Core Issue: A lot of potential Nounish builders are not sure where to begin their work but are excited by the ecosystem - I know this because I was there just a month ago. The only place we actively incentivize them with ideas is Prop House mandated rounds. Otherwise, they must figure out problems themselves and then ask for money, a barrier that could prevent them from ever contributing.
Solution: Allocate funding to acquire new top-tier builders and let them explore the Nouns ecosystem pre-idea.
- 1 grant = 4 ETH for 1 month of part-time exploration - over-paying slightly is critical to attracting talent that may not otherwise come to us
- Context: a lot of the builders we are trying to attract are making > $150,000 in their day jobs
- 10 builders (40 ETH) in fist trial run
- 3 people on operations multi-sig (mrtn, jihad, looking for 3rd)
- Transparency (see operations)
- Excluded - anyone who is actively working on a Nouns-funded project already (small grants, regular prop, prop house, etc…)
- Must be working / exploring something while on grant, or will be revoked
- Generally technically/product oriented - contract eng, full-stack eng, design, product
- Operations team members not allowed to get a grant
- Fully transparently run by 3-person team
- Application process to vet builders, transparent public reasoning on accepting each builder
- One of the slots can be decided by Nouner vote
- Conduct check-ins and help builders find ideas, connect them to Nouners
- Goal is to get each builder submitting an on-chain or Prop house prop by end of month
- This will also help improve the builder onboarding process outside of the grants
But what if the builders take the money and don’t do anything? This is similar to everything in Nouns already - there’s a social contract to uphold, someone could always disappear after receiving 200 ETH on-chain. We can setup the grant via Sablier to revoke if a builder goes MIA, however. Additionally, if we can attract even half of the builders to stick around, the “acquisition cost” of those builders I’d argue is way higher - successful companies pay at least five figures to attract top talent.
What will they build? The first round will not have a particular mandate but future ones could be structured closer to Prop House mandated rounds, where there is a theme.
Why not just run this on Prop House? Decisions are not always best made by large committees. Prop House rounds do not allow for deep conversation and analysis of candidates. A transparent, small committee allows for depth and betting on candidates who might not otherwise get a shot (i.e. people who aren’t good at writing a description on prop house but would be amazing builders).
Why not just run this through NSFW / Small Grants? Small Grants has a great reach in terms of breadth, but there’s an opportunity to create programs that are more focused on depth, in this case builders. This can be a test of more opinionated sub-pods
- The 3rd member of the operations team
- Help getting this on-chain!