Orb Collective October 2022 Update

As we reach the end of another great month, I’m pleased to share our latest community update.

Vision & Roadmap
As we’ve taken every opportunity to communicate, Orb’s ecosystem-wide strategic goals for Balancer for Q4 2022 are:


1. Strengthen the DAO’s financial position.
2. Make Balancer easier to use.


1. Scale Boosted Pools and veBAL.
2. Expand Balancer to Gnosis Chain and zkSync.


1. Develop and launch Managed Pools use cases.

In driving forward the vision for Balancer’s evolution, Orb organized and led the following initiatives this month:

  • Finalization of Q4 project proposals (31 projects proposed)
  • 2022 retrospective analysis
    • 3 hour cross-team in-person meeting (at our Bogotá on-site)
    • Included 12 ecosystem contributors
    • Identified core themes that arose regarding areas that need improvement, voted on the 3 highest priority themes to address
  • Q4 roadmap setting: in-person cross-team meeting to vote on highest priority projects for the quarter.


This month, there has been one new addition and two departures on the Orb Collective team.

On the engineering side, we hired a new integrations engineer named João, to help ramp up our ability to execute high-value integrations and collaborations with other projects in the DeFi space. As I’ve mentioned before, scaling our integrations capabilities is an area of high priority for Balancer, as our growth strategy is centered around serving as a platform for DeFi developer applications. When Orb launched 3 months ago, we had a very short-staffed integrations team of 2 people. Today we have doubled our number of full-time engineers on the team and we aim to add one more.

On the business development side, Curtis and Alan have departed from the team. I thank them for all of the great work they’ve done for Balancer and for being great humans to work with. Since our launch, Orb partnerships has been making a positive impact, most notably via collaborations with OlympusDAO (the OHM-DAI-ETH pool is in the top 5 on Balancer both in TVL and volume) and our soon-to-launch Managed Pools MVP with Index Coop. However, the consistency and volume of high-value opportunities generated by our bizdev efforts were not up to the high standard that we hold ourselves to. As CEO, I take full responsibility for this.

We are taking this opportunity to do the following:

  1. Step back and reformulate how Orb can best be of service to the business development process.
  2. Reduce the DAO’s expenses during these bear market conditions.
  3. Partner even closer than before with the Balancer Maxis, who have stepped forward to take on the bulk of Balancer’s business development responsibilities.

The Maxis have been lending valuable assistance to Balancer’s BD efforts for some time now and they are now leaning in further to formally take on this role in the ecosystem. I have full confidence in their work as business developers, based on their proven results, and I do not expect any slowdown in maintaining and expanding Balancer’s pipeline of partnerships.

Admin / Ops

  1. This month, we successfully organized and managed the ecosystem’s first ONsite in Bogotá, Colombia. We achieved our goals of creating moments for connection and collaboration between full-time ecosystem contributors. We hosted 31 attendees across BLabs, Balancer Maxis, Balancer Foundation, Balancer OpCo and Orb Collective.

  2. We are now prepping for our ecosystem performance review cycle that will wrap up before the EOY holidays.

  3. We created an ecosystem onboarding program.

  4. We revamped the ecosystem comms framework to create more room for discussion and questions.

Team specific updates, grouped by ecosystem goals:

1. Strengthen the DAO’s financial position.


  • UI design around displaying revenue share with Pool Creators around DAOism’s implementation for BIP-32


  • Working with a top L1 chain to bring LBPs onto their ecosystem - a significant potential revenue source for Balancer
  • Worked with Paraswap on the use of a Balancer 80/20 PSP/ETH pool as part of their PSP 2.0 Social Escrow design


  • Reassessing how budget is requested and making more data-driven budget proposals

2. Make Balancer easier to use.


  • Building out documentation


  • Balancer documentation revamp
  • Managed Pools Launch preparation
  • Podcast format changed to Twitter Spaces AMA


  • Pool migration UX improvements
  • Development: Cleaner dark mode error and warning styles.

3. Scale Boosted Pools and veBAL.


  • Generalized Boosted Pools/Join Exits launch prep
  • Gave a presentation at DeFi Bogota on the veBAL system
  • Twitter campaigns highlighting gauges and partners participating in veBAL


  • Revised UX/UI for generalized joins/exits for single-sided joins, multi-pool asset & proportional joins

4. Expand Balancer to Gnosis Chain and zkSync.


  • Work with Gnosis Chain ecosystem partners to devise a launch + incentive strategy for deployment
  • Partner with Karpatkey (Gnosis Chain Incentive + Treasury Management) to facilitate TVL on Gnosis Chain launch
  • Analyze and prioritize high priority partnerships prior to zkSync launch

5. Develop and launch Managed Pools use cases.


  • Designed and built v1 Managed Pool Controller
  • Managing the audit process with Certora
  • Index Coop smart contracts review


  • Product Managing the launch including planning, roadmap and coordination betweens teams
  • Working with Index Coop around the first partner launch, for Diversified Staked ETH (dsETH).
  • New clarified strategy of keeping the Balancer front-end fairly in terms of new Managed Pools features. Removal of some features, like the Management History changelog in the designs.

Closing thoughts

October was a strong month for Orb. We stayed focused on working on Balancer’s most urgent objectives and we continued to serve as connectors of the ecosystem; setting and communicating top priorities for contributors to rally around, facilitating the creation of Balancer’s roadmap, and bringing everyone together in person to dive into strategic challenges, opportunities for improvement, and strengthening our relationships across teams. A big thank you to the whole team for another great month and a special shoutout to Elissa for organizing an unbelievably great ONsite despite the constraints of a limited budget!


Thanks a lot for the update.

Could you elaborate if you also consider reducing Orb’s cost footprint as it is the biggest spender of USDC?
I was expecting that you would consider to save funds from reducing the head-count in the BizDev team but rather chose to hire new talent. Would be great for the community to get context to better understand your decision.

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Thanks for your question, @Xeonus.

Orb has been keeping costs down in every way possible: headcount, marketing, and our other day to day expenses.

We have been very conservative with our spending from the start, staying meaningfully below the amounts that the DAO has granted us. We will be in a good position to return unused funds to the Foundation, which has always been our plan.

Transparently, I haven’t provided more detail on this yet because I haven’t had time. I will receive a report from our finance team this week and will inform the community in more detail soon.


Thank you for the update @immutbl

I have full confidence in their work as business developers, based on their proven results, and I do not expect any slowdown in maintaining and expanding Balancer’s pipeline of partnerships.

I’m not sure if we can consider the “Maxis” a good choice when it comes to BD.
Too many times I have seen statements and comments that have not improved (if not decreased) any chance of development or reconciliations with the various DAOs during the past five months.

There are clearly deficiencies in the art of diplomacy by some of the members which in my opinion are a risk more than an asset.

I will monitor closely and provide feedback as things evolve.

Some other things are catching my attention:
LBPs: Will the heavy work be on Fjord, I suppose?
Documentation, twitter spaces, AMA, dark mode are all nice but also collateral works;
I suppose the deployment on Gnosis chain and the collaboration with Karpatkey are quite simple tasks? mainly for the partnership and investment that Gnosis has in Balancer?
The managed pool project in collaboration with Index Coop has been going on for almost a year.

All in all, the price tag of Orb does not reflect the value I’m seeing. I’m confident however that things will improve as we move forward and your (great) team will pick up some traction in the coming months. But we are clearly not there yet (unless there are some communication issues Orb<–>Community and I’m missing the big picture).

I hope you don’t mind me be so frank.

P.S. A big thank you and best of luck to both Curtis and Alan.

There’s no clear deficiencies in anything without you presenting exactly which statements and comments you’re talking about.

Let’s hear about these DAO’s where development has been stymied because of statements/comments made by the Maxis. If there are avenues to improving how we operate I’m interested in pursuing them.

Thanks for sharing your opinions, @Andrea81.

The maxis have delivered high impact on the BD front without even focusing full-time on it. Recent examples:

  • Rocket Pool - rETH/WETH is top 5 by TVL, 2nd largest briber ($80k+ every 2 weeks)
  • Lido - wstETH/WETH is our #1 pool by TVL, launched wstETH on L2’s with us as one of the primary launch partners and are our top TVL pools on both Arbitrum and Optimism
  • Reached top 3 in TVL on Polygon

From my viewpoint, they’ve helped build strong relationships that are valuable to our DAO: lido, rocketpool, aura, Qi DAO, cowswap/gnosis, silo, temple, stader. I welcome you to share your alternative viewpoint as well.

Documentation is more than nice… it’s how the world of developers interacts with Balancer smart contracts. Improving our docs is one of the highest leverage projects that we as an ecosystem can be working on (and are). It ties directly into our Q4 goal of making balancer easier to use.

Is there an argument you’d like to make against developing our channels of communication with the community such as twitter and AMAs? Community engagement is also more than nice, it’s crucial.

Bootstrapping liquidity for a new L1 ecosystem requires a lot of effort on strategy and business development; Alan has worked hard on this.

In fact, it takes time to design, scope, and build a brand new DeFi product, while collaborating with another team on features, product requirements, key deadlines, etc. We’ve done much of this with only 2 integrations team engineers, which ties to my point about the importance of expanding this team (now 4 engineers). This is a long-term project that can produce Balancer’s next flagship product; one that does not exist in DeFi today and can serve a market with huge growth potential- asset management.

The first pool controller we’ve developed with Index Coop represents the first use case/configuration of this product; one of many to come. As the product development lifecycle goes, the first iteration of a net-new product takes the longest to develop from the ground up. Each new iteration afterwards follows a quicker path towards being ready for use at scale.

Can you please be more specific with regard to areas that you think need to improve and where our team, in your opinion, hasn’t “picked up traction?” In your view, where does this team need to be that it is “clearly not there yet?”


Thank you for the updates, @immutbl.

We got to give to Orb, for doing an impressive job bringing all different teams together and engaging in active conversations. The ONsite in Bogotá was a unanimous success, and some of the tools Orb is providing are proving themselves very useful (although personally, I feel overwhelmed using too many different apps now). :sweat_smile:

The communication between different entities working on Balancer seems a recurring topic. Since onboarding the DAO back in April, I’ve heard that in multiple meetings, from multiple actors. So I’m glad we have a team actively working on this issue, and here’s a special recognition (kudos Elissa!). However, truth be told it’s not an exclusive problem on our end, but for DAOs in general (as a new form of work coordination), so at least we are handling it well.

The Partnerships/BizDev situation is a good example of how things can go south. Orb had all the available resources but shows little results, showing a disconnection of expectations between the team and the community. So, I think having Maxis with Orb involved in these conversations since the beginning will be a great benefit.

Speaking of which, Orb’s employees are welcome to being more active in our community weekly roundups on Discord, further improving our comms (this has also been pointed out in our DAO’s monthly health checks).

To address this, Maxis have been considering adding more members to the team and further develop our strategy ahead; however, I would say it’s still early (little more than a week, since we joined conversations) and appreciate your feedback, as we are also excited for how things will evolve. Beyond doubt, the Maxi’s track-record of both gatekeeping and innovative thinking is a great asset to Balancer that few in the space would challenge.

That being said, I like that Orb took the time to prioritize goals and it really shows that October’s been a busy month.


Thanks for your feedback, @Danko8383.

Being a facilitator and connector for the ecosystem is an important part Orb’s role and to me it’s clear that the contributors across Balancer are more aligned, rowing in the same direction with a shared vision, than ever.

I disagree with your characterization of “little results” on biz dev in our 3 months as a service provider and I think you’re taking for granted the following results:

  • Index Coop as the ideal launch partner for managed pools
  • Olympus partnership- $65M+ liquidity, #2 pool in fees collected
  • Set to be primary liquidity source for PSP via 80/20 staking pool
  • List of 10+ projects in line to deploy Boosted Pools after generalized launch
  • All of the partnerships in-progress which have been handed off to the maxis

Sorry, I want to avoid being misinterpreted on what I said (or meant to say). These are all great results, no doubt. My point being that better communication moving forward should reach “consistency and volume of high-value opportunities”, as the “high standard” you mention will be better aligned throughout the community.


Update on this thread, @Xeonus.

It’ll be about 1-2 weeks for me to receive the report I mentioned, so it can include all financial data from our first 3 months. From there, I’ll create a post to give the community a 3 month financial update.


Orb marketing team has developed quite a specialty in the “overcharge underdeliver” quadrant. I thought after the low effort thread on Aura got called out by Andrea, maybe an alarm would go off in marketing teams heads but nope. They’ve just doubled down on low effort Twitter marketing.

I am referring to this thread: https://twitter.com/Balancer/status/1590018748907339776

Mate, you’re supposed to be the OG defi brand and you write a thread like you’re pepsi discovering the word fren for the first time.

You’ve got like maybe 5 people interacting with it if you discount all the Balancer and Fjord team members liking and retweeting. From an account with 130k+ followers. Let that sink in how bad that is. If the KPI here was to optimize for as little engagement as possible then you’re right on target.

Now why does it bother me to a point to come here and call this out?

A few reasons. Firstly, I am a massive believer in LBPs, I’ve been involved as a 3rd party curator on Fjord for a year now, talking to projects that are considering using an LBP model pretty much every single week, helping them with marketing, general advice, project curation etc. I run a newsletter with over 4k subscribers and a website dedicated to LBPs. I care about LBPs specifically being promoted in an effective way.

Secondly, the orb marketing team has committed to:

" * Twitter and social media presence are very important in our space. We will continue establishing a solid presence in the DeFi space by managing and expanding the strong brand identity the Balancer Protocol has today."

Thirdly, Balancer has also committed to:

" * Conduct marketing support to promote our exclusive partnership, the release of new use cases, and increasing general awareness of Fjord Foundry and Fjord NFTs"

I know for a fact that LBPs is a topic that if covered by someone competent using threads with the reach that Balancer main account has, it could pick up a lot of engagement, impressions, put LBPs on new people’s radar and genuinely help spread the adoption and get people excited again. You could genuinely help the Fjord team here with marketing and that’s also part of what this partnership was supposed to be about.

This is the exact tech that when Fjord integrated it into their launchpad, it helped to raise almost 1b across all projects which is incredible but the way orb marketing writes about it, no one cares and it’s sad to see.

I really wish Fjord and LBP tech in general would receive more effort from orb marketing team going into marketing the exclusive partnership backed by a half a mil grant.

Thanks @ReptilePresidente. I would think you know better than anyone after struggling to grow the Balancer twitter handle when you were at the helm that these tweets are not as you call them “low-effort.” Creating an effective, long-term social media strategy that succeeds during a bear market when tokens are crashing, centralized exchanges are going under, and click-bait is being constantly published is not an easy task.

You make it very clear that you have a vested interest in seeing LBPs succeed. Balancer is limited in what we can and can’t promote when it comes to token sales because of advice from compliance and legal. Even if your passion is to shill, we cannot take that stance. I am currently working very closely with Fjord on the most effective ways to market their offerings. At the same time the Orb marketing team is working on strategies for launching two new huge products that our developers have been building for months, we have new partner pools launching weekly that need promotion, are running AMAs, putting out new content regularly, updating the Balancer documentation to make it the most developer friendly, and just had our marketing team reduced to save treasury funds.

The Balancer ecosystem is about fostering collaboration amongst community members and my team and I are always open to helpful, unemotional feedback and suggestions. If your intention is to tear people down or create false narratives by picking out one tweet and calling it low-effort, then i fail to see how that contributes to the success of LBPs. I welcome you to share examples of what you think more high-effort marketing would be. You have access to the entire marketing team on Telegram and Discord yet I didn’t know you were still involved in the community as we have not heard from you since June 2022. Please feel free to reach out to me and let’s set up a meeting!


Hi @ReptilePresidente,

Well-written tweet thread. It explains the tech, features, performance, and partnership. Clear, informative, concise. Would love to see your version though.

Since we’re talking about marketing, this “low effort” narrative that you’re attempting to create would need more substance in order to work. This community has enough intellect not to believe that this one tweet thread you picked out (which, as anyone who reads it can tell, actually involved an appropriate amount of effort) is responsible for LBPs not exploding during a catastrophic bear market.


The thing is these campaigns are to be judged on engagement and the engagement states clearly it’s done poorly. You can argue all you want that it’s well written and sugarcoat it, but at the end of the day the numbers speak for themselves. I would have loved to see you setting higher expectations on the marketing team than just pad them on the back even if they produce mediocre work.

I have not asked you to promote token sales. I have pointed out that the LBP technology in itself is super interesting and can be talked about on Twitter in a much more attention capturing way. There is a big gap between how the current Twitter is run and a point where you’re breaking compliance rules. There is plenty of room for improvement and making things more interesting but you’re not willing to make that walk. I know that hiding behind compliance has always been the number 1 excuse for how poorly Twitter has been run.

Is using some imagery, storytelling, writing more in-depth content, maybe spicing it up with a custom GIF gonna get you in trouble with compliance? Don’t think anyone’s gonna buy into that. Worst thing that will happen is Mike B will cry a little about it, but just ignore it you’re the marketing boss here. And the engagement will be through the roof, getting people more interested in the technology!

Plenty more examples, let’s talk about that 6 figure rebrand that you presented internally. 6 figures has been sent to an external agency to basically redraw the Balancer logo to look like a 3 year old drew it and it was seriously presented internally as a rebrand plan. At that time, DAO gave you some feedback that you will probably ridicule Balancer on social media if this was to go live. And what ended up happening? Karen, I’m sorry Kristen gave a speech that we need to be nicer to each other and appreciate other people’s efforts.

But what happened to that rebrand project? Was a 6 figure budget wasted and was it swept under the carpet? Or you guys going ahead with it soon? I’d love to know!

Many more examples but let me bring them up during the next vote, so that people have it fresh in front of them as they’re making a governance decision on whether orb marketing should be funded or not.

Probably a good decision so congratulations on what I imagine was a difficult, but the right thing to do.

And again, I am not creating false narratives. I am simply stating harsh facts. I have always been of the opinion that Balancer has one of the strongest technology in crypto and one of the weakest marketing teams to promote that technology effectively. This is my honest opinion and I state it not to tear people down, but for you to realize this is a super competitive industry, you had the budget but you made mediocre hires and kept them for too long.

The Twitter profile by your reported metrics has like 400k impressions per month with 130k followers which has to be one of the worst impressions to followers ratio for a brand. Is it really that difficult to find a crypto autist that will create some good content for Twitter that crypto audience will resonate and engage well with? You truly don’t see the top quality some competitive teams are putting out on Twitter and that your teams content is miles away from that?

I am happy to give credit where credit is due and I think orb marketing does an exceptionally good job at conference marketing, organising crypto raves, merch, boat parties and all that offline marketing. Whether the spent is justified and effective is another story but I won’t get into that as that’s not my domain of knowledge.

What I do know very well is digital marketing and I think this is orb marketing team’s big weakness and I’d love either for them to step up or for a more talented team to take over the marketing work. With the SP framework now in place, I am optimistic that it can be achieved and we can make the tough but necessary choices to ensure that Balancer has a strong marketing presence.

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Your judgment was about the effort of this team, which you don’t have any credibility to judge from your distant position— you haven’t actively contributed to this community or even spoken to a Balancer contributor since you were offboarded as a DAO contributor 6 months ago, due to your failure to generate marketing success.

The level of effort and dedication on this team is through the roof. You’d be hard pressed to find another team in the DAO space that works as hard as Orb Collective.

There will always be areas to improve; we’re vigilant in looking for them internally and we also appreciate community feedback that helps us identify them as well.

I do think our social media engagement needs to increase. We should be consistently performing at the same level of projects that are roughly comparable to Balancer in size and stature (Yearn, 0x, dYdX, Compound) and strive toward the level of the very top projects. We’re not far off from our peers, and during the bear market engagement has dropped across the board. Regardless there are no excuses and we’re confidently working on it.

With the amount you struggled to get traction during a bull market, just imagine how you would have done in a bearish environment like we’ve had over the last ~7 months.

Regarding LBPs, again you’re attempting to build a whole argument about the current usage of LBPs: A) during a moment in time when market interest in launching new tokens is low based on market conditions, B) based on a single tweet thread that didn’t get a lot of engagement.

Here’s a similar recent partnership tweet thread that did better on engagement. There are hits and misses. Your argument is pretty flimsy.

To Meghan’s point, that’s called tearing people down. I’d add that you’re trying to create conflict in the community.

That was a Balancer Labs initiative before Orb existed and with no involvement of any DAO funds. Irrelevant point when discussing Orb’s work and the allocation of DAO funding.

Highly questionable statement, again based on your track record of poor performance for Balancer and lack of professional experience in marketing.


We hate to see friends fighting :neutral_face:, and we know everyone is feeling the pressure and adrenaline in this market… From the Fjord Team we would like to say we are very grateful for the hard work @Meghan and the team at Orb are putting in to expand the message of LBPs. It has always been (and likely will remain) extremely sensitive on how we can increase messaging and awareness around the technology while staying neutral on its use cases. This is also one of the reasons why we love our curators, especially @ReptilePresidente who is the OG curator on Fjord. RP has been a shining example of what we hoped curators would do in a decentralized world, and has done his fair share to raise awareness around LBPs.

In these bearish times we hope we can all find constructive ways to work together to push Balancer LBP technology back into the limelight it deserves. To this end one idea we’ve been playing around with is creating a digital summit around LBPs, their past, present, and potential future, The LBP Summit. We’d love to work on this, maybe co-host it with Orb, and invite speakers from across the spectrum — from architects, to other builders, to curators, to participants, as speakers. We believe we could really showcase the beauty, potential, and nuance of LBPs as a technology this way. This could be a mixture of technical explainers around LBPs and some of the Balancer developer tools for interested new builders, practical applications of these tools, panels around the use cases built on top them, and discussions of other novel applications. We’d specifically want to emphasize the educational side in all these matters as we strongly believe that the more people take this technology forward the better for all of us.

Please reach out to us through any of our socials (our Twitter is: @fjordfoundry) if this effort is something you’d be interested in contributing to.


I appreciate you joining the discussion, @ri_ri. What the Fjord team has done for Balancer’s growth is immense and working with your team is a pleasure.

As both Meghan and I have mentioned, we’re open and appreciative to receive constructive feedback and opportunities to hone our marketing approach.

Orb has a small marketing team with large responsibilities for Balancer protocol-- partnership promotions, product/feature releases, brand building, public & community comms, content creation, events, speaking engagements, and more-- all of this is done by 2 full-time people. They are working extremely hard and producing high quality work (and taking criticism from the community at the same time). I hope the community can be more aware and mindful of this.

I love the idea and would love to personally participate. LBPs are near and dear to my heart and I did a lot of the initial work to explain what they are to the world, create awareness, and work hands on with every team that launched an LBP before we had the amazing front-end solution that your team has built.


Appreciate your thoughts and offer to help @immutbl :pray:. Definitely can relate to what it’s like to support a lot of initiatives with a small team and limited resources. We’ve started exploring what we can do by collaborating with Orb and are now chatting with @Meghan. Thank you.