Discussing Our Culture and Hiring Process with Crypto Jobs List
Our CEO Stefan Rust recently had a Twitter Space chat with Crypto Jobs List to discuss Defi, optimizing staking returns, and more. Web3, DeFi, and DAOs have created more jobs in crypto than ever. We discussed the early days of Trusted Node, our hiring process, and our work culture. The discussion has been turned into a podcast which you can listen to below. We’ve also transcribed some of the important parts from the interview if you prefer reading.
- What was the inception of your idea?
Having been in crypto since 2012, I had multiple cryptocurrencies in exchanges. Some, I had in hardware wallets. And one of the things that I found was that if they were in wallets they weren’t earning any rewards I felt I deserved. With exchanges, it was even worse. Some were not passing on the airdrops and other benefits.
In the early days, it was cumbersome to set up everything manually. In some instances, they could only be done through command-line interfaces. Some even required you to set up and maintain a node which is not ideal for average users to get into.
I wanted to make sure users receive their rewards for securing the network and make it easy for people to participate in.
2. What did your team look like when you started?
Initially I pinged a couple of my peers to validate the idea on network validation as it was evolving. As proof of stake networks were getting popular, we saw a clear demand for our product. A few technical discussions evolved into an idea on a napkin. This moved to 10 slides of the problem we are solving, and how we were going to solve it.
I initially found a like-minded technology individual, Robin, CTO of Trusted Node who helped me come up with the initial architecture. Then I found another partner over in Bali who was DeFi-savy. I was fortunate of being the CEO of Bitcoin.com. As I fleshed out the idea further, I found more right people.
3. How many people do you have right now?
At the moment, we’re about 12–15 people. In addition to it, we’ve got 12–15 people in projects associated with Trusted Node. 60% of them are remote, and the remaining 40% are in Hong Kong.
4. What are the challenges of having a part of the team remote and another part offline?
Time Zone and culture is definitely a challenge. On top of it, there are also challenges with delivery, documentation, and communication.
I’m lucky as I worked remotely for most of my career with very little time spent at a headquarter. So I always knew and understood the challenges of running a remote team.
Even in our Hong Kong office, we only have hot desks with lots of meeting rooms and TV screens everywhere for video conferencing. Teams are always coming in and going out whenever needed, and everyone is easily accessible.
We also have a weekly all-hands meeting which can be challenging for people in some time zones. So it is moved every 2 months. Also, when there’s a new team member, I put them on the spot and they have to introduce themselves.
5. As you scaled, what was your hiring process like?
We were always taught in school a rigorous set of questions to ask. But, the most important character I look for in a candidate is a consistent desire to learn. I call it ABL: Always Be Learning. Evolution is really important for human society, and we need to keep adapting.
The other aspect is execution. Especially with remote jobs, we have to be able to rely on each other t get the job done.
6. Do you have any favorite interview questions that you like to ask?
One of my favorite questions is knowing where people want to be in 6–12 months. My view is that 1 day in crypto land is 7 days anywhere else. So if I ask you about 1 year in crypto that’s already 7 years elsewhere. So if you’re new to crypto, I want to know what you want from crypto after a period of 6 months.
I also want to know about their culture. You really need to be deep in the crypto culture to work in it long-term and not in it just to make quick money.
7. You have been in the industry for a long time. Do you have any pet peeves or hate when people say something?
If you’re a developer and don't have a GitHub account, it’s a huge red flag. Similarly, if you’re a designer, I want to see your Figma account or Adobe account.
Similarly, you should also be comfortable with other business tools such as Google Sheets and Google Slides. They form an essential part of communication and workflow in a decentralized fashion.
8. If someone is new to crypto and wants to work in the industry, what would they have to do if they want to stand out while applying to your company?
One thing is that we pay everyone in crypto. You can choose to get paid in a coin like Bitcoin Cash, or a stablecoin. So the candidate should be willing to accept their full salary in crypto. The candidate must be comfortable in the crypto industry. Have they used a collateral vault, or done other activities such as lending, staking, or minting?
The candidate must be knowledgeable in the crypto industry.
9. Who are you guys hiring right now?
We hire in three categories:
Number one is Developers. Software engineers, DevOps, solidity developers, defi developers, and blockchain architects.
Number two is usability. It is usually user experience and designers who can build products that are easy to navigate.
The third and final category is marketing and distribution. People who know how to communicate, grow communities, deal with social media platforms, etc. Communication and marketing are very important for any crypto company.
About Trusted Node
Trusted Node is creating a validator network for proof-of-stake and next-generation blockchains. It allows for professional stewardship of the network while providing yields to stakeholders who participate in the decision-making around nodes in the network infrastructure.
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