Buns holds a MA in Economics and is an innovator in the Web3 space, both as a developer and cofounder for SoulSwap and Luxor Money. She managed to invent a means by which decentralized exchanges may reach self-sustainability via utilizing a bonding mechanism,
Buns has benefitted from her multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving – leveraging her economics and mathematics expertise in tandem with her programming and leadership skills to create an exchange that operates as a full-service DeFi Suite. This suite provides options, such as Peer-to-Peer Marketplaces, where users may swap assets atomically, deposit their SOUL (the native token) as collateral for loans, and benefit from the first-ever DEX token backed by intrinsic value via the bonding mechanism she created.
Buns created her very first website over a decade ago, while attending high school. The blog was dedicated to reporting on International Affairs. She was inspired to do so as a result of her keen interest in political science, as inspired by her participation in debate.
She competed on the national circuit for debate throughout high school and college, and in doing so has garnered skills that benefit her current day conquests – namely as they relate to her ability to think critically, accept criticism, and adapt to a multiplicity of views.
Prior to becoming a full-time Web3 developer, Buns worked as a professional forecaster for Daikin Global, which is the world’s number 1 AC manufacturer.
While working as a forecaster and planner at Daikin, she managed to navigate the company out of the shortages that resulted from COVID cases, which led to record-level shutdowns and production losses. She devised and led a Hard Allocation Plan to help circumnavigate the scarce conditions the company was met with at the time.
While at Daikin, she was also unanimously elected to lead as the President of QUANTS, which is the company’s Data Scientists program, designed to help leverage the company’s data scientists and engineers to create projects and conduct independent research that benefitted the corporation.
While serving as President at Daikin, Buns held weekly lectures and practicums on topics ranging from how to leverage machine learning in Python, conducting practical data analysis and communicating results in a cohesive manner, conducting statistical research in R, and expressing complex results in Tableau for non-technical executives.
Where did the idea for SoulSwap come from?
SoulSwap was the result of my growing interest in the DeFi ecosystem. I realized that the most fundamental component of decentralized finance is the ability to execute trades, which enables consumers to leverage the full breadth of an ecosystem.
The concept is quite simple: as you explore decentralized finance, you need to be able to navigate from one project to the next and in order to do so, you must have someone willing to accept what you have on hand in order to acquire what you want.
This basic concept (of an exchange) led to the innovation of complementary services that benefit from an exchange, so as to create a protocol wherein users are able to take full advantage of all that DeFi has to offer.
This belief in the utility of extraneous services built around a DEX, led to intuitive innovations, such as our P2P marketplaces, but also led to non-traditional co-options, such as offering the first-ever in-house currency via Luxor Money, which operates as the “Federal Reserve”, so to speak, for the protocol to leverage.
Luxor is designed to enable the acquisition of permanent liquidity owned by the protocol, which provides end-users with the peace of mind that comes with stability. This has become a growing trend in what has been coined “DeFi 2.0” and has led to the creation of the largest treasuries in all of DeFi, namely Wonderland and Olympus DAO, which has accumulated billions (USD) in assets.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My entire day is consumed with work, however, I make an effort to take more time for myself during the weekends as I have to take care of my personal health and well-being.
My daily routine consists of evaluating the ever-expanding list of requests brought to us by our community, which are organized in a publicly-accessible interface found here: https://board.soulswap.finance
This bulletin board facilitates the execution of user-driven requests, tracking every step along the way from ideation to execution, and allows us to remain transparent and available for our end users.
As part of a small team, I am responsible for managing a number of roles ranging from more technical roles, such as front-end (user interface) development and back-end (smart contracts), to non-technical roles, such as running our Twitter page and Telegram News Channel, as well as addressing community requests, and facilitating communications between our protocol and potential partners.
How do you bring ideas to life?
In order to make what I want come to fruition, I start off by carefully defining my objectives. In my experience, those objectives with quantifiable results are more likely to be met, so I am attentive to not just what needs to be done, but how I know when it has been successfully accomplished. I do this by leveraging my skills as a planner and breaking down a larger mission into smaller tasks that each serve their own purpose. These small wins motivate me to achieve higher highs and enable me to track my progress along the way.
It is, in my opinion, exceedingly crucial to enable small wins along the way, otherwise, tasks become much too daunting. Those tasks we find too overwhelming, we do all we can to avoid, so I try to focus on what I can get done today and always strive to not leave until tomorrow what can be done today.
Another strategy I have found beneficial is to prioritize the thing I least desire doing. This way, once the not-so-exciting tasks are out of the way, they no longer occupy my headspace and thereby enable me to exert my energy on tasks I find more appealing.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The concept of Protocol Owned Liquidity (POL or PODL) is enticing to me as it flips the script on traditional liquidity mining operations, where users come and leave with everything and protocols are left with little to nothing beyond a temporary ability to execute their decentralized services. Once the liquidity providers exit, the protocol is drained of its ability to operate.
On the other hand, when a protocol leverages protocol-owned liquidity, it is able to extract value from providers via owning the liquidity that is provided, in lieu of renting out those needs.
This has been coined as the advent of “DeFi 2.0” and is precisely the motivation behind our innovative bonding solution involving rewarding SOUL to those who bond their liquidity.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
An effective and efficient entrepreneur practices self-awareness, builds upon their leadership abilities, engages in critical problem-solving, and optimizes workflows every step of the way to create systems that work for you and those you serve.
The number one habit to help an entrepreneur in these capacities is simply taking the time to shut up and listen as objectively as possible to the concerns, recommendations, and advice passed along by end-users and colleagues.
As such, I make it a habit to spend a good portion of my day browsing what the community has to say about our platform. I take note of common concerns and I think critically about how we can cater to an ever-expanding group of end-users. This is the only way I can ensure my time is being spent on those issues or topics that matter most to our community.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Do whatever makes you happy, and care less about what everyone else thinks about you and your arrival at that happiness.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Never stop defending what you believe in.
Defending your views and beliefs holds you accountable, requires you to be self-reflective, and exudes self-confidence when done with grace.
Do not be that person everyone loves because that facade of a human being lacks a true identity because you cannot, will not, and should not aim to please everyone.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Constantly ask for feedback at every opportunity and be concise when requesting feedback from someone.
Be grateful for whatever they have to say and take what they have graciously because it is their opinion and they are entitled to it, especially if you took it upon yourself to ask.
Be mindful of others’ time and ask pointed questions that are both relevant and interesting to the person you are communicating with.
Also, make sure you are ready, able, and willing to reciprocate this favor for anyone willing to do so for you.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Making myself available for the community by being fully present when discussing sensitive topics and truly listening to what the user really wants out of the conversation.
Namely, the strategy I utilize is reflecting upon: “why are they saying this” and then working towards “how may I help them” because if we absent this connection between desires and outcome, we remove ourselves from the ability to genuinely resolve issues we are confronted with.
This requires not only compassion and empathy, but also the ability to depersonalize the experience in a way that opens your mind up to alternative ways of viewing a situation.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Choosing to work with and for the wrong group of people.
I learned the personality types I work better with and have made it a priority to only hire on those with compatible modes of expression and operating. Not everyone shares the same level of dedication to success as I do. One bad apple truly has the potential to spoil the bunch.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
The creation of user-focused platforms, where users can generate value and yield directly from the platform while simultaneously benefitting from the platform, is key.
For example, a marketplace for NFT creators, where they benefit from the exposure that comes from the marketplace itself and you benefit from the marketing efforts of creators as they are self-interested in maximizing their gains, which, when working in tandem with an effective fee-structure, enables you to piggyback on those gains.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Signing up for our publicly-accessible tasks board, where our community may provide us with feedback and vote to prioritize the tasks that matter most to them.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Leveraging the aforementioned task board because it helps streamline our tasks and communicate where we are along the way.
In my experience, when dealing with active users to utilize your software regularly, you need to have a place for consumers to communicate their needs and a place to let them know that their voices are being heard.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Thinking, Fast and Slow is an all-time favorite of mine as a student of economics. Perhaps the most vital wisdom you can acquire comes from those who have mastered economics and behavioral psychology, and Daniel Kahneman has managed to master both.
The utility of leveraging the full range of your cognitive and emotive responses is elucidated by Kahneman in this classic.
Cognition is the primary topic and I believe in the value that comes from understanding why you make decisions, how you may work through them to achieve an optimal outcome, and what to look out for when deliberating. Thinking, Fast and Slow helps you achieve this in a clear and concise manner.
What is your favorite quote?
“Never leave that until tomorrow which you can do today”
- Challenges are easier to tackle when broken down into clearly-defined and measurable tasks you can accomplish, which help get you closer to arriving at an optimal solution and serve to motivate you to keep pushing forward.
- Innovation is the result of many failures and lessons learned along the way. Do not expect results overnight. Do not compare yourself to anyone else because you do not know what they have gone through to arrive at where they are today, and even if you did, their path is never identical to yours.
- Create a pathway for success and hold yourself accountable along the way. Leverage strategies from experts regarding task execution, recognizing and overcoming cognitive biases, commitment devices, and sustainable self-confidence. If you do not believe in yourself and know you can do it, no one will be able to help you and you predetermine failure. Once you make failure not an option, then you remove yourself from viewing failures as anything short of an obstacle for you to overcome and a learning opportunity you can pass along to others on your voyage through life.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.