The overton window for Grants 2.0 ⏳

An Overton window of political possibility is the range of ideas the public is willing to consider and accept.

Grants 2.0 is the next generation of Gitcoin’s product suite, which GitcoinDAO are betting the ProtocolDAO portion of their roadmap on.

I am writing this post because I believe the overton window for Grants 2.0 is going to close. Might be in 6 weeks, maybe 6 months, maybe 6 years.

I’ve tried writing posts that indirectly say that we should get our shit together and start shippping, but I think the time has come to just be direct.

Market observations

Here is what I’m seeing in market.

  1. The market is getting crowded.
    1. Other Grants programs, even those with little resources, are rolling their own Grants software. Here is a list of 12 of them I’ve collected following a recent unconference with exactly the “web3 grant giving” audience. Most of them have 1 or 2 engineers staffed to custom grant software.
    2. CLRFund (another Grants project, which we are frens with, and love, but ultimately are in friendly compete with for grants mindshare) has done 8 rounds, and is scaling their most recent one to $350k (1/10th Gitcoin Grants)
    3. Giveth 2.0 (another project we are frens with, but are also in friendly competition with to deliver more Impact to the world) is taking off. Our Own Grant on Giveth gets 10s of donations per week.
    4. Coordinape (whom we have a similar relationship with) is used in 100s of DAOs.
    5. Optimism Retro PG (who we are also friends with and build the public goods meme together) has a ton of traction.
    6. Hackathon projects MVPs in our niche are launching in a weekend. Heres a recent example.
    7. We know because of the recent ImpactDAO book, that there are 100s of other ImpactDAOs out there.
  2. We have massive traction as a SocialDAO (9/10), but almost no traction on being a protocolDAO (2/10).
    1. While a dGrants alpha has shipped after about 6-9 months, that team ultimately failed to scale beyond launching alpha.
    2. The new via the Grants 2.0 roadmap has been announced but not shipped. (so far)
    3. The Moonshot collective has launched a few protocols, but none at the scale of impact of Grants 2.0. (so far)

Since I believe in practical pluralism, I welcome the other market participants to the space. I’m less concerned that the market is getting crowded by the fact that we can’t do with 10x the resources what these other projects are showing is possible. In a world that changes quickly, and where software is iterative, velocity matters a lot.

Will we fix our velocity issues before the overton window closes? Will we meet the moment?

What do we do about it?

Here is my prompt to you all:

  • How important is Grants 2.0 to GitcoinDAO?
    • If it’s not important, should we stop spending so much resources on software development? Should Gitcoin just be an SocialDAO/ImpactDAO?
    • If it is important, why do we spend so much time/resources on other (less important) things?
    • We believe in plurality but does that mean we dont want to create a place for Gitcoin Grants 2.0 in the pluralistic marketplace for web3 protocols?
  • Organizational questions
    • All of the above projects have 1/10th the resources Gitcoin does. Why are they able to ship their protocols when we can’t?
    • Do you have an adequate sense of urgency to work our shit out and ship Grants 2.0 before the overton window for web3 grants protocols closes?
    • What protocol work is going to ship in S14? S15? Which will achieve product/market fit?
    • Now that Grants 1.0 is in maintenance mode, will the Grants 2.0 velocity increase?

Sense & Respond

Command & Control hierarchies are great at directing resources in one direction. DAOs (and networks) are the ultimate vehicle for sensing & responding. This post is an attempt to sensemake.

I believe in the mission of Gitcoin, and I want our execution to meet the moment.

I am just one node in the network, but I do have a broad (but imperfect) view of the DAO. This post is just one perspective, people are free to disagree with any of it. It will help scale our sensemaking.


here’s a good visual of where i think we are in the cycle. i think the market is in stage 2


But are we not in the left part of that stage where we are bigger but their slope is steeper?


For those catching this post later, we’ve continued to commit to Grants 2.0 and the rest of the DAO is also rallying around it as an essential intent.

You can follow progress with our weekly updates here on the governance forum and engage directly with the Grants 2.0 team in Discord.


yes, velocity has increased substantially since the OP. check the weekly updates for more