Retroactive Impact Rewards

On a quarterly basis, allocate a meaningful % of Nouns auction proceeds to top Nouns contributors via quad-funding using Nouner votes as a way to retain and encourage builders through outsized rewards.

The Nouns ecosystem has taken steps towards discovering what the optimal structure(s) for deployment of funds should look like. In ~8 months since launch, we’ve funded:

  • Individual builders to work on time-based proposals
  • Teams to build out specific ideas
  • Committees with specific mandates (small grants, nouns acquisition, etc)
  • Infrastructure for funding (prop house)

We’ve been able to fund builders to execute on ideas but have not been able to retain the talent to see those ideas through to their full potential.


  • FOMO Nouns (funded by Prop 8) was the one of the first projects to see any indication of real traction. It follows that on top of the labor cost for building out the project, builders should have received outsized rewards for their contributions.
  • Nouns Party was had the potential to change fractional ownership for Nouns. While the team shipped what was promised, it could be argued that a follow-through would have been more likely if an outsized reward was potentially in the future.
  • If Studio1 (prop 38) were to finalize a breakthrough deal with a big time studio, everyone involved in making it happen should see an outsized reward for their efforts.

At its core, proposals have been funding labor but no builder has been or (under current structure) can be rewarded based on performance post proposal execution. Nouns DAO should have pathways to outsized rewards for builders that deliver asymmetric returns to the DAO.

On the last week of every third month of the year, hold a week-long quadratic voting round where Nouners allocate a fixed amount of votes towards top n contributors of the Nouns ecosystem. The allotted funds will be distributed accordingly.

*Thank you to Noun 40 for the idea and 9999 for the naming!
**I do not have have the bandwidth to lead the effort but felt compelled to put the idea out for discussion.


Would we be using a tool for the quadratic voting, or implementing it ourselves? Would we be building a side pool of funds during those 3 months that then get dispersed?

EDIT: @wag mentioned

I’m not familiar with available tooling for quad voting. I suppose that if there are tools, at least for the first trial run, using those would be sufficient.

Wrt the side pool, submitting a multi-tx proposal to the DAO to disperse the funds would work.

I realize the above relies on Nouner’s social contract to some extent (e.g. voting FOR on the disbursement proposal) but the alternative (building native tooling) seems overkill for the first trial-run.

Yea, I think trusting the social contract is probably the best way, then just write a proposal to send funds to those contributors.

50 eth test coordinape round? fairest way afaik is opt-in: anyone that wants to be eligible to receive retro can request to have wallet address added and also be issued voting (“gift”) tokens.

Obviously, LOVE LOVE LOVE this proposal. Thanks @seneca for taking the time to write out this proposal for discussion.

The only thing I would add to this discussion is that I think the size of the rewards needs to be something big for it to really motivate talented individuals / teams to swing big. It might also take a few quarters for ppl to get the message and understand that this is something that they can expect and build their careers around.

My gut is that if this is quarterly, then it should be something like a week’s worth of auction proceeds (~8% of auction proceeds of the quarter). It should allow ppl to reasonably imagine and dream that if they really hit a project out of the park and contribute meaningfully to proliferating nouns then they will be able to buy a noun with what they win.

One more thing I might add is around naming. I wonder if it should be called “rewards” instead of “funding”. It might just be the lingo of this idea space since the Optimism team calls it “retroactive public goods funding” for the same idea of trying to pay out outsized returns to ppl that created public goods retroactively, but I personally can’t help but feel that the word funding kind of implies that it’s money for something to be done in the future not a reward for something that is already done. It also gets ppl into the mindset of cost. How much did X cost to produce rather than how much did X deliver. For those reasons I’m a proponent of calling it “Retroactive Impact Rewards” but totally open to it staying as is if ppl find it easier / better.


I agree with the name “Rewards” instead of funding. We had a chat about it in the nouncil call yesterday. Of course as Prop builders we are all pretty amazed at this idea. A weeks worth of auction’s proceed is def a life changing amount that would convince many builders to go all in if they feel like they have traction and can make a large impact, just like how start-ups work. I would say that voting should be structured by the nowners and not anyone could/should apply. Regarding voting, I almost feel as if it should be approached as a proposal, with the nowners (and nouncil) nominating a list of contributors (for example 10) and then the capital being distributed via votes according to an exponential curve, meaning the first ones get a very large reward, and the last ones get the equivalent of a small grant.


i think this is a fantastic idea as one piece of a larger solution to incentivizing contributors. as 1 of 2 current core contributors to the dao, i think i have a somewhat unique and differentiated perspective on this. a few thoughts

  • we absolutely need more ways to reward contributors based on merit and this is a fantastic step towards that
  • this creates the incentivize for builders to play politics and jockey for votes rather than just focus on the thing they are building
  • some contributions value and merit may not be as obvious to dao members (podcast that gets a ton of engagement on twitter VS some critical back end tech infrastructure)
  • individual dao members, if given the choice between 5 awesome projects they want to reward at the end of the quarter, will more likely than not choose to fund the builder they have the closest personal relationship with
  • this supplements generous compensation for a stated role but does not replace it and should not be relied on as the bulk and individual contributor’s compensation
  • as a contributor, i personally prefer having defined comp in advanced, based on my track record of contributions and my communicated goals for the contributor term ahead