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3062 karmaJoined Oct 2019

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Hi David! Any update on what (if anything) is going on with this survey and sharing its results? Was this part of the survey that was conducted in late December?

FWIW I’m pretty surprised and disappointed that my question about whether EV will continue to exist after the spinoffs never got a response. It’s a key piece of information about one of the most important EA orgs, and it’s clear that others are curious about it from the karma of my question, the comments replying to it, and the same question being raised in another thread. Even if the answer is “we don’t know yet”, that would be valuable to communicate. And if the answer is known, giving clarity to the rest of the community feels like extraordinarily low hanging fruit.

Thanks for this update! Two questions…

  1. When all the sponsored projects have been spun out, will EV continue to exist? If so, what will it do?
  2. “I plan to share other non-privileged information on lessons learned in the aftermath of FTX and encourage others to share their reflections as well.” Do you have an estimated timeline for this? 

Thanks Ben, I appreciate this detailed response!

Re: 2, very helpful to know CEA’s top of funnel target. To the best of my knowledge, this hasn’t been shared before. Are there also targets for middle and bottom of funnel growth, and if so, would you mind sharing those?

Re: 3, I agree that both of your points suggest raising the target might make sense. But in the other direction, all else equal we should expect growth rates to slow over time (30% annual growth obviously isn’t sustainable in perpetuity). 

Re: 4, I would VERY much like to see EA develop growth channels that aren’t dependent on a public figure (particularly a philosopher) releasing a book, going on a tour, publicizing his multibillion dollar crypto exchange, etc. More organic channels (e.g. campus outreach) seem more sustainable, more scalable, and less prone to the hero worship that often seems to be found in EA.

Thanks for clarifying this! I agree with Jason’s point that the percentage of CEA’s funding coming from OP’s GCRCB team is high enough that the exact figure doesn’t really change the incentives much. But I’m very glad that CEA has made the effort to try and diversify OP’s funding.

I do want to flag that if your understanding is correct, it seems quite bad/weird that the incentives/priorities/strategies of the most important EA community building organization are significantly (mainly?) influenced by differences in “willingness to pay for talent” between OP’s GCRCB and GHWCR teams.

Has CEA ever solicited funding from Open Phil's Global Health and Wellbeing team and/or does CEA have plans to do so? If not, why not? 

IMO a world where CEA got e.g. 50% of its funding from OpenPhil's GCR team and 35% of its funding from OpenPhil's GHW team would be vastly preferable (due to incentives being better aligned with the broader community) to CEA getting 80% of its funding from OpenPhil GCR.  

I’ve looked over Angelina’s (excellent) report on EA growth rates, and it raised some questions about how you see top of funnel growth rates for the community. 

In July’s mid-year update on CEA, you wrote: “our priorities haven’t changed since we wrote about our work in [December] 2022: helping people who have heard about EA to deeply understand the ideas, and to find opportunities for making an impact in important fields. We continue to think that top-of-funnel growth is likely already at or above healthy levels, so rather than aiming to increase the rate any further, we want to make that growth go well.” (emphasis added).

Angelina’s analysis suggests that in 2022 top-of-funnel growth was quite rapid (73% growth in 2022 vs. 2021) but has slowed significantly so far this year (30% in 2023 vs. 2022). Do you agree with her finding that top-of-funnel growth has slowed significantly (though IMO the extent of the drop might be a bit overstated by her analysis due to e.g. huge 2022 spikes in search activity for EA in the wake of FTX)? 

Do you still think top-of-funnel growth is already at or above healthy levels; and if so, is that because your assessment of a healthy growth rate has dropped significantly similar to how actual growth has fallen? If not, is CEA planning any strategic shifts as a result? What do you consider a healthy level for top-of-funnel growth over the next year or two?

Thank you Angelina for this excellent post! I really hope that this analysis, or something quite similar, gets conducted on a regular basis and shared with the entire community.

A few thoughts on this:

  • There are a lot of complications, judgement calls, assumptions that need to go into something like this. I think you did a very good job of articulating these and the associated limitations, and also made reasonable judgement calls along the way.
  • You mention that some metrics measure “levels” while others measure “changes”. I haven’t fully thought through this, but my hunch is that this is a pretty important issue and any future iterations of this report would benefit a lot from really thinking through the implications of the different types of measurement. 
    • I probably lean toward “change” measures giving a better representation of recent growth patterns. The levels of a fair number of EA metrics grew a lot in 2022 (due to long-term growth trends and WWOTF) then flattened out or declined in 2023 (due to aftermath of FTX and subsequent scandals). Comparing annual levels, you’d see positive growth in 2023 vs. 2022 (for metrics that flattened out or declined modestly) or zero growth (for metrics that had a 2023 decline that perfectly mirrored 2022 growth). Comparing annual changes would show 2023 as worse than 2022, which IMO is how we should be interpreting this general pattern.
  • In addition to the AI and Effective Giving aggregations, I’d be curious to see an aggregation for effective careers (80k + Animal Advocacy Careers + any relevant redacted orgs)
  • I think the summary chart would be a lot easier to read/interpret if it were presented as a table.
  • Where there’s no data available for 2021, I think it would be helpful to include totals that are on an apples-to-apples basis (i.e. that include only projects for which there are both 2022 vs. 2021 and 2023 v. 2022 growth rates.)
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