#3 Monthly Newsletter, October - "Ad infinitum!"
kmao
0x4Ef3
October 2nd, 2022

An overview of the changes coming in October, and a detailed breakdown of what to expect for the next 3 months.

We’ve had an exciting month! Let’s dive into what we’ve been working on & planning out, and some features to expect in the future. Strap in, grab a iced americano & let’s get down to buisness.

September’s Review

Product Review

At the start of September, we talked about 5 major products:

Rebranding

This has been our most important and time-consuming process. I apologise for the lack of updates in regard to it, but it’s been an exhausting process. Let me provide some context:

  • I initially reached out to a couple of designers through mine, my old employer’s & Kieran’s network. We had some interviews, looked at portfolios and eventually decided to go with Kawpuccino.

  • Here began the first of our issues. Our onboarding process was expedited due to our busy schedules. I had a very packed first week with meetings as I’d just taken over Ethlizards, and Kawpuccino is a full-time student and also had prior commitments with projects.

  • After we connected and I helped onboard Kawpuccino with the vision of what I had in mind & what I wanted Ethlizards to look like and explained our culture, we got to work.

  • Kawpuccino got to work, using existing Ethlizards assets as a base to build off. His work was mostly inspired by the neon “Underground Lizard Lounge” banner as well as the existing website and art.

  • Our first logo iterations resulted in this:

Iteration #1
Iteration #1
  • Here is when Kieran pushed back with feedback and led me to realise that we had not gone through enough brand discovery and exploration before going through this rebranding. James at this time was using the logo and colours to experiment with the website and the more we built upon the base, the less confident I was with it. The colour scheme and palette didn’t feel like it felt the art and old aesthetic.

  • To cut a long story short, soon after this, we fast-tracked a branding workshop with Ilivium’s marketing agency, NoStanding. They’ve helped us build a great brand identity & direction and given us a clearer idea of what to design based on. As lizard holders themselves, they helped us really draw from the community spirit and we are on a clearer path now.

  • As of today: We are now working on a clearer vision & close to finalising the design. As the design is crucial to most other projects, they’ve also suffered the same delay as branding. Here’s an up to date board on design:

Iteration #2 - More colour exploration
Iteration #2 - More colour exploration

I did not realise that the existing assets were not sufficient enough to branch branding off, and I was a bit too rash with the creative design process. I estimate a week additional of delays due to this branding, putting the completion date at October 8th.

“Smooth-lining the fundraising process” - A fresh application platform/form to allow direct deal flow to the Ethlizards community

Due to this 1-week delay in the branding process, this has carried onto this product as well. Specs and groundwork have been done, but we are pending final rebranding to make it look fresh and clean. This launch simultaneously with the website, before October 20th.

“Website Revamp” - A brand new website that comes hand in hand with our new refreshed branding.

Our website revamp was the last product that was delayed by branding. This launch is by October 20th. In the meantime, Jumbo has been speccing out a lot of additional functionality and features we are adding throughout Quarter 4. Unique holder dashboards (not just for staking), an information board/hub for Gamefi projects, community curated content & easier voting. We’ve been hearing and noting down the complaints and will build off them (especially the one about being able to vote with your lizards in cold storage whilst not compromising safety). Here are some snapshots of the first drafted website for your curiosity:

Landing Page
Landing Page
Roadmap
Roadmap

"Staking” - A long overdue feature for the Ethlizards!

Finally, some positive news! Expect a LIP/feature doc around mid-October. I’ve just recently had a meeting with Aelin and the additional features we have planned will be possible with them. I’ve crafted a variety of new features that bring additional incentives to stakers. ERC998…?

Merch” - Plushies..?

We’ve finalised our design and feature list for these. Currently undergoing sourcing at a variety of factories. Very excited to say these will be the highest quality plushies you own, with an amazing unboxing experience. Please give Rogier a lizlove for his great work. Here’s a leak - just a small one though.

That covers our September product list! 🦎

Community Review

We’ve had an eventful month with a variety of collaborations with partners and future collaborations in the works. However, after a long discussion with lizard contributors, we want to make changes here.

We currently see Ethlizards supported by 3 main pillars: product, financials & community (look in the Formalised Contributor Structure section later if you want more context on this). The community has a variety of aspects, being: marketing, partnerships/collaborations, “alpha”, governance, community support, whitelists, and community events. Following internal discussions that enlightened us that’d been ignoring these aspects and becoming too hyperfocused on products, we’ve agreed that there have been unfortunate changes that erode away from the original Ethlizards community spirit. This has only been exacerbated by the recent team changes & loss of focus on the community. Thankfully, I’m blessed with community contributors that go out of their way to help me, and many of them have only continued to offer their support & time for this project.

Moving forward, we are establishing a formal structure for contributors and directly working with community contributors that are much more engrossed in the culture & community than us, leaving us to focus on our strengths, whilst not taking away from the incredible community vibes. We’ll have dedicated managers & contributors for each significant community section to bring you even more fun collaborations, online & offline events & tournaments. I’ve already received a variety of requests that I’m in the middle of handing over.

Expect a lot more fun stuff in the future whilst we continue to build the future of Game-Fi & Ethlizards.

Financials Review

Investments

  • Deal A: Pending follow-up with the team

  • Deal B: Pending legal work, allocation confirmed.

  • Deal C: Pending further information (Aelin Pool Setup).

  • Deal D: In discussion with the council.

Direct Deal flow

This concept has been moved to staking. We have a couple in the pipeline we hope to be able to launch alongside staking if timings allow for it. It’s happening!

September Cashflows

Click the below link for our September expenses:

Read on for future plans on budgeting & cash flow management!

Planning for Quarter 4

Narrative & Focus

There’s been a lot of internal discussions in regards to the future of Ethlizards. Initially, we wanted to do some pretty big marketing items shortly after the rebranding and really go for a push into the fore-centre of crypto gaming, and then mainstream gaming. After some budgeting and product planning, we’ve decided to delay this approach and instead take a more conservative “if we build it, they will come" approach to marketing & community expansion. 2 main factors led to this decision:

  1. Our treasury & the markets are no longer at our strongest. At our peak, our treasury was worth $1,000,000+. However, with the downturn in the markets, our funds have depleted to ~$600,000.

  2. It’s simply not the right time to push marketing. A lot of products that we want to push will not be finished if we begin a robust marketing approach now.

Our focus for the next quarter is to release a slew of infrastructure changes, updates & products for Ethlizards, and focus on rewarding our loyal community members whilst organically expanding via our products & culture. However, don’t take this as a sign we won’t push for marketing in the future, we’ll definitely be making a stronger effort when we see relief in both the crypto markets & a general upturn in crypto gaming.

This narrative does not affect investments. In fact, we are prioritising investments and returns to current holders. As for a narrative/focus there, I’ve been getting more researched in the Asian crypto gaming markets. I believe there is immense untapped potential in Asia, especially Korea, which has been the hub of the gaming and a popular crypto hotspot for an extended period now. I aim to bring the lizards deeper there and bring us some deal flow.

Budgeting for the future

Continuing from the above paragraph, our main focus is investments. This’ll be reflected in our budgets. We’ll be cutting down any additional costs and attempting to maintain net positive inflows, whilst consistently converting ETH amounts to USDC to maintain a sufficient runway for both expenses and investments.

Roadmap

I’m happy to unveil our Q3 roadmap! Initially, we wanted this a year roadmap, but I think a shorter time horizon is better, especially due to crypto’s turbulent nature and the speed at which we want to push updates out!

2022 Q4 Roadmap
2022 Q4 Roadmap

Formalised Contributor Structure

Here’s the formalised contributor structure. In regards to the community contributor lizards, we’ll have a formal announcement & application process in October. We already have old contributors that will be offered this role first.

Also, we are welcome to announce the addition of our in-house designer, Kawpuccino. Kawpuccino has previously worked with me and Jumbo on a variety of projects and has also worked for other NFT projects like The Littles & Fishy Fam as well as Web2 companies, Grab & Coca-Cola. Here are a couple of words from him:

First heard about Ethlizards from my conversations with Lord Quas months ago and the shills for this incredible gamefi community came from all continents. And now, to think that I'd get to be apart of something which has the potential to take the gaming community by storm, I'm absolutely humbled and I can't wait to work with the Illuvium bois to bring this project to greater heights. Excited to build the vision with everyone!

Additional Content

  • One of our investment council members, Lizident was the victim of a discord hack. Following this attack, we are going to undergo a discord security & permissions review. His lizards are safu!

An Afterword

Much thanks to the old team, community & contributors for the pleasant onboarding experience. In our short time here I’ve already been tested and challenged by both products & the community and I’ll continue to welcome further discussions, feedback & criticism on things we push forward.

It’s been a turbulent, exhausting but overall, rewarding month and I’ve come up with a year’s worth of concepts and products I’d love to build out for the Ethlizards community. I implore you to watch closely because I’m confident we’ll surprise you.

Signing off,

Kmao

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