instead. Uh, maybe not, maybe it's not a site who knows maybe one day.Josh:
it's it actually is. Safe. And in the sense that these protocols are really battle tested to put it in perspective right now, both our van compound, which are the two lending and borrowing protocols have over $20 billion locked in them, us. Which if you just look at assets, held by a bank would put them in the top 100 banks in the U S which they've only had. Come to prominence in the last two and a half years. And they've only been created five years ago, which is crazy when you consider that some of the banks that have been around have been around since like the beginning of time, like more longer than even we we've been alive for, since he can remember. And, and really the first, I would say worthy competitor to traditional finance. So if you look at the last 20 years had, I guess the traditional world international companies completely flipped on its head by tech. Like the biggest companies used to be ExxonMobil, but now they're Amazon apple, Microsoft it's everything's tech. But if you look at the biggest banks, the largest banks in the U S and 1970s are still the largest banks today. And in Australia. It's probably since banking existed, that the largest banks are more CommBank and a and Zed. So, that hasn't changed by tech and it's, they're really these legacy institutions that are so ingrained in our day-to-day lives. But now you have this solution that is so much better because of the efficiency that you have had with these like smart contract applications that I think, yeah. If, if $20 billion was to be lost, that would be a very horrible for defy. But I think it also shows like have battle tested. These particles are because if it's been two and a half years, and these have gone from, in that time, like $1 billion locked in, all defined together to over a hundred billion dollars lock. If people haven't been able to get that piece of the pie and these like mega protocols, they're obviously doing something right.James:
Yeah, no, that's spot on. And speaking of, you know, web three where I'd love to talk to you, you know, you're obviously you're the founder of this company. You're looking to hire people in, to work in, in your company. Tell us about what it's like hiring in today's day and age as a web, your company.Josh:
Yeah, it's really fun because it kind of reminds me of myself when I. First got my first role at smarter about essentially having no real marketing experience or a marketing background. And web three is this new industry where I think there's a program at our MIT, but it's very early stage. Like no one has studied web three or crypto. And nobody. Generally breaking in. There are some, I guess people now we've kind of been really building on it for five years. So there's people moving between roles, but I would say the vast majority of people that are like getting a job or are in crypto for the first time. So. Yeah, it it's fun from that perspective. And yeah, I think I just enjoy like, people like rushing into an industry that I'm really passionate about. But also that they're really passionate about too. I on our first marketing role that we hired for our marketing lead. That was, I think the first role we advertised for nobody really knew about us. And we had over 250 applicants hiring and web to, if we got that, they'd be like, wow, this is amazing. Like he would have had to spend thousands of dollars on job ads to generate that. But in crypto, in web three, there's this huge rush of people that are wanting to get into it. And then, yeah, it's good. It's a blessing for us as a company.James:
Yeah. Yeah, definitely. No, that's, that's, that's certainly cool. I mean, I'm curious to dive in more about this and the, you know, the amount of people that applied. I mean, how can you and your, your like, you know, web three in itself is relatively new and you space, right? So you've probably gone through this yourself, but how do you go about learning about these things in terms of perhaps someone wants a role at a web three company and really differentiating themselves from. Did you know, the masses that want to get into this field? Like what can you do to decide? Okay. I'm actually, I actually know what I'm doing in this area. I mean, is there anything that you could do in the lead up to applying for these positionsJosh:
Yeah. One is actually like, make your learning journey really public. I. Uh, be intentional, let's say, Hey, I'm learning about this and maybe I'm running a blog or I'm running some LinkedIn posts, what I'm learning and maybe what are the new things every day. It doesn't need to be completely right. But it's good to see, I guess, from a hiring perspective, someone going down that rabbit hole and like yeah. Seeing their curiosity and also their writing skills, which I think being in an industry that. It's very, very technical focused and has come from like really like developer and like crypto native focus. It's hard to explain what we do to everyday people and to make it approachable and transparent for them. And writing is such a strong, important skill to for us as companies to, to acquire. So just being public about your learning journey, if you're, they can give, getting into web three and. Researching it yourself, just write about it. And when you apply for a job share, share it. Even if he might be a little bit embarrassed about it because you're new to it. We really like seeing people who've done that and gone down the rabbit hole, just like we did five, six years ago.James:
Hmm. Yeah, that's cool. I think, I think it's important, right? Especially something like web three way. The it's not like you there's much barrier to, to learn. Like you can get quite active in the space and learn everything there is to know. You know, it's not like, uh, a field that's been established for awhile, like, like finance, for example, where going deep into it, you could go down any number. Rabbit Holmes like endlessly. Whereas, you know, crypto is still this early thing where you can become reasonably knowledgeable, quite fast. And if you, if you're willing to sort of get stuck in and, and dive into the communities and the tech and things like that.Josh:
Yeah. And I'd say one thing too is just use the actual tools because the nature of the blockchain is that it's public. Not only can you write about it, but we can actually. The hirers, we can actually see like a lot of that common trend now, and Twitter is to have your dot Eve in your Twitter name. Uh, we can actually look at your dot E and see, like, this is what you've been buying. This is what you've been transacting with. This is the tools that are, that you're using. It's a bit harder now, like compared to when I started. The gas fees, which are the transaction fees on Ethereum were a lot lower because there wasn't as much volume on the network. So you might be spending like a few dollars to make a transaction, whereas now, and sometimes to buy an NFT or, uh, make a date five transaction on the Ethereum main net, it could be up to a hundred dollars, which if you're a graduate that would be some pretty prohibitive to actually use it. But what there is now are layer two networks, which essentially maintain the security of Ethereum, but they allow you to transact at much higher speeds and lower transaction costs. So you can actually go. And use a lot of these same protocols and defy, or even by NFTs on things like optimism, arbitrary and polygon. And for us, when we're hiring, we actually look at that. We don't just look at ether scan, which is kind of Ethereum. We actually look at all the different changes. Which one you're on. And even if it's on like say Binance chain or something that might not be as like decentralized as we like, and maybe isn't so popular and the old OJI crypto sphere it's good to see, like people actually use the tools and understand, and they're just going on the journey because he had going on the journey and down the rabbit hole, I think is the most fun part. And yeah, we're happy to help people. Get to the point where we are to.James:
Yeah. Great. Uh, I think that's really cool. I've got one more question to ask you today around, you know, your career and the things you've done. And we've had a really interesting chat today, but people starting their career this year. Do you have any advice for graduates as they go into this world of crypto remote work, all these kinds of new trends that are coming up.Josh:
Yeah. I think Uh, I'll heavily push for crypto. I think it's very much the future. The amount of talent rushing into this industry is simply like unfathomable, uh, coming from like a web two world from my full-time job just over a year ago and now to like really be back into it. And working in hiring and experimenting in this industry. It's crazy. When me and Marcos actually started the company We said like this actually might be our last chance to be early and really define what our vision for what we want this industry and this space to look like. And that was actually the same thing for joining an early stage startup. I, I had. Like strong beliefs on how, what work should be like and how you should run a team. Because I'm like reading books and talking to friends and like what company culture should be like. And I think I still have those strong beliefs about work, but also like what I think the future of web three and crypto and the internet should be. And I think if people do have these like morals and beliefs and you want to apply them to this industry, It sounds maybe a bit crazy, but I actually think it's the last time these next three to five years will be at the time when you can actually make an impact and actually spread your morals and beliefs at a scale where the impactful totally like millions and billions of people.James:
Right. Well, there it is everyone, you know, your coal to get into web three. I think it's a fascinating space. And certainly an area that has, like you said, has a lot of talent, uh, going in that direction. There's a lot of, you know, new things that are happening every single day. So. And it's probably going to be that way for a while to come. So, certainly, yeah, I absolutely agree with you, Josh. Thanks so much for coming on today and sharing your wisdom. It's been very interesting for myself to hear your thoughts on these different topics. If people want to find out more about yourself and what you're working on after this conversation, where is the best place for them to go?Josh:
Yeah, I'm on Twitter at events that he Reyes. So it's like Vancity Reynolds. I think it's Ryan Reynolds. His Twitter handle in Vancouver. So, you have like Vancouver's of Ben city, so. Yeah on Twitter or you could just yeah. Find us on minky.app. So M I N K e.app, I assume it'll be in the show notes as well. So, uh, jump on the sites. You can probably send a support to get, if you want to chat to me yeah. More than happy to chat or point you on your way. Okay.James:
Fantastic. Thanks again, you all should Spinney grad chat tonight and yeah, we'll speak. SayJosh:
Cool. Thanks, James. Yeah. Thanks for having me.James:
Thanks for listening to this episode I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. If you want to get my takeaways, the things that I learned from this episode, please go to graduate theory.com/subscribe, where you can get my takeaways and all the information about each episode, straight to your inbox. Thanks so much for listening again today, and we're looking forward to seeing you next week.