The Rook Labs Growth, Organization, Treasury, and Studio teams present an update to the community on Q2 business development, financial health of the treasury, organizational progress, and our outlook for Q3 and beyond.
Growth and Business Development
- Rook has noticed a marked improvement in the number of contributors and partners that want to work with the protocol.
- The team is talking with DEXs, market makers, and other potential sources of integrations and partnerships. However, details of these partnerships cannot be disclosed at this time.
- Rook is focused on delivering three key product verticals: orders (ERC-721), transactions through RPC, and smart contract integrations.
- Lessons learned from keepers and market makers have been very valuable in helping to improve the product.
- The community has been "an amazing source for bringing in new folks."
- The reorganization exposed flaws in community management, and Q3 will bring an overhaul in public-facing operations.
- At least one of our weekly meetings will include dedicated time for a recap of weekly progress, time for a deep dive or discussion by a subject matter expert, and time for questions and oversight.
"KeeperDAO is dead. Long live Rook." - Watts
- The new branding and website have been launched; the refreshed look and content are more accessible to partner protocols.
"We have a brand new style to go along with this – less dark forest and more bright abstract tech." - Watts
- Rook has partnered with Starbased, the DeFi-native media agency behind Tokebase, to handle meeting notes and written content.
"I think the story of this quarter is really around rapid expansion in every way imaginable." – Matt
- Rapid expansion brings added complexity to reporting and treasury management. The treasury team has been working closely with the operations team to streamline these operations.
- The treasury team has been working to meaningfully deploy assets in order to mitigate risk.
- The Rook treasury is in a very robust and well-diversified position.
"...from a runway perspective – from an operational perspective – we don't see any reason to take the foot off the gas." – Matt (28:00)
- The treasury is 60% stables, with the next largest position in ETH, followed by ROOK.
- A Treasury Charter will be established to aid the creation of a shared cultural mindset around the purpose of the treasury.
- The purpose of the treasury is to support the high-level vision of Rook.
- mStable has been an excellent partnership that established a permanent source of order flow, and therefore additional protocol revenue.
- More partnerships of this nature are a priority, since they bring long term benefits.
- Crowdsourcing from the community during Treasury Tuesday has been a valuable source of discussion on treasury management.
- The ETH deployment strategy KIP passed. It will allow the treasury to deploy 75% of the idle ETH into Stakewise, RocketPool, and Lido.
- The treasury will be pulling funds from Bancor in response to the failure of their impermanent loss mechanism.
- The Tokemak deployment strategy is in progress; Rook is waiting on Reactor ignition. Listen to the recent Rook <> Tokemak AMA.
- The number of Rook contributors has grown, and compensation is the largest source of material outflows. The Compensation 3.0 plan will work to address this and extend the runway dramatically.
- Switching to USDC compensation will decrease downward price pressure on ROOK.
Organization, Legal, & Governance [56:40]
"Running a DAO... It's hard. And it's hard because it's new. So there are a lot of hard novel problems that we need to solve, and there are no textbooks for this." – Tommy
- Excellent new personnel have been onboarded, including Guard, Jason, Stef, and Katelyn.
- The team has been ensuring that the organization has a good regulatory strategy, while building resilience against governance attacks and compliance problems.
"It's basically not an easy feat to make an organization that is legally defensible that… deals with things like liabilities and regulatory exposure in the right way, but at the same time follows the kind of crypto ethos where we build decentralized structures that don't concentrate power in too few hands." – Guard (1:00:00)
- The legal team is creating a bespoke legal structure for Rook.
"The idea is that I make incentive structures that are such that even if everybody is an idiot or evil, the DAO will still survive and thrive." – Guard (01:03:16)
- Improvements to proposal templates, the forum, GitHub, and Discord are in the works to help improve visibility of the governance process.
- More details about the governance reform process will be made public in the coming weeks.
"Resilience, for us, means building so that the people will stick around and will have all the conditions [for] their best work and best life." – Stef (1:08:30)
- The onboarding experience will be improved using data, rather than gut feelings.
- Crunch & time-off rotations will be enforced to improve work-life balance and prioritize health and productivity.
- Improved knowledge sharing and remote feedback processes will be introduced.
- Hiring has slowed now that we’re at the required headcount, and we’re now focusing on improving processes and easing the team together.
- Cost per hire has been drastically lowered due to internal recruiting.
- An improved grants program will be developed during Q3 to further open up another pathway to onboarding talent.
"The types of products that we can build, and the types of products we've already been able to release, are unlike anything that I think any of us would have imagined even just a year ago. [...] This data that we gather, and the things that we're learning and building... this is the first time this has ever been done. So this data is the only data, these products are the only products, and this team is the only team working at this cutting edge. This is what it feels like to work at the cutting edge."– hazard (01:22:38)
- Rook is fully staffed to carry out the DAO’s ambitious goals while benefiting all network participants.
- MEV is a misunderstood aspect of blockchain tech that isn't going away. Rook is in an ideal position to capture it.
- Q3 goals are to manage contributor growth, preserve treasury capital, and focus on growing productivity.
- A key part of Rook's strategy is increasing the market's awareness of the benefits of the protocol.
- Outlook: Positive!