Grants Council Reviewer Nominations: Season 5

Michael Vander Meiden Self-Nomination

Council sub-committee: Growth Experiments

If you are a delegate, please provide the link to your delegate commitment: Delegate Commitments [OLD] - #21 by Michael

If you are a delegate, please indicate what % of votable supply is delegated to you: 1.62%

If you are a delegate, please indicate your voting participation rate in OP governance to date:
100% participation since becoming active July 7, 2022

Please link to your voting history and any voting rationale you’ve shared:
The best place to look is my “vote with reason” section under agora, however moving forward I will also populate my delegate communication thread where a longer explanation is required.

Please outline any other contributions to the Optimism ecosystem to date:

  • Community Governance Call Host. This involves creating an agenda, sourcing agenda topics from the community, running the actual calls, and creating recap posts for the calls.
  • Season 3 & 4 Grants Council Member & Season 2 Committee Member
  • Contributor to Optimism codebase (link to pull request )
  • Multiple Educational Videos about Optimism, L2-related EIPs, The OP Stack, and Optimism Protocol Tutorials.
  • Host of The RetroPGF Podcast interviewing contributors to the OP Collective

Do you have a technical background? If so, please elaborate:

  • I worked as a machine learning engineer and have been coding smart contracts for 3 years.
  • I’ve placed in multiple web3 hackathons, including 1st out of 27+ teams (this was the Arbitrum hackathon at Devcon Bogota, lol)
  • Code contributor to Optimsm (link to pull request )
  • Master of Science in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University, focus on machine learning & incentive systems.

Have you previously served on a Token House Council or committee? If so, please specify which:
Yes. Grants councils in Season 3 + 4 and NFT committee in season 2.

Please demonstrate any experience you believe is relevant to this role:
During my tenure as a member of the Grants Council in Season 3 & 4, I followed through on my commitment and plans made before the season in a number of ways. Through strong feedback, projects under my review altered their grant requests to create stronger milestones-based targets for their proposals. They shifted away from mercenary-style grants and more towards community engagement grants with a long-term focus. In many cases, I also worked with proposers to drastically reduce the size of their grant.

Consumer facing product manager at high-growth tech startup, learned how to understand and capture users.

Crypto educator. 350k+ views on YouTube, ability to communicate complex topics to a youtube audience

Technical ability: contributor to Optimism codebase, machine learning engineer, smart contract dev

Please demonstrate expertise relevant to your Council sub-committee: Having served 2 seasons on the growth experiments sub-committee, I have accumulated a lot of knowledge that will be valuable moving forward. First, general ecosystem context and being able to understand how each proposal fits into the broader ecosystem. Next, communication and how to provide constructive feedback to the proposers while still making sure they are satisfied with the grants council experience. In addition to what I’ve learned on the grants council, growth experiments were a key part of my work as a product manager, and understanding what gets web3 users interested about crypto was a key learning from my youtube channel.

Please describe your philosophy on what makes a good Governance Fund grant:
Guiding Principle: Grants should be an efficient use of funds to drive us closer to the Optimistic Vision.

Specific things I’d like to see with grant proposals:

  • Clear milestones with milestone unlocks.
  • Definition of what “success” of grant use would be, with trackable metrics.
  • Accomplishes something that would be difficult to accomplish without the grant (bootstrapping liquidity, competitions, meetups, education)
  • Solid logic for why grant will push forward the goals of Intent #2.

What types of Mission Requests do you think will help achieve the Season 5 Intents?
While we don’t quite have all of the intents published, here are some ideas that I like:

  • supporting account abstraction wallets
  • projects/applications that bring brand new users to crypto
  • auditing services for projects on Optimism
  • analysis that lets us better see the effectiveness of previous grants and frameworks for judging future grants/projects

Please disclose any anticipated conflicts of interest:
I have my own educational youtube channel, am soon launching, and have a sizeable delegation from a16z as part of their delegation program.

Please verify that you agree to abide by the Code of Conduct: Yes.

Please verify that you understand KYC will be required to receive Council rewards at the end of Season 5: Yes.

Please verify that you are able to commit ~20 hours / week to reviewing grant applications and other Council operations: Yes.