Integrity
Write
Loading...
Rajesh Gupta

Rajesh Gupta

1 year ago

Why Is It So Difficult to Give Up Smoking?

More on Personal Growth

Simon Ash

Simon Ash

1 year ago

The Three Most Effective Questions for Ongoing Development

The Traffic Light Approach to Reviewing Personal, Team and Project Development

Photo by Tim Gouw via Pexels

What needs improvement? If you want to improve, you need to practice your sport, musical instrument, habit, or work project. You need to assess your progress.

Continuous improvement is the foundation of focused practice and a growth mentality. Not just individually. High-performing teams pursue improvement. Right? Why is it hard?

As a leadership coach, senior manager, and high-level athlete, I've found three key questions that may unlock high performance in individuals and teams.

Problems with Reviews

Reviewing and improving performance is crucial, however I hate seeing review sessions in my diary. I rarely respond to questionnaire pop-ups or emails. Why?

Time constrains. Requests to fill out questionnaires often state they will take 10–15 minutes, but I can think of a million other things to do with that time. Next, review overload. Businesses can easily request comments online. No matter what you buy, someone will ask for your opinion. This bombardment might make feedback seem bad, which is bad.

The problem is that we might feel that way about important things like personal growth and work performance. Managers and team leaders face a greater challenge.

When to Conduct a Review

We must be wise about reviewing things that matter to us. Timing and duration matter. Reviewing the experience as quickly as possible preserves information and sentiments. Time must be brief. The review's importance and size will determine its length. We might only take a few seconds to review our morning coffee, but we might require more time for that six-month work project.

These post-event reviews should be supplemented by periodic reflection. Journaling can help with daily reflections, but I also like to undertake personal reviews every six months on vacation or at a retreat.

As an employee or line manager, you don't want to wait a year for a performance assessment. Little and frequently is best, with a more formal and in-depth assessment (typically with a written report) in 6 and 12 months.

The Easiest Method to Conduct a Review Session

I follow Einstein's review process:

“Make things as simple as possible but no simpler.”

Thus, it should be brief but deliver the necessary feedback. Quality critique is hard to receive if the process is overly complicated or long.

I have led or participated in many review processes, from strategic overhauls of big organizations to personal goal coaching. Three key questions guide the process at either end:

  • What ought to stop being done?

  • What should we do going forward?

  • What should we do first?

Following the Rule of 3, I compare it to traffic lights. Red, amber, and green lights:

  • Red What ought should we stop?

  • Amber What ought to we keep up?

  • Green Where should we begin?

This approach is easy to understand and self-explanatory, however below are some examples under each area.

Red What ought should we stop?

As a team or individually, we must stop doing things to improve.

Sometimes they're bad. If we want to lose weight, we should avoid sweets. If a team culture is bad, we may need to stop unpleasant behavior like gossiping instead of having difficult conversations.

Not all things we should stop are wrong. Time matters. Since it is finite, we sometimes have to stop nice things to focus on the most important. Good to Great author Jim Collins famously said:

“Don’t let the good be the enemy of the great.”

Prioritizing requires this idea. Thus, decide what to stop to prioritize.

Amber What ought to we keep up?

Should we continue with the amber light? It helps us decide what to keep doing during review. Many items fall into this category, so focus on those that make the most progress.

Which activities have the most impact? Which behaviors create the best culture? Success-building habits?

Use these questions to find positive momentum. These are the fly-wheel motions, according to Jim Collins. The Compound Effect author Darren Hardy says:

“Consistency is the key to achieving and maintaining momentum.”

What can you do consistently to reach your goal?

Green Where should we begin?

Finally, green lights indicate new beginnings. Red/amber difficulties may be involved. Stopping a red issue may give you more time to do something helpful (in the amber).

This green space inspires creativity. Kolbs learning cycle requires active exploration to progress. Thus, it's crucial to think of new approaches, try them out, and fail if required.

This notion underpins lean start-build, up's measure, learn approach and agile's trying, testing, and reviewing. Try new things until you find what works. Thomas Edison, the lighting legend, exclaimed:

“There is a way to do it better — find it!”

Failure is acceptable, but if you want to fail forward, look back on what you've done.

John Maxwell concurred with Edison:

“Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward”

A good review procedure lets us accomplish that. To avoid failure, we must act, experiment, and reflect.

Use the traffic light system to prioritize queries. Ask:

  • Red What needs to stop?

  • Amber What should continue to occur?

  • Green What might be initiated?

Take a moment to reflect on your day. Check your priorities with these three questions. Even if merely to confirm your direction, it's a terrific exercise!

Darius Foroux

Darius Foroux

1 year ago

My financial life was changed by a single, straightforward mental model.

Prioritize big-ticket purchases

I've made several spending blunders. I get sick thinking about how much money I spent.

My financial mental model was poor back then.

Stoicism and mindfulness keep me from attaching to those feelings. It still hurts.

Until four or five years ago, I bought a new winter jacket every year.

Ten years ago, I spent twice as much. Now that I have a fantastic, warm winter parka, I don't even consider acquiring another one. No more spending. I'm not looking for jackets either.

Saving time and money by spending well is my thinking paradigm.

The philosophy is expressed in most languages. Cheap is expensive in the Netherlands. This applies beyond shopping.

In this essay, I will offer three examples of how this mental paradigm transformed my financial life.

Publishing books

In 2015, I presented and positioned my first book poorly.

I called the book Huge Life Success and made a funny Canva cover in 30 minutes. This:

That looks nothing like my present books. No logo or style. The book felt amateurish.

The book started bothering me a few weeks after publication. The advice was good, but it didn't appear professional. I studied the book business extensively.

I created a style for all my designs. Branding. Win Your Inner Wars was reissued a year later.

Title, cover, and description changed. Rearranging the chapters improved readability.

Seven years later, the book sells hundreds of copies a month. That taught me a lot.

Rushing to finish a project is enticing. Send it and move forward.

Avoid rushing everything. Relax. Develop your projects. Perform well. Perform the job well.

My first novel was underfunded and underworked. A bad book arrived. I then invested time and money in writing the greatest book I could.

That book still sells.

Traveling

I hate travel. Airports, flights, trains, and lines irritate me.

But, I enjoy traveling to beautiful areas.

I do it strangely. I make up travel rules. I never go to airports in summer. I hate being near airports on holidays. Unworthy.

No vacation packages for me. Those airline packages with a flight, shuttle, and hotel. I've had enough.

I try to avoid crowds and popular spots. July Paris? Nuts and bolts, please. Christmas in NYC? No, please keep me sane.

I fly business class behind. I accept upgrades upon check-in. I prefer driving. I drove from the Netherlands to southern Spain.

Thankfully, no lines. What if travel costs more? Thus? I enjoy it from the start. I start traveling then.

I rarely travel since I'm so difficult. One great excursion beats several average ones.

Personal effectiveness

New apps, tools, and strategies intrigue most productivity professionals.

No.

I researched years ago. I spent years investigating productivity in university.

I bought books, courses, applications, and tools. It was expensive and time-consuming.

Im finished. Productivity no longer costs me time or money. OK. I worked on it once and now follow my strategy.

I avoid new programs and systems. My stuff works. Why change winners?

Spending wisely saves time and money.

Spending wisely means spending once. Many people ignore productivity. It's understudied. No classes.

Some assume reading a few articles or a book is enough. Productivity is personal. You need a personal system.

Time invested is one-time. You can trust your system for life once you find it.

Concentrate on the expensive choices.

Life's short. Saving money quickly is enticing.

Spend less on groceries today. True. That won't fix your finances.

Adopt a lifestyle that makes you affluent over time. Consider major choices.

Are they causing long-term poverty? Are you richer?

Leasing cars comes to mind. The automobile costs a fortune today. The premium could accomplish a million nice things.

Focusing on important decisions makes life easier. Consider your future. You want to improve next year.

John Rampton

John Rampton

1 year ago

Ideas for Samples of Retirement Letters

Ready to quit full-time? No worries.

Baby Boomer retirement has accelerated since COVID-19 began. In 2020, 29 million boomers retire. Over 3 million more than in 2019. 75 million Baby Boomers will retire by 2030.

First, quit your work to enjoy retirement. Leave a professional legacy. Your retirement will start well. It all starts with a retirement letter.

Retirement Letter

Retirement letters are formal resignation letters. Different from other resignation letters, these don't tell your employer you're leaving. Instead, you're quitting.

Since you're not departing over grievances or for a better position or higher income, you may usually terminate the relationship amicably. Consulting opportunities are possible.

Thank your employer for their support and give them transition information.

Resignation letters aren't merely a formality. This method handles wages, insurance, and retirement benefits.

Retirement letters often accompany verbal notices to managers. Schedule a meeting before submitting your retirement letter to discuss your plans. The letter will be stored alongside your start date, salary, and benefits in your employee file.

Retirement is typically well-planned. Employers want 6-12 months' notice.

Summary

  • Guidelines for Giving Retirement Notice

  • Components of a Successful Retirement Letter

  • Template for Retirement Letter

  • Ideas for Samples of Retirement Letters

  • First Example of Retirement Letter

  • Second Example of Retirement Letter

  • Third Example of Retirement Letter

  • Fourth Example of Retirement Letter

  • Fifth Example of Retirement Letter

  • Sixth Example of Retirement Letter

  • Seventh Example of Retirement Letter

  • Eighth Example of Retirement Letter

  • Ninth Example of Retirement Letter

  • Tenth Example of Retirement Letter

  • Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. What is a letter of retirement?

  • 2. Why should you include a letter of retirement?

  • 3. What information ought to be in your retirement letter?

  • 4. Must I provide notice?

  • 5. What is the ideal retirement age?

Guidelines for Giving Retirement Notice

While starting a new phase, you're also leaving a job you were qualified for. You have years of experience. So, it may not be easy to fill a retirement-related vacancy.

Talk to your boss in person before sending a letter. Notice is always appreciated. Properly announcing your retirement helps you and your organization transition.

How to announce retirement:

  • Learn about the retirement perks and policies offered by the company. The first step in figuring out whether you're eligible for retirement benefits is to research your company's retirement policy.

  • Don't depart without providing adequate notice. You should give the business plenty of time to replace you if you want to retire in a few months.

  • Help the transition by offering aid. You could be a useful resource if your replacement needs training.

  • Contact the appropriate parties. The original copy should go to your boss. Give a copy to HR because they will manage your 401(k), pension, and health insurance.

  • Investigate the option of working as a consultant or part-time. If you desire, you can continue doing some limited work for the business.

  • Be nice to others. Describe your achievements and appreciation. Additionally, express your gratitude for giving you the chance to work with such excellent coworkers.

  • Make a plan for your future move. Simply updating your employer on your goals will help you maintain a good working relationship.

  • Use a formal letter or email to formalize your plans. The initial step is to speak with your supervisor and HR in person, but you must also give written notice.

Components of a Successful Retirement Letter

To write a good retirement letter, keep in mind the following:

  • A formal salutation. Here, the voice should be deliberate, succinct, and authoritative.

  • Be specific about your intentions. The key idea of your retirement letter is resignation. Your decision to depart at this time should be reflected in your letter. Remember that your intention must be clear-cut.

  • Your deadline. This information must be in resignation letters. Laws and corporate policies may both stipulate a minimum amount of notice.

  • A kind voice. Your retirement letter shouldn't contain any resentments, insults, or other unpleasantness. Your letter should be a model of professionalism and grace. A straightforward thank you is a terrific approach to accomplish that.

  • Your ultimate goal. Chaos may start to happen as soon as you turn in your resignation letter. Your position will need to be filled. Additionally, you will have to perform your obligations up until a successor is found. Your availability during the interim period should be stated in your resignation letter.

  • Give us a way to reach you. Even if you aren't consulting, your company will probably get in touch with you at some point. They might send you tax documents and details on perks. By giving your contact information, you can make this process easier.

Template for Retirement Letter

Identify

Title you held

Address

Supervisor's name

Supervisor’s position

Company name

HQ address

Date

[SUPERVISOR],

1.

Inform that you're retiring. Include your last day worked.

2.

Employer thanks. Mention what you're thankful for. Describe your accomplishments and successes.

3.

Helping moves things ahead. Plan your retirement. Mention your consultancy interest.

Sincerely,

[Signature]

First and last name

Phone number

Personal Email

Ideas for Samples of Retirement Letters

First Example of Retirement Letter

Martin D. Carey

123 Fleming St

Bloomfield, New Jersey 07003

(555) 555-1234

June 6th, 2022

Willie E. Coyote

President

Acme Co

321 Anvil Ave

Fairfield, New Jersey 07004

Dear Mr. Coyote,

This letter notifies Acme Co. of my retirement on August 31, 2022.

There has been no other organization that has given me that sense of belonging and purpose.

My fifteen years at the helm of the Structural Design Division have given me‌ ‌a‌ ‌strong sense‌ ‌of‌ ‌purpose. I’ve been fortunate to have your support, and I’ll be always grateful for the opportunity you offered me.

I had a difficult time making this decision. ‌As a result of finding a small property in Arizona where we will be able to spend our remaining days together, my wife and I have decided to officially retire.

In spite of my regret at being unable to contribute to the firm we’ve built, I believe it is wise to move on.

My heart will always belong to Acme Co. ‌Thank you for the opportunity and best of luck in the years to come.

Sincerely,

Martin D. Carey

Second Example of Retirement Letter

Gustavo Fring

Los Pollas Hermanos

12000–12100 Coors Rd SW,

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87045

Dear Mr. Fring,

I write this letter to announce my formal retirement from Los Pollas Hermanos as manager, effective October 15.

As an employee at Los Pollas Hermanos, I appreciate all the great opportunities you have given me. ‌It has been a pleasure to work with and learn from my colleagues for the past 10 years, and I am looking forward to my next challenge.

If there is anything I can do to assist during this time, please let me know.

Sincerely,

Linda T. Crespo

Third Example of Retirement Letter

William M. Arviso

4387 Parkview Drive

Tustin, CA 92680

May 2, 2023

Tony Stark

Owner

Stark Industries

200 Industrial Avenue

Long Beach, CA 90803

Dear Tony:

I’m writing to inform you that my final day of work at Stark Industries will be May14, 2023. ‌When that time comes, I intend‌ ‌to‌ ‌retire.

As I embark on this new chapter in my life, I would like to thank you and the entire Stark Industries team for providing me with so many opportunities. ‌You have all been a pleasure to work with and I will miss you all when I retire.

I am glad to assist you with the transition in any way I can to ensure your new hire has a seamless experience. ‌All ongoing projects will be completed until my retirement date, and all key information will be handed over‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌team.

Once again, thank you for the opportunity to be part of the Stark Industries team. ‌All the best to you and the team in the days to come.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any additional information. ‌In order to finalize my retirement plans, I’ll meet with HR and can provide any details that may be necessary.

Sincerely,

(Signature)

William M. Arviso

Fourth Example of Retirement Letter

Garcia, Barbara

First Street, 5432

New York City, NY 10001

(1234) (555) 123–1234

1 October 2022

Gunther

Owner

Central Perk

199 Lafayette St.

New York City, NY 10001

Mr. Gunther,

The day has finally arrived. ‌As I never imagined, I will be formally retiring from Central Perk on November 1st, 2022.

Considering how satisfied I am with my current position, this may surprise you. ‌It would be best if I retired now since my health has deteriorated, so I think this is a good time to do so.

There is no doubt that the past‌ ‌two‌ ‌decades‌ ‌have‌ ‌been‌ ‌wonderful. ‌Over the years, I have seen a small coffee shop grow into one of the city’s top‌ ‌destinations.

It will be hard for me to leave this firm without wondering what more success we could have achieved. But I’m confident that you and the rest of the Central Perk team will achieve great things.

My family and I will never forget what you’ve done for us, and I am grateful for the chance you’ve given me. My house is always open to you.

Sincerely Yours

Garcia, Barbara

Fifth Example of Retirement Letter

Pat Williams

618 Spooky Place

Monstropolis, 23221

123–555–0031

pwilliams@email.com

Feb. 16, 2022

Mike Wazowski

Co-CEO

Monters, Inc.

324 Scare Road

Monstropolis

Dear Mr. Wazowski,

As a formal notice of my upcoming retirement, I am submitting this letter. ‌I will be leaving Monters, Inc. on‌ ‌April‌ ‌13.

These past 10 years as a marketing associate have provided me with many opportunities. ‌Since we started our company a decade ago, we have seen the face of harnessing screams change dramatically into harnessing laughter. ‌During my time working with this dynamic marketing team, I learned a lot about customer behavior and marketing strategies. ‌Working closely with some of our long-standing clients, such as Boo, was a particular pleasure.

I would be happy to‌ ‌assist‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌transition‌ ‌following‌ ‌my‌ ‌retirement. ‌It would be my pleasure to assist in the hiring or training of‌ ‌my‌ ‌replacement. ‌In order to spend more time with my family, I will also be able to offer part-time consulting services.

After I retire, I plan to cash out the eight unused vacation days I’ve accumulated and take my pension as a lump sum.

Thank you for the opportunity to work with Monters, Inc. ‌In the years to come, I wish you all the best!

Sincerely,

Paul Williams

Sixth Example of Retirement Letter

Dear Micheal,

As In my tenure at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, I have given everything I had. It has been an honor to work here. But‌ ‌I‌ ‌have‌ ‌decided‌ ‌to‌ ‌move on to new challenges and retire from my position — mainly bears, beets, and Battlestar Galactia.

I appreciate the opportunity to work here and learn so much. During my time at this company, I will always remember the good times and memories we shared. Wishing you all the best in the future.

Sincerely,

Dwight K. Shrute

Your signature

May 16

Seventh Example of Retirement Letter

Greetings, Bill

I am announcing my retirement from Initech, effective March 15, 2023.

Over the course of my career here, I’ve had the privilege of working with so many talented and inspiring people.

In 1999, when I began working as a customer service representative, we were a small organization located in a remote office park.

The fact that we now occupy a floor of the Main Street office building with over 150 employees continues to amaze me.

I am looking forward to spending more time with family and traveling the country in our RV. Although I will be sad to leave.

Please let me know if there are any extra steps I can take to facilitate this transfer.

Sincerely,

Frankin, RenitaEighth Example of Retirement Letter

Height Example of Retirement Letter

Bruce,

Please accept my resignation from Wayne Enterprises as Marketing Communications Director. My last day will be August 1, 2022.

The decision to retire has been made after much deliberation. Now that I have worked in the field for forty years, I believe it is a good time to begin completing my bucket list.

It was not easy for me to decide to leave the company. Having worked at Wayne Enterprises has been rewarding both professionally and personally. There are still a lot of memories associated with my first day as a college intern.

My intention was not to remain with such an innovative company, as you know. I was able to see the big picture with your help, however. Today, we are a force that is recognized both nationally and internationally.

In addition to your guidance, the bold, visionary leadership of our company contributed to the growth of our company.

My departure from the company coincides with a particularly hectic time. Despite my best efforts, I am unable to postpone my exit.

My position would be well served by an internal solution. I have a more than qualified marketing manager in Caroline Crown. It would be a pleasure to speak with you about this.

In case I can be of assistance during the switchover, please let me know. Contact us at (555)555–5555. As part of my responsibilities, I am responsible for making sure all work is completed to Wayne Enterprise’s stringent requirements. Having the opportunity to work with you has been a pleasure. I wish you continued success with your thriving business.

Sincerely,

Cash, Cole

Marketing/Communications

Ninth Example of Retirement Letter

Norman, Jamie

2366 Hanover Street

Whitestone, NY 11357

555–555–5555

jamie.norman@email.com

15 October 2022

Mr. Lippman

Head of Pendant Publishing

600 Madison Ave.

New York, New York

Respected Mr. Lippman,

Please accept my resignation effective‌ ‌November‌ ‌1,‌ ‌2022.

Over the course of my ten years at Pendant Publishing, I’ve had a great deal of fun and I’m quite grateful for all the assistance I’ve received.

It was a pleasure to wake up and go to work every day because of our outstanding corporate culture and the opportunities for promotion and professional advancement available to me.

While‌ ‌I am excited about retiring, I am going to miss being part of our team. ‌It’s my hope that I’ll be able to maintain the friendships I’ve formed here for a long time to come.

In case I can be of assistance prior to or following my departure, please let me know. ‌If I can assist in any way to ensure a smooth transfer to my successor, I would be delighted to do so.

Sincerely,

Signed (hard copy letter)

Norman, Jamie

Tenth Example of Retirement Letter

17 January 2023

Greg S. Jackson

Cyberdyne Systems

18144 El Camino Real,

Sunnyvale, CA

Respected Mrs. Duncan,

I‌ ‌am‌ ‌writing‌ ‌to‌ ‌inform you that I will be resigning from Cyberdyne Systems as of March 1, 2023. I’m grateful to have had this opportunity, and it was a difficult decision to make.

My development as a programmer and as a more seasoned member of the organization has been greatly assisted by your coaching.

I have been proud of Cyberdyne Systems’ ethics and success throughout my 25 years at the company. Starting as a mailroom clerk and currently serving as head programmer.

The portfolios of our clients have always been handled with the greatest care by my colleagues. It is our employees and services that have made Cyberdyne Systems the success it is today.

During my tenure as head of my division, I’ve increased our overall productivity by 800 percent, and I expect that trend to continue after‌ ‌I‌ ‌retire.

In light of the fact that the process of replacing me may take some time, I would like to offer my assistance in any way I can.

The greatest contender for this job is Troy Ledford, my current assistant.

Also, before I leave, I would be willing to teach any partners how to use the programmer I developed to track and manage the development of Skynet.

Over the next few months, I’ll be enjoying vacations with my wife as well as my granddaughter moving‌ ‌to‌ ‌college.

If Cyberdyne Systems has any openings for consultants, please let me know. ‌It has been a pleasure working with you over the last 25 years. I appreciate your concern and care.

Sincerely,

Greg S, Jackson

Questions and Answers

1. What is a letter of retirement?

Retirement letters tell your supervisor you're retiring. This informs your employer that you're departing, like a letter. A resignation letter also requests retirement benefits.

Supervisors frequently receive retirement letters and verbal resignations. Before submitting your retirement letter, meet to discuss your plans. This letter will be filed with your start date, salary, and benefits.

2. Why should you include a letter of retirement?

Your retirement letter should explain why you're leaving. When you quit, your manager and HR department usually know. Regardless, a retirement letter might help you leave on a positive tone. It ensures they have the necessary papers.

In your retirement letter, you tell the firm your plans so they can find your replacement. You may need to stay in touch with your company after sending your retirement letter until a successor is identified.

3. What information ought to be in your retirement letter?

Format it like an official letter. Include your retirement plans and retirement-specific statistics. Date may be most essential.

In some circumstances, benefits depend on when you resign and retire. A date on the letter helps HR or senior management verify when you gave notice and how long.

In addition to your usual salutation, address your letter to your manager or supervisor.

The letter's body should include your retirement date and transition arrangements. Tell them whether you plan to help with the transition or train a new employee. You may have a three-month time limit.

Tell your employer your job title, how long you've worked there, and your biggest successes. Personalize your letter by expressing gratitude for your career and outlining your retirement intentions. Finally, include your contact info.

4. Must I provide notice?

Two-week notice isn't required. Your company may require it. Some state laws contain exceptions.

Check your contract, company handbook, or HR to determine your retirement notice. Resigning may change the policy.

Regardless of your company's policy, notification is standard. Entry-level or junior jobs can be let go so the corporation can replace them.

Middle managers, high-level personnel, and specialists may take months to replace. Two weeks' notice is a courtesy. Start planning months ahead.

You can finish all jobs at that period. Prepare transition documents for coworkers and your replacement.

5. What is the ideal retirement age?

Depends on finances, state, and retirement plan. The average American retires at 62. The average retirement age is 66, according to Gallup's 2021 Economy and Personal Finance Survey.

Remember:

  • Before the age of 59 1/2, withdrawals from pre-tax retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, are subject to a penalty.

  • Benefits from Social Security can be accessed as early as age 62.

  • Medicare isn't available to you till you're 65,

  • Depending on the year of your birth, your Full Retirement Age (FRA) will be between 66 and 67 years old.

  • If you haven't taken them already, your Social Security benefits increase by 8% annually between ages 6 and 77.

You might also like

cdixon

cdixon

1 year ago

2000s Toys, Secrets, and Cycles

During the dot-com bust, I started my internet career. People used the internet intermittently to check email, plan travel, and do research. The average internet user spent 30 minutes online a day, compared to 7 today. To use the internet, you had to "log on" (most people still used dial-up), unlike today's always-on, high-speed mobile internet. In 2001, Amazon's market cap was $2.2B, 1/500th of what it is today. A study asked Americans if they'd adopt broadband, and most said no. They didn't see a need to speed up email, the most popular internet use. The National Academy of Sciences ranked the internet 13th among the 100 greatest inventions, below radio and phones. The internet was a cool invention, but it had limited uses and wasn't a good place to build a business. 

A small but growing movement of developers and founders believed the internet could be more than a read-only medium, allowing anyone to create and publish. This is web 2. The runner up name was read-write web. (These terms were used in prominent publications and conferences.) 

Web 2 concepts included letting users publish whatever they want ("user generated content" was a buzzword), social graphs, APIs and mashups (what we call composability today), and tagging over hierarchical navigation. Technical innovations occurred. A seemingly simple but important one was dynamically updating web pages without reloading. This is now how people expect web apps to work. Mobile devices that could access the web were niche (I was an avid Sidekick user). 

The contrast between what smart founders and engineers discussed over dinner and on weekends and what the mainstream tech world took seriously during the week was striking. Enterprise security appliances, essentially preloaded servers with security software, were a popular trend. Many of the same people would talk about "serious" products at work, then talk about consumer internet products and web 2. It was tech's biggest news. Web 2 products were seen as toys, not real businesses. They were hobbies, not work-related. 

There's a strong correlation between rich product design spaces and what smart people find interesting, which took me some time to learn and led to blog posts like "The next big thing will start out looking like a toy" Web 2's novel product design possibilities sparked dinner and weekend conversations. Imagine combining these features. What if you used this pattern elsewhere? What new product ideas are next? This excited people. "Serious stuff" like security appliances seemed more limited. 

The small and passionate web 2 community also stood out. I attended the first New York Tech meetup in 2004. Everyone fit in Meetup's small conference room. Late at night, people demoed their software and chatted. I have old friends. Sometimes I get asked how I first met old friends like Fred Wilson and Alexis Ohanian. These topics didn't interest many people, especially on the east coast. We were friends. Real community. Alex Rampell, who now works with me at a16z, is someone I met in 2003 when a friend said, "Hey, I met someone else interested in consumer internet." Rare. People were focused and enthusiastic. Revolution seemed imminent. We knew a secret nobody else did. 

My web 2 startup was called SiteAdvisor. When my co-founders and I started developing the idea in 2003, web security was out of control. Phishing and spyware were common on Internet Explorer PCs. SiteAdvisor was designed to warn users about security threats like phishing and spyware, and then, using web 2 concepts like user-generated reviews, add more subjective judgments (similar to what TrustPilot seems to do today). This staged approach was common at the time; I called it "Come for the tool, stay for the network." We built APIs, encouraged mashups, and did SEO marketing. 

Yahoo's 2005 acquisitions of Flickr and Delicious boosted web 2 in 2005. By today's standards, the amounts were small, around $30M each, but it was a signal. Web 2 was assumed to be a fun hobby, a way to build cool stuff, but not a business. Yahoo was a savvy company that said it would make web 2 a priority. 

As I recall, that's when web 2 started becoming mainstream tech. Early web 2 founders transitioned successfully. Other entrepreneurs built on the early enthusiasts' work. Competition shifted from ideation to execution. You had to decide if you wanted to be an idealistic indie bar band or a pragmatic stadium band. 

Web 2 was booming in 2007 Facebook passed 10M users, Twitter grew and got VC funding, and Google bought YouTube. The 2008 financial crisis tested entrepreneurs' resolve. Smart people predicted another great depression as tech funding dried up. 

Many people struggled during the recession. 2008-2011 was a golden age for startups. By 2009, talented founders were flooding Apple's iPhone app store. Mobile apps were booming. Uber, Venmo, Snap, and Instagram were all founded between 2009 and 2011. Social media (which had replaced web 2), cloud computing (which enabled apps to scale server side), and smartphones converged. Even if social, cloud, and mobile improve linearly, the combination could improve exponentially. 

This chart shows how I view product and financial cycles. Product and financial cycles evolve separately. The Nasdaq index is a proxy for the financial sentiment. Financial sentiment wildly fluctuates. 

Next row shows iconic startup or product years. Bottom-row product cycles dictate timing. Product cycles are more predictable than financial cycles because they follow internal logic. In the incubation phase, enthusiasts build products for other enthusiasts on nights and weekends. When the right mix of technology, talent, and community knowledge arrives, products go mainstream. (I show the biggest tech cycles in the chart, but smaller ones happen, like web 2 in the 2000s and fintech and SaaS in the 2010s.) 

Tech has changed since the 2000s. Few tech giants dominate the internet, exerting economic and cultural influence. In the 2000s, web 2 was ignored or dismissed as trivial. Entrenched interests respond aggressively to new movements that could threaten them. Creative patterns from the 2000s continue today, driven by enthusiasts who see possibilities where others don't. Know where to look. Crypto and web 3 are where I'd start. 

Today's negative financial sentiment reminds me of 2008. If we face a prolonged downturn, we can learn from 2008 by preserving capital and focusing on the long term. Keep an eye on the product cycle. Smart people are interested in things with product potential. This becomes true. Toys become necessities. Hobbies become mainstream. Optimists build the future, not cynics.


Full article is available here

TheRedKnight

TheRedKnight

1 year ago

Say goodbye to Ponzi yields - A new era of decentralized perpetual

Decentralized perpetual may be the next crypto market boom; with tons of perpetual popping up, let's look at two protocols that offer organic, non-inflationary yields.

Decentralized derivatives exchanges' market share has increased tenfold in a year, but it's still 2% of CEXs'. DEXs have a long way to go before they can compete with centralized exchanges in speed, liquidity, user experience, and composability.

I'll cover gains.trade and GMX protocol in Polygon, Avalanche, and Arbitrum. Both protocols support leveraged perpetual crypto, stock, and Forex trading.

Why these protocols?

Decentralized GMX Gains protocol

Organic yield: path to sustainability

I've never trusted Defi's non-organic yields. Example: XYZ protocol. 20–75% of tokens may be set aside as farming rewards to provide liquidity, according to tokenomics.

Say you provide ETH-USDC liquidity. They advertise a 50% APR reward for this pair, 10% from trading fees and 40% from farming rewards. Only 10% is real, the rest is "Ponzi." The "real" reward is in protocol tokens.

Why keep this token? Governance voting or staking rewards are promoted services.

Most liquidity providers expect compensation for unused tokens. Basic psychological principles then? — Profit.

Nobody wants governance tokens. How many out of 100 care about the protocol's direction and will vote?

Staking increases your token's value. Currently, they're mostly non-liquid. If the protocol is compromised, you can't withdraw funds. Most people are sceptical of staking because of this.

"Free tokens," lack of use cases, and skepticism lead to tokens moving south. No farming reward protocols have lasted.

It may have shown strength in a bull market, but what about a bear market?

What is decentralized perpetual?

A perpetual contract is a type of futures contract that doesn't expire. So one can hold a position forever.

You can buy/sell any leveraged instruments (Long-Short) without expiration.

In centralized exchanges like Binance and coinbase, fees and revenue (liquidation) go to the exchanges, not users.

Users can provide liquidity that traders can use to leverage trade, and the revenue goes to liquidity providers.

Gains.trade and GMX protocol are perpetual trading platforms with a non-inflationary organic yield for liquidity providers.

GMX protocol

GMX is an Arbitrum and Avax protocol that rewards in ETH and Avax. GLP uses a fast oracle to borrow the "true price" from other trading venues, unlike a traditional AMM.

GLP and GMX are protocol tokens. GLP is used for leveraged trading, swapping, etc.

GLP is a basket of tokens, including ETH, BTC, AVAX, stablecoins, and UNI, LINK, and Stablecoins.

GLP composition on arbitrum

GLP composition on Avalanche

GLP token rebalances based on usage, providing liquidity without loss.

Protocol "runs" on Staking GLP. Depending on their chain, the protocol will reward users with ETH or AVAX. Current rewards are 22 percent (15.71 percent in ETH and the rest in escrowed GMX) and 21 percent (15.72 percent in AVAX and the rest in escrowed GMX). escGMX and ETH/AVAX percentages fluctuate.

Where is the yield coming from?

Swap fees, perpetual interest, and liquidations generate yield. 70% of fees go to GLP stakers, 30% to GMX. Organic yields aren't paid in inflationary farm tokens.

Escrowed GMX is vested GMX that unlocks in 365 days. To fully unlock GMX, you must farm the Escrowed GMX token for 365 days. That means less selling pressure for the GMX token.

GMX's status

These are the fees in Arbitrum in the past 11 months by GMX.

GMX works like a casino, which increases fees. Most fees come from Margin trading, which means most traders lose money; this money goes to the casino, or GLP stakers.

Strategies

My personal strategy is to DCA into GLP when markets hit bottom and stake it; GLP will be less volatile with extra staking rewards.

GLP YoY return vs. naked buying

Let's say I invested $10,000 in BTC, AVAX, and ETH in January.

  • BTC price: 47665$

  • ETH price: 3760$

  • AVAX price: $145

Current prices

  • BTC $21,000 (Down 56 percent )

  • ETH $1233 (Down 67.2 percent )

  • AVAX $20.36 (Down 85.95 percent )

Your $10,000 investment is now worth around $3,000.

How about GLP? My initial investment is 50% stables and 50% other assets ( Assuming the coverage ratio for stables is 50 percent at that time)

Without GLP staking yield, your value is $6500.

Let's assume the average APR for GLP staking is 23%, or $1500. So 8000$ total. It's 50% safer than holding naked assets in a bear market.

In a bull market, naked assets are preferable to GLP.

Short farming using GLP

Simple GLP short farming.

You use a stable asset as collateral to borrow AVAX. Sell it and buy GLP. Even if GLP rises, it won't rise as fast as AVAX, so we can get yields.

Let's do the maths

You deposit $10,000 USDT in Aave and borrow Avax. Say you borrow $8,000; you sell it, buy GLP, and risk 20%.

After a year, ETH, AVAX, and BTC rise 20%. GLP is $8800. $800 vanishes. 20% yields $1600. You're profitable. Shorting Avax costs $1600. (Assumptions-ETH, AVAX, BTC move the same, GLP yield is 20%. GLP has a 50:50 stablecoin/others ratio. Aave won't liquidate

In naked Avax shorting, Avax falls 20% in a year. You'll make $1600. If you buy GLP and stake it using the sold Avax and BTC, ETH and Avax go down by 20% - your profit is 20%, but with the yield, your total gain is $2400.

Issues with GMX

GMX's historical funding rates are always net positive, so long always pays short. This makes long-term shorts less appealing.

Oracle price discovery isn't enough. This limitation doesn't affect Bitcoin and ETH, but it affects less liquid assets. Traders can buy and sell less liquid assets at a lower price than their actual cost as long as GMX exists.

As users must provide GLP liquidity, adding more assets to GMX will be difficult. Next iteration will have synthetic assets.

Gains Protocol

Best leveraged trading platform. Smart contract-based decentralized protocol. 46 crypto pairs can be leveraged 5–150x and 10 Forex pairs 5–1000x. $10 DAI @ 150x (min collateral x leverage pos size is $1500 DAI). No funding fees, no KYC, trade DAI from your wallet, keep funds.

DAI single-sided staking and the GNS-DAI pool are important parts of Gains trading. GNS-DAI stakers get 90% of trading fees and 100% swap fees. 10 percent of trading fees go to DAI stakers, which is currently 14 percent!

Trade volume

When a trader opens a trade, the leverage and profit are pulled from the DAI pool. If he loses, the protocol yield goes to the stakers.

If the trader's win rate is high and the DAI pool slowly depletes, the GNS token is minted and sold to refill DAI. Trader losses are used to burn GNS tokens. 25%+ of GNS is burned, making it deflationary.

Due to high leverage and volatility of crypto assets, most traders lose money and the protocol always wins, keeping GNS deflationary.

Gains uses a unique decentralized oracle for price feeds, which is better for leverage trading platforms. Let me explain.

Gains uses chainlink price oracles, not its own price feeds. Chainlink oracles only query centralized exchanges for price feeds every minute, which is unsuitable for high-precision trading.

Gains created a custom oracle that queries the eight chainlink nodes for the current price and, on average, for trade confirmation. This model eliminates every-second inquiries, which waste gas but are more efficient than chainlink's per-minute price.

This price oracle helps Gains open and close trades instantly, eliminate scam wicks, etc.

Other benefits include:

  • Stop-loss guarantee (open positions updated)

  • No scam wicks

  • Spot-pricing

  • Highest possible leverage

  • Fixed-spreads. During high volatility, a broker can increase the spread, which can hit your stop loss without the price moving.

  • Trade directly from your wallet and keep your funds.

  • >90% loss before liquidation (Some platforms liquidate as little as -50 percent)

  • KYC-free

  • Directly trade from wallet; keep funds safe

Further improvements

GNS-DAI liquidity providers fear the impermanent loss, so the protocol is migrating to its own liquidity and single staking GNS vaults. This allows users to stake GNS without permanent loss and obtain 90% DAI trading fees by staking. This starts in August.

Their upcoming improvements can be found here.

Gains constantly add new features and change pairs. It's an interesting protocol.

Conclusion

Next bull run, watch decentralized perpetual protocols. Effective tokenomics and non-inflationary yields may attract traders and liquidity providers. But still, there is a long way for them to develop, and I don't see them tackling the centralized exchanges any time soon until they fix their inherent problems and improve fast enough.


Read the full post here.

Sam Hickmann

Sam Hickmann

1 year ago

Nomad.xyz got exploited for $190M

Key Takeaways:

Another hack. This time was different. This is a doozy.

Why? Nomad got exploited for $190m. It was crypto's 5th-biggest hack. Ouch.

It wasn't hackers, but random folks. What happened:

A Nomad smart contract flaw was discovered. They couldn't drain the funds at once, so they tried numerous transactions. Rookie!

People noticed and copied the attack.

They just needed to discover a working transaction, substitute the other person's address with theirs, and run it.


Nomad.xyz got exploited for $190M

In a two-and-a-half-hour attack, $190M was siphoned from Nomad Bridge.

Nomad is a novel approach to blockchain interoperability that leverages an optimistic mechanism to increase the security of cross-chain communication.  — nomad.xyz

This hack was permissionless, therefore anyone could participate.

After the fatal blow, people fought over the scraps.

Cross-chain bridges remain a DeFi weakness and exploit target. When they collapse, it's typically total.

$190M...gobbled.

Unbacked assets are hurting Nomad-dependent chains. Moonbeam, EVMOS, and Milkomeda's TVLs dropped.

This incident is every-man-for-himself, although numerous whitehats exploited the issue... 

But what triggered the feeding frenzy?

How did so many pick the bones?

After a normal upgrade in June, the bridge's Replica contract was initialized with a severe security issue. The  0x00 address was a trusted root, therefore all messages were valid by default.

After a botched first attempt (costing $350k in gas), the original attacker's exploit tx called process() without first 'proving' its validity.

The process() function executes all cross-chain messages and checks the merkle root of all messages (line 185).

The upgrade caused transactions with a'messages' value of 0 (invalid, according to old logic) to be read by default as 0x00, a trusted root, passing validation as 'proven'

Any process() calls were valid. In reality, a more sophisticated exploiter may have designed a contract to drain the whole bridge.

Copycat attackers simply copied/pasted the same process() function call using Etherscan, substituting their address.

The incident was a wild combination of crowdhacking, whitehat activities, and MEV-bot (Maximal Extractable Value) mayhem.

For example, 🍉🍉🍉. eth stole $4M from the bridge, but claims to be whitehat.

Others stood out for the wrong reasons. Repeat criminal Rari Capital (Artibrum) exploited over $3M in stablecoins, which moved to Tornado Cash.

The top three exploiters (with 95M between them) are:

$47M: 0x56D8B635A7C88Fd1104D23d632AF40c1C3Aac4e3

$40M: 0xBF293D5138a2a1BA407B43672643434C43827179

$8M: 0xB5C55f76f90Cc528B2609109Ca14d8d84593590E

Here's a list of all the exploiters:

The project conducted a Quantstamp audit in June; QSP-19 foreshadowed a similar problem.

The auditor's comments that "We feel the Nomad team misinterpreted the issue" speak to a troubling attitude towards security that the project's "Long-Term Security" plan appears to confirm:

Concerns were raised about the team's response time to a live, public exploit; the team's official acknowledgement came three hours later.

"Removing the Replica contract as owner" stopped the exploit, but it was too late to preserve the cash.

Closed blockchain systems are only as strong as their weakest link.

The Harmony network is in turmoil after its bridge was attacked and lost $100M in late June.

What's next for Nomad's ecosystems?

Moonbeam's TVL is now $135M, EVMOS's is $3M, and Milkomeda's is $20M.

Loss of confidence may do more damage than $190M.

Cross-chain infrastructure is difficult to secure in a new, experimental sector. Bridge attacks can pollute an entire ecosystem or more.

Nomadic liquidity has no permanent home, so consumers will always migrate in pursuit of the "next big thing" and get stung when attentiveness wanes.

DeFi still has easy prey...

Sources: rekt.news & The Milk Road.