Pulse check on A-Z proposal for build_cities

Greetings Aliens,

It’s been inspiring to see the ecosystem develop over these last few months and while there does seem to be a lot of uncertainty with respect to what is on the roadmap and what the community delivers, I’m confident we’ll get there in due time.

Before learning about Zenon, I had been working for a few months on build_cities, a protocol for startup cities. Full tweet explainer [here].(https://twitter.com/joinbuild_/status/1582050233772519429?s=20&t=0j-KT-71M92l1-dqE3CWiw)

From our own community I learned from a member about Zenon and slowly green pilled myself along the way. As the founder, I have since developed the most conviction on Zenon as the most promising Layer 1. Fast forward to today and we have just launched our public beta 2 weeks ago with tremendous traction (300 networks onboarded) already. We’ve also raised funding upwards of $400K to include notable crypto investors such as Balaji Srinivasan, author of “The Network State.”

We are highly motivated to build key components of the protocol on NoM given the follow through of roadmap promises on smart contracts, NFT standard, and BTC interop. In the meantime, we will prioritize other prominent ecosystems to allow for maximum product adoption. As such, we think it would be a key strategic decision to obtain a Pillar both that can generate significant network effects as we scale as well more attention to NoM in general.

We would like to submit an A-Z proposal for subsidizing some of the costs of obtaining a Pillar in the max amount of 5000 ZNN and 50K QSR. While we do have enough on the balance sheet to purchase one outright, this is a difficult decision to justify to our shareholders without proof of buy-in from the community.

Posting this here to see if the broader community would be open to the proposal should we proceed and get a pulse check on the feasibility of putting together the proposal.

Would you support a proposal for build_cities to receive the maximum amount from an A-Z proposal for the sole purpose of obtaining a Pillar?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters


So what I’m missing is the value this will create for the zenon ecosystem

Its also not too compelling for this community when you say you will first use other networks until the community has done the work to provide tooling like smart contracts, bitcoin interop etc. but then simultaneously asking it to subsidize your pillar without specifying what you offer in return.

Would be better if you showed your committment to zenon by helping build the missing tooling needed for your project to use it. Or committing to tangible deliverables you have to achieve before asking for the subsidy.

As of now I would be against this proposal, as I dont see the value for money for the zenon community.

I would be in general support of this for 3 reasons:

  1. Vested pillars are meant for key industry players in exchange for advocating for NoM technology adoption; this is not an entire vested pillar, it’s not even 1/3 of one pillar given the QSR burn. I see this as a cost-effective way to give someone a vested pillar.

  2. The increased awareness and visibility this brings could well attract more builders to the Zenon ecosystem to accelerate our maturity and increase our early organic growth.

  3. The protocol for startup cities is very cool and futuristic, I’m sure many people will be following this with keen interest.

Although I personally would support funding the max amount now, if there’s resistance I’d encourage tweaking your proposal or returning to it later. Discuss back and forth a bit. Perhaps you could just ask for the QSR, or more clearly present how you could use the NoM depending on what the Zenon ecosystem has ready.

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I can see the value in network effects alone the success of build_cities would bring to the NoM ecosystem. Both NoM and build_cities are just startups with great potential, a symbiotic relationship could benefit both projects.

The AZ proposal as described above, lacks a lot of details on how exactly such a relationship will benefit both parties, setting a precedence for ‘lazy’ AZ proposals. I understand this is just a pulse check, but its our responsibility to protect the AZ funds from our own mistakes, namely the vague AZ proposals that were rewarded and still haven’t delivered value to the ecosystem.

In general, I’m a really big fan of Zenon.tools approach of delivering value first. So far every single AZ proposal who delivered value to the ecosystem was immediately granted. I suggest working with a current pillar owner, developing some of the tooling that might be used in the future with the build_cities pillar, creating value first by open sourcing such tools and then making a case for how it brings value to the ecosystem. Something as simple as a discord bot integration that tracks delegators might be valuable to Pillar holders and will require you to build some of that tooling.

I think NoM’s design is so elegant, you are incentivized to ‘hurry up’ delivering value in exchange for some QSR to set up a pillar. Clock is ticking, new pillar owners will come, and the overall cost will just keep rising.

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I support this idea.
build_cities has a vision in line with Zenon’s.

I can see this proposal as the first win-win opportunity where passionate builders have a vested interest and can develop a community around their pillar.

It feels right to support start-ups that share the same values.

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Hi Angelo!

First and foremost I want to say that I love the idea of the Build_Cities protocol and how it resonates with Zenon’s Network of Momentum and “The Network State”.

However I don’t think it would be efficient to use the A-Z funds for the funding of a vested pillar. We should strive to use the funds effectively for the purpose intended.

The founding team has set up a program for vested pillars as @zyler9985 mentioned already. I think it would be best to wait until we get more information on how these vested pillars will get introduced to NoM!

So my vote will be to abstain until further notice.

Hello Sir,

I wanted to first thank you and your team for considering building on NoM. I think our projects share similar values, and I know many of the community members connect strongly with Balaji Srinivasan and his idea of a Network State.

The projects that do best on NoM, in my opinion, are the ones that build silently, deliver value for the network, and request compensation from AZ for what they deliver. That’s not to say we would not consider a specific proposal that outlines a scope of work and deliverables before getting started. We’ve approved many of these with varying degrees of success so far.

deeZNNutz.com would vote no on a proposal to give 5,000 / 50,000 to build_cities without a scope of work to deliver specific value to NoM. My largest delegator(s) have voiced similar feedback. As you know, NoM does have a concept of vested pillars. I don’t think anyone knows how that will work, but I suspect build_cities could be a candidate if you show strong interest and can deliver value to NoM.

My recommendation is you propose a scope of work for an AZ that adds value to NoM and helps bridge our communities. I hope this feedback helps.

Post regarding vested Pillars.


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Thanks for the feedback Shazz.

Just want to challenge it a little bit with taking the inverse of the criticism. If we are successful in achieving considerable adoption (distribution is king) with the current product as a multi-chain ecosystem, then the introduction of Zenon (esp. if core components are built on it) is a massive win for NoM IMHO. A recent example of this is dYdX choosing to swap out their core infra from ETH L2 to Cosmos. This was a win for the Cosmos ecosystem at the expense of ETH. The logic here would be no different.

As for building missing tooling for our project to use it, we have a roadmap that has more than enough technical challenges already. It would be not be aligned with our current investors to work on tooling for an L1 that does not immediately play a role in our near-term success with the current runway.

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Thanks for this feedback Zyler. Vested Pillars are the first thing that came to mind but we have yet to see clarity on how that program is supposed to work and as such this seemed to be an interim solution. If there is something I’m missing with respect to being considered for a Vested Pillar would be great to figure out how to apply.

Thank you for this feedback and the common thread here with the post from @zyler9985 is in regards to vested Pillars. This would absolutely be our first and foremost option but there has yet to be clarity with respect to how it is supposed to work. Are there slots embedded in the code already? What is the process?

Without clear guidance, this was what we believed a stop-gap solution until clarity is reached at a TBD time.

With respect to NoM contributions that was also a concern of @SugoiBTC, the short answer is simply gaining network effects for the ecosystem (builders, investors, general public awareness, etc.)

-Our product has already onboarded 300 networks in the first 2 weeks alone
-We already own real estate through our co-founders existing assets
-There are 50 startup city chapters that we will plan to bring on-chain as a DAO
-We’ve helped incubate over 8 startups to date and placed investment deals for 3 of them.

We specifically highlight Zenon as a “Coming Soon” chain to integrate but our hands are tied in its current state today. While the tangible accrual to NoM may not be evident immediately, the main idea is to bring network capital to it when the timing is right and we’ve achieved higher distribution.

Lastly, I’ll just note because of the elegance of the NoM protocol design anyways, our reputation is directly tied to the success of how we contribute to NoM. If we don’t live up to the expectations of the community, our reputation is lost and the Pillar moves out of a top position (let alone getting there in the first place) to include the QSR burn required for the initial spawn. There is still a ton of risk to our own balance sheet for pursuing this route for us as well but one that I think could be justified with the right community buy-in.


Thanks for the replies here sir.

Gotta say that I can appreciate your position on staying focused to your short term goals and that diverting from that may not be in the best interests of your stakeholders. With the milestones youve recently hit would be reckless to over extend your resources.

In our boat we have recently been learning and deciding as a community how we can use our own A-Z resources most effectively and its been clear that at this early stage we need to set a clear expectation of delivered tangible value before accepting.

Not disagreeing with the upside potential of the buy in and continuing the discussion on vested pillars makes sense as build_cities may be an ideal candidate imo but right now the consensus for much the community is to focus our resources for improving the network one step at a time with real and concrete deliverables.


Hey Angelo, just thought I’d relay some more feedback here from the community. I still think the risk-reward is worth it, but I’ll try representing the other side to this too:

There are some people leaning against the proposal in its current form. At this early stage of the NoM, we are really being cautious with funding and want to set a good precedent to protect the AZ budget which is scarce.

The network effect is powerful, but by its nature it is hard to measure which is an issue. An alternative route could be if you looked at mehowz guidelines for a marketing proposal (in the marketing section), and essentially deliver awareness/marketing for Zenon in a way which is measurable so you can justify asking for funds. An important concept is proving value delivered, so the value justifies the spend.

Another option is just to wait for now, more information pertaining to Vested Pillars will be made available soon (there actually is a bit of a unique process for it, from what I understand). And there’s definitely a lot of interest in what you’re doing.


I appreciate your answer.

However, your reasoning is based on hypotheticals which are no foundation to make such an investment decision on. On either side.

Once you have the visibility, traction, user base, and brand of dydx, you may compare build cities to it as a base of argument why the zenon community should co-fund your pillar.

Until then, I am a proponent of funding work only after value has been delivered.

As far as I can tell right now it’s a question of timing. Neither NoM nor build_cities has enough to show for it to make it a no brainer for either project to take on the risk of making an investment in the other.

Hence, my advice would be to postpone this az submission to a later stage when more progress has been made on NoM and the value for zenon achieved through build_cities is more obvious.

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Totally agree the comparison is obviously a high delta but mainly speaking from a strategic standpoint. It seems there is a pretty even split of consensus here so it does seem like the timing is not quite right. However, given the fact that we would still need to be making the majority of the purchase (and burn) from our own balance sheet the risk is shared. Fully onboard with the philosophy of value today, funding tomorrow but this is why risk capital exists to be able to provide that value. What we are doing requires a significant amount of capital for product, compliance/legal, growth, etc. and we view this proposal as no different (a lot less expensive really) than asking for a grant/funding from one of the 9-figure L1 ecosystem funds.

“for the sole purpose of obtaining a pillar” I would vote no. Personally just don’t think it is the right time for these types of proposals. Once more comes out around the next phase this may be worth revisiting (once you can build on and prioritize Zenon). Keep in mind I am not saying I dont like your project, I just dont like this proposal / timing.