HomeNewsHow We Make Decisions at Coinbase

How We Make Decisions at Coinbase

By Emilie Choi, President and Chief Working Officer

TLDR: We use Downside/ Proposed Options and RAPIDs as our major instruments to interrupt by means of robust selections and land on good resolutions.

One of many high three questions I get from candidates is: “how do you make selections at Coinbase?” What they’re getting at is, how can we break by means of politics and paperwork to get issues executed rapidly? We use two instruments at Coinbase that assist minimize by means of the noise and deal with points that we’re grappling with:

  1. Downside/Proposed Options are nice for tackling points that come up within the regular course of work.
  2. RAPIDs are nice instruments for breaking by means of robust selections and getting good selections truly made. Right here’s how we use every of those instruments.

Coinbase is a written tradition, which implies that we goal to place our considering, processes and resolution making down on paper. This helps us make clear our considering and improve understanding with one another. We use Google Docs to collaborate, which permits us to remark and ask questions transparently. These resolution making frameworks are an essential component of this written tradition.

Downside/Proposed Answer (P/PS): The last word approach to minimize by means of noise.

(Credit score to Matt Mochary, who got here up with the P/PS and discusses it in his guide).

<P/PS template right here>

The P/PS is a superb software to handle unresolved points which can be bothering you. It could possibly be that you simply assume the efficiency administration course of wants enchancment, or that we want much less conferences, or that we have to revisit our org construction, or something that rises to a sure stage of significance for you. All of us have these instincts, and but typically, we don’t know tips on how to deliver them up in the precise means. We need to encourage productive downside fixing and the P/PS may also help with this.

The keys to an efficient Downside/Proposed Answer

  • Brief and simple: It must be light-weight and take <15 minutes to write down. It ought to common one web page solely.
  • Centered on options: In keeping with our price of optimistic vitality, you don’t simply shine mild on the issue, however you additionally suggest an answer.

Right here’s a really brief, light-weight instance:

Downside: We’ve too many conferences. It’s slicing into staff’ skill to get actual work executed.

Proposed Answer/s:

  • Kill all recurring conferences
  • Have a no assembly day
  • Create friction so as to add a gathering (require that any new assembly invite contains an agenda and targets of the assembly)

You then ship the P/PS to anybody related to start out including to the Google Doc. As soon as the draft is full, it’s mentioned both asynchronously or in a gathering (for extra complicated issues). Some stakeholders might agree and add different options. Some might disagree and say there isn’t an issue. The feedback and suggestions are all captured within the doc. The doc could be as easy or complicated as the subject itself.

As soon as we’ve settled on some options, we doc them as motion objects (AIs) with one straight accountable particular person (DRI) to finish that motion inside a sure timeframe (instance: LJ, our Chief Folks Officer, ought to create a recharge week by January 1st).

RAPID: A superb software for making complicated selections.

(Credit score to Jeff Weiner, who introduced this software to LinkedIn).

<RAPID template right here>

A RAPID is vital to getting a variety of individuals throughout features to decide. We’ve all been part of a corporation the place individuals intentionally maintain up making laborious selections with passive-aggressive conduct and keep away from making the laborious calls. The RAPID helps minimize by means of that with a transparent course of and homeowners.

Listed here are the important thing components of the RAPID method:

  • Suggest: One particular person
  • Agree: One to 2 individuals
  • Carry out: The individuals who might want to take an energetic function in regardless of the resolution entails
  • Enter: Anybody who is actually related to the dialogue who ought to add their ideas
  • Determine: Just one particular person(!) and never somebody who’s already on the RAPID

Right here’s an instance:

  • Date of Suggestion:
  • Date of Resolution: (Ideally inside every week of the Suggestion)
  • Sort 1 or Sort 2 Resolution: If it’s Sort 1, it’s not reversible, and you need to be additional cautious in making it. If it’s Sort 2, you’ll be able to reverse the choice.

Suggestion: We should always exit operations in XYZ nation (this is able to be a Sort 1 Resolution). After three years of intense effort and a number of approaches, we have now not been capable of get to a stage of customers that warrant the extent of enterprise funding and vitality required to make us profitable on this nation.

Particulars behind the Suggestion: Extra data, together with quantitative, to make the advice. It ought to embody execs and cons, dangers and advantages.

  • Suggest: Identify of Individual A
  • Agree (or Disagree): Identify of Individual B
  • Carry out: Different staff who’re concerned
  • Enter: Different staff who’re concerned
  • Determine: Identify of Individual C

Every of the named individuals has the chance to place their very own Agree or Disagree in, with their further context.

Right here’s the cool issues concerning the RAPID:

  • It permits the Determine to see the entire contributors’ suggestions within the doc
  • Every part is clearly written down, so it doesn’t depend on reminiscence of how or what somebody mentioned one thing within the room
  • You’ll be able to look again in time and see the standard and pacing of your complicated selections


All instruments are imperfect, however as corporations scale quickly, having norms round just a few forms of resolution making toolsets makes an enormous distinction in driving consistency. At Coinbase, we’ve discovered that the Downside/Proposed Answer and the RAPID are two wonderful instruments in our arsenal, and we use them every day to drive essential discussions and selections.

How We Make Selections at Coinbase was initially printed in The Coinbase Weblog on Medium, the place individuals are persevering with the dialog by highlighting and responding to this story.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular