Manifesto of Public Nouns DAO



Public Nouns for Public Goods

Nouns DAO has proven to be a strong mechanism for continuous funding alongside a simple, yet effective governance framework. Public Goods are necessary, often detached from value capture out of necessity, and notoriously difficult to fund. Thus, we have forked Nouns and replaced all heads with memetic representations of public goods, as an experiment in continuous public goods funding. All ETH from Public Noun auctions goes direct to Public Nouns DAO, where one Public Noun equals one vote. Public Nouns DAO members curate and fund public goods projects.

Why Public Nouns?

Public Goods is more than just a meme. Public goods are practically useful resources that are non-excludable and non-rivalrous.

Traditionally, rivalrousness and excludability are tools for monetization (and thus funding) of these resources.

  • Adding profit motives makes something excludable and rivalrous (private good)

  • Source of funding can make something more excludable (club good)

Public goods require new ways of sourcing funding! Public Nouns DAO will focus on identifying and funding projects whose outputs are practically useful, non-excludable and non-rivalrous.

As with Nouns DAO has done, Public Nouns will harness the power of memes as a tools for co-creating shared identity, with a focus on public goods.

Public Nouns DAO

The mission of Public Nouns DAO is to support public goods through:

  1. experimentation: experiment with new methods of public goods funding, starting with Public Nouns itself.

  2. advocacy: raise awareness of public goods

  3. funding: fund public goods and mechanisms directly

Our goal isn't to define public goods alone. Our hope is the Public Nouners do that together as they form, and continuously. Making the implicit as explicit as possible, and creating standards that can be exported where viable.

In order to support public goods effectively together, we should have some shared definition to start with, so that buyers have a clearer idea of where the DAO's funding is likely to go, and members of the DAO have a shared understanding of what types of proposals to put forth.

So, "What types of public goods should we support?"

First, "What do we mean by public goods?"

Understanding Public Goods

The classical definition is a good starting point:

Public Goods describe products that are non-excludable and non-rivalrous.

non-excludable = products or services that cannot exclude a certain individual or group of individuals from using them. non-rivalrous = products or services where consumption by an individual or group doesn't affect the remaining supply for others.

type of goodsnon-rivalrousnon-excludable

public goods



private goods



club goods



common resources



That a good must be non-excludable and non-rivalrous to be considered a public good seems a given. Private Goods are products that are excludable and rival. Common resources are products or resources that are non-excludable but rivalrous. Club goods are products that are excludable but non-rivalrous. The only real question would seem to be around who is our public?

"Who is our Public?"

Our public is everyone, but the public we are focused on at any given time should expand and contract in breadth along with our available resources. We should start by focusing on the public with whom we have highest depth of knowledge and relevance collectively. As our focal public expands, we should consider ways to include that wider public in our decision-making. We should strive to give grants to those truly in need, where otherwise a public good's impact may be limited, if not lost altogether.


Our focus at any given time should be the intersection of mission and available resources. In other words:

"How might we maximize our support of public goods with the resources available to us?"

Starting from 0 material resources at launch, our first phase should focus on propagating the Public Noun meme in order to raise awareness, form community and processes, and build an initial treasury. Afterward, we can see what we have to work with and better answer this question and start giving out grants.

We do not start with 0 resources at all though. We have significant other forms of capital that we can and should begin deploying to form community and prepare for when our treasury is sufficient to start issuing grants. We can also start collaborating where desired and raising awareness of public goods in general.

Publication Notes

This document was published by pNounders prior to launch of Public Nouns. Our hope is that Public Nouns ratify this manifesto to start, and amend as desired.

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