Q4 2022 | Stacks Foundation OKR Report
by Mitchell Cuevas on January 30, 2023
In Q4, the Stacks community delivered a host of massive technical upgrades as well as an exciting look ahead at the networks future. Developer growth and better coordination is now setting the stage for more innovation on Bitcoin in 2023:

  • The sBTC and ‘Nakamoto’ whitepapers were released, providing an overview into the next major technical steps for the network.
  • Stacks continued its reign as the number one Web3 project on Bitcoin per Electric Capital and is a top-30 crypto project (at #28) as measured by total developers.
  • Stacks 2.1 was approved in the biggest vote ever for the network (nearly 500 community members) with 99% voting ‘yes’. Stacks 2.1 is imminent pending final bug fixes.
  • The number of core developers in the ecosystem grew from 8 to 12, while the Stacks Labs grant for a new Core Dev entity headquartered abroad was funded.
  • And plenty more you can find in the most recent recap!

At the Stacks Foundation, we focused our efforts around core blockchain infrastructure, developer education, and governance (execution of Stacks 2.1 voting being one example) to prepare the ecosystem for a year of adoption in 2023. In light of new developments with sBTC upon release of the whitepaper, we took several opportunities to recalibrate priority work as needed. You’ll see this reflected in the full OKR report where we’ve moved or reprioritized projects and resources.

Below we’ve outlined our performance against our Q4 Objective and Key Results (OKRs). You can read a bit more about the planning and prioritization process for these OKRs here. You can always find our current quarter OKRs on our website. Generally, new OKRs for each quarter are shared one month into the quarter.
OKR Performance Summaries
(A) Ensure successful blockchain upgrades and improvements
We completed the necessary work to get the network and community ready for the 2.1 network upgrade, which is currently rolling out. This included everything from code contribution and leadership in architecture design, to preparing key partners and exchanges, to coordinating the decentralized voting process. Notably, Stacks 2.1 was approved in the biggest vote ever for the network (nearly 500 community members) with 99% voting ‘yes’. Stacks 2.1 is imminent pending final bug fixes.

In addition to work directly on Stacks 2.1, we also put significant effort into helping bring more Core Dev capacity into the ecosystem:
  • Worked to drive new pipeline for core developer candidates, assisting an increase from 8 to 12 total core devs in Q4, including hiring a Blockchain Core Developer here at the foundation
  • Opened and began recruiting for a new Blockchain Security role
  • Supported a grantee in developing their application to open a new Core Developer-focused entity headquartered abroad. This grant has since been funded in Q1.
Additionally, members of our team led Working Groups related to sBTC which will be a key focus as we push to deliver on the full promise of Stacks as a Bitcoin layer. Coordinating these efforts will be a major way we spend time the next several quarters, and we’re in the process of bringing on a Stacks Resident to further buoy this critical work.

Last, but not least, we made important improvements to incident response and communications related to the Stacks blockchain, delivering a status page, new Twitter account setup, and adjustments to the Immunefi Bug Bounty for clarity. Work to automate some status-related items will continue in Q1.
(B) 600 total Community Leaders (29% increase from end of Q3)
Surpassed goal of 600 Community Leaders, reaching 641 or 35% growth
A strong community needs dedicated people contributing in multiple ways. One of our core functions here at the Stacks Foundation is to enable those types of contributors through programs and grants. This objective included projects like hiring a SIP Resident and a blockchain engineer, working to support Stacks Chapters, aligning grants to the highest areas of need, and accelerating people’s journey to deeper levels of the community. The team delivered amazing results here, completing the vast majority of community-focused OKRs. Highlights include a grants model with greater decentralization and transparency, smashing through the initial goal of 250 community leaders to 465, and much more.
(C) 105 total Companies built on Stacks (14% increase from end of Q3)
Surpassed goal of 105 companies on Stacks, reaching 126 (methodology)
What counts as a company?
Glad you asked! This is one we're always trying to perfect and track, but our current methodology is as follows. We include teams that meet one of the following markers:

  1. Teams that provide a publicly accessible application as indexed on stacks.co/apps, deduplicated if the team provides more than one
  2. NFT projects with All-Time volume greater than 100,000 STX, deduplicated for teams with multiple collections or other apps
  3. Stacks Ventures portfolio companies
  4. Active Web3 Founders Lab Teams (active, checked quarterly)
  5. Teams that have open positions on stacks.co/jobs
  6. Other teams that integrate Stacks to deliver a core part of their value to users
Note: We do not count integration partners that add Stacks support, such as exchanges
Our work in this category is primarily that of supporting Stacks Ventures and developing talent at the grassroots level. However, we track this top line item knowing that because we’re able to grow this number consistently, unicorns and breakaway successes will likely emerge downstream. During the quarter we supported the Stacks Accelerator team in raising additional funding, ultimately achieving consensus on an approach and funding for Cohort 3. The Foundation maintains its support as an LP and continues to support companies with grants aligned to public goods that are approved by the Grants Review Committee. The Stacks Foundation is hopeful that a fitting person or entity will take on the challenge of giving entrepreneurs a go-to starting place in the Stacks ecosystem resulting in a reignition of VC interest in Stacks teams.

In other work within this OKR, we successfully prepared Orbit Bridge for liquidity, while Magic Bridge also became operational. On the NFT side, Ileana Malacrino (Stacks Resident), brought in 35 new NFT projects to Stacks. Unfortunately, partnership talks with major marketplaces and NFT infrastructure players stalled. We will revisit these conversations in future quarters when our volumes are higher.
(D) 500 total Stacks Developers (28% increase from end of Q3)
Reached goal of 500 Stacks developers, reaching 498 or 26.5% growth (Orbit 1 & 2)
While the top-line number reached the overall goal (60-70% = complete), there were several projects in this category that were reimagined or moved as we learned more about sBTC. The focus around developers in Q1 will be finishing key work that was started in Q4, such as rolling out the Clarity assessment as a capstone to Clarity Camp, putting the finishing touches on a go-to simplified starting place for developers on stacks.co, and vastly improved documentation.

We also anticipate working to ensure material and programming adapts to support sBTC as testnets become available. We’re also putting together a cohesive events strategy to support developer activity related to sBTC.
Line-by-Line OKR Report
See each objective broken down line by line with specific numbers, links, and more.
Looking Ahead
Looking ahead, the Stacks Foundation team is putting together OKRs based on critical themes. These objectives have been identified as essential to achieving our mission in the upcoming weeks and months.

  • Resourcing and alignment on sBTC will be a major focus of this quarter's OKRs, along with L1 speed, core developer onboarding and decentralization of mining.
  • Additionally, realigning messaging around Stacks as a Bitcoin Layer is an important step towards setting a strong foundation for sBTC-led breakouts during the second half of 2023.
  • Developer education and experience will also be crucial components of upcoming objectives. This includes documentation and other tools allowing new-to-Stacks developers to onboard quickly.
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