An Update on Polygon Labs, Polygon Ventures and Polygon ID

Polygon Community - Today, I shared an update with the Polygon Labs team in regard to optimizing the organization. Below, please find the copy of the that communication.

An Update on Polygon Labs, Polygon Ventures and Polygon ID

Earlier this week, we started a discussion about the future direction of Polygon Labs. Today, I want to share additional updates in regard to optimizing the organization.

As you know, our mission is to fundamentally change the Internet so that everyone in the world is empowered to equitably access its value. As an organization, we’ve made changes over the last few months to push us to move faster, break down barriers, strategically align teams within Polygon Labs, and ensure that we focus on our mission so that we can succeed faster than anyone else in the web3 ecosystem. We have no doubt made immense progress and the Founders and I are proud of everyone for all the work you’ve done to adapt and rise to the challenge ahead. However, to move as ambitiously and nimbly as possible where everyone is able to take ownership of what they’re doing, we must create an efficient surgical team, with significantly less bureaucracy. As a smaller team, we can collaborate more, expedite demanding projects and execute at our highest potential.

This is especially true because achieving this mission is no easy feat; it requires extreme focus, diligence, efficiency and agility — all qualities that are enhanced by the values we seek to embody at Polygon Labs. Unfortunately, the team’s rapid growth in the last bull market diluted these qualities, and we must come back to them.

Impact on the team and reasoning for changes:

As such, today, we’ve made the difficult, but necessary, decision to say goodbye to 60 teammates, roughly 19% of the team. When I started the role of CEO, I pledged to make you all the happiest employees in the world. While that goal will never cease to be my North Star, it pains me that I failed to make that happen for many of our teammates.

This decision is not an easy one. Right-sizing for the sake of enhanced performance, rather than for financial reasons, may seem unconventional. The reality is that achieving our mission often demands challenging decisions, and while difficult, the Founders and I agree that we must move forward in a thoughtful way that gives us the greatest chance to execute successfully.

I recognize there is no right way to let someone abruptly know that they are impacted by this decision, and even though we have already notified these team members (and discontinued their access to our systems, for security reasons), we will speak to them personally as well. These calls will happen today to explain the decision, address questions, and express gratitude for their contributions.

For impacted team members, we are offering 2 months of severance and health benefits through the end of February in locations where we provide health benefits.

Separately, the People Team has created a list of impacted individuals – purely on an opt-in basis – in which they can add details related to their professional background to be shared with our collective network, including recruiters at web3 projects, talent partners at venture capital firms, and hiring managers in the space. As long as impacted individuals agree to it, we also will share their information internally so that everyone can stay connected.

Next steps:

It is hard to turn to a positive future when thinking of the impact today’s decision has on people’s lives. But when I do turn my thoughts to the future, I get excited. I see a scrappy, determined and high quality team that is ready to aggressively pursue the development of the key software we are building and the ecosystem growing around all of it.

Recognizing the importance and impact of the team, we’re pleased to share two updates that reflect our commitment to this organization:

  • First, we will be increasing everyone’s total compensation (the sum of base salary and current annual MATIC pay) by at least 15% effective retroactively to January 1, 2024. Employees that joined the team very recently will also receive a 5% increase. By the end of the day tomorrow, everyone will receive a statement breaking down their updated compensation.
  • Second, as discussed this week, we’re rolling out a streamlined leveling system and eliminating traditional geo-pay models. These changes acknowledge the value each of you brings, irrespective of your location, and enhance our ability to attract top talent globally.

Spinning off Polygon Ventures and Polygon ID:

Most of you are aware that the 10-person Polygon Ventures team was spun-off from Polygon Labs at the end of last year. The team rebranded to P2 Ventures and continues its work to invest at the earliest stages across all categories in web3 with a particular focus on the Polygon ecosystem. Their work to identify and help grow some of the most successful companies in web3 has been impactful across the ecosystem. As they work to raise a new fund, having them serve as a standalone entity made the most sense from a variety of perspectives. The Founders and I are excited to see their continued impact.

In addition, the 33-person Polygon ID team will be spinning off in the coming months – and the team was a partner in making this strategic decision to ensure Polygon ID’s ultimate success. Since launching less than two years ago, Polygon ID has made great strides to enable users to prove their identity without the need of exposing their private information. This is important work and one that deserves a dedicated team and focus. This decision aligns with our strategy of focusing the Polygon Labs team on core protocol development work consistent with our mission. Onchain, digital identity will be important for our interactions on blockchains in the coming years, and the Founders and I look forward to Polygon ID’s continued success.

Looking to the future of Polygon Labs and the Polygon ecosystem:

As we have narrowed in on a clear strategy, we will continue executing on it with increasing success:

  • The creation of interconnected zero knowledge based networks and contracts that enable unified network effects has started coming to fruition with Polygon CDK being widely adopted and our introduction of Aggregated Blockchains and the AggLayer last week.
  • The Polygon community and collaboration within the community is stronger than ever. We see the core Polygon community participating more in governance, DeFi builders supporting each other with their launches, and developers using Polygon CDK working collaboratively to launch chains successfully.
  • The builders in web3 are attracted to Polygon networks for a broader range of use cases than any other blockchain network in existence, which will be only enhanced through the scalability of Polygon CDK and unified liquidity provided by the AggLayer, as shown in report after report.
  • The team at Polygon Labs continues to grow stronger and more talented all the time. We used to only be known for the strength of our business development teams, and now everyone recognizes that our zk teams are the most talented in the space.

With the wonderful team that we have at Polygon Labs and all the incredible builders in the Polygon ecosystem, I am confident we will achieve our mission. Just ignore the noise and execute on our strategy. The rest will fall into place.

Marc Boiron