I’m planning a blog post about the video that will help clarify all the known issues it has and reflect on the ups and downs of the video process etc. But I can answer the two questions easily enough.
Specific public goods project(s) that sign up to our platform and that you choose to support.
We’re only focused on those that are significant, large enough, really deserve and need much more widespread support than they have already. When we get some initial projects signed up, the concrete examples will make everything clearer.
Short answer: each patron is saying, “okay, I’ll do more if you others will do more too” for projects that are still really needing more total.
Paying less as more people join is only usual for cases that are already fully-funded. It’s not usual at all for something with a long ways to go, such as most public goods and other charities or ambitious causes.
Imperfect analogy: consider a charity-raffle.
Consider a case where the charity is truly a good cause and the prize is not really a big deal besides the fun of being the winner. You want to support the charity, and it’s a funny social game we play to encourage one another to donate.
We all want the charity drive to succeed, so everyone is encouraging each other to buy more tickets. Each ticket I buy (or that a new person buys) reduces your chance of winning. But I don’t actually want others to buy no tickets so that I can win. I want to challenge others to donate more. For the sake of the charity, I want to see tickets sold to as many other people as possible.
So, as more people join, others put in still more. Everyone is thrilled at how much they ended up giving together to make a difference (that is probably still nowhere near enough to solve the problems the charity is working on). Few people would feel as good if they either (A) skipped the raffle out of selfish calculation or (B) gave the same final large amount to the charity while nearly everyone else gave nothing.
Again, it will be clearest once we have real projects on the site. Consider a generic example for now: “I would like robust journalism released as public goods with no paywalls or usage restrictions and free from the influence of ads or of specific major grants. For every 1,000 patrons who give with me, I will donate $1 each month to this particular organization doing that sort of journalism”.
Framing it as a pledge that way makes it clear: the reason we give more as more join is because we pledged to match others when they join us. [EDIT: I updated the video to better frame this as a pledge specifically — the thing each patron is saying (see updated video in reply below)]
Implicit in that pledge are two factors (A) that we aren’t starting off already sacrificing as much as we can and (B) that the job isn’t fully-funded already.
If we actually succeed at getting some project fully funded to reach all the reasonable goals and potential they have, then of course we won’t need to continue further matching beyond that.