The following post was written by @sovereignsignal, an active community contributor and curator specializing in Polygon DAO grants research
While I’m not a huge fan of management books (outside of Moore’s work, anything by Ben Horowitz, or the writings of the late Andy Grove), I think some of the concepts he discusses are very relevant to our space and can help us to understand just how “early” we are.
The TL;DR on the Technology Adoption Lifecycle goes like this:
Innovators: Disruptive technology starts out in a place where only tinkerers and hobbyists find it interesting. Think Hal Finney and the Cypherpunks.
Visionaries: The technology gains relevance, and visionaries start to realize the power of what has been created. Real-world use cases start to emerge, and the process of building new and interesting things begins. This is usually where we see speculators come along and a few super-geniuses like Vitalik Buterin.
The Chasm: Things drop off a cliff due to lack of interest and mainstream adoption (and down market cycles). It may seem like all hope is lost during this time, but truly disruptive technologies make it through. Sometimes there are multiple down-market cycles that happen across these early stages.
Early Majority: People are starting to catch on and realize the technology's potential. More progressive organizations are adopting its use, and everyday individuals are gaining more and more exposure to it. (I would argue we’re somewhere in the early phases of this stage currently.)
Late Majority: We’ve all “made it.” The technology has gained widespread acceptance, and even the most conservative organizations are using it to great effect. Although its success, cracks are starting to form, and even though it seems like it will be up only forever, a decline has already started. I would argue that this is where much of big tech is sitting today.
Laggards: The last camp to adopt any new technology. Imagine Paul Krugman on CNBC discussing the value of Layer 2 scaling solutions (it’s a reach, I know).
Just like you can compare this model to broad trends across technology progress, you can also apply it to individual product life cycles. One concept that Moore discusses, specifically for early adopters, is how important a vision is to ensure a strong compass on where a project wants to go and how they chart a course to get there.
“Having a vision for what you want is not enough. Vision without execution is hallucination.” -- Thomas A. Edison
Well, Polygon Village Welcome Vouchers seek to enable a strong vision and drive execution in ways that founders and project builders may not have been able to on their own. We at Polygon DAO want to do what we can to help you take that great idea you have and move it from its early formative stages across the chasm and into wider adoption.
Bear markets are for building, and we believe now is the time to help enable builders to unlock their potential.
As I discussed in an earlier piece detailing the history of Polygon DAO, the DAO was founded on the notion that builders need help. There are various ways to do that over and above the traditional grants model that many Foundations or Ecosystem DAOs employ today. Ultimately, the mission of Polygon DAO is to get progressively more decentralized over time and create a support model that can cater to projects, at scale, across all stages of their lifecycle. One of the ways we have seen success is through the use of our Welcome Vouchers.
So what exactly is a Welcome Voucher?
I’m glad you asked anon. Welcome Vouchers are a way to offer services from a broad range of Polygon DAO partners that specialize in twelve areas, including infrastructure, hosting, DAO tooling, audits, accounting, legal, marketing, API services, and more.
The original concept for the Welcome Vouchers was borrowed from Amazon Web Services (ironically enough, a Polygon Village Partner) with their AWS Credits Program. AWS Credits serve as promotional coupons that are offered through the AWS Activate program. These credits can help to cover various AWS services, tools, and/or resources, and the program has been a game changer in jumpstarting adoption for many up-and-coming projects that are building on top of AWS.
We started Welcome Vouchers to foster a fledgling project at all stages of its lifecycle and help make connections with qualified, vetted partners in ways that would benefit both the project and the wider Polygon ecosystem.
The program has grown significantly, with 35 vouchers distributed in June of this year to now 200+ each month and more than 1000 total distributed over the short 4-month lifespan of the program. In addition to the vouchers being distributed, the count of partners also grew from eight in the first month to now 54 and counting. Our team at Polygon DAO has implemented a sophisticated system of tracking incoming submissions, and we have built out strong internal workflows to make sure we can continue to keep up with the rising volume of incoming requests.
We believe the program has helped to create win/win/win (yes, three wins) by:
Helping builders to connect to vetted resources that can bring their ideas to life and/or provide critical infrastructure needed to develop and scale their projects.
Increasing qualified deal flow, and brand awareness for services partners across the wider Polygon Ecosystem
Furthering our goal of bringing the next 10,000+ projects into Polygon via the Polygon DAO funnel.
We’re very proud (obviously!) of the work that has been done and extremely satisfied with the results. Does that mean we’re resting on our laurels? No, anon, not even close.
We have big plans for the way forward with the program that you will see from us in the days ahead. Some of the improvements and updates we have on the roadmap include the following:
Operational Improvements: Project lifecycle tracking, trending, and in-depth analysis
Partnerships Growth: We’re aiming for 100+ voucher partners across multiple verticals. We believe that there is still much room for growth and many more partnership opportunities to explore.
Ecosystem Support: We plan to actively support Polygon products directly through vouchers. We call this sipping our own champagne, anon.
Deal Flow: We plan to continue strengthening the deal flow to partners through enhanced marketing and community engagement.
Sound ambitious? It should, anon. We’re excited to close this year strong and will continue to drive growth and improvement regardless of market conditions.
If you are interested in applying for a Welcome Voucher or seeing if there might be a fit as a partner, we would love to have you stop by the Polygon Village and drop us a request.
We have created Airtable forms that are directly linked to our site, where you can request Welcome Voucher support or apply as a partner. Fill out the simple application, and a team member will be in touch to follow up with you.
If you have any questions about the application or the program, you can always stop by our Discord and check in with our team.