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Going from 0 to leading Web3 platform company

How do you build a Web3 platform company? Joe Lau, Co-founder & CTO of the world’s leading blockchain developer platform Alchemy, joined Mayfield MD Navin Chaddha to share learnings from Alchemy’s journey from inception to iconic at Early Stage 2022. Learn about the inspiration behind Alchemy, how to find product-market-fit in an emerging market, how to embed dev-centric into your DNA and more.

Inspiration behind Alchemy

Alchemy is a blockchain developer platform. Think of us as the Amazon Web Services for blockchain. In the same way that AWS helps companies build internet and software companies,  we help people build blockchain applications more easily and effectively. Breaking that down a little bit, we see three big shifts in technology. There was the personal computer, there’s the internet, and now there’s blockchain. They each add a new type of primitive and a new way to build an application that you couldn’t have before. 

The really interesting thing is if you look back in history, what you’ll see is for each of these technological shifts, there’s always a developer platform that pushes that technology forward. With the personal computer, the operating system is what let people build applications like Microsoft Word, Chrome, and more. And those applications are what brought value to people’s lives. 

With the internet, you saw the same thing with Amazon Web Services that enabled a whole slew of companies to be built in blockchain that hadn’t existed in 2017. We thought for blockchain to be successful in the same way that these other technological shifts were successful, someone had to build that developer platform and that ended up being us. We started the company in 2017. Today we power about $100 billion in transaction volume annually. And millions of users all around the world.

Joe Lau | Co-founder, CTO — Alchemy

Finding product-market fit in an emerging market

I think one one thing that helped us was really understanding how to talk to users. For those of you who haven’t heard of the book The Mom Test, you should go buy it right now. It’s an amazing book that talks about how to talk to users and really understand their needs. The problem with users is they’re all like moms and dads. If you ask them if they will use your app, they will always say yes, because they want to tell you what you want to hear. But the reality is after signing up, do they actually use your platform? Not always. 

The second thing was figuring out how to really speed up our iteration. This is something that was one of our biggest learnings. The thing that’s most important is how fast you iterate. It’s kind of like machine learning and gradient descent. It’s about taking as many steps as you can, as quickly as you can, to find that local minimum or maximum for product-market fit.

Joe Lau | Co-founder, CTO — Alchemy

Listen to this session and others from Early Stage here.