We’d like to seek funding for a quarter (3 months) to keep developing Agora in order to improve the governance efficacy of Nouns through delegation.
We got funded on August 31 via Prop House mandates to build an MVP. In less than one month, we’ve built a delegate platform for voters to broadcast what they want to see, and for builders to find voters who might support their prop. To illustrate the outcome with some numbers, so far we’ve seen:
- 17 statements from delegates representing 125 nouns (>25% of all votes!)
- 16 statements from builders who are seeking delegation
- 5 nouns delegated via Agora (that we know of)
- Proposal passed to deploy a beta on lil nouns
In sum, Agora has created a hub that turned delegation from an invisible, behind the scenes activity, to something the community can see, participate in, discuss, and improve upon.
Our goal has always been to greatly improve the effectiveness of the Nouns DAO. We recognize that while the DAO lives and dies by the quality of its decision making, the time demand of being a good voter is such that we cannot expect most token holders to participate to the degree required. Therefore focusing on driving delegation of votes into the hands of qualified and engaged delegates is the highest leverage activity we can invest in – especially given that constant issuance means that delegation and governance engagement is naturally trending downwards.
Although creating a client like Agora to reduce friction and provide transparency is a necessary first step, we don’t think that alone will be enough to drive meaningful delegation. That’s why the next phase of Agora will not only continue to improve the delegation client, but also deliberately invest in programs and mechanisms that can greatly increase delegation and participation. We outline below the key areas we’ll focus on in the next phase of Agora.
Incentivize effective governance: We believe there’s tremendous potential in creating incentives to reward effective governance, but also recognize the pitfalls of designing poor mechanisms. As such, we will be running a series of small scale incentive programs over the next months, with the goal of finding the best one to turn into a mechanism we can invest in for the long run. Below are some examples of incentive designs.
Continue building the Agora app: We’ll keep building the Agora client to create the best experience for Nouns governance participants, bar none. This means investing in features like: proposals view with reasons delegated voted for / against, more robust governance metrics over time, an easy to use proposal creator, granular and temporary delegation, etc.
Operate a delegate drive program: we recognize that one of the key ingredients of Prop House’s success was their investment in getting builders and voters to participate. Taking inspiration from that effort, we’ll also operate a program to get token holders and voters to participate on Agora.
If we are successful, this is what things would look like in a quarter:
- A full fledged Agora app that is a more powerful version of Tally & nouns.wtf when it comes to voting and delegating.
- Strong conviction around the most effective mechanism to incentivize voter turnout
- More delegates and delegation from the delegate drive program and mechanism experiments
Yitong – Project lead & designer: co-founder of Vector DAO, and previously design + product at Coinbase. Prop builder for #87, contributor to Nouns Vision, delegate
0xcaff – Engineer: Built the v1 of Agora, previously engineer at Coinbase
Tom Taubkin – Protocol Engineer: Contributor to several defi projects, previously engineer at Coinbase
Mrtn – Ops / Community: Delegate from nounlets, funded via Prop House as governance historian, deployed Agora on lil nouns, previously pm on nouns.builder, and pm at Google
235 ETH 3 months for the team
20 ETH to incentivize voter participation
Total ask 255 ETH (of which 20 will be given back to community via participation incentives)