Bring luxury Noun sunglasses to market

Description

Summary

A couple months ago small grants funded the prototyping of a luxury sunglass initiative by salvinoarmati: Small Grant Request: Create luxury Noun sunglasses IRL ⌐◨-◨. This proposal is to fund the initial run and launch of the physical and NFT components of this project. More details here: Notion – The all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis, and databases..

Upcoming plan

We’re planning to launch these as an NFT collection of limited-edition glasses. Each NFT is consumable in the sense that it can be used once to redeem a physical pair. Once the NFT is used, a boolean value is flipped to indicate consumed status and the underlying tokenURI is permanently changed. A physical pair of sunglasses is then sent to you.

~7.2% of supply reserved for NounsDAO Treasury

The total supply of the collection will be 6969 units. This project would not have been possible without the NounsDAO and the treasury. As a thank you, we’ve decided to allocate ~7.2% of the supply to the treasury (500 units). We hope to make other such contributions as a thank you to the DAO in the future.

Custom Edition Glasses Just For Noun holders

We’re also making a custom “special edition” pair exclusively for noun owners. The design of these glasses will be based off of the under-appreciated and rare “disco” glasses featured on some nouns. There will only 500 of these glasses ever made, and will be available to the first 500 nouns during mint. This means, future nouns (up to #500) will also be able to receive the glasses.

High-level todos that still remain

  • Create Smart Contract, Website, Minting, and Redeeming Experience.
    • Have had a preliminary call with @blequity at Zora and will be using Zora’s smart contract system to launch this NFT.
    • Both Signora Armati and I are software engineers so will be able to build most of this —but we may hire 1 or 2 engineers to accelerate the timeline.
  • Finalize a storage/distribution facility for shipping the sunglasses.
    • We’ll need to organize a distribution facility which will serve a few functions:
      • Long-term storage of glasses (for those that are unredeemed or redeemed later)
      • We have items coming from multiple manufacturers (Sunglasses, Nouns Box, Carrying case, polishing cloth, thank you cards) — and will need an area to assemble and ship out all boxes.
  • Promotional Video / Ad
    • We want to create a fun promo (IRL) video that showcases the glasses + nouns brand. We’ve had a preliminary call with @jasonmorena_ (who was previously the filmmaker for Gary Vee) who has expressed interest in creating an ad for us.
  • Finalize glass design and create units at scale.

Funds Requested

  • 115Ξ for creating the smart contract, website, promotional/marketing material (this will be most of the remaining work), distribution facility, and to start manufacturing.
  • 1 Noun of the DAO’s choice upon successful delivery of the first physical pair of glasses.
Proposed Transactions
  1. 0x0B3CF56E7dF3BB3Fb7201fFcD96d279b05DDd2E3.transfer(
    115.0 ETH
    )
Proposer

0x2573C60a6D127755aA2DC85e342F7da2378a0Cc5 at 0x6d993

2 Likes

@salvinoarmati what are the timelines for these various milestones/deliverables? I didn’t see anything in the proposal or on notion

What is the planned mint/purchase cost for the remaining 6469 NFTs?

Salvino, everyone loves your energy and this project has been a wonderful success so far. I however think this proposal needs more discussion. The glasses and social activity around them are awesome, and I would love to see this project move forward, but I have reservations about a few items in the current proposal.

The cost breakdown feels mostly appropriate for Nouns DAO - some items are on the higher end and could be scrutinized but Nouns has communicated a willingness to pay generously. 47.83 ETH of that budget feels reasonable to me.

Supplier Contract — (500 units) — Given to DAO - 68 ETH

We’re covering all production costs, and then purchasing 500 NFTs at market value, redeemable for glasses. Will anon Nouners even be willing to redeem these? This specific item, the biggest item in the budget, needs more public discussion.

This proposal sets a precedent of Nouns directly funding an entire extension NFT drop, which also merits discussion as I’m certain there isn’t consensus around this within Nouns.

And. Another big one. Why is a Noun tacked on as a freebie? There’s a standing offer on LooksRare for 52.001 ETH per Noun. This should be accounted for in the budget. Unless the plan is to offer a Noun with every proposal and seriously devalue Nouns. This proposal sets a precedent (along with Prop 48) that I believe we should be more careful about.

I understand there’s a value in putting proposals on-chain and being able to handle discussions and voting within the on-chain period, but that leaves no room for notes on the budget / deal. If we’re going to put proposals on-chain without public discussion we can’t be afraid to vote no and ask for them to change and resubmit.

I don’t think this proposal is ready to be passed, I would prefer healthy discussion, changes, and resubmission.

Big picture too - I think we should fund things in ways that encourages competition and long term collaborative IP development. For instance we could generously fund prototyping, release the results under CC0, and have a separate open call for production. (EDIT: btw I would not push for this here, this is just a thought and probably a controversial one worthy of its own discussion)

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Edit: Woops, accidentally hit send before i finished the comment! Thanks for the comment @Oni!

Current Projected Timeline
· April 30th — Batch 2 Prototypes Arrive
· May 5th — Photoshoot + Modeling
· May 13th — Nouns (noun holders are given first priority)
· May 15th — Public Sale
· June 1st — First batch of shipments go out

What is the planned mint/purchase cost for the remaining 6469 NFTs?

We’re aiming to keep the initial mint at around ~$475! Our per-unit cost currently to make the glasses are working out to be about $150/unit (not including shipping/storage)

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Can’t wait to see models wearing these, the latest batch of lens photos look amazing. Huge props and congratulations on such a fine looking product and progress.
The schedule looks excellent but how many do you think you can package and ship by then? Do you have to order the materials for boxes and cases in bulk ahead of production? How are the frames constructed? are they all individually milled by hand or is there injection tooling involved? Are these being made in Italy? I know there is a huge supply chain crisis in china but you may be avoiding that mess so congrats. Looking forward to seeing your updates, your presentation is amazing

Let me start by stating that I really love the glasses you designed - I think they look great and I cant wait to see pics of people wearing these.

I do have a few points I would like to discuss though:
(1) I think a novel way of redeeming the glasses and having them tied to NFTs is an interesting concept, but:

  • a. Are there no risks of doxxing for nouners if they redeem these glasses? Having that special pair automatically means you are a nouner, so when you ship these out, you will be able to tell a nouner vs. non/nouner based on that.
  • b. What are the benefits of putting a hard cap on the supply? I thought that more glasses = better for noun proliferation.
  • c. What is the benefit of spending the resources on making this an NFT drop vs. just selling them the normal way? What value does this add?

(2) In your first proposal with Small grants, you requested funds for website (4k) and marketing (2k) and now you ask for additional funding for both website and marketing (10 eth - 30k USD for website and over 20 eth - 60k USD for marketing), even though you shared very little of both the website and marketing. I don’t think we have sufficient info to evaluate if the first 6k of funding was well spent, let alone discussing another 90k going to this cause.

(3) Custom edition disco lens and frame prototyping.

  • a. I don’t understand why prototyping these special glasses would cost as much as your whole initial proposal, which also included website and marketing efforts. There is no info to suggest a different shape of the frame so tbh I don’t understand the “frame prototyping” part at all. Lens-wise I would’ve thought the experience gained from designing and prototyping the first lens would lower the costs of prototyping another one.

  • b. I can’t speak for nouners obviously, but if I was one, I would rather have the “signature” noggles with black and white lenses than the disco ones. Was there any temp check for this?

(4) In the proposal you mention 68 ETH is needed for the supplier contract for 500 pieces (this is without assembly, distribution and storage). Converted to USD this comes down to over 400 USD for the manufacturing of one pair of glasses. This figure seems insanely high to me (like 5-10x more than I thought it would be) as it is in the retail price range of luxury sunglasses I believe. Can you provide more info?

(5) Storage. When I imagine 500 tiny boxes, in my mind that is something that fits onto a large table, or like one shelf in a warehouse… I am certainly not an expert but 5 ETH for storage seems a lot. (Also compared to Klim´s proposed 4 ETH for storage of 10x more pieces than this proposal is calculating with).

(6) THE NOUN. I wonder what the thought behind including a noun as a reward in this proposal was? I was unable to find any info about it anywhere. In Dustin´s proposal, the noun value was supposedly subtracted from the total funding he asked for, what purpose does it play here? I don’t think a noun purchased by the DAO is free and I don’t like the idea of handing them out like this.

(7) What will the pricing and distribution of the NFTs/glasses be? That is quite valuable info and it’s missing.

In general, I really don’t appreciate this going on-chain without any previous discussion here or in Discord (I was the one that created this post, and the on-chain proposal wasn’t even linked in Discord which I find really odd). I think there are major issues here that should be addressed and I hope nouners won’t be afraid of voting against in hopes of getting a better version of the proposal.

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1(a) Privacy with a physical product?

Unfortunately, we don’t have a way for nouners to redeem a physical pair without some risk of being doxxed. We obviously take your privacy very seriously. But, it’s going to be up to each noun to decide whether or not they want to redeem a physical given the risk. I do have some ideas on how we might be able to solve for this in the future — but haven’t deeply investigated so don’t want to make any promises.

1(b/c) Why NFTS?

I hope that we made clear from the get-go our aim is to make a premier, luxury brand centered entirely around Nouns. Luxury products are purchased by few, but desired by many. An NFT with a limited supply is naturally in service of that goal. Over the long-term — i expect more physical products to have an on-chain digital counter-part.

2. Re: What happened with prior marketing spend? and why is upcoming marketing spend so high?

A few points:

  1. Over the last 2 months, we generated ~700k impressions on twitter with materials that we made using the previous grant. We also made a really incredible product video that @seneca can vouch for because he’s seen it (we don’t want to release it yet because it’s not the right time). We did our best, but ultimately it’s up to you decide whether or not it was well spent.
  2. The allotted amount for “marking/growth” on the proposal is ~$65k (20.83Ξ) not $90k. I think if it was ~$90k — we would still be massively undershooting what we should actually be allocating. Builders/Engineers have a tendency of over-indexing on product and not thinking enough about distribution. When actually in most cases, poor distribution—not product—is the number one cause of failure. The objective here is to elevate the nouns brand, and quite frankly, we can’t do that just by making a great pair of sunglasses.

3(a) Why is the disco glass budget high?

A few things we should clarify on this one.

  1. The disco lenses are much harder to make because we’re going to require 4 different colors on a single lens. Other sunglass makers don’t do this — and so the sample costs, and the per-unit costs are higher. We’re expecting/planning to do multiple rounds of samples.
  2. We have not finished the final measurements/design for the frames. There are currently another ~25 different variations in progress that’s helping us make a final decisions on things like (inner border-radius, lens shine, frame thickness, colors). The cost of all this is included here. Please keep in mind that we’re overnight shipping everything in the interest of time.

3(b) Do nouners actually want disco glasses?

If other nouners have strong opinions here about this we’re open to discussion/feedback. Personally, I think disco glasses are underrated glasses in the nouns collection. They are just as “nounish” as the classic 2-tone noggles ⌐◨-◨ by being an official part of the collection and deserve more attention. They also just look awesome af :slight_smile:

(4) 68Ξ Supplier Contract Breakdown

The per-unit cost to make this is about ~$150/unit which accounts for 75k (25Ξ). While working with 5 different manufacturers/suppliers — we’ve been getting samples incredibly fast by promising them a larger upcoming contract. I think we absolutely needed to do this because they typically prioritize larger customers. But, it has come to a point where we need to put a deposit down ($82k / 27.33Ξ) for the larger contract. There are multiple reasons for this:

  • With deposit down, the suppliers can begin the process of sourcing materials right now which will likely avoid delays when we go into production.
  • We’ve maximized the “good will” line-of-credit they’ve given us by being very accommodating to our very aggressive timelines.
  • The remainder, is our margin for the work we’re doing. To be honest, both Signora Armati and I have mentally prepared to spend the entirety of this on marketing and growth. To be totally frank, we’re not here “to make a salary” for the time we’re putting into this. We succeed if the project succeeds.

(5) Storage Costs

Some additional context here that might help. First off, this is for 7k units not 500 units. This project is something both Signora Armati and I decided to take on as a project (for fun, for profit, and mostly because we were enamored with the idea of Nouns). We’re operating out of Manhattan because our full-time commitments call for us to be here. I have a start-up that I run, and work on full-time on. It’s important to us that we optimize for our time/convenience on this (which is why we’re not choosing some cheaper location). In fact, we’re probably still undershooting this line-item budget-wise.

(6) THE NOUN

This is the one that has the most amount of surrounding questions so want shed some light on this. I spent the last few days running the proposal by many different nouners (to get feedback). During my call with @vapeape – he brought up if we considered asking for a Noun as a part of the compensation. I emphasized that that while that would be amazing we’re not going to push it if it’s going to be an issue. He said he’d discuss this with a few others and add it if it made sense. It really was a pleasant surprise when I found out that he had added it — and I thanked him profusely for doing so. I assumed it wasn’t going to be this contentious.

Now, it’s up to the protocol to decide whether this is a reasonable ask or not by making a judgement on our execution so far. A hypothetical question to ask is if the proposal was for 170Ξ instead (where 2nd half is delivered after a successful outcome) — would that be a reasonable budget for a project of this size/scope?

Generally speaking, I think most members of the DAO would be in favor of aligning the incentives of talented builders with the DAO. Ultimately, it will be up to you to decide whether that criteria applies in this case.

(7) Pricing

We’re shooting for something around .16Ξ → .18Ξ per unit . I don’t think this is too much, as there have been a few people who’ve DMed me with the intention of buying 20+ units at that price point.

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Sharing my reasoning for voting FOR this proposal here as well (originally included in the vote itself):

I’m voting FOR prop 57 because in the current world where nouns lacks a mechanism (or any type of process) to compensate for success of proposals (note we fund mostly costs) it makes rational sense for the proposer to include what they want upon success. Naturally it’s a contentious and painful topic to discuss. Before seeing what the project delivers, how are we to know what the success reward should be? People are mostly arguing that 1 noun is a lot, but it can also be much too little. Ultimately, the correct success reward is infinitely harder to decide upon before the fact and can lead to much wasted heartburn each time. This is why I’d advocate for us to put into place something like Retroactive Impact Rewards - Nouns to establish trust with proposers that we will reward success fairly and generously such that we can move the reward discussion moment to AFTER the project is delivered rather than before. In lack of such process and trust in the current state, I do not see it as bad faith or form that a proposer asks for what they want upon success as part of their funding proposal ask. I’ll leave the ambiguity of “successful delivery” which is the 1 noun delivery criteria outside of this discussion. I’m imaging there’s some judgement by the DAO to make when the time comes and should be additional incentive alignment for the proposer to actually deliver something clearly successful in order to earn the noun without debate.

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I want to say again that I absolutely adore this project, the thoughtful design, material choices and execution. I love everything about what you have done, the creative part has been executed beyond anyones expectations.I do have important questions that I feel need to be adressed before moving forward. The biggest one is this: This is not a novelty toy or a collectible item. This is promoted as an everyday wearable as has been stated multiple times. Has there been any testing of the design and lenses? Sunglasses and all eyewear are a complex design problem because there is an inward shatter parameter to consider. Has there been any discussion of liability insurance for this project? In a case like this who will be the responsible party if someone wraps their car around a tree or hits a pedestrian while driving. Remember people have been know to eat tide pods so this is a legitimate concern. Hope you don’t take this as a negative on the project but this is the reality of making consumer goods.

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I think this is a legitimate concern. While the risk may seem low in this case, liability generally is an asymmetric exposure which if not absorbed by the proposer may put the DAO next in line (I assume specifically our doxxed members).

Not sure the most elegant solution (possibly this project should be funded by the FC which could carry its own coverages?), but I don’t see how we can sustainably habituate this kind of arrangement w the DAO directly. There are those who will sue an entity for the simple reason that it carries no protections and does not want to spend resources defending itself.

Leaning towards abstaining with the hope that we can work towards a cleaner structure, or that i will simply come around to not worrying about this kind of thing, which is always a possibility.

Such an alluring proposal fwiw

with each one of these proposals we are all learning new things from the process and each other. Beleive me no creative busy person needs to be dealing with international logistics of saftey testing/labeling, I feel that it is our job as a community to bring these points up just for awareness and better planning. I love this project and want it to be a huge success.

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