GRTiQ Podcast: 25 Oliver Zerhusen

Episode 25: Today I’m speaking with Oliver Zerhusen, Ecosystem Manager with The Graph Foundation. Oliver has been an active participant in The Graph community for a long time, but since he has joined The Graph Foundation, his contributions have become even more visible and substantial, whether it’s leading community calls or initiatives.

My conversation with Oliver spans his entry into The Graph community, his professional background as an executive outside the crypto space, his role at the Graph Foundation, and his popular and highly discussed post in The Graph Forum on the topic of keeping stake decentralized.

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And that is probably the part that I’m most impressed with. It’s whether we’re talking Indexers, core devs, other foundation members. It’s just so much talent in there and so much dedication to The Graph. It is amazing to see and it’s amazing to be part of that process.

Welcome to the GRTiQ podcast. Today I’m speaking with Oliver Zerhusen, an Ecosystem Manager at The Graph foundation. Oliver has been an active participant in The Graph community for a long time, since he has joined The Graph Foundation, his contributions have become more visible and substantial, whether it’s leading a community call, or a community initiative, my conversation with all of our stances entry into The Graph community, his professional background as an executive outside the crypto space, his role at The Graph Foundation, and his recent publication of a post in The Graph forum. On the topic of keeping stake decentralized. We started the conversation talking about all of us educational and non-technical entry into the crypto space.

I got two undergrad degrees in from Germany and the United Kingdom and also an MBA here in the US. On the professional side, I have really focused my career on Product Management over the last 10 years or so before joining The Graph. I’ve been in the commercial fleet automotive industry where I have worked a lot now with IT solutions and IT products have gained sort of a good understanding there and really enjoyed to engage in all different business and operational aspects. That includes processes sales, marketing, pricing, product, training IT development, billing and quality, as part of being a product manager, and that aspect was really something that excited me the most to be able to engage in so many different areas of the business. And it really enabled me to get a better understanding how different stakeholders think about your own product. By that they’re focused on the pain points that they experience, and how stakeholders oftentimes look at the same problem from very different point of views, where it becomes your job to bring everyone together because everyone plays an important part in the product or service delivery. You are also inherently looked as a leader for your product by others in your organization. And that has been something that’s been a very unique experience for me, my old boss lifted me into the product manager role early on in my career. At a time where my leadership skills were still rough around the edges. And where I have gone through a lot of learning experience myself. And one of the things that my boss really honed in on is an organizational effectiveness equation that he determined as quality times acceptance equals how effective you can be in your organization. And that is something that really stuck with me for a long time and has sort of guided my own personal and professional development. The quality aspect is something that is self-explanatory, you have to know what you’re talking about. You have to know, product features, the processes, you know, in order to be an effective contributor. But the acceptance piece is something that I’ve really focused a lot on over the last 10 years. And early on. It was an area that I did not excel at. Oftentimes my boss had to pull me into the office and one time he said, Look, you’re hardly ever wrong, but that doesn’t make you always right. And what he meant by that is, you know only because you might have superior knowledge on facts and data, if you don’t introduce that into a discussion where others can hear you, then you are severely diminished in your ability to deliver organizational goals. At the same time, I’ve also experienced that, you know, throughout my career, the acceptance piece in centralized organization is only really half true, because there are a lot of politics going on. And people can pull ranks in order to make people do things. The key message that my boss always tried to tell me was that that’s not what you want to do. Pulling ranks is the cheapest form of leadership. And it doesn’t create an effective lead.

When did you first become aware of crypto?

Probably early 2020, is when I really dove deeper into it. Looking at it from an investment background, I wanted to better understand what are the opportunities here in this space? And so that’s where I probably spent a lot of time early on just understanding what is blockchain and what it is about. And that was a process in itself, I have a non-technical background. So that wasn’t an easy, you know, subject to digest for me. And as I moved along, I then looked at products more specifically to try to understand, okay, what is the value proposition? With my product management background? That’s where my mind naturally migrates to, well, how do you create value? What is your use case? And that too was a journey before I had arrived at The Graph.

So what did you see then? You originally came into crypto from this perspective of looking at it as an investment opportunity. But you must have seen something else because you’ve made a transition into working in the space. So what did you see?

Well, first, when I came across The Graph, I mean, this was a protocol like none other where I was able to really connect the dots, it was like the penny dropped for me. And it became something that got me instantly intrigued in wanting to engage. And again, initially, it was from an investment perspective. So I joined many others when The Graph launch main net in December last year. And what happened after that was something that I didn’t necessarily anticipate, and that was me engaging in The Graph community and everything else that fuddled.

Well, as you referenced there, you’ve made a move outside of crypto into working inside crypto. And I’d like to know what your experience has been, what would be your advice to others who are also outside of crypto, and trying to figure out if they should make that move?

Look at it as a process and a journey. I think when you first come in to The Graph, community and ecosystem, it might feel a bit overwhelming, from the perspective that there’s so many things going on so many different channels that we are communicating and collaborating in, so many different subjects that we cover in so many different discussions. And The Graph is a very interesting project. But it is also one of the more complex projects that are out there in the Web 3 ecosystem. So I think it is important to zoom out many times at the beginning. And to recall that The Graph is like a pool of Web 3, and really starting to digest individual pieces of the protocol, whether it’s Delegation, Indexing, Curation, tackle them in one piece at a time, give yourself time don’t become frustrated, it is a learning experience. And if you don’t have a technical background like myself, it does take some time, and that’s perfectly fine.

So if we put on that product manager training that you have extensive history in, and we apply it to The Graph, and what you saw, you’ve already mentioned concepts like value proposition, market consumer, how then would you explain in that product manager perspective, The Graph and what makes it special?

The Graph, in many ways, is more than just a product. When you look at what The Graph delivers to other dApps, it certainly has a product delivery function. But once you look more of inside The Graph, in terms of how we deliver it, you do see, in fact, an entire ecosystem. And when you look at all the different parameters as you engage into deeper discussions, you start to understand how everything correlates and how all of that is important in the product delivery. And it happens in this ecosystem. That to me is the fascinating part about it. The most fascinating part is the decentralized nature of it.

Well, let’s double click on that. So that comes up occasionally on the podcast either subtly or directly. But a lot of guests really put an emphasis on decentralization. So why is that such an important topic for you?

For that, I probably have to go back a few years and goes back to my experiences I’ve had in the centralized world. I have enjoyed, you know, a healthy career now in the past. And that also got me exposed to more political sort of dynamics. And also where I see people being in abuse of power, where people are abusing power. And where reasoning might not always be the winner of a discussion. I have seen ethical abuse happening firsthand in my career. And I’ve also spoken up to that in the past. And in one instance, a few years back, it got me fired. And that was an experience that really had a big impact on everything else that I’ve done since. For a number of years, I’ve been reflecting on that situation, where you feel powerless in response to what has happened to you. And the idea of what we’ve seen emerging over the last few years, you know, fewer and fewer people get into more and more power. Having a first-hand experience being on the other end of that is something that I wanted to somehow address and engage in. The way I did that, in the job was through empowerment, I wanted to become more active in providing my employees with an opportunity to take decisions in their own hand and be empowered to do so it has a bit of a satisfying element to know that you are, you know, a leader that others look up to, you know, and go to for decisions. But in the end, you know, what is even more satisfying is if you can pass on knowledge and decision making power to people that are closest to the process. And that is something that I have enjoyed, and in many ways plays into the concept of decentralization, because I’ve tried to actively engage to flatten the hierarchy, that I come less of a factor as a leader, but rather put the decision making power into the hands of those on the processes. So when I engaged in The Graph, and saw this decentralized nature, where I could literally walk in from nowhere, and engage in protocol, and governance discussions and influence decision making, just like everyone else can. To me, that was an extremely powerful experience. And that is, I think, what has drawn me the most to the The Graph.

Why did you make some really interesting points there. And I think the one I’d like to come back to just ask a follow up is this relationship between decentralization, which I agree with you is so important, and I think you articulated why it is in a very helpful way. But decentralization also comes with a lot of personal responsibility. Well, how would you think through that balance of advocating for decentralization, but also encouraging people to take personal responsibility and contribute?

Yeah, decentralization requires people to take initiative. And I have also learned, going back to the idea of empowerment, that some people love it, and others don’t. And that is, that is fine. I think The Graph as a protocol and ecosystem and Web 3 overall, is for people that love to take initiative, you know, take destiny in their own hand and contribute in positive and meaningful ways. I don’t think you’ll find many job descriptions out there in Web 3 that tell you exactly what it is that you are doing, where you have a bullet point description that defines the scope of responsibility very neatly. It’s an entrepreneurial sort of environment. And it certainly, you know, invites and incentivizes those that want to take initiative and I think that’s a key ingredient for everyone wanting to engage in Web 3.

So I want to talk a little bit more about your personal engagement with The Graph community. Before you took this formal role at The Graph Foundation, how were you first getting involved in interacting with The Graph community?

I started out in the delegated community and that’s also where I’ve engaged the most in the first few months I was within The Graph promotes and was an admin there. And I really engaged in educating others that came to the project with a similar background as myself to help explaining how the protocol and ecosystem works. And that is a part that I truly enjoy it it’s, it kind of came natural to me because as a product manager in the past, that was a critical role that that I performed as well and from The Graph and I then progressed to engage in the network you know, more broadly in governance discussions in different forums and Discord. I wanted to get deeper into the weeds that’s what really drove my engagement of The Graph.

For listeners that are familiar with who or what the Graphtronauts are, do you mind just taking a second there and telling people what The Graphtronauts is,

The Graphtronauts organize themselves in a Telegram chat called The Graphtronauts, and they focus really on helping to educate Delegators that many times, like myself come in with a non-technical background to help them understand how The Graph works, but also how the delegation process works, how to select Indexers, they have created an index a review page that they have on their own website. And that is helpful in for delegates to understand how to select indexes from just a quantitative view. And at the same time raising you know the importance of also engaging with Indexers as they make delegation decisions. As we’ve heard from other speakers before, it is important to understand who you delegate to, who the Indexer is, personal relationships definitely help also giving you some peace of mind and confidence that you make the right delegation decisions

You and I first met in The Graphtronauts community when you weren’t at The Graph Foundation, and I’ve met other members of The Graphtronauts team. And I really want to encourage listeners that want to learn more about them. And some of the resources they make available to check it out the Graphtronauts on Telegram there’s a lot of helpful voices there and a lot of support if you need it. So all for turning our attention then to your work at The Graph Foundation, what’s your current role at the Foundation?

I’m an ecosystem manager with a focus on governance. So my role really is, you know, around ecosystem engagement. And as I said before, the job description at The Graph doesn’t come in a neat form, you engage in a number of different ways. Certainly curation has been a focus area for myself, since we’ve launched curation about a month ago. And you know, really helping that community alone to express you know, the experience and in a constructive way so that it can flow into governance discussions that are aimed to improve the Curator experience, and that is a key area that I’m engaged in to facilitate the discussions and help moving things along.

Well, I want to come back to that piece then about governance then some listeners may not be familiar with the role that governance plays in protocols like The Graph, but if you had to describe what is meant by governance, how would you do that?

You know, one way to look at it is that decision making at The Graph is decentralized. And when you, you know, think about, you know, a job that you have in a centralized world, oftentimes you see decision making going up the hierarchy and coming also back down. When you are in a decentralized network, like we are at The Graph, we are looking to get the community involved as much as we can, in order to arrive at decisions that we mutually agree on. And that’s where the governance process kicks in. And what I just described is the off chain governance process, right, when we talk about Graph Improvement Proposals, you know, to the protocol, etc. There are also on chain governance parameters that we have. And part of how we looking at on chain versus off chain is, as much as we can by default, we want to govern the protocol by on chain parameters, as it minimizes sort of the single point of error, which is the human, humans have proven not to be the most efficient decision makers in the past and we want to use on chain main protocol parameters as much as we can for governance.

One thing that Delegators either don’t understand or take full advantage of is that if you own GRT, you can participate in governance, and these types of initiatives. Would you mind just taking a moment and just describing how that process actually works? How a Delegator could actually participate alongside you and others that are interested in governance.

One thing to look out for, first of all, is a forum that we have, and that’s where governance discussions take place. And as we are gaining momentum in for certain proposals, then you will see what we call GIP’s emerging, which stands for Graph Improvement Proposals. As we march long in our discussions, we will then reach a point where we are looking to have the community to vote on proposals. And that comes in the form of snapshot voting. And when we do these votes, we also then look at the background of each voter. Whether they are an Indexer, Delegator Curator was simply a holder. And the way we currently weigh the voting is that network participants such as Indexers and Delegators, get higher weighting in the vote than just regular GRT holder who’s not participating in the network. Naturally, the reasons for that are twofold. One, we want to send device engagement in the network. And B is also I think, fairly accurate to say that those who are invested in the network also have a higher interest in protocol decisions and voting.

You bring up The Graph forum, and in the context of governance, you’ve recently published a post in the forum on this topic of decentralization, and a concern that’s kind of cropped up over time about making sure that stake remains decentralized. And I’m gonna do my best to describe that. And then I’d like for you, if you don’t mind to tell us a little bit more about the post and some of the questions you raised. But the concern is that if you have a protocol, like The Graph, where you have Indexers that are having delegated stake GRT to you might run into a decentralization issue. If only one or two of the Indexers receive all the stake and a whole bunch of other Indexers don’t, then so you want to I guess theoretically, if decentralization is important, you want to make sure that the staking of GRT happens evenly across Indexers. Did I summarize your post well, and what other things that you think are important to hit on there?

Yeah, and it’s for those reasons that you’ve mentioned, it is important to for the security of the network. The more Indexers that we have participating in the network as Indexers, the more secure the network becomes. And that also extends to the stake. And, you know, besides the security element, it also has economic impacts. And I’ve mentioned that in the post as well, interesting dynamic that we’ve been seeing ever since curation launch, is that when a large Indexer moves their stake around and allocates to a subgraph heavily, it can change the dynamics for a smaller index or who’s already on it quite drastically, even to the point where they might have to reverse You know, this location decisions and may have to go elsewhere. These are just normal behaviors that Indexers do. There’s nothing malicious about, you know, and a large index of doing something like that. And it creates problems not just for small indexes, but for large indexes. Like, you know, we have a lot of great Indexers. And there is awareness with large Indexers. And around these dynamics to, and from what I glean is that they’re not necessarily happy with those types of dynamics. So they to have an interest in terms of how can we become more decentralized. What I’ve posted in the forum is really future oriented. What I want the community encouraged thinking about is, as we get more stake into our network through new delegations, how can we help for those Delegators to make delegation decisions with decentralization more in mind? That’s a discussion that I’d like to stimulate. And I look forward to the discussions with the community.

Well, I really want to encourage listeners to go back and read that post, because I think it does a couple things. Number one, I think it really highlights an important issue that’s top of mind for a lot of people participating in The Graph. And number two, I really think it’s a very strong template. For anyone that wants to go into the forum and write a proposal or create a post, it’s well researched, it’s smart, it’s objective, and it is intended to create a lot of discussion. So for those two reasons, I would really encourage listeners to go and check it out. And in addition to this post, and working on governance initiatives, you and I have started working a little bit more closely because you are involved with an initiative called Community Talk. So I want to take a minute here and give you the opportunity. What is Community Talk, what’s the objective with it, and who do you want to have participate.

So we love for everyone to participate. That’s, I think, the most important part, what we have arrived at, I think, with what used to be the Town Hall meeting in the past is that we had too many things to talk about to be able to squeeze all of that into one hour. So we have broken out the core devs meeting and the Community Talk. So the cove devs meeting typically takes place the first week of the month, and the Community Talk typically takes place third week of the month. The core devs team meeting, we focus on protocol and governance discussions that are more technical in nature. And in the Community Talk we focus on sort of like the news of The Graph. We want to provide the community with broad based updates on everything that is relevant around community and ecosystem. We want to spend a little bit more time to be able to provide more insights into specific topics, whether it’s indexing, whether it’s delegating, whether it’s curating that we have the opportunity as a community to learn together. We also have, in addition to the news, we also want to dive deeper into specific topics and segments that could be reflecting on an announcement or a release that we’ve made recently. And that could be an educational segment where we all have the ability to gain more insight into specific parts of the protocol or ecosystem. We also want with Community Talk, the community to engage more, so it’s something that we’re experimenting with currently. And the goal here is to hear more directly in the moment from other members of the community, you know, on questions that they might have. Also, if you’re selecting grantee, give us a presentation on a specific topic that you’ve just completed your grant for, for example, I look at it in a way, also, as a way for community members to introduce themselves. Oftentimes, we only communicate in social forums on Telegram and Discord. We don’t have discussions, we don’t hear the voices of others. So it is an opportunity for other members in the community to speak up, and to give themselves essentially a platform to introduce themselves. So we if you look, for example, at our first Community Talk, we have James and Derrick, part of the discussions. And they presented their feedback and insights of Curator experience. And I think it was a great way for them to not only bring us deeper into that subject, and help us understand it better. But it also helped us you know, getting to know them. And I think that is an important part of what we want to accomplish with Community Talk as well.

So for any listener that’s non-technical and doesn’t necessarily want to get lost in the weeds of what The Graph is. Community Talk is an incredible forum where you can go and join and meet likeminded people, but also get a very nice non-technical, highly education oriented introduction to The Graph and important topics within the community. At the time of this recording, Oliver, How often is committee talk taking place? And how can listeners find it and participate,

You can participate by following any of the links that we share in Discord, we will also share it on Twitter beforehand, as well as in the forum. And we are going to have it once a month on typically every third week of the month.

Well, Oliver, I think listeners will be very intrigued by your evolution at The Graph starting off as a Delegator new to crypto, and then now holding a more formal position with The Graph foundation. And along that journey, I’d be curious to know, what have you learned about The Graph community?

A number of things, I think, yeah, ever since I’ve joined the foundation, it’s sort of accelerated, and you know, my exposure to other members in the community as well. And that is probably the part that I’m most impressed with, you know, it’s whether we’re talking Indexers core deaths of the foundation members, there’s just so much talent in there, and so much dedication to The Graph. It is amazing to see, and it’s amazing to be part of that process. Another thing that I think is worth highlighting which we as a community, as a whole, have, you know, evolve into I think, is maturity. I’m thinking back to GIP-2 discussions we’ve had in March on something that there was disagreement on and how all that unfolded. And it was really something that impacted many members in the community in a negative way. And today, I’m looking at, for example, the curation launch. And there are there’s feedback that we’re getting, both from the Curator community, and the way we are walking through that process of identifying certain pain points, coming up with ideas providing that back to the community, it is, night and day to what we had experienced in GIP-2, it is highly productive, highly collaborative. And you can get a sense of a true community feel. And it’s just so great to see that progression. It’s something that I think everyone in The Graph community can be proud to be part of.

For those that have followed the podcast, they know that I’ve interviewed other members of The Graph Foundation, I’ve interviewed Eva Beylin. And I interviewed Reem. And now I’m interviewing you, Oliver, I want to give you the opportunity to describe what The Graph foundation is and the team that’s working there to give listeners a better sense of what this entity is and what its role is within the community.

In my view, the best way to look at The Graph foundation is that we are trying to facilitate progress. Big part is progressive decentralization, but also to facilitate, you know, the connectivity within the community, bring people together, making sure everyone has a voice, then we identify areas that may be in need of support, and to really focus on growth of our ecosystem. I think at a high level, that’s how I would describe the foundation, really trying to put our best effort into helping grow the growth of the ecosystem.

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Another question about your work at the foundation I’d like to ask you is are there any common misunderstandings or questions that you seem to come across more than others that you’d like to take the opportunity and dress maybe to a broader audience here on the podcast?

One of the things I feel I hear about and it goes back to decentralization is when people might point, you know, with an inquiry or pin point that they express to The Graph as an entity. Now, why is The Graph doing this? Why did we decide that? What is The Graph team doing? And I think Yaniv described it earlier this year. The Graph is not a, an organization itself. The Graph is all of us. And that is something that we also want to promote. We live in a decentralized world. When you see the foundation engage, it might just be because we see this an opportunity where there is a gap. You know, there’s something that we need to engage in or to move things along. It’s not always because this is what we want, but it’s just because there’s a need for it. And I encourage everyone to step up and to take initiative. This is how I came about and this community as well. Everyone who wants to engage is welcome to engage, whether it is for protocol discussions, governance decisions. And you know, that is something that I will continue to encourage people in the community.

Well, you’ve referenced this a couple times in some of your prior answers, but I want to come back and ask you about curation. Obviously, the launch of curation was a huge deal for The Graph community. And I think we’re still learning things about that process, but certainly an important step towards full decentralization. What are your thoughts and perspectives on the rollout of curation services and some of the things that you’ve seen happening?

First of all, I think we’ve seen an amazing Curator community emerging very quickly, with a lot of talented folks that have come out and really have taken the lead on many of the, you know, curator experience enhancement discussions. So that that, to me is the biggest positive thing, and something that excites me to see having emerged. And I think we are in the process of really understanding of what is the Curators role within the protocol? And there are a lot of healthy discussions going on in that area right now. And also discussions on how do we get from the transition period that we are in right now? Something that we consider more steady state? And how can we help make that happen? So there are a lot of ideas being shared right now within the community. And I look forward to help you know, structuring those ideas to maybe specific proposals for the governance process.

As I’ve thought through the different stakeholder roles within The Graph community, I’ve always kind of thought that the Delegator role could be somebody who’s non-technical, but wants to participate in the community and take an active role in helping secure the network. I’ve seen the role of an Indexer more technical, more of a DevOps type of situation where you’ve got to have some hardware and some technical chops to pull it off. This Curation role seems to me to be more in line with that of an Indexer than a Delegator. How do you think through that?

Yes, and no. I think that from a sort of an expertise perspective, if you say that part of the Curators job is to go through the code and see, you know, how, what is the quality of that code? Then? Yeah, you are more on the technical side. But I think there is something non-technical about it, where it’s really about identifying sort of like basic things about a subgraph, as it relates to: Is it connected to the data? What is the expected volume? And what sort of revenue do we collect to see? To me that is sort of a core part of Curators job description. And I don’t think that you necessarily need a technical background for that. So I do believe that, you know, Delegators currently thinking about curation, I think that that was very much open, but it’s certainly coming with more risks than delegation. So for anyone who doesn’t know curation at this point in time, I highly encouraged first read up on how curation works, the risks that you know, occur on the Bonding Curve, you know, the potential gains as well as the losses that you can have there. That is a really important to understand to that extent, curation takes a little bit more time to pick up before I would recommend engaging in that role.

Well, now comes the part of the podcast where I like to ask you some definitional questions or how you think through different concepts. Part of the reason I like to ask these questions is because I think it’s so helpful when someone has a non-technical background, and has evolved and grown within the community. They can help listeners with their own perspective of these really important concepts, understand them and feel more confident about engaging in the community. So I want to start with how you think through her would describe The Graph to a non-technical person.

The Google of blockchain is certainly a very relevant phrase, even though it does not exactly match up. So for a non-technical person to understand, you know, what The Graph does for Web 3, it has that similar sort of impact, like Google has, as well, in that blockchain needs Indexing protocols in order to access and index there, you know, efficiently. And that is the role that The Graph plays.

Well another concept I bring up all the time on the podcast is this idea of what a subgraph is, and again, a very central component of what The Graph does and the technology in the protocols. So how then do you think about what a subgraph is?

Yeah, you have received many good explanation for what a subgraph is, including a restaurant example, which I really love. Because my passion is with cooking. But I want to go at it from a Web 2 developers point of view. I’ve worked with a ton of Web 2 developers in the past, maybe some of them are listening. So let me explain it from their point of view, I think, for web to developer subgraphs are like the door that gets you from Web 2, to Web 3. If you are a developer, a database engineer, and you don’t know where to start exploring what Web 3 can offer you. subgraph development can be that starting point, we have a lot of educational content available at The Graph to get you up to speed on coding and great community support as well. You can start by doing this part time to find out if that is something that excites you, subgraph development. If it does, The Graph provides you with a framework to create your own job, you can build your reputation as a subgraph dev within the Web 3 space, you can offer these services to other dApps who are need for subgraphs and can get compensated for building them. We have some upcoming protocol enhancements that are likely to come, I believe, which will also further support that type of business model. Deploy and signal provides the opportunity for further incentives by engaging as a Curator in projects that you strongly believe in but getting first on the bonding curve. Another one is change of ownership, which will allow transferring subgraph ownership back to the dApp, once the subgraph development is complete, and your work is done. I think this is an amazing opportunity for many Web 2 devs that are interested in Web 3 in an area that I would anticipate to see a lot of growth in the coming weeks and months.

Well, another question I like to ask guests is how they think about this idea of what Web 3 is, I think it’s a buzzword, it gets used a lot. But not everybody can wrap their minds around what Web 3 is. So I’d like to ask you, how do you define or think about what Web 3 is?

I truly believe Web 3 is the future. And one key reason for that is I feel that just the way blockchains and decentralized protocols are designed is much more in line with how Generation Y and Z just thinks about life in general, when I just looked at my last two years professional business experience that I’ve had prior to joining The Graph, I have worked with a lot of emerging leaders, you know, from that generations, and I’ve seen a very different mindset to the traditional views of transparency. In particular, there’s so much more of a push to be open with your information, to share it in an effort to arrive at better solutions and results. Whereas traditionally, it might have been viewed as a trade secret these days is just being demanded more to be made available. And that is very much in line with how Web 3 is being designed the protocols that you see. And that is something I believe more and more people over time will identify with and that the adoption will just occur naturally.

Well as someone who started off with an investment interest in crypto and kind of came into The Graph, and now you’re at The Graph Foundation, and you’re very important and well respected voice within The Graph community. I’d be curious what your advice is now for people that are going about selecting an Indexer? Because I’m sure just like me, the way you approach that question early on, versus how you would approach that now is entirely different. So what’s your advice for Delegators? When selecting an Indexer?

It is a great question and one that I know it has been answered. And you want to go back to the idea of know your Indexer right, that is something that we have a regular initiative around. If the forum we already have over 15 Indexers that have been presented with a profile and deeper Q and A’s that allow you to get to know that Indexer better. I personally feel that interacting with Indexers. And that doesn’t necessarily mean direct interaction, but just observing conversations that Indexers have gives me a lot of information about sort of like you know, the personality and the character of an Indexer. And see I go down to that level where I feel this is an Indexer that I feel personally connected to that is an Indexer that is helping other Indexers that is an Indexer that that knows a lot was a net contributor, you know in discussions on a frequent basis. That gives me confidence in that That Indexer knows what they’re doing very well. And that is something that you can follow on Discord. There are many channels where Indexers are very actively engaged in conversations, the Indexer channel, the Indexer to the Delegator channel as well. Those are typically the ones where you see them the most interacting with one another. And that’s just something I would recommend. Try to find that personal connection with Indexers.

All over with everything you’ve learned about The Graph, The Graph community and the potential of this project. If you could go back in time and tell yourself in 20, when you are first getting acquainted with crypto, something about The Graph, what do you think the most important thing you would want to tell your past self that, you know, now?

Get engaged earlier? And, and heavier? I think that for me, it might have taken a little bit of time to truly understand the potential of what The Graph can deliver. And in many ways, you know, we all still learning what The Graph can do. I think most recently, we had a tweet that was suggesting that blockchain can be created in a subgraph. So I think it is just amazing to see the type of potential and innovation that The Graph actually creates. And it is much more than just an indexing protocol. That is certainly true. And I’m excited for the future and to see much more innovation to come about that The Graph will deliver on

Well, let’s double click on that as our final question here. But what is your long term vision for The Graph? In the long run,

I see The Graph being sort of a key component for the infrastructure of Web 3. I also think that we have the opportunity with a The Graph to become the blueprint, for many other dApps to come. That’s part of what I see our role in Web 3, because we have a very mature and active community, we are committed to decentralization, and have already a very advanced protocol design that others can learn from. So governance is something that’s near and dear to my heart. And when we talk about decentralized organizational structures, when we talk about DAOs, there’s a lot more things that we will see happening in terms of discussions and what we are going to implement. And with The Graph being a complex protocol, I think other dApps out there are looking at The Graph to see what we are doing and how successful we are. I think that’s an exciting part of the process. And that is something that I look very much forward to be part of the process.

Well, Oliver, thank you so much for your time. And I really appreciate all the great work you’re doing at The Graph Foundation, and the opportunity to work with you and other great people on Community Talk. So if people want to learn more about your work and work at the Foundation, what’s the best way to follow it?

A number of ways you can reach me via Discord as Oliver Z, as well as Telegram channel and the official chat, The Graph forum where I’m very actively engaged in many different discussions and also on Twitter where you can reach me at @OliverZerhusen there.



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DISCLOSURE: GRTIQ is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any other way connected with The Graph, or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates.  This material has been prepared for information purposes only, and it is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, tax, legal, financial, or investment advice. The content for this material is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The Graph token holders should do their own research regarding individual Indexers and the risks, including objectives, charges, and expenses, associated with the purchase of GRT or the delegation of GRT.