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In January, David Reinstein suggested creating a database of quick-win EA project ideas. In March, he created an Airtable to serve this purpose. With David's blessing, I've now taken over managing the database and I'm soliciting suggestions. 

Here is a read-only link to the table. There are several useful views under the Projects tab. Note that this is still a very early draft/Minimum Viable Product, so it may lack polish. Skills, orgs, and categories are currently not fully fleshed out. 

Here is the submission form for new project ideas. Because of the sources I've used, contents right now are mostly focused on AI Safety, so you can help by adding suggestions from other EA cause areas! Alternatively, comment here to give me an existing list to integrate or reference. 

Here is the volunteer form. If you'd like to volunteer for any of these projects, this is a short form you can use to indicate interest. 

What niche does this fill?

As I understand it, there presently exist plenty of EA job boards and volunteer opportunities. However, there's no central list of projects that anyone could do, especially "quick wins" that don't require an entire organization backing them. It seemed worthwhile to create and maintain such a list. This is also a chance for funders to register interest in paying for one-off projects they deem are worth doing. 

What has been done so far?

  • Added the AI Safety ideas posted by Ryan, Akash, and Severin.
  • Divided into Quick Wins and Larger Projects by likely effort required. 
  • Added some organizations and skills to the list. 
  • Added submission forms for project ideas and volunteers. 

What is planned for future development?

  • Merge backend data with Alignment Ecosystem Development (eventually building separate views for AI Safety and other EA project categories). 
  • Add a funding submission form. 
  • Promote the database more broadly. 
  • Compare/contrast the EA Opportunity Board
  • Create a public-facing interface similar to the one for Alignment Ecosystem Development for non-AI-related EA projects. 

How can you help?

  • Suggest a new project or register yourself as working on one
  • Suggest a list of skills/aptitudes to include in the table. 
  • Suggest project categories that aren't yet listed. 
  • If you are interested in helping edit the table, or want to sponsor, manage, or fund a specific project, comment here to let me know. 




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Hey, I encourage you to keep track of "did anyone end up actually doing any project"


My priors are that often lists-of-things are started in EA, many people think it would be useful-for-someone-else or something-that-"should"-be-done (because "others will probably use it") but few-if-any use it themselves


And my priors from "the lean startup" are that the first version of a product won't fit the customers, and that the main way to get product-market-fit is to talk to lots of users and watch them trying to use your product. What usually happens, on those priors, is the founder discovers surprising things important to users that were importantly different from the ideas during the "vision" stage. For example, maybe the founder focuses a lot on table-filters but the users care about "it's scary to send an email to whoever proposed the project"


I'm not saying that your specific project is bad, and I'm sorry if this turns out discouraging. My intent is to share my priors. Just like if I'd want to open a for-profit startup, then I hope my friends would tell me about things that often go wrong there, in case I haven't heard of them


Good luck

Great advice, Yonatan! This is actually baked into the original plan - build a minimum viable product, find some users, find the sticking points, iterate and improve. "Build a feedback form" is on the to-do list, and I'm always open to suggestions for better design and sharing. 

Also, honestly, even if nobody else benefits from this, I'll be glad to have it available. Initially the thing that drew me to David's post was my frustration at not knowing where to look for quick-win opportunities to benefit EA. I figured someone had done something like what I wanted, and I was delighted to find that someone did. Even if it completely flops, I won't regret the time spent collecting and organizing project ideas, and I'll probably keep using the list as a reference for years. 

It's a great table, Joe. I (and the EA world) lacked it :)

I suggest adding such skills: "Graphic design", "Illustration", "Facilitation"
And I would love to help you edit the table!

Thank you for your suggestions! I've added them to the table. I'll be in touch about editing shortly. 

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