RetroPGF Round 3 Feedback Thread

Firstly, we would like to thank everyone who contributed to making this round happen. We waited for the round to end to give feedback and collected responses from our entire community. Now, with your permission, we would like to share these along with the proposed solutions:

Project/Badgeholde Ratio

In RetroPGF#2, there were 195 projects and 71 badgeholders. Two of these badgeholders didn’t vote, but that’s irrelevant. So, there were 2.74 projects per badgeholder.

In RetroPGF#3, there are 643 projects and 145 badgeholders. We know that 132 of these 145 badgeholders have voted, but as we mentioned, this is irrelevant to the main point. However, the number of projects per badgeholder in this round has increased to 4.43. This doesn’t mean that each badgeholder will review 4 projects. The most optimal impact measurement would be for each badgeholder to review every project in the round, but it’s clearly impossible for each person to review 643 projects.

Especially before this round began, we saw quite a lot of marketing moves and community updates related to this topic. We were expecting high participation. It’s almost certain that participation in future rounds will be even higher. Let’s not forget that 986 projects were eliminated during the review process. In fact, there were more than 1600 applications.

Solution Suggestion

Considering all this, we need to increase the number of badgeholders. However, in doing so, we believe badgeholders should be trusted individuals who won’t cheat in measuring impact. We need to increase the number with people who can continue to uphold this belief.

Minimum Ballot Quorum and Popularity

As far as we know, there was no minimum vote quorum in the last round. However, this round, the 17 badgeholder ratio seemed quite high. The actual problem arose from our ability to track how many ballots each project was on. A lot of dashboards created were actively used during the voting process. Badgeholders, taking advantage of the full time allotted to them, tried to review as many projects as possible, hence they didn’t create their ballots early on. As the end of the voting period approached, projects that realized they hadn’t received votes from 17 badgeholders started a shilling race on Twitter, the Governance Forum, and Discord. This led to a rush to gain as much popularity as possible in order to surpass the ballot quorum at the earliest opportunity.

Solution Suggestion

A project’s presence on ballots should not be visible until after the voting process has ended. This way, projects would focus on marketing their projects throughout the entire voting period without overdoing it. The level of project shilling that disturbs badgeholders not only causes conflict among projects but also deteriorates the experience of the badgeholders

Fund Amount That Project Need

Normally, in grant proposals, the amount of funding a project is requesting is included within the proposal itself. This is also the case for Missions happening within the Optimism ecosystem. Every project must outline what they will do, the timeline for doing it, and how much funding they need within the proposal.

Now, as we have a retrospective perspective in RetroPGF rounds, instead of asking projects ‘how much funding do you need?’, we believe we should ask ‘what costs did you encounter while creating this impact? What was the opportunity cost you lost in creating this impact?’.

This way, badgeholders will also have an idea of how much OP to allocate to projects. If there is an OP request, badgeholders can formulate thoughts like ‘yes, they have created enough impact to deserve this OP/no, they don’t deserve this OP for the impact they created, but they deserve half of it’.

Solution Suggestion

When projects apply for RetroPGF rounds, they should provide an additional piece of information: What is the cost associated with creating the impact? (This includes opportunity costs as well)

VC Funded Projects

This became a widely discussed topic, especially on Twitter following Lefteris bringing it to attention. We observed that some projects have received more investment than the total amount of grants distributed in all RetroPGF rounds to date. The contribution of these projects to the Optimism ecosystem is an undeniable fact. However, as mentioned in previous points, in a design where you receive votes based on popularity, it’s clear that funded and popular projects affect the grant amount that smaller public good projects can receive.

Solution Suggestion

We should not exclude these projects from the Optimism ecosystem, so as not to diminish their contribution. However, we cannot equate projects that have previously done fundraising with public good projects that sustain their economic viability through various grants. Therefore, we believe it would be appropriate to create a separate pool for VC funded projects in the next round’s design. We think it would be more suitable to have a VC funded project pool and an ecosystem funded public good pool in the upcoming round.

This post has been brought to you through the efforts of @ismailemin, @Sum, Selim, Alim, and Taylan.