First impressions are everything for a startup trying to get taken seriously by top VCs and attract the attention of new users.
But what happens if your project, or the entire industry, takes a wrong turn? Several Web3 projects presented themselves to the world during the Metaverse boom a year and a half before Facebook was rebranded as the Meta Platform. Instead of seizing the momentum to propel the development of blockchain applications, many of them fell into the hype trap.
The crypto industry is littered with projects, protocols, and corporations that have made critical mistakes, leaving a bad taste in the mouths of industry stakeholders and bringing the market to a complete standstill.
Bonnie Cheung is Head of Strategy at Sending Labs.
Now, founders have a unique opportunity to learn from ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence platform developed by OpenAI, and its astonishing success in changing the AI development paradigm. While Web 3 and AI face similar problems in the public eye – seemingly part of a general “techlash” against reckless innovation and wasteful spending – ChatGPT’s approach to development and branding has been leveraged to increase crypto adoption. can adopt
Web3’s primary obstacle today is that its grandiose vision of disintermediate computing and finance has superseded practical and user-centered development. It’s rather a lack of enthusiasm for the technology behind it.
Many crypto founders and developers have a “North Star,” but that often doesn’t stop them from getting caught up in the hype of a bull market or trend and forgetting the most essential part of building a product – building something that people will love. want to use.
See also: Crypto Long and Short: Finding Alpha in AI-Related Crypto
Judging by the history of tidal waves of adoption, growth at scale only really happens when the elements of interoperability and user experience (UX) come together. When it comes to practically every new technological development, especially with regard to abstract concepts like AI or Web3, how the technology feels to potential users is important.
Consumers have been using AI through Google searches or Netflix suggestions for years, often without knowing it. But they only started caring about machine learning when ChatGPT clearly showed how impactful generative AI could be.
In contrast, Web3 remains obscure. Most people can’t see or use most of its applications, with projects struggling to prove why anyone should care.
Here are three ways Web3 can adapt to a rapidly changing environment as GPT-4 comes online.
1. Build a product within the industry instead of starting from scratch
Yes, it’s important to have a grand vision of what Web3 could be, but not every company can carry the weight of an entire industry on its back. Strengthening a niche, or a “hero product,” that makes a meaningful contribution to the entire ecosystem when developers achieve what they set out to build can set a model for others.
During the last blockchain boom, a lot of projects sought to build all-inclusive ecosystems that would essentially replace banks or major blockchains. Of course, the idea that a company with centuries of experience and growth can grow and change an industry shaped by it is absurd. Web3 is not immune to economic reality.
To really make it in Web3, like practically every other industry, founders have to start with a gap they can realistically address. For example, the inspiration to start Sending Labs came from our founding team, who noticed that Web3 did not have a cohesive communication infrastructure, especially at the group level.
This created a catalyst to start building a product that worked concretely to address this clear issue within the wider context of Web3. Sure, we could have turned our attention to developing an entire ecosystem from scratch. But if the technology already has the basic elements such as blockchain wallets, improving on a foundation that people are already using, to achieve our goals as a company and ultimately, Web3 as a There is a more viable way to pursue as an industry.
2. Don’t make your sector your selling point
If you’re making blockchain the main draw of your product, you’ve already shot yourself in the foot. Just like you don’t see the gear shift behind ChatGPT, users don’t even need to know they’re using a blockchain. Not to say that the underlying technology of a product should be a secret or a black box, but that outsiders should not need to have encyclopedic knowledge of blockchain processes in order to enjoy a product.
Making your territory a selling point may also turn away outsiders who don’t necessarily understand the underlying technology of your project. If you are leveraging blockchain to provide tangible utility to users, they should be able to feel those benefits in use of the product, rather than reading about blockchain being revolutionary in your white paper.
Letting the product stand on its own while giving users the chance to learn more, if they care to do so, can make their relationship with the technology more valuable. Again, OpenAI doesn’t make it necessary for you to know how its AI model actually works to outline your essay or use ChatGPT to come up with a catchy tagline.
3. Not every Web3 product needs to target crypto outsiders
Most consumer-focused blockchain projects dream of cracking the code when it comes to mainstream adoption. But it needs to provide utility and innovation to communities that are either somewhat familiar with or fully engrossed in blockchain before it can move to a mainstream audience.
When a crypto project promises “privacy-preserving” alternative Internet services to the broad public, they are clearly targeting the wrong audience. People who have never bought bitcoin won’t care – that is, if they even hear about it. This is a surefire way to keep projects permanently locked in square one.
Rather, in order to build on Web3, innovative founders must meet the needs of consumers who are already engaged with Web3 products on some level. If your product is truly effective and provides utility to an audience that has already seen it all in crypto and blockchain, they will be able to vouch for it.
This type of expert-level, word-of-mouth endorsement happens in any nascent industry or new technology. Think about it: If you were thinking about downloading a new investing app, you’d probably ask a friend who’s familiar with investing and finance and who’s seen a million different programs to say: As to whether this is a worthwhile addition. The same principle applies to attracting industry outsiders to Web3.
Tech’s unstoppable pace can be stopped by humans
The design of Web3 as a comprehensive ecosystem presents a unique challenge for startups in terms of building products that address the entirety of Web3. It is very difficult to build a train while the train track is being laid.
Imagine contributing to building a train and laying track at the same time. It requires tremendous discipline and laser focus. This type of development model is unsustainable because the projects either lack resources or try to solve every sector-specific problem instead of trying to solve a specific issue.
OpenAI didn’t create ChatGPT to fix the world or get everyone to understand neural networks. It started with a single sign where no one needed instructions to start using it, so viewers could experience for themselves how this simple sign could improve their lives. Web3’s ChatGPT moment will come when we can do the same for Web3 users.
See also: The Truth About Artificial Intelligence and Creativity
Social media has the potential to drive widespread Web3 adoption, and the building blocks are already in place. Decentralization can serve as the backbone for subsectors, such as direct messaging, group communication, and the commercial value of blockchain can all be built in an accessible way.
Building an entire ecosystem and infrastructure from scratch is particularly challenging and challenging for Web3 startups. Merely having a strong belief in making a technically sound product is not enough. If ChatGPT has taught us anything, it’s the need to always remember that adoption happens when users find your product fun and enjoyable to use.
The views and opinions expressed here are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.