Ideas are Valuable

Ideas are valuable as an artwork

Great ideas are hard to come by. The old adage “Ideas are Nothing; Execution is Everything” is misleading. Execution is of course necessary to realize an idea, but a lot of great execution is wasted idling on bad ideas. If great ideas are hard to come by, then they certainly aren’t nothing. They are worth something.

How much are they worth? That’s an open question. In closed traditional IP and corporate environments this isn’t an answerable question. With the invention of Nouns, we now have an emerging public domain ecosystem that’s built on entirely public organizations —a new environment with different characteristics. Given this new and emerging environment, we have the conditions to optimistically run some new experiments to see if we can create an open and lucrative market for ideas.

Experiment 1: An Idea-only hackathon for Nouns Builder

The Builder DAO on the Nouns Builder website. The Builder DAO as seen on the Nouns Builder website.

We will be running an experimental round type on Prop House.This round format we are pioneering aims to incentivize the creation and publishing of novel ideas. We’ll start by running a focused competition and paying substantial prizes to the winners. Should this experiment produce genuinely novel ideas, we will aim to run further iterations of increasing scale and varying specificity.

The first version of this experiment is focused exclusively on Nouns Builder, which is a tool and protocol that makes it easy for anyone to launch their own Nouns DAO. The winners will be selected by the current members of the Builder DAO. There will be a 5 ETH reward (~$6,300) for the two best ideas as voted on by the DAO.

Participants (“Imagineers”) simply put forward their best ideas for any builders, creators and artists in the Nouns Builder ecosystem to be able to pick up and run with. No delivery is expected other than the idea itself.

We encourage Imagineers to experiment with different modes of presentation for the idea itself: ranging from videos, to websites to figma files to whatever you can imagine will communicate the idea best.

We also encourage all proposal submitters to mint their ideas as edition NFTs. Minting the idea as an NFT captures the timestamp and provenance—this would mean in the case an idea is remixed in the future or retroactively deemed to be better than it was at the time of creation, the NFTs may have a shot at capturing that value.

Ideal Outcome

Added shortly after publishing.


We antipcate running the hackathon starting December 5th, 2022. Be sure to check back on the Nouns Builder Prop House.

Follow Nouns Builder on twitter for more updates, and feel free to tweet at me with any thoughts.

❍ 2022 jacob