Idea Categorisation Analysis
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Small & Early Stage Ideas Category

Details on why the Small & Early Stage Ideas category was created and what problem it solves
The small & early stage ideas category puts a restriction on the funding request size of the proposals that can be submitted. Any idea related to Cardano can be submitted in the category!
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Why small & early stage ideas is worth exploring
The four main categories of products & integrations, community & outreach, governance & identity and development & infrastructure are created to cover all forms of idea and innovation.
The main problem that could emerge with just using these categories is that a larger amount of funding will be available between a smaller collection of categories. Although this brings many of the advantages of the suggested idea funding categories it also means there is higher competition. This competition could make it difficult for new ideas or new teams to get funding over larger and more established projects in the ecosystem.
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Categorisation as a solution
One potential solution for this is a form of categorisation like Small & Early Stage Ideas. The purpose of the categorisation is to limit competition between the proposals and allow more room for different ideas and teams to get exposure and funding in a more controlled environment.
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Categorisation may not be necessary
Although this approach could be useful for helping new ideas and teams it also may not be needed. If the other categories are effectively allowing a mixture of new ideas and teams to be funded then this category can be reconsidered or even potentially removed.
Analysis will be needed to look at how funding categories are used and what outcomes occur. This insight will determine whether small & early stage ideas as a categorisation is effective and should be used.
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Issues with small & early stage ideas
  • Higher allocation based risks - The category would be increasingly difficult to fill with high quality proposals as you scale the budget amount due to the max cap on the proposal size. This increases the risks when the category is allocated a larger budget.
  • Lower quality proposal risks - When the category budget is moderate to large then the competition would be reduced between the proposals due to the max proposal budget meaning there would be a guaranteed number of funded proposals.
  • Overlapping categorisation complexity - The other four main categories cover all forms of idea and innovation so this category overlaps with all of them. This makes the submission process more complex for the proposer.
  • May not be necessary as a categorisation - As outlined above this categorisation may not be as valuable if there are new ideas and teams getting funding from the more competitive environment.
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Advantages of small & early stage ideas
  • Flexible - People can suggest anything they want in the small & early stage ideas category so it maximises that chances the community gets to see new and interesting ideas or suggestions.
  • Increased funded proposal diversity - The maximum cap on proposal budget should help increase diversity of who gets funded by increasing the number of proposals that will be selected after the vote for funding.
  • New ideas & more experimentation - There may be ideas that are not well covered under the four main categories which get suggested in this category. The other four main categories are meant to be inclusive of all ideas and innovation so if this occurs it would be more of a mistake of clarity rather than actual intention. The max cap on the budget size for the proposal helps to increase the number of funded proposals which will help to increase the rate of experimentation.
  • Lower competition & guaranteed number of proposals funded - Putting a cap on the proposal size helps to limit more well established players from taking a large part of the budget allocated and helps to guarantee a certain number of proposals will be funded using the categorisation.
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Further analysis