Announcing changes to “Agency Squad”, the revenue-generating side of OpenUX


OpenUX has previously had two distinct squads for the revenue-generating side of our operation: Agency (which was open to anyone), and Client (which was not). The reason that we kept these separate is to ensure only vetted community members are working on client work. But this is inefficient from an Ops standpoint, and doesn’t allow us to be working in the open. So we have decided to merge Agency and Client into one group, simply called Agency Squad.

Agency Squad Roles

As part of this merge, Agency Squad is creating three distinct roles for researchers: Shadower, Collaborator, and Lead. All three roles are eligible to receive community benefits and other reputational rewards for their contributions, but only two are eligible to receive direct payment from clients.

Shadowers are the default role for less experienced researchers at OpenUX.

  • Shadowers are encouraged to grow their research experience by joining discussions, contributing ideas for projects, grants, and workshops, and shadowing other Squad members during client meetings and interviews.

  • Shadowers can also apply to become a Collaborator, a role designated for more experienced researchers that is eligible to receive payment from clients.

Collaborators are members who have successfully demonstrated skills in research methods, team management, stakeholder management, and web3 literacy through our existing application.

  • Collaborators are eligible to receive payment in exchange for their contributions to grants and client projects.

  • After completing at least one grant or client project, Collaborators have the option to request a re-evaluation of their eligibility for Lead

Leads are collaborators who have built enough trust to make them eligible to own a client or grant project

  • Leads are the primary liaison to the client, the directly accountable individual for a project, and the decision-maker on who collaborates on or shadows the projects they are leading.

  • Leads review applications from Shadowers and Collaborators and collectively decide who is promoted based on a consensus vote, with the Agency Squad Steward being the fallback decision-maker.

Growing our Agency

Revenue-generating activities are the lifeblood of our organization.

We currently have ~10 members in Lead or Collaborator roles, and this number will grow. If members are not actively working to contribute to the financial growth of the agency, we will face the challenge of not creating enough meaningful paid opportunities for each member; if we have many qualified researchers waiting for research projects to work on, but they are not actively creating new business opportunities themselves, then OpenUX will not successfully scale.

Therefore we wish to encourage both Leads and Collaborators to be proactive in selling our services, whether that’s applying for grants, or selling bespoke research and coaching.

Members who are active in selling work will benefit from:

  • Coaching on selling from other experienced members

  • Sales collateral to support the effort

  • The cumulative organizational reputation to assist with selling

  • Grant proposal templates

  • Peers to review their work

Members who actively manage the referral, sell the work, and ultimately get the client to sign will also receive 10% of the total contract value. If a member brings in a contract that results in a sale, but is minimally involved in the sale itself, the referral will be split between all parties who contributed to selling the work. We have documented this process in its entirety here.

How is work allocated?

  • Members will learn about new research opportunities during Agency Squad bi-weekly meetings (where new sales leads are discussed) or in the Agency Squad discord channel as new opportunities emerge.

  • Work will not be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis, but will be determined by the person who sold the work, based on the following criteria:

    • Does the member have previous experience around the “theme” of the research (e.g. DeFi, NFTs, developer tooling etc)?

    • Are they experienced enough to Lead or Collaborate on the work?

    • Are they available to see the work through to its completion?

  • A member who sells work has first right of refusal on the project, with the caveat that a Collaborator who sells a project must team up with a Lead in order to work on the project.

  • Every client project must make room for a Shadower to observe and learn.

  • The Agency Squad Steward is the fallback decision-maker for how work is allocated.

How much can Leads and Collaborators earn?

OpenUX charges clients an hourly rate; typically this would be around~$275 per hour (but this is dependent on the type and duration of engagement). 10% of this is a referral fee to the member who sold the project, and 15% is for the OpenUX treasury. This leaves 75% of the rate for paying people who execute the research. So if we charge a client $275 ph, the hourly researcher rate is ~$206. Leads and Collaborators decide how to split the hours between them on a project. In the future we may create multiple tiers of hourly rates based on a member’s experience level.

What next?

  • Come and join us in the Agency squad channel, and attend our next bi-weekly meeting hosted in Discord (see the Events tab!)

  • If you’d like to apply for a Collaborator role, fill this form out: https: /

Looking forward to working with you!

Georgia and the OpenUX Stewards

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