I agree with the need to ensure groups are aligned more by expertise than by affinity. For what it’s worth, I can attest to the relative (if not perfect) independence of members on two of the three DeFi committee groups proposed. From what I can gather, the Tooling committee is similarly broad in its composition.
Although I believe with more participation and formalization in governance we could/should explore this format you’re proposed, I’m personally comfortable with the arrangement we currently have as a first step to evaluate later.
The defi group led by Katie Garcia - which has plenty of expertise - has a couple Maker vets, a seasoned defi investor and advisor in Linda Xie, Flipside Crypto, from whom I’ve personally seen some fantastic work, and Stablenode, which has broad governance & defi cred. My sense is that there’s enough diversity in background and interest here as well as deep commitment to best practices to more than ease fears about too tight a perspective.
My impression of the proposed tooling committee is that it’s similarly broad in its members’ range of backgrounds.
Although the proposed group led by sugma.eth has a few SNX ambassadors in Mastermojo and Matt, the members are in fact coming from several angles. Sugma has worked with a wide range of protocols and I don’t believe has any particular alignment within Optimism. As for me, I didn’t really know anybody before being asked by sugma to join this group, and in fact Solarcurve’s protocol, Beethoven, could in some respects be considered a competitor of Velodrome. This, by the way, ought to offset concerns about potential conflicts of interest.
However, one point that’s been raised a few times has been sticking in my head - including experts external to the immediate Optimism community, kind of like board advisors. I think strongly recommending the inclusion of such an outside expert could in one fell swoop limit fears about groupthink as well as conflicts of interest, and it could offer existing committees the ability to address perceived gaps in their expertise.
Could also do some member swaps after inking in the groups to ensure broad coverage (eg not multiple ppl from one protocol), though for this iteration I’d almost prioritize easy working relations over strict independence.