How To Build a Web3 Product People Want


Web3 advances at a mile a second, whether it's the most recent DeFi invention or a ground-breaking new infrastructural improvement. Projects that lack product-market fit face the danger of falling behind because both attention and funding are in short supply.


Compared to Web2 businesses, Web3 startups operate in a more hectic and competitive atmosphere. Due to the inherent "forkability" of open-source projects, which allows any developer to fork a project's source code and create a rival project, this discrepancy can be largely ascribed to competing desires for liquidity—a requirement for integrating with the larger market.


This puts a lot of pressure on startup teams since they may invest months and valuable resources into creating what they think is the ideal solution, only to have it gain little traction, visibility, or adoption. Startup teams must perform the necessary due diligence and carefully build a framework for constructing their product in order to prevent overcommitting to a product vision that won't work and to develop a key value proposition that can beat out existing competitors. Although this is crucial in any startup scenario, there are a few aspects that are particular to Web3 because of its quick pace and special considerations.


  • To avoid frequent Web3 startup product development errors, use a lean software methodology.
  • Before you begin construction in earnest, define your ideal client, track down early adopters, and create a thriving community to keep them informed and involved.
  • Utilize the Web3 community's strength to validate the issue and the proposed solution through surveys and metric tracking.
  • By combining problem-solution validation and competitor analysis, develop a key value proposition.
  • After determining that a problem-solution fit exists, create an MVP and fast iterate using a build-measure-learn feedback loop.


Understanding Product Development in Tech Startups

Building a tech startup typically requires significantly less capital than building a business that sells tangible goods. To develop and produce cars, for instance, the auto industry needs millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars. In contrast, developing a software product has comparatively few sunk expenses.


Technology is also low-friction; updating or adding to current software is frequently simpler than updating or adding to a physical product line. Everything is created by computers and released by backend services. There is no requirement to spend money on equipment, products, or supply networks and manufacturing.


As a result, digital startups are in a unique position to use lean software development, a philosophy that emphasizes quick product cycles and iterative improvement by placing a high priority on user feedback, measurement, and learnings. Lean software development has been widely embraced by tech firms even though the idea originated in the industrial sector.


Why Use a Lean Approach to Software Development?

Utilizing lean methods reduces waste and puts direct customer value first. Startups should grow quickly, fail quickly, and use their lessons learned to create features and solutions that customers genuinely want.


The majority of startup teams know exactly what they want to build from the beginning. However, the lean methodology forces startups to demonstrate that their ideas are grounded in a solid foundation before devoting a significant amount of time or money to developing their product or service, even though it is both normal and healthy for startup teams to have a clear product vision in mind.


A lean strategy for software startups implies reducing both of these risks by allocating resources to the most crucial facets of the company and confirming market demand prior to product creation. On other words, before spending excessive amounts of time and money, put it in the things that are most crucial and make sure there are customers who are interested.


Teams should divide the product development cycle into three main parts: build, measure, and learn, in order to achieve this. Create a feature or product in its simplest possible form first. Afterward, evaluate the effectiveness of that feature or product in light of key performance metrics (KPIs). Finally, turn these measures into learnings and incorporate them into the product's subsequent iteration.


Although this appears straightforward in theory, applying a lean methodology within Web3 startups necessitates customizing this strategy to the particular difficulties and variations present in Web3.


Startups must perform an often-overlooked pre-step before putting this three-step cycle into action: planning their initial iteration of the product. Popular methods for creating companies, such as the "Four Steps to the Epiphany" and lean methodology, consistently stress the significance of beginning with the client.


Target Market Definition in Web3

Starting with a clearly defined target market is essential if you want to create a product that is both useful and durable. Startups must validate their product concepts with their defined client base and ask themselves: "Who is confronting the problem I am trying to solve?" This is the first step for any business wanting to produce a successful product. One of the most important first steps in creating a successful product is providing an answer to this important issue.


Target Markets for Web3 Communities

Web3 initiatives have inherent benefits over traditional businesses due to the organic growth of community members. These projects operate in a sector characterized by decentralized governance, stakeholder-dependent business models, and permissionless access. Early adopters who are currently experiencing the issue that the Web3 founding teams are trying to tackle make up many of these communities.


For Web3 startup teams, a community is an invaluable resource that may offer helpful insight into the issue and the potential solutions at every stage, from ideation and problem-solution fit (more on this below) to the launch of the product on the mainnet. Web3 projects should strive to create a minimum viable community (MVC) that faithfully reflects their target audience and is consistent with their ultimate objective.


Building the correct community is one of the most crucial aspects of a developing Web3 startup because of this. The early user base of a Web3 startup should reflect its beachhead market, a relatively small group of users who share the same problems that can be solved by their solution. Web3 initiatives have a built-in user base to start testing their ideas if they are supported by the correct community and consistent, effective communication. These devoted community members serve as the foundation for developing, testing, and refining a product.


How to Create a Successful Web3 Community

Web3 businesses should carefully consider the key traits that influence whether a person will run into the issue they're trying to solve and work to build a strong community of devoted members that fit this description.


Developing a clear goal and vision, typically in the form of a whitepaper, and creating a location for interested users to go are the first active steps in creating the proper community. In actuality, this entails setting up a Discord channel to start building a community of eager early adopters, a landing website and whitepaper outlining the issue and suggested remedy.


Here are some advice on creating an MVC:


Utilize Current Networks—Successful startup teams frequently have a strong foundation in their field. Look for ways to use current connections that might be impacted by the issue the project is trying to tackle, or ask for recommendations for people who might encounter the issue.

Join Existing Web3 Communities: Since many Web3 projects provide mutually beneficial services, existing Web3 communities are the ideal place for companies to identify prospective community members.

Give community management top priority—

Keep community discussions focused on the goal and the knowledgeable and educated community members. The community's comments will be more valuable the healthier it is.


Identifying the Problem-Solution Fit

Products are typically introduced to address a particular issue. A problem-solution fit occurs when a startup team can confirm that the issue it is trying to address is real and that the solution it has in mind would work well to address it.


Take stablecoins, which are digital assets on the blockchain that are linked to a reliable asset, typically the dollar. Users' lack of access to stable assets, a major issue in highly fluctuating market situations, is why stablecoins originally gained popularity. Stablecoins like DAI, USDT, USDC, TUSD, and UST now account for more than $180 billion in market capitalization throughout the larger blockchain ecosystem, serving as an illustration of a problem-solution fit.


Because the market overwhelmingly picked a certain solution, stablecoins are a particularly good illustration of a good problem-solution fit. Although the market was in need of a stable asset, it was evident that a dollar-pegged stablecoin was the best option.


It's crucial to gain knowledge about whether a problem is genuinely worth tackling while trying to assess problem-solution fit for a Web3 startup. Here, a clear target market—typically the native community of the Web3 startup—becomes helpful. Web3 startups can verify that the issue is real and take steps to better understand it by conducting customer interviews and community surveys, which will inform the creation of the product's initial version.


To assist in this process, consider the following tips and resources:


  • Create Qualitative Surveys—Ask open-ended questions that will help you understand the problem's underlying causes to begin. For instance, instead of asking consumers if they want dependable assets, find out what issues arise from their lack or what drives their desire for them.
  • Make Participation Easy—Streamline the survey development process by using well-known programs like SurveyMonkey or Typeform. These solutions are extensively employed, simple to use, and well-known to the majority of consumers.
  • Keep the Circle Small: Qualitative research frequently calls for in-depth responses. Too many participants might cause analysis paralysis and ambiguous results, especially when they don't quite match your target market.


Validating the suggested solution is the second stage. The main objective is to effectively quantify the response to a proposed remedy. This can be accomplished in a number of methods.


Start With a Testable Hypothesis — As far as feasible, solution validation aims to conclusively demonstrate or refute demand for a startup's claimed solution. "We believe that users overwhelmingly prefer decentralized stable assets denominated in dollars to other fiat-based stable asset alternatives," as an illustration.

Establish quantitative surveys—

Writing targeted queries in styles like multiple choice or number scale might provide conclusive responses to queries regarding the suggested remedy. For instance, asking survey participants which of several possible alternatives they prefer.


Competitor and Alternative Solution Identification

Finding a solid problem-solution match for many Web3 startups should involve conducting a competition study to assess rival options in the market. Competing solutions are a positive sign that there is merit in tackling a certain issue.


For instance, when Uniswap implemented the x*y=k formula combined with revenue-generating liquidity pools, it largely resolved the liquidity and pricing issue encountered by blockchain-native decentralized exchanges. Since then, other rivals and alternative services including Bancor, Curve Finance, PancakeSwap, and Trader Joe have entered the decentralized exchange market and successfully attracted a sizeable user base.


A Web3 startup can make sure it is developing a distinct solution that fills a specific need by conducting competitor analysis. Web3 startups need a crucial component when entering a crowded market.


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