The following post comes from a new eBook, Blockchains in the Mainstream, which features 33 of the top thinkers, entrepreneurs, and investors in the world of decentralized systems.
You can read all of the entries from the “Blockchain Dream Team” in the FREE PDF here.
The mere fact that the our product or service is decentralized, or uses powerful cryptography, does not qualify it for inevitable success.
*Decentralization is a feature, not a benefit unto itself.*
With this mind, there are three truths or principles to keep in mind:
1. Users don’t care about decentralization, nor should they.
Users care about products or services that entertain or empower them to get things done, nothing more. Similarly, users are typically agnostic to the ideological motivations that drive us to build the decentralized future.
If this is true, then our decentralized products and services need to compete on merit, not ideology, for the user’s attention.
2. Your product or service still needs to be 10X better than the status quo.
Decentralization is a means to an end. If a product/ service doesn’t substantially improve the user- experience relative to incumbents, decentralized or not, it will most likely fail to gain traction. It needs to exceed the utility of incumbents to overcome switching costs such as familiarity and brand loyalty.
3. Solve the right problem.
As entrepreneurs, we need to be pathologically addicted to improving the lives of our users with the products/ services we offer. Decentralized systems allow us to to transcend legacy roadblocks and catalyze actions or behavior that benefit users.
If we find ourselves building a product/service with a decentralized technology, which mostly only solves a technical or intellectual challenge, but offers very little value to users, then we have strayed from our highest calling as an organization.