An actionable framework for founders bridging into web3

What’s your web3 strategy?

I doubt it’s the first time you’ve been asked that question. It’s been on the lips of a growing number of investors on the hunt for disruptive opportunities blockchain-based technologies can offer.

But for founders looking to foray into the world of decentralization, it’s all too easy to become distracted from core business objectives by shiny new buzzwords emanating from the space.

FOMO is real. If everyone else is doing X, Y or Z, you wonder, then shouldn’t we?

I understand that pressure. As the founder of an infrastructure project that has been around since 2016, I want to remind you that web3 isn’t just a drop-down menu of features to be bolted on to your project. It’s a transformational ethos that should be the cornerstone of what you’re looking to build.

My message here is simple: Focus on the basics, and don’t allow yourself to get distracted by the hype.

If the people who form the backbone of your community do not feel good about your project or their participation, you’re in big trouble.

I’d like to offer some insights into how to build a strong project that can tap into the enormous power and potential of web3.

If you aren’t addressing a problem, you’ve got a problem

A successful web3 company, project or DAO starts with a clear-eyed view of the use case (or cases) blockchain equips them to serve in a way that was not possible before, and how they can change the game for a problem.

Until you’re satisfied you really have identified both a well-defined pain point and a compelling solution, you’re unlikely to convince users to beat a path to your door.

Once you’ve identified the problem or need you plan to address, drill a little deeper. What is the functionality that web3 can bring to the party? Blockchain is at its most powerfully disruptive when it supplies the missing link.

For instance:

  • Does a global, permissionless, digital money layer change the game?
  • Will access to a shared, open, data layer make your offering more attractive than if you hoard the data in a proprietary database?
  • Does the ability to make users collective owners in the platform’s success give you an advantage over Web 2.0 incumbents?
  • Can you bootstrap one side (or both sides) of a marketplace through in-protocol incentives?
  • Can web3 primitives such as NFTs, on-chain credentialing, crowdfunding and wallet-based-identity enable an experimental experience for users?

If the problem you’re solving can benefit from one of these uniquely web3 value propositions, then you are probably on to something interesting!