Chris is joining the team to enhance the product development process even further
Latest interviewee in our Team Interviews is Chris, Aragon's new Product Manager! We dive into his thoughts of how Ethereum and Aragon can help change the world for the better, what steps we can take to make creating Aragon an even better process and his philosophy on life.
Past team interviews:
Hi Chris, glad to have you as a part of the Aragon team!
Could you tell us who you are and how you got into the blockchain space?
I'm Chris and joined Aragon to manage the product development process. My career has been a long and diverse one. I've had my own companies and worked for other people's companies.
I spent much of my career doing the work I thought I had to do. Now I'm feeling grateful to do the work I want to do. The transition between the two is what I call Just Rolling With It.
Blockchain and Ethereum are a big part of the transition. Blockchain in general and Ethereum more specifically are the first technology concepts to awaken my curiosity in a very long time.
How I got into blockchain is another, but a rather long, story that I've written about before for those interested in reading about it. I've been the volunteer Ethereum Name Service (ENS) Project Manager since its launch last year. I first met Jorge at the ENS workshop last summer. It's that connection that led me to Aragon.
Besides meeting Jorge, what made you decide you wanted to work on Aragon?
Our world is broken in many fundamental ways. The centralization of power for personal gain keeps it fragmented.
Centralized power encourages the divergence between individual and shared interests. Decentralized power encourages the convergence of individual and shared interests.
Aragon is building tools to decentralize power. These tools can allow more people to organize in ways that weren't possible before.
My hope is this leads to a convergence of individual and shared interests.
What are your thoughts about Ethereum? How do you see its potential to change the world?
It's more that a store of value. It's a tool that allows a community to create on top of it.
I'm interested in projects building the infrastructure layer right now. Projects that peak my interest today focus on private key management, privacy in general and scalability.
I'm also very interested in bridging the gap between complex technical solutions and non-technical users. For example, I see ENS as a tool that makes Ethereum easier to use. It's tools like this that will help drive end-user adoption.
I can see it disrupt areas anywhere that self-serving monopolies and oligopolies exist at the expense of others. Examples that come to mind include finance, governance, and anywhere a third party owns and controls user data. Democratizing power and restoring democracy at the individual level are the aspects I think it can affect the most.
All and all, I see a lot of potential in the decentralized Internet over the current system. At first they'll coexist. Then Web 3 will begin replacing Web 2, eventually surpassing it. It may take a generation or two for that to happen though.
Being a Product Manager, what are your key points in helping Aragon realize its full potential?
Especially in the case of Aragon and being a community driven project, it's critical to communicate a clear vision. This starts during the hiring process. It continues through the project's evolution. It's also important to recognize the vision may adjust along the way. While the vision may adjust, the project's core fundamentals will and should still exist.
I look forward to structuring the product development process. My hope is the structure increases the process' efficiency, velocity and predictability. Doing this will also establish and maintain alignment between what the community needs and what we build.
I consider establishing and maintaining a beneficial balance between enough process to enable innovation without stifling or constricting to be imperative. Don't implement a process for the sake of process. Use the lightest touch possible and be conscious of why the process is there and what purpose its intended to serve.
Then it's important to create an empowering environment. This environment should allow individuals to realize their potential, while pursuing shared goals. In this comes a recognition that methods vary on an individual level. They converge on shared goals, aligned with the vision. The environment should support varying methods, as long as they achieve the shared goals.
I also believe its important to maintain a sense of wellness among the team along the way. Encouraging a virtuous cycle of productivity and wellness is how I plan do it.
What are the things that you personally hold in value outside of your work?
Spending time with my wife and young son is at the top of the list. Doing this gives me a new appreciation for a broad spectrum of activities. Other than that, spending time pursuing my hobbies and sleeping at least 7.5 hours a night rounds out my existence.
In addition, I'm a cyclist and ride 1,000's of miles a year. I try and practice yoga on a regular basis. I also meditate daily, usually twice a day. I'm very interested in natural and holistic health and wellness. I enjoy reading and music too. The latter two span broad categories of interest, best defined by my Goodreads list, SoundCloud, Mixcloud and Spotify accounts.