Product lead @ Molecule + VitaDAO with design and development background exploring decentralized science and longevity.

Public Goods


Public goods are goods that are non-excludable and non-rivalrous. Non-excludable means that it is not possible to exclude anyone from using the good. Non-rivalrous means that one person's use of the good does not diminish another person's use of the good.

Science, public school, national defense, public parks, and public transportation are all examples of public goods. Open source software is another interesting example.

The core idea is to massively grow the pie for everyone, by massively speeding up scientific and technological progress for example.

One common way to fund public goods better is to have a progressive tax system where people who earn more money pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes. This ensures that everyone contributes to the funding of public goods and that those who can afford it pay more.

Some important public goods are sometimes overlooked by policy makers and funders, which are traditionally fairly risk-averse and not necessarily forward-looking and progressive. One example is the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) (great report), which tends to be conversative, risk-adverse and unfair in distributing funding amongst other critiques.

Some examples of public goods overlooked by national funding bodies include public hard tech and science solutions or open source software.

Incentivizing more people to contribute to public goods

One way to enable more individuals to participate in funding public goods is to establish a system of matching funds, whereby the government or another organization matches the amount of money that an individual contributes. This system would incentivize individuals to contribute more money to public goods, as they would know that their contribution would be matched. Another popular way to enable more individuals to participate in funding public goods is to create tax incentives for individuals who contribute money to public goods. For example, the government could give individuals a tax credit for every dollar that they contribute to public goods. This would make it more financially beneficial for individuals to contribute to public goods, and would thus encourage more people to do so.

There are a number of ways to enable the future of individuals participating in funding ambitious public goods, such as creating a culture of giving, making it easy to give, and increasing transparency. We can encourage more individuals to support causes they care about by showing appreciation for those who give back to the community through public recognition, awards, and other forms of appreciation.    

Expanded model of goods by Carl Cervone (afaik) paretopian-goal-alignment-eric-drexler    

Paretotopian goal alignment by Eric Drexler

paretopian-goal-alignment-eric-drexler paretopian-goal-alignment-eric-drexler


Closing The Innovation Chasm – Juan Benet




S-process funding - Andrew Critch


Impact certificates and Impact Markets - Owen Cotton-Barratt


Funding public goods — algorithms and mechanisms – Vitalik Buterin


Beyond Philanthropy: Memetic Altruism and Future Prizes - Darren Zhu & Lawrence Wu