❘ ❙ ❚ Proposal: Nouns Builder [Draft]

Like you, we believe that Nouns DAO is a significant form factor innovation for NFTs and DAOs. Instead of giving all power and capital solely to a project’s founders, the Nouns model enables communities to emerge progressively, and to be active participants in how their brand and community evolves.

We believe that more Nouns forks should exist - so we’re building a tool anyone can use to build them.

For the past couple of months we have been working on the Nouns Builder: a product that makes it easy for anyone to create their own Nouns DAO with any art, any auction cadence and flexible DAOs that can evolve over time.

As we’ve been building this tool, we’ve increasingly realized that it makes sense to use this very tool to create a DAO that will govern, sustain and develop the Nouns Builder project itself. By doing so, Nouns builder can:

  • Be a customer of our own tool
  • Utilize the ecosystem of tools in Nouns: Prop House
  • Experiment using the NounsDAO model as an alternative to the subDAO multisig
  • Experiment using the NounsDAO model to proliferate a protocol and products
  • Share ownership of this DAO with Nouns, Zora and future contributors

We are going to call this DAO “Builder”, with its own art and NFT that will be minted each day. Builder will be NounsDAO from day 1, with the goal of proliferating this infrastructure.

We are going to submit a proposal to the NounsDAO to deploy of this DAO, with the following configurations:

  • 5% “Nounder reward” to Nouns, capped at 5 years.
  • 10% “Nounder reward” to Zora, capped at 5 years.
  • 2% ETH fee on all auctions: with a 34/33/33 split between Builder, Nouns and Zora. This fee parameter will be governed by the Builder DAO.
  • 1/100 NFTs for DAOs created using the tool will go to Builder DAO.
  • ETH contribution into treasury by Nouns (Question for the DAO)

We are going to complete a public audit with Code4rena before submitting this proposal to the DAO.

We want to share this draft proposal to source feedback.

Some selected screenshots from the product:

Useful links:


Very cool! Is the idea that the ongoing maintenance of the tool and budget for new features and improvements will come from the Builder DAO as well?

What does it mean that the NounsDAO will deploy this DAO?
Will Nouns DAO have control over Builder?

I could not be more excited about this tool and the experimentation and innovation it will bring to the DAO.

When ready, I would love to see all the different variables that users will be able to adjust in launching their own DAO. Happy to help brainstorm new and interesting features/functions too!


This is going to be such a great thing for the DAO. I also love that you plan to be a customer of your own tool. My only comment/criticism on this proposal is this part:

  • 1/100 NFTs for DAOs created using the tool will go to Builder DAO.

I know that it’s a menial ‘cost’ to future projects, but it still feels wrong to make that mandatory for them. I’d rather you go for a large retro reward payment and make that feature optional to the people who use your tool. Maybe they can do the 1/100 or donate the 1st one to your DAO, etc as part of the options when they start.

I think it would be best to use this as a super clean tool, with no strings attached, that brings the underlying tech to the masses and give them the option to give back to you if they want. Feels more nounish that way IMO.


Can you please clarify what’s the ask of Nouns DAO?

yes that’s exactly right: the Builder DAO will continually develop and maintain both the product and the protocol.

  1. Deploy the DAO
  2. Contribute some ETH into the project (TBD)

Perfect. Thank you Jacob. Already have some ideas of how I would like to use the builder.

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NounsDAO will have control over the DAO via its 5% ownership of Builder. We think that Nouns deploying the DAO is an exciting blueprint for future projects/subDAOs/Nounish startups to use. Where it allows for Nouns to contribute some ETH to a project and earn back ownership in the form of NFTs.

I do not think Nouns DAO should deploy Builder DAO. This is not strictly a Nouns DAO initiative though it is supported by the DAO. I do not think there should be an automatic forced relationship with 5% ownership. It is unlikely Nouns DAO will meaningfully take any active governance role due governance fatigue and voting complexity.


Feels a bit murky on whether this is a venture investment vs a public goods grant. Could be good to be explicit on this point.


how does this work if i also want to reward grandma.eth with every 10th NFT in familyDAO? Who is the recipient of NFT id 100?

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This is a great proposal. Fee terms for users of Nouns Builder are very fair.

Likely that it would be one of the 90 other possible token IDs?

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I think sub daos are an incredibly powerful way to proliferate nouns while at the same time contributing back to the nouns dao in some way.

Having an easy to use tool is a great idea and this looks great.

However I share concerns about Nouns DAO deploying Builder DAO and Builder DAO taking 1 out of every 100 NFTs from DAOs created using this tool. Projects should have the freedom to choose how they want their auction mechanics to work and not be forced to relinquish 1 out of every 100 NFTs. In addition I doubt builder dao would contribute to the governance of the daos created via the builder.

Even though Nouns may support this project Builder DAO should be autonomous from Nouns.

I also agree that Nouns will probably not contribute to builder DAO governance.

What is Zora’s role in Builder DAO? This is another reason I don’t think Nouns should deploy the DAO - we’d implicitly be partnering with and supporting Zora.

Imo this should be a public good funded by Nouns and perhaps eventually builder DAO becomes a self supporting DAO and funds itself.


An incredible fan of the product and idea of nouns builder (and jacob + zora team tbh) over here. However, I can’t help but feel that the direct (transactional) financial incentives flowing back to nouns baked into the proposal here might be counter productive.

Nouns’ incentive for nouns builder to be built and maximally used is pretty clear: we want proliferation of the meme and to increase the provenance value (claim on originality) of nouns and what better way to do that then making it easier to fork and copy nounish mechanisms.

Given that it’s a clear shared public infrastructure that we would vote for in a heart beat, do we need all this financial incentive flow back (5% of NFT issuance supply, 1/3 of the 2% of ETH auction revenue fee)?

For me it’s actually a reason to vote AGAINST the prop since the regular practice of baking in direct (transactional) financial incentives for funding something lowers the ceiling of what nouns can become, from a protocol that offers a shared governance and funding layer for entire nounish societies to be built on top of to a more traditional brand business that happens to embrace internet memes.

These types of arrangements that feel like brand / IP licensing deals to me (we give some sort of “funded by nouns dao” status and direct legitimacy / attention in return for an ownership take and royalty fees) can offer a win on value capture in the short term but reduces our potential to become neutral governance layer that all nounish communities can rely on and freely compete on top of (we end up having our own bags) which could have been the long-term value maximizing thing.

Of course, not everyone might agree with my take on what nouns could be / what we might be building here, but if we want to be a neutral meta governance and funding layer for nounish communities (which could be a huge chunk of internet communities in the future) then I think this approach might be a mistake.


I share this view. I was always under the impression this was something the DAO was paying to be created as a kind of public good. And I also think that many instances (not just this one) of paying revenue back to the DAO is not conducive to my understanding of the vision of what Nouns is/should hope to be. Creating nouns in the structure as an open source brand and protocol means we’re incentivising frictionless, boundless, and taxless invitation to proliferate nouns to the benefit of anyone that chooses to do so. Whenever we look to or support projects that pay that tax (even as a tribute) it feels like we’re undermining the power of that core idea.

What is the main reason for this structure? Is it because the team is looking for a novel way to be compensated what they think their effort is worth and not be expensive to the DAO?

As an aside/secondary issue:
Does this approach not open the nouns builder up to competition if it is forked with less or no fees and restrictions anyway? Imagine if Nouns the open source, no fee, public good protocol deployed a fee’d nouns builder and then became outcompeted by an open source, no fee, public good alternative…

Maybe there’s a reason this last point isn’t a concern or issue, if so I’d love to learn what that is


Just to be clear: huge of the work (in general and here) just not sharing the vision for these specific points on execution as it stands


Nice project, I like the idea and tested after launched, but I think it needs an option to host the public dapp remotely and whitelabeled.
I think that forcing a 1/100 mint for nouns.build in exchange of the downloadable version to be hosted by projects on their own website is a fair option.
Hope you will consider it