Interview with ENS team (Chris Remus)

It’s been a while since our last “Interview with ENS team”. This time we interviewed Chris Remus (aka “The guru of ENS project management”).

Everybody praising Chris during #enshack

1. Hi, Chris. Can you let me know a bit more about your background?

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.

2. Can you let me know how you got into Ethereum and ENS?

A sticker on a mailbox in Williasmburg, Brooklyn, led me to Ethereum. You can read the full story here.

I realized blockchain was a space I wanted to work in. I began advocating for more blockchain projects to hire project managers.

ENS was launching about the same time I figured this out. ENS caught my interest right away. I believed and still believe it could and will increase Ethereum’s adoption within the non-tech population. Increasing adoption through better usability will help Ethereum realize its potential.

The first launch attempt failed. I volunteered to be the project manager for the relaunch. Nick accepted my offer. After that, ENS launched successfully on its second attempt. My ENS role became official when ENS received the Ethereum Foundation grant.

3. You are also PM at Aragon. Tell us the difference working in different blockchain projects.

Yes, I’m also Aragon One’s Product Manager. I’m aware of more similarities than differences. Many of the similarities are the difficulties in making Ethereum projects usable by a non-tech savvy community.

The projects also share the growing pains, characteristic of early-stage disruptive tech revolutions. This phase also brings with it sense of hope and optimism. The project teams share the vision that we can help make the power of a decentralized future a reality.

Differences relate to the specific features and functionality of the products and projects. Also, as each individual is unique, so is each team. As a result, communication, tools and workflows need to be optimized to support the team’s style and personality.

4. What is your current focus in terms of ENS development?

My current focus is helping structure the UX/UI rewrite work. We implemented a sprint structure about 2 months ago. It seems to have helped us gain some momentum with that workstream.

I’m also tracking the project’s roadmap and our progress against it. I keep my eye out for places to add structure where it’s a help, rather than a hindrance too ;)

5. Currently majority of contributors to Ethereum ecosystems are developers. Do you have any suggestions about how non developers like you can contribute to?

That’s a tough one :)

I believe we’re in the infrastructure buildout phase of the decentralized revolution. Much of the work is tech-heavy at this phase.

Yet, a time is fast approaching where we’ll extend closer to an end-user community. Many forward thinking projects are already going this way.

It’s a time where smart, motivated and inspired people can get involved. My suggestions would be -

1 — Identify the project(s) that you align most closely with

2 — Think about how you can help the project(s).

3 — Start helping the project(s)

Get specific on #’s 2 & 3. Don’t say, “I’m happy to help where I can.” Say, “Hey, can I help you do XYZ?”

Better yet, start doing it, without asking, to show how/why XYZ is valuable to the project!

6. You have said that you have tried many different tools to manage remote teams. Do you have any recommended tools and sites?

Yes, I feel like I’ve tried almost every project/work/task management tool out there over the past 20+ (!) years ;)

This is my shortlist —

1 — Basecamp for project management

2 — Todoist for individual task management

3 — Notion, a recent addition, to fill in the gaps

I’m also liking Keybase as my default chat app.

My approach to productivity is that productivity and wellness can establish a beneficial, rather than destructive, cycle. These tools help me do that. They help me optimize my attention, rather than try to cram more work into shorter periods of time.

7. When you are not working on ENS, what do you do?

I ride my bike a lot. I’m shooting for 5000 miles this year. I also have a consistent twice-daily meditation practice. Sleep’s important too. I shoot for ~7.5hrs/night.

Chris was actually just doing yoga during #enshack

I also spend as much time with my wife and 3-year old son as possible. Being in crypto w/kids isn’t easy ;) Yet I’m feeling excited to see how the small yet growing number of us impact the ecosystem’s development, hopefully in healthy ways!

Thank you Chris!