5. Badgeholder Overwhelm
Reviewing 200 projects in RetroPGF2 was hard enough, last round it was over 600, and next round will likely be even more! Voter fatigue set in last round hard and I think a lot of people simply voted for the projects we knew and then leaned on lists for the rest. We cannot expect badgeholders to vote on every single project, it is a waste of our expertise.
What is Needed
A simplified and more engaging voting system that enables badgeholders to focus on projects that are related to their expertise and interests.
Be very strong with categorization, and make a clear social expectation (at the very least) that badgeholders should just pick a few categories to go deep on as opposed to reviewing the entire field. By voting within specific categories, badgeholders will uncover new projects we otherwise might not review.
The categories that were reviewed could then be scored against each other, where badgeholders rank only the categories they went deep on based on the impact the entire category provided vs the other categories they reviewed. This two-layer approach, requiring badgeholders to evaluate all projects within a category before ranking the category against the other categories reviewed, will allow badgeholders to focus on their expertise and bite off only what we can chew. As long as each category is reviewed by many badgeholders, the system can piece together a complete outcome while each badgeholder only needs to make a partial review.
6. Over-rewarding subpar projects, under rewarding top-tier projects
In the first 2 rounds, every project got something. In the last round 502 projects met quorum, only one was not rewarded, and 142 projects didn’t meet quorum. It could be said that only 1 project was rejected from funding and 22% were simply not reviewed adequately (ignoring projects is not the right way to reject their request for funding IMO).
What is Needed
My understanding was that RetroPGF was hoping to be like the free market but for public goods. In the free market, the best projects are rewarded heavily, and some projects get very little or nothing, and fail. If we reward the best heavily, it will attract the best, encourage innovation and projects that are providing very little value, will be forced to figure out what they can do to set themselves apart.
Introducing a system where only the top ~60% of projects receive funding would foster a more competitive environment, where being ok, simply isn’t good enough, you have to be great! This would ensure that funds are directed towards projects making the most significant contributions to the community. Projects would need to go for the home run swings, whereas right now it feels like you can just do anything, apply and get rewarded. Badgeholders would be forced to make serious decisions about who we want to fund, AND who we don’t. Maybe we would prioritize projects that are Optimism specific more than we are currently.
7. Inequitable Recognition of Badgeholders’ Efforts
Some badgeholders put in a lot of time reviewing applications and engaging with the process and some badgeholders don’t, there is really no incentive for badgeholders to put in a lot of effort, and there is no tracking of badgeholders contribution to the review process.
What is Needed
A fairer system that recognizes and rewards the efforts of the most active badgeholders.
Propose a reward system that scales with the number of projects/categories a badgeholder reviews, potentially even reward badgehodlers for giving feedback to projects. In short, offer greater rewards to those who contribute more to the evaluation process. This is real work, it should be rewarded.
8. Projects don’t get exposure, only OP tokens
The small number of reviewers limits the diversity of evaluations, but even more importantly, limits the exposure for the work that has been done by projects. It would be great to use RetroPGF to showcase the projects that are providing public goods on Optimism to more than just 150 badgeholders. They are providing public goods that anyone can use, but only 150 people actually looking at them
What is Needed
Turn RetroPGF into, not just a request for funding, but also a program that increases the communities awareness of the work that was done.
Quadratic funding is not just a way for projects to collect money, it’s also a way for projects to get discovered by the wider community that is donating, it would be great if RetroPGF could work like this as well. Broadening the participation to encompass a wider range of voters beyond badgeholders would not only bring in a more diverse perspective but would also, lead to many voters discovering new public goods that can make their experience in Optimism better!
I discovered soooo many interesting projects voting in RetroPGF, some of them I now use on a weekly/monthly basis. If we allowed more people to vote in RetroPGF we would reduce the impact of nepotism, encourage more people to apply so they can market their projects, and strengthen the second order network effects of the whole process.
I would consider giving delegates and projects a voice in the results, maybe for example Badgeholders have 65% of the vote, delegates get 20% and projects get 15% of the vote.
Public Goods are for everyone to enjoy. We should seize any opportunity possible to promote these projects.