Final Round of the Impact Purchase

by Paul_Christiano 4y16th Dec 20159 comments

4


The impact purchase has so far distributed $5k, out of $10k planned for 2015.

(If you don't know what the impact purchase is: the original announcement is here; my post on "certificates of impact" is here; Ben Kuhn posted a better explanation here; past results are here.) 

We’re going to spend the final $5k in December. The last round is going to be significantly simplified, both for applicants and for us. Here’s how it will work:

  1. Sellers may submit a one-sentence description of what they did, an optional link, and a price at which they would be willing to "sell" some portion of the impact. This process should take only a few minutes.
  2. We may ask further questions or further investigate the particular projects that we are most likely to purchase.
  3. We, or other buyers, will accept some of the offers made in step [1]. If a price is attractive but not quite good enough then we may make a counteroffer, and haggling may ensue. The offers in step [1] aren't formally binding, so the seller can still back out (though we'd appreciate if you don't, since doing so wastes time).
If you want to submit an offer, you can either make a comment on this post, or fill out the form here. If you've submitted a project to a previous round there is no need to resubmit (though we are likely to email you to elicit your new asking price, given that the structure of the auction has changed).

The key change is that we are no longer trying to incentivize honesty. We realized that trying to be incentive-compatible made the process much more expensive, for both us and the sellers.  We also realized that the incentives were never going to be perfect or even great, once we had a dynamic process with more than one buyer.

My guess is that blog posts (or other relatively self-contained writings) are the most promising candidates; I recommend a low bar for quickly submitting a link and a high-ball estimate for the value of a post, as long as you won't be offended when we don't fund it. 

As always, our evaluations will be unapologetically arbitrary, rough, and biased.

The deadline for submissions is Sunday December 20.