Gitcoin Entering the End Game

Gitcoin Entering the End Game

tl;dr

  • Gitcoin = Grants: In 2024, Gitcoin will double down on grants as its main focus
  • What this looks like in action is:
    • Formation of a business unit called Grants Labs. This encompasses Allo Protocol and Grants Stack development. In 2024, we’re focused on achieving product market fit (PMF) and widespread product adoption. Long-term, we have a goal of $1 Billion in funds distributed through Allo protocol (IN PROGRESS)
    • Shutting down PGN over the next 6 months (IN PROGRESS)
    • Prepare to spin out Passport (SOON)
  • Grants = Growth: Positioning our offering to serve both public goods and ecosystem growth to drive growth in the Ethereum ecosystem
  • Community & Innovation @ the DAO: refocus on creating the conditions for more community-led participation and innovation

Gitcoin is entering our endgame (Maker’s endgame for reference). In chess, the game is broken out into three phases.

The early game which is often the most formulaic and most straightforward as you start to build and develop your board. The mid game is often the most chaotic. The board is open, each move opens an infinite branch of harmonious actions. Most intermediate players enjoy the mid game the most as it offers the largest opportunity to learn and then also trial lots of play styles. The end game is often where matches are truly won or lost. It is the hardest for intermediate players to traverse as the number of pieces are low and the foresight required is high in order to trap the king and ultimately win.

For Gitcoin, our early game was spent trying to find market fit on products and services that were largely unproven (i.e. Quests, Code Fund, Kudos, etc). Our mid game brought about the creation of the DAO, the development of our funding allocation protocol (Allo) and grants dApp (Grants Stack) and the creation of complementary ventures like Passport – not to mention lots of side quests to figure out how to govern, grow and advance our mission.

We are now entering our end game. We are speeding toward market fit with Grants Stack and will focus on what it will really takes to achieve our north star goal of $1 Billion in funds distributed through Allo protocol over the next several years.

Gitcoin = Grants

In 2024, Gitcoin will double down on Grants.

The Gitcoin Grants program, driven by Quadratic Funding, was the first effort to find true market fit. Since then, we have grown our mission and identity to center on enabling communities to fund what matters, with a breadth of proven and novel funding mechanisms.

With over $56 million distributed by Gitcoin Grants alone, we continue to be recognized as a leader in the grants space and have many learnings to codify and share. With all the acquired learnings and a permissionless end-to-end grants solution that allows anyone to design and run their own custom grants program, Gitcoin is ready for explosive growth in the grants segment in 2024.

Grants = Growth

As we enter the next macro cycle, timing is right for Gitcoin to lead the growth and maturation of grants programs across the Ethereum ecosystem. We believe that grants programs are a key component for the success of Ethereum and the communities built within it.

Growth in open source ecosystems, especially L2s and protocols, is driven by the emergence of novel apps and use cases on top of them. Grants programs provide incentives to attract and retain the right people to collectively build and achieve that mission. We have learned that the spray and pray approach of grants programs in the early days are not effective. Rather, delivering highly targeted grants (e.g. eligibility criteria) with clear impact incentives move ecosystems forward. We enable grants programs to both create those opportunities as well as quantify the ROI of those incentives.

Web3 Ecosystems, Ethereum and Gitcoin included, have put hundreds of millions on the line with the goal of engaging committed builders and community members to grow our respective ecosystems. Results have been promising but, more notably, inconsistent.

We will change this by giving communities in the Ethereum ecosystem confidence that measurable, proven impact will come from the grants they award, we will see a resurgence of grant making and capital allocation that will drive sustainable growth for a number of communities.

Our work will focus on building the tech and showcasing best practices that advance and codify grants programs aligned to the ecosystem growth we’re all seeking.

This looks like:

  • Experimenting and reporting on funding mechanism use cases
  • Creating verified, reputation-backed networks of the best builders in Web3
  • Providing transparency and accountability in grants program decision-making
  • Codifying grants impact measurements in partnership with some of the best minds dedicated to the subject
  • Working with communities to nail eligibility criteria best practices
  • Leading market research to spread ecosystem-wide learnings to grants leaders

What this means for Gitcoin

This renewed focus on grants means a few changes for our current organization:

  1. We are forming two net new business units focused on achieving PMF (Grants Labs, Passport)
  2. We are preparing to spin out Passport into a standalone project, untethering it from Gitcoin’s umbrella and giving it room to grow
  3. We will foster community and fund bottoms-up innovation in support of Gitcoin’s growth
  4. We are winding down PGN over the next 6mos [read more]

Business Units: Achieving PMF

Previously, our DAO was composed of a variety of function-specific workstreams (ex: product, marketing, sales, etc.). We have seen committed and highly coordinated teams develop core software more consistently than quarterly governance and DAO shifts often allow. As a result, we have formed two business units to more intentionally coordinate product-specific work and empower the technology teams to autonomously own their roadmaps and their respective areas of expertise. Core operating functions (e.g sales, marketing, product, engineering, design, etc.) will be localized and governed by their respective team leaders. This means, eliminating competing priorities across workstreams and drawing more focus within the business unit to the market problems they are poised to solve.

Each business unit will still be governed by the DAO (i.e., all budgets will still be voted on by token delegates/DAO Stewards). Historically, workstreams had made 3-to-6 month budget requests from the DAO. Business units will be making year-long budget requests to create continuity in their work. Business units will move from the maximum flexibility of short-term budgets requests toward the stability and focus that comes with long-term planning. These budgets will still be paid on a quarterly basis, but the budget will be lengthened to allow for longer term planning and roadmapping.

Grants Labs

@meglister will be leading as GM of our Grants Business Unit, Grants Labs. The Grants Labs team’s mission is to empower anyone in the EVM ecosystem to create, manage, and grow successful grants programs. Grants Labs has Grants Stack & Allo protocol along with the operationalization of the Gitcoin Grants program. Bringing our Grants offerings closer together will streamline learning, development and create network effects across our grants ecosystem.

The team’s short-term goal is to achieve PMF, and drive widespread adoption for Grants Stack. This business unit shares Gitcoin’s north star goal of $1 Billion in funds distributed through Allo protocol.

Passport (+ early thinking on spin out)

@Jeremy will lead our Passport business unit. We will be graduating this initiative as another Gitcoin alumni project that will flourish on its own. Like past alumni, the passport team will work to create a new entity, fund raise and pursue continued market fit. We will have many more details to share on Passport over the next 90 days as we kick off that process. For now, it’s important to know that Passport and Gitcoin will continue to stay highly connected, and we expect Passport to continue supporting the ecosystem’s largest communities in keeping bad actors at bay while amplifying strong community memberships with individual’s sovereign identity data proving their unique humanity.

Passport continues to see tremendous growth, and is the largest driver of token utility for Gitcoin with clear revenue strategies now being deployed. Us spinning out Passport is not because we expect Passport to go away, or because Passport is struggling – quite the opposite and we want to ensure the funding and growth that the Passport team deserves doesn’t compete with the broader Gitcoin goals in 2024.

The Gitcoin Foundation

The Gitcoin Foundation will continue to offer critical operational support to the new BUs and the DAO as a whole. More details on the foundation’s supporting role will be coming soon, but in the near term, the foundation is working to support all the normal organizational areas it has in the past, with the addition of the hiring, accounting and cross organization coordination.

Fostering Community-Driven Innovation

There is a strategic advantage to allowing BU’s to operate like true software businesses, staying hyper-focused on their goals of product adoption. These moves also allow us to renew our focus on fostering community and create more opportunities for them to get involved.

We see the creativity and the appetite of the people in our orbit to innovate and incubate ideas in support of our mission. We share those ambitions and, with that, are excited to introduce the Ecosystem Collective subDAO.

Gitcoin’s Ecosystem Collective has been created to support the growth and health of the Gitcoin ecosystem and advancement of the web3 grants industry as a whole. It will work to steward Gitcoin’s community and governance functions.

In the coming weeks we will co-create and share a robust community charter and decentralization roadmap to detail plans for the Ecosystem Collective. Until then, we’re excited to announce the first initiative in these efforts: the Citizen Grants Program.

The purpose of this program is to bootstrap innovation and leverage the awesome power of our community in order to grow the Gitcoin ecosystem.

The program is split into three parts:

  • Citizens Retro: Retroactive quadratic funding rounds to reward Gitcoin Citizens for their contributions to the Gitcoin ecosystem
  • Citizens Innovate: Citizen proposals designed to achieve the DAO’s goals
  • Citizens Forward: pre-defined projects (RFPs) that Workstreams request assistance with

The program is on a path to be approved through governance and should be officially launched in mid-February.

Wrap up

Gitcoin’s dedicated focus on grants marks a significant step forward in the organization’s evolution. We have been early to a number of emergent trends – Gitcoin’s Kudos as the first NFT marketplace, Quests as one of the first web3 learning platform, Moonshot bots as a PFP raising over $3MM for public goods funding, and a number of other initiatives leading and innovating. We are focusing on what we are known for, and resoundingly answering the question “What is Gitcoin?” → Gitcoin is grants; and grants are growth.

Gitcoin is entering a new chapter, one that is focused on making grants an even more powerful tool for building and empowering communities. Our end game is starting, we invite you to join us …

Onward!

61 Likes

Excited about this new chapter and grateful to be part of it!

24 Likes

I support this direction and am excited to see a Gitcoin endgame mean that it is extremely focused on grants! Congrats to @meglister for leading the new chapter of Grants and to @Jeremy for Passport :fire:

I’m curious if there might be a good leading indicator for measuring PMF for Grants? The top line {$50M+} towards public goods is more of a lagging indicator. Maybe it’s something like “quarterly active round operators” … ?

Anyway, wishing the team every success … and a $500M+ towards public goods bumper sticker :soon: !

20 Likes

Thanks @ccerv1 and glad to have you on board, too :slight_smile:

Regarding PMF – I’m tracking these metrics for Grants Stack: [Proposal] Grants Stack S20-21 Budget Request . Increasing number of rounds (proving market need), driving repeat users (proving product value), and creating paid pricing (proving product value) are top of mind. So far, we’re doing quite well – we’re at 48/50 rounds, 7/10 repeat customers, and 0/5 paying customers (though waiting to intro pricing until after the Allo v2 migration is complete.) We will likely refresh these metrics to be more inclusive of Allo & Program, but given Grants Stack is the main interface for our grants offerings, it’s a good sign!

10 Likes

Fully support this, with the small caveat that “$1B in Grants” should be a target milestone, not the endgame (what happens once you achieve $1B?)

8 Likes

Really excited about this future! Grateful to be apart of this new chapter within Gitcoin!

9 Likes

Thanks @ccerv1! The team is really excited to see continued Passport adoption, while enabling the Gitcoin DAO to focus on Gitcoin = Grants = Growth. I truly think this is win-win for everyone.

8 Likes

I wanted to share a special Gitcoin Pulse episode where we cover this pivotal moment in Gitcoin’s journey.

In this episode, we cover the TLDR about the announcement and also do a deep dive with key players at Gitcoin to learn more about what we can expect in the coming months and beyond.

This includes interviews with:

You can listen to the episode here: Gitcoin Entering the Endgame by Gitcoin Pulse: News That Matters

11 Likes

This was a great read and exciting vision for Gitcoin’s endgame. Stoked to see this come to life and support in anyway we can at DD.

9 Likes

sounds as a good plan
we shared it with our readers in local language on Banklessadria substack

6 Likes

Looking forward to the building of a more robust web3 community :pray:

4 Likes

Very exciting to see. Love the renewed focus & clarity.

6 Likes

What’s the focus on grant success? Funding someone without performative response and analysis is only a negative impact to the real work being done.

3 Likes

i love this community so much it is the best i have come accross so far ,itz the best ,i would like to have review it

4 Likes

Excited about this future! Good plan

4 Likes

Excited about this new chapter and grateful to be part of it!

3 Likes

This is awesome, looking forward to the new chapter.

3 Likes

This is awesome, looking forward to the new chapter.

3 Likes

As an avid chess player myself, I do find endgame to be the most interesting segment .

Really glad I stumbled onto gitcoin during such an interesting phase !

6 Likes

great initiative! i don’t know how to validate my ID tho

3 Likes